job-free at 37

Can you eat your lunch and have it?

The conventional wisdom in the financial independence community is that index funds are the slow but sure way to wealth and I agree with that. Consequently, the vast majority of our investments are in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Because we are in “growth” KiwiSaver funds, our provider invests the majority of our retirement money in ETFs. The majority of our Sharesies investments are also in ETFs. But, we have specialised on a couple of companies recently and I want to share why.

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Winning at disposable income

So over the past two weeks I’ve discussed how geoarbitrage can give you the disposable income of a richer person, as can general frugal common sense. None of this comes close to depriving yourself of anything really important to your happiness or wellbeing. I want to round things up this week by trying to bring it all together.

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Net Worth – July 2019

Another month, another update 🙂 June saw us invest $500 in Eat My Lunch via the PledgeMe platform. It was an unusually low barrier to entry. It’s not every day that for $500 you can invest in a business you’ve actually heard of before, believe in and see potential in. The low amount is key as we believe in the power of diversification. We can afford to lose $500 if it all goes belly up. Hopefully other companies seeking funding in future will allow similarly low investments.

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How frugality gives you the income of a richer person

Last week I wrote about how moving to a place with a cheaper cost of living (specifically accommodation costs) such as a smaller city or town, can give you similar disposable income to a richer person in a big city. This week I want to show you how simple being more frugal can achieve the same thing (of course for maximum effect, do both!)

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How geoarbitrage gives you the income of a richer person

There are lots of ways to measure wealth. Net worth is a very common one. Income is another. But it could be argued that disposable income is an accurate measure of how wealthy someone feels in their day-to-day life.

Disposable income is basically the money you have left each pay check after you’ve covered off all your essentials. How much of it you have can make a huge difference to how stressed or relaxed you feel about your financial situation. And where you live can have a huge impact on how much disposable income you have.

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How We Budget – Part II

I previously discussed how we budget. I was going to include as part of that a description of what kinds of expenses we include in different categories, but that part of the post ended up being so long it made more sense to put it into a separate post. So below is that information. I highly recommend reading Part I for context.

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How We Budget – Part I

First up, just a bit of a notice. I’ve been trying to write a fortnightly post plus a monthly net worth update. So far I’ve been succeeding! I’m going to attempt to up this to weekly seeing as I seem to be able to stay disciplined, but let’s call it a trial and see how it goes 🙂

There’s plenty of opinions out there regarding budgets and whether they should be called budgets and whether you need a budget. Some people probably don’t. They’re just good at not spending. I’m not one of those people. I thought I was, but then I started tracking how much I was spending and realised I was spending hundreds of dollars every month on all sorts of crap. So unless you know that you know that you know that you are one of the most frugal people on this earth, it probably wouldn’t hurt to review your spending and consider whether you might need a budget.

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Net Worth – June 2019

June is an important month in NZ as it marks the end of the KiwiSaver year. It’s important to have contributed $1043 to your KiwiSaver by the end of June so you can get the maximum Government Contribution for the year. We achieved this for Mrs. R2A by the end of May. So despite hardly working in the past 12 months due to maternity leave, she is sorted for KiwiSaver. Unfortunately we did still miss out on employer contributions for that time.

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Cars – A Contrarian View

The private vehicle is an odd beast. It provides incredible convenience. It also causes or contributes to many of the ills in the world. But rather than tackle the environmental or health aspects of driving today, I’m going to outline my reasons why I believe the traditional logic of the financial independence community regarding cars is flawed in one key way.

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Rental Properties – A Contrarian View

It’s important to preface this by saying I will be discussing rental property in New Zealand in this article. From what I’ve heard and seen on various US personal finance blogs and podcasts, the property market over there seems to vastly different so what I say here likely won’t apply. Please refer to my disclaimer as well, where I will further attempt to extricate myself from the idea I’m providing any real advice 🙂

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