The Voluntary Life: November 2014

29 November 2014

183 Financial Independence Part 3: Buy Status Symbols or Buy Your Freedom

This episode is about the main barrier to financial independence: consuming for status instead of investing for wealth. You have a choice: you can either buy status symbols or your can buy financial freedom, but not both. Topics covered in the episode include:

  • Why everything you think about "the rich" is probably wrong
  • How most high income people blow their chance at financial independence
  • How you can buy financial freedom instead of getting caught in the culture of capital consumption

Show Notes:

Listen to Episode 183



24 November 2014

182 Financial Independence Part 2: Make, Save, Invest


There are many different routes to financial independence. In past episodes I've interviewed people who have achieved financial independence through extreme saving as a salaried employee. My own route was through entrepreneurship—growing and selling a business. Whichever route you take, you need a strategy to address common challenges. There are three core questions that your plan needs to address:

  • How do you plan to make good money? 
  • How do you plan to save a huge amount of what you make?
  • How do you plan to invest what you have saved? 

In this episode I suggest important things to consider for each of these three components of your plan. As always with money topics, you will need to do your own research. I'm not a financial advisor.

Show Notes



Listen to Episode 182


17 November 2014

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


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:



Listen to Episode 181


8 November 2014

180 A Fearless Inventory Of Your Stuff


We're selling our apartment, selling all our stuff, and leaving England behind to travel the world indefinitely. Really. This means taking minimalism to the next level, since we'll only take with us those few possessions that will fit into two bags that we can fly with. To help with the task of getting rid of so much, I've created an inventory of everything that I own. This is a useful tool that I first heard about from the blog Man Vs Debt and read about in Your Money or Your Life.

I'm convinced that making an inventory of all your stuff can benefit everyone, not just those who plan to sell it all as we do. In this podcast episode, I explain some of the advantages of making an inventory of your stuff. An inventory can help you-

  • get an overview of what you own (most people have lost track of all the stuff they have accumulated)
  • identify the value of your possessions, as part of calculating your net worth.
  • develop a more conscious ownership of your stuff, so that you can get rid of all the clutter that you are not using.
  • make money by selling what you don't need.

I used a dedicated application called Home Inventory to create my inventory. In the podcast I suggest some of the useful things you can do if you use a database or dedicated inventory app.

Show Notes:

Photo: Everything must go. All my stuff, boxed up in 2011 (the last time I moved). 

2 November 2014

179 Automation FTW

Everyone knows that to succeed as an entrepreneur (and just to be productive) you have to learn to delegate. However, in this episode I make the case for why it's preferable to automate a task rather than delegate it, when possible. I provide some examples of how I use automation to help my own productivity, such as:


I also provide links to some resources that I use for learning about automation:


Show Notes:
Episode 108: Three Ways To Delegate

Listen To Episode 179