RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Yeah, worst case scenario I'm learning stuff now and abandon it in two weeks. Best case scenario it's lucrative full time work. I generally think capitalism isn't a great economic system (I was a teenage anarchist and remain one at heart), though now I'm more open to using "socially/ecological responsible investing" to support myself in the pursuit of my goals. Though I think long-term I think I would like to give those up and head down a more Rob Greenfield-esque path.

I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I would modify the Renaissance Man ideal to be that of the Renaissance Bodhisattva :)

@wolf Good question; in a lot of ways I'm still figuring this out. I definitely feel drawn to social learning environments, and find that I excel when I have a trusted "mentor" figure guiding my progress. When I was a kid I was really good at foreign languages, I suspect because I was willing to dive into a group of people from a different culture and just be willing to look like an idiot until I eventually got good. Something about the social aspect seemed to draw me in.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

New Home, New Horizons

I moved out of my parents' house in a truly frugal fashion!

I now find myself living rent-free in the attic of an unused building. I have permission to be here, but I am reminded of the brief time I spent in a squat in the Netherlands. Once again, I found myself in this situation my a combination of luck, social capital, and following my gut. I'm very excited.

There will be some challenges in living here, but it will be much easier to pursue ERE here. I have quiet space to read, write, and study; there's a small garden out back, and there is shit that I will have to learn how to fix. It is fitting that Jacob posted the following when I logged in to post this: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/do-i- ... o-you.html

My environment is now MUCH more optimized to pursue my goals and live how I want to live.

Employment

I've started the sales job, knocking on doors and talking to people about their insurance. Though my official title is "Asesor" or "Adviser," depending on whether I'm speaking English or Spanish. Haven't made any money yet because I'm paid on commission, though I think it's still worth doing. I'll reevaluate on October 1.

I also am still working at the nonprofit. I love it there; I do meaningful work with people I love. I've cut back my hours, and would like to reduce my financial dependence on them, as there are a lot of people that need that money more than I do, but I still will be working there.

New Challenge

I formally challenge myself to live off of $100 of food for one month. This number is somewhat arbitrary, and I have no clue if I can realistically achieve it, especially because the stove here is broken. But I'm jumping in anyways; worst case scenario I learn and fail.

I'll post more about this challenge as I go. I would LOVE any tips or advice from anyone more experienced.

Peaceably,
RoamingFrancis

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1987
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:25 pm
I moved out of my parents' house in a truly frugal fashion!

I now find myself living rent-free in the attic of an unused building.
Holy crap! fantastic! Congrats on getting out of they house, and triple congrats on finding such a great and exciting way to do it. I can't wait to read about the ERE attic adventures.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Yeah, I'm really excited too! I'll be posting updates!

RooBadley
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 10:47 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RooBadley »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:25 pm
New Home, New Horizons

I now find myself living rent-free in the attic of an unused building. I would LOVE any tips or advice from anyone more experienced.
I LOVE it. Huge step forward! Congratulations.

Since you asked:
1. Do all the things you think you should to ensure that the property owner remains a great contact for you in the future.
2. Keep in mind that your parents are worried about your safety. Don't eyeroll them about that. Take it seriously.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

@RooBadley:

I am hoping to keep the relationship solid. Now I have space for more DIY projects, so I am hoping to be able to simultaneously hone my ERE skills and improve the property by fixing things up, expanding the garden, making art projects, etc.

With regard to the parents, I'm having lunch with my mom today. No eyerolls, I promise. Historically, my relationship with my parents has been wonderful when I'm out of the house, and suboptimal when I have to live there. :)

Building Updates

I spent a chunk of today going through nooks and crannies, and rummaging through drawers. I took a mental inventory of resources at hand, and made a mental list of tasks at hand.

There is an electric stove and oven that look like they're from the 1950s. I didn't expect them to work, but I turned on a stove burner and set the oven to preheat, gave it a couple minutes to heat up, and voila! I can cook here! However, I have yet to find any pots or pans. There's some cornmeal, oatmeal, catnip, and granola bars in the pantry.

The attic is spacious and comfy. I have a sleeping space, as well as space for a coffee table and two chairs. It gets plenty of natural light during the day, but is pitch black at night. I tried bringing a lamp up yesterday, but the outlets seem to lack electricity. I will either have to get into the walls and mess with the wiring (which I am totally unqualified to do) or MacGyver some other solution, maybe get a solar battery or something? I could put it on the roof during the day and use it to power a lamp at night.

As mentioned before, there's a garden out back with space to expand, so there are abundant possibilities there.

Lastly, there's a bunch of other stuff in storage, most of which I haven't really started to go through.

Cooking Challenge

The cooking scenario is of the most immediate importance. I am proceeding with my $100/month challenge. I am really blindly stumbling through this, and would appreciate any guidance. Here are my thoughts for the time being:

Feeding oneself on $100 over a 30 day period averages to $3.33 spent on food per day. I will not consume unhealthy food for the sake of saving money, as this will contribute to higher hospital bills in the long run :) This is best accomplished by buying calorie-dense food, such as rice and beans, in bulk, and having a cheap supply of fresh fruits/vegetables for other nutrients.

Michael Pollan argues that a "nutrient-based" approach to eating is too reductive, and that a "food-based" approach to eating based on "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." is better. I need to read more in this area to be better educated. As a vegetarian, I am still unsure of what to do with regard to Vitamin B12. When I was living at home, the environment was not conducive to taking charge of my own diet, and despite cooking healthy food as often as possible, there was still some element of learned helplessness/ingrained habits, and I never went out to buy my own groceries or supplements.

Now that I'm on my own, I'd like to come up with a better answer to the Vitamin B12 question. Is it worth buying supplements? Do supplements even work, or are they just urinated right back out? I have read that it is necessary to have the nutrients within the greater context of real biological matter for maximum effectiveness in absorption - to what extent is this true or relevant? Should I ignore the B12 question, be loyal to Michael Pollan, and just focus on eating real, whole foods? If it is beneficial for my health, should I allow myself to be a flexitarian and have some fish every once in a while?

I have a lot of questions and very few answers. I have participated in the standard Western diet, veganism, and vegetarianism at different points in my life, but I have remained tightly coupled with industrial food production. This is now an interesting chance to change some of those habit patterns.

I will invest in some minimalist cooking materials. Leaving this link for future reference: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-m ... tchen.html. For the sake of this experiment, I will not be including investment in materials in my $100 limit, though I will be logging any purchases I make. If all goes well, everything I acquire here should be able to be sold for close to the amount that it was bought for.

Today I'll go to a standard grocery store and get a two day supply of food (with $6.66 being my spending limit). On Saturday I will be able to get to a farmer's market with local food producers. I don't know how expensive this will be in comparison to industrially farmed produce, but I will be able to get a better feel for the scene.

Tasks At Hand

As for now, I have a couple of immediate tasks:
  • Invest in cooking materials
  • Proceed with $100/month cooking challenge
  • Figure out how to get some light in the attic room
Conclusion

Moving out has been a great decision. The change of environment has given me much more autonomy and freedom from location-bound bad habits (i.e. snacking on junk food). I feel like I grok some of the systems theory more intuitively. I will enthusiastically report with my future updates!

Peaceably,
Roaming Francis

mathiverse
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mathiverse »

For vitamin b12, you could look into nutritional yeast which I treat as more of a topping to my meals than a supplement. I'm not sure if it would fit your budget though.

Good luck and congrats on moving out!

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ertyu »

this is very exciting. how did you end up lining up the attic space?

mooretrees
Posts: 361
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mooretrees »

Pretty cool news!

Don't forget to check in with your family for possibly using some of their extra kitchen stuff. That way you don't have to buy it OR sell it.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

@ertyu mostly good luck, good timing, and the right connections. There was actually very little planning involved.

Cooking Challenge

$8.06 - some staples from the immigrant import store. I got to practice Arabic as well :)
$5.39 - a pot from Goodwill. I believe I can use this for most/all of my meals over the following 30 days.

I'm going to run two separate calculations, one for money spent on food and one for money spent all together. I can have a stretch challenge of only spending $100 over the next 30 days.

Total spent: $13.45
Total remaining: $86.55

Food spent: $8.06
Food remaining: $91.94

Now I have to figure out a good way to prepare Middle Eastern food :)

I realized upon arriving at home that I may not have any olive oil. I may have to frantically search for a substitute hydrocarbon. Butter? Beer? No clue. I'll be going to the farmer's market tomorrow to check out the local food scene and decide what to buy for the rest of the month. Just FYI, this challenge will end on August 23.

Western Red Cedar
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:15 pm

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Congratulations on the new digs. Sounds like a great way to have an adventure while you are pursuing some of your other goals. I second MooreTrees suggestion about looking to borrow or find secondhand kitchen equipment. I think a lot of households have a bunch of extra stuff in their kitchens that they don't actually use. We basically borrowed most of our supplies from family for two years when I was in grad school.

My brother is a long-term vegetarian and he is pretty adamant about taking a daily vitamin (I think for B12 and Iron). I've also heard that we don't necessarily absorb those nutrients, and real food is obviously the best way to go. Not much help - but probably easy enough to figure out online.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

@WRC Yeah, can't forget to look up the B12 and iron.

Today I learned:
How to make catnip tea (holy shit the sedative effects were stronger than I anticipated)
How to open a can with a spoon
How to use a Keurig
How to cook Durum Wheat

Unfortunately I might not be able to pull off this arrangement long term. The owner is cool with my presence here, but there are some other people who have a say in the decision-making process as well. I won't give more details for the sake of privacy and confidentiality. It may be time to find another attic, or maybe start vandwelling.

- RF

ertyu
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ertyu »

the best way to get absorbent b12 is cyancobalamine tablets that you keep under your tongue. recommended. How long will you have the attic for do you think?

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

@ertyu No clue really. Thanks for the B12 recommendation; I'll look into the tablets.

Returned from a grocery trip. Missed the chance for the local market, so I went to a standard supermarket. This is what I got:

3 liters olive oil - $29.99
3 lbs chickpeas - $11.94
3 lbs lentils - $8.94
7.66 lbs onions - $7.59
1 clove garlic - $0.99
1 handful fresh spinach - $0.72
1 avocado - $0.99
1 cactus - $0.36

Total Spent: $62.60

I got the largest olive oil there was. It ended up being 30% of my $100 challenge. This better last me damn well past one month. There were no giant 10 lb bags of rice and beans at this place, and I was lazy, so I got a bunch of smaller bags of chickpeas and lentils instead. I'll probably go back to the Middle Eastern store when I need more rice/beans. Onions and garlic were a good deal. The avocado and cactus are special treats :)

That was all that I could carry, as I rode my bike and it was incredibly heavy. So now I have a pantry stocked with a good supply of staples like onions, olive oil, chickpeas, lentils, and durum wheat. I have $29.34 left for this challenge, with a stretch goal of spending $23.95. I am still lacking spices (with the exception of salt), and fresh fruits and vegetables. I also need more cooking equipment, namely cooking knives, a can opener, and real plates (I've been using paper.)

I'm a bit bummed about having spent so much money on the olive oil, but I think it will last long enough to be worth it. There are peppers and squash growing in the garden outside. I've never cooked squash before, but if I get the peppers then I'll be able to make something Cajun-tasting for dinner. I would also like to perfect my taco recipe, though that will have to wait, as I don't have black beans or cilantro at the moment. I'll have to learn how to make my own vegetable stock as well.

Cooking without spices is sad :'(

ertyu
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ertyu »

3l of olive oil will last you forever no worries. your pantry list sounds delicious

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Thanks! I'm going to grab some spices and fresh fruits and veggies as well!

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Oh, and I'm looking for deals on B12 tablets as well.

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

https://imgur.com/a/pHUdq

Good cooking resource

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

September Expenses

This month was an unusually high-spend month for me, because I moved out and have started buying my own groceries, toilet paper, etc. Here's my spending:

$250 - Rent
$70.66 - Groceries
$18.66 - Shaving Equipment
$15 - Helping a homeless guy get on a train
$12.33 - B12 Supplements
$10 - Google Voice Credits
$6.25 - Soap
$5.39 - Cooking Equipment
$5 - Supporting a podcast I like

This puts me at a total of $393.29 for the month of September. This should put me at around 0.54 jafi, according to wolf's table which I linked below. I will be living rent-free as long as I can continue pulling off my current arrangement, so future months should have even lower spending. I have about $30 left in my $100 food challenge, which lasts until October 23. I am confident in my ability to pull it off, though I admit the food I have been eating hasn't been the greatest, due to a lack of kitchen equipment and a learning curve with dry beans and chickpeas (I usually use canned.)

I'm going to look into more one pot meal recipes, as my only piece of kitchen equipment is literally one pot.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10135

RoamingFrancis
Posts: 291
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:43 am

Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

$19.71 spent on groceries.

$9.63 left until October 23, with a stretch goal of $4.24.

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