C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
SavingWithBabies
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by SavingWithBabies »

@C40 I'm annoyed with Flickr too. I kept forgetting to migrate/cancel so I was paying $25 (?)/year for pro. I was hoping with SmugMug they would finally offer pricing that was a bit more reasonable but 1,000 photos or $50/year is nuts. I participated in some forums for manual focus lenses and wanted to keep the links alive for that but I'm leaving at $50/year. I'm in the same boat though with the old threads -- not sure I want to take the time to update them.

I love the casita and the whole idea. It looks appealing too. Also a fan of the Poang chairs.

RealPerson
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by RealPerson »

Very nice setup. I am surprised to see the large water container like they have in Latin America. There they have it because the tap water is contaminated and you have to boil it to drink it. Was this just there (maybe because Mexicans have rented it) or do you feel you need it for something? Nothing wrong with it. I am just curious.

suomalainen
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by suomalainen »

As always, thank you for not disappearing from here once you achieved FIRE and left on a non-standard/non-corporate journey through life. Following along has been highly entertaining, instructive and reassuring. Please keep it up. And congrats on this new stage! May it meet your expectations.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:47 pm
.. there's a good chance my annual month-long road trip will have a stop over there. If you're in town and interested in a ERE meet up, let me know.
Yeah, I'd like a meetup. Let me know around when you'll be passing through. If you'll know a specific date, I can plan a meetup through the forum here and would probably also get some MMM people.


7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:31 am
Very nice. I have the same reading chair in my BF's Amish-built deep-woods shed, which is just a bit smaller. Great minds think alike, I guess :lol:
Ha. Yeah, I like the chair. I went to my sister's house this weekend (she just moved), and saw that she has two of them in her living room now. You Paong fans might like watching this video from Ikea, called "A story about Paong": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeB0Fwy-4ro

Jason wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:47 pm
Despite the structure being 250', it appears as though it might have actually been expanded. There is a change in masonry as well as a beam running across the ceiling. I could be wrong, but I don't see a reason why it would have been built that way if it was originally 250'.

Whether it was intentional or not, I like how you your possessions give it a designed look. And that one chair porch sends a serious message to your neighbors.
Yeah, I think so. There are also different types of brick on each side of where it looks like an original wall was. I'd guess it was just a shed at some previous point.

I definitely tried to get furniture that would match well. I was shopping craigslist for a while, and one of the difficulties there is getting stuff that matches well enough. It's simpler in a way when furnishing an entire home and you can go "I guess that thing would work ok in the [such and such] room.."

Ha, I hadn't thought of what message one chair on the porch would send. I don't typically think much of what kinds of messages people might think I'm sending them. That chair and table were already there, provided by the landlord. I'd actually thought it might be nice to have two chairs there for when someone comes over, but I could just bring one or two chairs outside to have more.

RealPerson wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:33 pm
Very nice setup. I am surprised to see the large water container like they have in Latin America. There they have it because the tap water is contaminated and you have to boil it to drink it. Was this just there (maybe because Mexicans have rented it) or do you feel you need it for something? Nothing wrong with it. I am just curious.
The bottles are mine. The water here is safe (at least in general terms), but it tastes bad. I use the bottled water for all of my drinking. There are water dispensers at all grocery stores here and some other random places. It's quite common to do this in many parts of the U.S. Not because the water is so dangerous it must be boiled, but because it tastes better and is likely some amount safer/healthier.

A lot of the tap water here in Tucson travels like 400 miles over a man-made canal from the Colorado river. The water is clean at the river, but running it so far along the cabal seems to be bad for the water. Here's a picture of it: https://i1.wp.com/www.circleofblue.org/ ... -10001.jpg

This city is in a very dry desert area, and there are no running rivers or creeks. There used to be, but some climate change occurred thousands of years ago making the area dry, and then when modern settlers came, they sucked the river surface water dry quickly. There is some water under the surface still, and wells are used.

Anyways, the tap water here has what I consider a poor taste, and also a different, what do you call it, viscosity? - a different mouth feel. For making coffee, and especially tea, filtered/reverse osmosis water works way better. The tap water here (and in other places, like Denver, for example) is poor enough that I don't consider it worth the work of making tea with it. It's not necessary bad or dangerous, it just isn't great, and I'd rather have great water.

Smashter
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Smashter »

Bummer about Flickr. This thread is a freakin' treasure. Maybe everyone who has ever commented, "I just read C40's journal from the beginning and now I'm so inspired omfg!!" (me included) should kick in a few shekels to keep the pictures alive for a while longer.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Smashter wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:40 pm
Bummer about Flickr. This thread is a freakin' treasure. Maybe everyone who has ever commented, "I just read C40's journal from the beginning and now I'm so inspired omfg!!" (me included) should kick in a few shekels to keep the pictures alive for a while longer.
Even if people wanted to do that, it wouldn't really work.

I did something over the years that ended up working well for right now - I created and used various Flickr accounts. I have at least 5 accounts. If I had only been using one all these years, most of my pictures would be deleted. Some of my accounts won't have any of the pictures deleted (for now), and some will lose a lot.

I just looked back at the first 4 pages of the journal, and about half of the pictures are already gone from the posts. I don't know why. This isn't because of the current Flickr change. Those deletions won't happen until February. I think it may be related to when the forum was migrated or underwent some major change maybe a couple years ago. or maybe it happened for some other reason. IDK.. These kind of things just happen on the internet over time. Going forward, I'll try to remember to be in the habit of typing out some of the info that is in the charts. Lately I've just been posting the financial charts with zero or very few words.

patrickza
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by patrickza »

I used to have a TW200. I frequently embarrassed the guys on "real" bikes when the trail got rough. Had mine for 14 000 miles still on the original tyres. The front would have been due in a few thousand more, but the monster rear was hardly worn at all.

80mpg is pretty nice, but with the tank being just 1.7ish gallons in size it meant filling up more often than I'd like. Did two 800km trips on it where I built brackets to hold a 5 liter jerry can on each side, increasing the range to 500km+.

Just make sure to replace the stock chain with an o-ring chain once it wears out. The stock chain is rubbish.

I sold mine when I built my electric bike. It's hard to beat infinity mpg.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

—————————

NOVEMBER 2018

—————————

Gonna try to be quick with typing this one so it may not be all that clear or well-written.


November was a huge spending month for me:

TOTAL: $4,000

Big hits:
  • $1073 - Renting house - security deposit and first month rent
  • $600 - House setup - furniture/stuff
  • $300 - Trip to Denver to retrieve some of my things from storage in a family member’s basement
  • $560 - Motorcycle class, helmet, gloves
  • $810 - Playstation 4 and game, upgraded computer monitor
  • $100 - Big lock for my bicycle
Much of my house setup spending is done. I’ll be buying wood and paint to build a couple things, plus small miscellaneous storage items.




—————————

Motorcycle

—————————

The motorcycle class (MSF Basic Rider Course) went well. The classroom part was near worthless. It’s basically reading the book together. The riding skills part was definitely useful but was simplified to really only focusing on learning and practicing what you need to pass the motorcycle license skills test. Naturally/obviously, I got a perfect score on the written test and a perfect score on the riding skills test. :-D

There’s a lot involved to get started. With the class and learning (I’m on my third book), getting a license endorsement, finding and buying a bike, having a way to get it home, getting insurance, getting riding/safety gear, etc..

I’m looking forward to it. I hate driving my van now that it’s no longer my home. It gets such miserable fuel milage, and it’s big and clunky. I’m very much looking forward to riding around outside of town in the desert and mountains nearby.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Craigslist and there are a decent amount of options available here in Tucson and especially in Phoenix. I’m thinking of buying a light/low displacement dual sport (200-250cc) that’s 5-15 years old. There are many available with only 1k-5k miles for $1,500-$3000.




—————————

PS4

—————————

The PS4, yeah. That was sort of a compulsive or rabbit hole buy. The most interesting thing about the whole process was relating to my Judging MBTI thinking type

Once I decided to go buy it, I was second guessing myself a lot. Rightfully so. I was thinking (not in these words) “ahhhh, this isn’t a good ‘web of goals’ choice… you have plenty of other things you want to spend your time on…. this isn’t worth the money…. if you would just wait a month you’d forget about it and not want it…. there’s a good chance I’ll regret this…. why am I still doing this when I know it’s not a good decision?… etc.”. I could feel my anxiety/stress.

Then, in the store, I walked over to where the item was. I walked up, saw it, and then immediately walked away to give myself time/room to decide if I’m really going to do this. I noticed another guy that appeared to be doing the exact same thing. After a while of walking around, I went back and picked up the PS4 box. As soon as I picked up the box, the anxiety/stress/nervousness went away. I could feel the change literally within a few seconds. Picking it up was the final buying decision. Since I felt better suddenly, I thought “oh, so this is an ok choice. Whew”.

About an hour later, I realized that the reason I felt better suddenly was just my Judging brain suddenly being done with making the decision and thus the stress of deciding dissipating. That has no relation to whether it was actually a good decision or not.

Over the last few years, from reading books like on MBTI, and reading or in some cases just being aware of other books such as, I believe, “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, I’ve come to realize that while I am very structured, logical, and reasonable in my decision making, there is still a LOT of thinking going on in my brain that I am not (fully) consciously aware of or in control of.

I should read a few books on the subject because as I’ve become more aware of it, I’ve noticed it happening a lot, and it is fascinating. Going with that hidden brain can sometimes be riskier than I would logically decide, but aside from that, I’m not so sure that it’s a bad thing. It’s not like every decision needs to be thought through in a structured way..




—————————

Social / Dating / Friends

—————————

I got a bit lucky that I already had some friends living here. Not close friends at all, but they like me a lot and seem to want to hang out regularly. They seem quite social and have a strong group of friends here. They invited me to a “Friendsgiving” at one of their friends. There were some very interesting and successful people there, so hopefully I’ll get on with some of them.

My main challenge in getting a group of friends going is the first good friend that I then meet other people through. So hopefully that will work out with this path.

I’ve dated some here - mostly when I first got here - but have taken my foot off the gas since I got the apartment to let myself settle in.




—————————

Decisions..

—————————

I’m considering that I may want to buy a house here in 2019. I would probably buy it with cash, which would be simple, but other things make the process more complicated. I’d sell of stocks to free up the cash. I have enough money in my post-tax account to do this. Selling off will trigger some capital gains income. That will effect the amount of health insurance subsidy I can get. I accidentally/unknowingly had a stock selloff late in 2017 that gave me an extra $11k of income and resulted in me having to pay back some (I think $750) of the subsidy. The capital gains of selling to buy the house could range from like $10k-30k.

I don’t think it’d be a good year to just go without health insurance since I’m expecting to be a new motorcycle rider. So I’ll need to decide by 12/15 whether to buy insurance with the subsidy, and what to put for my income estimation.

BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE »

C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
Naturally/obviously, I got a perfect score on the written test and a perfect score on the riding skills test. :-D
brute thinks the test is basically supposed to sort out humans who are literally not capable of operating a 200+lbs machine safely. when brute took the class, several (!) female attendees would drop their bikes and get trapped underneath them, unable to free themselves. (all of this on a parking lot). the instructors failed these humans after this happening 3-5 times. just not safe. it might just be a size/strength thing.
C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
learning (I’m on my third book)
brute recommends:
The Upper Half of the Motorcycle (all about the psychology and "game" of riding)
Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code (supposedly he's a scientologist, but the books are decent)
Total Control by Lee Parks
C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
finding and buying a bike, having a way to get it home
..but C40 has a van..
C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
I’m thinking of buying a light/low displacement dual sport (200-250cc) that’s 5-15 years old. There are many available with only 1k-5k miles for $1,500-$3000.
both a great choice and a good price. riding a slow bike fast is much more fun than riding a fast bike slow. especially for learning.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Thanks for the book recommendations. I'll try to get those.

On getting the bike home - yeah, I expect the van to be handy. I'd have to take my bed out to make room inside, but that will be pretty easy. I'd still need to get ramps (and ways to secure it inside) or a hitch carrier or trailer.

BRUTE
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE »

maybe a local motorcycle enthusiast can lend C40 a ramp and straps to fasten it - that's what brute did with a rental van. moto repair shops should have them, too.

brute recommends searching for a local "enthusiast repair club", if available. there are lots of small things one can do, like changing oil, tires, brake pads. it's fun and makes moto ownership much more affordable.

TopHatFox
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox »

@PS4, try Dark Souls 3, Fallout 4, & Resident Evil 7

I’ve honestly been thinking of getting a 4K HD Xbox One, gotta alleviate the suburban boredom somehow! You’ve worked to save up all that money, might as well use some of that freedom for some passive entertainment every now and again?

suomalainen
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by suomalainen »

C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
there is still a LOT of thinking going on in my brain that I am not (fully) consciously aware of or in control of.

I should read a few books on the subject because as I’ve become more aware of it, I’ve noticed it happening a lot, and it is fascinating. Going with that hidden brain can sometimes be riskier than I would logically decide, but aside from that, I’m not so sure that it’s a bad thing. It’s not like every decision needs to be thought through in a structured way..
I'm currently reading Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright. It appears to be a well-researched book that tries (by a non-expert in each field) to tie together Buddhist thought/meditation practice with the latest and greatest psychology/neurology. There seems to be an extensive bibliography which could point one towards more Buddhist sources or more scientific sources depending on one's interests. For example, one concept discussed is a "modular brain", from page 86:
If the conscious self isn't a CEO, directing all the behavior it thinks it's directing, how does behavior get directed? How do decisions get made?

An increasingly common answer within the field of psychology, especially evolutionary psychology, is that the mind is "modular." In this view, your mind is composed of lots of specialized modules - modules for sizing up situations and reacting to them - and it's the interplay among these modules that shapes your behavior. And much of this interplay happens without conscious awareness on your part.

The modular model of the mind, though still young and not fully fleshed out, holds a lot of promise...Perhaps most important for our purposes, thinking of the mind as modular helps make sense of things you hear from Buddhist meditation teachers, such as that "thoughts think themselves" and that appreciating this fact can be liberating.
Potentially interesting books from the bibliography: Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael Gazzaniga and Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind by Robert Kurzban. But if anyone is more familiar with this type of research/thinking and has some interesting recommendations, I'd also be curious to read more.

Edit: to second @daylen, the book's bibliography also cites Robert Sapolsky's lecture titled "Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality".
Last edited by suomalainen on Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daylen
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by daylen »

Consciousness/attention and "executive" control do not get you far when trying to understanding why humans behave the way they do(*). The entire body is relevant. I recommend looking into Robert Sapolsky who has a lecture series on YouTube and a book on human behavior.

(*) ..and in turn how we make decisions.

bryan
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan »

C40 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:13 pm
I’m looking forward to it. I hate driving my van now that it’s no longer my home. It gets such miserable fuel milage, and it’s big and clunky. I’m very much looking forward to riding around outside of town in the desert and mountains nearby.

I’ve been keeping an eye on Craigslist and there are a decent amount of options available here in Tucson and especially in Phoenix. I’m thinking of buying a light/low displacement dual sport (200-250cc) that’s 5-15 years old. There are many available with only 1k-5k miles for $1,500-$3000.
Interesting! I love driving my Sprinter (even when it hasn't been my home)! Decent enough gas mileage (26mpg, unloaded), a high sitting vantage to see more of what's ahead (less stressful), very few people get mad for your simply driving in the right lane at 55mph, folks yield to/for you _a lot_ more than if you are in a car (let alone a motorcycle), and generally it's just a steady and true driving experience. I think the only thing I prefer about a car driving experience would be short drives in good weather (I'm imagining having the t-tops off, radio blasting, and shifting through the gears).

Haven't done the motorcycle thing, but I think a light dual-sport moto would be a great compliment to the van.

Pronoid
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Pronoid »

Hey C40! If I remember correctly, when you first quit the job and started your van travels, you set up residency in SD. Now that you’re living in AZ, did you change your residency and get a new ID and all that? Reason for that ask is that I’m targeting to FIRE here in a handful of months and looking at also doing one of those virtual mailboxes as my permant residence so I can travel and reduce taxes. But I was curious if I ever landed somewhere more permanent, like you did in AZ, if it’s worth changing my residency or just keep it as the virtual address for simplicity and tax reasons.

I’d also be super curious to hear how your experiences have been with health insurance with the residency being in a different state. Did you return to SD for heath checkups at all during the van travels? And if you kept residency in SD while now living in AZ, how are you dealing with healthcare/checkups now?

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

———————————————

2018 YEAR END SUMMARY

———————————————

Ok I’m going to make two separate posts. This first one with numbers and charts, and then another with text about how the year went, how I’m feeling, etc.


Total spending for the year was $16,745. At the end of October, I was on track to spend under $10,000 for the full year. But I spent a lot in the last two months renting a house, buying a motorcycle, and so on.




————————————

CHARTS

————————————


I’m going to show you almost all the charts I use. I’m sharing these mainly as they may provide ideas for those (thinking of) making charts of their own. I have been showing fewer numbers and charts in my monthly updates over the lat months/years, and I’ll probably show even less in the future. Here they are, all at once.

My charts basically fall within three categories:
  • Spending
  • Spending vs. Income
  • Net worth tracking
Plus some that I consider yearly summaries of the above. Mostly also spending vs. income.

(a note - my investing income/growth numbers are a bit off right now for at least 2017 and 2018.)


—————————

SPENDING

—————————

Pareto - by year: (this makes sense when including/looking at large infrequent purchases like a motorcycle)
Image



Pareto - monthly averages
Image



By type of spending
Image



How spending has changed over time, by type:
Image




—————————

SPEND vs INCOME

—————————

Fairly basic spending vs. actual income: (though my realized capital gains/losses aren’t included)
Image



Spending vs. estimated investment income:
Image



Same data as above but shown in a different way
Image




Also showing actual income data here. By not showing individual months, a smaller y-axis scale can be used:
Image



This one shows estimated regular income (dividends and stuff) and also total NW impact of investing - both income and (un)realized capital gains. Can be useful and interesting to see both actual income along with how NW was impacted.
Image



Same thing as above, in a different format:
Image



Spend vs. Income, with a running total of the surplus/deficit:
Image



Same thing but since I retired. Using two axis scales can keep both things viewable.
Image



Same as above, with the spending shown as negative bars, also with some spending data categorization shown.
Image




—————————

NET WORTH

—————————



Net worth, by category, with a retirement target line and my net worth projections I’d made in the past and updated at retirement:
Image



This one shows the values in more categories. Can be useful to see the Roth IRA amount separate from other post-tax investments.
Image



Longer timeline:
Image



NW in years of spending:
Image



Shown in years to smooth it out:
Image



SWR needed: (suppose this could go in another category)
Image




—————————

YEARLY SUMMARIES

—————————


These are charts that I think can be quite useful in the long run, but (for me, the way I have my data structured), they take more/extra work to make, and they are much more difficult to ensure accuracy and data clarity. For anyone other than me looking at them, these are the most likely to be confusing, misunderstood, and unclear. You really have to know how they work for them to be useful. Looking at them right now, there are some things I’m not even sure about, and some things that may be needed to make them more useful.



Income by source: (well, it’s not income, it’s the income and investment growth side of NW impact. It includes unrealized gains/losses)
Image



Spending, shown by source, with an order of preference (hobby, investment, then income), plus, investment income/growth that was more than spending is also shown:
Image



Same as above, but with the extra investment income/growth shown differently:
Image



Spending along with work income and investment income/growth.
Image
Last edited by C40 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Wow! Quite the breakdown.

I've been reading your journal since around the time you took those initial road trips (using work rented vehicles if I recall) and decided van life was for you. I remember following the van build and the break up with GF who was not into your type of life with interest. It's just truly awesome how you've kept up with this journal so religiously since FI. It really helps those of us a few years behind, so thanks!. I really look forward to the second half of your update. In my FI Journal reading addiction, it seems that right around the two year mark is when people start switching themes from scratching the initial itch that drove them to FI, into something new. I can't wait to see if you follow suit, and if so, what the next phase of C40 life looks like.

Scott 2
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Scott 2 »

Measure twice, cut once, eh? Great charts, strong analysis. You could earn so much money with a full time job :D

Is the chart for "Pareto - monthly averages" right? It matches the one above.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Whoops. No, that wasn't the right chart. I fixed it now. Thanks :-)

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