The Voluntary Life: July 2013

31 July 2013

119 How To Develop Your Wealth Plan: An Interview With Todd Tressider

Listen to Episode 119

This episode is an interview with Todd Tressider, founder of financialmentor.com. Todd founded Financial Mentor to educate business owners and investors about the wealth building principles he learned from years as an entrepreneur in the investment management industry. In the interview, Todd outlines his definition of financial freedom and discusses the hurdles you need to overcome if you want to achieve it. He talks about the importance of developing your own wealth plan and identifies some of the key requirements necessary for your plan to be successful. As always regarding investment, do your own research. I am not a financial advisor.

Podcast Episode

26 July 2013

118 Decluttering And Community Selling: Interview with Jorja Leavitt

Listen to Episode 118

This episode is an interview with Jorja Leavitt, founder of Sharetown.com. Jorja is an entrepreneur and mother of four, living in Las Vegas. In the interview, she shares her experiences of moving to a minimalist lifestyle. She talks about the freedom that she has found from decluttering and selling unnecessary stuff. She highlights the great opportunities to trade at a community level, using social media platforms such as Facebook.

Show Notes:
Sharetown Facebook App
Article on selling all your stuff by Never Ending Voyage

Podcast Episode

17 July 2013

117 Freedom Lovin' Interview: Living The Voluntary Life


Listen to Episode

This episode is an interview of me by Kevin at Freedom Lovin' Podcast. Here's Kevin's summary:
"In this episode of the Freedom Lovin’ Podcast, I chat with Jake from The Voluntary Life about finding freedom in an unfree world. Here’s what we covered:

  • What does freedom mean?
  • Why entrepreneurship is important
  • Living in Mexico
  • Minimalism/going paperless
  • Tips on becoming more free in your life

13 July 2013

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!

5 July 2013

115 How To Go Paperless

This episode is about how to go paperless and what the benefits are. Topics covered include:
  • How accumulating paper limits your flexibility and freedom 
  • Simple steps to reduce the paper you accumulate such as using e-billing and e-books.
  • Ways to minimise the paper books you own, such as selling them as soon as you have read them
  • Key tools for digitizing your paper and going paperless: a multipage scanner (such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i), a shredder and Evernote
  • Keeping labelling and metadata simple: the three key attributes of date, location and person/organisation
  • Options about where to store digital data: secure encrypted drives vs services like Evernote
  • What to scan and what to simply delete.
A good site for more tips about going paperless is DocumentSnap