Author Topic: 30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet  (Read 2393 times)

30to40

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30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet
« on: January 15, 2014, 09:01:18 AM »
    Update: I started a journal. You can read it here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/journals/30to40-personal-journal-danish-fi/

This may be a little long-winded but bear with me. I have been a long time reader of the MM blog and the forum, but this is the first time I write anything.

About me; I´m 30 and have, for the most part, followed the path of modern society. First school, then university coupled with a nice student job in a big financial institution. In between I have dabbled in crafts, mainly metalwork, welding and such and a little woodwork. I have also worked as a salesman and basically just done what I found interesting at any point in time.
I have suffered from anxiety for most of my adult life, coupled with social phobia and have, in general, not been happy. For some reason this has never inhibited my "professional" life, and I have often found school and university easy. I have been in the same relationship for most of my twenties.

Three years ago I got sick. Very sick. The kind of sick you might not recover from if it is not found in time. I still suffer some of the after-effects to this day.

Suddenly everything did not make sense anymore. I had to drop out of university just as I was writing my master thesis. I had to quit my job, and by mutual agreement me and my fiancée went our separate ways (It was a long time coming anyway). I had no income and could barely walk.

Now I live in Denmark, and even though we have a wonderful social security system, sometimes you fall through the cracks. I did and for 6 months I was without a diagnosis. When I finally gave in and went to a private clinic, I was diagnosed on the spot and could start my recovery but it was a little too late, and I suffer some chronic discomfort.

I don´t really know why I write all this, maybe it is some sort of katharsis through relative anonymity. Maybe it will inspire some people. Insert the MM blog.

I have basically read every blog post and it really resonates with me. Life is, to be a little soppy, fragile and short. FI and ER is for me, a question of personal freedom and freedom of choice. There is work that I love to do and there are things that needs doing, but to work your entire adult life without the options that FI gives seems like the road to a life unfulfilled. There should be a choice and it should be a personal choice not ruled by debt or material things, but by the satisfaction that one gets from ones own choices and actions.

About a year ago I started my own company to get some of the freedom I want, and because that was, at the time, the only option apart from seeking government support (something that I have quite the irrational fear of). So this is my 2013 update and I throw down the gauntlet for 2014:

2013
  • Started my own company.
  • Bought a bike and now I bike everywhere, saving me about a 1000 dollars a year in public transport.
  • Paid of all my debt that had built up during my sickness, roughly 7300 dollars worth.
  • Training three times a week outside all year for the price of 0 dollars, to built up my strength again, went from 200 lb to 180 (fat loss), and am now on a solid 194 lb through muscle built up. 
  • Slowly let my mental capacity built up through work, without overdoing it. I can now work close to normal hours.
  • Started looking at my diet (this was a very slow process). The goal is to cut out junk food completely, but I have started cooking a lot more.
  • Gained two customers (both big, respectable institutions in Denmark. One private, one public).
  • Yearly sales for 2013 reached 86.000 dollars.
  • After taxes I will have roughly 18.000 dollars in company equity. I have been paying out a "salary" to myself every month so this is the final "savings" for the year.
  • As I have had to replace a lot of things and I have basically lived well above my needs, never looking at the expenses, I have spend 32.700 dollars this year (yikes). This includes fancy drinks (20 dollars a pop), taxi-caps, gifts and lots of junk-food as well as rent and utilities. I feel like I have lived a life of hedonistic pleasure and while this may be perfectly normal after having nothing and being sick, the unnecessary spending has not made me content. Maybe a little face-punch? I mean 20 dollars a drink??
  • Started therapy to get to the bottom of my anxiety.
  • Did some interesting pro bono work that is close to my heart.



2014
  • Continuing training three times a week.
  • Biking everywhere.
  • Starting to learn how to invest in index-funds.
  • Double my company equity to 36.000 dollars and investing them. 2013 was a very good first year for my company so I project lower sales in 2014.
  • Getting two new customers.
  • Getting my spending down to 1100 dollars a month (of this 912 is fixed expenses and include rent (674), utilities, phone, internet and mandatory media taxes).
  • Being able to handstand.
  • Cooking my own food every day (I´m actually a very competent cook).
  • Exploring my mental capacity.

Some fun facts about Denmark. Yes our taxes are really that high, for every dollar I pay myself in salary I pay roughly 1 dollar in taxes, which is why I plan to keep them in the company where taxes are 25%. We have a 25% VAT on everything. If I invest I will have to pay between 36.6 to 47 % of the increase in value (does not have to be realized) of my investment (capital gains tax) or 27 to 47 percent on stock gains. Index funds are taxed as capital gains. Pensions even have a yearly PAL taxation of 15.4 % of the gains. 

And I pay it gladly :) But it makes it a little harder to invest, as compound interest has a slower start.

Any questions, advice or face-punching is welcome and thank you for all the wonderful forum posts.
 
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« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 03:26:32 AM by 30to40 »

catccc

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Re: 30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014, 09:18:37 AM »
Not much advice to give here, but welcome to the community and kudos on overcoming such difficult circumstances.

CU Tiger

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Re: 30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014, 09:19:04 AM »
First, yay for you for starting to make changes that are making you healthier and in a better place financially.

This is not a face-punch, just a suggestion, based on some things I have discovered through my own experiences. Have you considered not drinking at all for a while?

The reason I suggest this, is that I have had some issues with anxiety. I know when you are anxious and have to be in social situations, a drink seems to help. You feel relaxed and able to be more outgoing and social. But alcohol does some pretty extreme things to your body, and I find that the next day my anxiety levels are through the roof. Especially if in my alcoholic haze I acted like an ass.
A lot of people would say, “just cut back,” but the way it is for most of us is that we order the first drink and the first drink orders the second and all the others.

Also, if you are ordering $20 (!!) drinks, that is terrible for your financial bottom line. Drinking out at bars/restaurants, even here in the States, where we don’t pay quite so much tax as you do, is 3x as expensive as having a beer at home. I can buy a six-pack of Yuengling for the price they charge for two beers at most restaurants.

The worst that happens if you get off the booze for a while, is that you find it doesn’t make any difference to your finances/mental health, and you start back. But maybe you find it helps you be healthier/richer.

mikaty

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Re: 30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 09:33:42 AM »
Hey

Just want to say well done on all that you have achieved so far!  It's easy to get sucked into a "poor me" attitude but I don't see that in your post at all.  You seem to be very much in charge of your life.  Keep it up

30to40

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Re: 30to40: Personal journey and throwing down the gauntlet
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 09:42:20 AM »
catccc:

Thank you :)

CU Tiger:

Sound advice. I have actually not been able to drink during my sickness, and now I drink very little. I find that i don´t need it anymore but I can recognise using it as an anxiety pacifier.

What really has worked for me is lots of physical exercise and some therapy sessions.

Mikaty:

OH I have been there :). But it lasted like a month. I am a firm believer in building from where you are, be it poor, ill, rich or otherwise. No matter where you stand, you yourself can always go up.

Regarding the 20 dollar drinks. Yes! It is a stupid thing. I do not have the courage to tally the receipts to see what it has cost me :) Probably not pretty. Since my goals for 2014 is significantly lowering my expenses, this will automatically erase that from the budget.