Monday, 14 August 2017

Salt dispenser

For Jenn and others with interest,
This is our new salt dispenser.  (Not a promotion for any manufacturers or brands of salt, although, Hurray for companies who sell products in practical, refillable and reusable containers.)

Why is this special?
It is an anniversary salt dispenser for the company's 80th year.

I also add a picture of the cat I was pet-sitting in Paris for two weeks. 


For a few months, I have pursued project Salt.
Not a big project, not a lot of work and possibly, also not very important.
Project Salt is however the continuation and result of my lifestyle.

Our favourite salt dispenser broke (the lid came off its little hinge). It worked but it accentuated the need for a new salt dispenser.
That then accentuated the fact that we have a nice salt grinder for rock salt that we do not like.
We also do not like rock salt. We thought we did, we have tried. Both rock salt from the Himalayas and salt rocks from Austria. As well as course salt from France and somewhere else, I don't know where. They have been used and used up with disappointing result.
Mostly because the salt level is unpredictable and you may end up either under- or over salting your food, regardless if you salt while cooking or directly on the plate.
It could also be that the nice salt grinder isn't sufficiently nice; that it should be made from ceramic (although it is) or by a specific brand (which it isn't) or that we use it wrong (possibly, we are not geniuses, just normal).
We made the decision to use up all the salt in the house, buy a pound or two of regular cooking salt from the regular supermarket for 30 eurocents or so and then use use that. With a new salt dispenser, preferably found for free.
I have spent the last few months and weeks going through all spice racks, cupboards, camping equipment and all and any other space for storage to find and use up all available amounts of salt in the house.

As I have now come back from Paris, I brought a salt dispenser back. It is a regular salt container that you buy 100 grams of salt in, in a super market, when you do not buy a whole bag of salt. But this one is FRENCH. And it has a lid that closes.
The salt ran out while I was there, and not intending to go through all cupboards of my house owners, I bought the smallest amount of salt available for them - and took the old empty one with me home. (Yes, their old empty one was better than the new filled one I bought them; not for them, but for me.)

The last remnants of course salt was brutally been emptied out from the nice salt grinder. (It has been  cleaned out and put back in the kitchen cupboard awaiting new content. Probably pepper.)

The new FRENCH salt dispenser was refilled with salt from a whole bag of salt.
It is a wonderful souvenir. Every morning when adding salt to the porridge, we can read words in French and remember our weeks living in Paris.

The rest of the bag of salt is closely closed and tucked back into the cupboard. I do not expect to spend any money on salt or salt dispensers in the forthcoming 12-months.
Salt is now a NO BUY.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Money and muscle

Money makes more money.

Muscle makes more muscles.

Gather your money and build your muscles - you know how and how not to.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


Last calendar month my FI-number was 34,98. Or 35 years.
This meant that my assets divided with my annual budget would simply speaking last 35 years. This I call the Financial Independence number.
This of course comes with a few conditions:
- Price increases in the future need to be compensated by interests or dividends. Or additional income.
- I need to live within the annual budget. This is a very frugal budget but it is also a budget that I have lived within for several years now. However, this is with the current lifestyle and changes in lifestyle will need to be addressed with (possible) changes in budget. I will not reduce the annual budget but I may consider increasing it. The annual budget always needs to be larger than the annual needs and costs as it is impossible to predict everything and the funds need to be available also for accidents. See Eye on Savings. Not the disastrous, life-changing accidents of course. For those, the annual budget will need to change.
- If the growth rate of my assets is higher than the price increases, I could safely withdraw a certain amount every year without reducing capital. I know the SWR numbers and I put no trust in it and do not use that. My financial future does not include any financial risks at all.

I count my assets the first every month, excluding any possible value of my apartment (as I always will need to live somewhere) and the value of any pension funds that I cannot access until I retire. This includes both private and national pension rights as once paid into, I have no or very little control over the value. They will however pay out in about fifteen to seventeen years.

Last calendar month the stock market were my money are placed, went down. Since then, it has gone down further. I have bought some stock in companies that I believe in but where the fickle and short-termed stock market discounted the value. These shares were bought with savings from this months salary (as I still work four days a week).

The current financial independence number is 34,27, meaning I can float financially within my annual budget for another 34,27 years. I have lost half a years annual budget in a month - at the same time, there has been several months in the past when I have gained as much or even more in a month. Swings and roundabouts - stock markets and financial risks.

I keep one months moving costs on a debit card, six months total costs on an easily available savings account, ten years in stocks and the rest in solid index funds. I also still have a job and keep myself updated with qualifications, trainings and merits.

It has taken many, many years of savings to get me to a position like this. However, it has only taken me six years to change my life so that my spending is low, my lifestyle is frugal and my work is to make money - not my life. Not an easy process by any means, but possible for anybody.