Why Living On a Boat Is One Of The Cheapest (and Awesome) Way To Live

Last month I did my biggest purchase in years. It might even be my most expensive purchase ever.

I bought a boat. 

The book I named this blog after (hint: its Walden), made a huge impression on me. The part of building a small cabin and living in the woods was super appealing to me. But I must be honest. I like water more than the woods.

But buying a boat has always been scary for me. Boats are expensive and need constant repair. But. If you buy a small boat, it’s easier to fix things. And they not just cheaper. They are WAY cheaper.

Spare parts on boats cost exponential more as they increase in size. And smaller boats just need fewer spare parts. So there is not too often something to fix.

Hedonic Adaptation on Boats

I don’t have a toilet onboard. That will scare a lot of people because they don’t know where to take a shit. People I have onboard are often relieved when I tell them how often they break and it is not fun to fix a toilet in +2m waves and there is shit all over the floor.

To be honest. It is sort of nice just to take a shit in the ocean. And when you do get back to an ordinary toilet. You will appreciate much more than you normally would. Essential stuff as cooking becomes a bit of a project. But I like that. It involves everyone on the boat.

Living on a boat is the highest highs and lowest lows. That is what I love about it. What we are taking for granted in our normal lives becomes a huge luxury. Having a fridge packed with delicious foods is not something we truly enjoy. But when you have been on a boat for a couple of weeks. That is a huge luxury. But it is also nice to come back to the boat where everything is super simple.

The Economy

There are several reasons why a small boat is preferable to a big boat.

  • Cheaper to buy
  • Easier to sell
  • Doesn’t drop in price
  • Cheap maintenance
  • Easier and cheaper to find a harbor
  • Cheap Insurance

This the breakdown of what I have bought my boat for.

The cost of the boat was 29.000 DKK.

Then I needed to buy some miscellaneous stuff like tools, life jackets, and similar. That costs me 2.000 DKK. 

As a rule of thumb. It will cost you 20 % of the purchasing price in maintenance. Which will be 6.000 DKK. That is a pretty high number. Basic maintenance will cost me no more than 2000 DKK. But if I keep it for years I must eventually buy a new motor, sails, and similar. And each of that item is in the “pricey” end of about 6-7000 DKK.

A base harbor place is super cheap when you have a small boat. My boat has received a spot in Ærøskøbing at the moment. And a spot in that harbor costs 3000 DKK annually. That is utilities included. I know that in Copenhagen it is around 4000 DKK annually. So just let’s go with an average of about 3500 DKK. 

The insurance as shall have by law. Comes at the ridiculous price of 240 DKK annually. Which I gladly pay.

To Sum It Up

  • Cost of the boat = 29.000 DKK
  • Miscellaneous stuff = 2.000 DKK
  • Maintenance = 5.000 DKK
  • Harbour fee = 3.000 DKK
  • Insurance = 240 DKK
  • Total = 39.240 DKK

The price of buying a ready sailboat will be about 40.000 DKK. It could probably be done cheaper. But this boat was a bargain at that price. Someday I will be selling it again. The cost of the boat and miscellaneous shopping is money I will get back again.

So the annual cost of having a boat is only:

  • Maintenance
  • Harbour fee
  • Insurance

Which is = 8.240 DKK annual or 686 DKK/month.

My Monthly Finances the Apartment

Is something like this.

  • Rent 3300 DKK
  • Insurance 300 DKK
  • Utilities 300 DKK

Total = 3.900 DKK 

Living in a small boat compared to living in a really cheap Copenhagen apartment is almost 6:1. 

For months of rent in the apartment, I can live the whole summer on my boat. What about winter? Living on a small boat is probably not for everyone. And I might think that it won’t be for me either in the cold Danish winter months.

That is why I’m thinking of the perfect mix of living on a boat in the summer. And having a vacation house (sommerhus) during the winter. Renting out a vacation house in Denmark has a lot of tax benefits. And I would get the best rate when the weather is best here in Denmark. But that doesn’t matter. That is where I prefer to be on a boat. So I could rent out the vacation house during the summer. And living in it myself for free during the winter. And in 20 years-ish I would have a vacation house that has been paid off by the tourist.

Another thing I’m considering is to sail the boat to the Mediterranean sea. I love every single country down there and the sailing season is just much longer (and probably) nicer because of the warmer weather. During the winters I could put the boat on land and go home to Denmark to earn some money and hang out with friends and family.

Coast FIRE and Living On a Boat

If you read this at 20 something years I would really encourage you to live on a boat for a short period of your life. It is filled with adventures, and you will save a lot of money which can compound into a fortune.

If we compare living on a boat and living in a cheap apartment. With my finances as an example.

Living on a boat costs 700 DKK/Month

Living in cheap apartment costs 3.900 DKK/Month

You will save 3.200 DKK/month or 38.400 DKK/year. 

If you are 25 years old and you invest those 38.400 DKK, they could compound into:

626.358 DKK when you are 65 years old with a 7 % ROI.

So go ahead, live on a small boat, while you are working a year or two. Sail out in the evenings with some of your friends with some pizza onboard. Dump the anchor in and have a blast.

You will get an enormous amount of street credit from your friends and it is a perfect spot for a date as well.

Do that for two years and I have made you rich.

Blog Sponsor

A fellow danish money blogger is this post sponsor. His name is John, and he writes in danish about hands-on money-saving tips and other money/finance related stuff at vilebo.dk

22# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

This month savings rate: 67 %

12-month rolling expenses: 102.000 DKK (15.500 $)

My Coast FIRE number: 5.438.000 DKK (751.000$) or 54 years of living expenses.

Light Brush Up For The Updates

I have made a little change to the graphics of my monthly updates. I want to emphasize the power of Coast FIRE, and that is why I have removed everything except for the blue line which is my current net worth in stocks.

The red line is my current net worth but with a 7 % ROI till the day I’m 65 years old. Most of the people I know who have “reached” FIRE don’t spend any of their money from the portfolio. If that is the trend. Why should we spend years and years to save up for the magical 25 times your annual spending, if you are not even using them?

Let the money do the heavy lifting instead.

Traveling Around in Denmark

I’m still on welfare (Dagpenge) and is just going around in Denmark. Either by train or by boat.

I have just bought a spot for my boat on Ærø – Ærøskøbing. So that is my base at the moment. But you can find me all over the country at the moment. The island community is something I love. Visiting all of the fine islands we by boat is something that I enjoy.

Data You Miss?

Let me know if there is some data in the monthly updates you think I can add. It could be my expenses, savings rate, or something third.

Thanks To My Sponsor

Again again.

Thanks to my sponsor Vilebo.dk for sponsoring again!

My Kakeibo Experiment, Part Three (Final)

My Kakeibo Experiment, Part One

My Kakeibo Experiment, Part Two

I did this experiment because I read in Your Money or Your Life that you could cut your expenses at least 20 % by keeping note of every cent that goes in and out of your life.

So I wanted to do a three months experiment to see if that claim was true.

Spending

In May I had the following spending in the four categories:

Category 1 (Necessities) = 2.425 DKK (231 $)

Category 2 (Wants) = 1.874 DKK (134 $)

Category 3 (Unforeseen) = 0 DKK

Category 4 (Investing) = 30.000 DKK

Total spending = 4.299 DKK (432 $)

The Averages

Average amount pr. transaction = 195 DKK (24 $)

Average amount pr. day = 139 DKK (14 $)

Average transaction/day = 0,7

The Comparison

Catapril 2020march 2020may 2020% Improvement
1571315522425136
278898991874321
35584500GREAT
40030000GREAT
Total1416029014299228
april 20′march 20′may 20′% Improvement
Amount pr. trans186161195-5
Amount pr. day45697139228
Transactions/day2,450,60,7250

To Summarize

Did I improve more than 20 %??

Oh yes, I did! 

From my worst month (April) to the previous month I improved 228 % on average. And I improved 321 % in category 2 which is the “Wants” category I would like to have close to zero spendings in.

Go ahead and try it yourself. Let me know if you can improve at least 20 % as well!

Blog Sponsor

A fellow danish money blogger is this post sponsor. His name is John, and he writes in danish about hands-on money-saving tips and other money/finance related stuff at vilebo.dk

21# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

% change since last month: -2,4 %

My Coast FIRE number: 4.981.000 DKK (751.000$) or 50 years of living expenses.

Sailing 14 Days in Denmark

Just because I have been sent home from South East Asia due to the coronavirus, doesn’t mean that I don’t want to sail.

The weather looked good, and my dad and his friend shouldn’t use their boat for 14 days. So I grabbed the phone and called two of my old folk school friends, and asked them if they wanted to go on a trip with me for 14 days.

Without hesitation, they both answered yes.

The 14 days cost us about 3.000 DKK (450 $) each, which I think is a small amount for a trip that seemed like the most awesome holiday. We could easily have done it for half of that amount.

A picture says more than 1000 words, so here is an 11:46 min long video of the whole trip. It is my Instagram stories on @LouiLam compiled into one video.

(Don’t judge me on the editing, it took me less than two minutes)

I Bought a Boat!

The slight dip in my networth is because I have just bought a freaking boat! I have always wanted to live on a boat but have been terrified about how many expenses there are in having a boat.

My dad bought a book called “Pocket Cruising og Mikroeventyr”, where he suggests to buy a small boat because they are super cheap to buy and maintain. And I was sold instantly.

Looking at small boats I quickly fell in love with a boat called L23, which is an old danish glass fiber boat from the late ’70s.

I think it might be one of the smallest boats that feels like a boat. And not a dinghy.

On one of our last days on the sailing trip, one of my friends found an L23 for sale for 29.000 DKK (4.380 $). The sale ad was less than 2 hours old when I wrote to the seller that I was interested in the boat, and I would like to have a look at it. Our sailing trip ended on a Friday, and on the following day, I bought this beauty.

I’m super inspired by Henry David Thoreau who builds a little shack in the woods and lived in. And I was super inspired by the book my dad bought.

This is going to be my Walden experiment on water. This boat will be my home for the next 3-15 months, at least. Trying to live as simple as possible while enjoying the best of Denmark’s nature.

There will without a doubt be a lot of articles about the boat.

Intern as a Brewer

As I’m writing this I’m on my way to Vejle where I’m going to be an intern as a brewer at Bøgedal Brewery. 

I love beer, and I have been wondering how I could stop paying a ton of money for fancy beers I love, and start to drink even fancier beer for less than what a normal beer is costing.

After I watched a danish television show where they are featured, I wrote to them and asked them if they wanted me as an intern. And the said yes!

So the next couple of days I’m going to learn how to brew awesome beer by one of the best and coolest brewers in this country.

Take My FREE Online Course!

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Many of them have written to me with questions and told me they enjoyed the course!

Check it out here

Thanks To My Sponsor!

Thanks to Vilebo.dk for sponsoring not one but four blog posts!

My Kakeibo Experiment, Part Two

If you read the headline and think: “What the f*** is Kakeibo?!”

Then go and read Part One first. It has been amazing how big of an impact it has done to my finances that I started to take note of every cent. Even though there is a big difference in living in Asia, and couch surfing in Denmark. I’m still convinced that this single habit is the best to stay on top of your finances.

The Categories

To summarize. I have four categories that give to my expenses.

  1. Essentials
  2. Optional/Wants
  3. Unforeseen
  4. Investing

The Spending

In April I had the following spending in the four categories:

Category 1 = 1.552 DKK (231 $)

Category 2 = 899 DKK (134 $)

Category 3 = 450 DKK (67 $)

Category 4 = 0 DKK

Total spending = 2.901 DKK (432 $)

The Averages

Average amount pr. transaction = 161 DKK (24 $)

Average amount pr. day = 96.7 DKK (14 $)

Average transaction/day = 0,6

The Comparison

CatApril 2020March 2020% Improv.
15.7131.552268
27.889899778
355845024
4000
AveragesApril 2020March 2020% Improv.
Amount pr. trans18616116
Amount pr. day45697370
Transactions/day2,450,6308

Couch Surfing and Cooking

It seems like it is way cheaper to cook for people to borrow their couch. That is what I have been doing the last month. Visiting family and friends in every corner of the country, and just showing up with a bag of food (and beer) and do some cooking.

Category 2 is the one that I would like to keep as low as possible. Preferably 0. But a 778 % improvement is a quantum leap!

And a 370 % improvement on my “Amount pr. day” isn’t that shabby either. 

Tomorrow I will do 13 days of sailing in Denmark with two of my friends. And I think that will have an impact on this project.

Blog Sponsor

A fellow danish money blogger is this post sponsor. His name is John, and he writes in danish about hands-on money-saving tips and other money/finance related stuff at vilebo.dk

Single Best Advice on How To Get Financial Independent, Answered by 14 FIRE Experts

Don’t take my word for it on how to reach financial independence?

I have asked 12 people who are badass in this community for their best piece of advice. So without further ado. Here are 12 awesome answers!

Jmoney.biz, J. Money

Track your net worth! By far one of the best things I ever did with my money, as it gives you a fantastic snapshot of exactly where you are at any given point in time. And if you’re not one to enjoy budgeting much, it makes for a killer substitution as well! You’ll know fast whether certain areas are improving or not, and perhaps even more importantly you’ll realize what areas are within your control and which aren’t.

BONUS: it only takes 5-10 minutes to update every month!

Earlyretirementextreme.comJacob Lund Fisker.

My best piece of advice is meta-advice. It builds on Paul Wheaton’s Eco-scale and concerns how to to find the best advice depending on how far one is on the journey towards financial independence.

It’s a logarithmic scale with levels describing how much thought one has given to money, freedom, and consumption. For each step up the scale, there are ten times fewer people. If there are one billion at level 1, there are 100 million on level 2, 10 million on level 3, etc. and maybe ten in the world at the top level.

ERE Wheaton Scale 

What’s surprising about the scale is that no matter where one is on the scale, anyone one level higher will always feel inspiring whereas those two levels higher seem too extreme and those beyond three levels look outright crazy. Conversely, it’s always believed that anyone one level behind could easily level up if they just tried a little harder. Those two levels behind the need to pull themselves together and those three or more levels behind are collectively responsible for all the world’s problems.

The Wheaton scale makes it easier to understand how we’re all at different points in our journey towards financial independence. The potential for miscommunication when the gap between levels is too large is worth keeping in mind when talking to others about FIRE.

Pernillewahlgren.dkPernille Wahlgren

My best advice to those who want financial independence!

Create thoughts that support you and your ideas! And make a plan of what you want to achieve and when? Once you find your life goal and direction, it all becomes much easier.

Then create some sub-goals that describe how to get to the goals. Divide into so small sub-goals that you feel that you move closer to your big life goal every day. Also, remember to celebrate the milestones every time you reach a milestone.

Also, find good friends/family/partner who will support you and support you all the way. Without support, everything becomes much more difficult. To create good thoughts, you need mental support when you will lose courage and motivation for periods.

Good luck and as my favorite saying goes:

“Whoever does not know which port to steer towards is no wind favorable”.

 Set your goals and your thoughts so that you can reach them are the most important.

Money MowCarl

“I often see that people find it overwhelming to start on a journey towards financial independence and believe you need to be a financial expert to do so. This is so wrong.

The most important thing is always to just get started. Becoming financially independent is often a question of time. The sooner you start paying off your debt, saving, and investing, the sooner you will reach financial independence. If you think paying off your debt seems overwhelming, start by paying off small extra amounts each month. If you think you cannot save more money, try to find one area where you can save a bit.

If you think investing seems difficult, try buying your first index fund or share. By just getting started you will break down perceived barriers to becoming financially independent – and you will be free sooner than you think.”

Thriving WilliowPeter

One of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve come to love is making sure you understand your ’Why’. Motivation is key for achieving FI as it takes time to reach the end goal. Having a clear vision, goal, and lifestyle as a motivator can accelerate the progress and pump your way through the tough and uninspiring times. 

Whether it’s living in a self-built Tiny House with your electric bike or living in a mansion with 2 Tesla’s; Whether it’s having 6 days a week with your kids, or private dinners with the top executives around the world every weekday. 

 We’re all different. And that’s great! 

 – Knowing WHY you’re going for FI is a key asset on your FI journey –

Frinans.dkSune

Keep it simple

In a complex world, there is both beauty and strength in keeping things simple. You ensure that you don’t get in over your head and utilizing the Pareto principle is a way to get great results across several endeavors, without having to study every detail. I apply this equally to investing, saving money, and cooking, among many other things. Keeping things simple saves both time and energy, which can then be spent on things you really love doing or just people you love.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Daniels PengetipsDaniel Hansen Pedersen

Focus on value.

Too many people spend money without considering what is important for their quality of life and what it takes (in terms of time and energy) to acquire that money in the first place. Reducing spending to focus exclusively on what brings actual value to your life will not only relieve you of unnecessary stress and give you more freedom, it will also be economically beneficial because each dollar spent is two dollars you need to earn. Using the 4%-rule, you need 25 times that (50 dollars for each dollar spent) to finance such expenses from the return of your investments.

Daryl On FireDaryl Davis.

The one piece of advice I could give someone who’s on the path to financial independence is to make sure to optimize your expenses. It’s easy to let lifestyle inflation take control as you earn more money in life and advance in your career but if you just buckle down and stay tight on the budget and not let everything be too extravagant, your financial situation will always be improving.

House Hacking Success PodcastBradley Labrie

The best advice I can give to attain Financial Independence is dramatically increase your savings rate. The single best way to do that is by cutting your housing expense and that is exactly what House Hacking allows you to do! My wife and I are financially independent today at 26 years old directly because of our choice to save 35% of our budget by living for free!

FIRE Myself By 40

The single best advice I can give to people who want to retire early?

Start by auditing your spending and leaving only what is needed. And then work on increasing your earnings, while keeping the same spending budget. For every dollar you spend monthly, you need to save $300 to retire!

We have two financial meetings a month: one to review the state of progress/net worth, and the second one to review the spending in the past month. This allows us to catch lifestyle inflation as early as we see its signs!

Financially Free Journey

The single most important thing when it comes to achieving financial independence is having a clear vision of HOW you are going to do it. So many people make the fatal mistake of vaguely saying “I want to be rich” or “I want to be financially independent” without any plan on how they will do it. The truth is, you don’t have to make 6 figures+ a year to become financially independent. You simply need to understand and outline a few simple things:

1. WHY do I want to achieve financial independence? It is critical to have a clear vision of your long term goals that motivate you.

2. Understand and diagnosis your current spending patterns. This is important to understand what triggers you to impulse spend

3. Create a SMART action plan with your finances

4. Tackle and eliminate debt

5. Understand and calculate what your financially free number is. How much money do you need?

Money Hacking Mama

To reach financial independence I’d recommend figuring out what your FI number is and then track your progress by tracking your net worth. Tracking your progress will help keep you motivated in the long run.

Mr and Mrs Dink

Financial Independence is about long term commitment and consistency. It is not easy or a decision to be made on a whim. Whether it is just you or you and a partner, everyone involved has to be committed.  It takes planning, thought, and full dedication. But, this shouldn’t scare you away. It is attainable. The biggest factor in success is living below your means. The more money you have to consistently commit to this, the fast and larger gains you will achieve. Live intentionally and focus on what you enjoy and what is just extra. Cut excess, stay consistent and the rest will fall into place. 

Money and FreedomBeile Grünbaum

Those who bought the DJIA in 1929 waited 29 years to break even. To avoid that scenario, you have to understand the real value of equity. This is ‘value investing’. I recommend investing in individual businesses with a true understanding of what is under the hood of each company. Index investing is like going shopping and buying one of each item – no matter what the price. When thousands of people shop like that, items become overpriced compared to their true value. You could pay 100 dollars for a bottle of ketchup…Begin carefully selecting the stocks you put in your shopping cart, look at the labels and the price to understand their value. Make intelligent decisions, don’t just follow the crowd.

My Best Advice?

Do my FREE online course, and let me help you by writing to me with your questions.

How To Save Money on Your Phone and Save The World

For a long period, I didn’t have a phone, but as I was about to get a job as a skipper, it would be irresponsible not to have one. It is part of the first aid kit when you are out and about. And not being able to call for help because I didn’t have a phone would never be ok.

After I decided to get a phone, I started to look for a company with a good price and would function in Asia. (That was where I was going as a skipper)

And that was where I found GreenSpeak*.

What Is GreenSpeak?

GreenSpeak is a company founded by three guys who were tired of not making a difference in the world with the job they had. The idea was to start a company that almost everybody had a subscription to and then donate the entire profits to charity.

Equal Pay and Salary Ceiling

Everybody at the company gets 30.000 DKK/month (4.300 $) no matter what position you have in the company. And they never get a raise.

To quote themselves:

“In GreenSpeak we do not have any desire to earn money for ourselves. We have no intention of becoming millionaires. We will rather focus on making a positive change that the world needs. That is why we have equal pay and a salary ceiling. The salary ceiling is the median income of Dane, which we think is fair”.

Democratic Donations

As a customer of GreenSpeak, you get to decide where the money is donated to. They have a long list where you as a customer can vote. And if an organization gets 10 % of the votes, they will get 10 % of the profit.

In 2019 they donated 420.000 DKK (61.000 $).

You can see the entire donation list here. 

Fair Prices and No Bindings

If you don’t use your phone that much you and you only use it in Denmark, you can have the cheapest subscription for 49 DKK (7 $).

The cheapest subscription for calling and data in the EU is 119 DKK (17 $).

And you can cancel it anytime.

You can have a look at their subscriptions here.

My Experience with GreenSpeak

Since I have been shuffling a bit back and forward between Asia and Denmark, I can imagine that I have been a more demanding customer. I have changed my subscription at least three times, but with no hassle at all. I wrote them through the email or their website, and in less than 24 hours (sometimes just hours) they had made my request.

Currently, I have the danish subscription for 79 DKK (11 $) and it suits me well.

I would never write about them if I didn’t use them myself, or if they didn’t make the world a better place.

*I told them that I wanted to write an article about them because I like the way they are running the company so they offered me a free month for the article.

How To Thrive on 20 m2

This will be my very first guest post done by Peter. 

Peter is the owner of the site ThrivingWillow.com

We met at a folk high school where I was a sailing student, while Peter was a teacher in kitesurfing. Since he was a teacher and I was a student, we didn’t speak that much. What we didn’t know was that Peter and I had the same interest in having a simple life and FIRE. But we first realized this after I was done at the school.

Luckily Peter wrote to me and told me he was reading the blog and he had started his own. One of the main reasons that I wanted to do a guest post with him, is because he has just finished his Tiny House project. Which is the perfect modern example of the “Walden” author Henry David Thoreau. He has just been broadcasted in danish television with his awesome project. 

The link will be at the bottom of the post. 

So without further ado, please welcome Peter!

Can you tell a little about yourself?

On an early family vacation, I was fascinated by a Norwegian bloke working as a diving instructor on the Canary Islands (a little jealous of you WannabeWalden). I remember looking back on the instructor steering the boat, crystal blue waters, 30 degrees, sun all around thinking: This guy is getting paid to do this every day, and why the hell isn’t everyone doing this? 

This memory has always been in the back of my mind and has led to a journey towards a lifestyle increasing freedom and maximizing the number of opportunities that could be pursued. 

Working in Denmark as a kitesurfing teacher daily is currently the goal and luckily an interest in Tiny Houses, living simplistically with low monthly costs, supports this dream-job and accompanies a below-average pay being in this industry.

The same approach has also led to a big interest and now life-changing path following the FIRE-style way and thoughts behind. Living below your means, valuing your time over material possessions, and being able to understand and believe that manageable investments in the present can become quite huge returns in the form of currency/time in the future. 

I’m currently investing as passively as possible in global index funds that happens automatically every month, rebalancing every 6 months, no matter what the monthly fluctuations have been following the statistically proven research that passive investors beat active investors in the long run. 

Investing passively also has the bonus that it makes sure you still have time for the valuable and fun things in life while working towards FIRE, as the investing part is not at all time-consuming. 

Where did you find inspiration for your Tiny House?

Researching different living options my wife and I came across several lifestyles such as vanlife, house hacking, renting small rooms but Tiny Houses especially caught our interest. 

While we were our 5-month backpacking honeymoon around SE-Asia (the ultimate taste of future FIRE-freedom!) we were looking for a way to maintain some of this lifestyle by increasing our flexibility and wiggle room uncertain of what and where we were going to end up working in the future.

Our interests lie outdoors, work, hobbies, living sustainably and we, therefore, haven’t had a burning wish for an average-sized house with the loan and maintenance that undoubtedly comes with it.

The inspiration came from the Tiny House movement in America which is especially ahead after the financial crisis of 2009 where the interest in downsizing became a necessity for many that lost all they owned in a short period. In the years following more and more saw the opportunities and positive aspects of living simply in a Tiny House. Whether less material clutter translates to better psychological wellbeing, I couldn’t say. But it’s an uplifting feeling having a clear and complete overview of everything you own. 

Why do you want to live in a Tiny House?

The main reasons for wanting to live in a Tiny House are flexibility, freedom, and space. 

At the age of 27, it’s hard to know for sure where in the country you’re going to settle down. Being able to move with under a week’s notice makes it possible to say YES! to sudden opportunities. Fewer strings attached and easier to change locations. 

Freedom in the sense of having that comfortable safety net knowing that you own your house in full. Think of how many situations have the pressure taken off them by not being affected or dependant on the monthly income arriving on the 1st. of the month. 

And thirdly concluding that we humans can adapt to many crazy situations. Think about it. Buy a 120-200m2 house? You are bound to fill that house up in no time with furniture, hobbies, projects, you name it. Build a Tiny house 20m2? You’ll fill it up yes, but you’ll have a natural maximum limit of space you can use. Instead of buying new ‘nice to have’s’ or ‘I use this once every 2 years’ there will hopefully be a larger interest in paying a little more for quality items that hopefully will last longer and maybe multifunctional, as there is room for less in your home. 

How much has the house cost you, and how much will it cost to live in it? 

We’re now almost finished after 5 months nonstop building and we’ve roughly spent 17.000usd so far including electrics- and water systems. All expenses are being noted, so a detailed overview of material costs can be produced when finished. The current costs are minus the off-grid systems. That’s the 2. Stage of the build.

Purchasing a ready-made Tiny House in Europe is anywhere between 45.000usd – 100.000usd so the chance of being able to build ourselves in the planning stages sparked an interest to see what it would cost in the end. 

We’ve never built any kind of building before (minor detail, jeez!) so a Tiny House seemed like a huge challenge. But we luckily came across a Tiny House builder that offered consultancy, tools, and a spot to build for a low monthly fee. A perfect offer for us. 

The hope and goal are being able to reduce the purchase price of a Tiny House significantly and lowering the monthly bills of a house for many years to come making it possible to increase our investments pumping the way towards FI. 

What is the one best advice you will give a person who would like to build one himself?

Once you’ve got a rough plan, investment is ready, you’ve got the time = Jump right in. Seriously. You can spend 1,2,3, years planning but you’ll never quite learn more until you’ve put the first screw in the first beam. 

And most important for the builders with absolutely zero experience like myself. Consider hiring a consultant to avoid costly and important mistakes. It may seem like a big expense, but using their contacts and experience saves you money that pays for the consultant him/herself.

A calming saying I’ve come across and love is: “Your first house/self-build is never going to end up quite as planned. You will always have materials, methods, or ideas on the way to improve for next time“.

The conclusion is, therefore, starting your house number 1! 

And for everyone thinking: ‘but I would like it to be close to perfect first time around, my Tiny House, as I’m only building one!’. Our Tiny House turned out much different than the plan at the beginning. But at the same time, it’s turned out so much better than expected with some of the coolest features that you’d never be able to plan. 

Go for it!

Is there a community where people can join and seek advice inspiration?

There are numerous Facebook groups where you’ll see America is heavily represented as they are so far ahead compared to Europe. This is perfect as many years of experience with tiny houses are out there to explore builds, constructions, designs, and layouts. Hopefully, the movement will spread as the popularity of downsizing grows.

My favorite source of inspiration is the Youtube Channel: Living Big in a Tiny House with 3,2 million followers that features Bryce Langston from NZ visiting and viewing Tiny Houses and just recently has done a Europe tour. 

Tiny houses are also a hot topic on Instagram and Pinterest for those more into those media for inspiration. 

For the Netflix user’s the series ‘Tiny House Nation’ is a great insight into a building process. 

Where can we find you?

The lifestyle- and financial aspects of a Tiny house towards FI will be shared on Thriving Willow. I’m currently working on interviewing and exploring European Tiny house enthusiasts!

A Danish national TV channel DR1 snatched up the build in the early stages and followed us the first 4 months and made a 30 min program about the process : See it here.

And final results you can find in the Facebook group ‘ Det Lille Potentiale’ / The Lille Potential. In Danish but can be Facebook translated easily if interested! 

20# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 90 %

% change since last month: 15,1 %

My Coast FIRE number: 5.107.000 DKK (751.000$) or 50.1 years of living expenses.

Simplifying My Portfolio

Whenever people ask me what they should invest in I just tell them:

“Buy a single world index fund. You don’t have to have more than one fund”. 

But at the same time I own three myself:

  1. Sparinvest Index Global Min. Risk
  2. Sparinvest DJSI 
  3. Sparinvest Index Emerging Markets

Proclaiming that I’m a minimalist, and still own three funds for no reason was hypocritical, so I have decided to give my portfolio a brush-up. Yesterday I sold all of my shares in Global Min. Risk and Emerging Markets. And in the future, I will only be buying the DJSI fund.

The DJSI fund “should” be a more environmentally one, so I prefer to stick with that fund. Even though index funds and environmental investing is not nearly as environmental as I would like it to be, I still think it is a step in the right direction.

There are some “pitfalls” in that fund compared to the Global Min. Risk:

  1. It contains Emerging Markets. Which will make it a bit more volatile.
  2. Their biggest stock position is Microsoft on about 12 % which is quite high for an Index fund.
  3. It “only” contains 194 stocks vs 314 in Global Min. Risk, which makes it less diversified.

It is some “pitfalls” that doesn’t keep me awake at night. So I’m willing to have all of my money in that single fund.

74 % Savings rate on Welfare

Besides being away sailing where I don’t earn any money. This is the worst financial situation I can be in.

Luckily I have been responsible and having income insurance (A-kasse), which will give me an income of 13.500 DKK (2000 $) after taxes.

And thanks to my Kakeibo Experiment I have managed to only spend around 3.500 DKK (500 $) the last month. The major reason why I can keep my spending that low, is that my sister lives in my apartment. So I don’t have any spending on rent. I either live on my dad’s farm on Møn or my girlfriend’s family farm on Langeland. Both places I pay my dues by doing some grocery shopping and cooking.

Why I managed to bunk my savings rate up to 90 % is because I have paid for some airplane tickets back from the Philippines, which got canceled so I got the money back. And why not just invest them? That’s what I did.

New Parameter In My Monthly Updates

As you probably can spot, I have given the “Monthly updates” a little brush-up. I didn’t like the “Passive Income” line on the chart, so I deleted it.

The new parameter is my Coast FIRE Nr, which is a quite powerful number. I have been doing a lot of thinking on that everyone I know who has “achieved” FIRE still do some money-earning activity. Not because they have to, but it is because it is nice to do something.

I can see myself as part-time something, working 15 hours/week, just because it is nice to do so. In general, I don’t believe that work is horrible, but it shouldn’t be the majority of our week.

But I do know that I might not be able to build and renovate houses till I’m 80 years old. And that is where the Coast FIRE number comes in.

If I never touched my portfolio I would have 50 years of spending when I turn 65 years old, if my portfolio grows with 7 %/year.

Which is way more than enough. 

I could have as little as 100.000 DKK (15.000$) in my portfolio and would probably still be fine when I’m 65 years old.

People often see Coast FIRE and Barista FIRE as a failed form of normal FIRE. But I don’t think that.

If I had about 1.000.000 DKK (150.000$) in my portfolio today, I would become a part of the 1 % wealthiest in Denmark when I’m 65, with a portfolio of +13.000.000 DKK (1.900.000$). Which is the equivalent of +130 years of my annual spending.

Why on earth would I need that kind of money?!

FIRE for me is that I know I can be happy without materialistic things and money. And if I know that my small portfolio got my back till the day I can’t lift my arms anymore, then I’m good.

Weekend Reads.

There is no reason to call it “Weekend Reads” since we all are home during the pandemic. But we should have lots of time to read and watch some inspirational stuff.

Here is what I have read and watched and found entertaining or educating. I hope you will enjoy it.

Walden, The Video Game!Budgets Are Sexy, by J. Money. A review of the video game “Walden”. A video game about a man who wanted us to live in nature. Seems weird. However, the blog is awesome. One of the best in my opinion. And hey, he gave me a shoutout. 😉

Ryan Holiday — How to Use Stoicism to Choose Alive Time Over Dead TimeThe Tim Ferriss Show, by Tim Ferriss. Author of the “4 Hour Work Week” invites one of my favourite authors Ryan Holiday to a chat. If you don’t know stoicism it is the perfect intro to it.

5 Ideas About Success, Financial Independence And The Simple Life That Will Make You ThinkRoute 2 FI. My Norwegian friend is has always a good article or two.

Firehub.eu. Just seeking for FIRE inspiration in Europe? This is the site to go.