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

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

Post by Stasher »

Leap frogging from my Introduce Yourself post the next step is to get a journal going here on ERE. This will be the place here on the forums where I get back to work on myself in the realms of finance, place in the machine that is the North American culture/scoety, ecological awareness and of course the powerful growth in mindset/education/spirituality that goes with IMO.

A quick copy and past from the above noted Introduce Yourself entry
Through reading some of the forums the last several years and then really digging into them the last year it was finally the time to create my own account here on ERE. I have thoroughly enjoyed the ERE website since 2013 and bought Jacobs book in 2014 reading it twice while I consumed everything Financial Independence, Minimalism, Simple Living and Early Retirement. I of course went hard on the FIRE path religiously reading MMM content until he stopped producing new and helpful content relevant to FIRE journey as it was more post RE life. Through that time I of course would pop back to ERE and read the rotating previously published posts as they are such good evergreen content.

I signed up for the MMM forums in 2013, locked in with a tight group of friends in the journals section and even created my own massive thread that spanned 5 years. I finally left work in 2017 and since then have enjoyed getting paid for outdoor adventures by spending time on my hobbies and fun that turned into a very mellow small income stream. The past 4 years have been a wonderful journey of decompressing, seeking solitude at times and then battling ego, identity and then of course main stream consumption (FOMO).

As I strive to work up the Wheaton Level hierarchy I have found myself needed to move beyond the MMM level. I find that my ecological impact our lifestyles, consumption and footprint is too important to not acknowledge and that what we think is very little money is in fact so much. We can live an amazing life with less money, less things and of course a lot lighter on the planet. Naturally this means moving up to ERE levels and in the future beyond.
To quote @jacob I think this will clearly define the part that is hardest right now to move beyond my self assumed WL5ish ranking.
What's difficult is walking AGAINST the stream that has become industrialized consumerism. Being able to live differently when everybody around you is telling you otherwise. It takes a certain person with lots of agency as well as some competence to decide to break out of that herd mentality and decide to start doing things differently.
and this
If I was presented with a blank slate that didn't suffer the headwind of previously conceived notions of the rest of society + the problem of being constantly surrounded by advertising and "this is how we usually do stuff", it would be much easier. That's almost never the case though.
I am involved in social media for my freelance side hustle income
I am involved in consumer society as a small business owner for my mostly passive income
I am involved in the business community as a chair of a non-profit which markets retail/services

These things cloud my future vision and allow a lot of self-enabling and justifications to still spend money loosely such as coffee shops and my outdoor gear. Much of it works out to be write-off expenses etc as part of doing business, networking and creating content/research. The reality is that i wouldn't need that extra passive income of the biz or freelance gig if I didn't justify the spending. It is a vicious circle in my opinion.

If I were to stop at the FIRE or MMM level where I am at then things are fine and I could just keep it in cruise mode and keep the blinders on.... but I have a gut feeling that urges me to do better.
Last edited by Stasher on Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by AxelHeyst »

I'm excited for your journal, thanks for starting it.

Have you checked out Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism? I mention it not to preach quitting at you, but to mention that he offers a model for using social media for an intentional, valuable purpose (your freelance side hustle), but in a way that minimizes the downsides, such as exposure to outrage porn, FOMO, and algorithmically enhanced advertising.

Stasher
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by Stasher »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 7:15 pm
Have you checked out Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism?
Perfect that you mention this as I am on day 28 of my social media detox for the month of March after reading his book in February. I did read "Hacking of the American Mind" in January before Digital Minimalism so the reflection of both combined has been amazing. I have allowed ERE forums and reading blogs throughout the month as they don't bring internal conflict or anxiety to me but rather are tools of learning and self improvement.

I have found this month to be amazing in terms of not wanting to back to the world of the algorithmic endless loops on FB and Twitter (instagram was never ever an issue for me for concerns or overuse but has been my most income influential platform). By not being on social media I have found myself not wanting to spend as much money, not thinking I am missing out on activities, my mind is much calmer and of course not constantly in a state of comparison.

I mentioned to my wife on our walk today that I don't plan to go back too facebook in the way I used prior. I will build value based systems to achieve my freelance and business income as well as ways to engage with my network in a better way. Prior to this month of SM abstinence (yes social media lol) I had no social media installed and all forms of notifications turned off so that system is robust already for which I am grateful I put in the effort 2 years ago on that part.

The month away has been the best thing I have done in the last 12 months to improve my FI/ERE path when you remove all the distractions.

Stasher
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by Stasher »

I will quickly touch on my finances as they sit currently, here is my monthly expenses snapshot. Expenses are all in Canada for $$$ and relative to our costs here on the west coast of BC.
This is for myself and my wife for all costs including. My children still live at home but are both recently graduated/working so they pay their own way but I don't charge them rent. They dont add any real costs to my expenses other than a little bit of power usage, they buy all their own groceries.

Housing (I own my house, owe about $235,000 and mark value is $600,000)
$1051 Mortgage Payment
$110 Home Insurance
$174 Property Taxes
$128 Hydro (BC is over 90% hydro electric so every calls power "Hydro")
$106 Municipal Services (water, sewer, garbage, recycling, organics)
$107 FibreOptic Internet
$1767 Total

> $500/month for groceries. We are primarily vegetarian and don't drink or smoke etc
> $200/month all forms of food & drink outside of the house for my wife and I
> $357/month Auto - 2x insurance > SantaFe I bought used 8 yrs ago is paid, Nissan Leaf electric I bought used 3 yrs ago & has $166/month 0% interest loan, fuel/maintenance
> $400/month Miscellaneous for pets, charities, health, pharmacy, all shopping, any trips, donations and basically anything that doesn't fit above

This works out to roughly $3133/month or $37,596 annually
Divide between 2 adults and my share is $18798 for the year (about $15,000 USD)

My SWR rate is more than enough to cover my share of the expenses but we are able to preserve our investments as my various post FIRE income offsets as well as my wife working full time which she enjoys greatly. Our mortgage will be paid off in 15 years, I have no plans to pay it off earlier. The Nissan Leaf payment is gone in one year, the payment is offset because we have zero fuel or maintenance costs. I could 100% do better on groceries and food outside of the home. The miscellaneous category usually only reaches $300/month but for example next month my garden will need $100 supplies/seeds/soil etc

I will do a follow up post on my investments and our income sources, assets etc next.

Stasher
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by Stasher »

This May is 4 years since I left my career of 21 years spread across 3 different employers using each to move up the ladder in position and salary. During those years I wasn't in any crazy debt but spent my money as a well behaved consumer on all the traps from trucks to tvs and more. I clued in to the maze I was trapped in around 2010 and went head first hard into the MMM/ERE world in 2013. We sold everything from trucks to toys and the house, moved across the country (Canada) to begin our journey of radically building our investments while living on less.

This plan worked better than we could have imagined and in 2017 I pulled the FIRE plug. We had bought a house smaller than we had prior and for way less than the banks said we could "afford". For all the stuff we sold including the pricey new trucks all the money went into our TFSA and RRSP retirement accounts (my wife makes up the "our") We bought an older used Hyundai SantaFe and a used Nissan Leaf electric. I took up mountaineering, cycling and backpacking as my activity that had an initial expensive outlay but then pays dividends for decades in health and fitness plus almost free time spent outdoors.

My time outdoors has been a huge passion that I shared on social media and my blog. I started this back in 2013 and slowly gained attention and followers of which by the time I FIRE'd in 2017 I have been able to make some easy and FUN income from influencer content, gear reviews and trip reports/tourism content. It isn't much but allows a diverse simple income stream that allows me to preserve my investments and a highly reduced SWR.

My investments aren't enough to cover our entire annual expenses but I can cover well over 50% of the household expenses and why I left work. I wanted to enjoy each day now, I am at my healthiest and fittest ever (yes at 47) therefore it was time to make that decision and take hold of my life. The fall prior of the year I left work I was 42 and my Uncle died unexpectedly at 52 and then my Dad at 62, this just instilled in me that life is finite and the weirdness of us all being an age of "2" was a sign to get out now.

Over the past 19 years my wife has owned a small brick & mortar retail business. We had a store on the Prairies and now have had one here on the west coast since moving here. She loves this work but 1 year ago she decided she wanted a change as the store was in auto-pilot and our daughter was now 18 and could work the store full time. The wife took a full time job at the small local bank and has had so much fun. She took this job from what she tells me mostly for a change in her network and connection to new people. The bonus of this is that for such easy stress free work she is now making enough to cover our annual expenses and she is building up an employee matched retirement account.

We still pull a small stipend out of the store each month but instead of paying the wife, we pay me as I have income below the lowest tax bracket in Canada and makes the most sense in efficiency. Lastly I have a rental property I bought almost a decade ago, it was a nice new 2bedroom condo back east. That year the region was booming and I thought this was a wise choice instead of maxing out my RRSP investment. The condo was good for a few years but the region is reliant on the oil economy and tanked in 2014. I have barely broke even on rent/expenses since then but at least the bills get paid and it is an asset I will hold long term. The market value has dropped below original purchase as well but not low enough that I owe more than current assessment value.

So as we sit for income as a couple
- very small income from freelance work in blogging & social media (**paid fun outdoors)
- very small income from our small business
- break even/no income from our rental property
- steady happy income from wife at bank job
- RRSP withdrawals as needed (for Canadian members, I shift the annual limit from RRSP to TFSA each year)

As mentioned we own our house, I am a member of the don't pay off the mortgage club and would rather see my money working in my investments.
We owe $235,000 on a 1.91% mortgage and market value (Vancouver Island is one of hottest in Canada) is at least $600,000 or more
We have ZERO debt outside of my Nissan Leaf electric car, we bought this used and took a 0% loan as it would offset the money that would be spent on gas. Again, like the mortgage I would rather see my money earning more on my investments than put toward a car purchase.

Our store and the bank my wife works at both 3 blocks from our house so we pretty much walk everywhere each day and love it. For that reason we are actually considering selling the Nissan leaf (the old 250,000km SUV has long range and the Leaf can only go 130km) to drop to one vehicle. Moving more and more toward the ERE life highlights to the wife and I that we need less and less each year.

In Canada we are fortunate that we dont pay for health care so we dont have that cost to contend with. My wife and I are the same age so in 13 years we start receiving CPP (Canada pension plan) which should work out to $1000/month between both of us. Then at 65 we both get OAS (Canada Old Age Security) which will be about $1200/month. At 60 our mortgage will be paid in full so that takes $1100 away from our monthly expenses. Although we do plan to possible sell this home and massively downsize once both our kids move out (they are 19 & 22 but we told them to live here as long as they like). Tough part is ownership of this house is so affordable and we live 2 blocks from the ocean and 3 blocks from our village downtown core. Going to a smaller house would possibly see us loosing our garden, ocean views and walkable location. Not sure I am ready to give that up yet just to being in a smaller and mortgage free home.

Well that brings us today in a nutshell and with the systems I have in place figure I am sitting somewhere around WL5. Working hard on feeling good with moving up the ladder to reach further lifestyle optimization. Lots of self image and engrained societal habits to break to get past the next plateau. That being said I am going to try my best and why I am here on the ERE forums now after lurking for 7 years.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by AxelHeyst »

Thanks for sharing your background Stasher, it's inspiring. There's definitely some overlap in "what you've done" and "things I'd like to do" - not necessarily specifically, but in pattern. Are you "out" with your freelance outdoor activities/accounts? Either I missed it, or you're being modest, or you're trying to keep some anonymity. If it's either of the first two, I'd love to check out your stuff: link please! :)

basuragomi
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by basuragomi »

Paying yourself from the store also has the benefit of increasing CPP payments versus no reported work at all. I think it works out to a guaranteed 3-4% on the mandatory payroll taxes.

Do you think you could go completely car-free with rentals etc. as needed? I remember Vancouver Island having wonderful bike trails, and ferrying cars to the mainland and back did not seem cost-effective versus renting locally.

The BC housing market makes me skeptical that you could even find an equivalent house for the same price. Condos seem uniformly like a horror story in waiting with the terrible build quality and miserly strata.

Stasher
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Re: Seeking FI/ERE is Path to Meaningful Life for Me

Post by Stasher »

@axelHeyst I share my content freely with no anonymity, it focuses on outdoors and lifestyle optimization rather than being a FIRE blogger lol
Here is a podcast guest interview that I did and shared on my blog ~ https://www.chrisistace.com/mastering-y ... l-finance/

@basuragomi ~ 100% the benefit of drawing a wage from the small business is to keep funding my CPP so that at 60 I have less zero contribution years pulling my average down. For the small community I live it would be tougher to go car free but if I really sucked it up I could. In places like Victoria where car-share and more intense transit exist would be no problem. I am a huge mountain bike and gravel bike nut so yes I have ridden most of those trails (I am a trail director and builder in my volunteer time) . The housing market is equally insane and sad, I bought my 1st house in Alberta for $27,500 while going to college (1993) and now a starter home here is $450,000....how the heck will my kids ever be home owners?

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

Post by AxelHeyst »

Thanks stasher, just listened to that episode, great!

It's great to see you combining the outdoor world with FIRE/ERE, as it feels to me like it's two worlds that don't formally intersect often. I've mused a bit in the past here about the intersection between dirtbagging and ERE, but a traditional path for dirtbags is to bum around for a decade or two and *then* get a real job if they aren't lucky enough to land a gig at Outside or a guide gig they're stoked on.

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

Post by Western Red Cedar »

Nice to read about your background and lifestyle Stasher. You've somewhat crafted a life I envisioned post-FI in terms of outdoor pursuits and building relationships in your own community.
AxelHeyst wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 1:19 pm
It's great to see you combining the outdoor world with FIRE/ERE, as it feels to me like it's two worlds that don't formally intersect often.
I'm also interested in this intersection. It's one of the main reasons I've started moving towards touring and/or bikepacking. It's an opportunity to meet my desire for travel and adventure in a more sustainable (and hopefully) cost-effective manner.

Married2aSwabian
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by Married2aSwabian »

Great journal posts! Thanks for sharing, Stasher. Sorry to hear about you losing your Dad at such a young age. My Mom also died at 62. I think we all know deep down that tomorrow is not promised, but the constant consumerism drumbeat does a good job of keep most of us in the rat race for too long.

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

Post by Stasher »

Western Red Cedar wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:50 pm
It's one of the main reasons I've started moving towards touring and/or bikepacking. It's an opportunity to meet my desire for travel and adventure in a more sustainable (and hopefully) cost-effective manner.
I'm totally with you on this one WRC, I was already a very avid mountain bike rider but the Pandemic and restricted travels in 2020 really had me up my cycling game. I did so many huge days on the big as well as some awesome bike packing trips. I am riding more than ever now and drive as little as I can. My plan as soon as the pandemic is lifted is to bike pack from the southern tip of Vancouver Island to San Fransisco. I enjoyed this as a road trip and will enjoy the slow pace returning via bike. Last summer this was the big trip I did on my hardtail MTB https://www.chrisistace.com/bikepacking ... oast-loop/

Glad you enjoyed it AxelHeyst and yes M2S, life is finite so I am doing all I can to embrace it today.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE is Path to Meaningful Life - MMM style FI year 4

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Your outdoor blog is a freakin gem!!! I have spent countess hours reading your adventures and drawing inspiration from the pics for several years now. Glad you're here sharing with this community.

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

Post by theanimal »

I enjoyed the podcast interview and reading about the Vancouver Coast loop. Looking forward to reading more and engaging with you here. A belated welcome and glad to have you aboard!

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

Post by Stasher »

Thanks 2B1S , I was pumped to see you knocked off that 60 mile bike ride in March. Some days the miles just fly by when you are outdoors and in a state of physical & mental "flow". Keep sharing the fun rides you discover as you work through the airbnb based digital nomad travels in 2021. Thanks for your kind words.

@TheAnimal I am striving to really embrace nature and the beauty we are presented with all around us. To achieve this the path to MMM and now an ERE lifestyle have been transformative in lifestyle optimization and mindset rebirth. The journey has been fruitful and I look forward to decreasing my ecological footprint as I progress and as a benefit my reliance and focus on money decreases.

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

Post by Stasher »

Crunched my end of month numbers and my goal to reduce spending significantly in 2021 is going very well. Third straight month of spending less that $3000 for all expenses for our household. Again I had the chat with my wife exploring how we feel and if there is a thought of scarcity or like we are missing, she agrees and feels we are doing great as we enjoy life.

I have all my expenses recorded really well in MINT but didn't categorize and keep it as clean as I do starting in 2018, the first full year post FIRE. Thus this spreadsheet only goes back to the start of 2018. The big spikes are when I pay my annual property taxes of aprox $3200 (which include annual municipal services of water, sewer, garbage, recycling & organics) . I also had 3 spikes on there that align with 3 major house maintenance items I took care of such as new water line, valve and pressure regulator into the house as well as one year a new electric motor on my heat pump.

As you can see 2021 is smooth and where I want to maintain. Average monthly spending through 2020 was $4221 and so far the average in 2021 is trending at $2920.

Image

Investments continue to grow strongly in the last 4 years with my last contribution to my RRSP in the summer of 2017. I moved a fair amount of RRSP to my TFSA this year to take the small 20% tax withhold and get the cash into my TFSA to grow tax free. I will continue to pull out about $15,000 a year whether I need it or not to decrease the amount I have in the RRSP when I hit 65 when I will be getting my CPP & OAS. I picked $15,000 as an amount as anything over that has a 30% withhold tax as opposed to the 20% from $5-$15,000 withdrawal. Of that $15k, each year $6000 will go to the TFSA to keep growing the amount I have invested in XAW all world ex-Canada index etf . My overall asset allocation is 10% Canadian bond index (VAB), 10% Canadian stock index (ZAG) & 80% all world stock index (XAW)

Currently my SWR would be about $32,000 per year (100% success according to CFireSim) but as mentioned with the semi-passive income from family business, wife's income and any unpredictable side hustle income allows me to not touch any of our investments. To sell the store and the wife to leave work we need to cut $10,000 annually from expenses. This allows a big buffer for unexpected annual expenses in the auto and housing spectrum.

**all values in Canadian funds and based on living expenses of the west coast of British Columbia

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

Post by Stasher »

I did a good purge of accumulated backpacking gear and related outdoor clothing last year. As with many things in life you tend to build up a vast diverse selection, especially as skillset and activity evolves. Thus I have extra sleeping pads, tents, backpacks etc I need to sell as well as refining my layering system to not having 2 or 3 of everything on my gear wall. Started it off with selling a inflatable sleeping pad yesterday for $95 and next will list a backpack today which hopefully will sell for $150. I also want to do a better job of making sure my gear works wether I am backpacking, trail running or my MTB/bikepacking thus again decreasing the unnecessary items I have.

Spent the last two days on our garden forking and working all the soil. The wife and I also expanded it about 25% in size from last year as we ran out of potatoes and carrots around December. More root vegetables means more space and we now have it. Spent $60 buying all our seeds and some extra bags of sea soil mix and compost. Our compost bin is depleted and all in the garden already which is why we bought 4 huge bags on top of that. We are just working out the layout plan for all the plants as that is the hardest part, what goes where, what doesn't like what plants and how will the sun hit everything as it grows.
***tough to build up a lot of compost when we generate very little organic food waste

On the finance side of life, I keep looking at my monthly expenses and dont really see too much room for further optimization that puts me ahead in the effort vs reward side of things. The bulk of all our expense is from housing and food, we spend very little elsewhere.

The only thing I am considering which would be a big change is selling our 2 older cars. I have a 2010 Hyundai SantaFe with 250,000km and it is my hauling and adventure machine as well as has my bike racks installed. Has lockout AWD so helps me tackle mountain roads and any bad condition that comes my way. My second vehicle is a 2013 Nissan Leaf (electric) with 80,000km. Love the Leaf as I have only spent $150 maintenance on it in 3 years (wiper blade and battery inspection). I would suspect over the years I have spent $200 on electric charging over the 40,000km I have put on it. (majority of electric charging in BC is still free due to government climate initiatives)

My dilemma is that the Leaf only has a range of 120km thus isn't good for big road trips or 100% not going up mountain logging roads (where I climb and backpack). I have a $166/month 0% loan on the Leaf but is offset easily by not paying for gas. If it was a 300-400km range I would keep it and the longer range used EVs are still super expensive. My SantaFe has been paid off forever and it doesn't cost me a dime other than maintenance. (Just did front rotors/pads in my front driveway myself saving $300 over the dealership). The Leaf costs me $76/month for insurance and the SantaFe costs me $73/month. I spend about $30/month for fuel in the SantaFe.

What I want to do is get into a used 2014-17 Dodge Caravan which will work for hauling everything possible for our yard/house, functions as amazing stealth vanlife machine, can fit my bikes inside on road trips, room for me/wife/dogs to sleep inside when traveling to see family and all around decently dependable machine. Plus sooooo many of these are sold that used prices are affordable.

I first started to really consider the Dodge Caravan after watching Bicycle Touring Pro's YouTube video
https://youtu.be/WIXiFliNA-0

We want to be a 1 car household and in reality each month we barely drive as it is.

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

Post by Douglas »

hey Stasher, checked out your blog, thanks for sharing. We (myself, wife and kids) are slowly building up our outdoor gear arsenal and I've had my eye on bike packing and mountaineering (the wife and kids stay home for the more adventurous activities for now, kids are small). We moved to Oregon about 5 years ago and each year that passes we are getting more and more into outdoor adventures. I got a fancy garmin watch a year or so ago and it kicked everything up a notch for me. Its really cool to be able to track your adventures and then easily share with folks including pictures. Looking forward to following your next adventures.

I also appreciate your efforts to reduce spending. My journal probably has the highest spending in the entire forum! Glad the ERE forums let folks like us still post here.

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

Post by Stasher »

Thanks Douglas, glad you appreciate the blog and I guess I should keep writing more content. I find I get a bit complacent and enjoy simple days outdoors rather than sitting at my laptop :)

On that note I had a big day yesterday hunting down a spring alpine summit with a couple friends. Spent 8 hours covering 24kms (14 miles) and tackled 1416m elevation gain (4645 feet) in amazing weather. Truly this is why I have strived so hard to spend less, save more and ultimately get outdoors to experience life while I am still at my healthiest.

A couple photos I took from yesterday. The beauty of the PNW is hot temps down below in temperate rainforest and then enjoying snowy peaks above. This is 45 minute drive to the access point for the start of the hike, doing my best to limit travel outside my region during the pandemic.

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

Post by RFS »

Stasher, what a great journal! I like your blog, too- very inspiring. Since you're thinking about how reactive, unmindful, scatterbrained, etc, the tech overload is making us, I wanted to recommend the Punkt library to you.

The folks at Punkt make products that minimize the tech-induced disturbances to stillness (like dumb phones and alarm clocks), and their reading list is fantastic. Each book I've read has provided me with a new perspective about tech. A sticky perspective, too, because each book has led to life-boosting behavior changes. I think you'd like many books on the list.

Here are the ones I've read:
- Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle
- Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle
- Digital Minimalism
- 10 Reasons To Delete Your Social Media Account Right Now by Jaron Lanier
- The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
- Hamlet's Blackberry, William Powers (this is the best one, IMO.)

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