Hello from Bavaria

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horsewoman
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Hello from Bavaria

Post by horsewoman » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:52 am

Hi folks,

after lurking for a few weeks I decided to create an account to participate in this wonderful forum (I started to feel a little bit like a stalker, obsessively reading here but not making myself known :mrgreen: ...) I found this community via the "frugalwoods" blog roll and I totally love what is happening here.
Our homestead is located in rural Bavaria/Germany. We have 7,5 acres and keep a few horses - hence the username.
My husband and I do not necessarily pursue ERE or even FI, but have decided a few years ago to reduce our expenses, so that both of us can work only part-time (less than 20 hours a week). This suits us very well - we have the stability of a paycheck and paid-for health care but lots of free time and time for our daughter (11). Were 39 and 41. After starting to read here I think about FI a lot, though... The gears ARE turning in my mind! :idea:

We are hardcore DIY-er in a lot of areas of our life and super thrifty when it comes to furniture, clothes, riding gear, cars, heating ect... My food budget is well under control as we are vegetarian/vegan family and I cook from scratch daily.

Unfortunately we have rather high fixed costs, due to our many buildings on the farm, the horses, tractors and related machinery, two (paid for with cash) cars, and private school tuition for our daughter. I'm very inspired by this community to cut or at least get down a few of those to increase our savings rate. We do save something every month and have both socked away tidy sums in retirement funds. But we need to step up our game in this area, since we will not get much state pension. Part-time work is penalized in the German system when it comes to retirement. I have been recording our cash flow for 1 1/2 years now and see a lot of money leaks that can be closed with some determination. I have to thank Mrs. Frugalwoods for making me see the need for keeping the books!

Our homestead has been paid off for a couple of years now thanks to good timing in buying, aggressively throwing money on the mortgage and the generosity of my (pretty affluent) FIL who afforded us a substantial interest-free loan. There is also a flat in one of our outbuildings which we rent out. We plan to convert another part of our huge old farmhouse into a separate unit to rent out, but this will take some planning and possibly a small loan. Furthermore we have invested in a large(ish) photovoltaic unit 15 years ago. It brings in good money at the moment (we sell the solar power to the provider) and pays for it self plus a nice profit.

So, this for now - it is a novella already. I'm told that I'm a very "wordy" person - seems to be true :oops:
Thank you for reading and letting me take part in this forum!

wolf
Posts: 833
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by wolf » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:22 am

Welcome horsewoman to the forum!

It's very interesting, that you found ERE through the blog roll of frugalwoods. I'm surprised that there's a connection.
Usually it starts with lurking. Glad, that you want to join.

It seems to me, that you are pretty happy about your current setup (farmhouse, family, part-time).
And you are already pretty frugal, regarding DIY, cooking, clothes, etc. That's a great start.

Maybe you can start with showing the details of the cash flow. IMO, that's one key factor, to know how and what for you spend money.
I guess you don't want to work full-time. So, one way to go ERE is to reduce spending in an intelligent kind of way.
horsewoman wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:52 am
I have been recording our cash flow for 1 1/2 years now and see a lot of money leaks that can be closed with some determination.

horsewoman
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by horsewoman » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:03 pm

Thanks for replying, wolf!

I'm not sure if ERE is actually on the frugalwoods blog roll, or if Mrs. Frugalwoods mentioned the blog in one of her posts. I'm am sure however that I learned of ERE over there.

At the moment I'm debating with myself if I want to start a journal or not (regarding the cash flow recordings). I'm pretty flaky when it comes to journals and never manage to stay with them. That's probably one reason for not being "richer" even though I'm pretty frugal. Consistency is not one of my strong suits. I'm an ENTP and a "scanner/multipotential" personality, a "jack of all trades" one might say. I like to flit from one hobby/project to the next and become easily bored if the pace of any given project slows down.

Full time work is out of the question for us, so we need to get better at savings. I'll mull it over with the journal, otherwise a post in the "money" category might be a good idea. However! It is a daunting task to put ones finances up for inspection for such a frugal bunch - even more so since I know pretty well that we spend way too much in some areas :mrgreen: see above paragraph, I burn lots of cash on stuff for my numerous hobbies and interests - even when sourcing mainly used gear it adds up. We are a musical family, own quite a few (expensive) instruments and take lessons, I dabble in digital photography and film making, crafts, arts, not to mention our 4 horses :oops:

So please bear with me until I muster up the courage to post my spreadsheet findings :D
wolf wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:22 am

It seems to me, that you are pretty happy about your current setup (farmhouse, family, part-time).
And you are already pretty frugal, regarding DIY, cooking, clothes, etc. That's a great start.
Edited to add: I am really happy with my current situation, but I do worry whether we have enough for old age... That's why FI is very interesting to me right now. I'm an idiot at math so I do not really know to make sure where we stand long term.

Campitor
Posts: 771
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by Campitor » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:46 am

@horsewoman

Welcome to the forums! I look forward to any postings you make in the future. It's always interesting to get a picture of daily life/ERE/advice from people who live in other parts of the globe.

PS - no advanced math is required to ERE. Basic Math is all that is needed. If you're saving more than you spend, and if your savings are earning interest that outpaces inflation, and if that amount can eventually grow into 30+ yrs of income that can support your ERE lifestyle, you'll be okay. If you haven't purchased Jacob's book, you should do so - it's a gem. And his blog posts are full of ideas and formulas that even someone with rudimentary math skills can understand; you run a farm so I suspect your math skill is better than you give yourself credit for.

chenda
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by chenda » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:06 pm

Welcome! Sounds a great set-up you have, I'd like to visit the Black Forest and Munich sometime.

horsewoman
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by horsewoman » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:46 pm

@Campitor thanks for the warm welcome!
Campitor wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:46 am

PS - no advanced math is required to ERE. Basic Math is all that is needed. If you're saving more than you spend, and if your savings are earning interest that outpaces inflation, and if that amount can eventually grow into 30+ yrs of income that can support your ERE lifestyle, you'll be okay. If you haven't purchased Jacob's book, you should do so - it's a gem. And his blog posts are full of ideas and formulas that even someone with rudimentary math skills can understand; you run a farm so I suspect your math skill is better than you give yourself credit for.
Well I might have been guilty of hyperbole on that point :oops: Of course I'm perfectly able to do some rudimentary math. I even have a basic education in economics, but the matter of inflation, index funds and ETF interest projections is way over my head - not the actual calculating but trusting/interpreting the data! I need to sit down and really look at the bank statements of all our investments. Maybe I'll rope in my baby sister for help, she's a math Ph.D. student!

I'll purchase the book soon - ironically I'm on a spending freeze right now :lol:

@chenda
Yes, we think it very close to paradise :) On the other hand I don't like Munich, full of hipsters who do not understand and scoff at the Bavarian dialect while living in the Bavarian capital :roll: The German Museum is really interesting though!

Gerald
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:36 pm
Location: Salzburg - Austria

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by Gerald » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:43 am

Hello horsewoman,

funny to read from someone coming from Bavaria as well :) which administrative region (Regierungsbezirk) are you from?

Liabe Griaß
Gerald

horsewoman
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 am

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by horsewoman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:55 am

Griaß di Gerald!

I'm an expat living in Lower Bavaria - meaning I'm an Upper Bavarian gal who was been lured to lower Bavaria by the low price for real estate.
You decamped for Austria? I was in Salzburg only last week, passing through from vienna by train :)
Have you been to the "Haus der Natur" yet? Very nice way to spend a rainy day!

Gerald
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:36 pm
Location: Salzburg - Austria

Re: Hello from Bavaria

Post by Gerald » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:33 pm

Lower Bavaria - that's the right answer. You probably have come to realise now, that although the Upper Bavarians tend to believe they're the real/better Bavarians, they're not. :D low price for real estate is probably the Bavarian Forest's area.

I decamped for Austria, have always hat a strong affinity for our neighbours and the girls are better looking they said. My girl is Austrian of course :)

I haven't been to Haus der Natur unfortunately. People keep asking me that, I'll have a look when weather gets bad again.

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