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F.I.R.E., ERE, BEER and life

 
pollinator
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Like chess, F.I.R.E. and ERE there are many ways to win. The goal in chess is checkmate. This will be about my path to Financial independence. My ups and downs, what I am reading and maybe a little about money. In the book "Playing with Playing with FIRE", by Scott Rieckens lays out one path taken by a family.(Note there is a movie called Playing with Fire and it is a good movie but it is about firefighters and kids.) In "Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence" by Jacob Lund Fisker is another good read, it can be hard to understand the last chapter. Mr. Fisker's does have one area that I feel Mr. Riekens does a good job on and that is dealing with the unexpected like a major weather event.

So part of the reason I am writing this is to:

1. Get a better understanding of how a person travels this path
2. Try and use Permaculture in F.I.R.E.
3. Talk to others in this online community!
4. Have fun!

About a year ago I started this thread Financial Independence, ERE, scale. I am still trying to fixture out if one could make a scale about financial independence.

And so it begins...
 
 
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This is going to be fun! (And I am going to steal all your good ideas and use them.) Making creative, "outside the box" choices for life is what makes Permies life ever so much more exciting and interesting. And with Permaculture, not only are there many ways to win, as you said, but EVERYONE wins...so it feels really really good all around. Best wishes!
 
T Blankinship
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Getting oil change and Stacking functions

When I need work to be done on my car I go to a mechanic. “But why?” I hear some of you say, “just youtube want you need to do and do it”. Well I drive a small car that means the engine compartment is small and things are hard to get to, like a water pump! To replace that part the driver's side wheel needs to be removed. This is easy if you have a lift or the space. I do not have space or a lift in my garage to work on my car. Well mechanic’s have space, tools and parts in supply.

So what did I do when my car was being worked:

-Planned meals for the next few days

-Read up on 3D-printing

-Socialize with others

-Got a quote on new headlights

Meal planning is a great way to try new things. I have discovered how to make noodles, potstickers, eggrolls, breads and slow cookers recipe from scratch. In that hour I got more done to help my future self. When I was socializing I found out the mechanic business can get a discount on parts and they can find the parts for me which is great. I can now spend my time working on other things.

One last thought: I view going to a car mechanic like going to a doctor's office for a check up.

 
master steward
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T Blankinship wrote:[When I need work to be done on my car I go to a mechanic.



I think there is a lot to be said for thinking about when to DIY and when to employ an expert (Hint - it all depends!). This goes for many areas of life. We are all experts in our own field and could probably learn the skills for many other trades in time. However what would take an experienced mechanic with the right equipment one hour, could take a novice most of the day, plus scraped knuckles and a gallon of used oil to dispose of.
As you rightly point out it is what we do with the time saved that is important. We have a whole forum for productive downtime ideas to make use of that time waiting for something to happen.
 
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Nancy Reading wrote:

T Blankinship wrote:[When I need work to be done on my car I go to a mechanic.



I think there is a lot to be said for thinking about when to DIY and when to employ an expert (Hint - it all depends!). This goes for many areas of life. We are all experts in our own field and could probably learn the skills for many other trades in time. However what would take an experienced mechanic with the right equipment one hour, could take a novice most of the day, plus scraped knuckles and a gallon of used oil to dispose of.
As you rightly point out it is what we do with the time saved that is important. We have a whole forum for productive downtime ideas to make use of that time waiting for something to happen.



Many of us don't have the tools (especially the heavy equipment), a safe place to do it, the time, or the physical wherewithal to do many jobs - much less get professional results. John is a retired chef - with a bad back (courtesy of being hit from behind, at a standstill, by a semi, at full speed - talk about lucky to be alive!), and a bad heart (7 heart attacks, anyone?), and a severe allergy to chromium - which, by law, makes up a minimum of 10% of all stainless steel. There are MANY jobs he REALLY just cannot do. There are just as many that I can't do, for my own health reasons. I can learn the theory of 'how' to do something, pretty easily. But, often can't put it into practice, myself. Nothing at all wrong with paying someone else to do a thing, if you can - other people need the jobs they're paid to do, too.
 
T Blankinship
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Winter and laundry

Years ago I stopped using my machine clothes dryer and started using dryer racks and rope. This happen after checking the dryer and finding my clothes were wet. After finding the issue and fixing it, I was not in the mood to use it again.  This dryer is using two utilities just to dry my clothes and I want a better way to use less.

After a little work I found out the following can help speed up drying:

*Have an indoor clothesline. Above my head right now I have a 550 paracord running from one side of this room to the other. I tied a bowline to one side and hooked it to an old hanging lamp hook. The other end has a pulley on a carabiner which is on another hanging lamp hook. I do not put a lot of weight on the line because I do not want to find my clothes on the ground!

*Time. I start my laundry day early in the morning. By night time most of the clothes are dry. For big items like bed sheets I use the indoor clothesline or a shower curtain rod.

*Space for air to move and surface area. More places air can move and more surface is open to air equals faster drying times.  

Last summer is was hot like over 100F for some time. I used 550 paracord, a pulley, two carabiners and hammock suspension straps to make a outdoor clothesline. I dried a pair of pants, bed sheets and towel, then I timed how long it took. About 20 minutes later they were dry. One note the clothesline was in the shade.

Check out this PEP nest BB  for more ideas and information.
 
Rachel Lindsay
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I like to have all that moisture from drying clothes in the air during the dry cold winter. If it's humid though, and I want the clothes to dry a little faster, I do plug in the dehumidifier.

I like to wash clothes and hang them (inside* on drying racks) before I go to bed. Then they are dry by morning.

*left my drying racks with cloth diapers outside overnight once a few years ago. A raccoon neighbor left pawprints on a hanging diaper from trying to wipe off something that had been left in front of our garage that it really regretted putting its paws in. Yuck!
 
T Blankinship
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:
I like to wash clothes and hang them (inside* on drying racks) before I go to bed. Then they are dry by morning.



It is great to wake up and have dry clothes!

One issue I have been think about off and on is creating unfair advantages that will help me. I got this idea from listening to a Wheaton podcast and I can not remember the number but I did find this bit from Mother Earth News. Did you notice I wrote unfair advantages and not unfair advantage. Why? More advantages means that if one fails others can still help me. I will try and make a list in the next week or so and maybe share. But you dear reader, do you have unfair advantages that help in F.I.R.E. or ERE?
 
T Blankinship
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So it has been two months . Many times when I am doing something that for lack of a better word is mindless. I think about what to post on this thread.

Two things happen that made me think and how starting the path of F.I.R.E. has changed my outlook.

-A conversation with others at work.

-A meeting that did not go well.

First the conversation. When I was read the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" one idea I found useful was "How can I afford this?" The book is ok, I feel some of the ideas are a little outdated but I did read both "Playing with F.I.R.E." and "Early Retirement Extreme" before "Rich Dad Poor Dad".  The conversation was about retirement and most of the conversation was about not retiring. I sat there think "Ok I really want to accelerate my plans to retirement" and "I need to get better at understanding retirement income". The conversation was mostly negative. If I use "How can I afford this?" as a starting point my options open up. (This is from "Rich Dad Poor Dad") Another way to think about this is "the problem is the solution". Many times when I can not see a solution just thinking " the problem is the solution" help me find a way. So having a bad attitude and outlook in my view closes down thinking.

Now the meeting. In short it was DRAMA and I will not say more about it expect the following. "Money is a means to an end. And your means and your end are up to you!" Which situation would you want to be in if you where the leader of a group:

1. Little money and a lot of people who are getting things done.
2. A lot of money and few people not getting things done.

I find myself in no. 2 situation with the group at the meeting.

Of the books, podcasts, videos and blogs on F.I. and early retirement. I see people doing things and enjoying life. In many cases running a small business, drinking beer (which I am good at) and having many hobbies. Not complaining and just sitting around. If "the problem is the solution" what is it that I am not seeing in this group? If the group was full of F.I.R.E. people how would this change things?
 
Nancy Reading
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Not having read the book rich Dad, poor Dad, can you please explain the 'How can I afford this' as a technique for financial management? Thanks.
 
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You know, if you go to most forums there is a huge list of rules of do's and don'ts, but on this site there is just one: Be Nice.

It kind of is that simple with finances. The Greater the Risk, The Greater the Reward.

I suppose it could be said, to just live within one's means, but a lot of times on here you will see people justify this reason or that for spending money as they do, and that is well within their rights. By that I mean, people get antsy and decide to try and borrow money to get what they want instead of waiting. But going by national averages, 85 out of 100 people... don't have $1000 in the bank. In short 85% of the people you meet every day, are broke. Yet... yet... they will site a gazillion reasons why they spend their money as they do. Well, whatever, the numbers speak for themselves. Do what others do, and you will get what they got, and yes; you have an 85% chance of being broke following what they suggest.

In Permaculture, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. So if you don't have land, who have you asked to gain some? That sketchy old guy everyone avoids that has a few acres on the old back road? Hey, the greater the risk, the greater the reward, so you just might up as friends. Who knows? The point here is, a Permie has to do more than dream; they must act. They must get off their laurels and not be afraid of being told no... maybe a lot of no's. But dreams... oh dreams might just kick in with just one yes.

And that is just it. People are afraid and it holds them back from life. Irrational fear keeps them from moving forward. Simply put, "they don't have, because they don't ask, because they are afraid to ask". Really what people should be asking is: What is the worst that can happen?" A lot of times, the "worst" is not going to kill you.

As I said in the beginning: "The Greater the Risk, the Greater the Reward", so what risks are you taking for financial health? More importantly, what risks AREN't you taking?

Stop dreaming and get doing!
 
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Wow, T_B, that's a lot to process. No offense, but maybe you could distill it down?

I'm out in my yard and garden and the Back 40, working my tail off from dawn to dusk, Like most permies/homesteaders here. No time for essays and treatises. Give us something bite sized to chew on and respond to, and we will. Cheers!
 
T Blankinship
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Nancy Reading wrote:Not having read the book rich Dad, poor Dad, can you please explain the 'How can I afford this' as a technique for financial management? Thanks.



Yes!

In my view when a person or group says the word "can not". It stops all thinking about solutions to the issue and sets up a negative outlook.

My personal example of using this technique is the following.

I am building a rocket oven and I needed a stand made out off metal tubing. At the time metal was at all time high and could be hard to get. So I looked around to see if I could find what I needed. I did find a piece that I used as a support. In the meantime I got to measuring how much tubing I needed and worked on other things related to the oven. Last month I bought the tubing and found someone to wield the stand. It is now waiting on me to get the rocket core done. So in short "How can I afford this" was in my case mostly about waiting, looking for alternatives, planning out how to use expensive resources.

It may not be a technique that works for everyone or a solution to many issues.

Steve Zoma wrote:
As I said in the beginning: "The Greater the Risk, the Greater the Reward", so what risks are you taking for financial health? More importantly, what risks AREN't you taking?
Stop dreaming and get doing!



Yes fortune favors the bold. I would add that preparation and knowledge also helps with fortune. Risks are something I need to write more about both ones I am not taking and are taking. I feel this should be a post on it's own. I just need some time.

Douglas Alpenstock wrote:Wow, T_B, that's a lot to process. No offense, but maybe you could distill it down?



It can be a lot to process and that is one of the reasons I started this thread. I feel this video does a good job of distilling it down.

 
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Hi T B, I like this thread. I just posted in your first one before seeing this one. If I may add some thoughts:

1. Frugality. A very low cost of living is magic. This is where to start. (Most permies are already really good at this I think...)
2. Broad competence. Most people think that quality of living is a function of how much money they spend, QoL=f($). But this is wrong, Quality of Life is actually at least a function of money *and skills*. QoL=f($,skills). (Most permies have lots of skills I think!)
3. If you use 1 and 2 and have access to an income stream in excess of your cost of living, then you can quickly start building up your savings.
4. No one who understands basic principles of permaculture needs to be told that it's good to have buffers of resources, including money.
5. Eventually your savings will represent something like 5+ years of living expenses. This is an interesting place to be. This is where your dependence on 'the system' becomes loosely coupled. Do you need to earn money? Sure, but not right now. If work sucks you can quit and you have *years* to figure out how to bring in income.
6. The reason a very low cost of living is magic is because the less money you need, the easier it is to get that much money. If you can earn a year's worth of living expenses in a couple months (ideally in the winter), you can spend the rest of the year developing your permaculture system. Or you could work for several years and then never have to work again.

I liked your example of building your oven, being able to wait on resources becoming available.





 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Excellent post, Tyler! I agree!
 
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Nancy Reading wrote:Not having read the book rich Dad, poor Dad, can you please explain the 'How can I afford this' as a technique for financial management? Thanks.



I believe the OP explains this though I want to give my take on "How can I afford this".

I was taught to question "How many hours will I have to work to be able to buy this?"

That was a lot of years ago so I don't remember if that was something Dave Ramsey suggested or something I read in one of the many books I red on similar subjects.

I am sure I never read rich Dad, poor Dad.
 
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My memory of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is 20 years old, but as I recall, that lesson is about matching income streams with expenses. Like, if you want a car with a $1000/month payment, then you have to have some piece of cashflow set aside that generates that much, or a little more. Like in your mind, or maybe in your books, income from this one particular rental property is dedicated to paying for that car, and you don't use it for anything else. The idea is once you have it set up like that, you don't really have to think about the expense because it's covered.
 
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Where does the BEER come in?
 
T Blankinship
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Gray Henon wrote:Where does the BEER come in?


Beer comes in after reading a few ERE books and one needs a cold drink! Oh wait wrong BEER. For me BEER comes in after I did some math and after a very hot day at work. When I did the math on income for a year at 4% and would be sustainable it was in the low to mid $100,000s. After that BEER looked like a way to get to ERE faster. I find myself thinking a lot about how to save for ERE but not what do I want to do when I have Financial Independence (FI). "Treat your weekends like you are living ERE" is something I read and I think is a good idea. When I think about the hobbies and things I like to do there are a few that fall into BEER. Beekeeping is something I am trying but no luck in getting a swarm. Years ago I did a short video for a class in College and I liked it a lot. I used 3D models that I made and using video editing software into a video. One other area that could be BEER is I am thinking about starting a video channel that would cover some permaculture things. From what I have read and seen this is a time and energy drain. Yet there is A Big list of residual Income I ought look at again.
 
I guess everyone has an angle. Fine, what do you want? Just know that you cannot have this tiny ad:
full time farm crew job w/ housing
https://permies.com/t/178213/jobs-offered/experiences/full-time-farm-crew-member
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