Updates from April, 2016 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • eurfi 20:53 on 2016-04-30 Permalink | Reply  

    April 2016 – net worth and expenses 

    Towards the end of April I was slightly positive with my investment results (over the year), but stronger moves on the last two trading days pushed me again into red. What a contrast to 2015! So far it is a very tough year on the stock market.

    When you are looking at the net worth you won’t see this trouble – it is at all time high. Our monthly savings of 1,500 Euros are enough to make our number climb. But from May on we will save less, because my income drops (like mentioned in my last post).

    • brokerage accounts 242.3k (-18.4k)
    • ETFs 6.0k (+0.7k)
    • cash 39.3k (+21.3k)
    • alternative investments 33.0k (+0.5k)
    • taxes -22.5k
    • total 298.1k (+4.1k)

    I transfered 20k from brokerage to cash, this makes it a small gain of 1.6k for investments.

    Monthly Expenses

    • January 2.8k
    • February 2.6k
    • March 3.4k
    • April 3.7k

    April was a very expensive month. The most annoying expense was a 700 Euro car repair bill (we will change the workshop). Another 300 was from upgrading our Wifi equipment. I was fed up with the poor reception in our house.

    Escape 9 to 5

    I did not reach my goal for April. I wanted to build an initial version of a bigger feature. I made progress, but not enough. Still I have less than 10 users and only one active user! Initially I wanted to use June for marketing and increase the user count to 50. I might change my plans and try to increase my user base already in May.

    • Financial Independence 1:36 on 2016-05-03 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Eurfi,
      I always admire people who are willing to spend extra time and resources to pursue a dream or an idea, such as going to work 3 days a week and have more time to the personal project. That is very brave, it is easy to do when one is financially stable and quite another thing when you are working for living.
      Still you have 9 times of your annual expense as savings. This is truly good achievement. We have almost paper walls in our house, so wi-fi router in the kitchen covers two stories and every room of the house.


      • eurfi 7:54 on 2016-05-03 Permalink | Reply

        We have reinforced concrete floors, so Wifi reception is very bad. But the new gear works really well.
        Today is one of my free days – and I’m working on my software project. And I’m also getting the kids earlier out of child care.


  • eurfi 7:10 on 2016-04-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Goals 2016 – status report 

    I have achieved one goal for 2016, so let’s review them all:

    Goals for 2016

    • Yearly expenses below 36.000 Euros (average of 3.000 Euros per month).
    • Change in work situation.
    • 100 Euro per month side hustle (project Escape 9 to 5) in December 2016.
    • 24 blog posts (average of 2 per month).

    So far (3 months) our yearly expenses are below 36k. This looks good, but is not done yet.

    From next month on I will be working only 3 days, having 2 extra days for my family and my side hustle. So this is a “check”.

    Speaking of my side hustle, I really need these free days. Otherwise I have only 1 – 2 hours in the evening to work on my software project. And lately the progress has stalled. Currently I have 6 test users (with only one of them using the software actively). This is my major area for improvement.

    The blog post goal is looking good, but like the yearly expenses it is only done at the end of the year.

    A recent comment from reader niterainbow inspired my to add a fifth goal for 2016:

    • Spend 3 nights outdoors with my oldest kid.

    It will be the first nights in a tent for her/him. I promised it for 2015 already, but didn’t do it. 2016 it has to happen!

    • ambertreeleaves 8:53 on 2016-04-23 Permalink | Reply

      Spending a few nights outside with the kids is something that is in the back of my head as well… Great that you make it a formal goal. My plan is to spend a nigh in tent in the garden this summer and then a night on a camping ground close by.


  • eurfi 22:22 on 2016-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Our 40k Car Purchase – almost 

    I have this dream/goal of semi-retiring in 2018 and spending more time with my kids and outdoors. A camper van would be a great vehicle to achieve this. Two weeks ago I saw a suitable car on the internet by a dealer near us. It costed around 40k – a lot of money for a car, but the list price was over 50k. Last week my wife and I visited the car dealer to see that car.

    Sure, this would have been a dream come true. The price was good. But shall we really increase our monthly expenses? Also, buying a camper van would have meant lots of additional purchases (I expected another 4 to 5k). In the end the dealer offered a bad price for our current car and this made declining easier. But it was really tempting!

    My reasons for not doing it:

    • Spending 45k (or more like 35k after selling our current car) is less money invested.
    • Increasing our monthly expenses is also delaying FIRE.
    • We might not have enough time to properly use the car (weekend trips, holidays).
    • When things (financially) go well, we can more easily afford a similar car in 2018 (even for full price).

    On the other hand, the camper van might have lead to a lifestyle similar to what I aspire for 2018: spending more time with the kids in nature. So like my planned semi-retirement, it could have been a semi-dream-come-true…

    What do you think? Is it worth delaying your FIRE date for (partially) living your dream now? (I would answer “yes” to that last question. Still I think not buying was the right decision.)

    • There's Value 0:16 on 2016-04-20 Permalink | Reply

      I also would say yes, and I agree that not buying the camper van was the right choice. You can start living towards that dream in cheaper ways e.g. getting the train up to some beautiful mountain areas and staying in a simple place is a lot cheaper than the expenses of the camper van… or just driving in your car to the forest and camping there is also cheap. You don’t need the camper van to enjoy it, but you just need to be minimalist on packing your normal car! Make it a challenge to the kids and they should enjoy trying to succeed 🙂


      • eurfi 20:23 on 2016-04-20 Permalink | Reply

        Right. Last year I said to my oldest we would sleep in a tent – we didn’t do it. No excuses for this year.
        Also, I have an idea to bring us closer to a camper van AND to FI. I will write about it in the blog, once it works.
        Our current car is big enough for all the camping gear we have. So, there is really no excuse…


        • There's Value 21:05 on 2016-04-20 Permalink

          Go for it! Schedule some time in your diary, right now, to plan a few trips in the car!


  • eurfi 8:14 on 2016-04-01 Permalink | Reply  

    March 2016 – net worth and expenses 

    March brought only little changes to our net worth. I lost around 400 Euros in the brokerage account, but our monthly savings still made it a green month (+ 900 Euros).

    • brokerage accounts 260.7k (-0.4k)
    • ETFs 5.3k (+0.9k)
    • cash 18.0k (+1.0k)
    • alternative investments 32.5k (-0.6k)
    • taxes -22.5k
    • total 294.0k (+0.9k)

    Monthly Expenses

    • January 2.8k
    • February 2.6k
    • March 3.4k

    March was an expensive month. I bought some computer stuff for 800 Euros and my wife a coffee machine for 100 Euros. If we subtract that, the month is around 2.5k (which is very good).

    Escape 9 to 5

    I was sick in the second half of March. Unfortunately this destroyed all momentum I had build up for my software project. I’m slowly building the momentum up again. Yesterday I made plans about the next steps and set milestones for the next three months. Also I used part of my commute time to program a little bit.

    Goals 2016 Recap

    One quarter of the year is over, let’s review my 2016 goals:

    • Yearly expenses below 36k – That is 9k for a quarter. Our first three months sum up to 8.8k. This looks great!
    • Change in work situation – I decided (a few days ago) to reduce my work time further. I have not spoken yet with my boss about it. So, keep the fingers crossed that all works well. I would like to use the additional spare time for my software project.
    • 100 Euro per month side hustle (in December) – At the moment: zero.
    • 24 blog posts – This is the 7th blog post in 2016. So I’m on track.

    I’m behind on the investment front, but I’m still optimistic to make it a positive year.

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