Never Break a Working System

fiwe 2018

After the success of our first “proper” conference in 2017, we decided to keep the event in the same place in 2018.

Timisoara Map
Source: Wikipedia

The main conference was held in Timişoara, a city in western Romania, from the evening of Friday, 8th June until the evening of Sunday, 10th June.

Afterwards, a smaller group of particularly enthusiastic participants stayed on for a few more days to take part in FIWE Extra. This event was held in a small town an hour’s train ride away from Timişoara on the Romanian-Serbian border. It ran from Monday, 11th June until Thursday, 14th June.

The Participants

fiwe 2018 participants
The participants

For the main conference we limited the number of participants to 25 people including the two of us. That gave everyone the chance to talk to everyone else and it was easier to foster a good community atmosphere. FIWE Extra was smaller because not everyone was able or willing to extend their FIWE experience to a full week.

The event was open to everyone who’s excited about financial independence, minimalism and generally living a meaningful, mindful life. Everyone who’s bursting with ideas but has no-one to share them with in their immediate surroundings, who’s looking for like-minded people to hang out with for a few days, who wants to finally be able to talk freely about FI, investing, their personal finances, and how they envision (or are already living) their financially free life.

The Venue

The terrace at the venue

The main conference was held at a small B&B near the city centre. It’s run by an old school friend of Mr W’s and we’ve stayed there many a time, so we knew what to expect. The B&B is fully enclosed and feels like a totally different world to the bustling city outside. It has two lovely quiet courtyards and attached conference facilities.

We basically booked out the entire place for the weekend, which made things a lot easier logistically. It meant we could all be together as much as possible, especially during meals, breaks and free time, which is often when the most interesting conversations took place. It also meant that we all wasted a lot less time getting between our rooms and the conference facilities. We love efficiency!

The Costs

FIWE 2018 was a not-for-profit event. All participants covered their own costs for travel, accommodation and food. We paid our share too. There was a participation fee of €15 per person to cover the costs of renting the conference facilities for the weekend part of the event. There was no additional participation fee for FIWE Extra.

The Program

Friday 8th June: Arrival Day

Arrival day

We kicked the conference off at 5 pm with a welcome and introduction session, then we headed out into the city for dinner. The point of this first evening will be to get everyone together, learn each other’s names and get a first taste of the city.

Saturday 9th June: Conference Day 1

Mr RIP’s mid-life FIRE crisis

After breakfast at the B&B we started the presentations. We had three presentations in the morning with short breaks in between:

  • Turning Problems into a Website to Generate a Recurring Side Income
  • Building Extensions for Online Marketplaces
  • Living a Luxuriously Frugal Life in Vienna

After that, we went to a restaurant nearby for a buffet lunch.

Out on the town

In the afternoon the one and only Mr RIP presented a stand-up comedy routine workshop about his Mid-Life Fire Crisis and the rest of us tried to come up with ways he could get over it.

RIP was a hard act to follow, but someone had to do it. So we held our presentation about Zero Waste Living.

After yet another short break we headed out into the city for dinner.

Sunday 10th June: Conference Day 2

In the morning we had the following presentations:

Farewell dinner
  • Myths and Realities of the 4% Rule (by Oli from Frugalisten)
  • 75% Savings Rate
  • Know When You Have Enough

In the afternoon Erik from Hippies de Land Rover held a workshop called Strategy to Reach FI in which he presented us with the HdLR family’s numbers and asked us for advice on how to set up the last part of their FI journey.

The final presentation was given by a participant who had somehow found the time to interview each participant in depth over the weekend about all things FIRE and collate the data. We got some very interesting insights into our group!

After all the presentations were done we headed back into town for a farewell dinner.

Monday 11th June: FIWE Extra, Day 1

Pizza delivery!

On Monday morning we said goodbye to the last of the weekend participants and then relocated to a smaller town near to Timişoara for FIWE Extra, which was held at our house.

The participants who’d been to FIWE Extra the previous year couldn’t wait to get out to the lakes, so we went there with some beers and ended up ordering pizza and staying until well into the evening.

Tuesday 12th – Thursday 14th June: FIWE Extra, Days 2 – 4

The rest of FIWE Extra had no fixed program. This was intentional, because the whole point of it was to give people the time and freedom to process the ideas and information from the weekend and to discuss things in more depth if they wanted to. We hung our on our terrace, visited the local market, and had a barbecue at the lakes. All in all, it was a very relaxing experience.

The train to FIWE Extra
Hanging out at the lakes
We invented a new drink
Oli thinking deep thoughts
Making coffee during a powercut

Our Lasting Impressions

I know we say this every year, but we had an amazing group of participants again this time. The group was even more diverse than in previous years, with representatives from new countries including France, Denmark and Croatia. There was a lot of laughter this year, most of it in some way related to Mr RIP. We made a whole load of memories we’ll look back on with a smile for years to come and a whole bunch of new friends who we look forward to meeting up with again all around Europe. Thanks again guys for making FIWE 2018 such a special week!

Blog Posts About FIWE 2018

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