It is the first day of a new month and I count my money. The official money counting day is the day I go through all my assets that I have control over and summarize them. I count this in the same way every time, a system that took a long time to set up around 2010 and remains unchanged since then. I do not include pension rights outside my influence, property value as I will always need to live somewhere (and no longer own any property) or any other assets of value (which I have none, including no car).
The sum is the value of my assets and exclude taxes or fees generated if these assets are to be converted into cash. The value of my assets are divided with my annual budget.
My annual budget is an almost hypothetical amount of money I need to finance a full year with this current life style. It is not the minimal amount of money I need, but a realistic amount of money I will need to spend if most goes well and according to plan and some things goes badly.
The annual budget contains the monthly fixed costs for living where we live, an estimate of food costs, an amount for monthly pleasures and an amount for personal pocket money. I live with the man and we share joint costs through a bucket system. The personal pocket money therefore covers things that only I use. It is personal travel costs including cost and repair for my bicycles, my own mobile phone and its use, clothes, and health costs including eyes, teeth and personal health insurance costs. And sweets, that is my own personal expense.
The total sum of assets are then divided with the annual budget which gives me the number of years I can live on my assets, with the condition that future value increases and dividends cover future cost increases and taxes. The number is my Financial Independence number, FI for short.
For years and years I have used a specific monthly amount as my annual budget. This has been used as the basis for my FI number in all previous calculations. Most years I have spent less than budgeted (as I should). I can see that there will be years when the budget could be stretched to cover some known expenses. A new fridge, bicycle or a dream trip for example.
Of course I am cushioned by savings but all expected expenses should be budgeted. Otherwise the annual budget is a pretend budget for living the normal life with a cushion on the side for all those luxuries which are unobtainable for people who involuntarily have similar budgets.
And that makes this voluntary poverty I have a bit hypocritical.
So the annual budget will be increased to cover all repair, replace and disaster costs which can be expected, as well as the cost for executing some of our dreams.
The new annual budget is also to prepare for inevitable cost increases in the forthcoming years.
I expect to keep this new annual budget for more than ten years (or possibly reduce it again).
The Financial Independence number is with the new budget FI 52,36 (old
annual budget for reference would give a FI number of 64,45). It means that I
have fifty years of my annual budget covered.
Fifty years is beyond my life expectancy. I have no intention of leaving any inheritance. There are also pension rights which will be paying out eventually (unclear how much so not included).
I think I can consider myself FIRE and ERE and financially independent.
Teeth is the body part I prioritize the most in financial terms. The long-term goal is to keep my own teeth my whole life. My budget itemise teeth specificity so that they each year get everything they need. Tooth brushes, tooth paste, floss, dental sticks, mouth wash (NotListerine!) and of course dental hygienist and dentist appointments. Twice yearly visits is the plan.
I have kicked off 2021 with a dental visit and I left with flying colours. Well done me, very good, nothing to say and I will keep my established routine for the next six months.
(During this visit I was closer to another person other than the man, then I have been since February 2020. It was a bit scary but very professional protection performed on all parts. For the next visit, I hope we will all be vaccinated [fingers crossed, knock on wood, salt over the shoulder, and an offering to the Norse good of teeth and health Freja and what other superstitions will need to protect me from the wrath of the Greek hubris]. By then I hope a new normal behaviour will have been established.
I have not seen the full cost for this dental visit yet but as I had budgeted for actual dental work to be done, and actual work was not needed, the budget result so far is money not spent this year.
Buying and using daily teeth cleaning paraphernalia really pays off.
My teeth are my own and nobody will take them from me.
My goal is that my teeth will last me another 50 years, just as well as my money.