How I Write Articles from my Phone, And Why You Should Too.

For a year I chose not to have a phone. It all started because I only had a phone which my previous work had provided. And when I stopped there I had to turn it in. I thought to myself that I would be nice without a phone for a couple of days. So I decided to look for a private phone next week.

When next week arrived, I realized have awesome it was not to have a phone. I had no idea that there was so much stress related to that little thing.

For the first time in a very long time, I felt it could be boring to wait for the train. But it felt good. I had nothing to do other than waiting for my train. Just standing there. And look out looking at other busy people.

How I do It

I like to keep as simple as possible:

  • Do five lines of writing a day (which is the equivalent of 50 words)
  • Do it in the note app (it is simple but effective)
  • Send that to myself through messenger or an e-mail.
  • Proofreading in Grammarly.
  • Publish.

Set Pathetic Writing Goals

My “5-lines-day-goal” will seem insignificant for most people. But it is a goal that makes it easy to do. Just grab the phone. Skip social media for 2 minutes and write whatever I feel like. Writing 50 words a day will turn into a 700-word blog post every 14th day.

Often I write more than the five lines. Because I feel like it when I first have started. But the hard part for me is to start. Some days I feel like writing by the computer. But I know that I will never be the writer that I would like to be if I have to sit down at a desk.

3 hours and 15 minutes

That is the average screen time for a smartphone user. Writing on the phone is by no means fast. I write the five lines in 2-3 minutes. Which I could do in 1 minute on my computer.

But I know from myself that if I had to sit in front of the computer to write. I would write much less.

On The Move

Often I get good ideas when I’m on the move. It can be on my bike. Going up some stairs or another thing. When that happens, I can just grab my phone. Start a headline, write a couple of lines on the new idea.

Deadtime = Productive time

It’s normal to see people stand in line, waiting in the waiting room or waiting for your public transportation with their smartphone in the hand. This could be a productive time. But often people just scroll mindlessly through their social media platforms (I do this as well).

But if I instead open the “Note” app on my smartphone. Write a couple of sentences that we have on our minds. And then go on with our lives. I believe that habit can turn your life around. You can start publishing articles on whatever topic you like. And maybe eventually you will be the expert in that field.

Embrace Imperfectionism

I do have days where I don’t meet my pathetic goal of five lines. But that is okay. I would lie if I told you that I hate when I don’t meet my goal.

But instead of getting too pissed. I focus on the goal for the next day. I move on. It is human and inevitable not to fail on your goals. It will be the people who continue to grind who will be what they want.

The avid reader might notice that I do have long periods where I don’t post anything. And that is because I’m human. Everyday life gets in the way.

And don’t be afraid of mipsellings. I use a software called Grammarly. I use that one time. And then publish. Misspellings will occur. But your message will still be there. Don’t worry about the people who can’t see through your tiny mistakes. They are the ones who fear the judgment of their own mistakes the most.

The Inner Resistance

I get many emails from people who wants to start writing but they fear what could happen if they started to do so. The be honest the inner resistance never goes away.

At this moment I’m starting to approach the 100th blog post. And I still feel a bit of resistance whenever I start a new post. I do not expect this feeling to ever go away. And instead, I have started to embrace this inner resistance. And the bigger it is, the more I need to do the thing I fear.

Become An Expert in Anything

By studying 20 hours you will know the basics in any field. 20 hours of studying equals to 2-4 books. Now you know more than 80 % of people. And from this point on you can start to teach others about the basics. You can become a known local expert in any given thing by studying an hour a day in three years or less.

Imagine that you attended a school where you decided what to study and which authors you should read. No one is going to determine that this is the right author to read about. You decide it, and you decide whether or not you liked what you have read. That is a super powerful tool.

No Matter How Old You Are

This how your to-do list would look like to become an expert in any field:

  • Go the library and get 2-4 books on your new topic
  • Start a webpage where you write from your phone 3+ minutes a day
  • Keep reading and teaching about it, and in 100-200 books you will be the expert

No more no less.

The Workshop

I have just made a brand new workshop.

It is for you, if you feel like investing is complicated and overwhelming. It is not.

Check it out here, the early bird tickets are still available!

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

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! 

My Kakeibo Experiment, Part 1

Measuring our finances is one of the best habits we can develop. 

And to be honest, I’m not very keen on it. Living in Asia for a couple of months is not necessarily that cheap. So when I couldn’t figure out where all of my money was going, I decided to start tracking it.

When I was on the boat in the Philippines I was listening to the audiobook of “Your Money Or Your Life” (for the third time). They suggest that you track every cent there is going in and out of your life. By doing so. You should be able to reduce your spending by a minimum of 20 % in three months.

That was my call.

When I asked the big old fellas Google on how I should do it, the answer was the following:

KAKEIBO. (Pronounced Kah-Keh-Boh)

What Is Kakeibo?

Kakeibo was invented by the first Japanese female journalist Motoko Hani, in 1904. I fell in love with Kakeibo because it is so simple. It is like a bullet journal for your finances.

How To Do It

Kakeibo suggests that you use a pen and paper to write down your finances. And I really like that. It makes every transaction more mindful. You have to put it down on a paper, with your own handwriting, which makes you think about that transaction more than if it showed up on an app.

What I do is that I have a note on my phone, and every time I buy something I write it down in the note. So when that list starts to creep up. I write them down in a notebook and delete them from the phone.

The Start of Every Month

The first thing you do when the month starts is to have a look at fixed income and expenses, and list them up.

It could look something like this: 

Income:

  • Work – 2.500 $
  • Sold my old PC – 200 $

Ongoing expenses:

  • Phone – 10 $
  • Internet – 20 $
  • Insurance – 200 $
  • Gym membership – 20 $

And so on.

During The Month

From there, I write every purchase down on my notebook on the phone. And when it creeps up, I transfer them to my notebook.

In the notebook, I also give the transactions a category.

The normal Kakeibo categories look like this: 

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

I didn’t like the fourth category, and I think it belongs to the “Optional/Wants”, and I think there is a category missing for saving/investing. So I created my own categories.

Loui’s Kakeibo Categories:

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

From Hate to Enjoyment

I really hated starting on this project. I just didn’t feel like the idea of a habit that was so ongoing all of the time.

And at the start I hated it. Whenever I had made a purchase I thought it was super ignoring that I had to write it down. But as days went by, I kind of like the filled out notebook. I started to feel like I was in control. 

My March Month

March was a hectic month. I was in the Philippines about to go back on the boat I was sailing in November and December. But this time as a skipper. I started to get a bit bored where I was, so I decided to visit a friend from Copenhagen who was on a vacation in Bangkok.

All that was in the middle of this Corona pandemic. So there was a lot of talking back and forward on whether we should go home or not.

The numbers total numbers in March looks like this:

  1. Category = 5.713 DKK (836 $)
  2. Category = 7.889 DKK (1.155 $)
  3. Category = 558 DKK (81 $)
  4. Category = 0 DKK

Total 14.160* DKK (2074 $)

As you can see, category two is the biggest of them all. Which is the “Optional/Wants” category. This category is the one I would like to be zero each month. Whenever there is a dollar in that category it means that I have spoiled myself in some way. Which I most of the time doesn’t think is worth the money.

* This is ONLY my spending during the month. It does not include my apartment rent.

My Criteria for Success

I have promised myself to do it for at least three months, but I kind of like so much already that I can imagine myself doing it for the rest of my life. It is such a good feeling to know exactly where your money is going.

But I have made some statistics on how a typical spending day look for me. By doing that, I can easily set myself up for doing better the next month, because I know how many transactions I make in a day, what the average transaction is and how much I have spent on an average day.

The statistics look like this: 

Average Spending on a day = 456 DKK (68 $)

Average spending per transaction = 186 DKK (27 $)

Average transactions a day = 2.45

Then it should be super easy for me to make progress because I know if I can:

  • Make less than 2 transactions a day
  • Make the transactions less than 186 DKK (27 $)

I should be good to go!

Aprils Averages

Things are going great! I’m in the countryside on Langeland (Long Island), and the only spending I do is grocery shopping. That shopping can creep up too since I like to cook a nice dish AND make a pre-dinner whiskey sour. But it is still way less than the last month.

The averages so far looks like this:

Average daily spending = 73 DKK (11 $) – Improvement: 524 %

Average spending per transaction = 176 DKK (26 $) – Improvement: 7 %

Average transactions a day = 0.41 – Improvement: 519 %

Stay tuned, to see if I can keep up this great improvement.

Write Me!

I’m eager to help you out on your minimalism and financial independence journey! Write me and tell me about how you are doing, or what problems you may have.

E-mail: Loui@wannabewalden.com

Telephone: +4571792322

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

Podcast: FIRE

The other day a podcast episode got released about FIRE. Lots of awesome danish people are in it, including myself.

The podcast is made by four really awesome radio/podcast students named: Daniel Sarto Lassen, Marie Kildebæk, Martin Broch & Leo Peter Larsen

You can check out Leo’s soundcloud page HERE

Or you can listen to the podcast episode by clicking play below. (It is in danish)

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.

Go Small. Go Far. Go Now.

After I started to sail a lot more than I use to. I have started to read some books about sailing and voyaging.

Back when I was a kid, I thought that “One day I’m going to have a huge boat, because that is a lot nicer than a small boat.”

When I read about people who has been sailing for many years, I think the story is way more appealing if they have done it in a small boat.

They said to themselves:

Go Small. Go Far. Go Now.

Larry Pardey, Cruising in Seraffyn

I have heard several stories of people saving up for the big boat for their retirement. And then they suddenly die.

Go Go Go and FIRE

I interact with several people in the FIRE community. And there is not many people who goes small, far and now in that community.

The 4 % rule is so conservative if you ask me.

By saving up 25 times your annual spending we are:

  • Going Big / Saving to much money or having to big of a budget
  • Not going anywhere / not taking up mini retirements
  • Waiting too long to “retire”

Going Big

There is three ways that we can attack our financial goals.

  1. Spending less
  2. Earn more
  3. How much we want to have saved

I’m the biggest fan of focusing on 1 & 3.

We can go pretty extreme and do as Jacob Lund Fisker.

But only spending 7.000 $/year and seem pretty extreme for many people.

But instead of focusing to much on hitting that magical number of having 25 times our annual spending (aka. the 4 % rule).

We could scale that down to something more “risky”. And take a mini retirement, and maybe work one day a week while we are having blast.

Not Going Anywhere

Even if we are responsible with our spending and saves 50 % of our salary. We are more likely to not go anywhere.

While we can’t travel to happiness it doesn’t make to much sense of staying at a job we hate in order to hit a certain number. By saying that our lives is going to be significant better when are able to “retire”, is the exact same things as believing that our new Iphone is going to make a great jump in our wellbeing.

It’s nice to have a lot of money, but you know, you don’t want to keep it around forever. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it’s a little like saving sex for your old age.

Warren Buffett

Don’t get me wrong. Don’t go out and buy a lot of stupid stuff.

But I dream about sailing around the world. And I’m not going to wait till I finally can check of that “25 times my annual spending” tick box.

Waiting Too Long

If you start at age 22 to save and invest 50 % of your income, you are still going to be 35 or more years before you hit that 25 your annual spending mark.

If you are total happy about your current situation. Then just stay in the grind.

But if we dislike it. Then settle for less than 25 times your annual spending and find another job, start to study again or start a business.

Just try to ask yourself the following things.

  1. How can I go smaller?
  2. How can I go further?
  3. How can I go tomorrow?