Friday 29 August 2014

Yesterdays sadness todays joy?

Delicious mushrooms fried in butter

Yesterday I became sad when I started to think over my life that I am living at the moment. Not because I find it so boring but because I really have no clue what else I can do to save more money.

Sure, one could cut even more on food and stop eating fresh vegetables and fresh fruit but that on the other hand will most likely shorten my lifespan which means less compounding which means that it is of no interest for me to reach my goals.

Image if I would have been one of the people buying coffee in Starbucks each morning. That would be around 4 € x 5 days x 4 weeks = 80 € per month. That would be the equivalent of a 5% salary raise if I could have stopped doing that. Alas, I cannot.

Imagine if I would have taken my car to work each day then that would have been around 37.8 € per month that I could have saved. Alas, I cannot and instead I sit 80 minutes in total per day on my bicycle going back and forth with the benefit of increased activity and health. 37.8 € would have been an additional 2.1% raise of my salary.

Imagine if I would have spent 100 € per month in cloths then that would have been the equivalent of 5.5% salary increase if I would stop doing that. The last time I bought something was a pair of trousers for 30 € in November 2013.

I have already looked over and changed all my insurances to take the cheapest but still reliable insurance companies. The change that I did will lead to 28 € monthly saving so a 1.6% salary increase which hardly even beats inflation but still it was great to get it done!

I have the cheapest internet provider, the cheapest mobile phone provider so I can not go further down there unless I completely skip the services which would be stupid.

Back in the past when I was dating I used to spend 150 to 200 € per month on different activities which I do no longer with the happy effect of my salary being almost 10% larger!

I recently also changed bank which will from now on mean that when I want to take some cash out from an ATM I no longer pay any crazy high fees (min 8 € per transaction + 0.25%) as I did with my previous incompetent bank. This was the bank that were additionally unable to help me with my credit card problems.
The reason for why they could not help me is a classic! "Since I had used my credit card outside of Germany they could not talk to the company and alas not help me." I was amazed! Imagine to have a credit card that you can use and buy products for all over the world but if there are any problems outside of Germany then my bank will never help me.... sigh... the decision was easy... next!

By moving in to my girlfriends place I also managed to cut my rent and electricity/gas bill in half which means a salary gain of almost 14%! This is excellent!

The only thing left to seriously influence is my food costs but that is really tough. By the look of things we are currently living on around 250 € per month in food costs. That is cheap for two people. Sure... my food does not cost so much at the moment due to three days of no solids but still... oh, and I of course always bring food to work. Usually a quark fruit mixture at the cost of less than 1.6 € per meal and it is delicious even after two years. Funny how I never seem to get bored of eating fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

Monday: 1.5 € (only quark)
Tuesday: 2.5-3 € (only juicy of vegetable/fruit)
Wednesday: 2.5-3 € (only juicy of vegetable/fruit)
Thursday: 5-6 €
Friday: 5-6 €
Saturday: 5-8 €
Sunday: 5-8 €

Total high for me: 35.5 € per week or 142 per month
Total low for me: 26.5 € per week or 106 € per month

It is impossible to bring food to zero unless I start to check the dumpsters of pizza places and supermarkets but that is simply too extreme and the border must be drawn somewhere.

So I look at my life and I am sad that I do not know where to save any more... or hang on a minute... I could sell my car. Giving me some fresh cash to invest and additionally no more car insurance to pay for... hmm... nah, I want to keep it. The level of freedom that one gets from owning a car is simply too high for parting from and I would be darned if I can not reach my goals even if I own a car, the most stupid thing we mankind ever buys, as you can read about here The Car: a financial killer!

Do you want to make my life brighter? Give me a good suggestion for what else I can save money on!


PoomK said...

Don't be too serious about cutting your expenses, Fredrik. I suggest you maintain your current level of savings per month.

Don't squeeze every Euro out of your pocket. Spend the surplus on vacation, visit friends and family, have a new hobby. Enjoy your life.

Investment has to be done in long-term. It takes time till your investment bears fruits. In the meantime, you should live a good life too.

Hugo Hallqvist said...

I do not have a suggestion for what else you can save money on. To me, you seem to have a quite healthy balance between spending and saving as of right now.

What you can look at is the income part of the equation. I do not know your line of work, but maybe it is possible to do some sideproject that is not in direct competition to your daytime employed work. For sure, it will steal time from other things, your stock analysis, your girlfriend and other parts in life, and one has to ask if it is worth it. But it can also be very rewarding in the end. Atleast you will learn stuff and gain experience, and if things work out good, it can be a healthy addition to your current salary.

If you can find a good project, maybe you can do it together with your GF and by that hit two birds with one stone. :-)

Fredrik von Oberhausen said...

@PoomK wise words as always from you PoomK! I guess I must learn to be more patient not only with investments but also with my own life. I will try!

@Hugo Hallqvist good suggestion. Thanks! I run my own company so time I can distribute fairly freely which is one of the reasons for me being able to publish one article per day.
It also means that no one can refuse me for taking a 2nd job so additional bonus!

I like the suggestion! I will start looking into it.