International Blogs I HIGHLY Recommend

Some readers might be awed about the amount of things I know (wishful thinking on my part?) or perplexed by the (somewhat extreme?) views that I adopt when writing some of my blog posts. If you are what you eat, it isn’t that far-fetched to believe that a man’s writing is heavily influenced by his reading. And just like many of you here, I am also a big fan of some blogs.

Earlier this year, I had stumbled onto these three sites which have really intrigued me and I became a keen follower of all three blogs. They have inspired me to start a blog, re-evaluate my life and gave a purpose to my savings and investments.

By giving you a brief description here (actually I prepared really long for this post and even postponed publishing it several times in order to do more justice to these amazing blogs), I am hoping to reduce the barriers for you to go over and take a look (just click on the many links below).

I am pretty certain that if you liked what I have written so far, you would not be disappointed.

====================

1. Early Retirement Extreme (www.earlyretirementextreme.com)

Early Retirement Extreme is a blog started by Jacob Fisker in 2007. He retired after 5 years of work. And no, it’s not because he started an internet business and sold it away for millions. In fact, he worked as a physics research assistant earning about $40,000-$60,000 a year and accumulated more than $200,000 in those 5 years to achieve Financial Independence (FI).

Wait a second! To accumulate $200,000 on those salaries means a savings rate of >75%?! And how can he reach FI with such a small sum of $200,000?!”

So yeah, that’s where the extreme part comes in. This guy went through a few years spending only $7,000 a year! That amount would only get the 15 HWW household through 2 months! Now, you can probably understand why when I say there’s plenty of fat to be trimmed in our monthly budget. =)

Jacob’s lifestyle/achievements are ideals for me to strive for and even though some of his tactics (the warrior diet and freezing a week’s portion of food) seem to be beyond my current appetite and ability, it’s really about embracing his spirit and original ideas. Same direction but just a difference in degree?

ERE is not just a blog. There’s also a wiki and a book*. The book is a personal favourite of mine and his analysis of our current consumer society and system hits the jackpot! This guy doesn’t provide a laundry list of money saving tips. (Since it can be easily googled?) Instead, he puts forward a coherent argument/strategy to persuade us to abandon the consumer mindset and lifestyle to achieve financial independence early.

Favourite posts:

About the blog

How I became financially independent in 5 years

How I lived on $7,000 a year

2. Mr Money Mustache (www.mrmoneymustache.com)

Mr Money Mustache sings a similar but slightly less extreme tune compared to ERE. Which is quite understandable since Pete and his wife have a kid, and earned about twice as much as Jacob in Pete’s previous life as a programmer. The MMM household saved 65% of their income and retired after 8-9 years at the age of around 30?!

If Jacob was Bruce Lee, then MMM could be considered Jackie Chan as he has carried the early retirement torch left behind by ERE (after Jacob took up a job as a quant trader/researcher) and delivered the same message to a much bigger audience. As a testament to his popularity, he was even mentioned in our local papers by Jonathan Kwok in a Sunday Times article.

Instead of the technical/mathematical nature that is a trademark of Jacob’s writing, MMM’s posts are injected with a huge dose of more light-hearted humour, badassity and face punches. It also helps that an expenditure within $30k a year is also much more achievable and appealing to the masses. Living in a house (as compared to a RV) also signals a lifestyle that is closer to middle-class too.

His articles are comprehensive (>1,000 words most of the time?), well-written and an enjoyable read. I devoured the achives within a few weeks! I am also not ashamed to admit that I do try to model after his posts sometimes. Heck, afterall he was the one who gave me a push to start my own blog with this post.

Favourite posts:

A Brief History of the ‘Stash: How we Saved from Zero to Retirement in Nine Years

The Cost of Living is Too High These Days, Waaah, Waaah!

Get Rich With: The Position Of Strength 

3. Raptitute (www.raptitude.com)

Unlike the two bloggers above, David Cain’s main focus when he started his blog wasn’t about money, and it still isn’t. If my assessment and memory doesn’t fail me, David is a smart, shy guy with plenty of insecurities (at least in his younger days) and I can strongly identify with him as he explores some of his personal stories to try to gain insights on how to become better at being human.

And recently, he has befriended Mr Money Mustache and started writing more blog posts indicating his displeasure with work and also exploring the option of an early retirement and away from the daily drudgery of “work”. He finally did it in October and his time will now be spent doing what he loves: write.

And boy, can he write. Most of his articles deserve to be archived in my personal reading folder for future reference as he explores a wide range of topics from learning what humans are not good at to themes like moving away from conformity and convention and other human limitations. “Thought-provocating” is an understatement.

Favourite posts:

Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed

Use Your Privilege

How much of your life are you selling off?

====================

*The book’s title is Early Retirement Extreme and surprisingly, it’s available in our local libraries too. It’s actually easier to borrow it than to buy and I have read it at least 4 times in the past half a year.

Share the article if you enjoyed it!

    10 thoughts on “International Blogs I HIGHLY Recommend

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi SG YI,

        Good for you and do keep it up. I find that $7k is really remarkable for Jacob since it included expenses like rent and insurance.

      2. Drizzt

        a person in singapore needs at least 300/mth for food and 3600 per year for that. you should always count what your parents is giving you for free because u need to pay them back.

        there are manyh things you are not counting.

    1. Yeo Kian Hwee

      Hi,

      I am also inspired by the same three blog and has been their follower although I came across Raptitute much later than the other two blogs.

      Early Retirement Extreme still my favorite(blog,book,forum), I spent most of my time on it. Mr Money Mustache is occupying the other part of “Early Retirement Blog” market, his targeted market is more on high income people who are still struggling.

      I seldom read post on Raptitute nowadays, only continue read a few when I first encountered one of the post from some facebook sharing.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Kian Hwee,

        I guess there’s lots to learn from all those three bloggers and I do admire them equally.

        Good luck on your early retirement journey too!

    2. Miss JJ

      Haha, we share the same reading list. I enjoy the philosophical reads more, so prefer Jacob’s writing. Same with Raptitude. I just wished David Cain wrote more often…

      There is another good blog that I don’t read so often, but it is still quality writing – http://jlcollinsnh.com/

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Miss JJ,

        Since David has stopped working for “The Man”, it’s likely that he would be posting much more frequently. Have you read Jacob’s book? I am continuously hogging the book (borrowed from our libraries).

        Yeah, jjcollins is famous for his “fxxx you money” and I do enjoy some of his articles too.

    3. Sue

      Thank you for this post. I am obsessed with Early Retirement Extreme and have been reading (and re-reading) Jacob’s book along with listening to various interviews of his. I’m so happy to read about others. I can’t wait to read what they have to say. Thanks again for putting this together. Take care and be well.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Sue,

        Glad the post was of help to you.

        It’s good to find out more about others so that we can pick and choose what applies better to us. An eclectic approach should work well.