The Full English Accompaniment – How are we all managing?

Last year I started writing a blog post called “How the other half live”. I never finished it for various reasons. In it I started to explore the realities of being super rich, financially independent from birth. What’s it like to have a trust fund(1). COVID-19 has brought this to the fore of my mind. It has indiscriminately affected us all, so how have different people managed?

One of the core tenets of the FIRE movement is minimising lifestyle inflation. Happiness does not need to be bought. The overlap with the stoic philosophy of acceptance. Seeing and appreciating small pleasures.

Plenty of blog posts have been written on this balance. How much do you limit your spending, does deprivation become part of the journey (2). More ascetic than stoic. Stingy or frugal (3). The overlaps with minimalism.

Some university friends had the UK-equivalent of trust funds, or came from families where money was not a problem. We have family friends who are 1%-ers. Not billionaires, but enough for their family to never need to work as long as money was managed diligently. There were able to explore passions and hobbies; pottery, classic cars, travel, sailing. Money was never spent on displays of wealth. Why should it be? The pressure to display wealth, emulate the Kardashians, didn’t effect this brand of old-money (4). Their passions, experiences and opportunities to share them brought them happiness, not flashing cash (5, 6).

We are all humans. Social creatures. Our friends in some way define us, and what we think is important, so we can share things we enjoy. COVID-19 has stopped those social interactions. Zoom/ Skype/ WhatsApp/ Facebook calls are great, but they’re not the shared lived experience.

The billionaire in their lockdown bunker is still isolated from their friends (7). Unable to have their social interaction.

The body conscious duck-pouters can’t get their fillers/ extensions/ acrylics (8). Unable to have their social interaction, which doubles as their internal validation.

Even TI isn’t able to have cup of really good coffee with a friend (9).

My wife recounted a conversation with a production line worker at her company discussing how different people on her street were coping, including the line “it must be really difficult for the ones on the game”.

We’re still working full time. We’re eating nice food and doing house renovations. The biggest change to our day-to-day life in lockdown has been a lack of shared experiences with friends. It’s made me realise how important that social interaction is. It’s the thing I really miss, and the absence of it has made life less enjoyable. I don’t think I would enjoy FIRE if I had no-one to enjoy it with.

I hope you’re all coping well.

Have a great week,

The Shrink

COVID:

News:

Comment:

References:

  1. https://www.thecut.com/2018/04/what-its-really-like-to-have-a-trust-fund.html
  2. http://www.thefrugalcottage.com/deprivation-is-not-part-of-the-journey/
  3. https://fourpillarfreedom.com/living-stingy-vs-living-frugally/
  4. https://www.thecut.com/2018/06/how-do-celebrities-spend-their-money.html
  5. https://theescapeartist.me/2014/08/08/optimising-for-happiness/
  6. https://monevator.com/how-to-enjoy-life-like-a-billionaire/
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/stories-52669638/how-the-super-rich-spent-lockdown
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-52728957
  9. https://monevator.com/the-latte-factor/
  10. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31180-6/fulltext
  11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52737169
  12. https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2066
  13. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/20/highly-indebted-zombie-companies-control-more-than-2-million-us-jobs.html
  14. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/20/uk-sells-government-bond-with-negative-yield-for-first-time-coronavirus
  15. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-8336629/Savers-opt-old-favourite-NS-offering-best-deals.html
  16. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52735240
  17. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-45046023
  18. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/zoom-boom-biggest-airlines/
  19. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/05/22/britain-sliding-deflationary-death-spiral/
  20. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52691369
  21. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/james-dyson-interview-electric-car-tesla-tzls09t5m
  22. https://www.businessinsider.com/perfect-storm-of-stupid-in-stock-market-right-now-2020-5?r=US&IR=T
  23. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/20/coronavirus-fallout-to-slow-global-growth-in-renewable-energy
  24. https://monevator.com/salary-sacrifice/
  25. https://indeedably.com/dichotomy/
  26. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/05/24/information-overload/
  27. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/24/johari-rumsfeld-and-overpaying-mortgages/
  28. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/16/the-nhs-pension-allowances/
  29. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/what-will-we-do-with-our-world-when-this-is-over/
  30. https://awaytoless.com/remaining-positive/
  31. https://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/05/relocating-fig-tree-six-on-saturday.html
  32. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/05/22/back-to-basics-why-you-must-get-out-of-debt/
  33. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/were-all-going-on-a-mortgage-holiday/
  34. https://firelifestyle.co.uk/2020/05/22/reached-100000-in-index-funds/
  35. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/an-analysis-how-to-optimise-the-traditional-emergency-fund/
  36. https://drfire.co.uk/lifestrategy-100-vs-ftse-global-all-cap/
  37. http://bankeronfire.com/losing-the-plot
  38. http://bankeronfire.com/demystifying-stock-market-returns
  39. https://zerotofreedom.org/how-to-invest-on-minimum-wage/
  40. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/will-the-gold-standard-return/
  41. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/05/scottish-mortgage-the-biggest-and-the-best/
  42. https://playingwithfire.uk/what-to-do-if-you-lose-your-job-6-steps-from-a-recently-unemployed-fire-enthusiast/
  43. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/05/21/which-fi-dinosaur-are-you/
  44. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/05/troy-trojan-ethical-portfolio-addition.html

2 thoughts on “The Full English Accompaniment – How are we all managing?

  1. Thanks for reading and the shout out.
    I was watching some Jane Austen (2009 BBC adaption of Emma) and it’s funny how the 1% of the day with £20,000 a year had a similar life.
    Of course all happy family fortunes are alike and many fortunes were squandered.
    For someone from the 99% i can only imagine what it’s like to have a life changing inheritance but from my experience of relatives; it doesn’t do you any good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Fire Shrink,
    The breadth of your reading for each update really is impressive! Thanks for checking out my post. 🙂
    Interesting observations. I’ve been in my little bubble and hardly even get chance to interact with the hubby outside of weekends, but those kinds of thoughts had passed through my mind, how everyone no matter the demographic is affected by Coronavirus. Interesting comment from your wife. It made me smile then I realised I said almost exactly that a few weeks ago to the other half. The look on his face was like ‘why would you even be thinking about that right now?’
    Yeah, I miss my friends too, but made easier by the fact that I had been struggling to see friends ever since pregnancy so probably about 5 years now, lol, so not too much adjustment needed. I have wondered many a time whether once I’m not working, I’ll be affected by the fact that my friends are still as busy as ever, so I may not see them anymore than I have done over the last years.
    Have a good bank holiday if you’re off!

    Liked by 1 person

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