Savings Ninja thought experiment #10

Unprecedented events create new experiences. What fun, misadventure, or positive discoveries have you encountered while locked down?“-Savings Ninja thought experiment –The Covid-19 Edition

Like Firelite this is my first Savings Ninja thought experiment and despite working from home and social isolating for 6 weeks am only just getting round to reflections on lockdown.

Reducing my (planning) horizon

I am a planner, usually I’d be on the internet now booking flights for 2021, trying to secure early bird tickets for this or that festival. Now I plan a day ahead or to the next weekend at the most. Living more in the moment and not having continual FOMO has been quite nice. As well as reduced planning horizon my physical horizon has become much more local. Walking, running and cycling in my near or not to far neighbourhood. This has involved walking down cul-de-sacs just round the corner from where I live to cycling on side roads not before travelled.

Lots of random interesting facts now forgotten

Zoom quizzes are now the social gathering of choice and I have been entertained with friends and work colleagues alike – have learnt lots including – how many eyes do bees have, which city in the UK has the most Greggs and how high is Scafell Pike – most have facts are now though unfortunately forgotten ! (5, Newcastle, and 978m).

Taking time to read and reflect

I consume my personal finance and FIRE content through podcasts and reading blogs. I rarely read books these days and definitely not finance or FIRE books. I love podcasts in particularly, that mini discussion or lecture nicely packaged in a 30-40 minute bite sized listen is just enough before I move onto the next thing. So I decided to get back to basics and read some of the historic and recent seminal FIRE texts including ‘Simple Path to Wealth’ and ‘Your money or your life’.  Reading a book slows you down, give you time to reflect and digest, go on a longer journey than a podcast episode can take you.  These books are great in their own right and I have enjoyed rediscovering reading.

Knowing the path is different from walking the path

Talking of ‘Simple Path to Wealth’ in more normal times I would have read the text ‘The market always goes up and it is always a wild and rocky ride along the way’ and gone ‘yeah yeah I know this’. Now when I read that sentence I go, ‘yes, yes I KNOW this’.  Much less dismissive and information that is felt as well as understood. It’s been a pleasant discovery that I am accepting this with equanimity.

I have really relished been booted out of my comfort zone – working from home, VCing family and friends rather than visiting, doing more cooking, running, spending time with my partner, even a bit of sketching with Grayson Perry.

However there is a negative note.

Have the ability to accept the unacceptable

You may not accept the government statistics but even theirs are saying we have, per million population the fourth worst death rate in the world currently, topping Italy and Spain, and for some reason right behind Belgium. And even with this tragedy Boris Johnson’s approval rating has increased (courtesy of the Daily Mail, mid April). How can this be so?

5 thoughts on “Savings Ninja thought experiment #10

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    Hear what you’re saying about the planning, it’s all very much short-terming planning here too which I’m not too comfortable with as I tend to have things booked for the future. Still waiting for my Wimbledon tickets refunds, unlikely to be able to watch the American football this year, and likely not be able to go to Hong Kong to visit my folks.

    And there is something in what you say about being booted out of your comfort zone – I can’t say I’ve entirely enjoyed being in lockdown but I could put up with a lot more.

    As for Boris’ popularity – it’s probably more to do with the fact that he nearly died, was saved by the NHS and is now back at work trying to steer the country out of disaster. Sadly, if not him right now, who else? As always with British politicians, slim pickings to choose from!

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  2. Oh no shame you can’t make your family trip, we have had a family death in all this in the US and it is devastating. Re: Boris, he seems to be made of Teflon anyway I think the point I wanted to make wasn’t just about Bozo but that we, as an electorate are being very uncritical about the level of deaths due covid-19, we looked on in horror at Spain and Italy and we are right there now and could exceed them, we seem to be wiling to accept it, It is hard to judge as you only see the bits and pieces that other people have chosen to share on social media but if these snippets are true parts of the rest of the word and looking at the UK like we have really made a mess of handling the crisis.

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  3. I definitely agree with you that reading a finance book is a different experience to reading a blog post or listening to a podcast. I’ve just started reading The Intelligent Investor, and even though a lot of the advice in it is pretty well known now (even if it was groundbreaking at the time), it’s still useful to reread the same info in a new light.

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