0049 – Frugality is Questioning the Normal – Interview with Nicolas Berube Part 2

Sometimes people tell me: “Philip, it’s all fine for you, but you can’t do this stuff with a family and car based culture”. That makes a lot of sense to me: in many ways, being a single, young person is the easiest way to keep costs on the low end.

That is why I was very happy to ask Nicola, a listener who called in about his story on how he biked and lived in his tent in backyards to travel Europe to tell me more on how he, as a married man with a child, living in the sometimes less than hospitable of Montreal, Canada, find ways to work towards financial independence.

Housing and transport are the two biggest expenses in a US household, and that is what came up in our discussion too.

Transport

Nicola has chosen to live within walking distance of his job, grocery store and daycare. He estimates that he walks about 10 km (6.2 miles) each day, which he finds a pleasurable range. Even in Montreal’s -20 °C (-2 °F) winter days, all it takes is a good jacket.

In the summer, he uses a local bike share, costing him 55 USD/season – this way he doesn’t have to worry about maintenance and security. When he needs some extra range, he’ll use public transport or an occasional car share in the late evenings – a more efficient system than individual car ownership, which sometimes means cars stay idle for 95% of their lifetime.

With these strategies, he manages to meet his transport needs without owning a car, for a fraction of the cost.

Housing

Nicola spends about a third of his income on housing, while staying in a central location. His philosophy: he sticks to the old way of looking at space, and thus has a much smaller place than is the standard. Many houses built at the turn of the century that were meant for families with five children or more are now occupied by couples with no children, or one child.

He also rents – he’s seen many renovation costs go out of control, with expensive upgrades in our one area making spilling over into other rooms just to maintain a uniform look.

So far, he’s gotten no comments about his house. 🙂

More Nicola

Nicola Berube is a French language journalist for La Presse in Canada, and is working towards bridging the English and French personal finance worlds, for instance with his interview of Mr. Money Moustache.

0046 – Day 21 of the Early Retirement Extreme 21 Day Makeover – Investing for Early Retirement Part 2

On the final day of the 21 day ERE makeover (but only penultimate of the series), Jacob addresses a simplified approach to investing, called Dogs of the Dow.

Original article at http://earlyretirementextreme.com/day-21-investing-for-early-retirement.html

A more detailed discussion of the ERE philosophy at http://valiantgrowth.com/e30

Get Early Retirement Extreme The Book at http://valiantgrowth.com/ere

Donate to the podcast at http://valiantgrowth.com/support

0046 – Day 20 of the Early Retirement Extreme 21 Day Makeover – Own Classics

Frugality and high-quality products are not antithetical – you just have to own classics.

Join http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com for ERE specific advice, and http://valiantgrowth.com/community to meet fellow Valiant Growth listeners.

Original article at http://earlyretirementextreme.com/day-20-own-classics.html

A more detailed discussion of the ERE philosophy at http://valiantgrowth.com/e30

Get Early Retirement Extreme The Book at http://valiantgrowth.com/ere

Donate to the podcast at http://valiantgrowth.com/support

0046 – Day 19 of the Early Retirement Extreme 21 Day Makeover – Getting Rid of Your TV (Addiction)

A TV (or insert other entertainment technology here) will cost you some money, but it will cost a lot more than that for your growth – if you aren’t aware of what you are doing.

But entertainment is not the greatest threat – in fact, for many of you, it may not even be all that significant. The allure of narrow technical skills over broad life skills (personal development) can just as well cost you in terms of your long-term happiness.

Presentation on personal development (skip intro): https://youtu.be/-k8TQ5oXSUc?t=17m50s

Original article at http://earlyretirementextreme.com/day-19-getting-rid-of-your-tv-addiction.html

A more detailed discussion of the ERE philosophy at http://valiantgrowth.com/e30

Get Early Retirement Extreme The Book at http://valiantgrowth.com/ere

Donate to the podcast at http://valiantgrowth.com/support

0046 – Day 18 of the Early Retirement Extreme 21 Day Makeover – Join a Challenge

Self-imposed constraints (a.k.a challenges) can be a great tool for accelerating your frugality, building your self-esteem, and having fun at the same time.

Original article at http://earlyretirementextreme.com/day-18-join-a-challeng.html

A more detailed discussion of the ERE philosophy at http://valiantgrowth.com/e30

Get Early Retirement Extreme The Book at http://valiantgrowth.com/ere
Donate to the podcast at http://valiantgrowth.com/support