Alice_AU journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Alice_AU
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Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:49 pm

Many people note how well Minimalism goes with ERE/FIRE/MMM/general frugality concepts. I finally understand why all of my previous minimalism attempts failed and why just after 3 years post international move I once again have garage full of stuff, closets full of stuff and messy house full of stuff. Because I was getting rid of old things I don’t need but soon replaced them with new things.

Now after almost a whole year of zero shopping - I didn’t buy any clothes, shoes, handbags, houseware, stationery or hobby supplies... strangely, it turns out a year of zero shopping was not enough. I’m sorting through my closets and there is nothing that is worn out enough to be thrown away. Looks like I’m going to need two or three years before no-shopping gradually leads to natural decluttering...

paretotime
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by paretotime » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Great job on the no spend year, and looking forward to reading more of your journal. Wanting to be more mindful or minimalistic is the first step (getting rid of stuff and having it slowly creep back in could be considered steps 2 & 3) I've definitely been there.

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Alice_AU
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Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:06 am

Had a couple of very careful talks with my husband but not on the same page (yet?).

- He really wants that SUV he keeps talking about and is willing to save for it and then blow all the savings on this car.
- Thinks I'm crazy for suggesting salary sacrifice into super now to benefit from it in the future. One argument is "my dad retired at 62 and says he regrets it cause he's bored out of his mind", and another one is "I won't live to retirement age anyway".
- Is not willing to give up his $30/day smoking habit. Says this is something he actually enjoys and something that helps him to relax, his treat and his ritual. Even if (see not living till retirement age claim above).

On the positive note, he likes that I started watching the grocery budget and transferring the $50/week I now save there into the joint savings account we've just opened. Even though this makes a laughable 2.7% savings rate from our joint weekly budget. I'll look to increase this in the future.

He actually suggested we consider a prenup (in our case, post-nup) - something simple, along the lines "what is registered in each person's sole name is his/hers - whether it is savings, pensions, shares, real estate, vehicles :lol: or debts; and what is in joint names is 50/50". I will call a couple of legal firms to enquire.

ChickenCoop
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by ChickenCoop » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:27 pm

Hi Alice, I used to live life pretty hard , Burning the candle both ends, drinking/Partying every weekend etc. I didn't want to live a long life either. I just lived in the moment in everything! I also lived paycheck to paycheck. I did buy a cheapish house (3-4x annual income) an hour from Melb. I needed a place to live(and thought about the forced savings side of it)I had to sell two cars for a 5% deposit and borrow 95% plus get mortgage lenders insurance as I had no savings! So, I sort of understand the not wanting to live a long life thing comes from. That did change for me when I FINALLY settled down and had two children in my mid 30's. I do want to see my kids grow up and have their own children. I can be fairly stubborn/egotistical at times and wouldn't want someone pointing out my failings or feeling like I'm being forced/coerced into something. In fact I'd probably dig my heals in or even rebel and go harder the other way(probably a worrying personality trait,lol)! If your DH is anything like me, you probably will have to plant seeds and let him come up with the ideas, or maybe like you are, do things yourself for your future and over time he will see you getting ahead and get on board. If he is competitive, maybe even do it separately a make it a competition?!
One other thing that 3 years ago helped me see a better future was a trip to a third world country by myself after a temporary family meltdown! I saw so many people that had very little, lived simple lives and made family the focus. I came back with a renewed enthusiasm for living a simple fugal life. I sold off most of my toys(cars and stuff) and increased my savings rate hugely and spend more time with my family.

There's maybe nothing in that that helps, but I certainly wish you the best for your journey.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:35 am

Wouldn't even dream of forcing/coercing anyone into anything! I'm quite content doing my own little thing independently and quietly, with an occasional note on this board when I feel like sharing or venting ;)

ChickenCoop
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by ChickenCoop » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:05 pm

Well done. Much more composed and rational than me, lol.
Keep up the great progress

horsewoman
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by horsewoman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:03 am

Hi Alice, I've just read your journal in one go, very interesting to get glimpses into a life that is so different from mine! (Other side of the world, low income and rural living). Your figures seemed almost fantastical to me until I used a converter to EURO. If it consoles you, you would never get a town house in Munich for 3000 AUD in rent. On the other hand I feed my family of three plus 2 cats and 3 dogs for two weeks on one 300 AUD haircut :) in rural Germany.
Looking forward to further posts, and I'm rooting for you for spending less. In your case having separate finances is probably a good thing, but I would not be amazed if your husband sees the light after you "blazed the trail".

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:05 am

Hi horsewoman, you're scaring me... HOW much is rent in Munich? :shock:
Just read your journal too, rural living sounds wonderful. It doesn't matter if you have a low income - I bet many people on this forum including myself have this quiet life in the country as a remote some-day goal and you're already there)

So-called "hobby farms", or "lifestyle farms" seem to be very desirable in Australia. In most coastal areas, the weather is good all year round, and with regular watering everything grows like crazy. I've been getting a lot of inspiration from this guy on youtube: Mark Valencia, channel "SelfsuffficientMe". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP3qUWQu-wI

Even planted a few tomatoes and capsicums in tubs on my own front porch. Hope I'll manage to keep them alive! :D

horsewoman
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by horsewoman » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:18 am

Munich is scary - IDK how large your house is in square meters to compare but in Munich an apartment with about 60m² goes for around 1.500-1.700 EURO a month, which translates to about 2500 AUD. I did not even find an ad for a house to rent. Of course in the outskirts, it gets a little bit more affordable, but not much. Crazy, yet everyone wants to live there for some reason. It is also the worst city in Germany when it comes to traffic, so I really cannot understand it, but then again I'm a country bumkin, so what do I know :)
The major downside to rural living is that one has to drive everywhere. My sister moved to Munich to go to uni, she never owned a car in her life.

I kill every plant I'm responsible for, so I married a gardener :) Not for that reason of course but it does come in handy! Good luck for your plants!

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:02 am

Been to a cheap no-frills hairdresser at the mall, paid $33 instead of the usual $300. The cut looks good. Didn't include any usual extras like wash, conditioner, head massage, blow-dry & style, and no highlights either. But the end result is nice regardless. And huge saving of time and effort too - no appointment needed, waited 5 minutes to be seen and spent no more than 15 minutes in the chair. "The usual" would mean booking a week in advance, making sure I'm on time but likely having to wait on arrival, and around 3 hours spent in the salon. So very happy today)))

bigato
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by bigato » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:53 am

That's a huge improvement on that front, congrats!

mooretrees
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by mooretrees » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:13 pm

Well done! That's a HUGE savings, and if you like the haircut it might be a sustainable change. Bet it feels good!

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:45 am

Thank you guys! If only the other expenses could be slashed this easily! )))

horsewoman
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by horsewoman » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:13 am

One at a time! We're rooting for you.

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:12 am

DH and I have agreed to sign a prenup. Here in Australia, they are called BFA (binding financial agreement) and can be signed any time before, during or after marriage so although not technically a pre-nup, still very much a similar thing.

For him, the main driver to do this is that it gives him protection from my somewhat risky idea of getting an Investment Property one day. I can't stop thinking about it, so naturally can't stop talking about it, and he's quite sceptical. With AU house prices, even the cheapest IP will have to come with around half a million dollar mortgage, and he wants none of that. So in our prenup, we'll be agreeing amongst other things that my debts are just mine, and he's not responsible for them.

For me, the attraction is that I don't have to convince him into FIRE ideas urgently. We are still going to pay for everything 50/50 and how he spends the rest of his money becomes less of a concern. Still a concern, and I plan on convincing him some day, but for now I will at least feel safe to sacrifice things today in order to get things I want tomorrow. When I save for IP deposit, or do salary sacrifice into superannuation (pension), or buy index funds instead of fancy shoes, all of these will also remain mine, and if we spit up I won't have to lose half of it.

So I found a lawyer and we started filling some forms. A funny side effect is that we both had to declare everything - what we owe, and what we own. Both of us are very poor of course, the lawyer was quite puzzled that a couple with virtually no assets would even bother with something like this :-D. But I had to show my very modest savings balance to my husband in the process ($28K now, after saving some more but having to pay $3K to the lawyer). I swear, ever since finding out my husband was looking at me a bit funny! Asked what he wanted for Christmas today, and he said "a new car would be nice!"... Haha, I don't think so! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Alice_AU
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Re: Alice_AU journal

Post by Alice_AU » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:07 am

I'm so disappointed. The lawyer who is preparing our BFA took the payment a month ago but done nothing since. He promised the draft by last Friday, didn't send it. I called on Monday and he promised this Friday instead. Friday 7pm - still nothing, and he's not answering his phone. I can't believe someone can be so unprofessional! If I promise something done by COB Friday, I'll do it by COB Friday - full stop, even if it means staying up all night on Thursday. :x

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