Farm life and Semi-ER

Where are you and where are you going?
horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Not much happened on the investment learning front. The Google page on my mobile keeps showing me alarmist articles about loosing all my money, regardless of where I invest. I started to avoid scrolling through it, because I really do not need to be MORE uncertain about stocks and co.
But the main reason for not learning more is SUMMER - I really do not want to sit in front of a screen all day long when its gloriously sunny outside. Plus I'm out and about with my band every weekend for our summer gigs. That's the life!

We have decided to update our existing rented flat with some of the surplus money, to be able to charge more rent in the long run. The heating situation is not ideal, so spending some money on a modern wood pellet stove seems to be sensible. There is no central heating in any of our old buildings here, we heat both houses with individual wood stoves. So we can only take on renters who don't mind it to carry wood up to the first floor, and all the bother that comes with a regular wood stove. Our present renter is fine with it, but I think he'll not stay long-term, for personal reasons (He alluded to moving back to his home county a few times already).

The rest we will save up for the already mentioned remodel of our house, to create a second rented unit. All this fear mongering makes me really wary of investing in anything else than real estate. Especially since the space is sitting empty anyway.

And finally some numbers for the first half of the year:

Income: 27.415 €
Expenses: 24.155 €
Savings: 6550 € (we got a money present from my FIL that went into savings)

This is a savings rate of 23%. Not bad on two modest part-time incomes, but we'll get this further up. We're both committed.

My boss told me yesterday that we'll have performance review in September and that I will get a raise. Nice! I've also started to sell stuff on ebay and classified adds online, not so much for the money but to get clutter out of the house.

Pretty boring update, but at the moment I'm coasting through life with a cool drink (or a microphone) in hand, which suits me absolutely fine!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Last weekend I squashed & broke my right middle finger. I learned some things...
1) don't sit on a flight case to close it without keeping track of your fingers.
2) people have a lot of funny things to say to someone with a HUGE middle finger.
3) you need your right hand for a lot of things!
4) my grocery budget is dependent on me being healthy.

My husband is to lazy to cook and since I was out of order the last few days we have been eating pre-made food (frozen pizza, ect.) or sandwiches all the time. My kid (and DH, too) is happy (junk food! yeah!) but my grocery budget is shot. I spend 285 € a month on average, today we are at 217 €, and there is a lot of August left!
The other reason for the high spending is my re-flux condition, I've finally found something that makes it better. There is a bottled water with a very high amount of hydrocarbonate that eases almost all my symptoms. I abhor the idea of bottled water but lately I've had reactions even when drinking regular tap water, so I'll gladly pay for the mineral water for the moment. Since I save a lot of money for over the counter medicine it is not so bad, but I'm thinking about taking the expense for the water (9€ for 12 bottles) out of my grocery budget and putting it into "health".
For some reason hydrocarbonate in pill form does not work, that would be less expensive.

Anyway, this situation has me slightly worried about my grocery/food system. It is too vulnerable, and I don't like that. I need to give it some thought how to prepare for situations like this.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

bigato wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:35 pm
Have you considered that maybe the vulnerability is not so much on it depending on your manual labour, but instead it is related to the roles and relationships in your family?
Yes of course it is, that is very clear to me! But since I'm the only one who is interested in eating healthy and frugally I need to come up with a system that works. Cooking/grocery shopping is my domain because he has an addiction to candy and pre-made/fast food (he'd live on frozen pizza and chocolate if left to himself!). I think his ADHD has something to do with it, he craves the quick "high" food with high sugar and fat gives him. He has zero impulse control when it comes to eating junk food. I fear he'll get diabetes soon and he is in this aspect a very bad role model for our daughter. Ironically he is thin as stick so I have very few points to argue, besides the diabetes...

He eats the healthy stuff without (much) complaint as long as I'm the one cooking it. When I'm at work he cooks for lunch pasta with ready made sauce (either bought or canned by me), or a stir fry. But that's it. Whenever he is out and about he'll buy stacks of frozen pizza and white bread, blowing my food budget. And of course our daughter gets recalcitrant because she wants to eat pizza, too. We do not fight much but this a constant point of dissent in our marriage. I try to teach my daughter how to cook properly, but otherwise I'm on my own in this regard.

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figmenter
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by figmenter »

I wonder why you call it "my food budget". Maybe make your husband responsible and see how this affects his choices.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

figmenter wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:23 am
I wonder why you call it "my food budget". Maybe make your husband responsible and see how this affects his choices.
On a farm you need to divide the labor/responsibilities in a pretty strict way, otherwise you will a) not get anything done and b) fight all the time who has to do what. From an efficiency standpoint it makes sense to allot tasks regarding to skills/interest.
My husband is a hard worker, has a tremendous physical strength and the endurance to see taxing physical tasks through.
I love to make lists, plans and pinch pennies. Furthermore I like to cook. So it makes sense that the food budget is mine to manage.

What happens if I make it his responsibility I have seen the last ten days - he spends an ridiculous amount of money on frozen convenience food or take-out. DH has very little interest in money or saving, and since we have at the moment so and so many thousand Euros in our checking account he figures there is no need to save all the time. He is ab ISFP and lives very much in the here and now. Combine that with an addiction to junk food and it spells disaster.
bigato wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:32 pm
Yeah, that's a hard fight. I can definitely relate to him, I dread so much the work of preparing food. When I was married, I'd do anything to not have to deal with it. On the other side, I worry enough about my health and finances that nowadays I can't see any other option better than cooking at home. But I have no clue what to do about the dynamics though :(
There is no real alternative to cooking at home. I think I need to get smarter about having home cooked meals in the freezer. Plus some boxed stuff that I can make even when not 100% healthy to avoid his going shopping.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Not much happening at the moment in regards to investing. I'm totally stumped with the whole negative interest thing that is happening. My news feed is swamped with articles about how the "German saver" is robbed of his money, pleas to Angela Merkel to "save our savings" and that the only way to invest which won't loose you money is real estate. Apparently a lot of Germans have large-ish/huge sums of cash sitting in checking accounts with no idea what to do with it. It seems to be true for me and most people in my family. So I'll wait and see how that whole thing is going to turn out.

On a happier note - since we are now completely loan free we bumped up our savings rate from a 25% average to around 45%. Very nice! We should be able to keep this up for the next 4 years (afterwards a relatively large junk of income will fall away since the state funded promotion for our solar power has a time limit.) Enough time to work out how to replace either the income or reduce costs.

My worries about my food budget have been largely unfunded (which is of course often the way with worries). I was able to tide over the last two weeks of the month with "shelf-cooking" - i.e. making do mostly with pantry stuff, so I went only 15 € over my maximum account.

I've been recording our expenses for almost 2 years now and looking back, I realized a few things:
- a lot of the gadget purchases (used PC, used digital cam, action cam) have been pretty unnecessary. We hardly use these things. Even though most was bought used, it was money needlessly spent.
- I got rid of my amazon shopping habit almost completely and replaced it with buying stuff used (see above).
- I have a large category of "stuff" (over 400 € this year) where I did not take note what the bought items were --> it makes sense to be more detailed here, considering the insights I'm gaining.
- I was shocked how much I spend on clothing (43 €/month on average). A lot of our stuff is free hand-me-downs, but our autistic daughter is very particular when it comes to shoes and underwear (fit, not style). I'd rather purchase the stuff she can wear without having meltdowns instead of fighting all the time with her. She outgrows shoes at an alarming pace, but this must naturally slow down in the next few years. DH spend 20€ on a couple of new shirts on sale, because DD was embarrassed to be seen with him in his holey old shirts. That's all of his clothes spending in 2019 so far. "Hobo" style is a lot less expensive compared to "boho-style!!!) ;)
- My performance clothes are another item in this category. I'm always on the lookout for used clothes that fit my stage persona, but it is difficult. Since I get photographed a lot on stage I do not feel comfortable with wearing the same stuff over and over. So when I see something in a store or online that fits the bill I get it, mostly when things are on sale. It is a non-essential expense but one I'm mostly OK with, considering that by now I have a nice stock of outfits assembled. But I can do better in this regard.
- we spent 75 €/month on average on travel/day trips so far - not a lot compared to most families, but still more as I'd have estimated.

Very interesting! I'm very pleased how much benefit I'm getting out of my spread sheet. It is a lot of work to maintain it, but obviously worth it!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

I love September! It's my favorite month (weather wise). A few disjointed thoughts:

In the last weeks I've given working more hours a try (4 mornings, 8-13) and I do not like it at all. Luckily I negotiated a trial period before committing to more hours, because it became clear to me that 15-16 hours is my sweet spot. I'd rather have more time than more money. My bosses are very understanding and we are looking now into hiring an additional person for one or two mornings a week to manage the work load. My husband joked that "I'm getting a secretary" - which is funny considering that I'm the secretary :)

We have started to actively look for boarding horses again. Considering the many painful (and expensive) lessons we have learned while having 10 boarding horses at once we are going to be picky, so it may take a while. At the moment I'm leaning towards 2 boarding horses, preferably by a pair of owners who amuse themselves and don't wan't to spend a lot of time with us. This was a major hassle in the last years, we were reduced to hiding in our own house so that the horse owners would leave us alone. I don't want to make a real income with that venture (too much stress) but it wold be nice to offset the cost of our own horses (200 € month on average running expenses for the 4 of them).

The fruit harvest is pretty paltry this year, due to drought. This is the second year in a row with very little rain and our fruit trees are suffering. There is fruit but it is rotting on the branches before it gets ripe. So sad! We've had a decent harvest with blackberrys (turned into jam) and pears (soon to be canned purée). No peaches, plums, apricots and apples this year :/

DH planted tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse, and they did well. The vegetables / herbs outside did not well, very few beans and peppers. Usually I grow enough herbs to tide my over the winter with dried goods, but this year I've often did not even have enough fresh herbs for cooking. This whole climate change business is really worrisome. If someone had told me 10 years ago that water would be scarce in Bavaria, I'd have not believed it. a few communities have banned the watering of lawn (which I salute!) and I know some families whose well has dried up. We get our drinking water from the community but not everyone out here is connected to the public water supply. Unfortunately most people do not realize how dire the situation already is...

We have been very good with curtailing unnecessary spending this month so far. Our young horse is now old enough for serious training, so most our our free time is spent outside with the horses, without wasting money (I realize the irony that I'm considering a horse "free entertainment").
Sorting our spending in categories has been a healthy shock for me, same as the realization that most of my purchases this year have not given me any lasting happiness.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:12 am

@horsewoman: I think these are my weakest arguments because, as Jacob points out, due to interest, a non-investor will always work more. Stronger arguments are yet to come though...

Also, I'm interested in your particular situation, if you don't mind sharing. How long have you worked part-time for? Do you have any savings? Any investments? What do you do with the extra time?
Sometimes I think it does not matter what arguments I bring to the table, my brother will never "get" my lifestyle. It doesn't matter in the end because we like each other so much that we are able to have disagreements without damage to our relationship. But it was very interesting reading through the responses in Jin+Guices journal!

To answer your questions @Jin+: I dropped out of FT when I've had a baby in 2008. Here in Germany you get around one year state funded maternity leave with around 60 or 70 % (I don't remember perfectly) of your last salary, so it makes very much sense for women to work FT before having a child/children! (BTW fathers can claim this time off as well, either share the year with their spouse/GF or stay home with the child full time. Very few guys do this, though. My brother would have liked to but he felt it would hurt his career. Sad stuff!)

Since I'm a pretty "high-energy-individual" childcare alone could not fulfill me for more than a few months. So I started a business from home (sewing and selling the stuff online). We've had a few boarding horses on our farm since around 2006, and since I was a stay-at-home-mom I started to take over more work from DH and we gradually upped the number of boarding horses. So from 2010 to 2018 I worked around 30 h/week from home with fluctuating income.
Somewhere along the way I lost interest in my sewing business, so I wrapped it up around 2017. We gave up our horse business in 2018 and I looked for an office PT job, which I found pretty quickly. Now I work 15 h/week, which seems to be my sweet spot. I'm really happy with my situation and hope to work there many hears. DH works 10 h/week in a well paying job. Compared to most people on this forum we make not much money from our salaried work, but we have some other income streams + the PT jobs come with health insurance.

My ample free time I filled mostly with music - took up an instrument and did some intense work on my vocal skills. Being able to put in one or two hours a day for practice enabled my to get into 2 top-notch bands even though I started out aged 29 in music. This would have never been possible with FT work, so I'm really glad things have turned out this way, and I even made a decent amount of money with music for a few years.

Regarding savings/investments - I seem to have done the most important thing in my 20s on that front - choosing a partner that has similar values with money. My husband is the least materially minded person I know. He has some impulse spending problems, but luckily only around food so it will not kill us financially - particularity since he full acknowledges that I'm more money-savvy, so he defers to my judgement with most money-related things. We saved like fiends while working FT, paid off our old farm (with his parents help) in 15 years, and did most renovation projects with reclaimed material and mostly without outside help. At this point we have saved some cash (1 year of expenses) and have some moderate pension funds, but our largest asset is our farm. We bought it very cheap and could sell it now any time for around 450.000 € - properties like ours are a hot commodity because so many people have horses hereabouts! We have discussed it - should we fall on hard times because we can no longer work PT we're fully prepared either to drastically reduce costs or to sell/rent the farm out and live very cheaply. So I'm somewhat sanguine about our future, but I am testing the waters with investing a little (ETFs at this point).

I fully admit that we're super privileged - DH comes from a very comfortable upper middle-class background with extremely generous parents, while I'm from a hardcore frugal DIY family - so we're putting his parents generosity to the best account by not squandering it!

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

@bigato thanks, we're really ridiculously happy with our situation. All the hard work paid off!

Re: food growing - we do grow some food, but nowhere near enough to call us in any way self-sufficient. There is a small green house on our property (gotten second hand and free from my great aunt who got to old to keep it up!), a huge raised bed and I'm in charge of an old bathtub with herbs.
We also grow some beans, potatoes, green peppers, zucchini and a few stalks of corn around our garden and pond. Typically there are tomatoes and cucumbers in the greenhouse. Most of which we eat straight as they ripe, some of it gets canned/frozen. The amounts are easily managed due to the short growing season here.

Right now we are in the process of turning a part of our garden into a fenced-in vegetable garden. There is a furrow / dent in the middle of our court yard where the previous owners used to load off the cow manure (these days manure is kept outside of the courtyard!). We reworked it into a round hole in the ground (like a pool!), which we now are filling up with wood, leaves and compost (like a "hugelkultur" in permaculture). This will be a great garden in a few years. The fence is for our dogs - they love vegetables and would eat everything!

We produce all the compost needed for our gardening endeavors with horse manure and "green waste". This is pretty neat!

Furthermore we have a plethora of fruit trees, but unfortunately most of them struggle with the rapidly changing climate. Harvests getting worse each year :(

I say "we" but actually my husband does most of this. I don't have the temperament for gardening :) He is a vegetable gardener by trade and works part-time in a plant nursery (which is also a facility for mentally/physically disabled people, he is looking after those people and works alongside with them). We get a lot of not-perfect-produce, that would have been thrown away, which is the reason that we have not a full-fledged food production at home. I try to can/freeze/process a lot of it, but I'm still learning and have a lot of discouraging setbacks in this area. I learn by doing, since my mother was never into preserving. So I prefer to grow only as much food as we can eat while fresh, it is so sad to have things go bad after all this work. But my yields are getting better each year!

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

@horsewoman: Thanks for the reply. I think we have a lot of similarities. 15h/ week is also my sweet spot. What type of office job do you have and how did you find it?

I also fill most of my free time with music. What did you do to improve your vocal skills?

I'm also struggling with gardening and investing. Good luck on these fronts :) !

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:13 am
@horsewoman: Thanks for the reply. I think we have a lot of similarities. 15h/ week is also my sweet spot. What type of office job do you have and how did you find it?
Yeah, I noticed this as well that we seem to share a few traits :)
My office job is of the regular variety - I manage the office of a small business with around 15 employees - the employees being social workers. I do everything apart from payroll (this is super complicated in Germany, you need a special training for this which I lack and have no interest in getting. We outsourced it.)
I found the job through classified adds, and what attracted me to it was the fact that the company is a) small and b) is in the social sector. Small businesses tend to be appreciative of scanner/multipod personalities like mine. I hate to be micro managed and made that very clear in the interview, which was fine with my two bosses because they know nothing about running an office! OTOH I could confidently promise that I can handle about everything thrown at me and solve problems in a creative way. So far it is a perfect fit.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:13 am
I also fill most of my free time with music. What did you do to improve your vocal skills?

I'm also struggling with gardening and investing. Good luck on these fronts :) !
Re: Vocal skills - When I started to get serious about music I took weekly lessons for 3 years. At this point I felt like this teacher could not teach me anything new. There are not many singing teachers in my rural area so I have been hitting youtube for exercises. This is of course a mixed bag but after my years of lessons I feel somewhat confident to chose legit teachers/exercises.
My favorite is Mark Baxter. He emphasizes keeping the volume even while vocalizing through your registers. I've found this extremely effective and do it daily. My voice is strong, flexible and I'm gaining range slowly but constantly.

Another channel I enjoy is "the naked vocalist" - those guys are total nerds which of course appeals to a nerd :)

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

Damn that job sounds sweet. I've never worked in an office, it sounds easy compared to watching people get sliced open by primadonnas and needling unconscious people in the butt. I would like to do something with math or economics though. Social work is also cool, I have some friends who work in that field and I've been harassing them about getting me a job, but everything they tell me about requires a car.



How much natural talent did you feel you had in singing? How long before you felt comfortable singing on stage? Did you sing lead or just BVs?

Thanks for the nerd recommendation. I'm a total nerd too. Expect compared to everyone here. Man these guys are nerds.

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:46 pm
Damn that job sounds sweet. I've never worked in an office, it sounds easy compared to watching people get sliced open by primadonnas and needling unconscious people in the butt. I would like to do something with math or economics though. Social work is also cool, I have some friends who work in that field and I've been harassing them about getting me a job, but everything they tell me about requires a car.

It is sweet! Office work can be dull as hell though if you end up in the wrong company. I've lucked out this time!
Here in Germany you need at least a bachelors degree in a certain social studies program to be able to work with government agencies - who pay for and outsource assignments to companies in the private sector. Our social workers do drive a lot, too!
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:46 pm
How much natural talent did you feel you had in singing? How long before you felt comfortable singing on stage? Did you sing lead or just BVs?

Thanks for the nerd recommendation. I'm a total nerd too. Expect compared to everyone here. Man these guys are nerds.
Actually, I'm on the fence about the whole "talent" - thing. I'm more inclined to think that if one is physically able to do something, interest, dedication and practice determine how good one will get. I'm always a little annoyed when people tell me "You are so talented! I wish I could do that!" Well, actually I put in an hour of practice almost every day, either on an instrument or on my voice. So I'm rather determined to be the best singer I can be, however good that may be.

In regard to singing on stage, I seem to have very little nerves or stage fright in general. I love to be on stage! After 2 years of lessons I got into an established band (meaning gigs after 2 months of rehearsals). First I was second voice (alto to a soprano) in a folk band, after a year or so we started to play new songs in keys I could sing the lead as well. In my current rock band I'm the classic "female front", singing lead and mostly on my own, apart from some harmonies my band mates attempt :)

Are you in a band as well, or are you specialized on studio/mixing? (BTW do you follow Glenn Fricker on Youtube? Hilarious!)
Jin+Guice wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:46 pm
Thanks for the nerd recommendation. I'm a total nerd too. Expect compared to everyone here. Man these guys are nerds.
I know what you mean! :) Luckily I have the unshakeable evidence of my teenage daughter telling me disgustedly "Mom, you are SUCH a nerd!", otherwise I would not have felt nerdy at all after joining this forum.

Jin+Guice
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

horsewoman wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:04 am
It is sweet! Office work can be dull as hell though if you end up in the wrong company. I've lucked out this time!
Here in Germany you need at least a bachelors degree in a certain social studies program to be able to work with government agencies - who pay for and outsource assignments to companies in the private sector. Our social workers do drive a lot, too!
I always thought office work sounded dull, but I think it could be alright part-time. I have plenty of degrees and things here in New Orleans are looser, though there are fewer jobs.
horsewoman wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:04 am
Actually, I'm on the fence about the whole "talent" - thing. I'm more inclined to think that if one is physically able to do something, interest, dedication and practice determine how good one will get.
I think that there is a wide difference in innate talent, but innate talent is rarely enough and "not having talent" usually won't stop someone from getting good if they are willing to put in the work. This is particularly true in music (except classical and certain kinds of jazz), because the great secret of popular music is that it's relatively easy to play.

Anywho, I was asking because I'm a bad singer and I was wondering if you started out feeling you were similarly bad and how long it took you to feel good enough to ply you wears in a band/ on stage.
horsewoman wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:04 am
Are you in a band as well, or are you specialized on studio/mixing?
I am in a band, I play guitar and I'm learning how to play drums. Once I'm able to play drums at a competent level (probably another year or two at least) I want to work on singing so I can at least do background vocals.


I'm not familiar with Glenn Fricker, I'll have to check him out.


Do you have any albums out/ youtubes of live shows?

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:10 am

Anywho, I was asking because I'm a bad singer and I was wondering if you started out feeling you were similarly bad and how long it took you to feel good enough to ply you wears in a band/ on stage.
...
Do you have any albums out/ youtubes of live shows?
No I never thought that I was a bad singer. I never struggled with pitch, if I have any innate ability in this regard it is hearing very well and translating it into music. But it was the lessons that gave me real confidence to go on stage. I felt that I was knowing what I was doing. I have zero fear of public speaking, even in front of huge crowds, which helps a lot on stage.
On another note, it has been made clear to me pretty early how shallow people are. If you are optically pleasing it matters very little how good you are - sad but true. Even though it annoys me like hell I'm not such a hypocrite as not to acknowledge the benefit of it. I'm in the lucky position that my parents genes assembled in a way that is somewhat close to today's beauty standards (no achievement of mine!). Women have it both harder and easier on that front - harder because you have to transport a certain picture which will be judged ruthlessly. Easier because as long as you are slim & pretty doors will be open for you and people will meet you with positive feelings. At least this has been my lifelong experience, since my personality is rather abrasive it must be the looks :-P Decidedly unfair because no one can help they way she looks (without surgery, that is)! But this is a philosophical discussion for another day :) It was just meant to explain why I do not have any apprehensions going on a stage.

Yes I have 3 albums out and plenty of stuff online, which I can not really share due to privacy reasons :)
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:10 am
I am in a band, I play guitar and I'm learning how to play drums. Once I'm able to play drums at a competent level (probably another year or two at least) I want to work on singing so I can at least do background vocals.

I'm not familiar with Glenn Fricker, I'll have to check him out.
You have set yourself up for a daunting task if you want to sing and play drums at the same time! Drums and bass are most difficult to sing to, because the rhythm is often running counter to the melody line (as you are probably aware!) I tried to pick up bass a while back but gave up on it because of the struggles with singing. Just so you know that not your (probably imagined) lack of singing skills is at fault if it does not work very well in the beginning. It is just so much harder as compared to singing without an instrument or the guitar.

While I applaud your approach in first mastering the drums before tackling singing (spreading one too thin is seldom a good idea) you could even now start with a daily warm-up to train pitch and register changes. 5 minutes a day are enough to see some effect. Like I said before, I highly recommend the youtube videos of Mark Baxter, his exercises are easy but super effective. I do 10 minutes of vocalizing most evenings before going to bed.

Jason

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jason »

horsewoman wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 6:41 am
Drums and bass are most difficult to sing to, because the rhythm is often running counter to the melody line (as you are probably aware!) I tried to pick up bass a while back but gave up on it because of the struggles with singing.
Off the top of my head, best practitioners (not factoring in taste):

Drums: Don Henley
Bass: Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee

horsewoman
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Back to ERE related stuff :) In September we managed a SR of 55% - pretty neat!

I'm following with great interest the discussion in the journals of Gin+Juice, and 2Birds1Stone.
The "will I have enough in old age" question is rattling in my head around as well, considering how little money I have earned all my life.
This is also a topic I often discuss with my dad and my brother, both of whom worry a lot about me in this regard.
They are highly specialized workers in large factories, in well-payed FT supervisor positions and are used to a relatively high income all their life (not compared to what a lawyer or a IT person makes, but very comfortable.)

So they can't get it in their head that I will not need thousands of EUROs a month when I'm old since I never had that much spending money. I'm envisioning my old age (80+) sitting with my husband at our patio, with a good book and if possible a dog at my heel. If I'm not arthritic I'll play some music now and then and sing. Grandchildren wold be nice but are not required. Not an expensive dream, since our home is paid off. I've had so many great experiences even at age 39 that I see no need for going crazy in retirement age!

I would not even know what to do with the kind of money they have - same as I would never consent to spend most of my life inside of a factory producing chemicals that are destroying our environment. OTOH I respect their arguments, because they are both very reasonable, thoughtful individuals who love me very much and have my best interest at heart.
In the end it comes down to trusting myself over them. Their life is not mine. Their experiences differ very much from mine.
Recently I've had a light-bulb moment, as a thought crossed my mind.

Life has thrown some serious curve balls my way and I rose to every challenge with courage and creativity. I seem to be kind of person who, like a cat, lands on her feet no matter how hard I fall or how far I'm flung.

This will stay with me, even when I'm old, at least as long as my faculties are working somewhat. Coupled with the fact that I will always have health insurance and a guaranteed minimum pension here in Germany I refuse to live in fear. I agree with @7w5 who wrote in G+Js journal that offing oneself is preferable to be a nursing case. I've been thinking about that ever since I lost my grandma to cancer when I was a teenager. She suffered horribly and was in so much pain until she could finally die. Some time later I've had a few years with some serious substance abuse going on in my life, which familiarized me with a score of interesting chemicals. I made it out of this phase unharmed, thankfully, but one thought is stuck in my head ever since - it would be great to have a stash of heroin or something like that handy when one is really old, to go out in a blaze before it gets really bad. I realize that this is shocking or macabre to a lot of people, but for me it is very comforting to have a pain-free way out. I don't want to trivialize or glorify drug use, just to be clear. The opium crisis is in the States horrifies me to no end, for example. But it has also benefits to know about the effects of certain chemicals in this regard. There is a lot of misinformation and fearmongering going on, which I can recognize due to my experiences. I think voluntary euthanasia should not have such a bad rep as it does, and hopefully the laws will change in the next decades to decriminalize it.

Phew, heavy stuff! I'm glad that there are hopefully some 35-40 years until I have to seriously think about this!

Jin+Guice
Posts: 729
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jin+Guice »

@Jason: You're going to come out here with Don Henley and not even mention Levon Helm? Do you even rock classically breaux?



@horsewoman: Thanks for your reply. I do struggle with pitch, but the struggle hasn't been insurmountable. I gig regularly as a guitar player. I have stage fright (which I think is ~15% fear of public speaking and 85% music ego), but I've played enough gigs that I'm usually over it. I've been a little nervous with the new band I'm in because the material is challenging and everyone in the band is so much better than me! I finally felt comfortable about halfway through our last gig, and man, this band is good! We are also all extremely attractive :D , so we are going places!

Re: Attractiveness

Personally I've done a 180 on this. I think you should be as attractive as possible at all times. I also think that while top 1% attractiveness isn't possible for all people, top 10% is for most. I think it's mostly a matter of being in good shape, having good hygiene and having decent style. I don't think it's a matter of buying new clothes every 2 weeks, following fashion trends or getting tons of surgery. Basically, just ERE looking good (Jacob has been less than enthusiastic about this sentiment). I'm a man and I think it's easier for men, the great irony being that most men don't even do the minimum (thus making it even easier for men).



I'm not trying to play drums and sing at the same time! I'm trying to learn one then the other. Thanks for the tip though :) .

If were only going to do one singing exercise for 5 minutes everyday, what would it be?



What's the guaranteed minimum pension in Germany? Do you think it will stay intact until/ when you are old? I'd be fucking set if they didn't change the Social Security laws in the U.S., but most people think that Social Security will pay out less than it currently does by the time I'm old. If you own your house and you're getting some kind of pension and you have low expenses and you're saving 55% while you've still got a kid at home, it sounds like you're golden to me. Of course I need further numerical details to verify golden status.

+1 for offing oneself when you get old. I think it's much trickier to execute this when you're actually there though.

I started out thinking about the trade offs (or what when gives up) for semi-ERE, but I have a bunch of blog posts about the advantages (right now they exist only in my head). If you don't achieve full ERE you miss out on compound interest (assuming you have the skill to get it) and you still have to worry about saving enough for old age retirement. However, I feel like it's a safer/ more interesting strategy to have some adaptability (when life gives you curve balls make cat paws), have a part-time job, have multiple monetizable skills AND have some savings, rather than work a job that you will eventually get age discriminated out of and then rely solely on money and/ or try to develop other skills in old age.

Jason

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Jason »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:59 am
@Jason: You're going to come out here with Don Henley and not even mention Levon Helm? Do you even rock classically breaux?
I just opened my window and through me cred right out it, didn't I.

horsewoman
Posts: 520
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman »

Jason wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:17 am
I just opened my window and through me cred right out it, didn't I.
Happens to the best of us now and then...
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:59 am

If were only going to do one singing exercise for 5 minutes everyday, what would it be?
My favorite is this one, but it is 15 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_EYyWesCKQ
Another good, easy one is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nF7RuZ76Qk
I do them with headphones and use a decibel measuring app on my phone, to get a visual for the volume. It sure feels like I keep the volume even but the app tells me different... Singing nerd, what can I say!
Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:59 am

What's the guaranteed minimum pension in Germany? Do you think it will stay intact until/ when you are old? I'd be fucking set if they didn't change the Social Security laws in the U.S., but most people think that Social Security will pay out less than it currently does by the time I'm old. If you own your house and you're getting some kind of pension and you have low expenses and you're saving 55% while you've still got a kid at home, it sounds like you're golden to me. Of course I need further numerical details to verify golden status.

+1 for offing oneself when you get old. I think it's much trickier to execute this when you're actually there though.

I started out thinking about the trade offs (or what when gives up) for semi-ERE, but I have a bunch of blog posts about the advantages (right now they exist only in my head). If you don't achieve full ERE you miss out on compound interest (assuming you have the skill to get it) and you still have to worry about saving enough for old age retirement. However, I feel like it's a safer/ more interesting strategy to have some adaptability (when life gives you curve balls make cat paws), have a part-time job, have multiple monetizable skills AND have some savings, rather than work a job that you will eventually get age discriminated out of and then rely solely on money and/ or try to develop other skills in old age.
I'm pretty sure that SS will always be a thing in Germany. I have no trust that I'll see a lot of the money I am forced to pay into the state pension fund, but I have no qualms about SS. At the moment there are even discussions to raise the amount elderly people should get. How much you might qualify for depends on a few factors and it is not much, but most importantly - decent health care is guaranteed. Since the goal of this whole ERE exercise it to be able to live on very little money I'm not pessimistic in that regard.

The 55% savings rate will be only sustainable for around 5 years, unfortunately. We will loose a largish junk of passive income then, but on the other hand the end of private school for our daughter will arrive around that time as well. Since neither of has plans to up our worked hours getting costs down will be my main focus until then. I'm looking forward to your posts as I totally agree with adaptability over a highly specialized (and likely well paid) job.

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