Happy New Year and Veganuary!

Happy 2016 y’all!!

I want to thank everyone for connecting with me in 2015 through this blog. I started this blog a year ago mainly to talk to my husband about money in an easy-dose way. Didn’t think you would read me and bring me into your own lives and blogs. THANKS! 🙂

My goal was to set us up structurally for achieving early retirement. For us, we had the frugal living and high savings rate down, but were lacking in the investments department. All of our money sat in the bank, which was very lack lustre.

But that all changed in 2015.

In April I started investing in index ETFs. In the next few weeks, we should have most of our networth in the stock market for the long term. We’re cool with that. Then we plan to continue investing monthly.

Thanks especially to Richard from Banks Germany for reaching out to me and helping me tweak my ETF plan. I went from investing in a tax-inefficient non-German domiciled Vanguard fund, to investing in ETFs on comdirect’s Wertspapiersparplan list (German domicile, more tax efficient). Your advice has helped us out A LOT!!

I also managed to lock in some tax-free capital gains for 2015. This was also a tip from Richard. Since every German resident has 801€ of tax-free capital gains per year (1602€ for a married couple), realizing those gains makes sense. I did that by selling some of our ETFs before Dec 31. Almost forgot but managed to get it in on Dec 29 and 30. 🙂

So basically, you can now call me a Savvy Investor and that will also be my new handle! jk. 😉

2016 Goals and what I want to do with my life

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog, and what I want to do with it.

Now that I’m not working (still waiting for my freelancing paperwork) and we have our FIRE plan in place, I have little to no interest in writing about it anymore. I just want to do the PF stuff on autopilot, without having to look after it or think much about it.

My personality type (INFJ) is not very interested in or motivated by money, despite me writing this PF-style blog. I’ve only focussed myself on personal finances because I really want to live the life I want to live. Which is more freedom to do what I truly want to do.

I don’t seek money or power or status, but what I do seek is peace and justice.

What I want to devote the rest of my life to is being an activist. That’s what I want to do when I FIRE, more than anything. Last year I sat on the sidelines as I watched the vegan activist movement blow up. It’s exciting and inspiring. Now I want to do my part too, even if I’m not FIRE’d.

Because every minute there is a holocaust, and it affects everyone. Animal agriculture is intensely cruel on every level, and it is not okay to support it. Eating the flesh and secretions of others is a barbaric practice that only causes harm and suffering. Not only to the animal, but statistically it will kill you slowly and wreaks havoc on our habitat.

If we want the world to be a better place, we need to do our part.

So, if you are not already vegan, I urge you to try Veganuary!

Spend the month of January being vegan, and give it a try. It’s not as hard as it seems. I live in Germany, and am able to sustain a healthy vegan lifestyle here comfortably. Yes it may be easier in some places than others, but nowhere is it impossible. Bananas, apples, rice and beans. These are not only accessible to most people, but also frugal.

Tip: Since plants are less calorically dense than animal flesh/secretions, it’s important that you eat enough to make you full – otherwise you will crave things out of habit.

In my first 5 days of going vegan, I knew I couldn’t go back. It felt too good physically. I was no longer bloated and sluggish. My skin cleared up and my mood swings went away. I used to think the mood swings were because I lived in Germany, but nope, it was from all the hormones I was consuming through dairy products. If you need any help, let me know!

This poet says it well: