achieving financial freedom one lazy step at a time

Unemployment and financial freedom

As mentioned in my monthly expense report I am currently unemployed. there was a time not that far ago when this would have annoyed me. Not because off the fact that less money is coming in but more because I had a plan and things are not going to plan!! Grr, Hulk mad, hulk smash!

Growing as a person

Part of my personality has always been that I am a planner. I think most people in the early retirement community are planners. You need to be to achieve financial freedom (well, at the very least it helps)! And there are a lot of positives with being a planner. The thing is, as with all things, you should not overdo it. And I did make that mistake. My future vision was too strong and often stopped me from enjoying the present. I worried too much. Both about things I could not control and about things I could control. When I was home last year I didn’t enjoy it (I’ll delve deeper into this in another post). Things not going to plan annoy me still. But I try to limit its impact on my mood or on me enjoying the present.

Not working costs me around 750 euro a month. There is no way I would have spend almost 3.000 euro on a Vespa while being unemployed last year. This year I did. And I have enjoyed it immensely! What changed is my perspective.

Another perspective

The plan, in general terms, is to work another 5 a 7 years in a decent paying job so I can save enough money from work to finish renovating our house. These years would also give the stash enough time to grow big enough so it would reach the point where I could limit my working time to a couple of months a year and live of investments for the rest of the year.

Previously, I would have seen being unemployed as a derailment of the plan. Being unemployed and having less income each month would mean I would be older when I could stop working full-time.

Now I see this period of unemployment as a test run for later. I see it as a temporary mini-retirement because at the moment I DO NOT HAVE TO WORK. if I truly enjoy this time, it will be a mini-retirement! if I spend all day worrying and being annoyed because I am not following my plan it will not be a mini-retirement. So I chose to enjoy it.

Enjoying unemployment

That is why I did decide to buy a Vespa. It gave me a lot more mobility and it finally got me to go swimming again. I have to say, I really enjoy going to the swimming pool when almost nobody is around and having a lap all to myself.

I enjoy planning and preparing a little retro house party with a few friends at our place. Did you know that for 39 euro you can buy a pretty nice laser for your home! My inner gadget freak squealed in delight with all the new fun little toys that exist now (apparently I am not the only one who enjoys some techno in his living room).

And it was great fun hunting down all the classics from my youth. Did you know winamp still works on a windows 10 machine? Yes, I mean it when I say I am going retro!

A little bit of cheating

Now, most off you will be thinking: ‘that is really great Mr. financialfreedomsloth. Fantastic that you have not only identified a personality trait that stood in the way of your happiness and are trying to work at it. Kudos!’ And you should be thinking that! I am really happy with the evolution I have made in the last year. Yeah for me! I could stop here. But I want to be honest with you guys.

And the thing is, I am now enjoying being home so much I kinda want to have the house finished as soon as possible. I want to be able to sleep more people so I can have more guests at the techno parties I will organize. I want to have our office room finished so I can turn it into a chill out room for the party. I want the roof and attic finished so I can have my own private cinema-room because I already  enjoy the hell out of running my own Synology NAS with the Plex server connected to our flat-screen. Having a big ass screen, surround sound and perfect darkness is going to be heaven for the movie geek in me (and I know I can do it under a 1.000 euro once the attic is finished).

So I have been day trading again. I did it last year and well, my brain is pretty good at pattern recognition. It might not be day trading like the professionals do, but I did make 2.450 USD last year. That money stayed in the investment account. The goal now is to at least make up the difference between unemployment and my previous job (I am at 1.200 USD at the moment) so I can hurry up with the home renovations!

Some might say I just found a way to reconnect with my original plan and that is why I am actually enjoying the unemployment and not because I have found a new perspective. But I swear on the heads of my pet pigs (didn’t see that coming did you?) that I was already enjoying it before I started day trading again. I actually enjoyed it more before I did the day trading. I do not find it particularly fun to do: it is staring at a computer screen for hours on end. But for me, it is easy money.


  1. Team CF

    Techno parties and pigs, you never seize to amaze me ?

    • finan112_wp

      You are easily amazed! I mean, this is my official, public ledger! Imagine what is kept off the books …

      • Team CF

        You really got me interested now! Let’s talk in June?

        • finan112_wp

          We will talk in June!

          • Team CF

            Cool, i’ll put you down on the list.

  2. Troy @ Market History

    Day trading is hard. I know a few people who are good at it, but it’s an intense schedule. They work 16 hours, trading during N.A. hours, European hours, and some Tokyo hours.

    • finan112_wp

      O yes, for the real pro’s it probably is an intense (but very financially rewarding) job. I am just a dilletant, making 100 USD or 50 USD, but every little bit helps!

  3. When Do You Retire?

    Quite a switch, from high quality long-term holding to active daytrading :O

    Good luck and enjoy mini retirement!

    • finan112_wp

      What switch? I am still in the high quality long-term holding!! The day trading is all done on margin. With my big construction still going strong I am at 2.5X leverage when I am in a day trade and back to the 2x leverage (because of the construction) when I am out of a day trade. But the stash is still safely invested in Berkshire Hathaway for the long run …

      • When Do You Retire?

        Oh I see, I thought you changed a portion of shares to free cash for day trading.

        • finan112_wp

          Oh no, the great thing about Lynx is that your collateral can be fully in stocks. No need to sell any shares at all!

  4. DD

    Thx I forgot winamp with all those cool skins. A little techno will make you go!

    Yeah worrying, I keep reminding myself to stop wasting energy in problems that I can’t solve at the time.

    I admire your day trading skills. It’s a dream for me to make money anywhere in the world with just a laptop.

    • finan112_wp

      Winamp still works just fine and does not have all the crap a lot of newer players have on board!
      I think for getting an income from anywhere in the world with just a laptop option writing might be the smarter choice. less stress and staring at a screen for hours on end but only 30 minutes of checking, closing a position, rolling a position entering in a new position … and you are done! That approach would be a lot more agreeable with leisurely travelling the world I think.

      • DD

        What level of income are we talking about? Let’s say with a 100K stash. What’s realistic?

        • finan112_wp

          A laid back option writing approach should add a few % to the average market returns. So around 10% a year on average? But this is going to be an average so you will need enough cash to survive down years. When the markets go down across the board you will not be able to do any profitable option writing.

  5. ambertreeleaves

    Quote: My future vision was too strong and often stopped me from enjoying the present. I worried too much.

    Same here…. I moved away from that, more into the now and exploring possibilities rthat my knowledge brings me. Take a month parental leave and only earn 500 that month? Before: HELL NO! now it is YES YES YES

    Are there still tickets for the retro house party? Might bring back memories of the Love Parade…!

    • finan112_wp

      We need to rememnber our selfs that we are in a way better position than about 80% of the Belgian population. And that thanks to our stash we have options, lots of options. But yeah, some personality traits are hard to change.
      We’ll discuss retro house party in person at the mini meet-up in ghent!

      • ambertreeleaves

        That is a great perspective… Better than 80 pct…

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