TravelingTrader´s Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:46 pm

Today I successfully finished my challenge:
I've sold the motorbike for a fair price.
We had remarkable 8 years with very much fun together and I love to remember those.


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m741
Posts: 1086
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Location: NYC
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Post by m741 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:37 am

Congrats! I recently sold a crew shell I owned, also for a fair price, and broke even on the purchase+costs.
I didn't get much use out of it, but it felt good to get rid of it, since it was so big (30 feet long), and I'm just happy I didn't lose money on it.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:24 pm

Aug 12 update:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 75€

Health insurance: 150€

Grocery (meals/beverages): 200€

Eating out: 3€

Telephone and Internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Other: 50€

All: 973€
Since about one year I measure my energy consumption. I started to turn off unused devices and use “power save” mode whenever possible. With electricity I am fine now.
But I am using gas to heat water (Shower/dishes) and heating the flat. The consumption for showering and dishes is low and not that expensive. But the heating eats my money; 800€ in a 5 months heating period. It´s the biggest position on my energy bill and not acceptable!

The problem is I am freeze even around +20C

Thought about traveling or working in winter when it is up to -20C.

The worst is: The energy provider raised the monthly rates for the whole next year and I have to remargin 380€.
But I am very proud for accomplishing the challenge and sold my motorbike for 5500€.

This year I spend 650€ (excluding fuel) for maintaining the bike. This liability is gone now.

I think I will reward myself with a few days city break
And at least this month I've rented a bank safe deposit box. The expenses are 62€ a year which I add to my yearly expenses. Don´t own something of much value, but wanted to deposit important documents and my harddisk backup - especially when traveling or working abroad. I don't live in a posh district, so this investment seems fair.
Sabbatical is still ongoing...


GPMagnus
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Post by GPMagnus » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:56 pm

@ Trader
Sehr gut! I'm enjoying your journal and I have some simple advice regarding your heating bill - wear warm clothes inside the house - invest in some good thermal underwear, good socks and most importantly - a good wool hat ... in the army they taught me that we lose 60% of our body heat through our head because 20% of the blood goes to the brain, but bone does not insulate well, so we lose heat.
Once you wear these, keeping warm is easy. Even if you are sitting down to work, you can have hot tea in a pot (very efficient and tasty internal lavage!), you can do some push-ups / sit-ups / jumping jacks every hour to warm up and improve your health. Finally you can also use a small, efficient electric heater.
For sleeping, the best is an electric blanket and I know Germany produces them :) I learned this many years ago as a child - turn it on 30-40 minutes before you go to sleep and then turn it off once you get in bed. You will fall asleep easily and warmly ....
Happy to hear you have sold your motorcycle - great job!
Magnus


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:22 pm

September 2012 update:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance: 150€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 185€

Eating out: 0€

Fuel car: 10€

Other expenses: 110€

All: 1050€
I am really displeased with the increase of my monthly energy expenses. Successful saving a lot of electricity but wasting the gas for heating. I was that stupid and now have to pay the price.
My backup hard drive runs full so I bought an additional one. Included in “other expenses”
Winter is coming and my car required new tires which I list on the yearly bill together with all other car expenses. (Looks good yet, details at the end of 2012)
At night temperatures outside dropping below 10 C and I haven't heated my flat yet. It´s up to 20 C in my living room without heating right now.

Found some ski-trousers and my functional underwear I used on the motorcycle. Will try these, if necessary.

Thought also about buying a good down filled sleeping bag to replace my 20 years old polyester modell.
@GPMagnus thank for your input. I served in the army too, but mostly forgot about that time.
At least I've sold my old laptop to reduce the expenses for the new one.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:42 pm

October 2012 update:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance: 155€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 180€

Eating out: 35€

Other expenses: 80€

Passive income: 20€

All: 1025€
Other expenses includes 2 update licenses for Windows 8 Pro.

Because I make money with IT, I have to update - And do not regret it yet.
I've rewarded myself by eating out at some posh place this month.
And regarding the heating: Lowest temperature outside was -2C in October.

In my flat not less than 15C, Living room 17C-19C without heating. It´s fXXXing freezing, but with the mentioned warm cloth and a blanket ok.
Actual I am thinking about working a last long term IT-Project, take the money off the table and relocate to another warm country when finished.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:16 am

November 2012 update:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance: 150€

Car fuel: 130€

Travel expenses: 80€

Eating out: 40€

Cloth: 45€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 180€

Other expenses: 30€

All: 1250€
It´s a mild winter actually but still around 0C outside. But I didn't heated my flat in November too, but bought some more warm cloth as recommended earlier.

A hoodie is very useful too.
Because I feel the need for some travelling I decided to combine a business appointment with a trip. Had to refuel my car and some other travelling expenses e.g. hotels and public transportation to pay. When abroad I´ve eaten out too. Mostly enjoyed sitting in the warm heated hotel room or car.
Now it´s time for chestnuts and hot mead.
Happy Holidays


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:29 am

December 2012 update:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance: 150€

Eating out: 17€

Public transportation: 8€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 165€

Other expenses: 90€

All: 1025€
Yearly review for 2012:
Here are the top three yearly expenses after housing and health insurance in 2012:
1. Maintaining and owning a car including tax, insurance but without fuel: 2500€

2. IT. Laptop and a home Theatre mini PC: 1200€

3. Maintaining and owning a motorbike, excluding fuel too: 505€
The HTPC replaced a play station to save energy. Watching a movie once upon a time isn't that problem, but listen to audio 8 hours a day was.
Again I hate the responsibilities coming with owning a car: Some idiot smashed the door mirror just for fun. Again more unexpected expenses at the first day of a new year. (Last year someone smashed a window to steal a worthless LCD.)
2013 the health insurance increased the monthly fee by about 5€. If this happens until I can official retire, this expense will be twice until than! And I haven´t included inflation.
After heavy snow and freezing temperatures I turned on the heating for my living room just a little above 15C.
Actually I am looking for a new freelancing project to earn money to acquire a place to live. I thought about getting rid of these horrible rent expenses.

Probably I could live very cheap together with my dad in the place I grow up, but I already tried that several years ago. It didn´t work.
Happy new year


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:14 am

January 2013:
Rent: 450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance: 150€

Public transportation: 12€

Car fuel: 80€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 195€

Other expenses: 65€

All: 1097€
Sold some unused things with classifieds ("simplify your live"): +655€
About 1 1/2 years ago I worked as a freelancer. I ve hired an tax accountant who did something very horrible wrong. This unbelievably amateur mistake caused a unimaginable high tax bill today.

This amount would dramatically decrease my ERE account. I was close to a heart attack after reading the numbers. At once I hired an expert, who assured me to correct that.

I have to be honest, this was my mistake. What I´ve learned? Don´t hire amateurs.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:25 pm

February 2013:
Rent:  450€

Electricity and gas: 100€

Health insurance:   150€

Telephone and internet: 45€ (35€ home / 10€ mobile)

Grocery (meals/beverages): 165€

Other expenses: 45€

All: 955€
Sold items: +10€
Nothing special this month.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:21 pm

March 2013 update:
Exact one year ago I started my sabbatical and used the time to travel, visit friends and family and doing things usually not possible when someone has to work. It was very enjoyable to work for one year and be at home for another. This kind of work/life balance is something I enjoyed a lot.

The money I’ve calculated for this year off is used up by now and my ERE investments are kept untouched.
Now something much unexpected happened:

An offer for a freelancing project as an consultant for a bank in Frankfurt city arrived and I’ve accepted it.

This means I have to travel again and the expenses for business will rise a lot.

I will try to live an ERE style as much as possible, but it is difficult because I had to relocate to a posh city with an expensive live again.

The experience I’ve learned living in Munich for several years will be handy.

Of course I have an income now and I will save and invest as much as possible.
I’ve rented an expensive apartment (It’s cheaper than staying in a hotel) near the office I work to be able to get there by feet.

At this point I have to get rid of my other apartment and will temporary relocate to the city. That I kept my car was a good decision because I can use it now to travel and transport stuff from one place to the other.
The first week I rented a cheap hotel near central station.

ERE style I walked 30 minutes to the office every morning instead of using public transportation.

It’s nice having some exercise in the morning.

I bring my own lunch instead of eating the expensive meals everybody else eats.
After this project I thought about travelling around the world to find a cosy inexpensive place to stay.

The job I do now is nothing I want to do for all of my life.
As long as I am dealing with my business I will postpone posting numbers.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Mon May 06, 2013 6:01 pm

May update

Some kind of worst case scenario happened:
The contractor who hired me was thrown out by the customer without notice.

Means instead of four month salary I only get 1,25 out of this project.

But I already signed the apartment contract for the whole time.

And I´ve quit my former cheaper flat which had a period of cancelation of three month.

This means by the end of July I have no flat anymore. The few things I need fit in my car and the rest is stored temporarily at my fathers house. If necessary, I can stay there some weeks every summer.
This operation makes me free to stay wherever I work now.
Now I have just to find a new project. But I am able to search world wide.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:10 pm

Last month I´ve moved out of the city apartment I've lived over the past three years.

I gave away all my furniture except the writing desk and some other things to worthy to throw them away. Temporary stored these boxes in my fathers house which I use as a small office with fast internet access.

Now I can relocate worldwide wherever the next contract is located and don’t have to pay a second bill for rent/internet/energy while working abroad. When I don´t have a contract I can simply travel and do not have to worry about the place I usually lived.

This is a complete new situation to live for me. Another Interesting challenge.
Instead of paying 35€ a month for internet and telephone I started to use a mobile stick which is only 15€. That’s enough for checking my investments and some internet while traveling/working.
Also cancelled a high-priced bank account and replaced it with a free competing company.


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

Post by bigato » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:39 pm

Hi,

Would you mind to tell more about what kind of contracts you do? Maybe some details. How do you find them?


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Post by TravelingTrader » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:55 pm

I am a Microsoft Windows consultant and help enterprises maintaining/managing several thousand computers/users.

I find contracts using web services like www.cwjobs.co.uk/ and have some profiles online.


TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:03 pm

This month I started working for a new freelancing contract.
Because it is located in another city I started travelling again and prepare to relocate soon.
The good thing is I can move out of the expensive city-apartment ASAP and search something much cheaper where I work now.
Or just stay in hotels, not that sure right now.
Not having a dwelling place makes it easier to travel around for working purposes.
Everything I need fits in my compact car.

TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:43 pm

Last month I´ve moved out of the city apartment and relocated to the town where the new contract is located. This reduced my monthly rent expenses from 1075€ to just 250€ per month including energy.
That´s the lowest amount in this category I´ve spend ever! And It was the third time relocating this year.
It´s some kind of strange to give up your home place with big screen, surround sound and all the other things “accomplished” over all these years working hard.
But now living in a small one room flat just with less, feels much more uncomplicated.
I have an urge to travel, when this contract is over. And that´s easy possible now, because I don´t have the responsibility of a main residence anymore.
I can live where I work and when I don’t work, live where I want. That’s the freedom I asked for.

TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:35 pm

November 2013 update:

Rent: 250€ incl. all
Health insurance: min. rate 150€
Grocery: 195€
Eating out: 70€
Fuel: 185€
Mobile internet & mobile phone: 22,98€
Other: 18€ incl. public transportation
All: 890,98€

Since last update I reviewed every expense and get rid of anything left I don´t need.
My freelancing business is ongoing but very time-consuming, which was the
reason not to update this journal for some time.
I have reduced the possessing’s I do not need for business to a few boxes which are in stock.
Everything is prepared to start a trip as soon as the project is over.

Unfortunately my car faulted sudden with engine damage.
This brought me one week using public transportation and an unexpected expense of 1000€.
Because I switched to a mobile internet connection I am limited to 5GB per month. So big downloads, YouTube and patch days are postponed until I visit someone having a fast WLAN.

Also I bought a Rimowa cabin trolley (280€), which I count as a lifetime investment after my cheap one died again. (Same as the Wenger Synergy Backpack, which I use since about 5 Years on a daily base)

Something else I´ve adopted to is: Watching my series with my laptop connected to a small external screen and a PC 2.1 system isn´t that bad instead of watching a big TV screen with Dolby surround sound. Seems nowadays less is more.
That´s why I started reading minimalistic blogs.

TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:41 pm

Seems this is just bad luck:
My car, which I use to travel to and between my customers, got defective again only two weeks
after the last repair. That´s another 350€ unexpected spending.

But there are good news also:
Another long term project is coming up next year. And this new project is located only an hour drive
away from my parental home where I can stay at least over the weekends and use a fast internet connection for free.

DutchGirl
Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:12 am

Hey TravelingTrader, sounds like you're doing well (well, except for your car..., poor you). How are your investments progressing - you should have some savings by now?

TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:14 pm

When I do contract work, the investment topic always gets a raw deal.
The main reason is, I am not able and allowed to use my broker’s software in the office.
Then, after a day of demanding work in front of two screens, I only check a small watch list in the evening.
So my investment is mostly untouched since I started freelancing again earlier this year.

Unfortunately there where two setbacks:
- The contract which terminated early lost much more than it earned. It was huge, in time and money.
- A large additional payment of taxes and health insurance occurred and also will occur next year.

To protect my investment, I used the remaining assets and applied two tasks:
- Put enough cash aside to cover two month of expenses, if anything unexpected happens.
- Set up another account with enough capital to cover 12 month expenses as freelancer.

Withdrawing money from my investment is and never was an option! Until I reach ERE, it´s one way only!

With the earnings of the upcoming long term contract, I start again to deposit a fixed amount monthly into my investment account.
If this went well for two years, I can easy reach 50% and more of my ERE goal until I get 40.

TravelingTrader
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:19 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by TravelingTrader » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:33 pm

Hola Forum.

It´s been a while but i was busy archiving my goal so I decided not to attend to any forums.
Well, after you read from me again now, guess what happened:

A few month ago I finally settled down, stopped searching and retired early in FI.

But it didn´t worked as planned. Got off 100K early. But it is called EXTREME, right?
So I have to make it work somehow.

The time was right already about 3 years ago. I hated my work, the last contract was almost finished and the car broke down. So I decided to pull the trigger almost one year early – short after my 39th birthday.
I´ve sold/gave/throw away everything I owned and kept just a few personal things stored in a self storage box. Than I took of just with a backpack, a suitcase, my cloth and a bus ticket to Barcelona.
Well, this ended in about 1 ½ years of traveling through Spain middle sea coast where I lived in Malaga, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona.
But at the end I´ve travelled back to Barcelona where I bought a small minimalist apartment and are about to build my new home base right now.

With all my expenses, investments and ideas in place this situation should last a long while.
Had a lot of fun all those years but it was hard as hell to get here. Don´t stop!

Happy FI from Barcelona
TravelingTrader is not traveling anymore

thrifty++
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:15 pm

Hey TravelingTrader. Great journal.

I really enjoy seeing updates form people who started a journal a long time ago so that I can see the progress over time.

Sounds so nice that you have early retired and travelling around and living in Spain sounds like paradise.

Do you mind sharing what your net worth was when you retired? Has your capital reduced much since retiring? Are you doing any type of consulting at all or completely not working?

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Viktor K
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Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:45 pm
Location: China

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by Viktor K » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:17 pm

Awesome news! My girlfriend and I have talked about reaching Spain one day. I'd love to hear more about owning an apartment, and traveling in Granada.

And, of course, congratulations and good luck!

MDFIRE2024
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: TravelingTrader´s Journal

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:22 am

Hi TravelingTrader. Great journal and congrats. I found out that you are from Germany and worked in IT. Same as I do. That made your journal and your story even more interesting.
Was the traveling worth it? What did you do all the time while traveling but not working? I think about longterm traveling as well when FI but I am not sure if I should my homebase un Germany?

Anyway I am also looking forward to read more about your new life in Barcelona.

Enjoy FI and take care!

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