Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Where are you and where are you going?
JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

I plan to post here every time I spend money, to keep myself honest about expenses. Lately I have been tempted to spend money for psychological release, which is a pitfall of being over-scheduled, at least for me, so hopefully the shame of posting here about convincing my partner to go out for shitty milkshakes because I'm going stir crazy will keep me from actually doing it.

The expense I'm posting today, however, is from forgetting to cancel an Audible trial/subscription. Oops. Now I can't cancel without losing my credits, so must figure out what books I want to listen to and then remember to cancel before the next billing date. Ugh.

July 17th: $15.99 to Audible.com

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Seppia »

I promise I will stop after this comment, but I feel obliged to point out that in spite of all you’re saying about the current setup and how you’re perfectly fine with it, the fact that a person with such advanced frugality skills such as you feels the urge to spend money to relieve herself would suggest otherwise.

Frita
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Frita »

From what I understand you are working full-time in a remote location with few people and spending very little money. It’s not like you can zip into town for ice cream ingredients or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, nor can you bike into town to checkout some library books. Perhaps a bit of slack in your budget for fun and mishaps could create a space where psychological release wasn’t so necessary. If nothing else, it could tease out the sources of your stress.

From a behavior change standpoint, shaming is not very effective. Often it increases the undesired behavior and creates more isolation. Maybe you react differently. Keeping a spending log does help create awareness to make different decisions. The forum can help with accountability, support, inspiration, advice, and social needs.

JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

@Seppia

I agree with you on that; my current pace here is definitely not sustainable for me indefinitely. I've experienced the urge to spend for psychological relief any time I've worked full time, and tend to find that my expenses creep up alarmingly whenever I'm employed ("alarmingly," in my case, still being well below $500 a month, but often double what I would spend otherwise). Being obliged to follow a formal work schedule is the one aspect of my current situation that I least like. I enjoy the work, but the constraints of working to someone else's timetable do stress me out, especially since I am working on my own projects as well, to develop my plot and other skills--so probably a total of ~100 hours a week. After I get my two years in, I will be able to transition to living full time on my plot without doing any work for the community as a whole, although I imagine I will still work part time on community projects that interest me (possibly in exchange for perks such as help on my plot or heavy equipment rental, possibly just for fun sometimes). That's part of why I'm working so much--I would prefer that my plot be livable without monetary inputs in excess of $50/month by the time I'm ready to move there in ~11 months, which requires a lot of work on food systems and shelter in my free time now. If I were only doing the "bootcamp" or living on and developing my plot, life would be easy, but the combination is challenging for me, despite having a really good time. My partner and I have been considering taking a couple weeks off to work on personal projects (building our sauna!) and/or take a trip, although we'll probably wait for October as we have a couple of major community projects in the works right now, and taking off would be a dick move at the moment (although we are squeezing out a few days this week to attend his cousin's wedding near Portland).

JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

@Frita

Few people feel like many people when you're living and working with them 24/7! This is the most socialized I've ever been in my entire life!

You might be right about the shaming--although it definitely makes me think twice when I imagine people judging my expenditures and their alignment (or lack thereof) with my goals and values, I do also find that I will sometimes feel more inclined to "rebel" against perceived judgments by engaging more in the undesirable behavior. Which is especially silly after actually asking people to judge me for it. I think the spending log is still probably a good idea, but my attitude toward it could probably use some revision.

I think I should be pretty strict with my spending for a while, since the slopes have been feeling a bit slippery lately, but reintroducing some slack in the future (especially for fun expenditures more aligned with my values and productivity) may not be a bad idea.

jacob
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by jacob »

I've noticed a distinct inverse correlation between my discretionary purchases (thanks amazon for keeping track :-P ) and my overall level of flow/inspiration/stress/happiness. It should probably be recognized that the dopamine shot from buying something is an actual thing. What's curious is that 99% of humanity are basically addicts in that regard because they've turned themselves into consumers, who need ever bigger doses.

There's a reason it's called retail therapy.

I'm not sure self-shaming in that regard is useful nor am I sure whether purchase patterns say anything about one's overall situation. To me, the situation can be in a downswing but otherwise overall good. For example, being in a position of wearing shades and doing nuclear science but being stuck on a particular question ... so buying ice cream or a DVD provides some distraction.

Key here is to control it. Hedonic adaption is a real thing. It's much better to be in a position where a bucket of ice cream brings happiness than being in a position where someone needs to go out and buy a new car for the same effect. Back when I was perfectly content eating lentils and tuna salad all the time, eating something else when visiting family was fantastic. Consumers need a much higher dose to experience a similar effect.

JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

@jacob

I really enjoy our usually vaguely Asian-esque, mostly vegan, legume- and grain-based meals here, but I do get a weirdly intense, glowy, primally contented, sometimes almost floaty feeling from eating the rare dose of animal fat & protein or sweet/fried stuff when I go elsewhere. And I actually eat a far more elaborate diet here than I did when purchasing my own food. I suspect that my response to highly rewarding foods is now stronger than many people's response to their recreational drug(s) of choice. It's kind of weird.

JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

Anyone have any recommendations for audiobooks? I need to use my credits so I can cancel Audible before I foolishly let them charge me again. I find that I don't learn well from audiobooks, in the sense of being able to reflect on and integrate complex information such that I can act and reason based upon it (so, for instance, even if the ERE investment curriculum books were available as audiobooks I wouldn't want to acquire them in that format), but I do enjoy lightly informative non-fiction books (history, philosophy from the oral tradition, sociology and psychology, essays, etc) as well as fiction.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Hristo Botev »

jacob wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:31 pm
You can recognize this type when their net worth plots over time pretty much look like a straight line up with market action being barely visible.
I laughed out loud at this one; pretty much sums up my net worth plots precisely.
JenAR wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:00 pm
Anyone have any recommendations for audiobooks?
A friend who doesn't normally steer me wrong recommended Larson's "The Splendid and the Vile" as an audiobook. I haven't listened to it yet, as I'm standing in a very long virtual line for it through my library's ebook app; but I'm looking forward to listening to it.

Alphaville
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Alphaville »

JenAR wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:00 pm
Anyone have any recommendations for audiobooks? I need to use my credits so I can cancel Audible before I foolishly let them charge me again. I find that I don't learn well from audiobooks, in the sense of being able to reflect on and integrate complex information such that I can act and reason based upon it (so, for instance, even if the ERE investment curriculum books were available as audiobooks I wouldn't want to acquire them in that format), but I do enjoy lightly informative non-fiction books (history, philosophy from the oral tradition, sociology and psychology, essays, etc) as well as fiction.
i recommend this one to everyone:

https://www.audible.com/pd/Decisive-Aud ... B00B3YV3Z8

because we all make choices, and often suck at it

plans, strategies, big decisions, life-altering stuff? all covered here in detail, with clear explanations and abundant case studies.

this should be taught in schools, but instead we have hordes of well-meaning but incompetent people telling us to “make a list of pros and cons.” NO! :lol:

listen to this book, i swear. it’s also listenable because it’s not terribly abstract and there are many memorable stories, so it’s kind of an “oral tradition” thing too.

JenAR
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

@ Hristo Botev @alphaville

Thanks for the recommendations!

JenAR
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Spending log

Post by JenAR »

7/21: $22 to landfill - dumping trash from cleaning up my partner's plot (we purchased some things built/left there by a previous tenant and got good value for the money, but unfortunately it also entailed taking responsibility for cleaning up some rubbish we inherited; I think we got most of the non-recyclable stuff off of there today, although there will probably be at least one more trip)
Last edited by JenAR on Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JenAR
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Strength and Conditioning

Post by JenAR »

I have a pretty typical farmer's body: strong, fairly muscular, sometimes a bit fatter than I would like, functional in certain ways but not in others, with both strength/muscle mass and chubbiness cycling seasonally (but inversely correlated). I would like to be more graceful and flexible, with healthier/less injury-prone joints, tendons, etc., perhaps a bit more slender, and stronger than I already am. I am something of an awkward potato when it comes to sports, dancing, gymnastics, and other spontaneous/playful/performative physicality in general, so it would be nice to be, you know . . . not that.

One of the guys here loaned me a book called Convict Conditioning. It's hilariously over the top in its rhetoric and its whole "prison fit" gimmick, but the calisthenics progressions seem pretty legit, and I like the fact that it doesn't require any equipment, plus emphasizes balance and coordination as well as brute strength. I've trained with barbells and kettlebells in the past, but ended up ditching them when I started living in my truck and dramatically downsized my already pretty minimalist possessions. I'm starting to work my way through the beginning steps of each of the "big six" exercise progressions from the book and am liking it so far, although some of the beginning steps are much more accessible than others (wall pushups vs. wall headstands, for instance). Anyone heard of the book/tried it out?

Dave
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Dave »

Hey JenAR, I've really been enjoying your journal, thanks for sharing.

Yeah, so I have a small amount of experience with Convict Conditioning (CC). As you say, CC's branding is definitely over the top and I'm sure you're familiar with the rumors and intrigue surrounding Paul Wade.

All of that aside, CC is a good book to read because it actually lays out a specific pathway for utilizing progressive overload in calisthenics. In the weightlifting world, progressive overload is as simple as adding weight, but in calisthenics things are obviously much harder as many of the common calisthenics exercises people are familiar with have step-function like jumps in difficulty. CC addresses that. The importance of this is hard to overstate since progressive overload and consistency are perhaps the two most important principles for building strength and/or muscle.

I came to calisthenics and eventually CC for similar reasons to you. I also like that Wade claims that this slow, steady program can help with joint issues. Anecdotally, some knee pain of my has basically gone away since I've done this program, but I really don't know if it was because of the program or something else.

So yeah, I have been doing CC* for about 7 full months very consistently and enjoying it. I'm taking a long time on each step - even the first few steps I spent at least a month on, and now that I'm on steps 4-6 I'm taking more like 2-4 months. My goal has not been rapid gains, but just general strength improvement.

One thing I'll note is that this program is not especially good for building muscle given its level of volume. It sounds like that's not a problem for you, but it's something worth bringing up just so you don't waste your time if you do want to do that. If you can leave aside the marketing of the book, realize its limitations/what it's for, and are patient, I think it's a good program that doesn't require much of one's time. Plus, as I said above, its most important contribution is teaching a person how to think about progression in body-weight training - even though there are only 10 steps laid out for each of the Big Six, taking CC principles and thinking creatively will allow you to see there are many, many more variations that can be done to progress.

Another thought popped up, there is a free FAQ written by Paul Wade that talks about a lot of common questions people have on the program. If you search around for "Convict Conditioning Super FAQ" you'll see it.

*I've actually been doing a slightly modified version of CC based on Red Delta Project's (this is a popular calisthenics website) free e-book called CC+. Same ideal as CC, just slightly more volume.

JenAR
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Spending log

Post by JenAR »

7/22: $2 cash tip for the kid who cheerfully sold my partner a huckleberry milkshake despite many mishaps with his debit card and PIN (we are driving to a wedding, so this is a guilt-free road trip milkshake for me!)

I am sure I will spend painful amounts of money on goofy purchases during this trip, but it’s the first time meeting my partner’s parents and family, so I am going to do what it takes within reason to make a good impression).

ertyu
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by ertyu »

I will look into CC and CC+ as well. Sounds like what I need at this time in terms of can do indoors with limited space + does not require equipment. Thanks for the recommendation @JenAR and @Dave.

guitarplayer
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by guitarplayer »

Also, for effective exercise without equipment, I cannot recommend burpees enough, according to the schedule from the ERE book.

I have been doing them for the past 10 months. I started with a burpee + laying on the ground after the plank and lifting yourself up (like a very bad technique pushup). After about 7 months of progressing on the schedule I reached max and changed to a regular pushup incorporated into a burpee. Now I do a wide hands pushup to develop chest and shoulders better.

It is an ingenious workout pattern that can be done anywhere with super limited space or just outdoors. Very low maintenance, you only need a watch or a timer. Doesn't take much time. The effects are very visible in terms of body fat loss and muscle tone improvement, as well as mood improvement. In some ways it is similar to 'Sun Salutation' and it is a dynamic movement all together, I would risk saying that it at least does not harm flexibility and joint strength.

DW has started over a month ago and the same changes occur: body fat loss, muscle tone and mood improvement.

I suspect it is perhaps not picked up that much because it is so simple and with no bells and whistles. but man it works great.

JenAR
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by JenAR »

@Dave

Thanks for the CC info—that was really helpful.

JenAR
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Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:46 am

Spending log

Post by JenAR »

7/23:

$20.76 Diner breakfast + tip
$18.62 Razor and blades (I haven’t shaved in going on two years because we’re dirty hippies, but this is part of the “good impression on the parents” mission with a side of “being unobtrusive at other people’s weddings is the polite thing to do”)
$33.07 Gasoline (Washington gas prices are painful)

I am enjoying this road trip so much that I don’t mind the high spending very much, although I’ll probably want to enter austerity mode when I get back.

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Stahlmann
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Re: Renewed motivation to push for financial independence

Post by Stahlmann »

hmm. I think you gonna fail if you choose this anally compulsive method.
check one my topics created in not so distant past.

ok, this:
viewtopic.php?p=218308#p218308
the problem is that you maxed this dimension. hmm

how about finding somekind conventional job for a 1-5 years?

having 25k usd at 30 isn't most hedged solution in anykind situation (at least for me).
especially, if you're working with your body on any permaculture project.

so stress tests for your life design should be:
- unexpected treatable health problem
- unexpected untreatable health problem
- the way you acquire social interactions (btw, if some FatFIRE guy is interested in UBI testing, I'm still open to cooperation)
- social obligations (would you be able to say "kkthxbb for ride" to your parents?)

yea, sure it's posible to not solve these problems eveb on amounts bigger than 1kk usd in the bank.

if you're coming from hippie background, don't treat me as "matrix zombie who's greedy slave to the system".

or maybe I don't know something about your life situation.

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