vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:54 am

Thanks, I just started looking into it. Lending for one month at a time certainly makes it more attractive in the event that the general economy goes south rapidly, a month would be plenty of time to get out of the danger zone, most people can meet a few monthly payments before going totally bust! But it makes me wonder, why would people borrow small sums for only a month? Smells a bit like pay day lending though, and the kinds of people that need those generally have higher delinquency rates. Am I missing something obvious?

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by Ydobon » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:25 am

There are also lenders such as Ablrate, Money Thing or Saving Stream that offer far higher rates (secured loans at 12% etc.) for longer terms, but where there are very active secondary markets. Even if everything did 'go South', there will always be winners/losers, sellers/buyers willing to take your loan parts). I have seen loans of several million disappear in minutes, so quite well funded and active.

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:03 am

February update

February turned out to be another good month for savings. I managed 66% savings rate. I seem to be consistently hitting this level if you discount the crazy one off expenses for my wedding and setting up home.

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Food and drink spending was super low for SO and I again this month, I'm really looking forward to seeing how I can drop food expenses further as I experiment with larger scale growing and preserving harvests this year. Entertainment spending is perhaps a bit higher than I would have liked, however I had an improtu invitation to visit a friend at his new home and I don't do enough socialising so I had to tag along. My friends are a spendy bunch so I had no choice but to eat out twice in the weekend with them which I wouldn't normally do.

SO and I took a trip to Paris which was all paid for in Jan, I paid for transport and accommodation and she paid for food/drink. It worked out super cheap for the both of us and didn't even register in my expenses this month, woohoo!

Transport expenses were high because I bought x 2 tyres, a spare chain, lubricant & cleaning supplies for my bike, also the aforementioned social event cost me a fair bit in public transport/taxis.

As you may have noticed in the Garden log thread, I have been spending on gardening supplies this month, to be expected as we approach spring I guess!

Unusually I also had a visit to the barber, (I normally cut my own!), SO got involved and really mucked up my neckline when helping out shaving the back of my head... professional corrective action was required as buzz-cuts are not an option! Remind me to get even. :twisted: :roll:

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March is shaping to be an expensive month so far, I expect a negative savings rate because I will likely have to pay the balance off our honeymoon. The wedding is fast approaching now. I am starting to detect a hint of nervousness, oddly not about getting wed, but because I anticipate my net worth is about to take a hefty plunge. Being a rational type, I don't see how getting married changes anything between SO and I! I do wonder if I am wrong though. 8-)

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:13 am

@Ydobon, sorry must have missed your response, those are certainly worth a look in to, thanks. Great to see there are P2P sites which offer secured loans too!

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cmonkey
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:29 am

vexed87 wrote:Being a rational type, I don't see how getting married changes anything between SO and I! I do wonder if I am wrong though. 8-)
:lol: :lol: I hope SO doesn't read your journal. DW reads mine so I tend to be more..careful. :?

Great savings rate. I like your 'expenses/savings' chart...I think I'll duplicate it.

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:26 pm

Hah, luckily not! That said, I made my commitment to SO verbally in the past and I consider myself a man of my word!

Personally I don't get the tradition, while not being religious myself... :twisted: I'll go along with it anyway because I love a proper party. :lol:

Obviously there's the legal and tax benefits... so just about makes it worth a go ;)

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:43 am

Mid March Update

I have decided to start following the low-carb primal/paelo type diet so I can shift a few excess pounds that have accumulated around my abdomen this year. I reached tipping point this weekend after absent mindedly eating my way through a bag of caramel waffles, damn they taste so good, but I know I am killing myself slowly.Looking at myself in the mirror earlier in the week, I knew change was in order. I stumbled across Mark Scisson's primal blueprint which is similar to other diets I have followed in the past and lost significant weight.

I have implemented his primal fitness regime too, which is basically HIIT sprints 2-3 times a week, 3 days of Calisthenics, consisting mainly of planks, pushups, pullups and squats. Needless to say with all my cycling, I'm a squatting pro, but everything else not so much. I managed 11 pushups, 6 pullups, 1 minute of planking and 200+ squats before I lost count. Quite a dispartiy. I look forward to see how my strength improves over the next few weeks, but the diet change alone has seen me shift 5lbs of excess fat already, with visible improvements to my gut already.

On a side note, as a fan of DIY, I thought it would be a great idea to repair my own washing machine. It has been making an awful racket while on its spin cycle, there was dark soot seeping from underneath the machine and a lot of play in the drum. Google tells me this is likely a worn drum bearing. I started to dismantle the machine following a youtube video, not for my machine, but I could get the basic principles of disassembly right. Turns out to be one hell of a job, just working out where the screws and bolts are to access the motor and free the drum is a huge pain.

I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and it doesn't help that SO keeps chiming in and moaning at me saying I'm making a mess of the kitchen and I'm going to break the damn thing. It's already broken, let me get on with it! :twisted:

New bearings and a seal cost £15, and quick browse online states labour to get a professional in is in the region of £89. I'm pretty handy so thought this was a quick evening job, not so! The thing is currently part dissesmbled in the house. I may cave this weekend and get a professional in if I can't fix it tonight. Pretty tiring stuff on top of the new low-carb diet. I find myself with cravings for sugary/carb foods, but not succumbing so far. :D

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by Ydobon » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:38 am

Have you considered replacing it? If you are going to spend £104+ inc. materials getting out a professional who may not agree with your assessment, it might be a false economy when new machines are less than £200 delivered for an A+++ device. I believe that they're quite successful at recycling them nowadays as they're largely big chunks of metal.

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:05 am

Yeah, I am getting a replacement.

I spent another hour and half taking it apart on Saturday morning. It is not a job for the faint of heart. I got the drum out after a lot of cursing and butchering of hands and fingers on the sharp metalwork. Turns out there was nothing wrong with the bearings, it was the motor. Carbon brushes, possibly. I had given up at that point though as it was next to impossible to get it reassembled in a reasonable time and didn't care much for putting it back together. As I was doing this in my driveway, a family friend was visiting and kindly offered their spare, perfectly functional but unwanted machine as a replacement.

I left the bloodied heap of scrap in the driveway. In no less than 15 minutes it was collected by the scrap metal guys that roam in vans around here.

Sorted :D
Last edited by vexed87 on Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ydobon
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by Ydobon » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:22 am

Good stuff - we got 3+ years out of our free from a rellie washing machine and to the best of my knowledge it's still spinning happily for the new owners...

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Tue May 31, 2016 7:29 am

I sheepishly update my journal today, for both April and May.

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My net worth continues to ascend, there's definitely a trend here, much to my pleasing, however there's more than meets the eye going on here.

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Savings rate:
April - 24% - Despite an unexpected windfall last month, my savings rate was a mere 24%, I have highlighted expenses that are due to my wedding which is just weeks away, the majority of these expense is for our honeymoon trip to the USA, however there a few extras in there which I cannot mention in case SO is reading :). Despite losing most of the windfall to wedding expenses, 50% of any contributions we receive as gifts on the day will go towards my FIRE savings, the rest to furniture for our new home and SOs savings.

May - 45% - Again, some more spending on wedding related things, mostly my stag do/bachelor party, I did a reasonably frugal trip on a local train line, with craft ales at every stop, but also a a blow out trip to Cologne, Germany with some life-long friends. Well, blow out for us frugal folk, all in all the trip cost about £250, but I came back with 70 Euros of that unspent for my next trip overseas. I little bit of a luxury here I guess, but still pretty chuffed with the 45% rate all things considered!

Wedding expenses should be winding down now, just a few odds and ends to tie up, and then we should hopefully see some generous gifts which will hopefully mitigate some of my expenses, although these will be all off chart in my and SOs joint savings account. Not sure I mentioned that previously, but we do have separate accounts, and these figures are mine alone, although we do try to balance out expenses, you only see here my savings!

In other interesting news, I have shifted away from eating meat, and now eat mostly a plant based diet. I bought a vitamix in April (hence terrible savings rate ;)) and have been loving getting in copious amounts of green smoothies! :D I have lost about 6lbs without even trying and really don't miss meat at all. I have dabbled a bit in diary, mostly cheese, but I can take it or leave it this stage, the only time I have had it was when SO bought it and I couldn't bring myself to waste it, or I have been in social settings when there was no alternative, I'm definitely not 100% vegan, but think I could be one day assuming SO and family would be willing to accommodate it.

I'm happy to settle for drastically reduced meat/diary consumption at this point, but I really would like to say I am 100% vegan at some point in the future. SO was resistant at first, but I think she is coming around to the idea, I've replaced our mayo with egg free versions, she's complemented my meat free, soy mince chili con carne, I think baby steps are necessary with SO while I swap out the meat in favor for plant based alternatives.

If I play my cards right this month and keep expenses low, I'll hit the £10,000 milestone for personal FIRE savings, albeit temporarily as I will require another £1000 for our 3 week trip to the US, still, I feel I am making great progress lately and life is looking good. 8-)
Last edited by vexed87 on Tue May 31, 2016 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Tue May 31, 2016 7:34 am

Your numbers look so similar to mine, yet swap out 'wedding' with 'renovation', haha. I managed 21% in May. :? I think this will be my low point for the year.

So what day is the big day?

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Tue May 31, 2016 7:37 am

Haha, last month was definitely my low point so far, but possibly not for the year as we will be looking to move in the winter.

I just have to keep pinching myself because the old me wouldn't have two pennies to rub together at this point. :)

We get hitched on 25th June, not at all nervous, everyone keeps asking me if I am, its almost as though I am supposed to be on the verge of a breakdown, but I'm a picture of calm, maybe it just hasn't hit me yet. Hopefully not at the alter. :lol:
Last edited by vexed87 on Tue May 31, 2016 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue May 31, 2016 7:39 am

the majority of these expense is for our honeymoon trip to the USA
Have fun in the US!
I have shifted away from eating meat, and now eat mostly a plant based diet.
Good luck with this big change. Be sure to eat enough protein. I am nearly vegetarian but I'm not convinced it's the healthiest option.

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Tue May 31, 2016 7:45 am

thanks @GdP, regarding protein intake, I've been using cronometer to track nutrient intake. Generally I'm getting plenty of protein from beans and veggies, but finding it hard to meet my b12 intake on dairy free days. However this is easily rectified with fortified soy or almond milk,vegan cheese, yeast based condiments etc, although I prefer to make my own almond milk (much cheaper!) and find once weekly b12 1000mcg supplements cheap and convenient.
Last edited by vexed87 on Tue May 31, 2016 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Tue May 31, 2016 8:09 am

I was the same way - very calm before hand. I got up in front of everyone though and my knees got a bit weak....

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:38 pm

I was going to write on the 25th, but then totally forgot. Better late than never.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Are you still in the states?

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:32 pm

Thanks cmonkey, it's still very nice of you to remember. :D

Yes, we are currently on Kauai Island, Hawaii. There is lots of hiking on the agenda after a week of relaxing on beautiful beaches. The volcano on big island is active right now so hopefully we will have some spectacular photos to share here in the journal when we get home. On Monday we are moving on to North California, and will be checking out all the tourist spots, Yosemitie National Park etc.

DW has been impressing me with her awesome frugal packed lunches and breakfasts, as you can probably imagine, the resorts are quite pricy here! I knew I married her for a reason :D

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by saving-10-years » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:47 am

Happy honeymoon and best advice is not to believe (or listen to) the news about the UK. It will be less crazy by the time you get back and you should have better things to do. Sounds a great trip ... enjoy.

Congratulations Mr & Mrs Vexed (or perhaps you are no longer vexed?

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by jennypenny » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:14 pm

Congratulations Vexed! Now get off the forum and go have some fun with your wife! We'll still be here when you get back from your honeymoon, and you can tell us all about it then. Every detail. ;)

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:10 am

August Update

OK, so my update is long overdue, I've been extremely busy so forgive me!

So, kind of a big life milestone achieved, I married SO, who is now DW! :D

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DW and I honeymooned in the USA, we hit up Vegas, Hawaii and San Francisco. Here's some of my favourite snaps.

Sunrise view from 55th floor, Vegas:
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Ferry to Alcatraz, San Fran:
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Chinatown, SF:
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T-Rex Pen @ Jurrasic Park :lol: (Kuaui Island)
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As you can imagine, this trip cost us a few pennies, but as DW says, the memories are for life and I genuinely enjoyed every minute, at least we are not in a penny of debt after the wedding/honeymoon unlike most of DWs peers! My only regret was not hiring a fixie to ride around SF, but DW wouldn't have been able to keep up so we did the whole tourist bus thing instead, at least we got to see the whole city.

In other news, with the wedding and all related expenses out of the way we are turning our attention to house hunting. I had almost forgot how much of a headache house hunting is. We have no firm ideas about where we want to live exactly, but it has to be within cycling distance of my work, I've tried to dissuade DW from somewhere too rural. I think I could push myself to 30 mile round trip, but that house would have to be something special. Ideally I want less than 10 miles from our two nearest cities. I work in one, DW the other. It's working well so far, we are about 8 miles from my work and 6 from DW's place of work. Looking at some of the houses we are going for. I'm glad that DW is being realistic about keeping mortgage payments down, but we are probably sill looking at 18-20% of combined income on mortgage payments. House prices are crazy here in the UK, just glad I'm not in London.

My vegetable garden was all but wiped out by the time I returned from our 3 week trip, my potatoes have caught early blight, most of my salad plants have bolted and my dad ran a strimmer past the unmanaged weeds and destroying what was left in the process. :evil: I cannot wait to have my own space to garden. Just about all that was left was some spring onions which I have been enjoying this week.

I finally also started contributing to my Stocks and Shares ISA. It's not much, but I'm saving 25% of towards retirement at this stage, I'll ramp this back up to 60% once we have the house down payment sorted. Quite exciting to see my capital gains post brexit.

I stopped tracking expenses some time before the wedding, simply because it was becoming more of a hinderance than a useful measure. I'll probably be back to tracking my NW gains and expense ratios at some point soon, maybe from September, but the sudden drops from wedding/impending house purchase are slightly disheartening, probably why I dont feel like sharing graphs this month. Come back when I have some good news ;)

And finally, meet my new fixed speed bike/toy. I picked this up from some guy moving out of the area, 2/3 off retail sticker price, only a few months old. I spotted it on gumtree after toying with the idea of building my own, but as it purpose built and such a bargain, I had to have it. Admittedly, I haven't ridden a fixed gear off the track before, it's slightly disconcerting to not be able to stop pedaling/coast when heading downhill or attempting to stop at speed! I have really enjoyed the challenge of riding this on the local hills, there are a lot of hills around here and pretty steep too. I think riding this regularly will really increase my fitness and eliminate lots of frustration with mechanical issues, who knows. It may become my main steed. It's my new favourite for sure.

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OK, I need to keep my wallet closed for now and focus on accumulating once more!

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by jennypenny » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:49 am

Your wedding photo is lovely! Congratulations!

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vexed87
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vexed87 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:54 am

Thank you JP :)

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cmonkey
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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by cmonkey » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:18 am

Good looking couple! Congrats.

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Re: vexed's ERE journey from the very beginning!

Post by vraxxos » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:14 pm

Congrats! Getting married was the second best decision I ever made (children was the first).

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