Monthly Update – 09-2019 (September)

September was a great month in Portugal! Lots going on as usual!

This month was Mrs.Firecrackers birthday and we had several celebrations. We had dinner in a nice place with friends, we hosted our family for some home-made pancakes (our nephews loved it!) and of course i took Mrs.Firecracker for a lovely candle like dinner in Lisbon. Or was she who took me? I don’t remember 🙂

Additionally, we went for a boat ride with some friends in the Tróia area (next to Setúbal). I’ve rented a speedboat (yes, i’m also allowed to be a captain from time to time) and we enjoyed so much!

Just have a look into this area. They have a somewhat sand island between Tróia and Arrábida which is just awesome. We managed to make a picnic with some wine, cheese, fruits…ahh..a day to remember.

Our friends were a bit scared when we went into high tide areas and we navigate against the wind but…its all part of the adventure! Definitely something i would enjoy doing more often.

I went for a 4 days trip to Munich for work and i could attend Oktoberfest for free since some business partners invited me. You don’t have to pay to get it but you do have to pay for food and drinks and they can be quite expensive! I’m always down for some free Oktoberfest invitations! For those of you who don’t know what Oktoberfest is check here.

Basically, its a huge beer festival done in the end of September where Bavarian folks (Germany state of Munich) dress in their traditional clothing, salute each other with 1 Liter beers, eat lots of pretzels, pork knee and schnaps (Bavarian Licour). It goes without saying this is the town event for the whole month since usually around 6 million visitors go there.

While at work i also managed to get some free lunches and another dinner in my boss place which is always nice. Overall Munich is a great city i don’t mind coming back once for a while.

Summing up, i still had some expenses which will only be reimbursed next month (~1.5k). This made our budget go quite higher this month. I’ve removed from our budget the hotel and plane which land in a different account and have only maintained the transportation & food while i was there.

Another highlight this month was that we had a wedding event on which we wanted to give a good gift (300€). Usually the values in Portugal are lower, around 150€ but this was a close friend so we didn’t mind.

Finally i managed to do a medical procedure that was pending to check for a bacteria which likely runs in my family. I’m waiting for the lab results but since i had to be knocked-out for the exam it was quite expensive (175€). Luckily my company insurance covered a big chunk (~130€).

Next month i will also be going to Munich and Mrs.Firecracker will join me since we will have 1 week vacations afterwords. It her first time and i hope she likes it!

Here goes our September monthly update ! We will be focusing on the operational part. Income vs Expenses vs Savings rate.


Salaries: 3 521.02 €



  • Mortgages: 1 101.26 €
  • Insurance, Condominium, etc: 49.74 €
  • Utilities (Water, Lights, Gas, Internet, Phones): 70.02 € (lower due to the mistake of the energy company last month)
  • Other Housing expenses: 46.20€
  • Total Housing: 1 267.22 €


  • Fuel: 269.60 €
  • Maintenance: 55.41€
  • Insurances: 129.55 €
  • Transportation (parking, tolls): 131.20 € (Work related Uber & Metro)
  • Total Cars: 585.76 €

Health & Personal items

  • Consultations & Exams: 176.26 € (Medical procedure)
  • Clothing: 151.64 € (i’ve bought several shirts for work and we had a wedding)
  • Total Health: 327.90 €


  • Grosseries: 268.20 €
  • Eating-out: 450.84 € (Around 200€ above our budgeted values, here goes my food in work trip ~70€ and also birthday related food)
  • Total Food: 719.04


  • Wedding: 300 €
  • Rest: 309.8 € (Mrs.Firecracker birthday gift, Boat rental, etc. We also had the credit card yearly payment ~41€. We only have it because it collect miles we can use on trips)
  • Total Misc: 609.8 €

Total Spent: 3 509.00 €
Budget for the Month: 2 685.78 €

Savings Rate

SR = ((Income – Expenses) / Income ) x 100 = ((3 521.02 – 3 509.00) / 3521.02 ) x 100 = 0.34 % or 12 €

This was a different month with several 1 time expenses. Nonetheless, our networth kept on growing. We also had a wedding gift from my colleagues of around 90€ which was respectfully saved.

Expectation is even tough we will have 1 week vacations in October that we should resume our budgeted values.

Next Steps

To lower down our costs and right after signing the Rental property selling contract i’ve cancelled Gas and Electricity (got a ~35€ credit, yes…first they take and then make the adjustments…). Water cancellation is scheduled and i’m trying to negotiate with Vodafone since i still have 7 months of contract. They seem very adamant on making me pay the rest of the contract ~300€ and there i’m trying to increase our primary residency internet/TV package. Better than having it doing nothing in the rental property.

We should expect some building renovations to take part in next months as well. Our building roof as not been clean for a while and some of the leaks caused the facade of the building to deteriorate. This made an ongoing hole in one of our walls…meaning. Urgent fixing before the rain season starts!

Want to see how our Networth is going? Check here


Networth Update – 09/2019 (September)

In September we have some news! Remember i told your about an apartment we had for sale ?

Rental property (Short update)

Well, we accepted the 305k offer and signed the preliminary agreement. In Portugal they call this CPCV (Contrato promessa compra e venda) which is a contract between the buyer and the seller on which the buyer signalizes intention to close the deal in the next 60 days. In case the deal doesn’t come true the buyer loses the money and in case i wouldn’t like to sell anymore (or whatever reason) i would have to reimburse the buyer in double.

The apartment has been sitting empty for the past 5 months and it was just a money drain, so now we fell much better all will be solved! To be honest i didn’t expect it took so long to sell due to the prime location, maximum 3 months… But i guess the market is slowing down?


Now, lets drill the numbers! The progress is not so great this month due to a trip i had to do for work (~1.5k). Usually i’m able to get the money from the company and i don’t have to advance our own money. In this case since the trip was booked with some time in advance, well…its just how it is. Values will be settled with next months pay. Our Networth value for September is 386 443.13€ (+1 037.56)

Hightights of September:

  • Advancement on the rental property – 40k – of which we used ~10k to pay half of the mediation fee. We will be paying the other 10k once we sign the contract. This anyhow means i’ve taken ~30k from the apartments value to not inflate our Networths value.
  • Finally i was able to move my pension fund to my current employers fund. For the past 5 years i’ve known nothing about this value. Zero transparency. I’m now able to see how this value is progressing.
  • Cash that was in another broker was finally brought together in Degiro and almost all invested today!
  • Not so usual expense. Had a 4 day trip for work to Germany which was booked last month. This means i will be reimbursed on next pays (~1.5k). Otherwise our Networth would be bigger this month!


Investment accounts

  • ETFs Portfolio: 22 725.41 € (+354.27)
  • Retirement Accounts (aka PPR): 13 501.95 € (+700.66)
  • Certificates Deposit + Emergency Fund: 38 699.90 € (+29 870.70)
  • P2P Portfolio: 10 385.47 € (+104.52)
  • Total Investment accounts: 85 312.73 € (+31 030.15)

Real Estate (Based on Market Values)

  • Primary Residency: 300 000 €
  • Rental property: 254 378.75 € – removed the signal 30k here (– 30 621.25)
  • Farms: 70 000 €
  • Total Real Estate: 655 000€ (-30 621.25)


  • Mr.Firecracker Car: 20 000 €
  • Mrs.Firecracker Car: 18 000 €
  • Scooter: 1 500 €
  • Total Cars: 39 500€

Total Assets: 749 191.48 € (+408.90)


  • Primary Residency: 194 296.35 € (-333.91)
  • Rental property + Farm: 168 452.00 € – Both are comprised on the same loan (-294.75)

Total Liabilities: 362 748.35 € (-628.66)

Our Networth drilldown looks like this:

Firecrackers Networth

You can follow our Networth status always here


Retire in Portugal

Lets start with the major assumption! We will Retire in Portugal! Therefore, i believe you guessed the theme of the post!

I will start by quoting a fellow FIRE living in Portugal, Mr Obvious Investor that with his post shared several of the living costs in Portugal. I would like to make a few comparisons about our current budgeted living costs and the ones explained.

Remember my post about milestones and goals? I have refered that currently our budget is around 2k monthly even tough we believe once we reach FI we would be able to achieve 1.6k monthly. Below is the drill-down:

Scenario 1 (Current 2k monthly expenses) – Retire in Portugal

For this one to be more realistic, i’ve removed the Rental apartment costs since this is something – as i have explained in this months update here – that will be removed as a cost. A drill-down into the categories and budget.

Housing €        599.81
Energy €          60.00
Telecoms €          67.39
Water €          20.00
Grosseries €        200.00
Auto Insurance €        129.55
Auto Maintenance €          58.74
Auto Gas €        240.00
Parking €          55.00
Professional expenses €          16.50
Hobbies €          40.00
Clothing €        100.00
Health €        122.00
Eating Out €        200.00
Others €        113.59
Total €     2,022.58

As you can see we have some costs which can be related to not yet achieving FI like maintenance, gas and insurance with 2 cars. This would be the cost of living for a family of 2, no Kids and living in Lisbon city center (owning the place, not renting). We also have a generous buffer for health costs which can be mostly free in Portugal.

Scenario 2 (Future – FI – 1.6 monthly expenses) Retire in Portugal

For this scenario i’ve made a few adjustments like reducing almost to 0€ the housing costs. We have to still pay IMI which is a tax to the municipality. I’ve considered the scenario that we move to our farm which is located ~55 minutes driving from Lisbon which is paid in full.

I’ve also reduced Auto insurance, maintenance and gas to half since i do not expect we need more than 1 car once we reach FI. This can be a challenge since me and Mrs.Firecracker are used to move independently. I’ve maintained all other values. Values are the following:

Housing €       50.00
Energy €       60.00
Telecoms €       67.39
Water €       20.00
Grosseries €     200.00
Auto Insurance €       64.78
Auto Maintenance €       29.37
Auto Gas €     120.00
Parking €       15.00
Professional expenses €       16.50
Hobbies €       40.00
Clothing €     100.00
Health €     122.00
Eating Out €     200.00
Others €     113.59
Total €  1,218.63

Whooaa. Values are even lower than 1.6k ! This is good news right? But is it doable?


Do you think its doable to live outside of Lisbon with housing payed in full for the cost of 1.2k monthly (14.6k yearly)? Well, lets even assume 1.6k (19.2k yearly).

I’ve seen many people pointing to their FI goal in Portugal to be around 1M or even 1.2M . Are they considering an extra Ferrari? Im really wondering how they come up with this values and would be interested in your opinion fellow reader.

And with Kids ? How much do you think i would need to add to our budget? Would the buffer of ~400€ monthly be enought?

Summing up, those would be our values for retire in Portugal. Scenario 1 would be applicable to our current spending living in Lisbon and Scenario 2 to living in our Farm outside of Lisbon.


Networth Update – 08/2019 (August)

This is first update on our Networth! We saw some adjustments putting together Mr.Firecracker and Mrs.Firecracker assets which meant a lot of time spent around excel sheets and whatsoever.

The progress is clearly positive and this will set the baseline for our goals. As of August 2019 our Networth value is 385 405.57€


Unfortunetly i cannot really compare this to the previous months since we got up a significant value due to adding Mrs.Firecracker Apartment, car and other invesments to the list.


Investment accounts

  • ETFs Portfolio: 22 371.14 €
  • Retirement Accounts (aka PPR): 12 801.29 €
  • Certificates Deposit + Emergency Fund: 8 066.14 €
  • P2P Portfolio: 10 280.95 €
  • Total Investment accounts: 53 210.42€

Real Estate (Based on Market Values)

  • Primary Residency: 300 000 €
  • Rental property: 285 000 € (i got an offer for 305k which means 285k will be for us)
  • Farms: 70 000 €
  • Total Real Estate: 655 000€


  • Mr.Firecracker Car: 20 000 €
  • Mrs.Firecracker Car: 18 000 €
  • Scooter: 1 500 €
  • Total Cars: 39 500€

Total Assets: 748 782.58 €


  • Primary Residency: 194 630.26 €
  • Rental property + Farm: 168 746.75 € (Both are comprised on the same loan)

Total Liabilities: 363 377.01 €

How Networth drilldown looks like this:

Networth Portfolio
Firecrackers Networth

A few disclaimers:

  • We will need at somepoint to exclude a primary residency for the achievable goal. We want that our primary residency will be the farm which current has 2 houses but those need some repairs ~10k.
  • I will be selling the rental apartment soon. The value was marketed too high at 325k and i’ve now lowered it to 315k. I believe i will be able to sell if for 310k 305k which means 290k 285k net (less realtor comission). The purpose is to take advantage of the high market in Lisbon city center and sell high.
  • We currently need to have 2 cars 🙁
  • We will be shifting more towards our ETF portfolio from now on. This is where we want to have a big stake.

You can follow our Networth status always here

Monthly Update – 08-2019 (August)

Ahhh…Portugal in August!

What you think it will be:

Empty Beach

What it actually is:

Crowded Beach

Just kidding.There are still a lot of secret and nice spots around. You just need some research and how to avoid the turist mob.

In August, Lisbon is pretty much awesome. Literally the city goes into ghost town mode. Every Lisboeta (Word for people from Lisbon) goes to the Algarve or abroad which means less traffic to work, less people on queues, generally less people. This is a huge bonus for me as my patience for masses of people dimishes as my age increases. Go figure, right?

We just came back from our honeymoon so this was a light month in terms of spending. Hopefuly this will set the trend for the future!

We also merged several accounts (which can be a pain..) so this process is still ongoing.

I had a few non-programmed health spending taking advantage of an empty Lisbon in August and also less stress at work. This meant body checks, dentist, etc. This is something i would like to pay closer attention in the meantime. Better do it while young!

We also had a wedding in the south side of Rio Tejo which was pretty nice and which obviously meant an expense of around 140€.

We went also a few times for dinner as usual but we are trying to reduce to 1 time per week now. Lets see if we can!

Ah! We did an investment. We found a promotion to buy Zomato Gold which is a discount for restaurants and drinks on which we spent for a whole year 25€. This allows us to get the second most expensive plate for free if the restaurante is on the network. Luckily several restaurants we like or some new are there.

Considering we spend an average of 40€ on a dinner. This means we can lower our eating out to an average of circa 30€. We went out last time to an indian restaurant and saved 12€. 😀


In case you want to join. Use my referal code. MIGU3266 . This will give you a 50% discount signing up but also give me 3 months extra. Win-win right? I believe this is only available in Portugal and in essence Zomato e something like TripAdvisor or TimeOut.

Here goes our August monthly update ! We will be focusing on the operational part. Income vs Expenses vs Savings rate.


Salaries: 3 405.96 €



  • Mortgages: 1 046.14 €
  • Insurance, Condominium, etc: 49.74 €
  • Utilities (Water, Lights, Gas, Internet, Phones): 146.10 € (He still had Netflix this month but we will be cancelling). Our energy provider also decided to bill us in the same month for something that would be laying in September (Great GALP..)
  • Other Housing expenses: 37.97€
  • Total Housing: 1 279.95 €


  • Fuel: 201.81 €
  • Maintenance: 65.41€ (This value is not spent but goes to another account. We do it yearly and this allows us to put is aside already)
  • Insurances: 129.55 € (Same here)
  • Transportation (parking, tolls): 44.05 €
  • Total Cars: 440.82 €

Health & Personal items

  • Consultations & Exams: 339.61 € (This month this value was crazy high..i found out i need to remove a tooth)
  • Hair: 17 €
  • Total Health: 356.61 €


  • Grosseries: 131.96 €
  • Eating-out: 293.15 €
  • Total Food: 425.11


  • Wedding: 140 €
  • Rest: 91.45 € (Apple Music, Gifts ,etc)
  • Total Misc: 231.45 €

Total Spent: 2 733.94 €
Budget for the Month: 2 638.65 €

Savings Rate

SR = ((Income – Expenses) / Income ) x 100 = ((3 405.96 – 2 733.94) / 3 405.96 ) x 100 = 19.73 % or 672 €

We were a bit over budget for expenses but the value is still too high. This is something we are confident we could decrease to around 1 600 € monthly when we come closer to FI. See here why.

Unfortunetly our rental property still draws us around ~700€ every month (morgage, insurances, energy, gas). This didnt matter when we had it rented out but for the past 5 months it has been sitting around empty. Luckily i’m positive we will sell it very soon.

Fun moments

Last but not least! I had for the first time this year some delicious Caracóis (Snails). They are a delicacy best served with some toasted bread and a cold beer. Ahhh.. and this is all you could ask for !

Come here snails!