It’s hard to write about money because everyone is in a different place with different circumstances.
The last year or so has been tough for many…especially the young.
As I see my kids grow up, I’m reminded of the struggles that younger people go through. I got lucky in many ways. But it’s never easy.
Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
People in their 20s and 30s today have my genuine empathy, they really do.
They’re bombarded with propaganda and fear mongering by the media (you’re doomed so you might as well give up etc etc). Much of that is horseshit but it’s true the housing market is unaffordable, the job market can be brutal and raising children is hard work.
Against this backdrop, getting to financial independence must seem like climbing a mountain. The way I see it, you may need to go hard core Monk Mode just to get on the housing ladder and achieve financial stability…let alone full fat financial independence.
Moving on Up (M People)
I did an Ask Me Anything recently where the first question was about social class and whether I had inherited money. The answer is that I’ve never inherited anything (other than a stable family upbringing…something that many don’t get).
I’m a big believer in social mobility but there are no easy answers to this. The government can not solve the problems of social mobility unless people themselves want to push themselves, get training, move jobs, move location etc. That takes hard work and not everyone is prepared to do what it takes.
Turn off the lights (Nelly Furtado)
I started out in Monk Mode. I ate Pot Noodle (this is not medical advice) and lived in
slums cheap accommodation. I never knowingly wasted food or electricity.
Then you get married and have children. When you are a middle class Suburban Dad, your main purpose in life is to go around turning off the lights that your kids / spouse / cleaners / gardeners / butlers / footmen have left on. And paying for them.
They say there’s a climate emergency…and yet no one wants to turn off the
fucking lights when they leave the room. 😂
Should I Stay or Should I Go (The Clash)
Here The Clash wrestle with One More Year Syndrome: the eternal conundrum of whether to stay in the seemingly safe harbour of a well-paid job or leave and take your chances on the open seas of freedom.
What about health insurance? the unvested share options? Do you have enough? Maybe we need another FIREcalc monte carlo simulation?
Going Loco in Acapulco (The Four Tops)
The last year showed us that if you lock people in their homes for months on end, deprive them of human contact, their basic freedoms and hook them up to The News and Social Media 24 hours a day, they go completely mental.
I choose not to live in fear. I ignore the people stringing out the pandemic for political reasons or for attention on Twitter. Everyone in the UK who wants the vaccine can get it. Enough with the fear mongering. You can be too careful.
I Will Derive (Vitalik ETH Remix)
I’m a great advocate for getting rich slowly but that’s only because getting rich quickly is generally impossible or involves illegality or insane risks. If I could find a series of bets with strongly positive expected values that would get me rich quickly…you better believe I’d back up the truck baby.
The way I see it, buying Ethereum (ETH) is a fintech venture capital play. It’s a gamble with asymmetric payoffs skewed to the upside. You could lose your stake money so you have to size the bet appropriately.
And honestly it just seems like the crypto crowd are having more fun…even when they’re getting rekt.
Redneck Woman (Gretchen Wilson)
Money is the most common cause of arguments in couples. Everything becomes easier if your partner is on board and you share a basic set of values.
Here Gretchen Wilson sets out her stall and lays out what’s important to her. Like Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme, she lives in a trailer, eschews brands and shops smart at Walmart. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s okay.
You have to have boundaries and negotiate a deal that works for both parties. I like Gretchen but for our relationship to work she’d have to turn off the all-year-round Christmas lights (see above) and send the 4×4 back to the dealership. Those are deal-breakers.
I like Girls That Drink Beer (Toby Keith)
You have to know what you want…in life and in relationships.
People often avoid difficult conversations with their other half for fear of conflict. That’s a mistake in most cases. If you don’t get aligned with your significant other, you increase your chances of getting thrown under The Divorce Bus and having your corpse eaten by lawyers.
They say that every good country song contains a profound truth. It turns out that Toby Keith is quite the philosopher…I commend his work to you.
What Took You So Long? (Emma Bunton)
We are where we are. Emma asks: “What took you so long”? It’s a fair question but some things have to be lived through to be understood.
It’s like that old phrase: when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
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