FIWE 2019

What is FIWE?

FIWE stands for Financial Independence Week Europe (pronounced “five”). It’s a meeting of like-minded people who are interested in financial independence, lifestyle design, minimalism and mindfulness. It’s a way to bring people together to exchange ideas and experiences in a relaxed, easygoing setting. Often people whose interests lie in these kinds of areas have trouble finding like-minded people to talk to in their immediate environment, so the idea of FIWE is to build connections between people who think differently to the mainstream and to build up a pan-European community.

The main conference will take place in Budapest over two days and will include presentations, workshops, discussion sessions and of course lots of free time for informal discussions.

Mustachian Selfie at FIWE 2017

What is FIWE Extra?

Epic vegan gluten-free BBQ at FIWE Extra 2017 (with optional sausages)

FIWE Extra is an extension of FIWE during which we will spend a few more days hanging out together in an even more informal setting.

While the event will also be based in Budapest like the weekend conference, we will be organising some day trips to more rural settings and will actively be seeking out the natural spaces Budapest has to offer to balance out the hustle and bustle of a weekend in the big city.

There won’t be any formal presentations, just lots of time to talk and exchange ideas and visions for the future. In our experience the formal conference is so crammed full of information and inspiration that people need a few days to digest it all and dig deeper, and that’s when the really interesting conversations happen.

A new feature we’re adding this year is that we want to spend some time during FIWE Extra giving back to the local community. This could take the form of collecting rubbish or volunteering for a few hours at a local social project. Again, we’re still working out the details but be prepared to get your hands dirty!

When and Where Is It Happening?

Hungary Map exp

The main conference will be happening in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, and will run from the evening of Thursday, 2nd May until the evening of Saturday, 4th May.

Afterwards those participants who are particularly enthusiastic have the option of staying on for a few more days to take part in FIWE Extra. This event will also be based in Budapest and will run from the morning of Sunday, 5th May until the evening of Wednesday, 8th May.

If you’d like to participate, just apply with a short video by the 31st of January 2019. See details below.

Basic Info

Budapest

I'm not going to spout irrelevant statistics from a travel guide - you can look those up yourself on Wikipedia, but here's Budapest in a nutshell: It's the capital of Hungary, has a population of just over 1.5. million, and is a bustling cosmopolitan city. It has some pretty nice buildings, the most famous being the parliament, which apparently Freddie Mercury took a fancy to when he was there. He asked if he could buy it.

The centre of the city is fairly compact and easy to get around, so we won't waste much time traveling. We'll organise a guided tour during the weekend, and FIWE Extra participants will also get to see a different side of the city and its surroundings.

The Venue

The main conference will be happening at a small venue right in the city centre. We'll give you full details once your participation has been confirmed.

Program

We're still working hard on the specifics of the program, but here's a general outline so you know what you're getting yourself in for:

Thursday 2nd May: Arrival Day

We'll kick the conference off at 5pm with a welcome session and then head out 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.

Friday 3rd May: Conference Day 1

Now it's time to get down to business! We'll have a mixture of presentations and workshops in the morning with breaks in between, then we'll stop for lunch. In the afternoon we'll have more presentations and workshops, again with breaks in between. In the evening we'll head out into the city for a guided tour, dinner and drinks.

Saturday 4th May: Conference Day 2

The morning and afternoon will look pretty much the same as the previous day, with the official conference over by 5pm. Some participants may already start leaving during the course of the evening, while some of you may opt to stay another night in Budapest and leave the next day. It's up to you based on your own preferences and travel schedules. Those of us who're staying on Saturday night will again head out into the city for dinner and some more quality entertainment. We'll have a final wrap-up and feedback session after dinner.

Sunday 5th - Wednesday 8th May: FIWE Extra

We'll spend FIWE Extra hanging out in Budapest, giving back to the local community, making day trips and exploring the culinary offerings of the region. We have loads of ideas in the pipeline - we'll provide more details once we've got everything organised.You don't have to stay right until the bitter end - if you want to just stay on for a couple of days that's ok too (but please let us know how long you're planning on staying so we can plan the activities accordingly).

 

Practicalities

How Do I Get There?

You have a wide range of options available when deciding how to get to Budapest. We've listed the main ones below. If you have any questions or problems, just send us a quick e-mail and we'll do our best to help you out.

By Plane

The airport in Budapest is called Ferenc Liszt (often also called Ferihegy). You can fly to Budapest from more cities in Europe than we can list here. Check out the airport's route planner for more information.

The airport is located fairly close to the city, which is pretty rare these days. You can reach the city centre by public transport or taxi. Once you've booked your flight, you can ask the other participants in the facebook group if anyone else is arriving at the same time as you and band together to figure out the public transport system or share a taxi. We'll provide you with full details of how to get to the venue nearer the time and can also arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the airport if you'd like.

By Train

If you don't like flying or can't find suitable flights, you could get a train instead. Depending on what direction you're coming from, you'll arrive at either Keleti (east) or Nyugati (west) train station, which are both in the city centre and close to the venue. You can look up connections on the German railway portal.

Accommodation

You're responsible for organising your own accommodation in Budapest.

We considered booking out a whole guest house but since we anticipate that people will be leaving on different days due to flight and train availability, we decided that that would be too complicated. This way, everyone gets the type of accommodation they want at the price they want.

Once we've confirmed your participation, we'll send you full details of the conference venue and the area where you should ideally book your accommodation to be close to the venue.

You can also band together with other participants in the facebook group to find shared air bnb apartments if you like.

How Much Will It Cost?

The most important thing to know about FIWE is that it's not for profit. We're not looking to make any money out of it whatsoever because, let's face it, we don't need any more money and we also don't believe that high costs should be a barrier to participation. The money you pay is just to cover costs. We'll be paying our share too.

Also, we're not going to invite big-name speakers and pay them for giving a presentation. All participants will be on a level playing field with everyone covering their own costs.

We're deliberately keeping costs as low as possible because that's just how we are. And also because that's just how you are, right? You don't need any extra fancypants crap. You're Mustachian, goddamit!

Travel

You're responsible for organising and paying for your own travel to and from Budapest. See the How Do I Get There? section for more information.

Accommodation

You're responsible for organising and paying for your own accommodation in Budapest. We considered booking out a whole guest house but since we anticipate that people will be leaving on different days due to flight and train availability, we decided that that would be too complicated. This way, everyone gets the type of accommodation they want at the price they want. Once we've confirmed your participation, you can band together with other participants in the facebook group to find shared air bnb apartments if you like.

Food

We'll organise lunch and dinner for the duration of the conference. We can't give you any specific details yet about how much each meal will cost, but we're not fans of fancy restaurants so prices will be reasonable.

Participation Fee

The participation fee for the weekend conference will be €25 per person. If you have to cancel your participation for any reason, we'll only be able to refund your participation fee if we can find someone else to take your place.

There won't be an additional participation fee for FIWE Extra, but if you participate you should also budget for meals each day and minimal travel costs for the day trips.

 

Participation

How Many Participants Will There Be?

We're limiting participation for the main conference (Friday and Saturday) to 25 people including the two of us. That way, everyone should have a chance to talk to everyone else and there should be a good community atmosphere.

FIWE Extra will likely be smaller because not everyone will be hardcore enough to want to extend their FIWE experience to a full week.

Who Can Participate?

The event is 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. Everyone who's looking for like-minded people to hang out with for a few days. Everyone who wants to finally be able to talk freely about FI, investing, minimalism and how they envision (or are already living) their financially free life.

Why Is There an Application Process?

Maybe you think it sounds harsh to set up an application process and pick and choose participants. Why don't we just accept the first 25 people who say they're interested? Basically to make sure we have a good mix of participants from different places and with different experiences and ideas to contribute. If we operate on a first come, first serve basis we run the risk of having too many participants from a single country and/or with a single topic of focus. That then makes the event less enjoyable for the people who don't belong to this majority group.

How Will the Participants Be Chosen?

We have a very scary, strict jury who will scrutinise every aspect of your application video. One slip and you're out!

Just kidding, the jury consists of the two of us plus two other prominent members of the European FI community, and we're all lovely. We promise.

We'll look carefully at all the applications and choose participants based on the following criteria:

  • Do you seem really, truly excited about the event?
  • Do you have ideas and experiences to contribute?
  • Will you add some diversity to the overall mix of participants?
  • Can you communicate confidently in English about the kind of topics we'll be discussing at FIWE?
How Do I Apply?

If you think FIWE 2019 is for you, send us a short video telling us about yourself:

  • Why do you want to come to FIWE?
  • How did you first find out about FI and what's been your experience with it so far?
  • What are your interests? What are you passionate about? What do you want to do with your life once you reach FI? (Or, if you're already FI, what does your life look like now?)
  • Do you want to hold a presentation, workshop or case study during the event? If so, give us a brief introduction to your topic.
  • Do you want to come to the main conference only (Friday-Saturday) or do you think you can handle some FIWE Extra days as well?

Here are some tips for making a fantastic application:

  • The reason we prefer video applications over e-mails is that we get a much better idea of you as a person through a video than through an e-mail. If you really don't want to record a video, you can send us an audio recording but if you don't want to do that either, you can apply by e-mail but be warned that we're more likely to accept people who've applied by video or audio recording. Note that we won't share application videos or audio recordings with anyone outside the jury.
  • Videos should be about 2 minutes long, but this is just a guideline and you shouldn't stress if your video is longer or shorter than this.
  • The video is not a job interview. You don't have to reel off a list of all the investing experience you have and everywhere you've worked to convince us that you know enough about investing to participate in the event. We're much more interested in why you're interested in FI in the first place - in the words of The Canny Contractor: what's your why for FI?
  • Please only propose a presentation, workshop or case study if you're actually prepared to do it. Proposing lots of ideas won't increase your chances of your application being successful. We're asking the question because we want to be able to plan the program, not to measure your level of enthusiasm.

If you apply by video, please upload your video to a platform where we can watch it without downloading it, for example:

  • vimeo: with password protection - don't forget to e-mail us the password
  • YouTube: set your video to "not listed" and send us the link
  • Dropbox: just send us the link

Important: Please also send us an e-mail the link to your video so that we have your e-mail address and can reply to your application.

If you apply by audio recording, just attach your recording to an e-mail and send it to us.

Please use the following e-mail address for all communication with us: wlcbblog (at) gmail (dot) com

When Can I Apply?

The application process is open right now! The deadline for applications is January 31st 2019.

What Happens Next?

As soon as we receive your application we'll send you a confirmation e-mail so you know we've definitely received it.

After January 31st 2019, we'll look at all the applications and choose the participants. We'll let you know by February 7th whether you've been successful.

Unsuccessful applicants will go on a waiting list and we'll notify you if there are any cancellations and we can offer you a place after all.

If you've been successful, we'll provide you with full information about the next steps. We'll also add you to the closed facebook group for the event so you can get to know the other participants in advance and ask any questions you might have. To secure your place for the event, you'll need to confirm your participation by February 15th. After that deadline, we'll offer your place to someone else. Harsh but true.

 

FAQs

Can I Bring My Partner?

Yes, if your partner is also interested in fully participating in the conference. If your partner is already somewhat on board but has a few reservations, this might be a good opportunity for them to explore the topic a bit more and talk to people other than you about it. If they're totally on board and as excited as you are about the whole thing, even better! In both these cases, feel free to send us a single application for both of you.

On the other hand, if your partner isn't interested in any of the topics of the conference but just wants to see Budapest, we suggest you leave them at home this time or add on a holiday with them after the conference. Places are limited and we want to make sure there's enough space for the people who have a genuine interest in the event.

Do I Have to Be FI or on the Path to FI to Participate?

Not at all. While we suspect that most of the participants will end up falling into this category, it's not a must. You can be interested in minimalism without being interested in FI. And vice versa. Not having FI as a goal doesn't mean you're not an interesting person. If your interests lie more in the direction of minimalism, mindfulness and lifestyle design (e.g. the digital nomad lifestyle), you'll definitely have some interesting ideas to contribute!

Can I Hold a Presentation or Workshop?

Of course! Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes to allow for 30 minutes of Q&A / discussion afterwards. Workshops can be longer to allow participants to explore the topic in more depth - two 45-minute sessions with a break in between. They could take the form of a case study, for example, where you present a problem and ask the participants to come up with potential solutions. Or you could look at a specific aspect of FI, such as how to reduce your living expenses while still living a happy, fulfilled life, and include exercises where the participants analyse their own expenses to come up with ideas for where they could make some savings. These are both just examples off the top of our heads - feel free to come up with better ideas!

Tell us about your idea in your application and we'd be happy to discuss it further with you if your application is successful.

Did You Get My Application?

We'll send you a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours of receiving your application. If you don't receive a confirmation e-mail:

  1. Check your spam folder.
  2. E-mail us at wlcbblog[at]gmail[dot]com and we'll be able to tell you whether we got your application.
I Have Special Dietary Requirements - Will I Be Able to Find Food I Can Eat?

Yes, don't worry! Budapest is a big cosmopolitan city with loads of options. We haven't sorted out all the logistics yet but we'll go to great lengths if we have to to make sure you're fully catered for and not reduced to eating plain boiled rice the whole time.

I Have a Question That Doesn't Appear in the FAQs - How Can I Contact You?

Please send all questions to wlcbblog (at) gmail (dot) com.

What Happens If I Have to Cancel My Participation?

The participation fee for the weekend conference will be €25 per person. If you have to cancel your participation for any reason, we'll only be able to refund your participation fee if we can find someone else to take your place.