cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

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cjm
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cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:23 pm

Greetings all,

I know how cliché it is to start a journal on the first day of the new year, but now seems as good a time as ever to quit lurking and start focussing on my personal and financial aspirations.

About me: 25 yo male from The Midlands, UK. Business studies graduate, currently under-employed in a non-fulfilling and poorly-paid full time office job in the medical industry. Still unsure what I want to do as a 'career', but I have plenty of ideas what I want to do once retired. Sports player: mainly cricket, hockey (field), football/soccer (although due to a serious injury and gradual loss of passion for sport in general, I now play cricket only).

I want to overcome my tendency to think too much and act too little, and I hope that writing here will help to overcome this.

Current Net Worth: approx. £30,000
My goal is to be comfortably FI and retired from full time work by age 40 and then go long distance bike touring!

Thanks for reading.

thrifty++
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Jan 01, 2016 5:28 pm

Welcome. Far out 30k pound is a nice start NW for 25!

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:59 pm

thrifty++ wrote:Welcome. Far out 30k pound is a nice start NW for 25!
Thanks Thrifty, appreciate it.

January

January has been a really, really tough month. Through hating my time at work, and turmoil in my personal life, it's been really difficult to stay positive. This week saw the end of an almost year-long relationship which has caused me to step back and think about who I am and my life choices. I'm still hoping that we can work things out and that this will just be one of those learning experiences which help us grow. I can be proud that I've been completely honest and open about how I feel, but when I look back over the past few months it's easy to see how it got this way, even if my feelings for her had never changed. A very close grand-parent was also taken into hospital and has been there for two weeks without much sign of improvement, and all of the signs suggest that she will never recover.

end emo rant :(

I also went vegan this month after a few months as a vegetarian. I finally woke up to the injustice and cruelty of the animal industry, and also learned a lot about the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet. Some may say that all of this change at once is too much to deal with, but I figure that it's always the right time to do the right thing, and I feel that this is the right thing to do.

Onto the financial side of things. As stated above, I'm still (really) not enjoying my job and I have applied for 2 positions in a local government authority (being deliberately vague here) which offer significantly more money and far greater potential for learning and progression. Fingers crossed!

Income: £1310

Rent: £262.50
Internet: £12.57
Phone: £10
Council tax: £51.50
Food: £57.41

Total Expenditure: £393.98

Savings rate: 69%

Unusually low spending this month even by my standards, no socialising spending, no major events. This was largely due to the emotional roller-coaster that was January and a lack of drive. Apart from a lot of exercise, I haven't worked on improving myself, but the events of the past few days have made me realise that I must start to work on becoming the best version of myself.

This post was longer than I had planned, so thanks to anyone who read it all.

skintstudent
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by skintstudent » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:05 pm

I missed your first post, so welcome.

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope things get better for you soon. Going through those two traumatic experiences simultaneously is tough.

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Egg
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by Egg » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:43 pm

Sorry to hear about your developments cjm. It's that time of year, I guess. I also went through a break-up this month, although for me I neither know where it went wrong, nor do I want/expect it to be reversed.

Good to see another UK'er, though. Welcome.

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chenda
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by chenda » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:02 pm

Hope your year improves :)

How is your rent and council tax so low ?

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:59 pm

skintstudent wrote:I missed your first post, so welcome.

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope things get better for you soon. Going through those two traumatic experiences simultaneously is tough.
Thanks for your kind words.

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:02 pm

Egg wrote:Sorry to hear about your developments cjm. It's that time of year, I guess. I also went through a break-up this month, although for me I neither know where it went wrong, nor do I want/expect it to be reversed.

Good to see another UK'er, though. Welcome.
Thanks Egg, much appreciated. Here's to brighter days for both of us!

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:12 pm

chenda wrote:Hope your year improves :)

How is your rent and council tax so low ?
Thank you, Chenda. Me too! :)

I rent a small 2 bed flat with my Brother and we split all housing costs. The flat is very basic, but good value for the area (hence the low council tax). It's very close to the centre of town, my workplace etc. and is about as low cost as it's possible to rent around here. Property in this city is not cheap, but it's certainly more reasonable than many parts of England.

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chenda
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by chenda » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:09 pm

Sounds good! Just an idea but maybe you should consider quitting the job you don't like and just do something part time - should be pretty easy to earn £500 -£600 a month for a few days a week. Take a break, do some cycling and plan your next move :)

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:44 pm

chenda wrote:Sounds good! Just an idea but maybe you should consider quitting the job you don't like and just do something part time - should be pretty easy to earn £500 -£600 a month for a few days a week. Take a break, do some cycling and plan your next move :)
One step ahead of you!

Today I quit the toxic job after they refused to back-pay me a promised £ bonus from completing a (obligatory) work-related qualification. It's really disappointing to see a company which routinely spews out high ethics propaganda, treat their staff with such neglect. Anyway, I will have a few weeks to think about my next move whilst serving the 2 month notice period. Fortunately I hoarded a lot of annual leave days so this will bring the final day forward significantly.

Onto better things! :D

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chenda
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by chenda » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:04 pm

Congrats! That's great news and sounds like a well deserved slap to your employer. I've also found that companies which spout their good employer credentials often have a more sinister aspect...anyway I'm looking forward to reading about what you do next :)

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:42 pm

chenda wrote:Congrats! That's great news and sounds like a well deserved slap to your employer. I've also found that companies which spout their good employer credentials often have a more sinister aspect...anyway I'm looking forward to reading about what you do next :)
Thanks! Indeed from speaking with former colleagues since my departure, things are getting worse there so it looks like I got out at the right time!

Having said that, I am yet to find a new job, but I have been doing some gardening/labouring work for the past two weeks which I've enjoyed. I've had a lot of time to think, whilst also doing fun tasks which make me feel like I'm actually doing something useful. Pushing wheelbarrows > pushing paper around. The weather was good so my pasty skin has re-discovered the sweet taste of vitamin D!

Ultimately though I've been...unproductive for the past two months. I haven't been in a good place mentally, and it's prevented me from focusing on finding a new job. In fact, it's been the worst time of my life, full of doubt, self-pity, anxiety and a general lack of direction. The death of my Grandmother coupled with failed attempts to re-kindle a relationship with my ex left me feeling very lonely for a while. Thankfully I have some awesome friends and family who have been incredibly supportive and I'm now getting to the point of acceptance and ready to move on with life. I've learned a huge amount and in a strange way, I'm actually grateful for these experiences. I feel like I can empathise with people much more strongly now. To know how it feels to experience heartbreak has helped me realise that everyone battles with their own problems every day and we're all just dealing with them in the way we feel is best in that moment. I suddenly realised "Who am I to judge someone when I have no idea what they have been through or what they're going through right now?" Plenty of lessons learned.

Now it's time to get back on track and start enjoying life again.

Goals for April
Get a new job
Find a new place to live (current landlord is selling so we have to move out by 1st May)
Cycle 200+ miles
Read 4 books

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chenda
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by chenda » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:30 am

Sorry to hear your news...

Noedig
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by Noedig » Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:20 pm

cjm. Feel for you.

Relationships don't last sometimes. When you get over the pain, think about what you might have learned. Easier said than done. But not to be avoided.

What's on your side:

-Sheer youth. You are half my age, in fair physical shape I would imagine, and have plenty of time to find more fish in the sea.
-Awareness. My god, it took me until I was 45 to realise I that being 'employed in a non-fulfilling full time office job' was killing me. You are well ahead. Mind you, many millenials are I expect less inclined to expect a default escalator of job to retirement than for my generation.
-30K: more money than I saved, before I was 40. I suppose this is flat deposit money for the future, UK housing costing as much as it does. But well done.

Fantastic idea with the long distance bike touring. Going to do just that myself in May. I recommend, secondhand from Amazon:
France en Velo: St Malo down to Ventoux (this is the one I am doing)
Cycling back to happiness: a complete nutter does the Scandinavian coastal route
The Man Who Cycled The World: is what it says

Don't wait to retire to get on that bike. In fact, nip down to Aldi and see if they have any of the bike stands they had on sale last week. Bought one myself and am mightily impressed.

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vexed87
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by vexed87 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:38 am

Hi cjm,

Sorry about your loss but glad to hear things are looking up in recent weeks.

How is your transition to veganism going? I saw cowspiracy a few weeks ago and has made me drastically cut back on my animal product consumption, I have resolved to stop buying animal products from now on, easier said then done though, right? I find avoiding diary quite hard as I love baking.

I also have a lot meat stored up in the freezer/tinned/preserved, but once its gone, I won't be eating much of it anymore that's for sure.

Look forward to hearing up from you. Make the most of your time out of work, I find myself pining for a little freedom, but it's hard to wean yourself off a full time income. :D

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:23 am

Thanks Chenda.
Noedig wrote:cjm. Feel for you.

Relationships don't last sometimes. When you get over the pain, think about what you might have learned. Easier said than done. But not to be avoided.

What's on your side:

-Sheer youth. You are half my age, in fair physical shape I would imagine, and have plenty of time to find more fish in the sea.
-Awareness. My god, it took me until I was 45 to realise I that being 'employed in a non-fulfilling full time office job' was killing me. You are well ahead. Mind you, many millenials are I expect less inclined to expect a default escalator of job to retirement than for my generation.
-30K: more money than I saved, before I was 40. I suppose this is flat deposit money for the future, UK housing costing as much as it does. But well done.

Fantastic idea with the long distance bike touring. Going to do just that myself in May. I recommend, secondhand from Amazon:
France en Velo: St Malo down to Ventoux (this is the one I am doing)
Cycling back to happiness: a complete nutter does the Scandinavian coastal route
The Man Who Cycled The World: is what it says

Don't wait to retire to get on that bike. In fact, nip down to Aldi and see if they have any of the bike stands they had on sale last week. Bought one myself and am mightily impressed.
Thank you, I really appreciate it. I will learn a lot from this. I'm very lucky to be in the situation that I find myself in, so I have to keep reminding myself of that. After all, happiness is just a choice in the moment.

I'm going to plan a short bike trip in the next couple of weeks in the local area to get some experience of touring. Looking forward to reading about your trip in your journal!

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:50 am

vexed87 wrote:Hi cjm,

Sorry about your loss but glad to hear things are looking up in recent weeks.

How is your transition to veganism going? I saw cowspiracy a few weeks ago and has made me drastically cut back on my animal product consumption, I have resolved to stop buying animal products from now on, easier said then done though, right? I find avoiding diary quite hard as I love baking.

I also have a lot meat stored up in the freezer/tinned/preserved, but once its gone, I won't be eating much of it anymore that's for sure.

Look forward to hearing up from you. Make the most of your time out of work, I find myself pining for a little freedom, but it's hard to wean yourself off a full time income. :D
Thank you, sir.

Cowspiracy was one of the things which really made me consider the consequences of my dietary choices beyond personal health. Since then I've watched Earthlings (highly recommended), and lots of videos from vegan youtubers; Gary Yourofsky & Nutrition Facts are good channels to start with.

Transitioning to veganism has been incredibly easy as my main motivation for changing was for ethical reasons. I've felt massive improvements in my energy levels, sleep quality and recovery after exercise too. Having learned a lot about the animal products industries and the nutritional benefits of a vegan diet I can't fathom going back. Interestingly, I accidental ate an egg-based tortilla dip a few weeks ago whilst with friends, and despite liking the flavour in the past, it now tasted horrible and I felt really sick afterwards. Your tastes really do adapt quite quickly.

The only 'difficulty' is when in social situations where vegan options can be limited, but I've found that restaurants are generally very accommodating and the last 2 occasions they have offered to make a dish which is not even on their menu. Both waitresses told me that the chef was really excited to try something new!!

My advice would be to try it, and remember to keep it high carb, low fat (ignore the 'carbs are evil' paleo bullshit that is all over mass media nowadays, it doesn't work long-term). Also, many people try going vegan, under-eat and complain that it was the lack of animal protein which made them tired/sick, when in reality it was a lack of calories. Plant foods are of course less calorically dense so you need to eat plenty. Check out the youtube channel of Jon Venus for one example of a guy building loads of muscle on a vegan diet.

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vexed87
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by vexed87 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:12 pm

I just checked out one of Gary Youofsky's videos, great speaker, thanks for sharing that. It definitely strengthened my resolve to avoid dairy/eggs.

I'm curious, what are your favourites meals?

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:59 am

Glad to hear it!

I eat lots of oats with sultanas, bananas, seeds, berries, other fruit that's on sale etc. I just add water or sometimes rice milk and eat it raw. Sometimes add peanut butter or jam.
Home-made daal and vegetable curries with rice and/or flatbreads. Vegetable stews.

These types of foods make up the majority of my diet and I eat them pretty much every day as they're so cheap, quick and easy to make in bulk, and I don't get bored of them. I'm going to start experimenting more with different recipes with the hope that I can show friends and family that this lifestyle is not limiting at all. Frozen banana ice cream is next on the list! I'll try to remember to post pictures and a review here afterwards.

thrifty++
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:23 pm

I would be keen to hear about the frozen banana ice cream!
I find bananas even just eating them frozen is really tasty. Their texture when frozen is almost like an icecream

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nitelight
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by nitelight » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:33 am

I'm vegan as well, and did a lot of the frozen nana ice cream thing. I let the nanas get the leopard pattern, so as to make sure they were ripe, peeled them and froze the pieces in plastic bags. Then take up a bag as needed put in the smoothie machine and add water. Sometimes I'd add other fruits. Epic taste.

Noedig
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by Noedig » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:12 pm

cjm - you still with us man? What happened to the bike tour, I would like to hear. Cheers!

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:46 am

thrifty++ wrote:
Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:23 pm
I would be keen to hear about the frozen banana ice cream!
I find bananas even just eating them frozen is really tasty. Their texture when frozen is almost like an icecream
Absolutely! To be honest, it's rare that I make the frozen bananas into 'ice cream' as they're so tasty eaten whole, frozen or unfrozen (and it avoids having to clean a blender :D ). The best thing about blending it though is that you can mix with berries. I can't find any of the photos I took of my past attempts at various recipes but there are loads of YouTube videos with great ideas.

cjm
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Re: cjm's Journal - ERE in the UK

Post by cjm » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:55 am

nitelight wrote:
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:33 am
I'm vegan as well, and did a lot of the frozen nana ice cream thing. I let the nanas get the leopard pattern, so as to make sure they were ripe, peeled them and froze the pieces in plastic bags. Then take up a bag as needed put in the smoothie machine and add water. Sometimes I'd add other fruits. Epic taste.
Awesome, great to hear that there are other vegans here.

Yeah, they're so much better when fully ripe. I was brought up believing that bananas are supposed to be eaten when slightly green, and that they were 'off' when they got spotty, so it was quite a novelty last year when I learned that the opposite was true!

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