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wolf's journal

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:54 am
by wolf
This is my new journal and the continuation of my old journal, which you can find here:viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9051

From today on I post with the nickname wolf and not anymore MDFIRE2024, due to the following reasons:
  • the username MDFIRE2024 was too much goal-oriented and too less process-oriented which suits me more
  • the goal FIRE 2024 is too fixed, inflexible, and too less variable
  • My web-of-goals have changed from FI+ERE+PLZ(personal life satisfaction) towards ERE+PLZ, because I believe that these two will lead to FI eventually as a positive side effect
  • my journey is primarily about ERE (principles, philosophy, skills, etc...) and not FIRE
  • I kind of like the name wolf and the things that are associated with it
  • I want to focus more on skills, experiences, competencies (->ERE) and less on money (->FI)
  • RE indicates, IMO, that I would like to retire from work. But that is (currently) not the case
  • I don't want to be biased by my old username
Therefore, after about one year on this forum, I decided to change my name to wolf.

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:39 am
by fingeek
Excellent - No more 2024! I think you're right to not obsess too much about "FI". In my experience, the obsession becomes unhappiness. Good luck, and look forward to your next post 😁

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:15 am
by Forskaren
Is it any special skills and competences that you will work more on after reading the book?

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:20 pm
by SnailMeister4000
wolf wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:54 am
I kind of like the name wolf and the things that are associated with it [/b]
Did you know that Adi liked to be called "Wolf", too, probably for the same reason? :D

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:28 am
by finity
Missed opportunity ;) Next level would‘ve been Steppenwolf :lol:

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:13 pm
by wolf
as you mention it, "Steppenwolf" is in my bookshelf. ;-) Would have been a great name. Is it already taken? I like the book, as many others do too.

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:40 pm
by 2Birds1Stone
Posting to follow the journey, and hopefully learn more about focusing on the ERE aspects of this lifestyle now that I am getting closer to FI and things are almost on autopilot.

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:33 am
by Sabaka
Ahh so this is where you are! Like the new username!

One important topic for me this year is stability

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:27 pm
by wolf
This year began with ordering and reading the ERE book. It has so much deep content that it will fill probably a few more months worth reading and studying. I have thought about what I want to do and achieve this year. What is this year about?

Of course there is my professional life, working full-time and earning money. There are some projects. By "Job Crafting" I successfully improved my work place and life toward an optimal degree. I work flexible hours, usually around 36 hours a week, work 1-2 days remote from home, have nice colleagues, things that challenge me mentally and the opportunity to commute by bike. Almost everything is good at work these days. And I hope it is going to stay like that this year.

Therefore I can focus a bit more on my personal life, my pleasure time, personal interests, hobbies and last but not least my relationships. I want to dive deep into the ERE philosophy, described in the book. I want to study it, think about it, write about it, reframe it, etc... This is and will be an ongoing task this year. But beside that, what should I focus on? What should be the overarching topic of my year 2018?

One thought came to my mind. Last year it was about doing two seperate three-week-ER-simulations. On top of that, I changed quite some parts of my life in the last two years. I went carfree. I decreased my expenses to a frugal minimum. Therefore I was able to increase my SR significantly. Those things reassured me that I am able to find clever solutions to satisfy my needs.

The last two years were all about change, continiuous improvements and challenges. I don't want to change something big, like working, transportation or houseing. I don't want to change those things. But, the more I learn about ERE, FI, ER, ... I think it should be in harmony with my life goals and daily habits in order to support a satisfied life. I often think of a "sustainable ERE lifestyle". Therefore I have come to the conclusion that this year I am going to focus on stability, sustainability and personal life satisfaction. Of course those topics are aligned to my ERE philosophy, strategy and habits. If I would decrease expenses even more on purpose I think I will go into a depreviation mode. And of course I don't want that. I want sustainable frugality. At least I want to stabilize my current ERE lifestyle and hold my currently high personal life satisfaction.

I hope that this phase of stability will give me even more good (nonlinear, complex, loosely coupled) ideas for the future. Who knows if this phase will give me even more motivation in order to improve and change to a higher level of ERE. My web-of-goals contain two important areas: ERE and PLZ (personal life satisfaction). Last year it also contained FI, but I change to ERE and PLZ, because I am confident, that if I continue my ERE-&PLZ-path and -journey in life, I will eventually become FI, as a positive side effect. BTW, maybe you already notice here and there some influences of Jacob's book.

Well, let's stabilize all this to a sustainable and frugal ERE way of living. And thank you for reading and commenting! :)

January 2018 Financial Summary

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:23 am
by wolf
Savings Rate = 87% (12 months rolling average)
Withdrawal Rate = 7,9% (12 months rolling average + Margin of Safety)
Yearly Expenses = 5957€ (12 months rolling average)
FI = 43% (accumulated money compared to goal of 350k€)
Invested = 73% (invested FI-money in stock market, rest of it in cash)
Passive Income = 23% (covering my yearly expenses)

My daily ERE learning habit

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:10 am
by wolf
A week ago I started a new daily ERE learning habit. Some years ago I read a book from James Altucher, called "Idea Machine". (Link) He described his daily habit of coming up with 10 new ideas about any kind of topic. Since then, I started to brainstorm 10 ideas every other day, usually using a list with short sentences. So now I use that specific technique in order to come up with at least 10 ideas to every single page of the ERE book. My daily habit and the method consist of the following steps:
1. Read one page (currently on page 6)
2. Select one specific topic or question of that page
3. Brainstorm at least 10 ideas
4. Review those ideas
There are many benefits to this daily technique. One is of course, that it improves my overall imagination and creativity. And of course it helps me to learn, understand, and study ERE better and deeper.

Counted my items and things: 1030

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:26 pm
by wolf
Yesterday and today I was busy counting my belongings, items and things I own. I wanted to know how much I do possess (or how much things possess me?). Since one of my goal for this year is to reduce 50 items, I had to create a baseline. So I counted all my belongings. I didn't count food. And sometimes I only counted several small things (outdoor stuff especially) as 1 thing. But all the bigger and heavier things are counted exactly. First I was shocked about the number. Well, the number of items I do possess is about 1030. I wouldn't have thought about such a high number. While counting and looking onto the things I wondered sometimes. There is "room for improvement". Now I got a baseline (1030 pieces). From there I want to reduce that number significantly, starting with the 50 items this year. If you haven't done that, I can only recommend counting your belongings, room by room... It is quite surprising and sometimes shocking! :shock:

February 2018 Financial Summary

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:00 am
by wolf
Savings Rate = 86% (12 months rolling average)
Withdrawal Rate = 7,9% (12 months rolling average + Margin of Safety)
Yearly Expenses = 5974€ (12 months rolling average)
FI = 44% (accumulated money compared to goal of 350k€)
Invested = 72% (invested FI-money in market, rest of it in cash)
Passive Income = 28% (covering my yearly expenses)

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:54 pm
by fingeek
Interesting to see your passive interest % increase since Jan, and also your yearly expenses/WR rate increase a bit too. Has your investment portfolio performed well over last two months, or something else to explain the increase?

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:41 pm
by Forskaren
Nice savings rate and low cost of living. Could you give us a break down of what costs that you have each month? How do you keep it so low?

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:14 am
by wolf
- passive income % increased because I got yield/interests from my bonds
- my investments hasn't actually performed quite well, because of currency fluctuations (EURO strong => nonEURO-Investments lower)

I track my expenses in the following categories. There are not more details. My total expenses for 2017 were around 5.850€*. Relative per category:
-Housing (46%) (living in my own apartement, rent-free)
-Transportation (8%) (carfree life, 90% by bike + 10% public transportation)
-Food etc. (22%) (almost always cooking for myself and bying wholesale and in bulk)
-Others (24%) (recycling, repairing, DIY, minimalism, simple living, free/cheap hobbies/interests etc. )
* not including health care
If you want read more about my ERE-lifestyle with cost influencing topics
Also note, that I didn't travel in 2017, because of an experiment. In the mid / long term I would like to travel/experience things which cost more money. So I aim for higher costs mid and long term. My SR-goal is to stay above 85% in the next few years.

March 2018 Summary

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:06 am
by wolf
Savings Rate = 85% (12 months rolling average)
Withdrawal Rate = 8,0% (12 months rolling average + Margin of Safety)
Yearly Expenses = 6219€ (12 months rolling average)
FI = 45% (accumulated money compared to goal of 350k€)
Invested = 71% (invested FI-money in market, rest of it in cash)
Passive Income = 28% (covering my yearly expenses)

Nothing special really happened. The stock market prices influences my WR a bit negatively, but overall I am on a steady way toward FI. Thankful for that.

I calculated my years and months till I hit my FI-goal of 350k€. If my SR continues I will probably hit my FI-goal in 5 years and 1 months. Although my focus lies on an ERE-lifestyle, I wantet do know these numbers. I think having a goal is motivating, especially when a goal is achievable and in sight. That's motivating. I think it is also the reason why I am able to have such a high SR.

My expenses are a bit up comparing to last month, because I am into prepping. I buy groceries in bulk and have stashed up my prepper inventory. Important is, that I only buy what I usually eat and drink. But prepping gives me a new area to improve and learn. Therefore I have to say honestly, my focus is not 100% on FI. FI gets a bit into the background, but that is not a bad thing. Still I am 100% ERE!

PREPPING gives a mental and physical feeling of stability and security. While ERE and FI gives me the feeling of freedom and independency. So to say, I handle my pyramid of needs (think maslow) from the top and the bottom at the same time. That makes sense for me and it feels good to learn something new. Overall life is good and I am thankful for that.

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:46 am
by Forskaren
Continued nice savings rate and very low expenses. You are making solid progress.

For comparison, I have to write about March as a Month where I spent almost half of what you spend in a whole year.

Re: wolf's journal

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:47 pm
by Bankai
Your SR is phenomenal. It also shows how much owning an apartment speeds things up.

Do you include the value of your apartment in your 350k FI goal?

And what's the current breakdown of your expenses? How much is housing related (taxes, bills etc.)?

breakdown of my expenses in 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:21 am
by wolf
@Forskaren and Bankai: Thank you both for commenting my SR. :-)

No, I don't include my apartment in my FI goal, because it doesn't generate any cashflow.

The breakdown of my expenses in 2017 is as follows:
5831 total (486 p.month) ***
transport 40 p.month (public transport, bycicle)
housing 223 p.month (energy, utilities, cable, taxes, ...)
"living" 109 p.month (food, groceries, medicine, ...)
others 114 p.month (hobbies, leisure, social, ...)

Yes, I do think too, that owning an apartment speeds up things, especially when you don't pay any mortgages any more.

no health insurance included because it is paid directly from my wage.
And I didn't do any traveling in my vacation, what I usually do.
In 2017 I wanted to find my level of "needs".