I've not been working since the end of 2016, so what does that cost?  I'm keeping a record of our costs and will share them on this site.  My plan is to publish a summary of our spend monthly that shows how much we spend analysed into different categories.

There will be some expensive months, and hopefully some cheaper ones, so we'll probably need to let a few months go by to get a feeling of the average cost.

While each person's lifestyle and expenditure will be different, I think that it will give an idea of costs, and because it will be broken down by category, you can always make adjustments for areas where you think your lifestyle and spend will be a bit more or a bit less than mine.

Although we are living in Dubai, I aim to provide some equivalent data for different countries once we have a few months of information.

And if you want to ask any questions, please feel free to ask.

November 9, 2019

I've struggled to find time to write my October costs and targets post - it must be a sign that early retirement is going well when you struggle to fit everything in to the days.


Ten months through the year, I'm now trying to hold onto the targets that I've got green or mostly green, and wonder if there is any chance of improving the red, not so good performances.

Not perfect, but not too bad, has been my running while tr...

October 9, 2019

Because our costs go all over the place when we’re travelling, I’ll start this post by checking progress against my targets.


Realistically, my attempt to learn French has finished for this year as I’m travelling in Spanish speaking countries for the next few months. Once my lessons finished in March my efforts petered out, so perhaps it has to be back to the classroom next year. At best I deserve a 3 out of 10 against th...

September 13, 2019

It seems longer than five weeks since my last costs and target post, I think because of what we've packed into that time.

There was a campervan trip in Germany followed by a three day cycle ride from Berlin to the Baltic coast. Our daughter came to visit for a weekend, which we combined with a day trip to Geneva. And then there was our Route des Grandes Alpes bike ride where we crossed the Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice on the M...

August 2, 2019


July was fairly typical, i.e. some cost lines were similar to previous months but there were others where we spent either more or less than typical. Maybe that means there isn't really a "normal" which I'm going to call a good thing - after all, if the costs were the same each month then wouldn't that mean life would also be the same, and who wants that?

We spent more on sports stuff which included a fast charger for Sally...

July 5, 2019

2019 Targets

I've booked some flights, so our trip for later this year is definitely on. Three months away - three weeks in California, four weeks in Costa Rica and five weeks in Colombia. It's going to be fun. Sally's not keen on being away for so long so she'll be with me for 5 weeks, our daughter will join me for another 4 weeks and I'll do 3 weeks solo.

More good news is that I got the all clear from the doctor to start runn...

June 14, 2019

I recently read The Wealthy Finn's Passive Income Update. In broad terms, his portfolio is 25% real estate, 25% shares and 50% P2P loans and crowdfunding.

For 12 of his investments, The Wealthy Finn (aka Eelis) is seeing returns of between 1% and 32%, with many in the 12% to 18% range. What am I doing wrong with my investments, or is Eelis actually The Riskiest Finn? So I sent Eelis a comment:

His reply showed that he'd thought...

June 7, 2019

My spend always seems to be more than most other FIRE bloggers - sometimes by a lot.

It makes me feel a little guilty even though I'm not sure it should. We live within our means and in an intentional way - words such as ethical, thoughtful, caring, value, environment and enjoyment are important to me. I'm far from perfect on these things, but my centre of gravity certainly leans towards these intentions.

I've made a list of so...

May 3, 2019

Oops, we've just had an expensive month! But on the plus side, the costs contain some good things.

Trip to Paris

This was my daughter, Rebecca's, idea. She got some free tickets to the Formula E electric car racing and asked if I wanted to go with her. It would be my first time visiting Paris, the Formula E would be fun and we would spend time with our daughter. It was an easy decision to say yes, we'd go. Sally came along too,...

April 19, 2019

A comment on one of my posts asked whether, looking back, I would have done things differently? What did I think of my career choice, my investments to get to financial independence (FI), and would I advise my kids do the same thing?

One answer is to say it worked, so why do anything different. I retired at 47, and in fact now realise I could have picked an earlier date than that.

I'm in a good financial space - my passive incom...

April 5, 2019

We spent much more than I expected in March. Each month I question why we spend more than most of the other bloggers who publish their costs. 

I understand some of the reasons. Having moved to a new country, our lack of language skills, and some documents, meant that we didn't get the best deals for car insurance and internet/TV package - hopefully the renewals will be less. Furnishing costs are also a function of moving to som...

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About Me

I think I'm a normal kind of guy, although I've perhaps had a slightly non-typical life in some respects.  I'm from the UK, 47 years old, married to Sally and with two

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