Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

No worries lads, I will stick to English from now on. Not at a high enough level to write huge posts in Russian anyway! :lol:

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Not an update, just a post about my first impressions of Russia.

I like the value of the pound against the ruble. Obviously, this is only beneficial to me as a foreigner, and not to ordinary Russians. For me however, it is very kind. One Metro journey costs 45r, which is about 50p. In comparison to London, this is staggeringly cheap. Also, the metro here is very easy to understand, whereas the one in London is more difficult. Perhaps this reflects the organic nature of British infrastructure development as opposed to the strict planned nature of Russian infrastructure development.

I can have a pretty decent lunch here for £4, for quality and quantity which would cost me £10 plus in London. Other things are also pretty cheap. However, stuff that has been imported can actually be more expensive. For example I might need to buy some aftershave, and that seems to be more expensive than in the U.K.

I generally like SPB. The architecture here is super nice, like in Italy, and it has some really nice parks. However it is still just a big city, and generally I don't like big cities. Pollution, crowded streets, packed underground tubes, ruder people than in the suburbs. On rude people, there is no door etiquette here. I'v held open the door numerous times now, and only some times have people said "Спасибо" :lol: .

With all that said, the atmosphere here is still 10x better than that of London. Much less of the "need to be busy" mentality, and consequently much less of an air of self-importance, the idea that anyone, no matter how much they earn or how successful they are, is in anyway important.

Also, there are advantages. I'm using a language exchange type app to meet people (Russians) here in order to hang out with, and I've already met up with 2 different people and I'm meeting a third tomorrow. Plus I'm speaking with a few others on the app. For the first time in my life, I'm technically popular, and in all honestly I am not a big fan :lol: . It is just too exhausting maintaining that many conversations at once. I generally prefer tight knit groups, so I'm basically looking to make 3-4 Russian friends in Petersburg, no more.

I also signed up for the equivalent of Russian tinder, and have again had much more success on there than I would at home. Although I haven't actually met up with anyone irl from there. In general, I really such at dating apps. I just don't know how to communicate well over the medium of text, whereas in person I'm generally alright. I'm not even specifically looking for a relationship type thing here, so I might shutter that dating app. However, I've been out a few times with one girl from the other app, and I think things are progressing to that stage, so who knows ;) .

The actual Russian classes themselves are alright, although I'm a little worried tbh. The teacher is really good, but because we are in the winter months there has only been 3 other people in my class, and 2 of them have now finished. The 3rd guy only recently arrived, and he has already bunked a lesson. A lot of the other students are just really apathetic towards the lessons, which is annoying when I'm trying to make the most of them. A lot of these students are younger guys and girls though, who have never left education (where I understand turning up to lectures late or not at all is acceptable), or arty types who believe that turning up on time and actually trying is just a construct of the system or something. Either way, I cannot change their behaviour so I just have to let it be. However I am worried about what I'll be doing during next week's lessons. :? .

Well, that's about all I can think to say atm. До встречи!

User avatar
Bankai
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:28 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Bankai »

In the spirit of making the most out of every situation, you can focus on being an 'overachiever' which usually naturally makes the teacher interested in talking to you. If other students are disinterested, well, it's their loss, you can benefit from having the greatest share of the teacher's attention.

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by fiby41 »

If you like more natural places over the concrete jungle you have four options:
1 Letni saad and other Gardens in the city
2 Peterghov You'll have to take the metro and then a bus.
3 Nearby suburbs, preferably with a beach like in Rapina
4 Zoos, idk about this one, been to zoos only in Moscow.

I'm not sure which Russian dating app you use. I've only experience with VKontakte. Tinder game didn't work for me. I think it's because it's a more visual medium than anything else, but I had a French in my class who managed a f-close. He had dates lined up over the weekend even before his plane landed.
People were too nice to me and girls are actually feminine, but marriage-obsessed.
You can read more on how Russia treated me here
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6084&start=60#p184480

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Hiya @fitby41,

Cheers for the info. I'll definitely check a few of them out. The language school likes to arrange trips to Peterhof by boat, which is much more expensive, so it's good to know there is a different way of getting there also. Funny you should say about the zoos. I met up with a person the other day who said that the zoo here is just super depressing, and that the animals do not have as high a standard of living as in western zoos. In general I don't even like western zoos, so I might entirely avoid the one here.

I was using Badoo here. I've deleted it. I don't even like dating apps in the U.K, and although I was getting more matches here, I just found it really exhausting, and I don't converse well in the context of these apps. The language exchange app I've been using is much better, I'm meeting up with someone from there today in fact. I might try VK at one point, although generally I like to avoid most social media. The maximum I like is Whatsapp, to be honest.

Thanks again for the info, and it was interesting reading your journal! Are you still in Russia?

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

I'm going on a bit of a posting role at the moment!

I have lots of free time here. And that means lots of time to think. Thinking is generally not good for me. I remember hearing a quote along the lines of "All of men's issues boil down to being in able to sit quietly in a room alone". I think this describes me.

I feel I am increasingly becoming apathetic towards the concept of FIRE. On one hand, there are many parts of it that I resonate with strongly. Being frugal, anti-materialist (to a point), minimalism, self-sufficiency, etc. On the other hand, I feel there are other parts to it that are becoming more and more off-putting to me. FIRE requires, to some extent, going against the grain of the wider society. Walking backwards amongst a crowd who are all walking forwards.

This is a hard thing to do. Especially when, in my case, I believe my happiness does depend on how I fit into society. I think it does for everyone. Some people might be able to be satisfied living isolated from the community, but I don't believe I can. And of course, it is possible to find community within the context of FIRE, I mean this forum is an example of that. But as it is only a virtual community, it can never replace the physical community that I need. And physical community is harder to find within the context of FIRE. The vast majority of people are simply not attracted to it as a philosophy of life. They don't mind having to work until age 60 if it means they can go to nice restaurants once a week, or not having the "optimal" pension if it means they can go to Lake Garda once a year.

So the struggle for me is how do I try to build a life for me within the physical community, whilst also trying to live according to the principles of FIRE? Part of this issue is work. Having now been unemployed for nearly 5 months, I miss work. I miss the structure it gave to me, I miss the increased status I received through working (and I was hardly in a prestigious job). At the moment, in all honestly, even though I am completely funding my own way, I feel a little bit like a bum.

So even if I did reach the point where I am living a life funding by the return on my invested capital, I don't know I would feel great without work. Status is something I've been thinking a lot about recently, and I am increasingly thinking it is one of the most important aspects of a "good" life. Achieving a good status level in society whilst adhering to FIRE principles is a much harder (not impossible) task.

Another example of this is the role of "provider". I increasingly believe that my own happiness is found through how I serve others. I am actually most happy when I am helping someone with something. When I buy a coffee for someone, or when I help someone with an issue. This role of a "provider", the act of serving others, is I believe harder whilst following FIRE principles.

To finish with a disclaimer, by no means am I saying my interpretation of FIRE is the only one, or that what I have written above applies to anyone else. Essentially, going forward into the future I am not sure how I will live my life, or how closely I will adhere to anything which could be described as FIRE. By no means am I going to become a debt-ridden, spendaholic who loves material things, but I don't know how far away I will drift from the FIRE ideal.

Have a great week everyone!

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1100
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by fiby41 »

Are you still in Russia?
I will be returning after 2 years, when I have 5 years of expenses saved. That time it'll be for 3 years rather than the previous 4 months.
FIRE requires, to some extent, going against the grain of the wider society. Walking backwards amongst a crowd who are all walking forwards.
Only those salmons and sperms which swim upstream survive.
Another example of this is the role of "provider".
I don't want to be put in the provider box. I'd rather be in the role of a "lover." This is part of FIRE's appeal to me.
Russia is a post-feminist country. By the end of WW2, 1 in 4 Russian adult males pogibli (Russian had 2 different verbs for dieing, one for death by natural causes/old age and the other for everything else, which I find to be a really cool feature) in the Great Patriotic War. In other countries feminism crept in through gradual social reforms and birth control pills. In Russia, it was urgent need of the hour to include women in the workforce to keep the economic engine going. Now that it has come to pass, you buying coffee for a girl is the same as when Putin gave flowers to Angela Merkel - as a gesture. If she thinks you are a provider, she'll feel cheated/disenchanted when she finds out about your job.
When I buy a coffee for someone, or when I help someone with an issue. This role of a "provider", the act of serving others, is I believe harder whilst following FIRE principles.
Coming back to why this makes FIRE appeal to me. By following fire principles, I make sure to budget my dates. If a girl is costing more than the intimacy commands, I cut the cost. This acts like a filter. Are they still interested in me if I cannot provide them anything? Do they find me interesting, or are looking for their long term provisioning needs?
I increasingly believe that my own happiness is found through how I serve others.
Enlightened self interest says I cannot help anybody unless I help myself first.

Best way to find out for yourself if this belief is genuine is to volunteer at a religious service. I did service at and participated in the ISKCON temple in my city for 8 months (unto 4 days a week, in various evening programs), after the 5th month I was just going through the motions, the excitement was gone.
So the struggle for me is how do I try to build a life for me within the physical community, whilst also trying to live according to the principles of FIRE?
Maintain intentional ambiguity. Keep them guessing. It fires up the imagination and the hamster (rationalization engine). Let them retrofit the breadcrumbs you put out into the image they have of you. This might get them ego-invested. The surest way to lose someone's interest is to vomit out your life story the first time you meet.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

@fitby41

That will be a long old time in Russia. In all honesty, after only two months here I am already ready to return home. Do you plan to study a degree here? Interesting thoughts, I get where you are coming from. However,
By following fire principles, I make sure to budget my dates. If a girl is costing more than the intimacy commands, I cut the cost.
You might be able to do this, but for me I cannot act in such a logical manner :lol: . I couldn't just cut ties with someone that I had started to feel about in that way. In fact, I don't think I could put a numerical value on when that person was no longer worth seeing. My brain (or heart) just does not work that way.

Of course, I would not even become interested with someone who is super materialistic or is clearly only interested in the contents of my wallet. But there's a large difference between someone like this and someone who likes going out to eat once a week, or likes to buy a coffee everyday. This may not be something I would do, but is it enough for me to just cut ties with such a person, if I like them in other ways? For me, no.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Just going to post an update. Don't really feel like doing my usual structure, so this is just going to be a bit of a tangent.

Russia is okay. I'm feeling ready to go home. I'm bored of being a tourist, which is essentially what I am here. I need work, and a sense of purpose. Work does not always equal a sense of purpose, but unless you have some other project in life, it is probably your best bet. Love and family can also provide a sense of purpose, I suppose, but I also do not have these things.

I'm also tired of being in a big city, and have a longing for nature. I generally don't like big cities. They are grimy, the people are less polite and more self-concerned. Cities also allow oneself to be much more dependent, which is generally bad for my soul. You don't have to cook for yourself, clean for yourself, etc. Pretty much every practical task you can think of has an easy solution in the city. This dependency enables weakness to grow.

Cities do have there advantages, one of which is lots of people to meet. Through the course I'm doing here, I've been able to meet lots of cool, different types of people. Really smart people, funny people, people with strange jobs. I've also been able to meet more girls here. One girl I've been getting on with really well. Clever, attractive, kind, etc. At first we met as friends, but recently, it has been more romantic. I even held her hand the last time we met :lol: I really want to kiss her (I've even told her that) but the self-confidence issue keeps kicking in. I don't feel able to go in for a kiss when there are lots of people around, which obviously in a city is hard to get away from :lol: I just feel that everyone is looking at me, will start laughing at me. Irrational I know, but feelings themselves are not irrational, so what can I do?

I hope I can maybe keep something going with her, even after I have left for home. I'm open to having a long distance relationship, but obviously it takes two to tango, so I'll have to see what she feels :lol: .

I think I will go for the military when I return. I keep on thinking about it, and if I never go for it I will also look back with regret. Who knows though?

See you soon.

wolf
Posts: 966
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by wolf »

Military? Why that? When I read that you don't like the dependency in big cities, I wouldn't think you like dependency in the military either?
Would there be a career path for you at the military?

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

@wolf

That's a good point actually. I imagine military life is quite dependent. But it also offers the chance to experience new things, learn new skills, and become a part of something larger than ourselves. Mainly, I want to serve a cause larger than myself, I want to feel as if I am "doing my bit". As to your second question, yes, the military does offer quite a diverse set of career paths. I'm not to sure which one I would for yet. In some ways the infantry appeals, but so does some sort of trade. I just don't want to do anything where I will be predominantly office-based.

wolf
Posts: 966
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by wolf »

Sabaka wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:18 pm
For me, whenever I begin to think about or apply systems, it just begins to tire me out a little.
How do you approach things then, if not by applying a system?

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

@wolf

I suppose I do use systems in a way, just the ones I use have become so instinctive that I do not recognise when I am using. They are also very simple, as if they were not simple I would have to actively think about them. For me, the big barrier to creating or applying more complex systems (such as your web of goals) is that in my experience they have been badly designed and too rigid/unflexible.

For example, when I started working in a bank at the start of the year, I tried to create a sort of complex system, so as to visualise where I would be not only in my career but in my personal life in 5/10 years time. However, due to feeling miserable in that work environment, the whole system became redundant. The system links I had created to help improve my work-social-psychological-relationships life meant that the whole system fell apart when one of these areas didn't go according to plan.

An analogy could be a computer where one program becoming infected with malware causes the whole system to go kaput.

Maybe once I am older and have built stability in one large area (work, family, etc) I will be able to create a more complex system around this solid core. Or maybe I just need to practice more to reach your sort of ability at creating systems. However, I personally believe I do not have the logical capabilities to implement such systems, and therefore I will have to explore different strategies to help my live as good and happy a life as possible within my own limited mental capabilities.

Sorry if this makes no sense.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Decision made

I've decided to try and join the Royal Marines.

From a pretty young age, I have always been interested in the military. I can remember one time, walking with my dad in the local woods and I was asking him about different things, as he had been in the Reserves (Parachute regiment). And an other time playing with friends in the same local woods pretending to fight Nazis :lol: .

This was what inspired me to join the Army Reserves at age 17, and to complete half of the training there. What caused me to leave was a combination of different things, which can just be described as a general bad spell. From this bad spell, I think I ended up mistakenly identifying the Army Reserves as the issue, when in fact it was other things and my own general mindset.

So what has changed which makes me want to make this decision now?

- Change of mindset: I feel in a much better place than I was 3-4 years ago. I am more sure of who I am as a person, more confident, in general more certain of the man I want to become. This is not due to some grand revelation or training program, but just life. For example, 4 years ago I thought that maybe a change of workplace from unskilled to white-collar would help. But it didn't. I worked in a fairly white-collar job, and found myself hating it. This experience has taught me that jobs in such environments as these (especially sales :lol: ) are not for me.

Obligations are what make me happy, and I have an obligation to my fellow citizens and my country: Over the past two years, I have increasingly come to feel that obligations are what make me happy. Before this, I was very much a "rugged individual, I'm an island" type. I felt that obligations were ties. But when I shed those ties, I ended up feeling worse.

Ties (obligations) are what connects us to our respective communities, and our communities are the source of our happiness. Feeling that I am providing a service to some one/thing and feeling that they are dependent of rely on me is where I feel happiest. I feel I need to take on obligations, and the military provides that opportunity in abundance. Also, the past 3 months in Russia has confirmed to me how lucky I feel to have born in the U.K. It has made me more patriotic. It is a country that has kept me and my family safe, provided me with so many opportunities, educated me, healed me when I got ill, etc. And what have I given back in return? Nothing, so therefore service is required.

I need to challenge myself: Despite being in a much better place than I was a few years ago, I still have struggles. A lot of these are related to my identity. Why do I constantly doubt myself? Why do I back down from confrontation? Why do I try to avoid confrontation when sometimes it is required? Why am I not proud when I look in the mirror? I could go on for ages.

I need to push myself beyond my wildest limits, and hopefully come on top. I need to meet goals. I've been trying to research as much as possible what people get from the Royal Marines, and one common theme is confidence. If successful, you have completed some of the hardest military training in the world. What is approaching a girl out compared to that? Or protecting people from some thug on a train or in a park?

The military lifestyle: The main aspect of this which is important for me is camaraderie, of joining a community and being a part of something larger than myself. I feel that I need to have people in my life who are prepared to support me through the worse shit and who I will support in return. There are other benefits of course, such as education support, a good pension and low living-costs. But I can be honest in saying that these for me are more of an added bonus than a prime reason.

These are the reasons that come most to mind at the moment, amongst others.

I wasn't sure about posting this on the forum. For one, there is little link to ERE or FIRE. Secondly, I am conscious that me posting this before I have started the application could be seen as a form of just trying to receive support or sympathy from other people (or maybe that is just my self-doubt again :lol: ). I am also aware that there are members of this forum who are active military or veterans, and the posts I've made where I have mentioned the military could just be seen as begging for attention. That is not my intention.

For me, this journal has been really helpful not only as a source of ideas and community, but as a source of accountability. The number of times I have almost fallen into bad spending ways before thinking "How will this look on my journal?" is numerous. I'm therefore hoping that as I now start this new phase of my life, it will also help me to keep accountable in this area.

Of course, I will still use this journal for it's main purpose, which is covering my journey towards more and more financial freedom. But I am hoping that posts also covering my journey towards (fate permitting) becoming a Royal Marine will help.

So, at my next monthly review, expect not only a review of my financial situation after 3 months in Russia, but a section on how I'm taking my first steps in this new journey.

Thanks for reading :)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 837
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Sabaka, have you read "How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World"?

If not I would recommend it before making any commitments. I respect our service members and for some it's a great life. From my own experience, many join for the wrong reasons and ultimately see it as a sentence.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

@2Birds1Stone

Thanks for your comment. I have read the book, and it was quite good. The main takeaways I took from it were to not impose self-limiting beliefs on oneself, such as "You cannot do this because of this obligation or that relationship, etc. I read it a couple of years ago now, so that might not be an entirely accurate representation of the book. But in any case, I do not see the ideas I took away from the book as being incompatible with a military career.

In fact, I am hoping that a career in the military would help me to overcome some of the self-limiting beliefs I have about myself, that I am not athletic/smart/hard/etc enough to do this. My main motivation is that I keep on thinking of this, and if I never even give it a go, I will always look back with regret.

Just an update here, as I have now returned from Russia and tallied up my expenses for the 3 months I was there. This includes everything, the flight, the course and accommodation, and what I spent while I was there. In total, I spent: £6,366.65p :o

The highest amount I have ever spent, I believe. However, this is also the first time I basically spent freely and didn't actively budget. And I had a really great time. So if anything, this was a really helpful exercise in helping me to identify how much I would spend when not actively budgeting, what type of things I would spend on, etc.

I also could have saved money in various areas. I booked the accommodation through the language school, which in hindsight was a much more expensive option than booking my own apartment. This would have saved a significant amount of money in itself, and also would have helped me to save in other areas such as food (could have cooked more of my own food), travel (would not have had to use the metro a much) and some areas as well. There are also other costs that were one offs and would not be a regular cost. Also, if I was not doing a language course and simply "living" this would have taken out a significant cost. Taking all of these out, I could have gotten the cost down to at least £1,500 p/m, and maybe even lower.

So in general, the trip confirmed to me that I am a relatively frugal person. Maybe not as frugal as many others, but as compared to the wider society, definitely frugal. Which has in turn confirmed to me that FIRE is still definitely achievable for me, whilst maybe not maintaining as high a savings rate as I have done before. It also helped me to identify what I like to spend money on. And I discovered that I like to spend money on experiences, or to help facilitate spending time with other people. So I never really felt tempted by fine dining, any luxury items or museum tickets whilst in Russia. But if it meant buying a coffee or paying for a meal as a "ticket" to spend time with other people, this was a ticket I was willing to buy.

So, to summarise, a really worthwhile trip (despite the cost :lol: ). It has helped me to think about and decide a path for my future, helped to clarify my attitudes towards FIRE, gave me lots of great experiences and built my confidence. I also improved my Russian quite a bit, apparently to a B1 intermediate level :) .

What I am doing next

Preparing for the military. Basically this involves getting really fast at running and really good at doing push ups, pull ups and sit ups. I am also going to start revising for test, and revising the history and structure of the corps. I am really excited, and really nervous. I am sending the application when I have sorted my phone number here.

I also need to look for some sort of a job. Theoretically I could just not work whilst I am doing the application. However I want to earn some money again, and to have something to do in the day. So I am looking for a job, any job. Just hopefully something that doesn't involve either selling or prolonged customer interaction :lol: .

Other than that, I am just going to keep cracking on with whatever I usually do. A bit of Russian, a bit of reading, etc.

Thanks for reading, see you all next month.

P.S: Current net worth stands at approximately £37,000.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

December 2019 update and overview of the entire year.

Another year passed! It is quite strange to sometimes look back on my very first posts back in April 2017 and see how things have changed in the nearly three years since then. Back then, I was in the military reserves, working in a warehouse and not sure of where to go in my life. I then decided to study for a diploma in financial advice, with a view of going into that sector for my career. But after studying for that diploma for a year and then starting starting a job in that sector, I realised that I did not like it! :lol: .

Perhaps I would like a different job in that sector more, but I am not sure. I failed to realise that a large part of being a financial adviser is being a salesman, and I have discovered that I am not a great salesman at all! I am sure there are more support type jobs I could move into, but I just do not feel any desire to. Maybe in the future I will return to this sector, and finally make use of that diploma (which cost a grand!!), but I feel I need a different challenge at this current moment.

Hence my decision to join the military. However, even this decision has changed somewhat over just the period of a month! When I had made the decision to join the military some months ago, I had then spent a period debating whether to apply to join the Royal Marines, which is a combat role, or to apply to join in a more specialist or support role in one of the other services. Originally I posted here that I had decided on the Royal Marines, however having since then had time to reflect on my prior (little) experience in the military and where I want to be in the future, I have decided to instead apply to join a more specialist/support role. I won't bore you with the specifics of what trade/specialisation and the reason for my change of heart here.

I have now sent off the application. Now I just need to find some work to occupy myself throughout the application process (it can take up to a year! :shock: ).

Most of all, reading through my journal reminds me of how quick everything can change. One minute we see ourselves as doing X, and then within a month we are instead doing Y. Sometimes these changes are prompted by external events, but a lot of the time they come about simply because we ourselves have changed. It reminds me of the fragility of human planning. In January 2019 I had a five year job based around me working in finance! :lol: .

FIRE is about human planning, and therefore FIRE itself fragile. I hate to bring up the common refrain against FIRE, but we really could be dead tomorrow. Now of course, this does not mean that we should abandon all planning and live only for the current minute. But in the same way as this is on one end of the spectrum, creating 10-20 year plans of what you will do after retirement is also. For me, my goal for 2020 is going to be about how to find the "golden mean" between these two extremes, not neglecting either the future or the present :) .

Now, time for the summaries.

December 2019 Summary

Name - Cost (£)

Recurring exp - 7.5
Book - 11.42
Food - 35.36
Misc - 63.2
Russian - 25
Presents - 64.5

Total (£) - 206.98

In general, a pretty reasonable month. Food was fairly standard, as long as it is under £40 per month I am happy. Presents were a fairly reasonable cost. The "Misc" cost was for some new trail running shoes, which I am fairly happy with, and the Russian cost was for a yearlong subscription to a flashcard app I use nearly every day. Overall, a pretty decent month in terms of costs.

Investments

I moved into safe investments almost two months ago, meaning that at the moment I have almost zero equity exposure. This isn't really a "timing the market" thing, it's just that I have decided that I will want to purchase a property within the next 3-5 years, and therefore am solely saving for towards this. The total value of all my investments is approximately £37,000.

Overview of 2019

I done a tally of how much I spent in total during 2019, just out of interest. My total spend for the year was approximately £11,400, an average of around £950per month. Obviously the usual disclaimers apply (live at home with my parents, pay nominal rent, etc) but considering this total includes my 3 months in Russia, where I basically lived like a King, I am pretty happy with it. Let's see what 2020 brings!

Focuses for the New Year

Join the military, try to develop purpose in my life, build new and closer relationships (romantic especially). Continue on my path to financial independence, saving as much as possible. Try to improve myself as much as possible by learning new skills (I especially need to become more good at "handsy" type stuff). I want to get better at Russian, and I have actually just started learning Polish too, which I hope to get somewhat good at (I'm on a quest to learn all the Slavic languages ;) ).

Finally, I want to say a huge thanks to all those I have interacted with on this forum, as well as everyone who contributes to the forum in general. The amount of value I have gained from this free resource is immense, and I genuinely think that my life is better for having found this community. May all of you have great year and decade, and achieve all you want to achieve.

Do widzenia :)

Cheepnis
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:52 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Cheepnis »

I'm just old enough for there to be a slight experience gap between us and, man, if I'd been as thoughtful and articulate as you are at when I was your age I'd be in a completely different place right now. No real regrets here, I say that only to point out that you're doing great and I enjoy reading your updates.

Egg
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:59 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Egg »

Hi. Having been in the British military (won't self-dox any further although I think I've probably posted more detail on here before) I can assure you it can be an awesome career if it's the right fit for you. Wise choice imo to swerve infantry in general, though if you're tough enough for the Royal Marines (and enjoy wearing little black dresses) I don't think they can be beaten as an organisation. The thinking man's para. I couldn't have handled it, but what those guys have is unique and special, even within the military.

My advice is: think about a trade that will stand you well in civvy street or join as an officer and get a free degree.

Sabaka
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Freedom through Frugality: Sabaka's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

@Cheepnis

Thanks a lot man :) . It helps to read posts like that, assuage the constant doubts I have :lol:

@Egg

It's the little black dresses that put me off! :lol: In all serious, I think that when I reflected on it, I am just not at the level of the Royal Marines or Paras, either in terms of physical fitness or mental steeliness. I've listed some different trades on my application, and I tried to think about what I could do well in. Hopefully I've chosen well!

I did initially think about trying for officer entry, but again on reflection I think I lack the necessary leadership and management qualities to do that role. Maybe they will come in time, but at this stage in life I can honestly say I don't think I'd make a good leader!

Thanks for the advice :)

Life update

I just thought I'd post a bit about my plans for this upcoming year. Hopefully they are more accurate than my 2019 plans! :lol:

I've started the military application process and having done some research there is a large possibility it could take a year plus before I enlist and start basic training. So in the meantime I've decided to get a job in order to finally start building my nest egg again, rather than depleting it! I have found a job (nothing fancy, close to minimum wage), and I will start work next week.

So essentially, I want to keep working until I get a confirmed date for basic training. At this point, I will then go off travelling a bit. How long I will go travelling depends on the length of time between my receiving a date for basic training and when it actually starts. From what I've heard, it can be anything from a couple of weeks to multiple months. Ideally, it will give me enough time to travel a couple of months and come back home and sort everything out before starting. But I will just have to wait and see.

In this between period, life will be as it usually is: Working, language study, exercise and reading. In order to maximise my savings, I will be keeping costs to the minimum. One goal I've set is only buying one book a month (already failed this month :lol: ) and getting the rest from the library. In general, I will be aiming for frugality max!

Well, that's about all. See you all at the end of the month!

Post Reply