Recently a lot of things have changed in my life, most notably that I lost an income source when Tumblr made a pretty questionable business decision.
Honestly though I am quite happy about it, that income was just decent enough to keep me complacent and quite frankly lazy. That’s a post on its own though, in this post I want to start off my two-year journey to either quitting my job or at least being theoretically able to do it.
I do in fact like my job and the company well enough to see myself working there even if money was not a consideration, but right now I frankly have no other choice.

What I am unhappy with are my personal finances and more importantly both city life in general and my current living conditions in particular. My goal is to change all three of these things within a two-year span, which I think will provide an interesting journey as it starts from the beginning rather than looking at my success in retrospect. That is one thing I don’t like about many of the „how I retired by thirty“ posts, videos and books that inevitably leave important things out even if the author stays true to his recollection of the events.
Instead I want this journey to be as open as possible, which includes projects I’ll undertake to earn money as well as income reports, problems and solutions that will inevitably arise and hopefully create an interesting read, an interesting website for you guys in the process.
So in this post I want to show you both my goals for that 24-month period as well as a detailed overview of how I plan to achieve them. This will probably turn into a pretty long post, better prepare yourself.

My Goals

My goals are fairly simple and can be summarized by the fact that I have grown up in the countryside and am unhappy with living in the city.
Of course there is more to it, so here are the details:
  • I want to move out of my current city and find something that allows me to be in nature. Current plan puts me somewhere in the Harz region, house prices are a little more affordable there and there are vast foresty areas. To be determined.
    • I want a proper workshop and a bit of land to build a little offline business selling scrap art.
  • My financial plan is a two-step process to achieving financial independence: The so-called ‚Barrista FI‘ that allows to live well on a minimum wage after twelve months and being able to fully support myself after 24.
    • In my opinion this should be attainable as I am not interested in ‚living off interest‘ FI, I am happy with working for my money especially if it’s on my own terms. That means I simply need a way to (reliably) cover my living costs.
    • Since my plans include drastic decreases to my rent and living costs this will further enable me to work towards a realistic goal. For the exact numbers in all of this I will write a different post though, this one will already become long enough by the time I’m done.

Why I think I can do it

 

I feel that for any journey, especially for one as long-term as this should have some kind of backing, both in skills and in resources and I feel I have a pretty solid base by now.

One of the things I am a little proud of is that I managed to grow a little YouTube channel about magnetfishing to the point where it helped me afford a flatbed truck. That truck is now a rolling workshop and a camper van as well as allowing me to transport all the scrap metal we find to the scrapyard.

Combined with metalworking and general outdoor videos I feel this has the potential to grow into a nice income source in addition to being an incredibly fun hobby.

My 24 Month Journey to financial independence - Month 0 1

This truck is an essential component of my offline monetization plan as well as my travel plans since I can use it to camp comfortably and do metalworking wherever I want to.

 

I have a background in programming, as well as writing / translating between German and English and by now have a pretty solid grasp of website building on a semi-professional scale. All of these are by definition location-independent and that should make the transition to a more rural area much easier once I get to that point.

In addition to that I have already managed to build working, earning projects online and while I already mentioned that the main one broke away recently I am actually quite happy about it because I never really liked it. Now that it’s gone I have a lot of free time I can pour into new, potentially more exciting projects that at the same time have higher potential and greater stability – and I am very much looking forward to that.

How I intend to achieve my income

 

The financial aspects will be the hardest part of this journey for me. There are certain aspects to consider that include social circles and such, but that should not suffer too much considering we live in times where meeting in person is a rare occurrence to begin with.

So here is my magical plan to earn money for myself:

This very blog will be mostly focused on travel, photography, van camping (or in my case truck camping) and outdoor activities, as well as a bit of self-improvement along the way. Just listing these topics I have plenty of ideas (in fact I have made a long list of post titles I want to write) and I think there is a fair bit of potential for two reasons: It is a topic that I am personally and deeply invested in and the interest is definitely there.

Van life exploded like crazy over the past few years, travel in general and I am fairly certain that I can carve out my own little spot in that if I just stick to it.

In addition to that I intend to capitalize on my programming background, in fact I have already started my site for that at www.keypressingmonkey.com. This, too has good potential in my opinion because I have a lot to write about coding, writing in general, productivity and a whole lot of other tech related topics.

And lastly I am about to start a new YouTube channel for this site that will deal with the same topics, video travel reports and outdoor videos. Together with the main channel and the one I might or might not start for the programming site I feel like I have plenty of options to keep myself occupied and diversify my income at the same time.

The end-of-year timeline

 

Over the course of a recent vacation to the beautiful area around Quedlinburg, Germany I have sat down and begun writing a couple of lists. Everything good starts with lists. Most importantly I tried to come up with a solid, realistic time-line that will of course change drastically as I get going.

I decided to cut it short at the end-of-year mark both to keep this post manageable and because I feel that anything beyond that is too difficult to plan. The goal for the end of year two is clear, just not how quickly I will get into the realms of making that a possibility.

My 24 Month Journey to financial independence - Month 0 2

I could get used to working in a place like this

May 2019

  • Set up both main websites (outdoor and programming)
    • Design graphics / header images / profile pictures
    • Get page speed into the green (scores of at least 90 on GT-Metrix)
    • Figure out themes that look good
  • Set up YouTube accounts for both
    • Graphics / header images / profile pictures
  • Complete list with topics to write about / video topics
  • Attend a flea market near me to see if there is a local market for my scrap art.
  • Use potential earnings to buy a new waterproof camera
  • Write at least three posts for this site so that I can start applying for Amazon Affiliate / Adsense
  • Finish list of recurring expenses, start to cut down unnecessary ones hard and cold.

June 2019

  • Write journey update for last month
  • Write ten posts for programming site
  • five posts for this site
  • Record a couple videos, start promoting the new YouTube channel(s)
  • Sell my scooter, replace my bike that got stolen right the day before I wanted to start using it for YouTube and blogging.
  • Make my first dollar from the new projects

July 2019

  • Reactivate my old freelancing profiles on fiverr etc., I used to make a fair bit of money on them during my school days before I started my apprenticeship.
  • Use the bike to travel to a few places, record YouTube videos and write blog posts.
  • Spend some time researching promotion, possibly finding like minded YouTubers and bloggers to connect with. I am not sure yet how well that will work out, but it’s something I want to try at least.

August 2019

  • July and August should be the high season for flea markets, so I will go to as many as I can.
  • As schedules allow I am going to record more magnetfishing videos and craft scrap art from the finds.
  • See if I can’t make a couple bucks freelancing, maybe also through Reddit’s myriad of freelancing / job offer boards.
  • I want to spend at least one day out in nature each weekend, probably just hiking or cycling but also some crafting and magnetfishing videos thrown in between.

September 2019

  • I plan to spend a week-long vacation in the Harz region to see how well I like it there, so far I have only been to a couple cities and would like to get a broader impression.
  • Depending on weather I might start metal detecting a small local beach again, I can’t do that in the middle of summer because the heat is lethal and the beach totally crowded at all times. If nothing else it’s fun and relaxing, but sometimes I find some really nice stuff on this beach.

October 2019

  • My birthday is in October, it would be nice to gift myself a month of earning a hundred bucks through my online adventures.

November 2019

  • The weather can be expected to turn colder, I hope to continue making outdoor videos but if the weather is particularly bad I might spend the time hunting for houses instead.

December 2019

  • At this point I want to make at least 300 bucks each month, either (hopefully) through websites and YouTube or if not completely through that and freelancing. I came up with that number because I saw a place up for rent earlier this month in the general area that was priced at 300 bucks a month and it would feel really nice to be able to say ‚I could afford to live there‘. Now the place wasn’t exactly a mansion but it had a nice stretch of garden and a little shed so I could sort-of work with that.

That’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed the read and I will definitely update on the first of June to let you know how much progress I made.

If you want some more evening entertainment let me recommend one of our magnetfishing videos where we found a gun from WW2:

 

 

I'd love to hear your comments!