The Voluntary Life: February 2015

22 February 2015

195 Technomadia Interview

Cherie & Chris live on a converted vintage bus that they have packed with technology. They call themselves technomads (technology-enabled nomads). The bus has a solar electric system, lithium ion batteries, a mobile internet setup, and lots of other fun gadgets. Cherie & Chris work online whilst travelling and visiting new places. In this interview they share their inspiring story, including both the highlights and the downsides of life on the road.

Show Notes
Technomadia Website

Listen to Episode 195 (37 mins)

15 February 2015

194 Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This week's episode is a review of the classic personal finance book Your Money or Your Life. Topics covered include:

  • The inspiring story of the author Joe Dominguez—an early retiree who devoted his life to promoting financial independence for everyone
  • An overview of the 9 steps to financial independence suggested in the book
  • Strengths of the book, especially its focus on actionable steps that you can take to change your life
  • Weaknesses of the book, especially regarding the discussion of investment.

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 194 (21 mins)

8 February 2015

193 Cashing In On The American Dream By Paul Terhorst

This episode is a review of the book Cashing in on the American Dream: How to Retire at 35 by Paul Terhorst. Paul and his wife Vicky have been living the early retirement lifestyle successfully for the last 30 years, as perpetual travellers. This book was written back in the 1980s and was one of the first books to suggest a strategy for financial independence.

The book is aimed towards employees (rather than entrepreneurs) and especially people in well-paid jobs. Paul discusses how to tackle the challenges of quitting a lucrative career and radically changing your lifestyle. His strategy is an early example of the extreme saving approach that I discussed in my presentation on four ways to quit the rat race.

The investment suggestions in the book are out of date now and all the numbers have to be doubled for inflation, however it still contains a lot of useful ideas that will be of interest to anyone aiming for financial independence.

Show Notes

2 February 2015

192 TV Is Obsolete: How To Upgrade Your Media Diet

I got rid of my TV about 15 years ago and I have never regretted it. In this episode, I provide suggestions for how to upgrade your media diet using far better sources than broadcast media. Here's a summary of the system that I adopted for my media diet:
  • I got rid of my TV (and radio and newspapers too). I did this because vegging out in from of the TV was an addictive path of least resistance for media consumption. I didn't want my choice of what to watch to be limited to what TV channels would broadcast.
  • I actively collect things to watch later from the internet, from streaming services and social media. Everything goes into my media queue. This is very easy to do with capture tools like pocket, instapaper, WatchLater app and Evernote.  I also collect things to listen to later and read later in the same way.
  • I tag everything in my media queue with my own tags, so that I know why I have collected each media item. These tags allow me to organise my media queue by projects I am doing, topics I am interesed in, or just different moods I am in.
  • When I want to watch something, I look at my tag lists and make a conscious decision about what to watch. 
  • Having a media queue helps me be more discerning about what media I consume. I end up deleting many of the videos before watching them because they don't seem interesting after all. I highly recommend trying life without a TV.
Show Notes:
Listen To Episode 192 (20 mins)