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Topics - prognastat

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General Discussion / FI Goal
« on: February 15, 2019, 08:23:19 AM »
I was wondering what everyone's FI goal is, how much you are looking to build in your accumulation phase, and what the reasons for this particular number are.

I'll start with my own. Although I'm currently practically FI with $250,000 in investments and about $700 a month in minimum costs, but I eventually want to have a house and family so this would require a decent bit more. I'm shooting for $20,000 a year and a house. This would mean I would need $500,000 at 4% SWR though at that point I'd like to coast to 3% SWR, which would require $660,000, while doing jobs that may not be as lucrative, but will allow me to learn and practice skills I would like to acquire.

$20,000 a year should cover a 3 person family's expenses when combined with a paid off house in most areas of the US outside of the HCOL ones. I'm also open to moving from my current location which I would say is high middle COL to low COL which should add some flexibility though this of course depends on whether I actually am in a relationship by then and whether they are open to this too.

General Discussion / FreedomPop 6 months in
« on: February 12, 2019, 06:40:46 AM »
I wasn't sure how it was going to be when I started, but it's been just over 6 months since I switched to using FreedomPop's free plan to provide my cellular service. It definitely won't be for everyone, but it's been working for me so far.

In total I had to spend $31.20(20 was to port my number to google voice to allow me to use it for voicemail) in the beginning for the SIM and getting the plan configured correctly so I wouldn't be charged further. I hope the free plan will continue for a while, but that isn't a guarantee as they recently ended their free plan for European customers so there's no telling how long the US version might last. I have my phone number routed though

As for the service if you can limit most of your data use and calling to WiFi and only use the cellular in a pinch it's very possible to stay under the data/minute limits of the free plan. The only thing I really use the cellular data for is sending text messages using google hangouts/whatsapp. This usually means I use less than 100 MB of the 250 MB I can use monthly for free so there is definitely room to use it some more. Most other things I just wait for until I'm on WiFi, which since I'm connected to it both at home and at work is most of the time.

Journals / Tilting at Windmills
« on: January 02, 2019, 10:16:27 AM »
I guess the start of the new year is as good a time as any to start a Journal. I'll start it with a short recap of last year and my goals for the upcoming year.

2018 Recap:

Income -  $136k
Expenses - $60k
Savings Rate - 56%
Net Worth Start - $405k
Net Worth End - $445k

Not at all happy on this one. 2017 spending was 50k and my goal was actually to get that closer to 40k so this year was a rather large increase when I was hoping to lower spending. Almost all of this 10k increase in spending was done after we decided to get divorced(unfortunate, but not too surprising). This is the downside of being financially tied to someone, if you agree on your goals it can really boost things. If you don't though it is going to be worse than it ever would be when you are in full control of your own finances. The year started strong and ended weak. Both due to deciding on the divorce and this removing any motivation my wife has to appease my spending wishes and the market downturn which took us down from almost 490k net worth to 445k at the end. A shame, but to stay positive it's still up 40k from the start of the year. However with the divorce this will soon be halved so about $222.5k will be mine after the divorce.

Lesson learned, be careful in your chosen partner as they can be a major support or can fight you on your goals. If the goals you don't align on aren't that important to you this might not be a problem, but if they are important to you this can be a major cause for friction.

Start - 230 Lbs
End - 195 Lbs
Loss - 35 Lbs

I hadn't set any health goals last year beyond a general east healthier and work out.. Similarly to the finances started the year great then took a dive near the end, but still ended up ahead of where I started. Got down to about 175 Lbs at the lightest and need to get back to that. Hopefully once the divorce is over and I have 100% control over what food is around me I'll have an easier time making good progress again plus no food based holidays for quite a while again. I thankfully have managed not to lose progress in my weight training in this same time so at least that part has continued to progress slowly.

Lesson learned here is actually quite similar to the Financial one. So the big lesson is get a partner that is supportive of your goals as dealing with a partner that doesn't care about you achieving your goals is going to undermine progress.

Goals 2019

I'm going to actually try setting some more defined goals this year.

Financial Goals:

Currently personal invested net worth is about $225.5k, given that I'm in the middle of a divorce this is only a rough estimation about how much I would have after the divorce is over so it's simply half of our combined net worth. Over 2019 I would like to invest an additional 50k to increase this to at least about 275k(depending on market performance of course) before the end of 2019.

Meanwhile I would like to take the divorce and 2019 to drastically reduce my expenses and use the saved money towards a 20% downpayment for a home closer to work. I would like to save 20k in cash for this purpose.

I'm looking to move closer to work and find a much smaller place to stay. Pretty much as small and cheap as I can get for the first year. This way I can save both on rent and on transit.

I also want to stop owning a car and switch to primarily using a bicycle to get to work and groceries. For longer trips that don't require any hauling I might hold on to my motorcycle and for any hauling(this will probably rarely happen) I'll see if anyone I know can help me out or just rent a truck or van from home depot/uhaul etc.

If I can manage these things I should achieve a savings rate of over 90% and would effectively be FI at that spending rate(though this wouldn't be a sustainable spending long term). Not planning on maintaining this high a savings rate/spending in perpetuity, but at least for the first year to save up some money quickly to solidify my housing situation. I'm not completely sure on what I want the housing situation to be, but I'll have a year to figure it out and having some cash for it will be good regardless on what I end up doing.

Health Goals:

Currently at just under 200 Lbs, I want to set my goal to get to 170 Lbs by the end of the year while still focusing on increasing muscle mass. This should be doable as I actually got quite close to it at my lowest(174 Lbs) this year, just need to make sure I get back on track. This would mean losing about 2-3 Lbs a month on average which is well within reasonable limits. I'm guessing just getting back on track after the holidays I will probably drop at least 5 Lbs including water weight in the first week after which it'll slow down significantly. Once I get to 170 things might get tougher to track as I'll be needing to focus more on composition rather than weight on the scale, so I'll have to figure that out when I get there.

Keep going to the gym 5 times a week at least.

Make sure to get at least 3 sessions in the sauna per week.

Other Goals:

Complete at least 1 video game per month.

Complete 1 Fiction book per month.

Complete 1 Non-Fiction book per month.

I'll also try to keep up monthly reports of progress towards these goals.

General Discussion / Divorce and the clean slate
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:54:29 AM »
Well, sadly my wife and I have agreed we need to start working towards divorce. It's sad, but not entirely unexpected due to irreconcilable differences in what we want out of life and our futures.

I'm going to try to use this as a clean slate though to cut down on unnecessary spending and start with the minimum I need and work up as necessary while trying to keep expenses low. Here's to hoping I can make it work.

Travel hacking / Best Card for Schiphol
« on: May 02, 2018, 06:40:46 AM »
I was wondering as someone who hasn't done any travel hacking before what the best card would be for travelling between the US and Schiphol/Europe? I'm not that interested in using it for hotels/rentals/anything other than the flights itself really.

General Discussion / Keto on a Budget
« on: April 26, 2018, 10:00:37 AM »
My wife and I started eating keto over the past year, however many of the recommendations for budget meals focus heavily on affordable carbs(such as rice, oatmeal, potatoes) to cut down the cost of meals.

As such it took some time to build up some recipes that can be done on a budget while maintaining a ketogenic diet. Hope this helps anyone who is on a similar diet and attempting to not break the bank with it. Feel free to share some recipes of your own.

For those unfamiliar with a keto diet the basic concept is a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet.

The prices listed will be based on my experience local to me so you might need to play with the ingredients to get similar costs per serving. Generally to get prices down I buy items in bulk or large amounts while on sale to save on costs and then freeze things that can be frozen to extend shelf life.

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