Axel Heyst's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

@RoamingFrancis yes I've read the book, and I think you've got it basically right. I agree, we've got to remember we've got a certain amount of hindsight to compare civ vs. pre-civ that the people doing it didn't. It's not like the people who "invented" civ had anything like ancient Greece in mind when they started to domesticate wheat, or whatever it was they were doing. It was just a series of solutions to problems they had in the real world (solutions made possible by a stabilizing climate, I believe), that they iterated over generations and generations, which became the solution we now call 'civilization'. No one at the time would have recognized the changes, because they happened so slowly. The contrast would have been between civilizing peoples and non-civilizing peoples (that 'contrast' was a relationship mostly of agriculturalists forcing non-civ people to become civ people by force and doing other horrible things to them, which is a practice that was consistently done until.... like, last Tuesday).

The argument of the book, and of many others, is that agriculture (/civilization) was the biggest mistake we made (social dominance, disease, slavery, large-scale war, etc), but we couldn't unmake it. It's like we saw a hole and went "ah good! we're being chased by a tiger. We'll jump in to this hole real quick." And that worked to save us from the tiger, but then we looked around and went "....well, shit. We're in this hole now. Forever. Let's drag any other folks who wander by down into the hole with us so we have company."

That's how the anti-civ folks paint the picture, at least. It leaves out all the cool stuff we've worked up because of civilization, like advanced art and science and stuff. :)

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:45 pm
Systems thinking! I like it!...but still disagree because it came about in different geographic regions, with differing cultural circumstances, at different times, over and over again. It seems more like a natural evolution of humanity than a randomly tried solution for specific circumstances.
There's an argument that agriculture was independently developed due to favorable global climactic conditions (stable climate, etc). Climate was pretty all over the place for the first 40k of years after humans migrated out of Africa (to say nothing of the almost 200k years humans were biologically modern before then). And then bam, they all start inventing agriculture at the same time right when the comparatively stable Holocene kicked off. Coincidence? These folks think not:
https://www.intechopen.com/books/climat ... griculture

I had no intention to turn my journal in to a discussion of the relative merits of civilization vs. pre-agricultural societies in relation to motivation and vision for the broad-scale impact of ERE philosophy on the future post-apocalyptic world! I welcome it, though I am going to start posting some budget numbers or contentious investment strategies or something soon to get this shebang back on point. :D

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:03 pm
It leaves out all the cool stuff we've worked up because of civilization, like advanced art and science and stuff. :)
I'm hesitant to agree in regards to art. Civilization certainly opened the door for new mediums of art, architecture, etc, but hunter-gatherers could easily practice complex art in the form of singing, dancing, weaving, even painting. The problem is that a lot of materials which could tell us a lot about their culture aren't necessarily preserved well.

Although if your point is that civilization allows specialization in one or another field, then yeah, no question about it.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

@RoamingFrancis - yes I agree with you, art was a bad example of something civ has that h/g didn't. My main point was indeed the specialization that civilization allows.

Everything I've read indicates that h/g 'worked' like 4 hours or less a day to meet their shelter and caloric needs, the rest of the time they faffed off hanging out, practicing complex art as you said, playing with their kids, dancing around the campfire, practicing skills like being so tuned in to the earth they could navigate vast distances without maps... they sound like the OG's of ERE to me!

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Agreed, haha

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

I've spent most of the last couple weeks poring over old threads and journals, and reflecting on my own situation. A couple of the gold mines:

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=9398&start=20
This thread helped me understand forum dynamics and expectations better, in particular jacob's point about intermediate folks helping noobs, so experts don't have to (and because experts are so far above noobs it can be almost impossible). It helped me think more critically about what I'm replying to / how I can contribute here, and potential actions to avoid as a new person still working on his first $100k.
  • Share expert knowledge (instead of personal opinion).
  • DAFS - don't ask anyone to hand-hold through beginner knowledge, seek it out thyself
  • If confident about expertise/value on a subject, post. For now that probably just means sharing thoughts on western-state vandwelling.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7870
This thread helped me think more deeply about my goals and strategy with respect to what's my desired buffer? What's my desired post-FIRE income? Do I want to not have to work again ever, or am I excited by the idea of putting together diverse income streams because I have a smaller nut?
"what's your number?" This thread also helped me understand the distinction between ERE and E-ER.

This quote in that thread tied the ERE/E-ER concept together for me:
fish wrote:"E-ER is freedom through investments, ERE is freedom through skill. Period. What they have in common is low expenses. For someone with an ERE mindset, the function of investment income is to provide enough confidence to start relying entirely on the skills that got him to FI. Whereas if the E-ER practitioner were to be separated from his investments, he would have no choice but to get a job. That’s the difference."
I also read the yields and flows thread several times. Most of it is going over my head, although I can tell it's important. It's saved so I'll return to it often.

--
Thoughts on my approach to ERE
I noted that a pattern that many high-earners seem to follow is to aim for a more E-ER approach rather than ERE approach; that is, they tend to aim for higher incomes ($15k-25k) and larger buffers (30-45x), relying more on security due to financial assets as opposed to security due to skills/Renaissance Lifestyle. I'd be interested if this perceived trend is actually true, or just seems so from my read.

My aim is the multidimensionality of diverse skills, and so my financial FIRE target will be lean. Exact numbers TBD. I stated in my first post that my aim is to attain Wheaton 8+, which I know I barely understand if at all sitting here at Wheaton 3 if I'm being generous, but I stand by it.

Jacob spoke of his arriving at 1 Jacob (~$8,500/yr in today's moneys) from a global sufficiency perspective. If everyone lived off 1 Jacob, everyone would have enough. That is enough of a moral principle to motivate me to attain that level of cost of living as well.

I also highly, highly value freedom, and multi-dimensional skills seem to obviously support that aim. While I'm a complete noob to investing and markets, I have a low confidence in the continued growth of the market over the course of the rest of my life, so I plan on not planning on it. I think it likely that in a few decades, just about everyone will be living a de-financialized lifestyle regardless of what their portfolio was in 2020. My aim is to beat the rush [hat tip to John Michael Greer]. (I recognize that I'm straying in to "personal opinion" rather than "expert knowledge" territory here, but this is my journal and it's relevant to how I'm designing my system. Also: no one has expert knowledge on the DJIA performance circa 2040-2075)
7wannabe5 wrote:"Much of the discussion on this forum focuses on seeking simple answer to "how much buffer?" rather than "How to achieve diverse and independent and complex?" this makes sense if you believe that circumstances will only change within a given (known unknown) range. It doesn't make sense if you believe that you don't know what in the hell might happen in the future."

In short, my strategy is to wisely use money in such a way as to decouple my wants/needs nexus from money as much and as quickly as possible.
I have a ways to go.

--

Thoughts on financial performance for January to date
I didn't dig in to ERE until about January 10. I immediately cut out eating out and a number of other expenses. Still, I'd already dropped a few hundred dollars on some 'discretionary' budget items, and some other big purchases like really expensive firewood for our un-insulated apartment. I'm going to come in at about $5k this month. That's ~7 jacobs. I debated even posting this because frankly it's embarrassing.

I started tracking every expense that both DW and I make. I'll continue the practice until we've habituated spending at levels I'm comfortable with.

My monthly burn is going to remain high until a) we move out of this $1,800/mo apt in May and b) DW gets her business running at ~$1k/mo. But, there are other categories I can work on in the meantime.

Food. Our January grocery bill will be about $700 for both of us. We try to avoid excessive carbs, and DW can't digest legumes or beans, and avoids wheat and rice as much as possible. We eat local/organic/hippie food for ethical reasons. This makes getting the food budget down tricky, but I'm determined to eat for $450 for both of us in February, and to keep pushing it down from there. Long term plans include hunting, foraging, gardening, etc. Short term plans include reducing quantity of meat, me eating more legumes/beans/carbs, and finding cheaper sources of bulk staples.

I've taken over cooking this month. For the first time in my life, I'm motivated to figure out how to cook tasty food, because I'm motivated to get the cost down and I know DW will mutiny if we eat boring food every day (and I refuse to feed her lentils if we're going to be in the same general area after the meal...). A revelation I had a couple days ago was that I can cook lentils food for myself, and more interesting stuff for her, as a way of balancing the expense. I eat more calories anyways.

Discretionary. I spent about a grand this month on "fun" stuff. Some of it was trips occurring in the future, some of it was mopping up gear I needed for snowboarding, some of it was just stupid crap before I ran back in to ERE. I don't want to talk about it. I'm aiming for $400 next month.

I found, and plugged, a bunch of small leaks. Old website domains I don't use anymore, subscriptions to software I don't really need, a couple magazines, some Patreon artists.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Do any past or present forumites who started out as high-earners/high spenders, and got down to the neighborhood of 1 jacob, come to mind?

bostonimproper
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by bostonimproper »

mathiverse's recent thread might be relevant: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11094

mathiverse
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by mathiverse »

Hi AxelHeyst,

I've been following along your journal and wanted to say hi. I'm looking forward to seeing how you go through the Wheaton levels and lower your expenses.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

Hi mathiverse, I just now read through your journal and am looking forward to following your journey as well. :)

I think it was in your journal that I found Herbert Derp's threads on MMM. It made me think about "easing in" vs. "ass-kick into the deep end of the pool" approaches.

When I'm with a SO, I tend to favor the "easing in" approach out of a desire to not rock the boat too much/freak them out. I'm a "nice guy" to a fault, a trait I've been working on for years. When I'm single, I'll just go straight for the extreme end of the spectrum because I rather enjoy it.

I happen to be with a keeper at the moment, so I have no intention of being single any time soon. I need to reflect on my "easing in" approach, why that is in my personality, and seriously consider being more rapidly aggressive with my spending (as sole earner at the moment, "my" spending is the same thing as "our" spending).

An analogy to climbing, is that every once in a while you should try to climb a route that is way harder than you can actually do. When you go back to stuff at your actual limit, it'll seem easier than it did before and you'll probably crush it.

So maybe setting a goal of February food budget = $200 for both of us (coming off of January = $700), and then $300 seems luxurious for March by comparison. Instead of going 500, 450, 400, 350, 300...

“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week” — George Patton

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Don't have too much to add; just wanted to lend my support and say good luck. The George Patton quote inspired me to get through a monster study session earlier today.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

January Debrief: The Numbers
Josh Waitzkin wrote:“Sometimes there will literally be numbers. Other times there will be principles, patterns, variations, techniques, ideas. A good literal example of this process, one that does in fact involve numbers, is a beginner’s first chess lesson. All chess players learn that the pieces have numerical equivalents. Bishop and knights are worth three pawns, a rook is 5 pawns, a queen is 9. Novices are counting in their heads, or on their fingers, before they make exchanges. In time they will stop counting. The pieces will achieve a more flowing and integrated value system. They will move across the board as fields of force. What was once seen mathematically is now felt intuitively.”
I look forward to the day when I leave detailed budgets behind and have an intuitive feel for what spending no more than $700/mo feels like. Until then, I'm a spreadsheet jockey.

My "budget" for January was extra high because I started ERE halfway through. Housing in particular was high due to startup utility costs, and a last-minute purchase of stupidly expensive firewood.
Image

This indicates my planning for budgets over the next few months. This reflects the end of my lease in May, and the aim to get DW's business up and running by about the same time.
Image

A quick calc looking at potential timelines assuming I get my expenses down to about 1 jafi by mid year, and keep them there.
Image

I made this in @c_L's thread about semi-FIRE / FIRE / multipliers etc, thought I'd post it here too. Making this graph was a "whoa" moment for me.
Image

My January SR = 27%. I'm aiming for February SR = 46%, 50% as a stretch goal if I come underbudget on some items.
Last edited by AxelHeyst on Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

February Briefing: Wheaton Level

I think I was Wheaton 2 a few months ago (Budget to prioritize spending, emergency savings, understands risks of debt, etc) who just happened to be a dirtbag (e.g. living in my rig was because I like that lifestlye, not a 'pareto-optimized prioritization of expenses for maximum life enjoyment'. Was just a lucky break that I like that sort of thing.)

I think now, I'm a Wheaton 3, at the level of focusing on embracing efficiency. I'm tempted to say "a 3-4", but I think I want to say that because I can easily imagine Wheaton 4, Optimization (current WL+1), but honestly I'm at the level of barely conscious competence/conscious incompetence with L4, when it comes to my actual behavior. If I were to stop hanging out on this forum and abandon my spreadsheet, I'd revert back to L3/2 behavior within a couple months.

So. My focus is on attaining first conscious competence, and then unconscious competence at L4. Meaning:
  1. Figure out how to get my food and 'discretionary' spending per month down to reasonable 1JAFI compatible levels. This will take effort, spreadsheeting, figuring out how other people do it, building my intuition for how much things cost when multiplied by 30, etc.
  2. Practice step 1 until it's habitual, until reversion in lifestyle would revert to high frugality in these areas. I estimate this will take till August/September (will have to deal with location disruption/nomadicism from end of May through mid-July).
  3. Plan out the rest of the year from a L4 perspective: How to accomplish what I want to accomplish (nomad out to MI and back, build microstructures, a moto trip or two, etc) while spending very little money? How to avoid "random" high expenses that seemed to happen every single month last year? How to keep gas costs as low as possible while nomadic? What is reasonable for gas costs as a US nomad?
  4. Anticipate and pre-solve "stressed-out full time high earner" problems. What happens when I get annoyed by lack of good internet? Office space? Not enough time to cook?
  5. Read these books (from the library!):
    • Thomas Stanley and William Danko, The Millionaire Next Door
    • Amy Dacyczyn, The Complete Tightwad Gazette
    • Charles Long, How to Survive Without A Salary
Regarding a post a few above, about 'easing in' vs. 'being aggressive', I re-read The Book and chanced across Jacob's discussion of sigmoid curves for effort vs reward.
Jacob wrote: "To get anywhere, it's thus very important to quickly build a substantial foundation. Setting small goals in a situation which depends on exponential growth is a guaranteed way of not seeing results very fast. Conversely, putting in a large initial effort is a guaranteed way of seeing immediate and growing returns."
So no more fiddling - February is about making a sharp course correction, not an incremental one, in food and discretionary spending.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

A Roundup of Reading and Thinking from the past few weeks
Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castaneda wrote: "When a man decides to do something he must go all the way," he said, "but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, and then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them."
---
I've been doing a lot of lurking and reading. Here are some of the gems that stood out to me.
Jacob wrote: "Many (also here) focus mostly on the whole FI/RE part, but to me it was always meant as a carrot and more like a black belt in terms of learning-levels: In the sense that reaching FI/RE meant that one had mastered all the basic techniques of life and was therefore qualified to begin to learn what living is actually about. IOW, a mere starting point for the real journey---like graduating from school---not the end point."
From this thread: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7894&start=20

The point, it seems to me, is to de-financialize, de-colonize, and re-wild our hearts and minds. It's easy to get lost in the INTJ spreadsheet abstractions, but at the core of it, ERE to me is about rejecting the destructive, dehumanizing approach to living life that modern society is structured to spoon-feed us, and accepting and co-creating and cultivating a new way of life.

I want to acknowledge that I'm playing FIRE on easy mode (privileged, high earner, no kids, no medical issues, etc). If I ever lose sight of that and get either smug or whiney, please go ahead and give me the old what for.

I am deeply embarrassed about my historical CoL. I've been ranting against consumerism most of my adult life... but my expenses tracked upwards with income just like every other high earner / high stress worklife individual. My hypocrisy burns, and helps fuel my motivation to drive expenses/impact down aggressively.

From the yields and flows thread:
7wannabe5 wrote:"Much of the discussion on this forum focuses on seeking simple answer to "how much buffer?" rather than "How to achieve diverse and independent and complex?" this makes sense if you believe that circumstances will only change within a given (known unknown) range. It doesn't make sense if you believe that you don't know what in the hell might happen in the future."
IlliniDave said: "On a regular basis think through what it is you really want to do with life." I take this to mean - think often and hard about what you want to do after FIRE, otherwise FIRE becomes the object of life and then, upon reaching it, you have no idea what to do.

Here's a short list of things I want to do (/more of) after I FIRE:
  • Build cool like micro-shelters, treehouses, huts, trailers, camper buildouts, nooks, and nests, out of salvaged and natural materials. I will do this no matter what, but I aim to find a way to be renumerated for it.
  • Go on long dirtbag motorcycle trips.
  • Maintain, repair, rebuild, and customize motorcycles. Look for old neglected bikes and buy them for cheap, fix them up, enjoy them for a bit, sell for more than I put in to them. (I don't know if this is realistic)
  • Continue learning to cook.
  • Attain mastery (~1,000hrs) at wood-fire cooking, in particular meat (asador).
  • Garden.
  • Hunt.
  • Forage.
  • Learn 'ancestral' skills - firemaking, shelter making, plant/animal identification, tanning, tracking, etc.
  • Climb more (emphasis on adventurous trad/mountaineering rather than technical sport).
  • Ride bicycles, de-emphasize DH/FR and more focused on mtb touring (I intensely dislike riding on roads that also have cars on them).
  • Thru-hike.
  • If I get in a pinch for money, or for extra 'investments', take on 3d contract work.
  • Draw (pencil, ink; landscape and figure)
  • Paint (watercolor)
  • Write (short fiction, perhaps).
  • Travel to friend's land and help them with projects.
  • Brew biodiesel
  • Convert an old mercedes to WVO or biodiesel.
  • "Pre-runner" an old mercedes veggie burner.
  • Slowly travel the world, circumnavigate the globe over a year or so. Take container ships instead of fly. Try to get someone else to pay the fare, perhaps as a photography or environmental travel writing gig.
    ^^Related to this, I don't want to totally drop off the grid. I like the idea of communicating publicly enough that I leave a mark, leave an example of a way of life that is adventurous and lively without the enormous carbon/impact footprint we take for granted. So that means writing, and photography, and maybe drawing, and opens the possibility for getting sponsorships for things like a container ship across the Atlantic.
I can already feel my brain changing with respect to spending money. The 'pull' of purchasing things is much weaker - in many instances I am repulsed by the idea of spending money on something, because I'm holding the goal of FIRE/freedom very snugly to myself at the moment. I don't see dollars as units of exchange, I see them as units of time spent free.

DW and I are making progress. At first I was trying to not talk to much about this with her, as she's focused on other things at the moment. But she kept asking things like 'Is [some purchase] ERE-okay?" And since our finances aren't separate, and sometimes she buys groceries and sometimes I do, there's just no way to remain disentangled. I can't just "do my thing" and hope to inspire her. We're structurally in this together, and we need to go for full engagement (aka aggressively put in effort so we can get to the middle zone of the sigmoid effort/result curve as quickly as possible).

My thoughts on how to best accomplish this are still in the works. A first step, I think, is to take her on a guided tour of my spreadsheet so she can get a sense for the goals, the breakdowns of everything, why it's so important to get down in the 1 jafi neighborhood, etc. Right now I've only really explained "spend as little as possible", which isn't very useful. And without running the numbers, it seems impossible to hit $700/mo.

I'm also taking @mooretrees's advice I think it was, to engage her at the levels of value. "What would you do if you didn't have to work for money? What wouldn't you give up in order to buy your freedom?" Philosophically she is completely on board with ERE, it's just at the level of discipline and execution that we need to get on the same page.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

If I recall your DW is an ENFP. I, by no means, am an expert, but my GF is the same personality and I lucked into getting her interested. So I can share with you what I know.

My GF has very little interest in spreadsheets, investment returns, SWR's. I mean, I do talk about this stuff, so she's not completely ignorant on the topics. However, she mostly just listens as a courtesy to me, because I find it all so important. Yet she's gone from 80K in debt, to debt free in under two years. This with an income around 60K. She's currently boasting about a 65% SR. She was Wheaton 1.5 when we met, is probably a solid 4 now, with some hints of 5. Her motivation... an idea. Not just any idea, her idea of a future in semi-RE that really appeals to her. I think if you feed into you DW's idea of a great future, and show her how ERE can support that, she may scare you with how motivated she becomes. Just my two cents. Good luck!

wolf
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by wolf »

Those were some great journal posts. And many thanks to the chart with the JAFI multiplier, level of comfort, ...
AxelHeyst wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:28 am
  1. Figure out how to get my food and 'discretionary' spending per month down to reasonable 1JAFI compatible levels.
    ...
    So no more fiddling - February is about making a sharp course correction, not an incremental one, in food and discretionary spending.
regarding food I could give the following ideas:
  • vegan diet
  • buy groceries (e.g. beans, rice, spices, tea, coffee beans, etc.) in bulk
  • no alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
  • only cook and eat at home
That should do it.

Keep on going ... towards 1 JAFI! I would be looking forward to see that!

RoamingFrancis
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by RoamingFrancis »

"The point, it seems to me, is to de-financialize, de-colonize, and re-wild our hearts and minds."

Great quote! I am inspired by the intensity with which you are setting goals and cutting costs. As a student with zero income, I am often wishing I could make progress towards ERE more quickly. That said, I also am enjoying student life.

¡Adelante!

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

@c_L thank you for the advice on DW. I think that this is probably the most important thing to get right / not fk up too bad on. Were there any particular actions (or inactions) you did that helped her arrive at her idea of semi-FIRE?

For a little context, my DW is currently very focused on getting her art business off the ground. I’m supporting her financially so she doesn’t have to work life-energy sucking jobs on the side while trying to do this. (And because of my income, she’d have to work 3x-4x the amount of time I do to cover her expenses). She is extremely passionate about sustainability and reducing her impact on the world, and has a sophisticated view of what sustainability actually means (she’s a Wheaton 4 id say when it comes to sustainability). So when I explained the ecological impact angle of ERE to her, and how the ethical impact of spent money gets diffused to the GDP-average within a couple degrees of separation, she was philosophically fully on board.

She’s also very against things that are “unnatural”, at an emotional level, so for example she doesn’t like it when I spend so much time in front of a computer (out of a sense of caring for me). So when I explain that post-FIRE I’ll be able to stop staring at a computer 10hrs/day, she really liked that.

There is absolutely more work for her/us to do in terms of what ERE means for *her*, for her freedom and ability to choose what she does with her time. This one is kind of difficult because she’s always arguably been sort of semi-FIRE; she’s done a ton of different kind of work, much of it skill and passion based (sewing, art), and always pretty close to the fringe of the formal economy (shes typically lived at ~2 jafi I’d guess because that’s how much income she made). She doesn’t have any desire to ‘not work’[1], she just wants to be able to spend her time working on the skill/passion stuff, rather than the life-sucking plan b kind of work she’s done (trimming, nanny work, etc).

So the plan for us, more or less, is for me to aggressively save up, get her business going, and then with my retirement income we’ll have a base that we can supplement with her art, my weird side projects, etc. Is that semi-FIRE? I’m not sure I 100% understand the difference anymore.

The issue were mostly running in to, it seems to me, is she doesn’t have a basis for understanding if a particular expense is ‘okay’ or ‘not okay’ in the context of our ERE goals. For example, we got back from a hike yesterday and she had 10 minutes before she had to go back out for a meeting with potential business partners. We didn’t really have anything in the fridge ready to go. She asked if buying crackers and cheese at the store was okay. Now obviously crackers and cheese are kinda expensive, so the simple answer is no. But... it’s also the wrong question, isn’t it? Crackers and cheese costs maybe $6. Im aiming at $5/person-day for food at the moment. But if for a couple days we cut our food cost to $2/per-day, then it evens out. But... we’ll go mad if we think about everything at that level.

I suppose I’m trying to figure out how to execute compassionate leadership in this area, knowing that our brains work vastly differently. I think you are totally right, @c_L - once she falls in love with *her* idea of ERE (not mine), these questions won’t even come up. But I don’t know how to help her get to the point where it makes sense to her.

[1] I might be wrong about this. The idea of not having to work might be so foreign to her, since she’s had to hustle her whole life just to get by, that it might take some time time for the notion to appear as a possibility.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

@wolf thank you! Great ideas. We’ve decided to not drink alcohol basically at all for the entire year. The only exceptions being *very* special occasions (my dear friends bachelor party; my brother and his husband brought back a bottle of port from Portugal; and the like). I’ve taken a month off of alcohol every year for the past 6 years or so, and it felt like a good year to just go the whole thing.

Finding a good source of bulk staples is on my list for the week.

I’m not going to go fully vegan/veggie for health reasons, but I am cutting the amount way back. This one is difficult, because my body does *not* like a high carbohydrate diet. From much experimentation my ideal diet is mostly meat plus veggies. On top of that, I am 100% unwilling to purchase factory farmed meat, or any meat that was primarily grain-fed, or meat that came from the other side of the planet, so the meat I do eat is in the $8/lb neighborhood.

My long term plan is to get the majority of my meat from hunting. But short term, I am increasing the amount of beans, lentils, rice, wheat, etc, decreasing my meat consumption to about 1lb/week, and also drastically reducing my consumption of cheese. I almost never consume milk.

I think I mentioned earlier that I have an unprecedented interest in cooking. Some of the things I’ve learned to cook in the past few weeks:
-granola from scratch
-ketchup from scratch
-corn tortillas from masa harina
- French fries
-sweet potato fries
- @bostonimproper’s lentil recipe
-pico de gallo
-peanut butter pancakes

Before, all I knew how to cook was oatmeal, eggs, and burritos. I’m now excited to cook (much to DW’s delight) and don’t even have the desire to eat out.

AxelHeyst
Posts: 349
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: The Mountains, USA

Re: Axel Heyst's Journal

Post by AxelHeyst »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:51 am
¡Adelante!
Thank you! I can see how it can be frustrating to be a student not making much progress towards your savings goal. But... oh my lord. If I could go back in time to when I was in school, and strap myself down in a chair until I’d read the ERE book and run a few calcs, that would be amazing. Your ‘progress’ right now is in building the habits, the frame of mind, and in *not* starting out in the hole both financially and cognitively like so many other people.

And your attitude of enjoying student life is so healthy. That’s probably the most ERE perspective - enjoying the present moment circumstances, not pining after some always-in-the-future state where happiness will have been achieved.

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