Get Rich with de-monetisation

His_Master's_VoiceWhen I was about 13, I started getting into pop music.

From a financial perspective, this started off harmlessly enough listening to the weekly top 40, free on BBC Radio 1.

But it didn’t stop there. I started to throw my money around.  I bought blank cassettes (ask your history teacher) and a radio cassette player so I could tape songs off the radio, copyright be damned.

From there it was but a few short steps up the ladder of hedonic adaptation to purchasing something called “records”….large and cumbersome round pieces of shiny black vinyl that you used to spin round on an electrical turning machine and music would then come out of the speakers.

This was some expensive shit.  At that time my only income was pocket money.  And in the early 1980s, a 12inch record cost about £3…or about £10 in today’s money. I reckon I must have been spending over 90% of my disposable income on music.

Not only that, but if you wanted to get some music you had to pay to get on something called a “bus” and go to somewhere called a “shop” to buy your plastic. It was all truly awful.

Fast forward ~30 years and The Escape Artist has access to all the music in the world for approximately zero % of my disposable income.  Sure, my income has gone up but the main reason is that music got de-monetised.

In other words, money got taken out of the equation and music became available for free. I’m sat here tapping on a laptop with a cheap but high quality pair of earphones.   Just about every song in the world is available at my fingertips on Youtube.  And miraculously its all free.

To prove my point, the first record I ever bought was the Ghostbusters theme which I now present to you in all its glory. I’ll throw in the video for free.

I do hope the nice lady in the video didn’t catch a cold filming it.

This got me thinking. What if everything went the way of music?  What if everything was getting cheaper…how awesome would that be?

Well, welcome to the Industrial Revolution because that IS what’s been happening.  Its been going on for a couple of hundred years in those parts of the world that have allowed capitalism to work its magic.  Stuff has got progressively cheaper in terms of how many days we need to work to achieve it.

This fall in real prices (compared to wages) was slow at first. But in the digital economy its been speeding up (even for real goods : thank you Amazon) and its a trend that’s going to continue.  As Scott Adams has written, we could design whole new communities with an incredibly low cost of living engineered in.

So when you see those complainypants newspaper articles about falling living standards and how its impossible to save….just stop and remember 2 things.

Firstly, the news is hopelessly skewed towards DISASTER – BUY NOW, WORLD ENDING SOON horseshit. Secondly, statisticians find it really difficult to measure inflation on an apples to apples basis.

ford escort

My first car was a 1974 Ford Escort Mark I. It was a fucking deathtrap, let me tell you.

We can measure how the price of a typical car has risen between (say) 1974 and 2018.  But, if you’re measuring inflation, how do you factor in the incredible improvements in the build quality and reliability since then?  I’m talking about modern cars that actually stop when you apply the brakes.

So pay attention Millennials:  Put down the ridiculous Guardian articles, look at this photo and then tell me that things have got worse since the 1970s.

Although we’ve seen demonetisation working slowly for several hundred years in the West, its getting faster as new technologies converge. This applies to services as well.  What Vanguard has done is effectively de-monetise the cost of investing.

The person that really knows about this is tech entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter Diamondis and this week I’ve featured one of his articles on de-monetisation.

I encourage you to check out his blog here.



peterdPeople are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs and destroying livelihoods… reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy.

In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot the idea of “universal basic income” – the unconditional provision of a regular sum of money from the government to support livelihood independent of employment.

But what people aren’t talking about, and what’s getting my attention, is a forthcoming rapid demonetization of the cost of living.

Meaning — it’s getting cheaper and cheaper to meet our basic needs.

Powered by developments in exponential technologies, the cost of housing, transportation, food, health care, entertainment, clothing, education and so on will fall, eventually approaching, believe it or not, zero.

In this blog, I’ll explore how people spend their money now and how “technological socialism” (i.e. having our lives taken care of by technology) can demonetize living.

As an entrepreneur, CEO or leader, understanding this trend and implication is important… it will change the way we live, work, and play in the years ahead.

How We Spend Our Money Today

Spending habits around the world tell a pretty consistent story – we tend to spend money on many of the same basic products and services.

Take a look at how consumers spent their money in three large economies: The United States, China, and India.

In the U.S., in 2011, 33% of the average American’s income was spent on Housing, followed by 16% spent on Transportation, 12% spent on Food, 6% on Healthcare, and 5% on Entertainment.

In other words, more than 75% of Americans’ expenditures come from Housing, Transportation, Food, Personal Insurance, and Health.

In China, per a recent Goldman Sachs Investment Research report, there is a similar breakdown — Food, Home, Mobility, and Well-Being make up the majority of the expenditures.

Interestingly, in China, consumers care significantly more about looking good and eating better (and less about having more fun) than in the U.S. – nearly half of consumer income goes to clothes and food.

In India, with a population of 1.2 billion people, expenditures on Food, Transportation, and Miscellaneous Goods and Services are most prominent. Rent/Housing and Healthcare represent a smaller portion of expenditures.

These differences likely represent cultural differences in each of the three very different countries – but overall, you see that the majority of expenditures are in these top 7 categories:

  1. Transportation
  2. Food
  3. Healthcare
  4. Housing
  5. Energy
  6. Education
  7. Entertainment

Now, imagine what would happen if the cost of these items plummeted.

Here’s how…

Rapid Demonetization – What It Means

To me, “demonetization” means the ability of technology to take a product or service that was previously expensive and making it substantially cheaper, or potentially free (in the extreme boundary condition). It means removing money from the equation.

Consider Photography: In the Kodak years, photography was expensive. You paid for the camera, for the film, for developing the film, and so on. Today, during the Megapixel era, the camera is free in your phone, no film, no developing. Completely demonetized.

Consider Information/Research: In years past, collecting obscure data was hard, expensive in time if you did it yourself, or expensive in money if you hired researchers. Today, during the Google Era, it’s free and the quality is 1000x better. Access to information, data and research is fully demonetized.

Consider Live Video or Phone calls: Demonetized by Skype, Google Hangouts, the list goes on:

  • Craigslist demonetized classifieds
  • iTunes demonetized the music industry
  • Uber demonetized transportation
  • AirBnb demonetized hotels
  • Amazon demonetized bookstores

In the back of my book Abundance (Page 289 of the recent edition), I provide a chart showing how we’ve demonetized $900,000 worth of products and services that you might have purchased between 1969 and 1989.

DEMATERIALIZATION

People with a smartphone today can access tools that would have cost thousands a few decades ago.

Twenty years ago, most well-off U.S. citizens owned a camera, a videocamera, a CD player, a stereo, a video game console, a cellphone, a watch, an alarm clock, a set of encyclopedias, a world atlas, a Thomas guide, and a whole bunch of other assets that easily add up to more than $900,000.

Today, all of these things are free on your smartphone.

Strange that we don’t value these things when they become free. We just expect them.

So now, let’s look at the top seven areas mentioned above where people globally are spending their cash today, and how these things are likely to demonetize over the next decade or two.

(1) Transportation:

The automotive market (a trillion dollars) is being demonetized by startups like Uber. But this is just the beginning.

Think about all of the related costs that disappear: auto insurance, auto repairs, parking, fuel, parking tickets… Your overall cost of “getting around” will be 5 to 10 times cheaper when compared to owning a car.

This is the future of “car as a service.”

Ultimately, the poorest people on Earth will be chauffeured around.

(2) Food:

As I noted in Abundance, the cost of food has dropped thirteenfold over the past century. That reduction will continue.

INCOME SPENT ON FOOD

As noted in the chart above, the cost of food at home has dropped by >50%.

Additional gains will be made as we learn to efficiently produce foods locally through vertical farming (note that 70% of food’s final retail price comes from transportation, storage and handling).

Also, as we make genetic and biological advances, we will learn how to increase yield per square meter.

(3) Healthcare:

Healthcare can be roughly split into four major categories: (i) diagnostics, (ii) intervention/surgery, (iii) chronic care and (iv) medicines.

(i) Diagnostics: AI has already demonstrated the ability to diagnose cancer patients better than the best doctors, image and diagnose pathology, look at genomics data and draw conclusions, and/or sort through gigabytes of phenotypic data… all for the cost of electricity.

(ii) Intervention/Surgery: In the near future, the best surgeons in the world will be robots, and they’ll be able to move with precision and image a surgical field in high magnification. Each robotic surgeon can call upon the data from millions of previous robotic surgeries, outperforming the most experienced human counterpart. Again, with the cost asymptotically approaching zero.

(iii) Chronic/Eldercare: Taking care of the aging of chronically ill will again be done most efficiently through Robots.

(iv) Medicines: Medicines will be discovered and manufactured more efficiently by AI’s, and perhaps in the near future, be compounded at home with the aid of a 3D printing machine that assembles your perfect medicines based on the needs and blood chemistries in that very moment.

It’s also worth noting the price of genomics sequencing is plummeting (as you’ll see below, five times the rate of Moore’s Law). Accurate sequencing should allow us to predict which diseases you’re likely to develop, and which drugs are of highest use to treat you.

GENOME COST

The plummeting cost to sequence the human genome (Source: NHGRI)

(4) Housing:

Think about what drives high housing costs. Why does a single-family apartment in Manhattan cost $10 million, while the same square footage on the outskirts of St. Louis can be purchased for $100,000?

Location. Location. Location. People flock to high-density, desired areas, near the jobs and the entertainment. This market demand drives up the price.

Housing will demonetize for two reasons: The first reason housing will demonetize is because of two key technologies which make the proximity of your home to your job irrelevant, meaning you can live anywhere, specifically where the real estate is cheap:

(1) Autonomous Cars: If your commute time can become time to read, relax, sleep, watch a movie, have a meeting… Does it matter if your commute is 90 minutes?

(2) Virtual Reality: What happens when your workplace is actually a virtual office where your coworkers are avatars? When you no longer need to commute at all. You wake up, plug into your virtual workspace, and telecommute from the farm or from the island of Lesvos.

The second technology drivers are the impact of Robotics and 3D Printing, which will demonetize the cost of building structures.

A number of startups are now exploring how 3D printed structures and buildings can dramatically reduce the cost of construction and the amount of time it takes to build a building.

For example, a company out of China, Winsun, is 3D printing entire apartment buildings (see picture below):

WINSUN

6-story building 3D printed by Winsun

(5) Energy:

Five thousand times more energy hits the surface of the Earth from the Sun in an hour than all of humanity uses in a year. Solar is abundant worldwide. Better yet, the poorest countries on Earth are the sunniest.

Today, the cost of Solar has dropped to ~$0.03 kWh. The cost of Solar will continue to demonetize through further material science advances (e.g. perovskite) that increase efficiencies.

(6) Education:

Education has already been demonetized in many respects, as most of the information you’d learn in school is available online, for free.

Coursera, Khan Academy, and schools like Harvard, MIT and Stanford have thousands of hours of high-quality instruction online, available to anyone on the planet with an Internet connection.

But this is just the beginning. Soon the best professors in the world will be an Artificial Intelligence, an AI able to know the exact abilities, needs, desires and knowledge of a student and teach them exactly what they need in the best fashion at the perfect rate.

Accordingly, the child of a billionaire or the child of a pauper will have access to the same (best) education delivered by such an AI, effectively for free.

(7) Entertainment

Entertainment (video and gaming) historically required significant purchases of equipment and services.

Today, with the advent of music streaming services, YouTube, Netflix and the iPhone App Store, we’re seeing an explosion of available selections at the same time that the universe of options rapidly demonetizes.

YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.



financial independence

I want to leave you with the most important point for us FI-seekers.

De-monetisation means you can get stuff without money or with less money if you want.

But it doesn’t mean that money is going away anytime soon. People will continue to pay more than they need to for stuff. We know this because consumerism has conditioned people to pay more for premium (aka status) versions of stuff that you can already get for free.

In the future, pretty much everything will be like water is today.  If you want clean water, there it is right there in your home available from the taps for free. Or if you want to go to some fancy restaurant, you can pay ££££££ for the same stuff that comes in a bottle with a label and some aspirational marketing.

Remember: its the same stuff. Only the price is very different.

So remember: you have a choice. As stuff gets de-monetised, you can just move up the Consumer Sucker scale and pay more for basically the same shit.  Or you can save that surplus income and buy your freedom.

Which will you do?


Pub Meet-up! There’s another London FI meet up on Friday 15 June from 6pm onwards in the garden at the Rose and Crown pub, 47 Columbo Street, SE1 8DP (short walk from Blackfriars tube or Waterloo stations). Hope to see you there 🙂


Further reading:

fin-coaching-widget

  1. Abundance Insider
  2. The Rational Optimist
  3. Financial coaching

 

34 comments

  1. Hi, cool article, some things have definitely got cheaper along the way, especially with the technological revolution. But on the other side, some things have got much more expensive, and it depends how much you consume from each pot how you are impacted.

    The increase in housing and education costs are the ones that concern me the most, as we are still quite far from these being demonetised as you suggest.

  2. Great point! I have not seen anyone if the FI community address this before. Also thanks for introducing me to Abundance

  3. @FitFunemployed · · Reply

    Not convinced whatsoever on the big ticket items from a UK perspective.

    Housing – to suggest that is getting demonitized is ridiculous. Likewise education and health. Quite the opposite.

    Sure, good cars have got cheaper – but I cycle anyway. And I’ll stick with local shops wherever I can over chains. The human cost of the race to the bottom being led by Sports Direct, Amazon, Wetherspoons et al is not something I want to be part of.

  4. Awesome article, great rundown. I’ve been saying this for years that things have been getting cheaper and even though my friends have been living it many look at me and say “really?”

    I remember buying my first ever TV in 1992 – a 19 inch color CRT for about $300 (and it was on sale). That equivalent price is something like $575 now. Now you can get a 50 inch flat screen for that money. But if you just want a basic 19 TV you can get one for $100 today.

  5. That so.much.guardian Twitter account is both hilarious and terrifying – reading it makes me feel that just about anything I might do or say could cause a stranger to explode in my face from offence. I guess that’s not likely, but the perceived risk goes up when I read stuff like that – yet another reason no news is good news, I guess.

  6. Hi Barney,
    How about demonetizing the next FI meeting. I live in Manchester and a trip to south east London on a Friday afternoon/evening not only fills me with dread but would probably put my FI date back a year! I’d love to attend, and I’m sure it might be cost effective. So,how about a Saturday or Sunday a bit further north?
    Cheers,
    Ken.

  7. Mrs Fu · · Reply

    Great article – really interesting – I’ve fond memories of taping the charts on a Sunday night. There was a real technical skill to avoiding getting the DJ talking over your favourite track!
    My kids’ favourite video game at the moment is actually free – all they need is the internet to play it which is a refreshing change from them buying game after game that costs £40+. The fact they would play it 24/7 is a separate problem!
    The chart showing the smartphone features reminded me of a conversation with my sister in law the other day where she mentioned she’d broken her extremely expensive and not-many-years-old camera – I commiserated with her but she just shrugged “my camera on my phone is probably as good anyway.” and I realised how little we take our own camera anywhere anymore for the same reason. It’s no wonder everyone has their phone in their hand these days – they do all sorts.
    I was also very interested in your ideas on education. I wrote a blog post recently about free educational sites and apps (education my background) and I also home educate my youngest two children. I sense the beginning of a huge sea change in education that will better suit the youngsters of today who are adept at seeking out information they want to know, and very skilled at assessing the usefulness of something or whether it’s just clickbait. Online education is really just an extension of ‘Googling it’ – it’ll probably be the norm in not very many years time.

  8. LUCKY GIRL · · Reply

    THE ABUNDANCE WEBSITE YOU SHARED IS NOT ACTIVE OR IS INCORRECT. WILL YOU UPDATE US?

    1. Hey Lucky Girl…no need to SHOUT 😉 …its fixed now

  9. i can tell you firsthand all about the decline of the music business. mrs. smidlap was the label manager for a hugely successful independent record label for 22 years…until last year. you just can’t sell the content for enough to pay the salaries any longer. you can, however, get thousands to show up to a venue for a concert and pay the entertainers that way. they’ll be there paying big sucker bucks for water too! i hope the healthcare gets cheaper here in the united states of insurance.

  10. Dan M · · Reply

    Another thought provoking and very useful article, thanks TEA

  11. Jim R · · Reply

    Another one could be raw materials generally, once we have ‘asteroid capture industries’ providing bountiful resources of all kinds, which will also feed into many other industries.

  12. Great article! Really interesting ideas on how a lot of things are getting demonetised. Totally agree that as work becomes more “portable” and we can take advantage of geographic arbitrate – either on an int’l level (SE Asia) or just within our country (like PoF talks about geo-arbitrage just by living in the midwest) housing costs are much less of a “necessity”.

  13. keby724 · · Reply

    GAH! The dreaded double post 😉 well, I guess I just liked it twice as much as everyone else 😉

  14. Oh Good Lord my WP is schizophrenic today. Double posting and posting as “not me”. Retiring from comments for now but will subscribe and follow 🙂

  15. About 15 Years ago I spent about two grand building a “media centre” computer. It downloaded everything and was amazing. I can now get more or less everything I want on Netflix for 7.99 a month, though would happily pay twice the fee to get nearly everything ever made…

  16. Ken A · · Reply

    Sorry, just realised the meeting at the Rose and Crown is for the London FI group. Oops! Please ignore my previous comment.
    Ken

    1. Ha-ha….I did think that the London FI Group might not be impressed with me telling them to move the venue to Manchester just so Ken from Manchester could save some money on his travel costs 🙂

  17. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid. Housing was cheaper for my Dad than it was for me, and it was probably cheaper for me than for a Brit born a generation later. Education – not only has the product devalued but it’s become a lot dearer in the UK since I went to university. These are big-ticket items and housing is down at the bottom part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for hairless mammals in a cold climate.

    Agreed many consumer goods are much, much cheaper and in most cases better than they were. But the big kicker is that the de-monetisation of the cost fo living is also de-monetising a lot of jobs, particularly in the First world. I don’t actually think work is an inherent good, and I can make the intellectual leap to that we can all like like Asimov’s Solarians with the robots doing the work and all watched over by machines of loving grace. Hopefully we get the Laws of Robotics in there and get ’em right first time 😉 Even then it’s sure going to be tough as hell to work out what equitable distribution looks like in that sort of world. Let’s hope we get that more right than wrong, despite some pretty epic fails in the last century, eh?

    I’d also make the wider point that there are over twice as many people in the world as when I was born, but not twice as much world. Let’s also hope Hans Rosling was right, too, and such a thing won’t ever happen again.

    I know the bear case always sounds smarter, but the pollyannish case is needing an awful lot of things to go dead right.

    1. Maybe you’re more pre-disposed by temperament to red wine than Kool Aid?!?

      Just to be clear, I’m not trying to predict the future here….I’m describing a global trend that has already been going on for several hundred years and which has been accelerating recently. Within that macro trend of de-monetisation, have some things got more expensive in some places? Of course!

      Take housing. We all know that UK houses have got more expensive. House prices have been inflated by government policy which reflects a peculiarly British mix of issues: environmental / green belt protection (which I agree with) and then the other stuff: a slow, bureaucratic and costly planning process, not enough urban regeneration, pandering to NIMBY’s, large scale immigration, low density suburban housing, encouraging a borrowing boom via deregulation and then zero interest rates etc etc.

      We Brits, rather than moaning about the housing market, might want to reflect on who voted for those governments and those priorities. Clue: we did!

      Here’s what I think we agree on. You’re an engineer, problem solver and advocate of personal responsibility. My suggestion is that we focus more energy on 1) problem solving and 2) taking responsibility for our choices and less energy on complaining. 🙂

      1. FI Warrior · · Reply

        I agree with you both, the house price govt. backstop that dare not speak its name is toxic to the UK economy mainly in that it mostly locks up people’s savings, so choking off innovation and contributing to the productivity so-called-puzzle. Inflating the cost of education and soon it seems healthcare, hugely contribute to hidden inflation, whilst the more obvious fripperies seemingly get cheaper to distract the unthinking majority. This to a great extent negates the affordability of some hugely valuable variables, such as all the knowledge in the world available 24/7, at your fingertips; if you can afford basic broadband, or even if you still have a public library accessible when poor.

        But, the pendulum will only swing back to the centre and life be less unjust, when the majority who vote are reduced to being precarious enough to rent. Only then will the incumbent elite step it up from simply removing most tax advantages of BTL now, to easing the gatekeeping on building controls, so that even ordinary people can afford a roof over their heads. As always, they will do this only when there is no choice and the trigger may well be energy prices. Since the UK has squandered its lucky windfall of the north sea hydrocarbon bonanza (vs the intelligent strategy of Norway) on prestige wars, small electoral bribes for the sheeple and letting the rich off paying any taxes, we are over a barrel now. Affordable energy may well be the limiting factor in this century.

        But, this is good news for the likes of us FI’iers, as the few who’ve chosen to live consciously we can pick out the good while trying to dodge the bad, by understanding the game’s rules, we can play better than the masses at least. We can have our cake and eat it too, (achieve genuine Cakeism) by harvesting the benefits of lowered costs in those things we want but don’t need, while avoiding the severe costs, by losing the decent job to pay for it all, home to feel secure in and energy to make everything function. This combination of knowledge, intelligence and opportunity gives us some leeway in kevlar to shield us like the rich.

  18. […] money on a CD? On your next holiday, will you take an Uber to your Airbnb or a taxi to a hotel? In his excellent article on de-monetetisation, The Escape Artist argues that these days, “you can just move up the Consumer Sucker scale […]

  19. Interesting post. On average demonetisation has helped humanity but somehow the world seems poorer, a worn out wreck of a world with conflict everywhere, we in the west are living in a lucky bubble. I am presently touring the USA and supposedly for the richest country in the world there is a lot of poverty evident from visiting various cities.

    Nevertheless that is a personal observation,

    I am particularly interested in how energy can demonetised, if humanity makes energy cheaply then imho that could be they key to improving the lives of billions. Take the USA for example, just a 40×50 mile strip of solar panels is all the energy the country needs, a tiny area in somewhere like new mexico or Nevada. Why not double the area and give energy to the Mexicans for free. With very cheap energy, food can be grown, deserts turned into farmland, the environment cleaned, ground transportation cheaper, desalination the list goes on, also free energy = no need to invade other countries for oil interests etc.

    The UK could do similar, all it has to do is fill the north sea with wind turbines to meet 3X our needs The UK has the potential of being the Saudi Arabia of renewables. We could sell the excess back to continental European countries.

    Repeat this in the middle east, Russia / eastern Europe & north Africa and the world will be a better place.

    Many years ago, ideas like this were ridiculed, but the price per kwh is shrinking rapidly and is now cheaper than other forms of energy production.

  20. If Ghostbusters was the first record I ever bought I’m not sure I would admit to that. Very brave. Mine was Bronski Beat The Age of Consent. Way cooler. 😜

  21. Hans_200D · · Reply

    Well, todays cheap luxuries have a price: all modern technology is mainly based on oil consumption and not so much on our cleverness/ intelligence. We have “energy slaves” that work for us, but later generations will pay the price. Even solar modules have to be produced with precious resources, so there is no free lunch. Youtube? Smartphone? Pay with you personal data, be controlled and a happy consumer citizen…

  22. There are just two of the seven areas I have issues with:

    EDUCATION Yes, you can access great educational content online for free. I’ve taken some fantastic MOOCs from top universities through Coursera, for example. Yet teenagers are still signing up for traditional University degrees at eye-watering fee levels. Why? I guess a perception that what employers want is a piece of paper (a degree certificate), not evidence of education per se? Education won’t be fully demonetized until that changes and expensive bricks and mortar University education can be substituted by free online education (complicated of course by the fact that in general it’s the fees that are paying for the free MOOCs)

    HOUSING: My experience of the UK market suggests that people will pay the naximum they can afford for housing. Whenever anything happens to make owning a house cheaper, all that happens is that prices are bid up… If other areas of life are demonetized, folk won’t necessarily fritter away their extra cash on shoes and handbags; a sizeable chunk of it is likely to end up in the housing market, inflating prices even further.

    1. Hi, yes I agree with you re housing….if people have extra money (because everything else is cheaper) there will be a tendency for house prices to get bid up.

      House prices reflect 1) the price of the land and 2) the price of the construction. For the most part, they ain’t making land any more (although building upwards with taller buildings achieves the same thing…see Manhattan). Housing in expensive areas with fixed supply (eg Mayfair) is a status good so paying more for it is part of the “bragging rights”.

      BUT with a stable population, normalised interest rates, more supply, lower cost construction techniques etc etc general house prices could be cut significantly.

      I’m gonna come back to higher education in a future article…but, for now, I agree that saddling yourself up with loads of debt for a 3+ year degree that doesn’t get you a good job is a trap. I think people are starting to realise that. The cost savings (and profit opportunities) from de-monetising higher education will be massive…

  23. There’s not just Ken up north there’s me too, so that’s 2 for Manchester.
    I think air travel has got cheaper .Easy jet steward was telling me their new plans are quieter and cheaper to run.

  24. bloomingheck · · Reply

    I’m in Edinburgh & would also come along to an ‘up north’ FI get together.

    1. Why not join one of the FI Facebook Groups such as Financial Independence UK or Choose FI Edinburgh etc etc set up for the purpose of organising FI meet-ups?

      1. bloomingheck · · Reply

        I’m not on facebook.

      2. Hmmmm….tricky one….if only there were some solution to a problem like that

  25. bloomingheck · · Reply

    Apart from the very appealing idea of being financially independent & the freedom of choice that comes with that one of the things that really attracts me to the FI movement is that it is essentially a bunch of nonconformists coming together to collectively stick it to the man as you so brilliantly put it TEA. I love the idea of sticking it to the man & one of the ways that I have chosen to do that is to not be on social media. Very occasionally I wonder about all the great & practical things that I might be missing out on but mostly I never give it a second thought. ☺️

  26. lolkin · · Reply

    Love this post. Very smart and spot on. Thank you. Can’t make it to the get-together unfortunately but hope to make it next time!

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