ERE Experiment - Vagabonding On A Shoestring Budget

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 81 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:48 pm

I
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Fri May 10, 2019 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 81 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:43 am

Random Thoughts

On health and weight - Despite being more active this month than the past several, I feel like my poor diet has negated any benefits, and I'm actually up quite a bit on the scale, almost a 10lb jump in 2 weeks time during mid-March. It's time to make better choices and avoid the super caloric options whilst dining out for work related functions/travel.

Morning Weight - 216.8
7 Day Average - 215.1

On work - It's been a mixed bag in March.

Right now, the benefits of making it through June without incident are pretty big, namely in the optionality they provide, and the peace of mind knowing that while I'm off this summer, the stache is growing in the background untouched.
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Fri May 10, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 2Birds1Stones' 25 month hustle to freedom!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:40 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:55 pm
I reread the post I wrote to you about my plan to pull the plug at $420k or when I am no longer able to add 10% of my portfolio value in annual contributions.......I think that was a very sound plan. If I get laid off/fired from my current job, I would hit the second requirement. If I continue working here or at a new employer, I will hit $420k in about a year, which would be a great time to test out the ERE or semi ERE lifestyle.

I could potentially max out my 401k/Roth IRA for 2019 by end of April, and once the weather gets nice either get a part time job that's outdoors, or quit entirely and enjoy a summer like we once used to in school many years ago.
Prophetic? This was a year ago, to the day.

A little bit ahead on the numbers, and the 401k/Roth is already maxed out for the year. Now we're just filling up 10/12% Fed tax bracket space. Glad it's looking more like a few months off work than a PT job :)

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 80 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:38 am

Check out the update to portfolio charts, specifically Tyler9000's new withdrawal calculator. It's probably the most useful WR tool for semi-ERE I've ever seen. It allows you to throw up bands for minimum and/or maximum withdrawals based on asset valuations. IOW it allows you to directly use investment performance as a variable for withdrawals, while still baking in bare minimum spending requirements. This is perfect for the Semi-ERE folks because we have significantly more play in our withdrawal needs when we have plans for "some" future income. As you may imagine, sustainable WR's go way up if you are willing to modify spending (or earn money) in years where portfolio performance is not good.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 79 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:48 am

Which chart is this specifically?

There's a guy on MMM who has a really neat website with all sorts of data visualization. This calculator made me realize how much more likely I am to end up dead than broke. Here are my most recent inputs......using a conservative $20k/yr draw-down with 10% spending flexibility during negative years. Without any additional income the success rate for a 60 year period is 86%

Here it is if you haven't played around with it.

https://engaging-data.com/will-money-la ... flexpct=10

The biggest non returns related risk is simply wanting/needing a higher cost lifestyle in the future. But for now, the numbers work beautifully. I can pull the plug at current spending levels without any worry, and any further full time work increases likelihood of portfolio going into run away mode at some point in the future.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: 79 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Frugalchicos » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:26 pm

"Purchased my ticket to Europe. No turning back now.......81 days!"

Awesome, congratulations!! I am going next buddy!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 78 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:19 am

Gracias, amigo! Looking forward to reading about your adventures in Spain. When we take our longer trip with 4-5 months in Europe next year, we plan on spending a good amount of time in Portugal/Spain. Unfortunately this will be a relatively short trip.

Ramblin' Man

Woke up feeling sick. Like really sick. Aches and chills, congestion, painful swallowing, etc.......going to take it easy from any physical activity and try to stay in bed as long as possible. Working from home can definitely have its upsides.

I'm just waiting for the hammer to come down on the sales guys any day now. We completely shit the bed for the first quarter as a company. The overlords will not be happy. It's almost like I'm in corporate purgatory, at least for another 78 days.

Have a very important work trip Mon-Wed next week, which I really hope to be better for. It can be a good experience if I'm feeling well, or an awful one if I'm sick. 3 full days of forced extroversion........

Intermittent fasting begins today. I'm going to ease into it, so starting with an 8 hour feeding window, and gradually bringing it down to 6-7 hours next month.

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: 78 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by prognastat » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:34 am

Intermittent fasting has really helped me in eating more appropriate amounts. My biggest advice in making it successful is to make sure to drink plenty of water constantly.

The times I slip up with my eating window are the times I forget to drink.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 11 Weeks To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:54 am

Thanks, prognastat. I drank a gallon of water, 32 oz of coffee, and a 20 oz iced tea yesterday. Plenty of hydration! Broke fast at 1:30 PM and finished consuming calories by 8 PM. I was 214.4 lbs before having any food (but plenty of fluids), which is a welcome drop from the 220.0 lbs I woke up this past Sunday morning. The last time I started I did IF in July-mid-September it was a solid 20lb drop in ~10 weeks time. Hoping for similar results this time around.

I have a pretty bad sinus infection. A second day of bed rest it is......

User avatar
Bankai
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:28 am

Re: 11 Weeks To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Bankai » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:07 am

Take care of yourself man. Health is #1.

I like how this journal's title shrunk from ~300 days to 11 weeks over the last month or two.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: 11 Weeks To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Frugalchicos » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:43 am

Dang, your countdown always makes me think about how much left we have :) (30 weeks, I just counted them)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 11 Weeks To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:28 am

@Frugalchicos, 30 weeks ain't no thang. I'm just going on a long vacation, you're uprooting your entire life permanently! Much more to do in those 30 weeks :)

@Bankai we were actually ~180 days on Jan 1, but time is flying!!!

March Financial Recap

Assets
$120,100 Rollover IRA
$20,700 401k
$214,900 Taxable
$9,200 Cash
$60,400 Roth IRA
$12,100 Ag Holdings
$11,000 Vehicle Equity
$20,400 HSA
$9,400 Au Holdings
$478,200 Total Assets (+$8,200)

Spending
$550 Rent/Utilities
$110 Groceries
$30 Gas
$151 Entertainment
$37 Car
$700 Travel
$32 Health
$70 Misc
$152 Gifts/Charity
$1,897 Total Spend

Income
$7,255 Salay
$970 Div/Interest/Misc
$8,224 Total Income

77% Savings Rate

$17,341 - Actual expenses, last 12 months (currently 27.58X, or 3.63% WR)
$14,400 - Actual bare-bone, last 12 months (currently 33.31X, or 3.01% WR)

Whelp, still FI

Monthly Combined Tracking

$4,005 - Combined Spending
$10,503 - Combined Income

62% Savings Rate

Combined NW = $586,200 (+$10,200)
Combined Spending = $35,600 (based on last 12 months)
Combined WR = 6.07% (16.46 x annual expenses)

Financial Musings

Overall a good month. Income will be lower (maybe much lower) moving forward in 2019. Spending was high for both of us due to our Europe ticket purchases, despite using CC rewards to offset 50%+ of the cost. TTM combined spending still under $36k/yr, which is awesome to see. Aprils weddings mean that it will go up a tad, but what the hell is the point of making money, if not to enjoy it?

I've lumped CD's into taxable for tracking purposes, and only count checking/cash/savings as cash.

Non Financial Stuff

40 miles ran (+33% over Jan/Feb)
17 times weight training
27.5 miles cycled (all MTB)
73 miles walked (+25% over Feb)
132 hours worked ( -30% over Feb)
0 times meditated
0 lbs lost (might have gained 1lb, will see tmrw)

Musings
Morning Weight - 210.0
7 Day Average - 215.2
Training - none today, but I did end up going to the gym for a light workout and jog despite being sick.....NOT a good idea. I don't feel any better today.

Intermittent fasting has been SUPER easy to follow. I'm down 10lbs since last Sunday morning (bloated from bachelor party day), and should start seeing some newer lows before we fly down to FL for this wedding in 10 days.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 68 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:31 am

Morning Weight - 214.0
7 Day Average - 210.3
Training - Upper pull at the gym + 4 mile run

Yesterday I took a friend mountainbiking for his first time. It was a good time, but I didn't get much exercise in the 8 miles we covered in ~70 minutes. Mostly intermediate single track with a few black diamond sections, he handled it like a champ!

April started off with a 3 day work trip and subsequent recovery. I fell behind on my running and training, but made up for it in the second half of the week. Since we're traveling for a destination wedding on Thurs, I need to make the most of the next three day as well. Worked ~75 hours last week (counting travel time), and got very little sleep Sun-Thurs. Made up for it with 3 glorious nights of 9-10 hours each.

April will be the busiest month I've had in years. Between personal and work travel commitments, won't be home much. May is also shaping up to be a busy month, full of business and pleasure. The two are starting to blend together more and more as of late. Right now things are looking ok for the next ~5-6 weeks.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: 67 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:55 am

Since you posted in my journal I'm gonna shower you with nutrition advice since you're open to posting about weight/nutrition habits. I'm also bored at work haha.

I'd recommend "The Hungry Brain" by Stephan Guyenet. I posted about this book in the recommended reading section. I think it can certainly help you achieve your weight loss goals. Coming from someone who had tried many different diets and has managed to stay relatively lean (6'0 at 183 pounds at the moment; 15% body fat..I'm actually on the higher end of where I like to be), I found this book helped me to be able to "put it all together" so to speak.

Everyone knows the phyiscal - To drop weight, decrease caloric consumption and/or increase caloric burning via exercise.

The mental game is where one has to refine to truly master this art of sticking to a diet...basically posting how the book sums up without all the science to back it:

(1) You want to stick to whole foods with protein/fiber that send satiety signals to your brain that signal that you've had enough. Processed foods like cookies, crackers, pizza, ice cream fail to do this. Example: You eat a big dinner and feel full but somehow you make room for dessert.
(2) Fix the food environment at home...if the bad food does not exist, there is no way to screw up. Keep home stocked with meat, fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, whole grains such as oats, etc...nothing else. Especially white flour.
(3) Unconvential but works..Stick to bland foods. The brain rewires itself to desire less overtime. Cravings are controlled this way.
(4) Manage stress; stress makes some people eat. Best way to beat stress - have a concrete plan to attack stressors.
(5) Restorative Sleep; lack of sleep makes some people eat. Get 7-9 hours a night. Get sunlight in the morning, decrease light exposure in the evenings. Keep caffeine intake at 1pm max.
(6) Optional: Follow a fixed meal plan where calories are already pre-determined. I do this personally: Breakfast is homemade whole yogurt with blueberry and oats, lunch is chicken with potatos in tomato sauce + apple/orange, dinner is 2 potatoes and a can of fried beans.
(7) Add exercise which I already see you're doing.

Edit: Also noticed you're doing intermittent fasting. This has some benefits. Personally did not work well for me because I like having the 3 meal routine but the research is there to support eating this way (intermittent fasting). Great way to control hunger too.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 67 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:42 pm

Hi, Lemur! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Those are really great tips. I already loosely adhere to many of them (whole foods making up most of my diet, keeping trigger foods out of the house, even fixed meal plan to a certain extent). I'm going to borrow the book from the library as soon as I'm done with my current read.

This stuff isn't new to me. I had been 300 lbs in college and managed to lose 120+ lbs while discovering powerlifting and drug free bodybuilding. Ultimately getting myself into contest shape on 3 separate occasions spanning ~6 years. The mental aspect is the most difficult. I actually developed a severe binge eating disorder after spending nearly 2 full years dropping the initial weight. Not to mention body image issues after being 5% bodyfat and rebounding to a normal BF% and weight. The mindfuck that resulted taught me a lot about myself, but I still struggle to put certain things to practice consistently. Right now I'm sitting at 211.8 this morning, with a BF in the upper teens. I'm only about 12-15 lbs away from having a six pack (10-12% BF), which will typically take me ~8 weeks to lose if I put my mind to it. It's time to put my mind to it, lol!

Morning Weight - 211.8
7 Day Average - 210.7
Training - none

I ended up going for another short MTB ride yesterday. Pretty beat from lift, run, MTB in one day.

Warm today, so there is a small chance I take a jog from home after my last teleconference.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: 67 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:13 pm

Oh wow you're definitely no stranger to this game! Well good luck on your continued efforts. I lift weights about once a week myself, but unfortunately a history of lower back issues (surgery at the L5-S1, something up with my right hip as well) keeps me from doing some of the strength movements...and anything with flexion at the back. Most of my focus is general fitness / mobility in this regard unless I can figure out my spinal issues for good.

Never been at 5% bodyfat myself...lowest I've ever gotten is maybe 10 or 11% bodyfat. Could see my abs at this point but damn if I felt like I was starving all day. Never could get myself to the single digits. I could see where you come from in this regard because mentally to this day I always compare myself to when I had my abs (at 169lbs) and anything above it I'm not completely satisfied with.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 66 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:33 pm

I could still think of a lot that you could do in the gym by working around those issues. Are you doing ongoing physio/rehab to strengthen the back and hip? Thanks to sports and being a careless adolescent I've dealt with many recurring and nagging injuries over the past decade, from torn rotator cuffs, to herniated L4. There are a lot of movements I have to avoid, because things flare up, but finding a good combination of exercises and slowly building up the strength in the muscles and connective tissue can go a long way. I would urge you to up the frequency on your training to at least once every 4-5 days, ideally 2 times a week. This will force more consistent adaption and should improve your progress from a strength/endurance, as well as body composition standpoint.

Morning Weight 211.0
7 Day Average 211.0
Training - Upper Push + 4 mile treadmill run. I did end up running 3 hot and humid miles outside in the evening yesterday.

Super busy workweek. Luckily it continues to be from home till we leave for the wedding on Thurs. The powers that be at work, are coming up with new and creative ways of giving us absolutely useless work to do. We spend more time reporting on what we do, and forecasting business we don't really have, than we do actually generating business. Suddenly a top heavy organization that's gone through rapid growth, without the customer base to support these revenue targets, everyone is pointing fingers. This roles down to the front line revenue generators like myself in the form of TPS reports and time sheets, along with not only being micromanaged through CRM, but now having to fill out additional templates and excel workbooks with redundant data, manually and tediously on a weekly basis. I won't miss this shit one bit.

I'm also starting to see some shady business practice when projecting business. One moment we're being nudged to be optimistic to please the board of directors, the next you're getting waterboarded for details on a sales opportunity that was optimistically forecasted based on their guidance. Smoke and mirrors.

At my last company, I had a sales manager sit me down the morning of a Quarterly Business Review with sr. management and magically create three $200k sales opportunities at accounts we spoke with but didn't get any indication of business appetite. That was one of the signs that it was time to leave......

I guess it's good to have another option, but I'm open to suggestions here.
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 66 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:08 am

I think it depends on if you're truly planning to return to work. Personally, I'd rather have the down time AFTER being on an extended trip. 7K is peanuts to you at this point, who cares.

Maybe it's because I've made the mental breakthrough that I'm not going back to full time work, but I have a pretty sweet sense of peace with at work right now. Like, I'm starting to enjoy it again because I know it's suddenly in short supply or something. The BS isn't bothering me anymore. You still seem pretty mentally torn up about it. Maybe the best advice is to make your decision about whether or not your gonna quit post LOA sooner rather than later.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: 65 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:06 am

Yes, definitely torn. Ideally I would rather have it after the trip too, but unlike you finding peace with work after making the call to go PT, it's becoming less tolerable by the day. My work isn't something I can leave in the office, it follows me 16-18 hours a day. Despite knowing I'm basically FI at this point, in most scenarios I could conceive.....the pressure to perform and stress get to me. Despite my lackadaisical tone when often posting about work here, it's a very high pressure role, with the expectation of always "being on". The reason sales people get paid what they do, is the churn and burnout is extremely high. Right now my company is not doing well, and the pressure and minutia we are being micro managed on is getting turned up weekly.

I'm playing a few angles on the work front.

a) rage quit any day now, find job end of summer
b) tough it out till mid June
c) tough it out till mid May
d) scenario c, with a new job lined up for end of July
e) scenario b or c with no job to go back to after 10 weeks

The reason I planned on going back to work is I can't really venture off for too long with SO working FT till next June. Once she's ready to take off the 12 months we need to go to Europe/SE Asia, then it's a no brainer. But if I'm tied geographically to this area, a lower stress, but still high paying ($80-100k/yr) job from Sept - May would get us MUCH closer to FI as a couple.

The other option is PT work during that time, or no work. But I figure the opportunity to make ~$5-6k/month net while I'm sort of stuck here for another 9 months wouldn't be the worst idea. I struggle with PT because any job I could get would pay $15/hr, where I could probably get away working 30 hours from home doing a more junior sales job, making $50/hr.
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

trailblazer
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: 65 Days To ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by trailblazer » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:27 am

Congrats on your continued progress. After all these years of preparation, taking the extended time off is going to give you some great additional data points about what to do next!

I think there's one other option between "rage quit" and "tough it out". What would happen if you just explained your situation honestly? Something like "I'm ready for a break, intend to take a long trip, not sure this is the right fit".

One possible outcome is rapid termination (which might mean UE?) and it might take away a realistic chance at FMLA. But it would also force a moment of truth with the employer. This could open the door for some sort of change the next few months and/or lead to joint dialogue about what happens after your trip.

I'm not trying to be overly optimistic or naive - they are facing a lot of pressure and may well show you the door. But long term (when you get back) I think this may be the best approach to keeping the relationship on the best footing and helping smooth your job search when you return.

(If I've read the journal correctly, you are planning to take FMLA, go on the trip, then possibly quit when it's done. I don't think the employer will be too excited about this, even if legally required to grant it. It feels like a hack being taken too far. Apologies in advance if I've mischaracterized the plan or misunderstood the gravity of the family situation.)

If it were me, I'd have an open discussion with the employer and then quit cleanly before the trip. Have your adventure with a clean mental slate.

If dialogue just isn't realistic, then take the rage quit option and give yourself a burst of freedom. I've done the rage quit option once before when I had a negative net Worth, and don't regret it for a second. It led me to a much better path and forced lots of rapid insights about my future.

Post Reply