Part 124

Hello, and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week I discuss the question that has been dominating conversations across the world; are there more doors or wheels in the world? Also, the usual financial updates, and some thoughts on the new financial year.

Quote of the Week

In the last week or so this question has been going around social media.  My first thought was the laugh, but then I started to think about it.  The key with a question like this is to define what a wheel is and what a door is.  It might sound simple, but there is room for a lot of debate within each term.  

What is a wheel?

A wheel is a circular component that rotates on an axle.  Wheels are located on planes, trains, and automobiles.  However, they are also found on shoes, suitcases, bikes, scooters, in hamster cages, on rivers and streams, on trolleys, and even in Lego sets.  

For the sake of this argument, I would suggest that wheels should be limited to those that facilitate movement, such as wheels on cars, trains, and so on.  I would not include wheels used in industry and power generation, like wheels found on rivers or in factories.  

What is a door?

A door is a moveable barrier allowing access into and out of a space.  Most people would immediately think of their front door, or perhaps a car door.  What about a cat flap on your house?  It’s a moveable barrier allowing the cat access in and out of the house.  What about doors on a Lego set? Or in a dollhouse?  What about doors on an advent calendar?

I think for the sake of this debate it would make sense to stick to doors that are designed to allow access for humans to buildings and vehicles.  I would also argue that a door is only really a door when it’s in place and acting as a door.  In other words, if you go to a building supply shop and see a stack of doors I would argue they are not doors, but rather potential doors.  They don’t achieve their door-ness until they are installed.

Now that the terms are defined, I think there are more doors than wheels.  I’ll explain why.

Almost every single building on Earth will have at least one door.  Modest sized homes will have; a front door, back door, a door on each bedroom, and potentially doors between rooms and hallways.  If you think about how many homes have people who own cars, it stands to reason that there are fewer cars than homes on Earth.  

Cars are not the only source of wheels though.  There are trains, planes, and other vehicles.  However, and this is the important bit, almost everything that has a wheel also has doors.  A car will have four wheels, but potentially five doors.

Weekly Update

It’s been my first week back at work after being on holiday for two weeks.  It’s always a shock to the system having to wake up for work, and it’s hit me harder than normal now that I’ve almost completely cut coffee out of my diet.  In some ways, it’s been a welcome distraction being back at my desk because I spent much of the time off work watching the 24/7 news coverage of the war in Ukraine.  It’s heartbreaking watching people fighting for their home against an invader led by an absolute madman.  I also worry about my friend in Kyiv. 

I had a meeting at my local surgery with a nurse to discuss my recent diabetes diagnosis.  It seems that I’m doing all the right things, but I still need to cut my portion sizes down when it comes to things like pasta, rice and potato.  I’m determined to beat this though, and it has been a serious wake-up call.

On Friday I picked up my new glasses and now that I’ve worn them for a little while I can feel the difference.  I’d used my previous glasses for five years and during that time my prescription changed.  My eyes are feeling less tired now.  

For a few weeks now I’ve been feeling that I’m not doing much.  I feel like I’m existing rather than living.  I’m not sure what the answer is.  The last couple of years have been, well, shit.  I had an extended period of awful mental health in 2020.  Strangely, it wasn’t anything to do with Covid, but that happening at the same time did not help.  Then, we have a war which threatens to spread across Europe.

A Brief Interlude

I’ll never hide this blog behind a paywall, but it does cost money to run the site.  I spend a minimum of six hours each week writing the blog, and maintaining the other parts of davidscothern.com.  It is a labour of love.  However, many of you have asked how you can show your appreciation.  I set up a Buy Me A Coffee page but the main feedback was that you couldn’t pay by card.  Well, now you can!  My page now supports card payments and Apple Pay.  So, if you want to show your support and appreciation for the content I create, please buy me a coffee.   

2022 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2022

1 – Reduce weight to 90kg.  (Current weight 122.3kg).

2 – Complete 10 “classic” books.

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
  2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  5. The Iliad by Homer (8th century BC)
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844) ✅
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867)
  8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)
  9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)
  10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605)

3 – Read 10 authors I’ve not read before.

My weight loss is continuing in a positive direction.  I’m not losing huge amounts but it’s a slow, steady journey to where I need to be.  I’ve got a few other books ready to read or listen to, so I should start making more progress on my reading goals once I’ve finished the Three Body Problem series.  

What Am I Doing?

What I’m reading: The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz. 

What I’m listening to: Death’s End by Cixin Liu

What I’m watching: Star Trek: Picard on Prime Video

I’ve almost finished the final book in the Three Body Problem trilogy, and it’s just as good as I remembered, which is to say it’s brilliant.  I was contacted by a student who asked me to complete a survey on the English translation of the series, specifically some of the Chinese cultural terms and concepts.  For anyone interested in sci-fi, I can’t recommend this work highly enough.

Star Trek: Picard has been an unexpected pleasure.  I thought season one was poor, but the first two episodes of season two have been excellent.  I’ve no idea where it’s going but it’s got me looking forward to the next episode.  It also feels like real Trek and not the badly written Discovery.   

Financial Update

Assets

Premium Bonds: £7,200.00 (no change from last update).

Stocks and Shares ISA: £40,964.88 (up £1,351.21 from last update).

Fuck It Fund: £5,075.00 (up £25.00 from last update). 

Crypto: £0.00 (no change from last update). 

Pensions: £49,759.50 (down £634.50 from last update).

Residential Property Value: £213,900.00 (no change from last update).

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £138,030.00 (no change from last update).

Total Assets: £454,929.38 (up £741.71 from last update). 

Debts

Credit Card: £0.00 (down £655.61 from last update).

Residential Mortgage: £164,858.62 (no change from last update).

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £92,903.78 (no change from last update). 

Total Debts: £257,762.40 (down £655.61 from last update).

Total Wealth: £197,166.98 (up £1,397.32 from last update).

Investment Income in 2022: £425.29 (target £6,000).

The stock market seems to have bottomed out after falling off a cliff after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Whether it recovers to pre-invasion levels sooner or later, it will recover eventually.  I wouldn’t be too disappointed if the recovery takes a few weeks, as the new ISA allowance comes into effect soon.  If unit prices are low when I can invest more into my ISA, it means I can buy more units for less cash.  Part of me feels uncomfortable with this as it would mean the war is still ongoing, but the war will continue to its end no matter what I do with my investments.  

The work on our BTL is not quite complete but I’m hoping to be able to view the property in time to report back in next week’s blog.

Over the next few weeks, there will be a few financial developments, with the BTL being marketed for let again, and the new financial year starting.  I’m also expecting a bonus on my next wage which will help boost my investment pot.  

There is increasing talk about a cost of living crisis, and the war in Ukraine has had an impact on energy prices.  The pressure on the finances of many households is growing by the day, and for many people, there is no more cloth left to cut.  Certain industries should not be operated for profit, and energy is near the top of that list.  In a time where major utility companies are reporting millions, or billions, in profit, it just seems wrong for gas and electricity prices to more than double.  It would be interesting to see the impact of a national campaign where people simply refused to pay their energy bills.  

Biolink

You can now find all my social media pages by checking out my Biolink at bio.link/davidscothern.

Please show your support

I spend several hours each week writing this blog and make it freely available to all readers.  I do not hide my content behind a paywall.  However, maintaining a website incurs costs.  If you can afford a small donation, it would be gratefully accepted.  Click on the Buy Me A Coffee image to be taken to my supporter page.  You can either make a one off donation, or sign up to a monthly subscription.  If you can’t make a donation, please share my blog on your social media.

You can still see Sweep’s Instagram @sweep_the_kelham_island_cat.  

Finally, have a look at Darren Scothern’s fantastic blog at darrenscothern.com.

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