Tag Archives: Personal finance

Neuschwanstein-castle

Monthly Update – 10-2019 (October)

October was quite a busy month. Sorry for the late posting but work has been quite hectic.

This month i was again for a full week working in Munich the good thing was that Mrs.Firecracker joined me in the middle of the working week. We used a voucher she had from TAP (The trip ended up only costing 100€ back and forth) and she stayed with me, thus no Hotel costs until we actually started our vacation.

We stayed in the Bavaria region, went all the way until Bayreuth (Wagners town), Nuremberg and then using the Romantische Strasse road which goes all the way south through some really nice medieval villages up to the Neuschwanstein castle next to the Austrian border!

Neuschwanstein-castle

Germany was quite lovely in this time of the year. We used afterwords the Alpen road to drive until Salzburg. It was a different Halloween i would say. The black forest can get really foggy.

As any other vacation this also had a cost in our budget (~900€) but luckily we saved quite a bit with the voucher. On the side of the extra expenses we had 440€ for roof repairs in the building we live in. The roof is in very poor conditions and the guy doing the repairs is on a trial since if this goes well he will be also doing the facade of the building.

I don’t know if i mentioned this but our facade is in poor condition and currently almost feels like we are going to have a hole in our wall everytime it rains. Lets hope he can start the work asap and solve this. Construction labor is rea lly lacking in Lisbon right now. Work ethics is bad, they dont return phone calls, when they do they will anwser they are busy and that YOU should try to get in contact in them maybe in a couple of weeks.

But enought with the talking, lets go to the numbers, here goes our October monthly update ! We will be focusing on the operational part. Income vs Expenses vs Savings rate.

Income

Salaries: 3 733.84 €

Expenses

Housing

  • Mortgages: 1 101.26 €
  • Insurance, Condominium, etc: 49.74 €
  • Utilities (Water, Lights, Gas, Internet, Phones): 122.07 €
  • Total Housing: 1 273.07 €

Cars

  • Fuel: 57.39 € (No need to use car when i’m travelling 🙂 )
  • Maintenance: 55.41€
  • Insurances: 129.55 €
  • Transportation (parking, tolls): 30.90 €
  • Total Cars: 273.25 €

Health & Personal items

  • Consultations & Exams: -18.96 € (Reimbursement of last months expenses and other normal expenses for this month)
  • Clothing: 12 € (i’ve bought several shirts for work and we had a wedding)
  • Total Health: -6.96 €

Food

  • Grosseries: 272.52 €
  • Eating-out: 294.70 € (Damn..still over our 200€ budget)
  • Total Food: 567.22

Misc

  • Home repairs: 440 €
  • Vacation: 965.84 €
  • Others: 9.20 €
  • Total Misc: 1426.03 €

Total Spent: 3549.11 €
Budget for the Month: 2 685.78 €

Savings Rate

SR = ((Income – Expenses) / Income ) x 100 = ((3 733.84 – 3 549.11) / 3 733.84 ) x 100 = 0.05 % or 184.73 €

Our Networth still keeps on growing (you will be able to check on my next post) but we are still quite a bit above our monthly budget.

Next Steps

We will sign the final contract to sell our Rental property. Only Vodafone remains to be cancelled. This will be another fight. Lets see. Some expenses my occurs from this.

Hopefully we will get all the renovations needed in our building and also our apartment.

Want to see how our Networth is going? Check here

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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.

Income

Salaries: 3 521.02 €

Expenses

Housing

  • 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 €

Cars

  • 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 €

Food

  • 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

Misc

  • 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

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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€. 😀

Zomato

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.

Income

Salaries: 3 405.96 €

Expenses

Housing

  • 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 €

Cars

  • 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 €

Food

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

Misc

  • 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 !

Caracois
Come here snails!
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ETF Portfolio

ETF Portfolio – Baseline!

This was a month of restructuring our ETF Portfolio. Firstly i’ve shown you how our P2P Portfolio looks like, but this is not all. In fact our “Big” stategy relies on our ETF Portfolio baseline. Currently with some funds still on the way and starting to build up our position using the broker DeGiro.

Degiro Broker

This means only a part of our funds are invested. Namely 12 872.67€ with the rest 9 498.47€ either in transit or in cash.

This means a total of 22 371.14€ – for August in our ETF Portfolio baseline. Yay. I will be posting here the progress.

ETF Portfolio
Firecrackers ETF Portfolio

The main objective will be to follow the Passive investments of our friends Bogleheads with an european adaptation (Thanks PRIIPS!).

The ETF Portfolio baseline should look like this soon:

Description% AllocationTicker
Long bond5.00%CBU7
Short bond15.00%TIPS
Commodity5.00%COMF
Gold10.00%AUCO
SP5007.50%CSPX
Small-Cap15.00%IMAE
Europe10.00%SXRG
REIT10.00%EPRU
Pacific10.00%CPXJ
Emerging12.50%IEMA

Most of the ETFs are located in the Amesterdam Euronext market in order to lower costs. Unfortunetly Small-caps US had to be bought in the German (XETRA) due to unavailability on the MSCI Ishares Small-caps there.

I will be defining why we chose this strategy and why each particular allocation and also what could be the comparable ETFs but i will leave this for anothe time!

The positions have been opened on the 19th August and currently we are 83.25 € up. Im not worried. We are in this for the long run and this was expected this the markets are in all time highs.

A great website you could use to check our some European ETFs is JustETF, luckily is one of the few that lets you check those ETFs in many of the European stock exchanges.

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P2P Portfolio

P2P Portfolio – Baseline!

After our last post on Savings Rate, we would like to set the baseline for our P2P portfolio. As of this month the total value is 10 298.61€. Currently spread between two platforms.

The percentage is the return to date of each investment. We did an increase in our investments in P2P to circa 20% of our portfolio and therefore the interest should start to kick in next month (September).

For the sake of simplicity we have invested 5k in each platform as the principal which means the rest has been interests so far.

This month we increased the investments here from 1.5k in Mintos to 5k and from 1k in Robo.cash to 5k. I’ve been happy with the output so far so we shouldnt be changing much for the time being.

Mintos

Mintos Platform

Mintos released this month a huge list of 16% loans which i was able to catch some 🙂 Issue? They were only for 30d..this has of course meant i had to keep an eye on the platform to make sure i put my money running once the loans are finished and the principal received.

Current Mintos Portfolio

In case you would like to invest in Mintos you can get some bonus percentage (up to 1% more) additional if you do it via a referral link. Why not mine? here

Robo.cash

RoboCash Platform

Similar to Mintos platform we have Robo.cash. Here is a bit simpler. We dont select the investment as the platform does this for us. Its easy and the pay-out has been around 12% so far. Not bad!

Want to learn more about P2P?

For some reviews about P2P you can check the review by The Poor Swiss here and by The obvious investor here

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