Farm life and Semi-ER

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by Sclass » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:24 pm

My mom raised chickens. They were a great garbage disposal system. I feel bad looking at all the scraps I toss out today. Eggs were awesome. I miss those yolks that stand up like spheres.

And I have really strong memories about the slaughter. It was hard on a five year olds eyes. I spoke to some friends about this during Ramadan. Halal goat had the same effect on them as kids.

Said between bites of mutton curry. :lol:

horsewoman
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:12 am

bigato wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:00 pm
It's not bad to have them around, they hunt spiders, scorpions and even small snakes. Did you know that they are more intelligent than dogs? They have a very elaborate social life when compared to other animals. Also, they love having the back of their heads scratched. If they learn how good it is, they will come ask you for more :)
The most dangerous animal in these parts is my dog, so I do not really need them as pest control :) The wildlife in Bavaria is very mild-mannered, fortunately. No scorpions, toxic spiders or dangerous snakes anywhere.
I like to have chicken around, but in winter it is really a lot of effort to feed and water them. I need to carry water to their shed and buy feed at the store (--> lugging around heavy sacks of grain). Totally acceptable when they produce eggs, but not so much when it turns out that one does not really need eggs for anything. It was nice while it lasted but I'll not be sad when our yard is no longer riddled with chicken poop!
Sclass wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:24 pm
My mom raised chickens. They were a great garbage disposal system. I feel bad looking at all the scraps I toss out today. Eggs were awesome. I miss those yolks that stand up like spheres.

And I have really strong memories about the slaughter. It was hard on a five year olds eyes. I spoke to some friends about this during Ramadan. Halal goat had the same effect on them as kids.

Said between bites of mutton curry. :lol:
My dogs have already volunteered for scraps disposal. They have wonderfully adapted to living in a vegetarian household and will fight about vegetable scraps like it is sausage. DH also has a elaborate compost heap project going which takes a lot of kitchen scraps.

My gran often slaughtered chicken and pigeons when I was a kid. The smell of chicken soup always takes me straight back to her backyard where she dunked the beheaded birds into buckets with hot water, plucking the feathers. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of chicken soup.

horsewoman
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:14 am

Back to ER! I've been reading up on some investment lingo.

Mutual funds - I learned that there are different kinds (stocks, commodities, bond-based funds, mixed funds....)
In Germany about every investment site advises against investing in mutual funds for people like me. ETFs are the hot thing here it seems.

What I'm not completely clear at this point is how bonds and funds go together. I suppose on can buy individual bonds of a company or a government, or one can buy a fund that deals in bonds. I'm a little lost in translation here. It'll probably get clear as soon as I'm getting deeper into the topic.
Because of those uncertainties I'll stick to accumulating some cash until I know more.

I have some 3k in a real estate fund (Grundbesitz Europa) which I think is on a downwards trend for some time now (it was sold to us by a "financial adviser" 8 years ago or so, when we needed a place to park some money. I had more in it but pulled most of it out when we needed a larger sum for the farm). The fund has an asset-based fee/load of 5%, which google tells me is not so unusual in Germany. I need to find out if this fund is making sense at all. I don't need the 3k, so in theory I could let it sit until I'm old. OTOH it might earn more interest for me elsewhere.


REIT - these seem very attractive to me, but I've only skimmed the surface. This will be my next area of reading up.

Phew! This is almost as dry as learning book keeping in school...

bigato
Posts: 2065
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by bigato » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:07 am

A fund is a team managing your money. Bonds are lending that money directly.

jacob
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by jacob » Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:49 am

When you read up on stuff, you should prioritize local (German) sources because of the tax consequences. For example the REIT tax-structure is particular to the US and Germany might (will likely) not recognize it which makes it null and void for your situation.

horsewoman
Posts: 74
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:14 am

I understand of course what a fund is, but was not entirely clear on the difference between bonds and stocks. In the meantime I hit on the brilliant notion of googling it, so now I know more ;)
bigato wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:07 am
A fund is a team managing your money. Bonds are lending that money directly.
But you can buy bonds individually or with a fund same as with stocks. At least in Germany there are "Anleihefonds" (Anleihe is German for bond), either with companies or the state pension fund.
jacob wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:49 am
When you read up on stuff, you should prioritize local (German) sources because of the tax consequences. For example the REIT tax-structure is particular to the US and Germany might (will likely) not recognize it which makes it null and void for your situation.
Sure, that's why it's so "hard" (not really, I'm just whining because it's a little bit boring), trying to understand what you guys are talking about, then translating it into a German framework. But like with everything it gets easier after doing some groundwork.

REITs have been approved on the German market since 2007, with our own rules and tax regulations. It seems pretty straightforward, especially if one keeps the money in Germany.

bigato
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by bigato » Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:01 am

I'd say that you won't really "buy" bonds through a fund; instead you give your money to the fund to manage. You may happen to choose a fund which deals funds as part of their strategy, and thus you would be exposed to them. But the choosing and buying and selling and holding of bonds and when to do each of are all under the fund responsibility. How much of the fund is bonds, and what is their strategy, will vary from fund to fund. But I guess that by now you already understand this much.

horsewoman
Posts: 74
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:19 am

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
Posts: 74
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:18 pm

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.

bigato
Posts: 2065
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by bigato » 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?

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

Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:01 pm

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.

bigato
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by bigato » 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 :(

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figmenter
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by figmenter » 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.

horsewoman
Posts: 74
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Re: Farm life and Semi-ER

Post by horsewoman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:02 am

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.

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