ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Where are you and where are you going?
Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

Very kind of you to share this resource @RFS . I have finished Digital Minimalism and will see if my library has the other books you have mentioned.

As a followup to my month of March with no Facebook, since the start of April I have dabbled back on the platform. I already feel a bit of tension and anxiety coming back which is a clear indicator that the break helped with awareness to my mindset when I am on there. The break increased my sensitivity to these emotions/feelings and I think I need to act on it and take the rest of April off away from Facebook to continue the detox. Who knows, it may become permanent.

1 week into April and my expenses are tracking with Q1 if 2021, this pleases me and I hope the trend continues. The goal is to keep total household spending/expenses below $3000/month (Canadian $$)

I have watched a few vlogs now talking about the "Roaring 20s" coming to North America as well as our national news channel stated that there is more money in savings in Canadian bank accounts right now than previously recorded. Tie this in with what my investments ETFs are doing the last 2 weeks, well it is all a little crazy. Makes me think of Jacobs podcast interview a short while back on his alternative diversification (which wasn't shared) and if I am in a stable place. I am currently 80% of holdings in XAW (US & World Stock index excluding Canada)

Western Red Cedar
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@Stasher - Great photos. I particularly like the first one. Were you just hiking with boots and poles, or did you have crampons and ice axes as well?

Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

WRC I had my MSR Lightning ascent strapped to my pack but the snow conditions were perfect for me to manage to stay in my mountaineering boots all day. My friends are a bit heavier and put theirs on as they potholed a few times. I purposely chose the South approach for this mountain as it is a lower slope angle, thus left my crampons and ice axe at home. My snowshoes are the alpine ascent version so have a crampon built in and I could have wore them if it was needed for traction.

I will most likely head back here in a month and come up the other side as it affords a bit of steep snow climbing. I chose this past weekends route also because of the risk of wet slides and cornices overhead breaking off with the warming weather. In a month it will be way safer, I also plan to sleep out and make it an overnighter.

Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

I enjoy each day with walking the dogs, riding my bike everywhere, reading lots of blogs etc, the usual odds & ends around the house and then a bit of non-profit board director volunteer work. Outside of that life is pretty simple when FI and no longer working. My enjoyment comes from striving to optimize and reduce our expenses. This reduction is the hard part as you grapple with "going without" and feeling like you are becoming less a part of society (which I know is not the reality).

The big 3 in life for costs are house, transportation & food. We are in a position with how out of control the housing market has skyrocketed that sure we could do amazing with the equity proceeds of selling but could never get back into the market at these prices. We will stay the course as is and enjoy the low mortgage payment and provide a place for our adult children to call home still (how the hell do young kids/families ever get in the market in todays age?) Maybe down the road the market corrects and we can sell to move into a small 2 bedroom home or a townhouse/condo.

Transportation, working on selling the Nissan Leaf so that we have just one. This will cut about $300/month over the next 2 years and then about $80/month the years after that. Really hate the idea of not having our electric vehicle anymore but for how very little we drive, owning 2 vehicles is just wasteful and unneeded. There are no car share opportunities or real transit where we live and no way I could get to the mountains to climb like I do without a car. Thus keeping our old well used SUV is the plan. It is well maintained and we don't owe a dime on it, so if we dont drive for a month it costs $70 to insure as the worst case to our budget.

Food ~ $500/month is our cost. We dont travel for groceries and choose to support the regional independent grocer here in our little town. The prices are fair, we get to support local and it is 3 blocks away. It probably does cost us at least 15% more to shop here. We eat pretty much a 100% vegetarian diet and the only drag on our expenses is the cost of oat milk. We buy rice which is our go to food by the 50lb bag, this was the best $$$ move we ever started on other than not buying meat anymore. I think if we really focused hard we could get this to $350/month. We spend $200/month on cafes/coffee as this is our biggest luxury and entertainment for my wife & I. Going to the local small biz coffee shops in the region is our biggest enjoyment and we know most of the owners. It is networking and business relations for us also, thus I don't think we will cut back on this. ** side note we dont drink at all so have no alcohol or pub etc costs

For some money DIY projects and fix ups this week I made a bike stand out of home depot pipe steel water pipe we had left over from a project at our store. A bike stand usually costs around $200 or more so this was a nice home project. Then our garden bucket split after 7 years of sitting outside getting used. So I drilled holes and used a few cents worth of zip ties to bring it back to life. I can retire for life with these little hacks right ?? LOL :lol:

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Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

I don't want to jinx myself but it looks like I have my electric car sold and the deal will be finalized on Tuesday. It is mixed feelings I am doing this but the reality is we dont need 2 vehicles, the older Nissan Leaf doesn't have the range to be our sole car therefore the old Hyundai SantaFe that I have had since 2014 will play that role.

I am selling the car for $8000 less than I paid for it just 3 years ago but over that time I saved about $6300 in fuel savings and $600 in maintenance savings that come with an ICE (internal combustion engine). I am loosing about $1200 to market pricing and depreciation thus which isn't a bad cost for 3 years of driving. The reason the car has sold at a lower priced is that our used older shorter range EV market is flooded here in BC. This is the highest uptake of electric cars in North America, they are everywhere and all levels of govt are investing in infrastructure as well as purchase rebates.
https://driving.ca/tesla/model-3/auto-n ... s-minister

I will be able to pay off my 0% interest loan that has $8200 remaining on it, putting the excess in my savings account which helps me leave my investments sit longer. So my payment of $166/month will be gone and I will save about $80/month in insurance....lets round the combined savings to $250/month but I suspect I will now need to spend about $50/month on fuel without having an EV. Thus saving will be around $200 a month or $2400/yr.

As we all know the math well, that is like needing $60,000 less in my investments to cover my 4% SWR.

AxelHeyst
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by AxelHeyst »

That is a handsome bicycle *and* stand, nice! Congrats on dropping the extra car, I'm looking forward to doing the same here in a couple months (except my truck, being older, was consuming a few grand in maintenance every year).

ertyu
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by ertyu »

Noob question: is there a reason why bicycles should be kept on a stand and not just leaning against the wall or something

Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

@ertyu the stand is just for washing, cleaning/lubing my chain and other maintenance. My bike just leans against a wall in my shed locked up to my other bikes any other time when not in use.

@axelheyst our old vehicles already have a sunk "carbon cost" and are typically the best choice we can make. Thanks, it is a Trek Checkpoint gravel bike and I love it. It is my do everything bike and in the last 9 months I have put over 3700kms on it.

ertyu
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by ertyu »

Cool thanks for explaining. You can tell I don't own a bike but I was curious. Your stand is quite neat - looks stable and sturdy and like it would do a great job. Saving the money is a nice bonus.

Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

The beauty of having good personal systems in place is that there isn't too much to chat about. April is rolling along nicely and expenses are on track nicely. Lots of cycling between my mountain bike and my gravel bike, most likely do some regional quick overnight backpack trips in the next few weeks. Hoping to do a mountaineering overnight alpine backpack trip this weekend and will see how that goes. Only other thing I have been working on is our garden. Fully seeded and now it is just water & wait :) Spring in the PNW is beautiful this time of year and the cherry blossoms are always a photo stop must.

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Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

We have just gone through a nice stretch of very hot and sunny weather and best part is I seeded the entire garden before it arrived. It has now been 8 days and pretty much all my seeds have sprouted, very excited to see my expanded garden full of green awesomeness. Looking forward to the fresh food out of my own yard and plenty for storing come fall. The weather is set to change this week with 5 or more days of rain which will be nice now that everything has germinated from the heat.

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I created a Hugelkultur for my raspberry plants and have started creating another one beside it for my potatoes (laid down cardboard and then compost) which I will plant next week after I get some more soil. (I have used up all my personal created compost expanding the garden). I also removed some cedars and planted strawberries and raspberries as a way to decompose the roots. (not a fan of ornamental cedars as they are far too water dependant)

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Some wide shots of the garden area. The garden has a small cherry tree, 2 flowering currants and a nice big rosemary bush.

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Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

The month continues to tick each day away while we enjoy our reduced spending. Got 2 nice insurance rebate cheques as our govt car insurance Corporation had reduced costs during the shutdown of covid last year and returned it as nice rebate to drivers. We got $482 between the wife and myself of which goes right into our cash savings account and will go against our property taxes. My Nissan is hopefully sold this week cutting about $80/month from monthly expenses and got the renewal on our Hyundai which is dropping down to $66/month which is a huge savings from currently at $123/month. The Government insurance company changed how they do things and results in massive savings for the full province here in BC.

Finally bought into the crypto currency world but did so in the manner of a Bitcoin ETF, put $1000 into it from some recent dividend disbursements.
https://www.globenewswire.com/news-rele ... rsary.html

Sold a few more backpacking items which then I put the $$$ into a "piggy bank fund" for replacement gear. I picked up a new sleeping pad and am going to be purchasing a new ultralight down quilt that is 350grams lighter than my current one. Backpacking and cycling (gravel & MTB) are the areas in my life I invest money as it is my physical health, recreation, mental health & social network. I won't stop making wise high quality long term spending in this category of my life.

On that note, this past week I rallied my crew and told them we needed to sleep on a mountain summit. The overnight low was perfect as well as clear skies and no wind. Amazing spring alpine conditions here on Vancouver Island. Both sunset and sunrise were stunning.

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Last edited by Stasher on Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by AxelHeyst »

Oh wow, beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I also am appreciating your thoughts on where you're putting your money.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Beautiful! May be a dumb question, but is Vancouver the city as beautiful as Vancouver the island? I am planning to head there this fall.

Stasher
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Stasher »

Thanks @AxelHeyst ... investing in myself via getting outdoors is key.
https://www.chrisistace.com/health-bene ... -outdoors/

@RoamingFrancis , Vancouver is a short ferry ride across the Salish Sea from us. It is a stunning major metropolitan city against the backdrop of the North Shore mountains. The one huge difference though is the island is far more rugged and wild, it is remote and raw only a short drive in most places.
All of these places exist on this amazing island ~ https://www.chrisistace.com/2019-year-i ... er-island/

Western Red Cedar
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Western Red Cedar »

I'm loving the pictures of the garden and the summit. Keep them coming! It is a great time of year to be outdoors in Cascadia.

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