Rank #1: 116 Why Your Gym Membership Is 300 Times More Expensive Than You Think
This episode provides a mind blowing way of thinking about the true cost of your monthly expenses. If you are interested in achieving financial freedom, then it makes sense to look at each monthly recurring expense as really costing you 300 times more. For example, a gym membership that costs £80 per month really costs £24,000 (in dollars, a $120 monthly gym membership really costs $36,000). The episode explains this perspective in more detail. In summary:
- You have financial freedom when you don't have to work to support yourself. Therefore, if you want to be financially free, you have to think of paying for things from the interest on your passive investments.
- Although there is a lot of debate about the numbers, the most widely used assumption is that you can live from 4% of your portfolio (the so called 4% rule). This assumes that on average your portfolio will make enough to cover for both inflation and you drawing down 4% (I personally think it's better to use 3% to be on the safe side, but let's use the most commonly used assumption to illustrate the point).
- The 4% rule implies that you need a net worth that is 25 times your annual expenses to be financially free. To apply that to monthly expenses, simply multiply the 25 by 12 (for 12 months) and you need investments that are 300 times your recurring monthly expenses. So any monthly expense really requires 300 times more in capital to pay for it when financially free.
- This is why for the £80 per month gym membership, you need £24,000 in capital saved to pay that membership when financially free. That figure (£24,000) is more than the annul expenses of most people in the UK.
- This is why frugality and saving is so powerful as a way to get more financial freedom. It is more powerful to save expenses than to keep increasing your income because more income won't make you more free unless you control expenses.
- I'm not a financial advisor and as always, you need to do your own research. I think this perspective is useful and it has been very helpful to me.
- That's why I won't be getting a gym membership again anytime soon. There are plenty of free ways of getting good exercise!
- Mr Money Moustache article about the 4% Rule
- Retiring Sooner: How to Accelerate Your Financial Independence by Darrow Kirkpatrick
- The 4% Rule and Safe Withdrawal Rates In Retirement by Todd Tressider
Jul 17 2013
Rank #2: 253 A Review Of The Power Of Less
Jul 15 2016
Rank #3: 181 Financial Independence Part 1: What You Need To Know About Your Money
- Tracking and categorising of all your expenditure and income
- Calculating and tracking your net worth
- Using a budget to stay on track with your financial goals
Nov 17 2014
Rank #4: 279 Designing A Life Without Regrets
- The most courageous expression of my feelings at the moment would be…
- The best opportunity for quality time this week is …
- If I were to let myself be happier, I would …
- The most extraordinary thing that I can work on these days is …
- The best thing I can do to get more transparency in what I do these days is …
- The best opportunity for automation in what I do these days is …
- The thing am I doing regularly that I least inspired by is …
- We are at our best these days when …
- The thing I am most concerned about going wrong this week is …
- The way I would handle that is …
- The thing I am most resisting at the moment is …
- The most audacious goal that haven't fully admitted to myself is …
- Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware
- Journaling for a Life of No Regrets by Hannah Braime
- Paul Graham's Todo Items (in response to Bronnie Ware's article).
- Episode 269: Review of A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
- The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna
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Feb 07 2017
Rank #5: 148 Mental Decluttering
This episode is about freeing your mind by decluttering all your mental baggage on a regular basis. Topic covered include:
- The benefits of going on an information and media diet
- The importance of having a trusted system for how to declutter your mind and control the information buildup around you.
- The role of a weekly clear-out, as part of a weekly review
- Applying the "inbox-zero" approach beyond email to digital inboxes, physical inboxes, social inboxes, and life in general.
Mar 31 2014
Rank #6: 254 Perpetual Travel With Kids Part 1: Interview With Go Curry Cracker
Jul 19 2016
Rank #7: 166 Retired at 33: Interview with Justin from Root of Good
- Saving all salary increases and avoiding lifestyle inflation
- Cost-effective housing, transport and food choices
- The importance of having agreement with your spouse towards your financial goals
- Children and financial independence
Jul 30 2014
Rank #8: 82 Savings Vs Wage Slavery
This episode is about saving money and it's relationship with freedom. Many people are trapped in a "wage slavery" lifestyle, living from month to month. Although their income rises during their career, their expenses scale correspondingly (or even lead ahead, creating debt). There are two approaches to developing the savings that allow get you out of this trap:
- One route is to increase earnings without increasing expenses, creating savings. The difficulty with this approach is that the higher the income, the bigger the tendency or temptation to spend more on a more comfortable lifestyle.
- The other approach is to decrease expenses without decreasing earnings, by focussing on minimising living expenses as much as possible. The challenge with this approach is to do so without losing income (for example, moving to a low cost location might not make it possible to keep a well paid job).
Jake talks about his experience focussing on the first approach and discusses some of the benefits in terms of freedom that saving provides:
- Developing an emergency fund of approximately 3 months expenses reduces a huge amount of stress associated with living month to month and enables you to cope with unexpected expenses or irregular cashflow.
- Developing savings to cover 1 year of expenses opens up a huge degree of freedom, for example to start your own business, to leave a job if you don't like it or even to change your life in other ways such as by emigrating to another country.
Oct 31 2012
Rank #9: 324 Dealing With Manipulative People Part 1
How do you defend yourself against manipulative people? Part 1 of a discussion about some useful ideas in the book "In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People" by Dr. George K. Simon.
Feb 14 2018
Rank #10: 62 What You Can Do To Live Free: Porc Therapy Interview
Jul 02 2012
Rank #11: 113 Freedom From Your Stuff
- What I learned living from a backpack for 7+ months
- Why owning stuff is not wealth
- The hidden financial and psychological costs of owning stuff
- How your stuff can control you
- The goal of purposeful ownership
- Strategies for minimalism: paperless, zero data and selling all your crap
Jun 22 2013
Rank #12: 277 Why It Is Worth Striving To Achieve A Job Free Life
Jan 22 2017
Rank #13: 204 Making Sense of Frugality and Minimalism
May 10 2015
Rank #14: 104 How To Diversify Your Investments
- The problems with a simple "buy and hold" approach, whereby you invest all your money in your one favorite asset (be that stocks, gold or anything else).
- The problems with the "market timing" approach to investing and why it doesn't work.
- The benefits of diversifying your portfolio
- How to properly diversify your portfolio by using different asset classes, rather than just different securities.
- How to use rebalancing bands to harvest volatility, increase your return and reduce risk.
Apr 19 2013
Rank #15: 250 Job Free: Introduction
Jun 17 2016
Rank #16: 93 About The Voluntary Life Part 2: Empowerment
Part 2 in the short series of podcasts about The Voluntary Life. This episode is all about the podcast itself.
- The podcast comes out once per week and is a mix of solo-casts and interviews. Some topics are covered in more detail as a series, like the entrepreneurship series.
- The aim of the podcast is personal freedom empowerment: providing ideas for finding the maximum freedom in your own life, within an unfree world.
- The podcast always takes a constructive approach: the angle on any topic is- what can you do to maximise your freedom in this area of life?
- All the topics are about things that are actionable and personally relevant at an individual level.
- The podcast aims to explore the approach of living a free and voluntary life across all aspects of life (work, personal relationships, finances etc).
- We showcase examples of voluntary living through interviews with people who have maximised their freedom in a particular aspects of life.
Jan 23 2013
Rank #17: 226 The Mindset For Financial Independence
- Be Your Own CFO: managing your own money as you would manage the finance of a business.
- Be Investment-Oriented, Not Consumption-Oriented
- Be A Passive Investor.
- How to Be the CFO of Your Own Life by Luke Landes
- How to Become CFO of Your Life by JD Roth
- E219 How To Do A Monthly Financial Review
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
- E155: Review of A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
- Please note: I'm not a financial advisor and your money is your responsibility.
Nov 05 2015
Rank #18: 124 Four Ways To Quit The Rat Race
Audio from a presentation given at the 2013 Libertopia conference. The talk explains how I quit the rat race aged 38 and what I have learned about different ways that other people have found to do so. There are four basic ways to quit the rat race presented in the talk:
- Intensive Saving
- Passive Income
- Selling A Business
- Michael Fogler's book Un-Jobbing
- Linda Breen Pierce's book Choosing Simplicity
- Elliot Hulse
- Your Money or Your Life
- Amy Dacyczyn's book The Complete Tightwad Gazette
- Early Retirement Extreme blog and book
- Mr Money Moustache
- Introduction to the Permanent Portfolio
- Smart Passive Income
- Tim Ferriss' blog and book The 4-Hour Workweek
- Laura Roeder
- Derek Sivers' book Anything You Want
Sep 08 2013
Rank #19: 363 Extreme Saving
This episode is a chapter from the audiobook of Job Free by Jake Desyllas. This chapter explains extreme saving- a strategy for achieving financial indpendence based on frugal living. Even if this lifestyle choice is not for you, it's a fascinating approach that offers lots of food for thought for anyone interested in financial freedom.
Jan 03 2019
Rank #20: 86 Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids: An Interview with Eduardo Marty
An interview with Eduardo Marty, who founded Junior Achievement in Argentina and in many other Latin American countries. Junior Achievement is a charity that teaches entrepreneurship to children and young adults. Eduardo has also held academic posts as professor at the University Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala, and the University of Buenos Aires. He is one of the few academics who is truly passionate about the need for young people to learn the practical skills of entrepreneurship. As he says in the interview; "the problem with intellectuals is that they are always running out of money". In this entertaining interview, he discusses his experiences and his adventures in a life dedicated to helping kids realise their entrepreneurial potential, including a narrow escape from being imprisoned in Cuba when he tried to establish Junior Achievement there.
Dec 03 2012