Even though I had been mentally preparing myself for the possibility of losing my money, I must admit that my recent loss knocked me out of the way a bit. Seeing 45.000€ flying away suddenly has brought all sort of feelings in a very short period of time: depression, anger, despair , revenge, unacceptance, lack of self-confidence, surprise, fear, repugnance, shock, panic, embarrassment, humiliation, insecurity, resentment, fury and probably some more I am missing or haven’t shown up yet.

To compare it somehow, imagine yourself walking through a dust storm. I know you’ve probably never experienced a similar thing, either did I, but just imagine it for a minute.

You got yourself into a situation that you can’t control anymore and there’s no way back, you wish you had God’s power to control the weather condition, but you don’t, it’s not a “take or leave it deal”, it’s a “take it and deal with it”. You must face it, there’s no other way to get over it, rather than survive until the sunshine rises again, hoping that it will come sooner rather than later.

Now, imagine that you made it! 🙂 You survived, but you have a look around yourself and nothing looks alike as before, it’s all different now… You were following a path that no longer exists, where is it?

The wind erased it away.

Crap.

Where to go next then?

Finding the new path

Losing lots of money it’s like walking through a storm, it’s not especially an appealing walk and it quite psychologically impacts the steadiness of your journey, deleting temporally the mark lines of your path and getting you lost in a pond of questions and insecurities. It’s a huge shit if you ask.

However, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I believe in the art of turning adversity to advantage, and I think that now it’s just the right time to do so, it’s time to take the bull by the horns once again, and take the corrective action to make things happen, time to trace my path back, pressing the marker intensively, drawing deep and thick lines that won’t rub out easily by any type of future weather conditions.

Recovering my money

The truth is that there’s a little change I can ever see that money again, unless I would hire “The A Team of the modern world for a moderate price, which it can only happen in my night dreams.

via GIPHY

I loved watching this series with my father when I was a little one 🙂

However, I have been thinking for a while about whether there’s anything I could do to “recover” my money by improving other aspects of my life. There must be something, come on Tony think!

If there’s something I’ve learnt from the FIRE community so far is that the savings rate is the most important ratio to consider when pursing financial freedom. The lower your expenses are, the easiest it should be to reach FF, so how can I do that?

Fixed expenses

The first thing I had a look was at my fixed expenses. These are expenses that I can’t control easily like rent, taxes, car payments or bills to name a few.

I haven’t got much room for improvement here as we are renting a studio flat with all bills included and moving out to a cheaper place is not in our minds for now, as we are very happily living near our work places, which makes our commuting expenses very low.

Taxes would be the part I could improve, as I have half of my portfolio settled in Euros, invested in European P2P lending or Real Estate crowdfunding platforms, that provide me with taxable passive income. The way to improve this would be to sell off all my Euro investments and transfer the money to a tax-free account in the UK, like an ISA or the newest Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). But this sounds to me like a big gamble. In addition, our settleling up uncertainty would make that move very risky and somewhat pointless.

Flexible expenses

We are also doing fine in terms of flexible expenses – those that can easily be changed, reduced or eliminated from your budget or necessary for daily living. Our expenses on groceries averages roughly £300 per month for two people, which it’s not too bad I think, and we only buy clothes that we need. I don’t have monthly memberships like Netflix, Amazon Prime or anything related, just oddsmonkey (referral link) that provides me with extra cash. The last monthly subscription I had was the Barron’s magazine, which I cancelled a while ago.

Discretionary expenses

Discretionary expenses are those that we choose to spend on, like going to the cinema, eating out, visiting or travelling for leisure.

This is the part I could improve the most, but since I am not following a frugal lifestyle, I am just happy by being cautious about my leisure spendings.

However, there is one aspect I could improve and would give me the choice to “get my money back”.

And that is…

Stop smoking!

I know, how I dare to be a smoker? Unacceptable, isn’t it? A FIRE pursuer firing cigarettes? What the heck? Who is that monkey? ME guys, Tony! Hello! 😉

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Meet Tony on the task of writing a post

I lit my first cigarette up at a very young age, I think I was 16, I was a bit of a naughty boy I must say. I have continuously smoked since then, except from the three times that I unsuccessfully stopped. I tried different ways, but nothing worked out for the long term. The last time I stopped was 2 years ago after reading the book  “The easy Way to Stop Smoking” from Allen Carr (Amazon affiliate link), for a period of 6 months.

The thing is that I want to stop before having any kids, similar as Prince Harry I guess, I want (and my girlfriend DOES too) to detoxify my body before we have our first one, and set a good example for my kids. I am 33, 34 soon and she is 32. Time is ticking…

So, what a better time than now to stop and start recovering my loss in form of savings?

I am ready for this

I’m ready to stop adding toxins to my body day after day, ready to regain my sense of smell and taste again, to breathe deeply whilst increasing my energy levels and live in a healthy way.

I’m ready to return my confidence and courage back and to free myself from slavery.

I’m ready to not have to go through life suffering the awful black shadows at the back of my mind, knowing I am being despised by half of the population and, worst of all, despising myself.

I’m ready to stop this filthy and stinky habit, ready to fight the withdrawal pangs and beat them down to death!

And of course, I am ready to “get my money back” too!

How I will stop

“Allen Carr’s easy way to stop smoking” is an excellent book to brainwash me back to health. It did it last time and I know it will this time too. So far, I am halfway through the book and his rules are that you can’t stop until you have finished it.

That’s how I will stop, it sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Will blogging about my detoxication process be the definite tool to stop smoking once and for all?

Yes, it will.

Accelerating the recovery process

I currently spend an average of £50 (58€) on tobacco per month, roughly. It would take me 65 years to save 45,000€, that’s a long time. To speed things a little bit up I will consider any price increases on tobacco annually and invest my new savings monthly.

Where?

I don’t know yet, but It must be somewhere where I am confident that I can leave my money locked for the long-term, so it won’t be any P2P lending platform, as the chances of a platform lasting for over 30 years are scarce. Perhaps a world index tracker? Which one?

I need to think about it, but any suggestions are welcome guys!

Where would you put the money in a monthly basis if you were in my shoes?

Wherever it will be, I will call it “The €45K Project Fund” (inspired by “The $75K Project blogger)

Match bettings help

It seems that match bettings is giving me a new stream of income, I don’t know how long I will be doing it, but I will be adding the extra money I get from it into “The €45K project fund”.

This time I won’t make any calculations related to how long it can take me to recover it, I will just stick into it and time will show us how it all goes. Odds are that I won’t possibly be blogging by the time I reach the target though.

This new project inspires me, and I want to use this blog as a tool to keep me on track. If I am tempted to smoke a cigarette and fall into the trap again, I will have to post it, and that’s the last thing I would like to do! I am not after any loss of honesty neither.

Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.

Robin Sharma

Final Words

As written on the heading of my blog, I will be…

Shaping the (my) future through DIY investing, but this time….

investing in myself first!

Right, it’s time to finish reading the book!

On my next blog post I should be a non-smoker YAAY! 🙂

Ladies and gentlemen, I will see you all around!