For a month ago I said yes to participate in two young boys school project about financial independence.
I said yes, because I know how important the youth is.
In every single rowing club I know, the future success of the clubs determines on how big (and good) of a youth department they have.
All of the rowing clubs who neglect the young ones, is slowly digging their own graves. As time past by, there will only be grumpy old men back at the club. And that is not to appealing to anyone (sorry old men).
FIRE and Kids
Sometimes I feel frustrated about that I never got introduced to FIRE as kid. I’m quite sure that I would have been mature enough to see the benefits of that lifestyle, and probably be financial independent at my current age.
That’s why I would like to give my knowledge about FIRE to as many kids as I can.
They should know from very early age that we are able to shape the life we want, and not what society expect from us.
And that the road to happiness is not filled with mindless consuming.
I told the two boys that I was willing to come a make a presentation about FIRE on their school if they wanted to.
If you read this as a kid, and think it would be fun for your school to hear about FIRE. I’m willing to come and tell about it. For free.
Feel free to contact me on: Loui@wannabewalden.com
I haven’t had a mobile for the last month. It happen by an “accident”.
For a month ago I got fired from my job. And when had to have a phone for my work, I decided to ditch my private one.
The last day I had to deliver the phone back.
So there I was. Without a phone.
A bit shocked about being fired from my job, I didn’t feel like going to town to shop for a new phone. I just wanted to take a some days off, relax a bit, and then shop for new phone.
A couple of days into my “I-have-no-phone-at-the-moment” life, I started to enjoy feeling unconnected.
From days, to weeks to now a month without a phone, I have no desire of rushing into buying a new phone anytime soon.
Here is the list of things I enjoy the most of not having a phone.
There is one thing I hate by not having a phone.
1) Being More Present
This might be a obvious one.
But by not having a phone, and being with somebody. I force myself to interact with the person on a deeper level than what I normal would. If this person starts to bore me, it is the easiest thing to grab my phone, and start scrolling.
I have started to notice that some of my friends can take up their phone and start scrolling for a couple of minutes in the middle of our conversation. Which is so ignoring!
The most scariest thing is that I’m 100 % certain that I have done that way too often myself.
2) Less Stress
I could feel a vibrating item in my pocket for weeks after I got rid of my phone. But I had no vibrating item in my pocket.
It was like 5 % of my unconscious mind was alert about my phone.
That “alertness” is gone after a month of not having a phone.
3) Reaching Out More
When was the last time you asked someone:
“Excuse me, what time is it??”
The only wrist watch I have had for years, has been a heart rate watch I used for my rowing training. And I kept breaking them. So the last time I broke the watch, I didn’t feel like turning it in for a new one. Just like the mobile, days without a watch turned into weeks, and then months. And now I just like not having a wrist watch.
That means I constantly ask people what the time is.
And that act alone, has made me talk with 10+ people I wouldn’t have.
4) No Stress About Battery
The feeling of plugging an almost dead phone into the charger is so satisfying.
But why is it satisfying?
Because we have stressed about that we need to find a charger soon, because the world is coming to an end if I don’t have my precious phone.
We all know the term FOMO.
I started to enjoy a new one.
Joy of missing out.
There is direct correlation of me being surprised about my friends telling me stuff they have been doing. And me not having a phone.
I spent less than 10 minutes a week now on instagram, which would be my main source of my friends “gossip”.
When I don’t get this gossip, and just don’t know what my friends are up to. Except if I meet with them. Which is an awesome feeling.
6) Doing Nothing
I have completely forgot the feeling about being bored.
The last time I remember being bored was back when I was a kid.
Sitting down, maybe waiting for the train and doing absolutely nothing.
Is super nice!
7) Saves Me Money
No need to think about cell phone deals.
Or worry about breaking the screen.
My Main Problem of Not Having a Phone
As the avid reader knows. I will be spending the next 3 months on a school where I’m going to sail, and just have a good time.
The “Just-have-a-good-time” part often involves beer.
And the only payment the bar accepts is through an app.
Not having a phone, means that I currently have no apps. So I can’t pay for my beers! Which is a pain in the ass!
It is time for Wannabe Walden to write about a less critical topic. And how about a “recipe” for the most delicious, yet super simple pancakes?
I have learned this “recipe” from a friend of mine from my rowing club. And I have made them every single day since the first time I got them.
I use them as breakfast, dessert or just a snack.
I freaking love them!
As rule of thumb, this is the amounts you are going to need for a single person. I just had triple that amount myself, but that was because I was hungry, and I have a hard brazilian jiu jitsu session later today.
For 1 person:
1 Tablespoon of sugar (optional, I crave sugar)
This portion will make you 3-5 small pancakes.
The price of the ingredients are the following:
1 x banana = 2 DKK (0,3 $)
1 x egg = 3 DKK (0,5 $)
1 x tablespoon of sugar = 0,25 DKK (0,05 $)
A portion will cost you = 5,25 DKK (0,85 $)
Put a pan on the stove, turn on medium heat and put some tasteless oil on (I use rapeseed oil) or butter.
Take all of the ingredients and mix it in bowl, and mash the whole thing with a fork.
*LIFEHACK* Crack the egg on a flat surface (your kitchen table) instead of the edge of the bowl. You are more unlikely to have egg shells in the mix by doing so.
It is not super important that you get every single banana chunk mashed out. It is okay if it is a bit chunky.
Fry Those Sons of B*tches
Go for medium heat, and give them 2-3 minutes on each side.
They can be pretty hard to turn over if they are to big. What I do is to make three small pancakes at a time.
At the moment I top them off with peanut butter and jelly. My little sister is super allergic to peanuts, so I never had peanut butter as a kid. This has resulted in me having a small addiction to it. But I also like to top them off with nutella or something similar.
Having a boat load of these along with a good cup of black coffee is the best!
So the other day I made room for a new chapter in my personal finance Excel Book. The name of the chapter was 2019.
Just for fun I would throw some numbers around. I don’t know why. But it kind of surprise me that if could cut back my spending even further. I would be quiet close to have enough money a year from now.
In 2018 I have been spending around 10.000 DKK/month (1500 $). And if I subtract my student loan payment, and some work related expenses. My spending is around 8.000 DKK/month (1200 $).
I have then decided to try live a month for less than 6.500 DKK (1000$). I know that Jakob Lund Fisker from earlyretirementextreme.com, has a yearly budget on 7.000 $/year. And being active on various forums. I hear about people who has Monthly budgets below 3000 DKK (500 $). I think it is very inspiring to hear people living on very low budgets.
Starting a Fresh New Year
So I thought to myself. Why not just try to start 2019 with a monthly spending significant lower than my previous years. If im able to only spend 6000 DKK (950 $), I can then subtract all of my job related expenses and my monthly student loan payments. Which means I’m more likely to have expenses for 4500-5000 DKK (800-900 $). And that would be around 30-40 % less than my previous years. If I don’t feel like spending that little, I can just spend more the next month. My theory is that no matter how little I spend, it will not affect how happy I’m. So why not just try to spend way less than normal. At least just for a month.
With expenses around 4500-5000 DKK/month (800-900 $), my annual expenses will be something like 50-60.000 DKK (9.000-10.000 $). And if we multiply that with 20, I will need around 1-1.200.000 DKK (150.000-180.000 $). And with some leverage I think I can hit that number in 2019.
Even with no rate of return I should be able to go from 600.000 DKK (90.000 $) (my current statement) to 1.000.000 (150.000 $) in 2019. With 200.000 DKK (30.000 $) from my own pocket, and 200.000 DKK (200.000 $) leverage.
Budget For January
My payments this month (January 2019) looks like this:
Rent: 2350 DKK (400 $)
A-kasse (Salary insurance): 1344 DKK (200 $)
SOS (Children charity): 235 DKK (40 $)
Student loan: 1005 DKK (180 $)
Internet: 219 DKK (40 $)
Food: 600 DKK (100 $)
Laundry (half-year payment): 400 DKK (80 $)
Fuck up money: 600 DKK (100 $)
Total: 6155 DKK (950$)
This is what I “budget” to spend for January 2019. The biggest difference will be how much I spent on food. I’m sort of frugal according to how I spent my money on food. But it is definitely a place where I can save money.
I have read about how Jakob Lund Fisker is shopping at exotic grocery centers. To buy big bags of rice, beans and onions as the core of his food. And I have checked the prices at my local shop called “Asia Bazar”. If I buy 5 kg of rice, 3 kg of beans and a large sack of onions, I will approximately spent around 160-180 DKK (30 $) and that food will last for 10 days, ish. (Yes I eat a lot).
I will make a weekly update, on how things are going.
And feel free to join me, and let me know how you are doing as well.
Back To the Roots
In Denmark we have this luxury of free education, and being paid while doing so. I think that a student who is above 18 years and is living on their own, gets around 5500 DKK/month (800 $).
What I’m trying to say here is that there is a lot of young people who spent less than 1000 $ a month.
I kind of did that myself when I studied as a building constructor. But I did manage to get 100.000 DKK (15.000 $) in student loans. It was first at the very end of that education that I had a totally mindshift about money and freedom. It happen when I read mrmoneymustache.com for the first time.
1 $ Traffic of Your Choice?
I’m came up with this fun experiment. From this day on I’m going to sell sponsors for every blog post I make.
The first sponsor is going to cost 1 $. The next will cost 2 $, the third 3 $ and so on.
You will get a headline, 50 words and a link for your site at the bottom of a blog post.
I think the average page views a day is around 50, and on the best days they are around 500.
If you would like the very first spot for 1 $ let me know by writing me on:
I have decided to make a series of different articles with the topic of minimalism. They will be called “The Minimalistic Way of:” and then I will dive into different topics.
This article is about how we can have a more minimalistic approach to our eating habits.
We all know that eating three meals a day is the most healthy way to eat. So the only thing we can discuss is what we are going to eat in those three meals.
Eating three meals a day is only a western cultural norm. There is an avalanche of studies showing up these days how NOT eating is can be healthier for us humans.
How can fasting makes us healthier?*
Reducing Insulin Resistance
Boost Brain Function
Boosting Metabolism / Weight loss
Increases Growth Hormone (getting buff as fuck)**
These are “only” the benefits fasting can have to our physic.
But fasting can also benefit us in our daily life.
Different Ways of Fasting
Fasting can be done in many different ways. But one of the more popular one is called 16/8, 8 hour diet or time restricted eating.
This means that we will be fasting for 16 hours (including sleep) and eat for 8 hours. The benefits of fasting already occurs when we have not eaten for 12 hours. But the sweet spot is around 16-24 hours.
Some of the most popular fasting patterns looks something like this:
16/8: This where we eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours (including sleep). This can be done by skipping breakfast, and only eat lunch and dinner. This is often done daily, or every weekday. When you get used to it, it is not that hard to do daily. This is also my favourite, because you save time daily.
OMAD: One meal a day. There is not much to it than that. It is one of the more extreme regiments. We could also call it 23:1. Fasting for 23 hours, and eating for 1 hour. I have heard some rumors about that Jakob Lund Fisker from earlyretirementextreme.com should eat this way.
5:2: Is more extreme the days we do fast, but we have more “normal” days. It suggest that in two non-consecutive days we will eat 500 kcal/day for women, and 600 kcal/day for men. For the other five days we eat normal. The fasts are typical done in Mondays and Thursdays.
How Fasting Can Save Us Time
If you decide to do the fasting I prefer, which is the 16/8. You will end up saving time each and everyday. 16/8 means that you fast for 16 hours (including sleep) and eat for 8 hours. And we can do that by only eating lunch and dinner, and skip breakfast.
Breakfast is the least social meal in our daily routine. Lunch is often spent at the job with co-workers, and dinner with the family.
But if we can skip breakfast, we don’t have to prepare that meal in the morning. When I have days like this. I can wake up at 7 AM, and be out on my bike on my way to training/work 7:15 AM. That is awesome. The only thing I spent time on will be:
Take a piss
Drink a glass of water
Brush my teeth
Pack a gym bag
And if I’m super lazy this will take me 30 minutes. And if I’m in a hurry, it can be done in 5 minutes. No need to spent hours in the morning. Instead I can sleep for another hour, rather than sit crunched over a bowl of oatmeal.
How Fasting Can Save Us Money
Let’s imagine again that we decide to give the 16/8 protocol a chance. So we skip one meal, and we decide it will be the breakfast. Breakfast is not the most expensive meal. It is cheap to eat breakfast at home. That won’t cost us more than 2 $/meal. But if we are one of those types who grabs something on our way to job. It can easily cost us 10 $/meal, for a croissant, coffee and a juice. But I imagine that people who reads this site is not that stupid with their money.
So let’s go for the 2 $/meal for the breakfast.
Preparing and eating breakfast can take between 15-30 minutes, give or take. If we imagine that we can be 30 minutes earlier on work each day. Because we don’t have to think about breakfast each morning. This leaves us with 10 hours/month of more work. If we have a job where we can work overtime, of course.
If we earn 15 $/hour after taxes the equation would look something like this:
15 $ x 10 hours = 150 $ + (2 $/meal x 30 days = 60 $) = 210 $/month
210 $/month for doing absolutely NOTHING!
How awesome is that?!
But it’s getting better.
Because you are an avid reader of this page. You do some index investing. If you can form this habit for the next 10 years. And invest those 210 $ each month.
If we have an annual 7 % ROI for those 210 $/month, your portfolio is going to be about 37.000 $ higher 10 years from now.
37.000 $ FOR DOING FREAKING NOTHING!
I think it is insane.
We are not doing anything. Research shows us that we are likely to be healthy doing so. AND we will be 37.000 $ richer.
Not to mention CO2 emission. ****
What’s not to like?
Think about this. In the western society we have never been fatter than we are today. And we are causing to much damage on the world. Food is one of the major reasons for this. The equation look like this:
Eating the we way do now + We will get to fat and sick = To much CO2
It seem so obvious. Everybody will win in this situation, just by skipping a couple of meals each week.
Just try it.
Did You Like This Article?
You can sign up for my e-mail newsletter and make sure you never miss a single article.
I will send you every article. And I promise you that I will never sell you anything or spam you. Just sending you encouraging writing about living a simple and prosperous life.
There has been a lot of focus on the FIRE community from the media lately. And I get a ton of questions from people who have never heard about financial independence before.
So I thought a FAQ article was a good thing to post.
Why do you strive for FIRE? (Financial Independence, Retire Early)
I have reached a point in my life where I have realized that none external things is going to make me happier. If I can’t be satisfied with what I all ready have, then I will never be happy.
Because of that I end up with a lot more money than I need. And that gives me the opportunity to reach for financial independence quiet early in life.
That is something I think I will appreciate more later in life.
What If you get hit by a car and die tomorrow?
This will take us back to the first question.
If we imagine that someday in the future I will declare myself as financial independent, that would be lovely. But. I’m not expecting that day where “I finally will be happy”.
Far from it. I will see it as an awesome opportunity to do more or less what I want. And I can’t see how that can harm me.
So I would be very sad if my last day will be tomorrow. But only because my life would come to an end, and not because I had money in my bank account that I didn’t spend.
Are you willing to mooch on your community because you won’t pay taxes?
The media loves to bring up the word “retirement”. And whenever people hear that word, we immediately think of a person who is laying in a hammock or playing petanque all day.
And that is not what I’m attending to do.
I love to do stuff. And I can’t imagine me going through a week where I don’t do something I enjoy, and not making some kind of money out of it. Maybe it won’t be much but I think I will keep working.
But let’s imagine that I manage to save enough to pull the plug from a full-time job at age 35 and NEVER EVER earning another dollar from manual labour. I would still be paying taxes from my investing. Which I gladly do.
What if everybody did like you? Then there won’t be no stock market you could benefit from.
And that is true. If everybody decided to only work on Saturdays and Sundays, and then do what they like on the weekdays. Mostly commuting by bike. And 80 % of their meals would be vegetarian.
Then yes, I think the modern way we see capitalism would have a hard time. But if everybody lived liked that, we would fix the environmental problem in no time, and I genuine believe that people would be happier.
And this is a price I’m willing to pay ten folded. If people read all of this and they think the whole point is for me to get rich (at all cost), they are misunderstanding the whole thing.
If we don’t take action about the environmental issues on our own, it looks like we won’t be here on planet earth for much longer.
What about kids, don’t you wanna have a family?
Sure I do. That is also one of the main reasons I’m doing this.
I keep hear friends and co-workers how tough it is to have kids. And I believe them. I love visiting my friends with kids. But it is just as big a relief to leave them again. Because it is awesome just to arrive home with some quiet time. But if you are a parent, you can’t just leave your kids.
It is more or less like a full-time job for the first 5 years of their lives, and from age 5-18 it will be more like a demanding part-time job.
And I can’t imagine how a full/part-time job (having kids) combined with a real full-time job is the most optimal to our wellbeing.
I think it is way better to give the kids the attention they need, without the stress a fulltime work can give to your child raising. Plus it can give myself some free time. Where I can do some work if I feel like it, or just let the day pass by as it suits me.
How many things have we purchased, done or said because we thought it was a comfortable thing to do?
I think that comfort is one of the biggest killers to a life we really have a deep desire to have. What we need to do is know what is a necessity and what is a comfort.
Let’s take an example.
Whenever I travel I see people with noise reduction headphones, a laptop, decompression socks and some sort of neck pillow (what the fuck is that anyway?!).
How many of these things is a necessity to our three-hour flight? Or are they just comfortable to bring with us?
What about the brand new car we have bought to drive the 10 km for work? Is that a necessity? Or couldn’t a 5.000 $ car done the job? Or what about biking that distance instead? Then we would save money, being healthier and we can skip that mandatory fitness membership, and spend that time by doing something that we really want to.
All the things that we really NEED is quiet easy to obtain in most part of the world. While the things we WANT can be quiet hard to get.
What about that carrier/car/house/flat/achievements we have this very day. They were once something that we only could dream of a couple of years ago.
And are we that much happier in this present moment than we were back then? I’m not.
We are doing all sort of things today that people in the 1900’s couldn’t even dream of. And do you think that we are happier today, than we were back then? I don’t think so.
What if we started to be grateful for those things that is easy to obtain here in life:
Living wherever we want
Wearing the clothes that we want
Eating the food that we like
Imagine that we would leave for a one month trip. How much would you pack? There is often some sort of human logic when we are going for a long trip, we need to pack a lot of stuff!
But what if we just packed:
two pairs of underwear
two pairs of socks
a charger for your phone
At first that might seem intimidating. Because there is not much comfort in leaving your country with a lot less stuff than we initially would have packed.
I have not yet experienced to go with the minimum. Or what we would call the necessities. Without it felt more free.
What I thought would be inconvenient not to have, was actually awesome.
The feeling of being able to do things easier, and way simpler than ever thought possible is relieving. We can do so much more, with way less.
So whenever we make our next trip/purchase/decision we should ask our self the following:
And if you chose the “No” route. Give yourself a clap on the shoulder. We have now made room in our wallets and mind to start being happy about the stuff we already have and what really matters.
I have been practicing an elite athlete routine for almost a decade now.
The most important takeaway I have from that decade is that everything is made through consistency.
Consistency trumps everything. Not one single thing is more powerful than consistency.
I have always been a really impatient guy (And I still am to some extend). But when I realised the power of small actions every single day instead of searching for big leaps every once and while. My mindset changed.
I have six things I will do every single day. And these six things is so stupidly easy to do, that there is no excuse not to do them. If I really want it. I can do all six of them in less than 10 minutes.
At the moment the six things are these:
Write 50 words on this blog
Meditate for 1 minute
Come up with 1 article topic for this blog
Read 2 pages of a book
Stretch for 1 minute
Acknowledge 1 thing that you are grateful for
And I have a 7th one. But this one does not require me to do anything. I can check this off if I haven’t spent any money that day.
After I have installed the app, I can make some widgets to the starter screen, where I can check them off as I’m doing them.
The most powerful of them might also be the easiest one. It is the daily gratitude. If we don’t acknowledge the things we already have, we will never do it.
Happiness is not around the next corner, purchase, investment or traveled to.
If we expect happiness to arrive when we final reach some imaginary milestone we will be in for a huge disappointment.
When we start to embrace the stuff we all ready have, and start to be thrilled about living in the most luxury time of man kind. Where more and more people have a decent place to live and a super market packed with organic foods within five minutes on a bike.
For a couple of years ago I stumbled across how fasting can be healthy for us humans. And until that day I think that I have had breakfast, lunch and dinner for 99 % of my life. Isnt that insane?! I never in my entire life had to miss a meal.
No matter how happy we are, there will be a person out there who has way less friends, less food, less stuff and less money, and still being happier than we are.
But if we start to practice a daily gratitude of that prosperous world the majority of people live in. We can be happier within seconds.
This is one of the main reasons why I don’t buy to many things. Because I know that 99 % of the time it will not serve how I feel.
Where I like to splurge is to buy a good friend a take-away pizza and a bottle of wine, and then have a conversation that sounds like this:
“You are the bomb!”, I will tell my friend with red wine teeth.
“No! You are the bomb!”, says my friend while he is pouring another glass of wine.
And this conversation will loop until the early morning.
In a very long period of my life I thought that in order to become rich you need to earn a lot of money. When I started to study have the financial independent I found that this wasn’t the whole truth. The most important part to become financial independent is to spend less.
If we have two people. One is earning 500.000 $/year, the other make 50.000 $/year. If they both save 10 % each month they will have the same retirement date.
Because their 10 % is going to fund 90 % of expenses. It doesn’t matter what the amount is. The percentage is what we are looking for.
If we instead could live on 50 % of the income our situation will look like this:
Which is WAY BETTER!
“What about the rate of return then? That must be an important factor.”
It clearly shows us that when we can save +60% of our income, the rate of return is less important.
And if you have read my other article on How I’m Retiring in 5 Years or Less you can tell that I sometimes recommend people to leverage their investing. If we save and invest +60% of our salary, and we borrow the same amount to invest for. This means we hit our retirement number in half the time. And do some time diversification. If we have more money in the market early, they will make dividends, and they will have more time in the market to prove their performance.
The average savings rate here in europe is around 5 %*. And if we look at the chart above we will never be able to fund. Even if we have the same rate of return as some of the best investors in the world like Warren Buffet. He has averaged around 20 %/year. If we earn 50.000 $/year and we are saving the 5 % of our income and get a ROI on 20 %/year we will be able to retire in 25 years. While this seems like a relative short time period. We need to get the same ROI as the best investor in the world.
Yes you can be the next Warren Buffett. But I think you will have a higher chance of winning the lottery. If we instead save a large amount of money. And maybe leverage. We now have the odds with us.