The origin of the word Viking is not, as we may think, one of pale, blonde pirates with big swords who killed his/her way across the continent. Back during what we (in Scandi) refer to as the “viking age”, -c 700 A.D until 1100 A.D, the word Viking was used as a verb to describe someone who left his/her lands and explored other areas further away from home. The exploration was not necessarily accompanied by the picture we have today of such viking raids. The later imputed violence, robbery and blood-thirstiness is something that has been added to the word in later folklore. Surely, there were Viking expeditions of that precise kind, but the word was just as often used when venturing abroad to trade and sell copper, iron or other goods in a normal, peaceful manner.
To “go on viking” would have its closes resemblance with a combination of words that we today use for “explore”, “travel”, “adventure”, and “abroad”.
I like to think of my FIRE journey as a Viking journey of such.
Apologies for MIA in the past few days. I must admit that, as any bad habit, once you start filling your calendar with other things and the blogging time slowly gets pushed until later and later in the evening until the inevitable “i’ll just do it tomorrow instead” which then turns into a slowly instantiated habit. Not got! Luckily I am absolutely horrible at habits so this was easily broken.
I have two thoughts here this Wednesday evening:
Ethereum – What is happening with the insane bitcoin rush these past few weeks is not happening with Ethereum. Sure, its less stable, newer etcetera but still! The bitcoin rush is, in my read, largely created by money-spending newbies like you and me who heard the “next new thing in crypto is” booming right now and wants a share. Why not the same rush for Ethereum? It’s not like bitcoin is incredibly stable, so the risk averse argument rings a bit false to my ears. I am clearly missing something here. What do you think?
Should there not be some compensatory re-action in stable resource based indicies such as gold, silver, gas or other heavy metals? And when is that happening in such case you think? Or is the compensation-ripple effect something that is just making sense in my mind?
It is not always easy to cut down your costs and save money when you have routines that you have had for years, perhaps since you were a child. However, these small routines are sometimes where you will find the easiest ways to cut down on your spending and save money. This month I have done 5 things that has cut down my costs significantly.
3 things I have done to cut down my costs and save money over 200 dollar this month!
I have biked everywhere. I normally bike every now and then but this month I have made a point of bringing the bike with me all the time. Great exercise!!!
White month! As the Viking I am, I tend to drink alcohol every now and then, and Mr Viking and I very much enjoy a glass of red after a long day of work. Cut off alcohol completely this month and noticed two things: a) I am saving more money than I thought! A good bottle of wine pays up to ca 20 USD so lets say we have saved at least 40 bucks on this. b) My skin looks great! I want to continue with this.
These are things that has made me save in total more than 200 USD.
In one year this is adding up to 2400 dollars. Insane. Tips: Write down right now what you would do if you were given 2400 dollars out of the blue right now. Keep this as a motivational note.
It is not on par with MrMoneyMustache but everyone has to start somewhere and these are definitely three tips that anyone can follow. If you try it one single month, you will still save a lot of money.
Five years ago I was convinced that Bitcoin, bearing the legacy of all cryptocurrencies, had reached its peak. From here on it would silently fall into oblivion, sort of like those horrific 5-second snippets of music people used as their ringtone back in the 90s just because technology allowed for it. I will never be able to hear the first tones of Sugarbabes ’round round’ without a stressed peak in adrenaline, and a nervous glance at my phone. Anyway, I was convinced it was a done deal.
As we can see, these are clearly one of those wonderful far-sighted things I was completely on point with (please hear the Scandinavian irony here).
Bitcoin has rushed like nothing else in the past few months, and there are a few forerunners along with it like Ethereum that are making its way up too.
As a newbie-bitcoiner and a borderline-news-junkie I am torn between what to think of these. This is definitely the high-risk part of The Leprechaun .
Yes, I see the future of finance, the internet finally seeing its legacy being instantiated into something tangible and useful, outmaneuvering the big, bad, corporate banks and so on. Sure.
But I also see the fragility, the marketplace made for people that have reasons to want to not be traced (human traffickers, illegal exporters etc.) and heaps and heaps of sites with semi-legit (read fraudulent) dealers, shadow-sides that mirror real online markets where people send their money somewhere where they will never see them again. All without the slightest legal chance of getting them back.
Still, I am ending up on the yes side. I think that as the years are starting to add up, it speaks for the probability of cryptocurrencies being here to stay. As more and more people are using it, the legitimacy as well as its liquidity increases tenfold. In addition, I am a firm believer that technology capabilities like this (music ringtones being the exception) cannot every be banned, it will only increase its attraction. We are making this a “good” force to be reckoned with, but only as long as the masses keep latching on to it. This is mainly because the technology behind blockchain is genius and unprecedented in its its usability as a financial mechanism.
What do you think?
— Note that I am only expressing my own opinion and not speak in any professional capacity nor giving any financial advice.
Purpose of TheFireViking – track Financial Independence goal
My purpose with starting this blog was to find a place to write down my thoughts and strategies concerning me and my boyfriend’s goal to become financially independent within the next decade, not setting strict blog goals. As I started writing I realized there were a whole community of people out here doing the same thing. An awesome community, may I add. This has led me to put more and more time into this blog and my interactions with the community around it, up to the point where I now want to clearly define this as a sub-project to the overarching goal of financial independence.
Fireviking now gets its own blog goals, hooray!
How many readers does a blog have after one month? Will I try to make money on my blog?
I am not yet ready to venture into the whole business of affiliate links, advertisements on the site and so on, but I do want to start setting some goals for myself on here nonetheless (if it is not already blatantly obvious, I am incisively competitive, and goal-setting is one of my favorite things).
The children of TheFireViking.com has sprung out onto Twitter, Instagram and to some extent, Pinterest (seriously struggling with this though) and I want to set monthly goals for all of these to track their progress.
When Fireviking is 4 weeks old, the following are my goals:
Blog views: 1000
Twitter followers: 100
Instagram followers: 100
Is this realistic? Or am I putting under-achieving goals here? I am realizing that these numbers probably grow a bit exponentially in the beginning but have no idea of how much, so didn’t really account for that.
How did your blog develop in the first month when you started?
If you read my last post you know how much I was able to save from my last salary. The next implied question then naturally becomes; what do I do with that money in order for it to grow me some financial independence? This post will talk about what i do with the money that I invest into the Leprechaun , i.e. my investment strategy to Financial Independence.
Four easy steps —
Get an income stream, and preferably more than one. You can never save money if you don’t get any money, so this is the most crucial step, even if the actual salary is not that important. I get my salary each month.
I have a set saving goal each month, lets call it X . This sum I need to invest. The biggest mistake you can make is leaving that money passively deprecating itself due to inflation and potential taxes. Long term investments can be put into high-risk funds and stocks without it being that much historical risk associated to it. The market has historically always gone up, even if it regularly will take a stroll downwards into a recession. Note here that I talk about the whole market and not individual stocks and funds. Stocks tank all the time, which is why it will generally be a higher risk for you to invest your money in one individual stock, than in a larger index.
I invest 80% of X in different index funds. Of these 80%, around 40% are branch-specific, quite risky and narrow indexes while the remaining 60% are large global index funds.
I am looking to leave my riskier branch-specific investments where they are but from now on start putting the whole 80%-chunk into global index funds. Mainly because I am still convinced he recessions is near and not sure which market it will hit first. The remaining 20% I place in stocks of different kinds, mostly larger companies with a good track record of raising their dividends shares each year. I will probably continue to buys socks for a few more months but then slowly shift this chunk over more and more to the global index funds as well. I will explain this more in step 3.
Have a set percentage to play with. This is where my 20% that I buy stocks for each month comes into play. I really like investing in stocks, and reweighing, shifting and shorting my way around the markets. This is not a very good thing if you are looking for a solid investment plan. This is why I have capped my allowance of my savings I can play with to 20%. I will decrease this percentage in the next few months. This as I don’t have enough time to become the next Gordon Gekko and index funds has historically almost always beat individual strategies in the long term anyway.
When the time has come for me to have enough capital for the Leprechaun to become immortal (i.e. enough for me to live off its returns indefinitely) I will sell off the funds and buy high-dividend stocks for these so that I am set up for a monthly income.
Thanks for all the positive feedback from my last post as well!
Ok! It is time for my first monthly income expense report and you guys will see the crushing numbers behind the machinery. I have converted them to USD, and will add explanations for the different posts (you will see that they in some ways differ from a person living in the U.K for example. My monthly income is ca 8200 (USD). After taxes, I get out ca 5k. This is a good salary for someone my age in Scandinavia, but as you can see, a lot of it ends up in the tax bucket. If you wonder why I am taking my monthly income expense report by months please take a look at my Nordic debunking of By Month!.
Monthly Income Expense Report November:
+ Income after tax: 5000 USD (Salary)
Mortgage (incl. interest rate): 900 (we are paying it off as fast as we can)
Student loan: 100 USD
Phone bill: 24 USD
House insurance: 20 USD
Travel: 378 USD
Transportation: 30 USD
Blog setup: 95 USD
Gym: 40 USD
Food, Groceries: 220 USD
The couch: 200 USD
Shopping: 50 USD
Net savings: 2900 USD
Goals for next month:
Other income streams than just my salary! (It looks horrible just having one single income stream and so many lines of expenses. Many of these posts are things I should be able to cut down on, especially since Mr Viking has a similar setup with his budget.
Looking at this we clearly could see the need for either cutting some of our expenses or creating some other source income. This can be done by several steps:
Right now we looked at our expense and unfortunately saw that travel was a big monthly expense which we now will try to cut by travelling at low-priced periods, as well as to try to minimize the cost while travelling. Before we were not really aware of the amount spent when aboard, but when seeing it clear with a monthly income expense report. You get the information straight!
For all my readers, try to get your expenses on paper as clear as day. It is the only way to start keeping the money in check.
Yes, I live in a country where university is free. Yes, considering my student debt this number is a bit frightening. Tuition is free, but you have to cover housing, food, transportation etc. meanwhile the government offers wonderful student loans to a very, very reasonable interest rate.
At this point I could have paid off my debt a while back instead of investing that money. However, the interest rate for all government funded student loans is currently at 0,34%. This means that it is actually better to keep your earned money and invest in the stock-market instead to pay the interest rate of by the dividends; while paying the minimum amount back to the government.
Every cent of our debt is currently invested in a high-yielding index fund, regenerating its value over and over. If you are interested in our approach; check out my blog postThe Leprechaun that will never die.
This is one of the reasons I love comparing financial strategies across countries. In other countries it would have been daunting to just leave this debt be while having enough funds to pay it off, whereas here, it is definitely better to keep this debt invested for as long as I can. Check out the comparison of the different student debts between US and the rest of the World; CollegeCosts. I am staying in debt and moving our money around in a few quite branch specific index funds, and I am also happily paying in the 0,34% along with the circa 100 bucks a month I am required to pay back.