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Business
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The Voluntary Life

Updated 1 day ago

Business
Investing
Entrepreneurship
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A podcast about living a life of your choosing. Topics covered include financial independence, productivity, freedom, entrepreneurship, peaceful parenting, minimalism, perpetual travel, and rational thinking.

Read more

A podcast about living a life of your choosing. Topics covered include financial independence, productivity, freedom, entrepreneurship, peaceful parenting, minimalism, perpetual travel, and rational thinking.

iTunes Ratings

57 Ratings
Average Ratings
53
2
1
0
1

Thank you

By Samx39 - Oct 22 2019
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Like your podcast. I think you misunderstand Ray Dalio in 396. I think he really is being radically transparent because he might be that radically shallow and lack circumspection. I don’t know that being a tycoon and living out deep convictions are related...Enter WJC, BHO, Trump.

Highly recommend

By Wendi Pilling - May 31 2019
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Very thoughtful and informative on a number of subjects...parenting, entrepreneurship, and financial independence. I just finished listening to Jake’s “Becoming an Entrepreneur” which I purchased on Audible and I was not disappointed. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on the difference between an employee and an owner mindset. I am now reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” based on Jake’s recommendation. Everything Jake does really thought provoking and insightful.

iTunes Ratings

57 Ratings
Average Ratings
53
2
1
0
1

Thank you

By Samx39 - Oct 22 2019
Read more
Like your podcast. I think you misunderstand Ray Dalio in 396. I think he really is being radically transparent because he might be that radically shallow and lack circumspection. I don’t know that being a tycoon and living out deep convictions are related...Enter WJC, BHO, Trump.

Highly recommend

By Wendi Pilling - May 31 2019
Read more
Very thoughtful and informative on a number of subjects...parenting, entrepreneurship, and financial independence. I just finished listening to Jake’s “Becoming an Entrepreneur” which I purchased on Audible and I was not disappointed. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on the difference between an employee and an owner mindset. I am now reading David Allen’s “Getting Things Done,” based on Jake’s recommendation. Everything Jake does really thought provoking and insightful.
Cover image of The Voluntary Life

The Voluntary Life

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

A podcast about living a life of your choosing. Topics covered include financial independence, productivity, freedom, entrepreneurship, peaceful parenting, minimalism, perpetual travel, and rational thinking.

Rank #1: 116 Why Your Gym Membership Is 300 Times More Expensive Than You Think

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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!
Further Reading:

Jul 17 2013

10mins

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Rank #2: 253 A Review Of The Power Of Less

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Leo Babauta's book, The Power Of Less, is about using habits to help you focus on what matters in life. In this review, I talk about some of the most helpful ideas in the book, especially the suggestions about establishing a productive morning routine to kickstart your day. I also talk about some of the limitations of the book, and make suggestions for other useful books on this topic. Show Notes:

Jul 15 2016

13mins

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Rank #3: 181 Financial Independence Part 1: What You Need To Know About Your Money

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Understanding your personal finances is crucial if you want to achieve financial independence and gain more freedom in your life. Most people don't learn anything useful about personal finances growing up and are not taught about it in school (I certainly wasn't). It took me a long time to work out what I really need to know about my personal finances. I hope that by sharing what I've learned, I can help you acquire financial literacy faster than I did. This podcast episode covers the three most important things that you need to get in place immediately:
  • 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
In the episode I provide an overview of these three topics and explain how you can use personal finance software to help automate the process of tracking them.  As always, you are responsible for your money and you will need to do your own research. I am not a financial advisor. Show Notes:

Nov 17 2014

21mins

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Rank #4: 279 Designing A Life Without Regrets

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Hannah and I discuss ways to design a life without regrets. Hannah talks about how to use journaling to stay conscious of what really matters to you. I explain my own journaling exercise inspired by her approach- Each week I complete the following sentence stems:
  • 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 …
Listen to the episode to find out more! Show Notes:

Feb 07 2017

25mins

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Rank #5: 148 Mental Decluttering

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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.

Show Notes

Mar 31 2014

21mins

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Rank #6: 254 Perpetual Travel With Kids Part 1: Interview With Go Curry Cracker

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A fun conversation with Jeremy and Winnie from Go Curry Cracker. Back in Episode 162, we talked about their path to financial independence through extreme saving, and their lifestyle of perpetual travel in early retirement. In this episode, they talk about their experience of perpetual travel as a family. Their son Julian makes makes a guest appearance too! Show Notes:

Jul 19 2016

20mins

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Rank #7: 166 Retired at 33: Interview with Justin from Root of Good

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Justin retired at the age of 33. He writes about his journey to financial independence on his blog Root of Good. In this interview, he discusses his path to financial independence from intensive saving. Topics covered include:
  • 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
Show Notes

Jul 30 2014

58mins

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Rank #8: 82 Savings Vs Wage Slavery

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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.
This podcast and blog summary contains only personal opinions, it does not constitute financial advice and I am not a financial advisor.

Oct 31 2012

15mins

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Rank #9: 324 Dealing With Manipulative People Part 1

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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.

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Feb 14 2018

14mins

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Rank #10: 62 What You Can Do To Live Free: Porc Therapy Interview

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This episode is an interview that Jake did on the Porc Therapy Podcast, recorded live at Porcfest 2012. In the interview, Jake talks about some of the things you can do to live more freely whatever society or economy you find yourself in, such as investing in friendships and living abroad.

Jul 02 2012

20mins

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Rank #11: 113 Freedom From Your Stuff

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An episode about freedom from stuff. Topics covered include:
  • 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

13mins

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Rank #12: 277 Why It Is Worth Striving To Achieve A Job Free Life

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What will you do when you reach financial independence and job freedom? In this episode, I suggest some of the major opportunities that make this lifestyle worth striving to achieve, based on my own experience. Good luck on your journey, and let me know what you think! Show Notes:

Jan 22 2017

15mins

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Rank #13: 204 Making Sense of Frugality and Minimalism

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This episode is about making sense of two important concepts: frugality and minimalism. Frugality means to be economical or sparing with regard to money, but this definition prompts the question: what are the criteria for deciding if a choice is economical?  Similarly, the definition of minimalism (to own the minimum amount of possessions) also prompts a question: what are the criteria for deciding what the minimum is? Both these ideas only make sense if they are defined in relation to your goals and purpose in life. Using examples from entrepreneurship, I suggest ways to define frugality and minimalism in relation to your goals. Show Notes:

May 10 2015

25mins

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Rank #14: 104 How To Diversify Your Investments

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This episode is about how to diversify your investments for lower risk and higher return. The issues covered include:
  • 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.
You can get more information about the concept of the permanent portfolio discussed in this episode in Harry Browne's book "Fail-Safe Investing" and in many of the previous Voluntary Life podcast episodes on investing. As always regarding investment, do your own research. I am not an advisor and this isn't advice of any kind, it's just my own opinions based on my experience.

Apr 19 2013

15mins

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Rank #15: 250 Job Free: Introduction

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This episode contains the introduction of the audiobook version of Jake Desyllas' latest book, Job Free. Whether you want to achieve financial independence and retire early, or simply never work for anyone else again, this book provides an essential guide to the different lifestyle-design strategies open to you. You can get hold of the audiobook on Amazon and Audible, and it will shortly be available on iTunes. If you prefer reading, you can also get a paperback or e-book version on Amazon. Show Notes:

Jun 17 2016

21mins

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Rank #16: 93 About The Voluntary Life Part 2: Empowerment

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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

14mins

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Rank #17: 226 The Mindset For Financial Independence

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This episode is about three concepts that I've found helpful for managing money. These concepts are about the big-picture when it comes to money, rather than the details. They express the mindset for achieving financial independence. Here is a summary of the ideas discussed:
  1. Be Your Own CFO: managing your own money as you would manage the finance of a business.
  2. Be Investment-Oriented, Not Consumption-Oriented
  3. Be A Passive Investor. 
Show Notes:

Nov 05 2015

12mins

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Rank #18: 124 Four Ways To Quit The Rat Race

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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:

  • Unjobbing
  • Intensive Saving
  • Passive Income
  • Selling A Business

Show Notes:

Sep 08 2013

33mins

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Rank #19: 363 Extreme Saving

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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.

Show Notes:

Jan 03 2019

35mins

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Rank #20: 86 Teaching Entrepreneurship to Kids: An Interview with Eduardo Marty

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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

34mins

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