Getting Real

SUCH exciting news this week: I found a New Zealand Early Retirement Expert: Elizabeth Kerr 😀 I’ve been devouring her articles over the last few days and decided to do as she suggested in this post. The idea is that the non-negotiable list is what is absolutely necessary to survive (or cannot be avoided):

Non-Negotiable* Negotiable/Everything Else
  •  Gas, power & water
  • Food
  • Medical aid
  • School lunches
  • Teachers’ group
  • Cell phones
  • Internet

*A note on this: Husband and I are currently working awesome jobs that provide housing as part of our benefits (i.e. we don’t pay rent). Also, because we are South African we don’t pay tax. Lastly, we both walk to work and can easily walk to the shops so there are no non-negotiable transport costs. Pretty sweet deal hey?? And all the more reason that we should be saving significantly…

And, here’s the hardcore thing: everything else (i.e. everything that is not non-negotiable) is what is stopping us achieving Early Retirement/Financial Independence *gasp!

My problem is that a big part of the reason that we are overseas is to travel and explore the world. There isn’t any point to us being here if we aren’t going to travel and explore the country we are in. So I added another column (with an inbuilt limit though):

Non-Negotiable Non-Negotiable Want (limit to 20%** of our income) Everything Else (Negotiable)
  • Gas, power & water
  • Food
  • Medical aid
  • School lunches
  • Teachers’ group
  • Cell phones
  • Internet
  • Travel within South Korea
  • Eating South Korean food
  • Travel outside of South Korea
  • Clothes
  • Alcohol
  • Gadgets
  • Manicures
  • New bags
  • Taxi home
  • Bus home etc

**Where did I pluck this 20% for travelling from you ask, dear Reader? From this guy: Bucking the Trend. But more on that another time.

What an incredible mind shift. EVERYTHING that is not non-negotiable is what is delaying our Early Retirement. Obviously our travel costs will delay our retirement but I think that’s ok – the tradeoff is worth it for us. But everything else? That is not worth delaying our Early Retirement for… except for maybe that underwater camera that I really want for Malaysia?!? *Sigh



South Korea (May, 2016)


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