Seppia's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:25 pm

My Story – Life before work – the early days:

I was born in Italy in 1980, during a week when the top billboard hit was Blondie’s “Call Me”, which, coincidentally, is an awesome disco song.
Funny I grew up to love (very) Heavy Metal later in life. I’m recently softening up, but music will be for another post.

The common theme throughout my whole life is how ridiculously lucky I have been.

It all starts with my parents, a typical Italian semi-upper middle class couple from the financial standpoint, but very much ahead of their time regarding open mindedness.
Both had lived and worked abroad (France, UK), and decided from day 1 that languages and international experience could have given me a head start in life, so they hired an Australian nanny (both my parents worked long hours) and instructed her to only talk to me in English.

By the time I was 4, my family moved to France, so at age 6 when we returned to Italy I was already trilingual Italian-French-English. This would serve me well later in life.

I was a slightly above average student all the way through the last year of high school, doing just the minimum to get by in a worry free manner. I had a lot of fun during my young years, and my focus was not school but waterpolo (also a story for another post).

My mum and dad worked long hours, and my mum did not like to cook because she was often exhausted, so even if she was (is) very highly skilled in the kitchen, she usually cooked very shitty meals.
Turns out it was another lucky break, because it pushed me to start learning how to cook at age 12.

Cooking quickly developed into a hobby.
The parents of one of my schoolmates owned a fairly respected local restaurant, so at age 14 I started working at their place during the weekends, to help pay for my new addiction (video games).

I needed the job because while my parents were very willing to pay for any sport and education-related activities I wanted, I had a close to zero allowance for the “other” stuff (basically Christmas presents and that was it).
At the restaurant, I quickly moved from the tablet to the kitchen. By age 18 my friend and I were running the kitchen of a restaurant serving 80 meals a night.

The summer before the last year of high school I went to New Zeland for 6 months, to improve my English. It was a very tough but important experience for me. Italian kids are very spoiled by “mamma”, and New Zelanders of the same age are infinitely more mature than their Italian counterpart, especially in the rural areas like the one where I ended up.
It was not a pleasant experience, but I learned and matured a lot, and perfected my English.
I am thankful I had this experience (again, thanks to my parents and to the genetic lottery for this).

The day before I left NZ I got myself a tattoo.
It was 1998, when only rock stars and drug addicts had tattoos (I was neither): when my parents found out, my dad made me sleep one night on the balcony because he did not want me at home. I was lucky it was august.

Then came time for my last year of high school.
In Italy the top universities screen candidates based on two criteria: high school diploma score (we have big tests in Italy at the end of the last year) and an admittance test run by the university itself.
For the first time, I had a practical incentive to be better than “just enough to get by”, so the last year of high school I kicked up the effort level considerably and got a test score in the 89th percentile.

The next step was to choose what university path to take...

Dunkelheit
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Dunkelheit » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:34 pm

I'm so excited to read more about your life story! You seem to be a real lucky italian Renaissance Man, Seppia ;)

Follow soon, please.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3543
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by BRUTE » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:59 pm

how the fuck has Seppia been posting recipes for a year but never had a journal? moar plz

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:05 pm

@fellow very heavy metal fan Dunkelheit: I would love to be a real renaissance man, for now I'm just a specialist with a few potential side gigs. I am lucky though :)

@BRUTE: I think my recipes can add more value to this community than my journal. Still, I'll post moar of both

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10345
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by jacob » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:17 pm

If you're looking for a real Italian renaissance man, check out one of my favorite youtubers [on youtube], Metatron. "You people" obviously survived the decline and fall of the Roman empire pretty well!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-A9O1mwMkI (four languages you say? ... Here's seven.)

PS: Check out his channel if you like language, Roman medieval history, Japanese ditto, piano (not a lot), ... ARMA focused weapons fighting and reeneactment (Europe/Japan). I haven't seen him doing science yet, but hopefully it's coming. Otherwise, he checks all the renaissance boxes.

Jason
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:42 pm

Seppia wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:25 pm
my dad made me sleep one night on the balcony because he did not want me at home.
This has to be the most Italian thing I have ever read.

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:22 pm

jacob wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:17 pm
His seven languages are exponentially more impressive than my four.
Except for English, all the languages I speak have Latin (= Roman) roots. Once you speak two, the others come easy.
I bet he could learn average Spanish or Romanian in a couple months.

From a superficial look he seems like the typical "classically educated" Italian. Lots of history, literature, languages, epics, grammar, etc.

I am afraid he could not solve a second grade equation to save his life though, nor has any idea of what the law of Universal Gravitation is.
Italian schools are great at developing good engineers, good doctors or good "literates" (classic studies), but there is zero contamination across fields.
We get sorted from a young age (13 yo) into "scientific" or "classic", so if you're good in one you're terrible in the other.

I, for example, couldn't tell you anything about the great Italian poets.
The only thing outside my field I've developed is a little knowledge of modern art (from futurism forward) and modern history (after WWI) only because I'm personally interested in it, but I am totally ignorant on all the rest.

Jason
Posts: 1412
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:21 am

I always found it interesting that Italian Americans, as opposed to other immigrant groups, documented their immigrant experience through song as opposed to the novel. So in a certain way, it's an expression of their poetic tradition. If you wanted to understand the Jewish immigrant experience, you would read Bellow/Roth/Mailer. If you wanted to understand the Protestant, you would read Cheever/Updike. Irish, Flannery O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill. But with the Italians you would listen to Sinatra, Bennett or Como sing about it. There really is no great Italian American novel unless you acknowledge "The Godfather" which is really not a great piece of literature despite the movies being masterpieces.

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:47 am

My Story – Life before work – University:

By the last year of high school, it was clear to me I liked math and modern history much better than the other stuff.
I was never obsessed by money, but I was also pragmatic enough to know that it was (is) impossible to make a decent living in Italy studying history, so the logical choice for me was either engineering or economics.

I picked the latter because it was 1 year shorter (4 vs 5 years), and I really wanted to start working ASAP.
I always associated being an adult with being able to do what the eff you want, and thus with being financially independent from your family.
I wanted the money to be coming in as soon as possible, so Economics it was.

I can say I was always naturally inclined/ready for the financial part of the MMM/ERE lifestyle.

College is a completely different ball game compared to high school: in Italy, your scores MATTER.
If you graduate from a good university with great scores ( > 95thpercentile) you are basically guaranteed to get a good job at a good/famous company.
You will not make good money right away (Italians aged 24-35 are the worst paid Europeans, adjusted for cost of living), but it will set you up for a decent career.

I quit water polo and focused on studying.
My average grades were kept high by all the math-statistics-numbers exams, so I filled my courses with as many as I could: Finance Math, Demographics, Statistics, Advanced Statistics, Econometrics, you name it.

The third year I studied abroad, in France, thanks to the awesome Erasmus student exchange program.
Well, maybe “studied” is an overstatement. I will make a dedicated post on my Erasmus year, but the TL;DR version is: lots of fun, lots of not-sure-they’re-legal activities, etc.
I made some fantastic Spanish friends (we are still in touch to this day) and learned Spanish in the process, because Spanish people hang in packs, and speak no language other than Spanish (again another lucky break).

The last year of University back in Italy was tough, as I had to a) recover the time lost in Erasmus and b) readjust to being again living with my parents and having obligations.
After completing all exams, you were obliged to prepare a graduation thesis.
I picked Econometrics, because since everybody seems to hate numbers, Econometrics professors were extremely excited to learn that someone wanted to prepare a thesis with them.

Just to give you an idea, the Marketing professors had an average of 20-30 students preparing a thesis with them, while in Econometrics I was alone.
I had the prof available sull time, all the time, and VERY supportive, which helped me a great deal and had the lucky side effect of boosting my final score (108 out of 110, which is pretty good).

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:58 am

I feel like writing today

Music

Since my very young age, I always loved music.
99% of what I was listening to was obviously my dad’s music (mum never liked anything other than classical and opera), a weird mix of the most famous Italian folk singers (Fabrizio De Andrè, Francesco Guccini and Enzo Jannacci), Italian 80’s rock (Vasco Rossi, Gianna Nannini) and some American classics (mostly the boss).

I started developing my own tastes with the advent of CDs.
Initially, I listened 100% to Italian disco music. Not something I’m particularly proud of, but in my defense I was 11.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMPM1q_Uyxc

Luckily, for Christmas 1991 I received Queen’s Greatest Hits 2, and my love for Rock and Roll exploded instantly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEjU9KVABao
I seemed to just adore the sound of electric guitar, and my tastes became heavier.

For Christmas 1992 (age 12) I asked AC/DC’s Live album, and from then on I was on a steady diet of hard Rock.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_GFN3a0yj0
By 1996 my favorite bands included Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana and the likes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBkjcvNztKQ

1996 was one of the turning years of my musical tastes, because I first listened to Metallica’s Load. Before then, I considered heavy metal to be something “too hard” or just evil.

I know Load is one of the worst Metallica albums (topped only by the turdfecta of St Anger, Re-Load and that monstrosity with Lou Reed that I still pretend never happened), but I was captivated by the heavier riffs, James’ bourbon voice, and those “fat” guitar sound that was so awesome.

Please remember I was 16 and easily impressionable.
https://youtu.be/CBJey2dkiAI
Load made heavy metal acceptable for me.

For a short time I was into recent Metallica (I discovered the Black Album and though it was their best LOL) and the so called “power metal”, stuff like Judas Priest (Painkiller album), Manowar, Hammerfall, Angra and similar. Corny at times, but some stuff still holds amazingly well in my opinion.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ4Nel-aHZM

Then I went downhill very fast.

The turning point was 1998, with the release of Death’s “The Sound Of Perseverance”. This album is considered by many to be the apex of the so called “melo-Death” genre, and is the one that made me turn into what I still listen to today.
Still one of my top 10 favorite albums (careful, this is heavy):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NSFgbYXtCg

I never ventured for long into the MOST extreme music (grindcore and brutal death) because that’s too much for my ears, but other than that I tried a bit of everything.

My first love was for the Scandinavian Melo-Death scene, that I liked because of the growling sound (both voice and guitars).
At The Gates’ “Slaughter Of The Soul” was the initiator of what’s called the “Goteborg sound” and is still one of my favorites to this day.
I mean, if this doesn’t make you want to headbang, nothing else will: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=614OdhFLUUU
Other notable groups include Dark Tranquillity and In Flames
https://youtu.be/Ly22bb4CvNs
https://youtu.be/8Tl3BqLd0uI

At the same time I started going back in time, ventured into the classics, from Slayer to Sepultura to older Metallica, all the way back to the seventies with Black Sabbath (possibly my favorite band ever).
https://youtu.be/LbgIeC3K8TU
https://youtu.be/QKUfcqDZCt8
https://youtu.be/VxpIMAdbaSM

Black Sabbath is the perfect band. It has the simplicity and accessibility of seventies rock, but still the roots of Heavy Metal are there in plain sight: 99% of all Heavy Metal riffs are variations of Black Sabbath riffs, played faster and harder.

To this day, I still haven’t met a single person who tried to listen to the Black Sabbath and did not like them.
If you never tried, you don’t know what you are missing.
https://youtu.be/13KWUq7A_pM
https://youtu.be/_w2pONF6vTI
https://youtu.be/YF3jeAPGhrY

The latest genre I dwelled into is black metal.
This music is associated with a lot of terrible stuff (for a great documentary on the scene, watch “Until The Light Takes Us” https://youtu.be/hFfB3QXVHRE), but I think a lot of the musicians in there are among the most talented and creative of the modern times.

There’s many groups to mention (Immortal are among my favorites, but also Darkthrone, Emperor, Bathory etc).

My favorite album of all time is Dissection’s “Storm Of The Light’s Bane”.
It’s just the perfect album for me, the right amount of melody coupled with the right amount of aggression.
The singer and leader of the group was another complete moron (killed a guy then committed suicide “because Satanism”), but god does their music kick ass.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOGFXD7Z9WE
The last tour is also something to experience
https://youtu.be/tpHYwKTMdrc

10 albums to understand my musical taste (no particular order except #1).
#1-6 are all heavy metal, #7 is rap, #8 is 70's rock, #9 is the 90's best rock album in my opinion, #10 is italian folk.

1. Dissection – Storm Of The Light’s Bane
2. Metallica – Kill ‘em All
3. Slayer – Show No Mercy
4. Sepultura – Arise
5. Death – The Sound Of Perseverance
6. Opeth - Morningrise
7. Cypress Hill – III Temples of Boom
8. Black Sabbath – Masters Of Reality
9. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
10. Fabrizio De Andrè – Any Greatest Hits

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Jason wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:21 am
I always found it interesting that Italian Americans, as opposed to other immigrant groups, documented their immigrant experience through song as opposed to the novel. So in a certain way, it's an expression of their poetic tradition. If you wanted to understand the Jewish immigrant experience, you would read Bellow/Roth/Mailer. If you wanted to understand the Protestant, you would read Cheever/Updike. Irish, Flannery O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill. But with the Italians you would listen to Sinatra, Bennett or Como sing about it. There really is no great Italian American novel unless you acknowledge "The Godfather" which is really not a great piece of literature despite the movies being masterpieces.
It is a mystery how, after having been the birthplace of many impressive poets (Dante Alighieri, Manzoni, Foscolo, Pasolini etc etc etc), painters, and writers in general (think the movie scene with Fellini and Monicelli above all), we seem to have completely lost any artistic touch.

We still are relevant on a lot of aspects associated with creativity though (architects, designers, luxury clothing and jewelry, cars), so maybe we just shifted our talents onto something more economically viable?
Jason wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:42 pm
Seppia wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:25 pm
my dad made me sleep one night on the balcony because he did not want me at home.
This has to be the most Italian thing I have ever read.
LOL it may be

Dunkelheit
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Dunkelheit » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:44 pm

Fantastic musical post!
Seppia wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:58 am
1996 was one of the turning years of my musical tastes, because I first listened to Metallica’s Load.
I couldn't believe what I was reading, Load was also the first heavy metal album I listened to!! When I was your age a friend lent me his brother's CD and I loved it.

Megadeth, Judas Priest, Manowar, InFlames and many more also formed the soundtrack of my adulthood. You are my kindred (italian-version) musical spirit, haha!

Wishing to read more ;)

Hail and kill!

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:42 pm

My road to ERE

I’m sure many of the stories about how we got to discover ERE can contain real nuggets, I’ll share mine today because I think the ending is kind of funny.
I have always been frugal all my life, mostly because it’s a family trait: in spite of being upper middle class, we always lived a kind of a low profile life, living below our means (just an example: my dad normally changes the car every 7-8 years and he always buys used)

My sisters and I were always taught to treat money with respect, without ever becoming a slave to it.
My parents walked the talk: when we were young, my mom was the breadwinner, being a lawyer for a very well known company (DOW member), while my dad was a young doctor, but they switched roles when my second sister was born.
Mom left her job, and the big-ass salary that went with it, to stay at home with us.

Our lifestyle didn’t change dramatically, because they weren’t spending much, but I understand now that cash-flow took a severe hit.
They did not care because 1- they prioritized us kids vs the money and 2- money was never an objective, but just a means to an end.

So my financial discipline, like 99.9% of the good/smart things/skills that I happen to have, comes mostly thanks to my parents.

Growing up, I was obliged to be financially responsible: as a kid they bought me everything that was “useful” (books, clothes, school, etc), and very little of what was superfluous.
If I wanted a toy or a video game I could either wait for Christmas or my birthday, or I could go earn some money to pay for it.
When you have to work a full day peeling potatoes at age 14 for what would be approximately $50 in today’s money, you instinctively learn to respect money and think twice about how to spend it.
Among the best life lessons learned.

When I started working, I did not have much choice other than being frugal, as my salary sucked big time. My first full time job paid approximately 1200€ per month, in Paris, where I was paying 500€ to share a 500sqf apartment with a friend of mine.
I still saved 200-300€ per month (wasn’t keeping precise track at the time), so not exactly Jacob-style, but not bad either.

With any salary raise though, I would let lifestyle inflation creep up a bit: once I hit a (to me VERY respectable at the time) 25% savings rate, I assumed I was doing more than enough, and blew the rest.
All was overall ok while I lived in France, because it’s not like a was making a ton of money, but I kept more or less the same approach even when I moved to NYC.

I was making what I considered to be a very good amount of money in New York*, but still wasn’t saving more than 30%.
It’s like I had been conditioned to think that saving more was unnatural, and I was feeling extremely virtuous at the time.
I wasn’t doing anything crazy, but I bought a lot of toys (mostly watches, my weakness).
Then the funniest thing happened.

I was browsing my favorite watch forum, and one of the guys posted a link to MMM’s blog (crazy uh? To find the first thing that brought me to ERE on a super-consumerist forum).
In a week, I had read all of it, it was a sort of revelation.

Crazy how stupid I am.

The concepts in his blog are as simple as 2 + 2 = 4, but thinking about them requires challenging the status quo, a thing which I’m not very talented to do to say the least.
I’m the kind of person who’s stuck in Plato’s cave and believes the world is made of shades.
The reasons why I think are 1- I am obtuse and 2- I have been raised with a great respect for authority.

The one quality I have though is that I am a fast learner: usually I need to be explained simple concepts only once, and I grasp it quickly.
I am also lucky I am not emotionally attached to past choices: if I understand I was wrong, I don’t stubbornly cling to my previous beliefs.

Once somebody shows me the outside of the cave, I usually don’t want to go back in.
My savings rate went from 30% to 55% almost overnight (took me a month).

From there, it has been a slow but steady discovery, but I got semi bored fairly quickly, and never really dug too deep into the approximately 1873297362785473 FIRE blogs that all looked the same to me.
I found the ideas behind FIRE quite simple (even if not intuitive - I would never have discovered them on my own), so why read again the same thing I had already learned via MMM?

There were a couple exceptions: Mad Fientist’s very useful posts (I really loved his tilt towards quality over quantity) and our fellow EREr work portfoliocharts.com (not really a FIRE blog though).
I also kept reading MMM because I enjoyed his humor.

Then I think I read the ERE book somewhere between 2014-15.
It did not push me to go more extreme, except some minor tweaks (I have even less stuff now), but it was clearly a different animal and it really fascinated me.

As Jacob I think has said, it is more a “philosophical” book than a “life hack” book. The only thing I think doesn’t make it a 100% philosophical book is that it is intelligible**.
I have read it three times now, and will probably read it again at regular intervals.

Lastly, I discovered this forum, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of this community, really unlike any other forum I have visited.
Everybody tries to be helpful, there is little to no boasting, it’s generally very civil and the personalities are diverse enough to keep it always interesting.

Thanks all for everything.

*Still well below the median Manhattan salary.

**try read something from Heidegger or Kirkegaard then get back to me.

wolf
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by wolf » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:46 am

Thank you Seppia for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it. It is indeed a good idea for a post. Do you kind of regret some things of your past? Or have you made peace with it, e.g. buying watches? Have you found/created a philosophy of life for/by yourself? Can you share some lessons learned? I am only two years younger than you and therefore I follow your journal with great interest. Keep on! Thanks for your contribution too on this forum!

slowtraveler
Posts: 664
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:02 am

Fascinating story. I was gripped as I read it. Thank you for sharing.

How far along the journey to ERE are you?

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:38 am

MDFIRE2024 wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:46 am
Thank you Seppia for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it. It is indeed a good idea for a post. Do you kind of regret some things of your past? Or have you made peace with it, e.g. buying watches? Have you found/created a philosophy of life for/by yourself? Can you share some lessons learned? I am only two years younger than you and therefore I follow your journal with great interest. Keep on! Thanks for your contribution too on this forum!
Thanks for the kind words.
While there are obviously things I would do differently if I had the opportunity to re-do them, I can't say I have any "regrets".
The mistakes I've made along the way made me the person I am now, and I believe mistakes help you grow (wins are what keep you motivated/happy).
I fully subscribe to Brand Stevens' (Boston Celtics coach) mantra: "I never lose. I either win or I learn".

regarding the watches, I still haven't stopped making that kind of mistake, I have a dedicated budget line just for them :D

The main lesson I would try pass along to someone a little "younger" in the journey would be:
Reduce expenses till you start noticing a reduction in your quality of life, and stop reducing there. I have made the mistake of going "too extreme" and I now believe it's not worth it.
The point of financial independence (for me) is to be happier longer, itrading misery in the future for misery in the present isn't a great idea.

The good thing is one gets used to a certain level of lifestyle, and after a while it is possible to reduce further.
It may take a little longer to achieve "peak optimization" in this way VS going "all-in total Jacob" from the get go, but it worked better for me.

I am still VERY far from extreme, I am much more similar to MMM: below average consumption + above average salary.
Examples
We have a small-ish place (800sqf for DW and I), but could be smaller
We live in a cheaper town and commute to Milan (rents are 50% cheaper), but we live in the best part of said smaller town (could reduce rent another 25-30% easy)
We do not own a car (it is paid for by my company, even for personal use) but we travel quite a bit for vacation.
slowtraveler wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:02 am
Fascinating story. I was gripped as I read it. Thank you for sharing.

How far along the journey to ERE are you?
Thanks.
The answer to your question would be "depends".
If we will have no kids (haven't been lucky so far unfortunately, and time is running out - we're both 37), we could probably call it a day already, as we have around 20 years of current expenses (which could be optimized a lot), and we still plan to do some work in our ERE life.
My ideal is to become a high school teacher (14-18 years old), I have always loved it but it pays terribly in italy.

We still hope to have kids though, and we are both taking advantage of a law that grants returning expats like us with a big tax reduction for the first five years back in italy (we just started our third year).
I am paying around 20% tax, compared to the 45%+ we should be paying, so it would be very stupid to quit work before end of 2020.
This will also help us pad the stash considerably (I saved exactly 75% this year), with the secret hope that we see a stock market crash within this timeframe, so we can buy lower.

If we have no kids, we will start seriously considering pulling the plug on our corporate life in 2020.
Nothing is set in stone though, I firmly believe life is about making generic long term "plans" but then adjusting as you go along.

wolf
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by wolf » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:19 am

Seppia wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:38 am
The main lesson I would try pass along to someone a little "younger" in the journey would be:
Reduce expenses till you start noticing a reduction in your quality of life, and stop reducing there. I have made the mistake of going "too extreme" and I now believe it's not worth it.
The point of financial independence (for me) is to be happier longer, itrading misery in the future for misery in the present isn't a great idea.
I totally agree with that. It is also a challenge for me right now. I have read similiar experiences a few more times elsewhere. Thank you for passing along this lesson. IMO, a balance btw. utility, comfort, need/want, price and value, level of frugality... must be found individually. If you say "too extreme", what do you mean by that for example?

Seppia
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:01 am

By "too extreme" I mean mostly an attitude, ie obsessing about every single expense.
An example of what it means for me
Good, healthy attitude: tilt your grocery shopping, reducing meat and increasing beans
Too extreme: I really like how that steak looks but I already had red meat 10 days ago and my allowance is twice a month

Clarice
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:45 pm
Location: California

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Clarice » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:18 pm

Hi Seppia,
You have a lively story to tell. :) I am very thankful to your grandmother for the peach jam recipe. It was great and disappeared very quickly.
Also, based on your recommendation, I returned to Costco after a year without it. The food was great, but they got me immediately with a cute t-shirt. It was a beautiful color - French blue - that tricked me. I had to go back and return it. :evil:
I also can relate to being somewhat obsessed. I am doing it right now. I am running out of make up...
I grew up in Soviet Russia and the only decent cosmetics that was occasionally available was Lancome. It was with Lancome make up that I covered my very first pimples. To this day the smell of Lancome make up uplifts my spirit; hence, my current dilemma - Lancome or a Dollar Store - can not decide... :roll:

ffj
Posts: 1836
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: Seppia's journal

Post by ffj » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:31 pm

+1 for Sabbath, the other stuff, while I appreciate the musicality, the vocals (screeching, sorry) are hard to listen to. But you do you. :D

I watched some documentary on Norwegian death bands that were burning churches down. That sound familiar? I can't remember what it was called.

Interesting life, keep it up.

Post Reply