Fish's Enlightenment

Where are you and where are you going?
Fish
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

@saving-10-years, @wolf, @Lillailler - Thank you for the ideas and feedback.
Last edited by Fish on Sat May 30, 2020 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fish
Posts: 555
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

Subsequent to reading the ERE book, I felt enough abundance to take on the side project of creating a website which solved one very specific non-financial problem of mine which was previously unsolved anywhere on the internet. I spent about 100 hours on this project + about 400 more hours of virtual assistant time (thanks Tim Ferriss). This is tricky to monetize so I just give away all the content for free. The best part is when I get nice e-mails or comments. The second-best part is the system design. It's set up to require absolutely zero input on my part (money or effort) and the passive value gets delivered automagically. This type of value creation is something I want to do more of in the future. (Does posting on a personal finance forum count? :P)

I'm finding that to make a reduction in spending sustainable, there needs to be a more rewarding alternative (per the discussion we've been having in the significant others thread). For example, I enjoy the experience (and result) of DIY-haircuts so sustaining this change is automatic; I no longer consider the paid option. But there were many other areas (food, stuff, entertainment) where there was an initial belt-tightening followed by a gradual return to the original level, just like dieting. In 2014 we proved the feasibility of living on a 0.4 Fish budget, but DW's preference is to live at a higher level of consumption. So unless her preferences can be changed the only other option is to present a more rewarding and less costly alternative.

Edited to add: DW changed a car battery recently. I was very proud of her, and she was proud of herself too. Now to transfer this can-do attitude to other areas of life... ;)
Last edited by Fish on Sat May 30, 2020 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jason

Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Jason »

Fish wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:39 pm
Edited to add: DW changed a car battery recently. I was very proud of her, and she was proud of herself too. Now to transfer this can-do attitude to other areas of life... ;)
That is commendable. I recently woke up to a dead car battery and called AAA. Cost me $150.00. I was thinking at the time that I should be able to do it but I always rationalize "I can fuck up my car" so let them do it."

classical_Liberal
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by classical_Liberal »

Fish wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:39 pm
(Does posting on a personal finance forum count? :P)
As far as I'm concerned it does. Your SO other thread and the money is a solved problem thread were particularly valuable to me this year. On both I had written, nearly posted, and and deleted many comments. My lack of contribution was mainly due the the fickle nature of my options. Still, my internal processor is still burning late night candles pondering those ideas.

If what you write in this forum is a true indicator of the interior of fish brain, it has read like a very productive year for you. At least from a priority and understanding your own nature standpoint. Congrats!

@Jason
If you are worried about damaging your car, its too nice for you! Sell it and buy a Japanese shitbox to play with.

Fish
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

@Jason - Thanks. I'd rather not be dependent on a car but it's a huge convenience given our suburban lifestyle with children, so I figure I will maintain it.

@classical_Liberal - Thanks for the encouragement. Hanging out on these forums has been a way to test out whether I have anything novel or useful to offer the PF community, as well as to get my own questions answered. I've scratched that itch and found that the PF rabbit-hole only goes so deep and there isn't a breakthrough waiting to happen (at least in the quantitative aspects -- Jacob's savings rate math in chapter 7 of the ERE book is canonical and it isn't possible to improve on that). As far as filling in the details, other figures in the PF community have done a really good job, such as Mad FIentist (tax optimization), Early Retirement Now (SWR research), and @Tyler9000 (asset allocation). There are enough people writing on the subject already.

I have been thinking of the qualitative aspects to FI/RE along the lines of "money is a solved problem". I came across this blogpost which summarizes it quite elegantly.
White Coat Investor wrote: I would submit that financial security comes before financial independence, and that it is really financial security that adds to your happiness. Once you have maxed that out, your life is not going to get any more happy from financial sources, no matter how much you make, have, or spend. If you want additional happiness, you will have to seek it outside the financial realm. [...]

There is some good news out of all this.
  1. You don’t have to wait until financial independence to be happy.
  2. You can increase your happiness by aligning your actual life with your ideal life as much as possible.
  3. Developing and following a financial plan that is highly likely to lead to financial independence will also make you happier, even before you hit your number.
I think these words are a fitting way to conclude this phase of wondering what the pursuit of FI is exactly about. Now for the hard part, which is the realization that the next steps beyond FU don't follow any particular script or plan.

It's completely open-ended. I have no idea what I'm doing now. And there's no "standard solution" anymore. This will be FUN! :lol:
Last edited by Fish on Sat May 30, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Jason

Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Jason »

My car is my office so I can't risk any issues with it. The criteria for my DIY is "Do I have to get off the couch?" So obviously there is room for improvement as it pretty much limits me to changing the batteries in the remotes. With children I can see minimizing risk. It would seem counterproductive to having your eulogy be "Fish was a frugal man who tried to set an example for his children. And he did, as he died from being crushed while replacing his own brake pads, ensuring that his family can now stop in peace when paying their respects. At least until they wear out again, at which point they can decide whether they want to follow in their father's footsteps."

suomalainen
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by suomalainen »

Fish wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:11 am
It's completely open-ended. I have no idea what I'm doing now. And there's no "standard solution" anymore. This will be FUN! :lol:
So, going off menu, so to speak:
Dragline wrote:
Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:51 am
Just remember that most of life is not actually on the menu. :D

wolf
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by wolf »

Hi Fish! How are you? I haven't read much from you in the last couple of weeks. Are you ok? I now post with wolf, and not MDFIRE2024 anymore.

Fish
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

@wolf - I like the new username. The lack of forum output is due to a severe case of "work is not so bad".

Journal update. I have been continuing to think about the ERE as Chess discussion. Not so much about the chess part, but what my next "move" should be. Lately, I have been considering setting an expiration date on my job just to build some change in my life.
Last edited by Fish on Sat May 30, 2020 4:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

daylen
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by daylen »

Fish wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:23 pm
However, doing paid work on the side would be unethical, so it would have to be uncompensated. Otherwise it could be a path to starting a consulting business. Nevertheless, this is pretty much the last thing I want to do after a full day of work (and kids). Is this the price of being a specialist?
Generally operating away from the margins of society limits the pool of potentially high risk, high reward investment opportunities.

Scott 2
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Scott 2 »

My work has been bringing in more experts as the company grows. I have been thoroughly disappointed at what the standard is for expert. I wouldn't be surprised if your experience plus that 50-100 hours of reading a year, is more than enough to lead the way. Part of leading is knowing enough to leverage the skills and expertise of others.

For what it's worth, I've done the side gig thing twice now. Both times conditions were nearly ideal - 20-40 hours a month, entirely outside of working hours, communication via email, hourly rate of my annual salary divided by 1000, same profession but different industry, etc. In both situations, I stopped because working after I'd finished working was just too unpleasant. I made it 9 months the first time, 2 weeks the second.

I'd rather stay home than travel too. My company has started doing trips with spouses every couple of years. My wife is very happy about it, because it mean she's certain to go somewhere nice.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Who did you want to take to the prom?

suomalainen
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by suomalainen »

+1 to @7. Inquiring minds and all. How goes the battle on the wife and kids front? Floundering, flying or sailing somewhere in between? (I’m really sorry about this folks. Couldn’t stop myself.)

Fish
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:41 pm
Who did you want to take to the prom?
At the time, if I had my pick I would have taken one of the girls that graduated the year before. I was drawn to maturity, even though I didn't exhibit it myself. I'd expected not to go (it wasn't my thing) but my friend-group had a gender imbalance at 4M/5F and all the girls wanted to attend. So me getting a date was more due to demographics rather than good looks and charm, although I'd like to think that also played a role. :P
Last edited by Fish on Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fish
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by Fish »

suomalainen wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:19 pm
How goes the battle on the wife and kids front?
We're managing. Lately we've been focusing more on "appropriate response" rather than parenting on ideals. We cut an extracurricular for each of the children, as well as stopped sending a 2-parent delegation to the endless birthday parties and play dates. I actually enjoy socializing with other parents but I also need some quality time to myself once in a while, and that's finally happening. Other families figured out that one a lot earlier than we did.

Whenever I feel like complaining I read your journal entries and that helps put things into perspective. ;)
Last edited by Fish on Sat May 30, 2020 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

suomalainen
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by suomalainen »

Progress! Nice! I remember that age - the play dates and birthday parties and plastic toys and creativity and imagination. But not as well as you’d think, actually. The kids don’t really remember it at all; the only real remnant is the way you relate becomes “sticky” as you roll from one year to the next. And the pictures/videos. Those bring smiles. But it was definitely exhausting, but more satisfying in a way. I’ve been mulling the difference and once my thoughts marinate a bit more, I’ll write something up.
Fish wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:40 am
Whenever I feel like complaining I read your journal entries and that helps put things into perspective. ;)
Yeah, work in progress over here. I did find my twitter bff via one of those dumb buzzfeed lists. @R_A_Dadass (Real American Dadass). This was the tweet on the buzzfeed list, but it perfectly captures what I suppress saying when someone tells me they’re expecting: I spent 20 minutes, 20. Fucking. Minutes. Convincing my kid to wear a coat, but yeah, congrats on your pregnancy.

George the original one
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by George the original one »

suomalainen wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:03 am
it perfectly captures what I suppress saying when someone tells me they’re expecting: I spent 20 minutes, 20. Fucking. Minutes. Convincing my kid to wear a coat, but yeah, congrats on your pregnancy.
LOL... if it's any consolation, I've spent that much time convincing the afghan hound which direction to go when we came to an intersection. He would sit down and refuse to go the direction I wanted to go. Discussion ensued (afghan hound swearing at me) and eventually he'd relent, though often it was merely that I'd tricked him into taking a step in that direction several times.

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jennypenny
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by jennypenny »

suomalainen wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:03 am
I spent 20 minutes, 20. Fucking. Minutes. Convincing my kid to wear a coat,
I always laugh when I hear parent stuff like that. I'd never spend 20 minutes trying to convince my kid of anything, more like 20 seconds. Then I'd just stuff their coat in my bag and we'd head out. If their lips turned blue I'd hand them their coat. Of course, I've never been accused of being mother of the year so maybe my approach is wrong. Still, they all seem eager to leave the nest ... ;)

edit: I'm not laughing at you guys or your parenting skills. I feel badly for parents who worry about making a mistake with their kids so much that they drive themselves crazy like that. Pick your battles.
Last edited by jennypenny on Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FBeyer
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by FBeyer »

jennypenny wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:55 pm
suomalainen wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:03 am
I spent 20 minutes, 20. Fucking. Minutes. Convincing my kid to wear a coat,
I always laugh when I hear parent stuff like that. I'd never spend 20 minutes trying to convince my kid of anything, more like 20 seconds. Then I'd just stuff their coat in my bag and we'd head out. If their lips turned blue I'd hand them their coat. Of course, I've never been accused of being mother of the year so maybe my approach is wrong. Still, they all seem eager to leave the nest ... ;)
That makes two of us.
Ok honey, have you figured out NOW why mommy and daddy are trying to make you wear your coat? We're not trying to bully you, we're trying to keep you warm.
*shivering. Nodding. Pleading looks*
Ok I'll help you get your coat on, I can see your fingers are all cramped from the cold
:twisted:

suomalainen
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Re: Fish's Enlightenment

Post by suomalainen »

@jp and @fbeyer Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't coddle my kids either. Coats, food, shoes - I don't care. Do what you will. It's more the sentiment I relate to that you're "supposed" to congratulate someone who is pregnant or just had a kid when inside I laugh and laugh and think "what have you done?"

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