Saturday, April 8, 2017

裸辞的冲动

工作似乎很容易就脱轨。一年前很快乐的小组到现在几乎人人想跑,变化好像是有点大。第一次换工作的时候听过这样的一句话,要么忍,要么滚。这也算是实在话。接着忍吧,不过总有一天是要滚的。哈。

看谈话节目,讨论的是哪个国家人最喜欢赚钱。西班牙人说,赚钱是为了生活,够了就好,生活不是为了赚钱。听着似乎特别有道理。赚钱是真的为了生活或许更好的生活。但是生命并不是为了赚钱。工作的不开心,或许真是该不干了。

裸辞的冲动没过那么几年就会有一次。对工作的倦怠,同事间的斗争。看着就有点累。说实话,大多数的工作有些感觉是用时间在换钱。公司里空降了一个没有任何经验的经理,老板说是个人才。看来任何国家的公司,认识对了人还是都很重要的。

这几年,一直也就是为了赚盘缠在继续工作。退休的倒计时其实早就开始了。还有1777天。要是真的退休了也不知道要干嘛。几年前被雷,在家呆了了几个月,无所事事。刚开始有点落寞,也开始过的特别节俭,毕竟是没有在赚钱。到了后来,也算是越来越开心。起来运动,看看电视,读读书,学学语言。算是充实。这也很有可能跟天气的变暖有些关系。生活的变化,跟着时间,慢慢调整,还是会习惯的吧。

裸辞的那种冲动,就是想想。为了更好的旅程,1777天,坚持住就好。


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

钱胡子先生的胡子主义

不是太久以前发现了MMM的博客。然后也就知道了Go Curry Cracker。说是不是很久,其实也有四五年了。也就是这四五年前,试图着写自己的博客。结果还是半途而废。中文是许久不用,多少有些荒废,变得陌生。但是用着不是母语的英文写字,怎么样感觉还是不对的。扯着扯着,好像有点离题了。

Mr Money Mustache 也就是钱胡子先生是FIRE届的知名人物。也是因为他,有了Mustachism,胡子主义。所谓的胡子主义,以我来看就是不乱花钱,不与人攀比,极早退休,快乐过日子的一种生活哲学。钱胡子本人30岁就退休。在家也就是锻炼身体,写写博客,造造房子。一家过着悠闲的日子。

我本人一直就是懒惰。从小就觉得不能真的工作一辈子。自从知道了钱胡子先生,就似乎看到了极大的希望。对了,还没来得及解释什么是FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)。字面翻译也就是经济独立,及早退休。其实现实中有大批大批和我一样懒惰的人们都希望早日结束全职工作,过上自由自在的生活。就是这些人大多都隐藏着,多数只活跃在网络上而已。但是这大批人都相信着胡子主义。毕竟你跟别人说你不到40岁就退休,人家都以为你乱开玩笑。毕竟胡子主义现在还不是主流。

解释了半天,说回我自己。我也算了那些隐晦在网络上胡子主义信奉者之一。从小的家庭教育,我也算是懂的不乱花钱,勤俭持家,该存的也是存了。不过也是从接触到FIRE以后,才开始慢慢懂得理财。胡子先生的理论很简单,invest in index funds,投资指数基金。养成习惯,每月固定买一点。从长远计划来看,怎么都会涨的。

金钱除外,重要的一点是不要因为工作荒废了生活。我们一辈子活着的日子是有限的。如果被工作制约了所有,那么这一生又有了什么意义。这四五年里,其实也经历了不少职场上的起起伏伏,也出去看了点世界。路走的越多,发现世界越大,要看的的也就是越多。我也开始明白要在有生之年尽量多的旅行靠那么点假期是不够的。唯一的出路就是提前很久退休。很幸运的是我最亲爱的老公十分同意这样的想法 (我们两个懒的都可以)。呵呵。

前面提到的Go Curry Cracker 咖喱饼干一家,是一对30多岁就开始不工作全职旅行的夫妻。自从我们开始自己的一年几次的旅行,越发羡慕他们的生活方式。其实,我不是很清楚我是否可能那么长期在外。最近一次16天的旅程似乎已经到了极限。但是也就是这对夫妻证明了不工作可以更好的生活。

这个博客之前多是用英文撰写,实在有点不顺。我要尝试用母语。从这里从新开始对自己生活的记录。以后的时间会分享我们的旅行,胡子主义以及其他生活的杂碎。

Anyways, welcome and thank you reading.

PS 要是你对胡子还有咖喱有兴趣,随意百度或则GOOGLE就可以找到。









Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pursuit of Happiness: Your Life or Your Money

You can never make enough money, but you will run out of time.
-       Mrs. Y's Facebook status

We graduated from school. We were eager to join the workforce. We got our first paycheck. We moved on from our first job to a better paying job. We worked harder and for longer hours, hoping for that promotion and that raise. We did not take vacations. We chained ourselves to our desks.

According to Project: Time Off (http://www.projecttimeoff.com/news/press-releases/americans-waste-record-setting-658-million-vacation-days) , workers in America wasted 658 million paid vacation days. There was also a commercial from Visa, showing kids telling parents those were PAID vacation days. Most of us are so invested in our job. We no longer try to think what the work is providing for. We work but we are not living. Luckily, Mrs and Mr Y realized that and started our pursuit of happiness when we found our what made us happy. We made sure we utilize all our paid vacation days and used those to explore the world.

Among many of the MMM Facebook groups and blogs, it is usually suggested that spending money on many things should be avoided. It is true that to reach the goal of financial dependence, saving is an essential part to it. If I understood MMM correctly, he recommended avoid buying things you do not need, but instead, use it on experiences and things that enrich your life. I took the picture below from our latest trip to Antarctica. The trip is worth a series of posts itself and will come soon in the future.


For the past few years, we spent more than 60% of our total annual income on travel, mostly small-group travel. Those trips tend to fairly pricey, but the experience and accommodations were incredible.  One of the trips we were able to tour an active archaeological dig site that was not open to the public. On another trip, we had a National Geographic photographer as our photo instructor. We valued those experiences as lifelong memories that are worth more than the money spent. We tend to do those trips with small travel groups, because of safety concerns and the remoteness of the areas.

We still do some of the trips on our own, both domestically and internationally. For trips that we do on our own, we try to utilize points that we have earned. We were able to explore a few European cities the past April and will continue to do that this year and the years to come.  Wandering through an ancient city and tasting the different cuisine widens our horizons. Travel urges us to learn more about the world, its people of the region, the language, and the culture.

I do not think I can live without travel any more because now I know how much there is to see outside the 15 mile radius we live in. The wonders of the world is our happiness. We probably will not be able to see everything, but we should try anyways.

Spending money on things may not bring additional happiness, but the experience of travel will. Do not hit the pause button on travel because of your financial independence goal. Do not wait to travel until retirement. Explore the world while you are still young, so you can experience it and to live.


Happy travels in 2017!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

We are back!


We took a long break from our blog. The last blog post just kind of ended when I ran out of things to write out. But I think it is time to start writing about this brand-new life we stumbled upon, after we moved the blog to a private repository a few years ago.

Shortly after we found the online community of FI bloggers, I was laid off. I started a stay-home-wife/retirement experiment. I soon realized that I was not exactly cut out for staying at home all day. I did start a new position not too long afterwards, but the commute was brutal. 1.5 hours one way on a good day. Talking about wasting away your life away on a commute, this would have been the prefect example. It was also that job, that allowed me to meet two wonderful ladies who traveled the world. They opened my eyes and led me to discover what I truly wanted for my life.

We were lucky to have been able to travel with National Geographic in the summer of 2014 to Alaska on a small group tour. That was the gateway trip to all our other future travels. The week that we spent in the wilderness made me realize that there was so much to see in the world, rather than just the desk I was chained to, more than 40 hours a week. The following year we decided to start working on our travel list. It also started our real travels (not that we didn't travel before, but these new trips were all once in a lifetime experience). In 2015, we went to Peru and Morocco, with a few shorter trips within the United States (Galena, Pittsburgh and New York).

All the different natural wonders, cultural differences, delicious food and wonderful people we met confirmed our idea of early retirement and financial independence. It also made me realize that I was no longer interested in climbing the corporate ladder. Along with Mr. Y, we were making decent income even though we might be on the lower tier compared to our friends. It became very clear that we wanted a more balanced work/life relationship. The long commute was certainly not the thing for us.

Mr. Y started working from home for a startup with a small pay cut. And one year later, I followed suit by making the decision of taking a job 7 miles/15 minute drive with slightly lower pay, but more vacation days than a my previous job. Even though the job would almost have no upward mobility, I was happy with the work-life balance it promised to offer. 

Within the past year, we were able to see more of the world: Oman, UAE, UK, France, Italy, Argentina, and Antarctica. The more places we have been, the longer the list has become. The world is just a big place, but our time on earth is so limited. It is a good plan to start early, to see the world and walk the earth as much as you can. Waiting until you're 65 is not ideal.

We started the blog years ago trying to witness our journey towards financial independence without too much success, but we now want to share our true-life journey instead.

Hello, world! We are back!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving and Milestone

It is the start of the holiday season and on this very special day, we are very thankful for everything we have.

This year, we are thankful for:

- the roof over our head

It started snowing very early this year. I am very thankful we did not live in the area with 16 feet snow. Earlier this year, our house suffered damages due to hail and strong wind. Luckily, insurance paid for most of that and we now have a new roof and half of new sidings.

- family and friends

It is wonderful to have family and friends always by your side through good or rough times. We are thankful for family helping out when we need.

- wonderful trip in the wilderness

The trip to Alaska opened our eyes and firmed our goals of early retirement. It reminded us of all the greatness that is out there awaiting for us to see. It is not worth a lifetime to make money but to chained to a desk. It is important to live to experience.

- hiking 

It was the new found hobby of ours. It increased our activity level and helped us stay in better shape. It seems to be a nice thing to be closer to nature and appreciate what we have so close to us.

- reached another milestone

We officially reached 600k as of today. Exactly 600,000, 7 months after we reached the halfway mark of half a million. Market has been hype for the past month and we continue to save and invest. We are another step closer to FI.

It is Thanksgiving. We have food on the table and family around us. It is snowing outside. It has been a good year so far. There is nothing better than starting the holiday season with family.

We wish you a happy Thanksgiving. And Gobble! Gobble!




Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Water Cooler Stories - Brown Bag Lunch

Nowadays, we all sit in small spaces in modern office buildings. Row after row of cubicles like diligent worker bees. Because of the tight spaces, I tend to overhear many interesting stories. Today I would like to share with you a story about brown bag lunches.

One of the younger worker bees decided to increase some of his cash flow by making sandwiches, instead going out for lunch every day. One of his friends stopped by and said it was not worth the effort and the time. He stated that each lunch was probably less than $10 and it did not really add up that much for a year. 

I listened and smiled. Then I did some simple math (see below) the same night. The following calculation assumes that lunch is $7 and there are 20 work days per month. It also assumes that the average American works for 35 years. To be safe, I only used a 6% rate of return on investments.

At $7 per lunch at 20 lunches a month, it is really only $1,680 per year. On a salary of $55,000, that is roughly 3% of total income per year. It is not that much, you might think to yourself. However, given enough time, saving that little money a year - it can turn into almost $200,000 by the time it's time to retire. Again, this is because of the time value of money.  However, the calculation is fairly conservative.  The average return is probably around 8-10%, which would significantly increase the total savings amount.



Usually people who do not bring lunch to work, will also end up buying dinner as well. Enjoying good food is never a bad thing. However, it can be affect your overall health, in addition to creating holes in your cash flow. Restaurant food sure tastes great, but it also means high sodium and more oil/fat you're putting into your body.

Home cooked food can also be delicious and can save some money on the side. Home cooking might take some time, but can be a great experience trying new things on our own without breaking the bank.

Financial independence is our ultimate goal. Anything we can easily do to save that extra dollar without greatly affecting our life experience is good. With that in mind, we will continue to bring our own tasty home made lunches to work.