Boltzies' journal

Where are you and where are you going?
bigato
Posts: 2352
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Post by bigato »

Now it's my time to help: tahine is very easy to make at home from sesame seed with a handmill. We make a lot of it. Take the sesame to a pot in low fire and use a wood spoon to keep mixing it. You will know it's ready when you press a seed between your fingers and you can easily crush it. Take care not to burn, and put small quantities on the fire so have an homogeneusly prepared. Also, mix all the time. When it is ready, pass it through the mill adjusted to the finest milling.
Someone would like to post the tahine and the hummus receipts to the wiki? I'm on the cellphone now.


boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

@bigato

Added to the wiki! I also created a page for lentils: http://earlyretirementextreme.com/wiki/ ... le=Lentils - maybe a better idea would be to make a legume page?
Interesting, I often make roasted sesame and sunflower seeds to sprinkle on salads, but haven't considered making my own nut pastes and butters. I don't think making my own tahini paste would justify the money and space for a handmill, but maybe I can borrow one from my grandparents, they use a coffee grinder to make soy milk.


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

Post by bigato »

The handmill i have is also a cofee grinder. I also use it to make tofu.


boltzmannsbrain
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

Finding myself in a contemplative mood, so I thought I would jot down some words.
I've found that my overall life philosophy has changed during the last year where I've worked full-time for the first time. The ultimate goal would be to leave no physical imprint on the earth at all, but a giant impact on humanity. Parafrased: Assume an earth with no people. This earth shouldn't be any different when I die (think hunter-gatherer time age). And assume humanity represented as a huge collection of thoughts, ideas, concepts, scientific discoveries, arts etc. When I die, I would like to have impacted this some way, even if it's just a tiny fraction (this illustrated guide to what a phd really describes it well: http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/) Yesyes, very idealistic, I'm still young :)
I also made some lists over random stuff:
Stuff I don't pay for
- Largest single sum: $7500 for Femto-LASIK on both eyes. Paid for by the state (gotta love that Scandinavian welfare system) since I had more than +/- 6 dioptres. It's really great, would have done it even if I had to pay for it myself.

- Education: Also free, plus you get about $820/m while studying. You have an extra year of support for each education you take, so 4 years for a BA and 3 years for a MA. However, you only get the money if you are actually studying. It is very common for people to get delayed - a lot are not done studying until their late twenties or early thirties. It's also common to work on the side with something relatind to your studies.

- Healthcare: Partly. Dentistry is not free. Prescription medicine cost money up until a certain spending maximum where you get a large reimbursement from the state if you have to buy more. I'm currently getting a vaccine for pollen allergies. The medicine costs about $1200 over five years, but the injections done by a nurse and all associated care are free. My mother work for the company making these vaccines, and they are reimbursing the medicine cost, so this is also free for me. I still have expenses for allergy medicine though, it is difficult to get rid of completely.

- Haircuts! This seems a bit trivial compared to the other points. I've never been to a hairdresser where I paid. There is a hairdresser school here where you can get your hair cut for free, or almost free (depending on who's cutting you). I've only been cut by the hairdresser teachers and is quite satisfied with the result.

- TV-related stuff: No need it, internet is just fine.

- Telecommunication: My employer actually pays for mobile internet (fast enough to stream something in 1024p or download a torrent with ~500 mb/s) and cellphone for private use. I pay for internet through my rent (forced, but it's split between four and only $13/person) and I've been reluctant to use the work phone for private use. I have requested to get my private phone number ported now though, so I should be saving the $20/m I used to use on mobile phone.
Of course, I pay for the first three points through taxes. Nonetheless, it feels like free stuff to me :)

I'm fond of the system as it is now - this sentiment might reverse when I get older and get to pay 60% in taxes... To combat this, I've begun to ignore salaries pre-tax and I only consider actual take home-salary now. It helps.
Stuff I do pay for
- Food

- Rent

- Personal care products: Shampoo, a multi-purpose cream (fat content 63%), toothpaste. Toilet paper. Medicine.

- Clothes

- Travel

- Insurance

- Transport
I figure Travel and Transport can be minimised a lot.
Also, some of the jobs I've had:
- Tutor: I was paid $18/hour, but a couple of my friends are doing it now and say the rate is $25/hour now. You have to pay $45/yr to advertise on the website though, I did it through a free service at my university. The level is typically late grade school to high school (age range 15-19) and sometimes university students. This is taxfree money - well, legally you are required to report it, but nobody does. Also, it's not that much in the long run, maybe 3-10 hours/week.

- Medical experiments: Sell your body to science. There is also a website for this where they advertise the experiments, the pay varies a lot. I made most money with the SAD experiment ($873), but it was also the most time-consuming. Other stuff I've done: Vaccines (added bonus: Don't have to pay for these when I travelled abroad the next 10 years, stuff like tetanus, diphtheria and one more I forgot), pain experiments (! - exposure to electricity, heat and ice, nothing was forced, it was to test the pain threshold with and without painkillers) and a couple of bloodsugar experiments (fast for 24 hours and then get a giant sugar boost. Scary stuff!). I never picked the ones with lasting effect on the body ("worst" for me was PET where you get injected with a radioactive tracker. I have like a 0,2% higher risk of getting some kind of cancer or something, as all PET patients do) and as an added bonus, you get to know a lot about your body (coolest thing? The fMRI machine + picture of my brain!) and how it reacts in stress situations. I liked this a lot and it's really great when you're studying and setting your own schedule.

- (Summer) jobs at laboratories: Academic education that somebody pays for, essentially. Looks great on CV :)

- Writer at a media surveillance company: Working mornings before going to lectures is tough (more than a fair share of quantum mechanics lecture was taken in while sleeping that semester...). Pay was per piece you wrote, I was one of the fastest with a average salary of $25-30/hour. Peaked one hour at $62 - I was very proud :) Luckily I am a morning person and it was absolutely beautiful to bike through the city while everybody still slept, especially when it was still dark - saw loads of constellations.

- Blogger: Wrote about tech, IT and stuff like this. Possibly the best job ever. Worked from home and had one obligatory meeting day at the office (flexible, often just half a day or none), got paid $1400/month (pretax - $800 after) for writing an entry of about ½ page five times a week + blogging from some of their events. I work in the same company now full-time. Can't really complain, my work is pretty chill.


boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

April (in USD)
Total take home salary: 2719+32=2751
Expenses:

Rent incl. utilities and internet: 449

Groceries: 139

Restaurants/take-away: 63

Clothes: 36

Medicine: 15

Drinking: 11

Misc: 16

TOTAL: 728
Savings rate: 73%
A good month. I've finally tackled the food expenses. I used to buy lunch at work, now I bring my own food (included in the groceries post). I just make a large portion of something Sunday and then it's easy and cheap to bring lunch the rest of the week. I still use a bit too much on restaurant food, but $50 of the $63 this month are coupons I've bought for later use. Eating out is expensive, less so if you actually plan for it.
The least necessary buy was probably the $14 I paid for an emergency fix on my flat bicycle tire. Sigh. The guy did it in less than 10 min (doh) and I had to be somewhere within 30 min. Of course, the weekend after I finally learnt how to patch the damn bike tire. I also "inherited" my father's old racerbike. It needed some work, probably $70 in total, but it works perfectly now. I can't wait to ride it when I start at university again, it's a lot faster than my other "city bike".
Did I reach my goals for April?

- Investigate investment possibilities: Nope, not really... Had a brief encounter with some apartment buy, but decided against it since I got a nice offer from a friend - rent a room for $373/mo incl. utilities and internet at a much nicer place than where I live now.

- Food expenses at $250, groceries at $200, eating out at $50: Yes! Total expenses at $202 and I didn't even have to try that hard. I'm actually enjoying it, it's great to put some effort and thought into what you're eating.

- Do not buy any clothes: Nope. Bought a pair of very nice jeans and shorts used for a good price. Next month... (and probably not, because I need socks)

- Overall expenses at $850: Yes. And it was pretty effortless. However, the expenses don't take cell phone and insurance into account (payments every 3 or 12 months), this is another $40/mo. Still, my total expenses are less than $850. In conclusion, it is quite possible to live on the $860 you get from the state - this will be handy when I start studying again in September.


boltzmannsbrain
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

I’m baaack :D

I started this journal 6 years ago, after I’d finished my bachelor’s degree and I was working full-time. A lot has happened since:
  • I got my master’s degree in engineering, including spending half a year in Tokyo doing a research project
  • I bought a condo in a housing cooperative (andelslejlighed). I’ve aggressively been paying off the loan and I’ll be debt-free in October 2018
  • I got a job in the pharmaceutical industry
  • I’ve been investing in stocks with a nice return
  • My net worth increased about 3x from January 2012 – 2018. Included in my net worth is the condo, stocks, savings, pension etc.
  • I have 11.5 years of expenses saved up, based on current NW and average monthly expenses from January 2017 – present.
  • My savings rate in 2017 was 45% and my savings rate in 2018 so far has been 55% since I received a 20% salary increase.
  • I’m turning 30 this year (!)
I’ve experienced lifestyle creep after I started working and I’ve had some years where FI has not been a priority. Recently I got rid of a negative influence in my life and it allowed me to sort out my priorities. Above all, I value freedom and I’d like to quit the rat race on my own terms.
I’m rebooting this journal to keep myself accountable and to share my journey to FI with others.

Image
My networth (not including pension) since January 2011. Yellow is total, red is condo, green is stocks, blue is cash.

Image
Stock portfolio since April 2013, the last 5 years. It's been a bumpy ride :)

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fiby41
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Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by fiby41 »

Recently I got rid of a negative influence in my life and it allowed me to sort out my priorities.
How to identify negative influence and how to get rid of it?

FBeyer
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by FBeyer »

Christ almighty! Are you on the same investing train as ABC/Megalaks? His returns are absolutely astounding too. Are you following a particular strategy or are you investing only in sectors you understand?
Won't your SR jump tremendously once the condo is paid off? I'm living with my GF in a paid off condo as well, and our monthly expenses are less than a room at Rigets Kollegium.

boltzmannsbrain
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Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

fiby41 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:02 am
How to identify negative influence and how to get rid of it?
In this particular case, it was quite easy since said negative influence was a person. We broke up, I got called crazy - well, in much more eloquent and verbose terms than that, but that is the gist of it. I only accept such diagnosis by certified brain folks. I'm notoriously bad at getting over breakups so this is a relief. No bad conscience this time.
This person made me lazy and wanted me to spend money on shit I don't need, so coming out on the other side, it feels like the brain fog has lifted. I have much more energy.

boltzmannsbrain
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Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

FBeyer wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:48 pm
Christ almighty! Are you on the same investing train as ABC/Megalaks? His returns are absolutely astounding too. Are you following a particular strategy or are you investing only in sectors you understand?
Won't your SR jump tremendously once the condo is paid off? I'm living with my GF in a paid off condo as well, and our monthly expenses are less than a room at Rigets Kollegium.
Yup! My returns are peanuts compared to his. He and his friend are basically FIRE, even though they don't know the concept, and have been for a long time now - and they're my age. His friend has an increase of more than 100.000% in his stock portfolio since 2003. They started investing in high school. I basically just follow their advice, they know their shit. As they say, investing in single stocks is not risky when you've done your research and you know that the company has some great things in the pipeline. I'm currently learning about investing in stocks.
But they're getting weary of the current stock market situation and probably pulling out soon.

No, because I don't have any expenses related to the loan, so I count the repayments of the principal as part of my NW. But I can probably increase my SR by being more conscious about my expenses. At the moment, about 20% of my salary goes to essentials while about 25% is for fun, but unnecessary stuff. I think the I can comfortably land at 65-70% and still have room for fun stuff.

FBeyer
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by FBeyer »

Just for the record, were living in a paid off condo, and at PhD pay (almost exactly median wage) I'm saving 67% and we have a four year old. I know as matter of fact that you are aptly intelligent enough to figure out how to spend less and not suffer. Just be you.

boltzmannsbrain
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

You're absolutely right :)

boltzmannsbrain
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

I've been trying to tidy up my spendings since the last update.
I've split my spendings into two; essentials and non-essentials.
Essentials include: Rent, utilities, food, internet, cellphone, union, insurance, dentist, medicine and fees etc.
Non-essentials include: Eating out, vacations, travelling, entertainment, hobbies, gifts, clothes, personal care etc.

My savings rate during 2018:
  • January: 42% (split into 51% essentials/49% non-essentials)
  • February: 58% (54%/46%)
  • March: 65% (58%/42%)
  • April: 68% (81%/19%)
Average: 58% (58%/42%)

My hobbies that cost money include rock climbing, yoga, weightlifting and travelling. Most of my non-essential expenses are used on that.
In April, I went on a 4 day rock climbing trip and I had to buy a bunch of rock climbing, hiking and camping equipment, reflected in previous months' expenses.

Finance-wise, since the last update I've:
  • Changed bank to save on fees and get a higher interest rate on my savings account - still abysmal, but at least not 0!
  • Cancelled my unemployment insurance. From July, I'll have 3 months of notice if I get fired. I have a relatively high job security and I'm quite sure I'd be able to find a job within 3 months. If I don't, I'll use the time as a RE test period.
  • Checked if I could get a cheaper insurance - nope! I currently get a very cheap insurance through my union and it would cost the same if I didn't pay for my union membership.
  • Read up on tax rules and I think I'm optimized in that regard now.
  • Sold a stock position with a 35% return during 8 months. After I sold, it increased another 40% during one month! Still, I can't really complain.
In the near future:
  • Looking for a side hustle as a sports instructor
  • In May, I'm going on a 5 days trip to Spain and on a 8 days trip to a Greek island to rock climb. I'm really looking forward to this! My goal is to be frugal on the Greece trip. I normally enjoy backpacking-style travelling so my trips are cheap, but this will be the first trip where I'll actively try to save. After all, I'm there for the rock climbing and that's free!
  • Getting the yearly pay rise. It'll be small since we all got a 20% pay bump in December. Hopefully, it'll cover the inflation rate.
  • Bringing my lunch instead of buying it at work. I already bring and eat my breakfast there since I'm not hungry when I wake up (if I hurry, I can be at work within 30 minutes of waking up and that includes a 15 minutes bike ride). They've increased the lunch price with 12% this month. I can make my own lunch much cheaper and healthier.
  • Transitioning into sleeping on the floor again. In the autumn, I started sleeping on a thin fleece blanket and a duvet on the floor, and after some transition time, my sleep quality greatly improved; I didn't lie in bed after I woke up, but I got up right away. I don't use an alarm clock and I normally wake up between 5-7 AM, but sleeping on the floor I woke up within 30 minutes of the same time and I got up right away. Much more efficient!
  • Readling the ERE book. I bought it back in 2012 and tried to read it, but I didn't finish it back then. Now, I feel like I can internalize the concepts much better and I have a reference frame for it.
  • Decluttering my living space. Getting rid of all the things and clothes I no longer use. I don't have a lot of stuff to begin with and I'd probably be able to fit all of my stuff, minus kitchen things, comfortably into the same 12 sqm room I lived in while I was studying. I live in a 65 sqm condo. It's way too big for me.
EDIT: Removed some details

boltzmannsbrain
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Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

My savings rate during 2018:
  • January: 42% (split into 51% essentials/49% non-essentials)
  • February: 58% (54%/46%)
  • March: 65% (58%/42%)
  • April: 68% (81%/19%)
  • May: 73% (72%/28%)
  • June: 72% (71%/29%)
Average: 63% (62%/38%)

Since the last update:
  • I got a side hustle as a sports instructor for 2x2x1 hour classes a week. I'm totally on thin ice as I've never taught sports and my only teaching experience is tutoring high school students on a one-to-one basis during my university studies. The learning curve is somewhat steep, but I'm developing my public speaking skills, my body/mind connection and my pretending-to-know-what-I'm-talking-about skills. Mildly uncomfortable job as an introvert, but I'm also enjoying it and learning a lot.
  • I got a new full-time job as well. My job satisfaction accelerated downhill during the last months and I've found a similar position at a company about the same distance from my home, a 15 min bike ride. In my current job, the yearly pay rise was just 2.5% (and this was on the high side, as the total pool was just 1.5%), and I got a 10% rise for the new job. Coupled with a 20% rise in December, my take-home salary will increase 43% from December 2017 to August 2018, though the company-paid pension contribution has decreased 4.6% and I'm working 7% more hours. It's a nice increase, but job satisfaction and work/life balance is more important to me than a high salary, so we'll see where the new job takes me.
  • The Greece trip was canceled as my climbing partner got injured. Luckily, his insurance covered the costs. Instead, we went on a extended weekend trip to a neighboring country. We stayed at a shelter in the woods, by a lake, and the days consisted of swimming in the lake, rock climbing, lounging in the sun, walking in the woods and feeding the local mosquito and black fly population. The only cost was transportation. It was a lovely trip and we're doing another one this month. I can't wait to be back in nature to fondle some rocks!
  • I've brought my lunch for work the last two months and I've been happy about it. I've spent my Sunday evenings bulk-cooking while listening to podcasts and it's been cozy to just have some time for myself before the weekend ends. For my new job, I've agreed to their lunch deal, but I can cancel it if I don't like it. And I'll still bulk cook my dinners.
  • Still not sleeping on the floor and I haven't decluttered yet. Since it's so light outside, I wake up at about 4-5 AM and read, then I sleepy and fall asleep for about 30-60 minutes before getting up at 7 AM. I've started reading the ERE book and I introduced it to a friend who has read it now.
Image
View from the shelter

Overall, I'm feeling happy and optimistic. I've talked to a bunch of people about FIRE, including my family, and everyone's been open-minded and curious about it - especially the financial independence part. I even got my sister to calculate her time to retirement! She'll never retire early as she loves to work and to spend, but she understood and liked the concept of being financially independent. My mother has been looking forward to her retirement for some years now and we've tried to convince her to retire early, but she's afraid she'll be bored. This is a woman who started working out >4 times a week and got into stock trading in her mid-fifties! I think she'll do just fine.

I actually have several friends who are in their thirties and financially independent and I've talked to them to get some inspiration. Here are their stories:
  • M is spending the spring and summer in his home country and the autumn and winter somewhere hot. Last time, it was Okinawa. He's self-made wealthy and he has more money than he'll ever need from stock trading. But he's also quite frugal and appears to be a normal twenty-something touring Asia on the cheap, living out of his backpack.
  • A is a father. He inherited some money and invested them in stocks and increasingly larger apartments. His girlfriend works part-time and he was a stay-at-home father for some time, before the kid went to a nursery. He always updates me on stock tips and I highly appreciate them.
  • B is a rock climbing dirtbag. He quit his job this year, sold his apartment, bought a house near some nice Spanish rocks, got a dog and plans to tour Europe in his van. He has saved 30 years of expenses. He's a dumpster-diving, meat-loving vegan - due to environmental considerations.
Life is good :D

rube
Posts: 594
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Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by rube »

Mother, sister, M, A, and B. "You are the average of 5 people you spend the most time with".
It sounds like you are doing great.

boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

My savings rate during 2018:
January: 42% (split into 51% essentials/49% non-essentials)
February: 58% (54%/46%)
March: 65% (58%/42%)
April: 68% (81%/19%)
May: 73% (72%/28%)
June: 72% (71%/29%)
July: 72% (84%/16%)
August: 74% (77%/23%)

Average: 66% (62%/38%)

My savings rate has leveled out and will probably stay in this range for now. I'm not feeling like I'm missing anything. I have one payment left on my apartment loan and then I'll be able to aggressively invest in stocks.

The summer has been great. Wonderful weather, a lot of rock climbing followed by a dip in the ocean, and just enjoying the super long and light days. The heat decreased my appetite so I've been eating stuff like smoothies or hummus with vegetable sticks as a meal.
It's getting colder and darker now though.

Since the last update:
  • I've started on the new job and it's been slow here in the beginning. But I think it'll be fine. The colleagues and bosses seem nice and the production equipment is newer and more complicated, so I look forward to learning a lot. ¨
  • Side hustle is going well. I'm feeling comfortable as a instructor now and it's quite insightful to see so many different body types trying to do the same movement. I'd love to get some formal training!
  • I've started decluttering and I've already filled 5 big plastic bags of clothes I'm donating. I still have way too much clothes, but I'll do a second sorting later.
  • My body is feeling great. I've started strength training again - powerlifting and olympic weightlifting - and it feels great to throw heavy stuff around! I haven't lost that much strength despite being out of the game for some years now. I'm taking a break from rock climbing to heal a finger. I'm still doing yoga and I've just started taking swimming lessons with my sister. All those ocean swims made me realise that I suck at swimming, so now we've commited to weekly crawl class for the next 9 months.
  • I'm using a lot of time and energy at the moment to deal with some personal problems. It's quite exhausting, but I'm getting help from a friend who's experienced in this area (this friend has worked for one of the FAANGs, is now doing a coastFIRE thing and lives on a boat with his girlfriend in a polyamourous relationship. I feel so lucky to know so interesting and inspiring people).

boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

My savings rate during 2018:
January: 42% (split into 51% essentials/49% non-essentials)
February: 58% (54%/46%)
March: 65% (58%/42%)
April: 68% (81%/19%)
May: 73% (72%/28%)
June: 72% (71%/29%)
July: 72% (84%/16%)
August: 74% (77%/23%)
September: 73 (87%/13%)

Average: 66% (68%/32%)

Something devastating, but also big and important (I'm being intentionally vague) happened a couple of days before the previous update, which I also briefly mentioned in the last bullet point of my previous post.
Well, it felt devastating at the time, but now I realise it’s the best thing that’s happened to me in a while.

I've been working intensely on finding the root cause(s) to my issues, identifying destructive behaviour and cleaning up bad mental habits. September was both tough and eye-opening. October was easier and it's getting easier now. I've grown a lot over the last month and a half. I'd wish I'd come to the realisation sooner, but I'm grateful that it happened now.

That event was a catalyst for getting things done. I was intensely craving change. This happened since the last update:
  • I finished reading the ERE book. I'm currently reading "One Up On Wall Street" which my investor friend recommended and lent me a million years ago. I'd feel bad to return it without reading it.
  • I've decluttered my apartment. Guests describe it as "minimalistic," "spartan," "empty" and "I wouldn't be able to live like this, but I can appreciate it." It's a lot easier to deal with my inner turmoil when everything around me is tidy and I actually also enjoyed the process. I still have more things to get rid off, but this is the first step. I don't own anything I consider irreplaceable.
  • I was dealing with illness for most of September and couldn't train, but for the last three weeks I've been averaging 5 strength training sessions, 3 yoga sessions and 1 swimming session a week, in addition to 2x2 hours of instructing. It feels so amazing to use my body again. When I lift a heavy-ass weight, my mind goes completely blank and it feels great to just use my body and give my brain some much needed rest.
  • I've started meditating. I use the Headspace app to do a guided 10 min meditation session just before I go to bed. I like it so far.
  • I've started journaling at least once a week. It feels important to write down the process and my realisations. I've had a journal for over 12 years now and re-reading it was instrumental in realising my problems. It's also great to have a place to brain-dump.
  • I've joined a winter bathing club. This gives me access to a harbour bath and sauna, including aufguss events. At the moment, the water temperature is around 13-14 degrees C (55-57 F), so still quite warm compared to how it'll be in the freezing winter. I normally feel cold in the indoor swimming pool (27 degrees C) where I go to crawl class, but after a dip in the cold harbour bath before going to the class, I felt great. Going and staying in the cold water is an exercise in relaxing the body and breathing. Meditating in the sauna is also quite special. I'm learning how to deal with environmental discomforts, I'm getting a nice dose of delicious chemicals in my brain, and it makes me feel energized afterwards. I'm still trying to figure out how to incorporate this practice into my daily routine. Ideally, I'd go there every day before work, but I also know it'll be a struggle when it gets colder and darker. But it'd be a great way to start the day!
  • I've booked flight tickets to Sri Lanka. My younger sister and I are going for 18 days in December, missing out on Christmas and New Year’s, which fits us well as we're not fans of either events. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and it's worse in December and January, so I'm very much looking forward to some sun and warmth. Savings rate for October took a hit, but I'm prioritizing my well-being.
  • My older sister is pregnant! Can't wait to be the awesomest aunt <3
  • I've started dating a sweet guy who's graciously agreed to be my guinea pig regarding me working on my personal problems. It's going well, but he's leaving the country in a couple of months and we're both not interested in a long distance relationship. It's quite low effort and low commitment, but we're enjoying what we have at the moment.
  • My parents talked to a pension advisor and he told them they could retire now if they wanted to. I think they consider it a frivolous thing to do, growing up poor, but they're also both getting tired of working. I've encouraged them to pull the plug while they're still in good health.
I've reserved the following books from my library:
  • "What doesn't kill us: how freezing water, extreme altitude and environmental conditioning will renew our lost evolutionary strength" - My newfound interest in winter bathing, breathing techniques and Wim Hof.
  • "More than two: a practical guide to ethical polyamory" - Some of my personal problems arose from bad communication skills in relationships and personal insecurities. I don't know if polyamory is for me, but I do think that the fundamentals of polyamory should apply to monogamy as well. Polyamorists are just better at articulating these needs as poly relationships wouldn't be able to function without them. I've talked extensively with M about polyamory, relationships and communication and he recommended me this book.
  • "Why we sleep: the new science of sleep and dreams" - Sleep is underrated and my well-being is severely impacted by my sleeping habits. I'd like to be better at sleeping and to know more about it.
  • "Thinking, fast and slow" - A bunch of people, including my mother, has recommended me this book now. Feel free to recommend books to me!

The advantage of public libraries is that it's free (as in, I've paid for it through taxes). The disadvantage is the long waiting lists.
It takes some time for me to read books as I haven't properly incorporated it into my daily routine. Ideally, my pre-sleep ritual would be reading a book and meditating. I'd like to cut down on mindless internet browsing.

I'm optimistic about the future. The next couple of months will be hard because of seasonal affective disorder, but I hope the physical activity, meditation, winter bathing and travel will help.

FBeyer
Posts: 1078
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:25 am

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by FBeyer »

Winter bathing? Take cold showers in the morning. Just plain, 100% cold water. It's great for endorphin/dopamine release and a good way to learn elemental meditation. You'll get used to it rather quickly though, so don't overdo it, or hedonic adaptation will steal the benefits. Winter water sports come in at least two nuances btw. My mom is an ice swimmer, not a winter bather. And I still whine like a toddler when the water is anything below 15C. :D

I feel the same about stuff in the home. I've got plenty of shit going on inside my head, stuff makes it worse. We have a lot of stuff around because it's necessary in order for the rest of the family to function, but we still have white walls all over. So far it's the best compromise we've been able to find. GF hasn't taken the 'Kondo plunge' just yet, so we've still got than in store.

If you're looking for free guided meditation, you can find the tracks from Williams and Penman's book on meditation on SoundCloud. It's an amazing introduction to MBCT by the way. I recommend it to everyone.

boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

I'm quite sensitive to cold in general and I loathe cold showers; it feels like a million tiny daggers stabbing me. Immersion into cold water is easier to deal as I only have to enter the water once, while cold showers feel like entering the water repeatedly. I'm still working on relaxing in cold waters, so I wouldn't be able to swim around yet. Baby steps! But cool mother you have :)
Other reasons to attend a winter bathing club rather than taking cold showers include: saunas, third place opportunity (though it's also perfectly acceptable to not engage socially) and being outdoors (I need all the natural sunlight I can get).
We have a monthly guest day where non-member can try out getting into the cold waters, the saunas and the aufguss ("saunagus") events.
If you're interested, send me a PM! - this is an open invitation to whoever might find themselves in Copenhagen.

I didn't quite go Marie Kondo, but I also didn't have a lot of stuff to start with. Minus the kitchen stuff, I'd probably be able to fit everything I own into the 12 m^2 room I lived in while I studied. Now it's spread over 65 m^2. I have furniture and cabinets that don't have any function other than to make my apartment look less empty. And I still have a bunch of things I should get rid off since I haven't used them in more than a year: assorted martial arts equipment like BJJ gis, boxing gloves, shinguards and hand wraps, 25+ pairs of shoes (and this is after donating ~10 pairs), old laptops etc.

Thanks for the recommendation! A 10 minute session is beginning to feel too short by now.

boltzmannsbrain
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Boltzies' journal

Post by boltzmannsbrain »

Time for an irregular update.

It's going well. After getting more responsibility and more defined work assignments, I'm happier about working than I've been for a long time. I also do realise that I'm getting a lot of leeway and I would be able to contribute with more if I actually cared. Still, I'm delivering what's expected of me while being absolutely non-stressed about work. I don't think about work outside work, but I do think about a lot of non-work at work.

I've started olympic weightlifting and powerlifting consistently and I'm hitting lifetime PRs in all of my lifts. Feels good man. Still rock climbing at least once a week as my social, active restday. And we're planning some rock climbing weekend trips when the weather is nicer.

Still dating G. It's turned into a long distance relationship (ugh!) which in itself is a challenge. We're still figuring out how to do this. But it's working well so far. Pouring too many ressources into traveling back and forth at the moment, which is not sustainable in the long run, but for now it'll do.

I'm content with my life at the moment. Just cruisin' along.

Since 2009, I've tracked my personal finance in a ugly-as-hell spreadsheet. Out of curiosity, I recently compiled my monthly average spending, monthly average take-home income (excluding returns on investments) and annual savings rate:

In EUR:
Year Spend Income SR/%
2009 529 1139 54
2010 445 833 47
2011 730 1785 59
2012 917 1905 52
2013 792 1143 31
2014 1022 1110 8
2015 1139 1694 33
2016 1292 2608 50
2017 1348 2669 49
2018 1122 3735 70
Average 933 1862 45

In USD:
Year Spend Income SR/%
2009 598 1287 54
2010 503 942 47
2011 825 2017 59
2012 1036 2152 52
2013 895 1291 31
2014 1155 1254 8
2015 1287 1914 33
2016 1459 2947 50
2017 1523 3016 49
2018 1268 4220 70
Average 1055 2104 45

(Formatting looks hideous, but I can't bother to fix it)

Some life events to compare:
September 2009: Second year of bachelor degree. Moved out, into a room in a shared apartment.
October 2011: Finished my bachelor degree and then worked full-time.
March 2012: Bought the ERE book, tried to read it but couldn't quite grasp it and never finished it.
September 2012: Returned to university, stopped working full-time.
May 2014: Bought an apartment. Only had a summer job.
February 2015: Finished my master degree.
July 2015: Got my first "I'm a grown-up"-job. Began to experience lifestyle creep in the following years.
February 2018: Getting tired of working. Rediscovered ERE. Actually finished reading the book.
June/August 2018: Got a leisure time job. Changed main job.

I'm quite satisfied that I managed to save while studying. I've always worked, but a big chunk of my income during my studies was a state educational support grant that all university students get.

I started out 2019 with a very expensive January, spending about double my normal amount. February was better, but still about 20% above average. I'm hoping to tune into my normal spending for the rest of the spring, but I have already one trip booked in March. Still, I haven't regretted anything.

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