Saturday, 16 November 2019

Saving money today

What did you do to save money today?
There are many ways to save money when purchasing stuff.
My focus is on not giving out money at all.

Today is Saturday and I saved money by:
+ washing all work (office) clothes on the gentle and cold cycle in the washing machine.
Shirts, cardigans, suit trousers, suit jackets everything. Without regard to washing instructions, everything goes into the washing machine. Most suits are bought second hand and if the garments does not survive the washing machine, our relationship has no future anyway. The sooner they die, the better. There will be no dry cleaning or laundry service of my office clothes. I hang them as neatly as possible on hangers used especially for this, and aimed at drying them as wrinkle free as possible.
Sunday evening I will iron and press everything while watching football, late news or a film. Everything will be ready for a new working week. Making money at minimum expense. If work has a problem with the way I dress, they can just go ahead and die, as that will not be any future for me anyway and I will not spend much money to make some money. This job is after all something I do after being financially independent.

+ carving out the remaining candle wax from tea lights. I have a pot (with a plastic bag) where I collect all candle remains before intending to melt it down and making new candles. This money saving does not really save any real amount of money, but does not cost anything and it will increase skills and resilience in case of real money saving will be needed.

+ Friday night dinner left-overs, were packed into a lunch box to take to work one day next week.

+ morning exercises, and a run is free training saving money on medical costs and gym memberships and sick leave and what else not spending money on.

+ brushing teeth carefully, floss, use mouth wash. Toothbrush, floss and mouthwash all stocked up on sales and the activity actually saves no money at all today. It will however lower the dentistry costs and make me keep my own teeth for the rest of my life.
+ breakfast at home, coffee at home,  lunch at home, so maybe also not saving money  as the alternative to go out to eat or drink coffee is not longer even a choice. It is money not given out, not really money saved, but I suppose it could be added to the list. The oatmeal, the coffee beans, the pasta, the oil, the cheese : all bought on sale and stacked at home as we know we always will eat it. The herbs used were are all grown on the balcony.

+ a grooming session is also part of some Saturdays, and today hair cut/trim, dying of eyelashes and eyebrows and some waxing was carried out using products paid for earlier. Although of course a huge money saving if I had previously had somebody else to do this for me, but otherwise it is actually no money saving at all as the products cost money. But I suppose as I now have developed the skills, have the tools and the patience to do these things on my own, money will never be spent on it. And I do not wear make-up.

+ balcony gardening is activity mostly to gather skills for the future than growing food to save money. Packing up the last pots for winter, collecting the remaining green tomatoes, collecting to dry some thyme, mint and oregano, leaving the rest to rest over the winter, and de-potting any remaining annual herbs did not save money but minimised the future needs for herbs and kept me busy without spending money on other things. Packed up the fruit trees which stay out over the winter.

+ dishes are done by hand during the day. We never invested in a dish washing machine, there is actually no room for it in the kitchen anyway, so hand washing and hand drying it is. Carefully keeping the water use and the use of washing up liquid as low as possible. Rinsing in cold water and drying with ancient kitchen towels (home woven by my ancestors, probably at least two generations ago and carefully kept unused, until I inherited them and started using them). Saving money by not spending anything and using what we already have. 

+ internet services was provided by the man during the day. He installed new hardware sent by provider after extensive and technically high-level discussions. We still do not know if these changes will solve our connection problems but we did not need to call out a technician for it, not spending much money. As we both work from home on occasion, high-functioning internet is a way to make money and not spending money while making money, our savings are increased. I am very grateful the man has the interest to acquire the knowledge to provide the right help for himself, and for me.

+ impregnating a jacket that lost its water resistance with old tent-impregnation found in the cleaning cupboard, should/could/might make the jacket usable in three seasons again. Saving the money that a new jacket would cost, using up already paid for products before buying something more specific and doing it myself in ten minutes. No cost, and a chance to reduce some serious costs if it works out.

+ learn a new language on my own for an hour, using instruction books from ten years ago, using free exercises on the internet, using on-line dictionaries, on my own time and not paying for a teacher or a course. This is seriously saving money, making my life easier in my new country and culture, while training focus, determination, brain capacity. I get increased motivation to study on my own every time I see what the courses charges.

+ a spade blade with a broken handle, rusty and dirty was given by the trash gods a week ago. Cleaned up it is perfect, and only needs a new handle. Outside with the toolbox, some seriously bad language and scraped fingers, I progressed some with the task to get the bits of the old handle out. Still not finished but progress. I do not need a spade, I have no garden but I want a garden and while it makes no sense to buy things for an uncertain dream project, it makes sense to learn skills and gather free tools while I wait (plan and scheme).

+ food shopping on sales and in advance in the right places saves money while spending it. We took the daily walk to one of the supermarket advertising cheap vegetables and bought a week or so worth, as well as supermarket priced chips and beer for tonight (one bag and one beer each).

The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent on the sofa eating snacks, watching football and surfing the internet for cats. A very cheap Saturday night, just as I like them. Lazy is the cheapest activity. Tomorrow a half day free class on improvisational theatre.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

FI 48,46

I have a financial freedom number of 48,46 years because I no longer own anything.

I have counted my assets in the same way on the first of every month for years. The number kept growing from savings into investments, from living frugally and from selling a big house paid off and replacing it with a studio apartment, selling the car and never replacing it. It was all achieved through a general attitude of not spending money and through studying hard, working a lot and also very hard and not having any ambitions of glamour or style. I sold ten years of my personal life to get a career and then sacrificed another miserably ten years for those assets.

The assets have never included pension rights as I have no access to them at this time. The combination of state pension and work pension and private pension funds adds up to what the future finances may be. But they say nothing about my current assets. They may dwindle to nothing, they may grow, but it is all out of my control (almost entirely) and therefore out of my assets.

The assets have also never included the value of a property I lived in. The mortgage would be counted as a debt but the value of the house was never included as an asset. Repairs, rent, fees, taxes and other costs to keep the house was counted as expenses, but the value of the house would not increase. Market changes are fickle and so is physical property. I would always need to live somewhere and the mortgage would not disappear if the house did (for example in a fire).

I paid down and eventually off all my student debt early in my working life although I did not have to. It may not have been the financially best choice, but in 2010 when I paid the last instalment and a few months later cancelled the mortgage to become debt free - nothing else mattered than that sweet, sweet feeling of independence. Then I had almost no assets left with my own way of counting.

Since 2010 I have built the financial freedom number of this month's 48,46.
The number means I divide the sum of total assets with the calculated annual budget I can and am living within. The quotient (the result) shows how many years I can live on my current assets until they run out - while hopefully expecting price increases and inflation to be compensated by dividends and interest. I have no interest in working with money, earning through blogg ads or running side-hustles for extra income. Thee assets are what there will be for when I stop working (again).

I have an approximate life expectancy depending on lifestyle and family genetics of at least 85 years.
I am currently, for the first time in my financial history, counting financial freedom until the end of my life expectancy.

I also own nothing. Nothing at all of value and very few physical belongings. I have an education, an interesting work experience and a healthy body. (I wish I could value this in a comparative way as I have done with assets but I am fully aware of how blessed I am by birthplace and genetics. Family and social background, eh  not so much but two out of three is generally a success, so I am not complaining.)

I left my mother's country formally this year, selling or leaving behind all remaining property. The value has now been incorporated into my assets making a difference from last month. (I do not count what I most probably will not get in of the current family inheritance feud as I have no control and would even in the best case scenario only be a few annual budgets anyway.)

I have started savings in my new country but there is currently very little value and no investments.
I also have made a list of my remaining physical property to differentiate them from the man's physical property in case of a separation. My list was shockingly short. Slightly longer than what could fit into a regular car, but a van will be enough for a move.

Instead, I have financial assets.

And more importantly currently a relationship, the opportunity to live in the most beautiful capital of the world and an interesting job.
It took me forty years of misery, ten years of hard lifestyle choices and very unexpected opportunities for the future have appeared.