C40's Journal

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

Post by C40 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:17 pm

———————————————

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
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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.
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Longer timeline:
Image



NW in years of spending:
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Shown in years to smooth it out:
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SWR needed: (suppose this could go in another category)
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—————————

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 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:15 am

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 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:45 am

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 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:25 am

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

thedollar
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by thedollar » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:34 pm

Do you invest in index funds or stocks? How do you achieve such a 'high' yield in this environment?

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:45 pm

thedollar wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:34 pm
Do you invest in index funds or stocks? How do you achieve such a 'high' yield in this environment?
Right now, pretty close to half and half. First - my numbers aren't correct right now, so don't put much stock in them. Also, see this chart below. There are problems with my numbers here also, but, yeah, I haven't done so well.

Image

Up until summer 2016, half or more of my invested money was in my work 401k, with commonly high expense ratios.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by singvestor » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:51 pm

Love your charts!

latearlyFI
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by latearlyFI » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:36 am

Hi C40!

Wow your story is amazing! I couldn't put it down, read your whole thread from 2011 to now. Kudos to you for sticking to such a frugal lifestyle and killing it with your investments. I was surprised that in 2018 or any other time you didn't appear to freak out at all over stock market movements. Did you not follow it closely? Or are you not bothered by it?

Love your charts. I particularly liked the one that has the spending against investment income showing the two numbers moving towards each other.

Looking forward to reading more and thank you for sharing!

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:08 am

Hello lateralyFI. Thank you for that.

Yeah, I haven't freaked out (so far) about stock prices going down. I mean, what am I going to do about it? Basically nothing. So there's no reason to freak out. Also, I have about $80k in my pension value and some IAU. If stock prices go down a lot more, I'd use that to buy more.

I do get some anxiety lately, as I'm thinking about selling (maybe a lot of) stocks in order to buy a house. House prices are going up, and the stock prices just dropped a bunch, so, that does suck.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:31 pm

Hey C40, I've been following your journal in real time since I discovered these forums 4+ years ago. Always loved the pictures, creativity, and especially the chart pr0n.

I can't believe I've never posted in here! Viktor K made a comment in my own journal that triggered a re-read of the entire thing from page 1. Thank you for taking the time and effort to detailing your thoughts around quitting and designing your lifestyle. I feel like I'm ~6 months out from where you were at the end of 2015.....and boy is it a scary and exciting place to be!
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by theanimal » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:48 pm

I'm envious of your house. That looks like a great set up. I enjoy checking out your IG for updates every once in a while. Looking forward to hearing about this next chapter in your life.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by elegant » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:59 am

These charts are amazing.
Would you be willing to share the formulae / spreadsheets?

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:27 pm

elegant wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:59 am
These charts are amazing.
Would you be willing to share the formulae / spreadsheets?
Thank you. I did once clean up the file to share it. Back in 2014. I don't feel like doing that again today. Here it is:

Empty:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1i8uT ... sp=sharing

With fake numbers:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1i8uT ... sp=sharing

It's not working for me to download the file from there right now,... so I'm not sure whether it will for others(?).



theanimal wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:48 pm
I'm envious of your house. That looks like a great set up. I enjoy checking out your IG for updates every once in a while. Looking forward to hearing about this next chapter in your life.
Thanks man :-)

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:31 pm
Hey C40, I've been following your journal in real time since I discovered these forums 4+ years ago. Always loved the pictures, creativity, and especially the chart pr0n.

I can't believe I've never posted in here! Viktor K made a comment in my own journal that triggered a re-read of the entire thing from page 1. Thank you for taking the time and effort to detailing your thoughts around quitting and designing your lifestyle. I feel like I'm ~6 months out from where you were at the end of 2015.....and boy is it a scary and exciting place to be!
Thank you. And, yeah, it is a scary and exciting time. Hope it's going well for you.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:37 pm

———————————————

2018 YEAR END SUMMARY

———————————————


Well I did quite a lot.



MEXICO TO PORTLAND:

Feeling ready for a break from living and traveling in the van, I drove from the southern tip of Baja up to live with my closest friends in Portland. The plan was to hang out at their house during the winter, and then in the summer go out on some trips around the PNW with my van. It was great living with my friends.

Dating and finding lovers was going decently well. While Portland is full of interesting people, I don’t do the greatest there dating. I don’t stand out much. Also, a good portion of the locals are jaded and I don’t dig that. Still, it went well and I stay in touch with a couple women I met there, and share a warm adoration with one.



PROJECT MOM VAN:

My mom split up with her second husband in the spring. I pretty much knew what was coming if/when they split up. She’d buy an empty cargo van and ask for my help converting it into a camper. Right away, she did. I left Portland when the weather was getting close to perfect, and drove down to the human roaster of Oklahoma.

The van project went well. Took longer than I expected, but that’s not a problem. It was nice to live with my mom for a while, and she appreciated it a ton. Dating and friendships went decently well, but I did learn from being here and from a couple trips to Tennessee/North Carolina for family stuff this year that I wouldn’t be so pumped about living in the South.

Image

Image

Image


If you missed it before, there are more pictures and info on page 47 of this journal.





LIVING IN TUCSON:

After finishing the van, I was going to head to California to putz around Santa Barbara and San Diego for the winter, but was hoping I’d like one of the cities along the way enough to stop to live there. I liked Tucson, and I stopped here.

Real estate is pretty cheap. Weather is great. It’s warm enough throughout the winter to do things outside. Summer will be very hot, but hot doesn’t stop me from doing much. There’s tons of interesting desert and mountain stuff right on the edges of town. And there are a fair amount of interesting people.

I rented a little 250 square foot house (with its own yard) for $575/month all inclusive. I like the house. There are pictures of it on page 48 of this journal. I’ve built a bed frame and a big shelf for the wall near the door.




MOTORCYCLE

I bought a motorcycle for riding around the city and for adventures out in the desert and mountains. It’s a little Dual Sport / Farm Bike. A Yamaha TW-200. Here it is:

Image

Image

Image

It’s a 2009 model. It had only 1,100 miles when I bought it. It’s obviously sat a lot. It ran well though. The only issue, which I didn’t discover until after i’d bought it and went on a longer ride, is that the voltage rectifier/regulator always stopped working once it warmed up. So the battery would go dead. I did the troubleshooting to sort that out, replaced it, and it’s been good. I’ve done some work since it is old/sitting. Changed the oil, the fork oil (actually only adjusted the level because it looked good), and the front tire. I’ll change out the rear tire, the chain at some point, and maybe put in a different sized sprocket for lower RPM at speed (the bike is geared extremely low). I also put a rear rack on it and I attach a milk crate to that for carrying things. I’ve been riding it a lot, and enjoying it, and the bike has 2,100 miles now.

I use it for nearly all my in-city transportation, and numerous trips out of town - one to Phoenix and a bunch to just go ride around and explore. I’m loving this as a means of transportation and trying to drive my van almost never.



EXPLORING AND PLANTS
I’ve been going out hiking here and there. I put some plants in my yard, which was empty when I moved in. Mostly it’s a bunch of aloe plants that I got for free from a lady in town that didn’t wan them anymore, and a few cuttings of cacti from out in the desert and the adjoining yards.

I got some books on the Sonoran desert and on foraging plants for food and medicinal uses, so I’m looking forward to trying that out (for food)… “some day” I think I’d like using some foraged plants to make fancy soap, creams, deoderant, and so-on to sell to spendy people. But that’s a “some day” thing.


DATING AND FRIENDS
This is going quite well. My stock is high now and I have no shortage of women to date and sleep with. They of course aren’t all my type so I do some paring and choosing. I also have some budding friendships going.



———————————————
The post FIRE challenge:
fulfillment

———————————————

I think I have made things slightly hard for myself with my post-FIRE lifestyles, and I’ve found myself at times regretting my choices/timing. I built the van out, sold my house in St Louis, and went off traveling before I quit my job. That has been a lot of fun.

Now that I’ve stopped doing it, looking back, it also does not seem like a
‘normal’ phase of life for me. And also, now that I’ve been deciding where I want to live for the long-term, and how I want it to be, I’ve came to think that I had things going pretty damn well in St. Louis, and in many ways it is/was a good city for me. So I found myself wishing I’d just stayed there for a while after quitting. Or wishing that I’d continued working longer, which would simplify the process/decision of buying a house.

Anyways.. as I’ve been settling in here in Tucson, things have been going well. I’ve been settling in nicely, making friends, have been getting as many lovers as I could want/handle, and so on… I’ve also felt in some amounts lazy, unmotivated, and unfulfilled. When I saw this in M741’s journal, I thought I could have written it almost word for word myself:

m741 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:56 pm
With all this stuff going on, I've actually been very lazy. I'm a bit lethargic and unmotived many days though I sometimes power through. I asked in another thread about personal mission, something that becomes a noticeable void when you stop working. My fundamental problem is one of meaninglessness - I'm not driven to complete any particular project, and as a result my days don't feel urgent and I don't really want to do a whole lot. I'm still thinking about how to deal with this.


———————————————
I think I know
what to do

———————————————


I feel that the more time/energy I spend on thinking directly about happiness, fulfillment, self-actualization, the more I end up finding gaps and feeling bad about them. I think it’s better if I set up good web(s) of goals every now and then, and just allow/trick myself to get focused on and lost in:
  • Making and being around long-term close friends and lover(s)
  • Working on hobbies, goals, systems
  • Earning some more money to pay for a house and/or just feel more secure
  • Having a well-established home that I enjoy
I’ve been getting on with this stuff, and have been feeling better. I do still need to reset/clarify my personal goals though.



———————————————
Location choices…
… again… ?

———————————————

Now… in terms of getting on with those: as for location, I’m happy so far with Tucson. It has its strengths and drawbacks and overall I like it. Ideally, for here, I would own a really small and cheap home, and would leave some/most summers or for as much as half the year to go travel. I’d often going up to the PNW and spend a good deal of that time away living with my close friends.


Another option I’ve started considering is go to back up and live with my friends in Portland full time. These are the friends I lived with for a few months at the start of 2018. I was going to stay longer, but left (much) earlier than planned to go help my mom. So I didn’t live out that phase up there to its end/conclusion. Nearly every time I talk with one of the two friends, she asks/demands me to go back up to live with them. And lately I’ve started thinking about doing it.

I like living in that area about the same as Tucson. The weather is quite grey and cloudy in winter, but there are still sunny days and with my flexibility, I can go outside on those days and soak it up. The thing that eliminates Portland for me long-term is real estate cost. But… my friends would probably be happy to have me live there not paying rent, maybe indefinitely, just helping them with home projects, caring for their dog, and being good company for them.

So… now I’ve created a decision for myself between staying in Tucson and settling in long-term vs going up to Portland.


Thoughts on staying in Tucson:
(+) I like the weather and land
(+) Enough people for friends and lovers
(+) Real Estate is relatively cheap (for now)
(+) Feels like a good long-term option - like I could stay here indefinitely
(+) Close to family (Brother and Mom are in Phoenix now)

(-) Long-term water shortage issues and climate change (will get warmer)
(-) Fairly high rates of poverty and property crime


Thoughts on going up to Portland:
(+) Would live with my closest friends. We have TONS of fun together
(+) Likely zero housing spending
(+) Tons of interesting people to make friends/lovers with.
(+) Heavenly weather in summers. Winters would be bearable/ok for me since it doesn’t get that cold.

(-) Wouldn’t be a permanent arrangement. When I leave there I might feel as I did when I stopped van traveling - that I spent the last years just messing around. Could offset this by focusing on earning money or establishing/building income sources.
(-) Living with the friends has it’s stresses. Main one is related to one of them being in a pretty big rut in some ways, which is out of my control.

bigato
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by bigato » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:05 pm

Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I like to think about people like you and m741 as versions of me in an alternate universe, because I feel we have enough in common to be about to relate to one another but yet we made some different choices along to way. In a way, I can look at you guys and learn "what could have been...". And because you share so generously, I can remind myself among other things that the "grass is greener on the other side" goes both ways.

suomalainen
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by suomalainen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:45 pm

+1 to @bigato
C40 wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:37 pm
I feel that the more time/energy I spend on thinking directly about happiness, fulfillment, self-actualization, the more I end up finding gaps and feeling bad about them. I think it’s better if I set up good web(s) of goals every now and then, and just allow/trick myself to get focused on and lost in:
Rumination is bad. Nothing good comes of it. If "allow/trick" isn't framed in a manner that helps you feel good about your list, think of it more along the lines of "sucking the marrow out of life by being fully present in the moment rather than being stuck remembering the past and/or planning the future."

edit: in other words, it's not a trick. Getting lost in what you're doing is the solution.

Re: Tucson/Portland, why not snowbird it? Tucson in the winter and Portland in the summer with flexibility around the shoulder seasons? At least until you find yourself wanting more permanent roots. You'll have more experiences in both places to help you make a decision.

theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by theanimal » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:08 pm

+1 suo

Somewhere I hear the ghost of Dragline saying, "Do both." :)

Augustus
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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Augustus » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:10 pm

Nice van build! What do you think of promasters vs ford transits? I am thinking I'm going to get a transit passenger wagon, since I need seating for 3 if I ever take my family on a road trip. I'd sell all the seats but 2 in the back, and take those out and leave them in the garage until they're needed, and put in a laminate floor with a cutout around the mounts so that I could remove it when needed and bold the seats back in.

Re: thinking about being happy. It takes 2-3 years to feel at home some place. Part of what you're feeling is probably just being rootless so to speak. It leaves you feeling off balance. Social circles are important and take time to build, which probably ties into the 2-3 years to feel at home somewhere.

One thing that always cheers me up is that there is so much that I don't know. I try to find new sources of awe and amazement all the time. It is usually in directions that I do not expect. I just read Endurance, the book about the shackleton voyage for instance, holy crap that was amazing. It spawned a whole new thread of things I want to do in life. The tutankhamen discovery journal by the guy who discovered the tomb (carter) was incredible too. Usually when you think you're not doing something right or well it's because you're laser focused on a few small "threads" or whatever in life. You get so focused on the threads you forget about the rest of the tapestry. Taking walks and writing with a physical pen and paper always helps me. I try to remind myself just how big the cosmos is all the time, and shift my attention to the amazing stuff, instead of nit picking over a few threads.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by m741 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:49 am

It's interesting reading what's going on with your life, which feels a lot more adventurous than mine :)!

If you don't mind my asking, why weren't you interested in living in the South? I feel like I've been dismissive of living there mostly based on political leanings, while there are some strong selling points (low cost of living, some beautiful land in Kentucky/Tennessee) - and I'm curious if you had a different perspective.

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Re: C40's Journal

Post by Clarice » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 pm

"being around long-term ... lover(s)"
If you don't mind answering, what is your definition of "long term"?

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