Tip: Spend a Little More, Save a Little Time

RaCo Life Tip Spend a little More

Listen to the words from the song by Malvina Reynolds Magic Penny:

PennyIt’s just like a magic penny,

hold it tight and you won’t have any.

Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many.

They’ll roll all over the floor.

Those who are frugal know a secret… every little dollar not spent aids in saving a big nest egg. Those who are spenders also know a secret… every dollar spent (provided it is done purposefully) can aid in making your life easier in some way. In some ways it also comes back around and you will end up having even more. We have tried it both ways, but for us we see the value in spending a little more to gain ourselves more time.

The roller coaster of money is something to look at. Over the course of most of our lives today, there is the ebb and flow of the market which our jobs seem to follow. We have been at the bottom of the barrel and then flowed well over the top with more money than we ever imagined making. And then we are right back to the bottom of the barrel. For us as freelancers, the roller coaster maybe more extreme than those who have steady jobs, but jobs also come and go these days pretty rapidly. One day you are an executive high flyer, the next jobless. So those who are intelligent… save.

When we set out on this journey of balance (leading us to Guatemala), with the purpose to give ourselves an edge towards more time. So our tip to you is to spend just a little more to save a little more time. In the end you will also have more experiences which drive you forward and you will ultimately have a better and more content life.

RaCo Life Tip Spend a Little More Full Width


RaCo Life Funny Story

I could give a million examples of how this has played out for us, but I opted for a more ‘life story’ for this funny story.

Over the course of the last year as I have put myself out of the work force and into motherhood full time, I have had a chance to try things differently. Kurt and I tried at the beginning of the year to save, get out of debt and try to find out way with less.

But it worked. We were nearly in a place we wanted to be financially after about 8 months. But was it worth it? We realized that we compromised a lot to be there. We missed out on seeing friends and family because of not going back to the states, we didn’t take any trips and we made our lives more complicated by not going to the city or taking private boats. We purposefully made our life harder to save a few bucks and we were extremely bored.

Eventually everything always comes back around for us and our roller coaster of funds left the station. After the year mark, we decided to move into a larger town and rebuild our life here permanently. We took on a car loan, went into debt for taking time off work to have our second child and spend more time with our 2 1/2 year old, had new school fees and had a number of unexpected expenses like travel, furniture, appliances and healthcare. We are at the end of the year with much less money and much more debt, but I can say looking at both sides of the spectrum; spending less to save more money vs. spending a little more to save time and make our lives a little easier, we proudly stand by the latter. We have a full life filled with friends, adventures and beautiful stuff that has made our lives boundlessly better.

There are few times in our lives that we have the opportunity to just step back and experience life. Most people wait until retirement age to travel, enjoy and rest knowing the importance of “striking when its hot” in the workforce. Those are the same people who come right out of graduate school and never leave until they retire. We have done things a little differently all around – we spent time in our 20s just enjoying life, or trying things out. I started a business and then closed it when it became too much. I took a year off to travel and live in Europe in my 30th year, and another year to be pregnant with my 2nd and enjoy my daughter. Kurt traveled in his RV for 6 years in his late 30s and lived in and out of Zen centers around the country. He was in bands in his 20s and showed in galleries before getting a “real job.” He started a raw food delivery service and now took the last 4 years off to be a full time painter and see where he can take it.

We have taken tremendous risks without any level of payment. But we have enjoyed our time exponentially and grown so much from the experiences. We are better suited to help our customers and give back to the world.


A beautiful desk!

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]My husband gave me the best gift today – a desk! A desk that was made with his bare hands, from reclaimed wood on our property. Over the last two days he worked his ass off to make it so I could start next week fresh; new internet, and a new place to sit.

The desk is beautiful – well built (like a tank) and blending my design style and the style of the house. It has a very authentic Pottery Barn meets Anthropologie, but really is from Restoration Hardware look.

I love that he made it for me. Best give ever. Now, time to work and make the big bucks![/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_feature_box style=”left-content-right-image” content_width=”50%” media_width=”50%” heading=”The Masterpiece in its Final Resting Place” heading_type=”h2″ image=”2263″ img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″]There is maybe not much better than a desk. It holds a value beyond monetary, it is my lifeline to the universe of creativity. A painter needs a brush and a canvas, a chef needs a knife and ingredients… but all I need is a desk and a laptop (arguably, not even a chair is necessary).

My creativity is released from within the boards of the desktop. I know it may sound silly, but my pens in a cup look better and my mouse rests better on my desk.[/vcex_feature_box][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Where in the World is the Brand Fam to Go?

When you have an unlimited number of options, wish for great experiences and don’t have anything to tie you down, it is overwhelming. A good problem to have – but nonetheless, a serious problem. Here we are, in the most beautiful place, living like kings. We have a gorgeous house on the water, our own staff, full-time nanny, etc. It is truly amazing. We have jobs which benefit from travel and experience, so it leaves the entire world open for interpretation.

As a Food Brand Strategist I relish in the newest and best restaurant concepts on the planet. Traveling provides global perspective on community food, food quality, ingredients, and cuisines. It offers a chance to further my skill-set and share my learnings with my clients. It is also a way to build a larger network and client base.

As an Artist, Kurt is inspired by each and every situation he encounters. He appreciates the communities of each place we have lived and he gravitates towards developing concepts which suit the environment he is in. The benefit of traveling for Kurt is that he can expand his resources – materials, artisan helpers, and inspiration. As a full-time dad, he also gains 8 hours of work a day when Iza is with her nanny, which we could never have afforded in NYC.

But there are so many downfalls to traveling; disruption and wasted time are at the top of the list. Lack of stability for Iza with friends and environment is another enormous one (I moved a lot as a kid and I was ridden too early with the concept of loss well into adulthood). Kurt and I are also really ready for a shift in our life to being productive and executing on many of our goals. We know now that we are ready for home. The big issue for us is that we are stranded in fluidity – we simply can’t decide where to be. At some point shouldn’t we just forfeit choice and just pick?

Here is pretty great, why not just do it?!

The World

Losing Connection with My Partner and the Magic 4-Hour Fix

It is no secret that married couples have issues from time to time. It is understood and expected, especially in times of duress. But boy o’ boy does it suck.

For 3 months nearly we have been on the road – this means that Iza sleeps between us because she is too disrupted to feel safe or comfortable on her own. We are absolutely exhausted from travel, complicated logistical arrangements and a kicking 1-year old who whimpers on and off all night long.

We also have had some pretty big transitions in our careers – Kurt leaving Chelsea and my decision to not seek a PhD at this juncture. I feel like I want to just be a mother, Kurt feels like he just wants to work although our current roles which we set in motion last summer are reversed. It is very difficult to shift a moving ship (especially one with lots and lots of heavy cargo).

We have a child, we live in an emerging country and we are taking a big risk that may or may not pay off. We are scared. 

Through all of this we have really lost sight equally of our friendship and our intimacy. We have stopped communicating clearly or thoughtfully and we have shifted away from a daily hug, kiss or cuddle to a weekly passing moment and daily arguments.

I would suppose last night was my breaking point. I have felt for these past 3 months that Kurt has almost “left the building” out of our relationship and into himself. I don’t exist right now other than a nuisance. On my end I have lost a sense of respect and stopped showing respect and thoughtfulness to him.

Honestly it has been rough. The conversation went as well as expected (terrible) and Kurt ended up sleeping on the couch by choice.

Today was our first date day in nearly 3 months and a chance for lunch, an adventure and time together. Needless to say neither of us were that excited going into it, but we gave it a go. 1st we headed off to look at our 3rd place of the day (the 1st too Clara and Iza came to) in a town called Jabalito (pronounced Ha-ba-li-to). It is meant to be a great area for hiking. The house was very sweet, but unbelievably small. No go. We ran into our friend Josie who makes the best Kombucha and fresh American bread on the lake (Guatemalan’s interpretation of bread is full on gross, so it is wonderful to have Josie at our farmer’s market). We immediately put in our order for tomorrow’s market.  #1 Moment: Making a simple decision together.

After the house tour we went to lunch by Josie’s suggestion. We walked through town and realized that this was actually the least developed area on the lake. It was the section 8 housing if you will. Everywhere there were terrible smells and shacks. Children looked a mess in the streets and dogs were scratching their flee-infested backs. We tentatively walked to the restaurant and went in. The stench from their garden smelled of old animal feces. We looked at the menu and both agreed there was NO WAY we were going to eat there. #2 Moment: Share in a laugh over an uncomfortable situation and work together to get out of it.

At this point we ended up at lunch and had a good conversation. Hard, but good. We talked about the things we needed and what we have struggled with over the last couple of months. We talked through how to stay on track with our plan and to continue to move in the right direction. It proved that we can communicate and that we can open ourselves up again if we are willing to try. #3 Moment: Have a thoughtful conversation which is both calm and rationale.

It was now about 1.5 hours from our departure on our adventure together. We decided to take the time to go to San Juan which is where all the locale artists (painters and weavers) work. We had a great time walking around the streets and looking at the beautiful weavings. The painting were fun to see and technically quite good, but it was no where near our style. So, we went back to #2 Moment every time a painter asked us what we thought.

We took a long walk through town and ended up at the Coffee Cooperativa which is the locale coffee plantation. It is organic and very interesting. We enjoyed a walk through the woods and various coffee plants all along the way and even walked on the highway together. We decided to take a Tuk Tuk back to San Marcos. We had quite the adventure instead of our typical boat ride… one that lead to maybe 50 potential near death experiences. #4 Moment: Be reminded how sad you would be if you lost the other person (morbid but important).

Funny enough the Tuk Tuk driver only took us 3/4 of the way so we had to walk on the road to get to San Marcos. We walked through town and even helped to negotiate a craft for an Australian guy together. This is now at about 3.25 hours so 3:15 and we still needed to catch the boat home by 4pm. It was PACKED at the dock and we ended up on a boat that was over full. There were even people on the roof. A definite first which led to the absolute slowest boat ever. We were late to get Iza and had to run to meet her Nanny. Sadly we got to the door and no one answered at our new Casa. We don’t have our keys yet, so you can imagine our panic. We figured out that she had probably gone back to our house thinking that we had maybe gone there in our delay, so we set off for home. #5 moment: work together to resolve a major issue / concern.

Long story, but a necessary path for a jump start towards recovery. I love this man, I know he loves me and in our 4 magic hours together we had 5 precious moments which hopefully brought us part-way around the circle and back to being “us” again. I’m sure many problems will arise in our life together, but at least we are building a foundation to come back to.