Video Interview for Pernille Wahlgren

One of the awesome things of chasing FIRE is that I get to meet a lot of awesome people. One of them is Pernille Wahlgren, who is one of the most badass financial independent woman I know.

She asked me if I wanted to do an interview for her online course.

Here is a teaser for the 20 minute long interview on her online course. (Unfortunately it is in danish).

You can check her out at: pernillewahlgren.dk

Going Outside of the Tribe

The more I look around, the more I realize that we might be on of the biggest tribe animals on this planet. Going outside of the tribe, and being a lonely wolf, can be scary.

Being a part of a tribe was a good thing back in 10.000 BC. Because the only thing we were worrying about was the following:

  1. Will it kill me?
  2. Can I eat it?
  3. Can I fuck it?

Our brains still has this way of thinking. That’s why we end up following the tribe. Because it will be easier to kill, eat and raise a child if we are in a tribe out in the nature, trying to survive.

Things Happens Outside of the Tribe

The thing is. If we follow a tribe, our lives will end up like the tribe. Which would be awesome if we daily feared for our lives. The tribe would have our backs.

But in a modern society, where tigers are locked up in cages at the local zoo, our meal is just around the corner and the kid is at the kindergarten. There is no reason to be a in tribe.

The modern (average) tribe will do the following:

  1. Get an education
  2. Have some student debt
  3. Work from 9-5 for 50 years
  4. Have some kids they don’t have time for
  5. Eat +3 meals a day, and be overweight
  6. Get divorced

And the tribe do so, because that is how we define a prosperous life.

If we step outside of this tribe, new windows will open. But the entire tribe will tell you how the tiger is going to kill when we are on our own. Because that is how our brain works.

How I Step Outside of the Tribe

Here are 4 things I do, which is “unusual” for the tribe.

Not Having a Mobile

I have never been more present social than I’m right now. And that’s because I don’t have a mobile.

The thing is. The people who are closest to me, is getting more and more pissed about me not having a mobile. Because they can’t contact me when they feel like it. They do not pay attention to how I devote 100 % of my time to them, whenever I’m with them.

That is called Loss Aversion.

Loss aversion is the fact we find it more painful to lose 100 $, than the joy of finding 200 $.

People are hardly noticing me not looking at my mobile every 10-15 minutes, but are super pissed about that one minute every 14 days that they can’t get in contact with me.

And that is why “the tribe” is keep telling me to get a mobile.

Eating 1-2 Meals a Day

Eating is a very social thing. Whenever I tell people that I’m not having lunch today, they are about to fall down from the chair.

If we say that we spend around 45 minutes prepping, eating and cleaning after each meal. We then devote 2 hours 15 minutes consuming calories each day.

Eating less frequent is one of the most awesome habits I do and has several benefits:

  • Saving time = more productivity
  • Saving money
  • Eating healthier
  • Eat as much as I like
  • Drinking more water
  • Clearer skin
  • Staying healthy and lean

Saving + 50 % of My Income

When I tell people about me chasing FIRE. People often understand it. But will never try to do it themselves.

I’m still trying to figure out what they are fearing. The conclusion so far is that people is so scared of stepping outside of the tribe. Just the thought of “losing” money in the stock market, is enough for them to stay in the comfort zone, and not leaving (just for period) a job they don’t feel like.

And they focus more on the “Spending less” than they focus on the “Do what you want” part of the equation. Which again is a Loss Aversion thing.

My mind can’t grasp the idea of people showing up at a job for 50 years if they could do whatever they felt like. If we could cherry pick activities without worrying about our finances, I can’t imagine that we would live the way we do now.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that people will do well sitting in hammock. But the solution is not how we are living our lives now.

Minimalism

The ambition of not wanting to own stuff is still super weird to many people.

It seems like there is an equivalent of how many things we have and how happy/successful we are.

Which is not my reality.

I believe in presence and empathy, which can be done for free without gifts or other stuff.

Why Consuming Less is More Important Than Politics

The other day we had a election for a new government in Denmark.

And I’m really pleased about the result.

It turns out that we get a new socialist government, which I think is good because they are the ones who focus most on the environment.

I voted for a party called Alternativet because they focus the most on the environment. Sadly they didn’t do to well.

Politics is Bullocks

Don’t get me wrong. I feel very privileged living in a society where I have the opportunity to vote in a democratic election. The alternative to a democratic system is often fatal.

But often I find politics hypocritical. Especial when it is about the environment.

Politicians and electors often say/vote something, and still have their airplane ticket to Thailand in their drawer.

And yes – I have three airplane trips planned this year. Which I don’t feel good about. In a couple of weeks I’m going to Italy, and I will go by train if it is possible.

Action > Politics

If you are concerned about the environment, how we act is way more important than what we are voting.

I think that everybody should vote, but voting doesn’t make a person an environmentalist. Action does.

If you however hate immigrants and want them out of the country, you can’t just start to throw people out because you feel like it. Then you have to vote. (But please don’t vote for people who hate immigrants).

But it is different about the environment.

$1 Spent = C02 Emissions

I don’t care how people spent their money. But if we spent less than we earn, we would be more environmental than if we would have spent all of our money.

I could go out and spent almost 3 times as many money as I’m currently doing. But I’m choosing not to in order to be environmental and financial independent.

Fortunately there is a direct correlation between being environmental and trying to cut back on our spending.

The picture below is from a presentation I made for the school I’m currently at.

School Project Video On FIRE

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

The Video

They told me they got an A for the this project.

Unfortunately it is in danish with no subtitles.


7 Benefits of Not Having a Mobile

https://www.dbphoto.dk/

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.

SPOILER ALERT!

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.

5) JOMO

We all know the term FOMO.

Fear

Of

Missing

Out

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!

The Shop Shelves Mentality

Imagine that you stand in the alley on the picture above.

There are some rubber boots on sale. I know your entire family has at least one pair of rubber boots. But hey! They are on sale.

There is the müsli your spouse love.

And it is friday, so you have to pick up some candy for the kids two.

While we are at the candy alley, lets just buy something nice for the adults too.

Let’s Scale Things Up

What if we replaced the rubber boots with an annual 4 week exotic vacation.

And the müsli is now a new car that your spouse loves so much (bought on credit)

And remember the candy? That is just some nice miscellaneous shopping. That can be the seventh pair of sneakers. Or the third “spring” jacket.

The Product We Don’t See

There is another product on the shelves that most of us don’t put in the basket.

We all want it.

It is the big box of FREEDOM.

The thing is that whenever we don’t pick something from the shelves. We automatically pick the big box that has the big FREEDOM letters across it.

Whenever we don’t pick a 20 $ product, we can reach for the “12 HOURS OF FREEDOM” box. (depending on how frugal you are)

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

How to get most bang for the buck is by focusing on these three things:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Food

Don’t try to be nitty gritty about a small purchase if you drive around in a almost new car bought on credit.

Minimize the cost on those three bullet points, and you are already 80 % of the way to become financial independent, and do whatever you like.

The Minimalistic Way of: Pancakes

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!

The Ingredients

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 Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar (optional, I crave sugar)

This portion will make you 3-5 small pancakes.

Price

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 $)

Mix It

  1. Put a pan on the stove, turn on medium heat and put some tasteless oil on (I use rapeseed oil) or butter.
  2. 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.

Like this:

Topping

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.

Enjoy

Having a boat load of these along with a good cup of black coffee is the best!

Challenge: Live below 1000 $

2018 is over.

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:

Loui@wannabewalden.com

The Minimalistic Way of: Eating

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.

WRONG!

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?*

  1. Reducing Insulin Resistance
  2. Fighting Inflammation
  3. Hearth Health
  4. Boost Brain Function
  5. Boosting Metabolism / Weight loss
  6. Increases Growth Hormone (getting buff as fuck)**
  7. Longevity***
  8. Cancer Prevention

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
  • Getting dressed
  • 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.

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*https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits

**https://leangains.com/

***https://www.nia.nih.gov/news/longer-daily-fasting-times-improve-health-and-longevity-mice

****https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=325&v=nUnJQWO4YJY

FIVE FIRE FAQs

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.