i actually have a good frugal friend, but i would not know how to target-find others apart from whithin this forum
My 2 cents:
The proportion of frugal people among the overall population is very small. From a statistical point of view, the probability of finding a frugal person in your surroundings, especially on the countryside, is very low. Even in Zürich it is not that easy… Therefore as you said, looking directly for new frugal friends is likely to prove difficult.
On the other hand, I managed to convert some of my friends to frugality and FIRE mindset. But it is not that easy; to do so, I had to lead by example. People in general are not interested when I talk about savings because they do not see the advantage right away, it remains abstract for them. On the other hand, in a discussion I mentioned that if my boss fired me, I could live 7 years without having to work. Now that is concrete, and people start noticing.
As Ben Franklin said,
“If you must persuade, appeal to interest, not to intellect.”
The 2-3 frugal friends that I have are Polish. They came to Switzerland and of course they don’t regret it. They don’t invest their savings in index ETFs however, they buy flats in Poland and rent them out. Sometimes we have a laugh at out non-frugal friends, or the ones who didn’t have enough motivation or courage to leave Poland. They plan to leave Switzerland as soon as they have saved enough to live off the rent. For 100’000 CHF you can buy a flat that will yield 500 CHF monthly (6% annually). So with 4 such flats you have a passive income of 2000 CHF, twice the Polish average salary.
I agree that you can’t convince anyone to change their minds about things (unless they are ready for it) and leading by example is better. You couldn’t really tell that my family is mustachian because we just look like a normal family without luxury items.
I spent 10-15 years working towards becoming a business owner and so many people dismissed it so I got tired of talking about my dreams with those friends. Same thing with FI, I wouldn’t want to talk about it unless I know that the person is on the same page. Too frustrating with the “its impossible” comments and I want to avoid those discussions.
Sounds like some cool friends to hang out with
Yeah I have heard of many such examples to FI as well, using real estate. There are many podcasts about real estate investing and sometimes I get curious about it because it could be slightly quicker road to FI then low cost index funds… or maybe just to add some more asset classes and reduce overall portfolio volatility. I also have connections in countries outside of Swizterland that could have some good real estate deals.
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Back on topic. I happen to have a couple of people at work who are aware of their finances. Some better than the other. For example, one guy invests in low volatility high dividend companies. Hardly the optimal choice for Switzerland, but he is frugal and focused so points to him. Another guy is a doing all the right things. He’s an active stock picker, made big bucks on Crypto and is diversified among all assets and on a good way to be FIRE in his early thirties. He’s not entirely frugal though, but I guess he can afford not to be so good for him.
Other then that, most of my Swiss acquaintances are useless with money. I hear how they can’t afford vacation, but then spend 2000 CHF for a weekend in Disneyland, have a new car and all the newest Apple electronics.
Other people keep on telling me how great they are with their money as they’ve bought X, Y and Z for a very good price, but remain oblivious to the fact that X,Y and Z is useless junk.
So far I’ve managed to introduce only one friend (Polish…) to my saving strategies and it looks like he will join the FIRE squad.
Thanks for the interesting thread @mrs_oberland! It made me smile because I feel I could have written it (I also live in the countryside, have a couple of kids, work for a remote company, and feel that it’s quite hard to find people who are even remotely prepared to consider these subjects, let alone find them interesting - most just want to discuss their new consumerist purchases ). Unfortunately I haven’t yet found the solution. As others mentioned, this forum would be the first thought, but most people seem to live quite far away from here.
That’s why we need to start organising regular meetups - for example, a Swiss Mustachian Day.
Thanks for your reply @Mobius!
Where do you live? We live in Kanton Bern and have a small studio apartment in our house that we lend to friends and family and airbnb as well. You are very welcome to visit
Its great that Switzerland is such a small country, that way meetups definitely will be possible.
Great idea! I guess most people live around Zurich and Zug but we would be happy to host such an event in our garden and house Berner oberland
That’s very kind of you @mrs_oberland. I live in Gruyère, Kanton Freiburg - maybe it would not be that far away. We should definitely meet one of these days and discuss our Mustachian plans
I have found a couple of friends that you would not call them extremely frugal, but mostly conscious with money. Since I work in the finance industry there you can find people with a good understanding about money and finances. Though what I have observed is that you can figure out quite fast if someone is conscious about his finances or not.
The funniest is of a friendly couple where she is quite frugal and he is absolutely the complete opposite… what a match!
The idea of meetups is great. I know I’m really new here, but I would still find it interesting to meet you.
I have been a silent member for some time and have been reading the posts in this forum with great interest.
I‘m living in the Canton of Bern and would very much be interested in a meetup if one takes place.
I too would be interested in a meeting if one is organized. I live in Suisse romande, so Bern sounds like a good middle ground to gather everyone.
Would any of the Zurich, Zug and close area members be up for a meetup in Bern downtown? Would be fun to meet and chat over a beer
@mrs_oberland and there’s a very nice craft beer cafe near the Rathaus
I’m totally for a beer meetup.
Me too. I’m near Bern
I’m around Zurich, but I would definitely try to come.