Goals 2021!

So it appears that this became the norm and i’m doing the goals for 2021 also in February like last year.

For this year there is a scenario which will have a big play in our personal finances. We would like to start the renovation on the rental property in March and hopefully they will last until October (8 months). The goal would be that on my November update i would be talking about the new tenants now living there 🙂

How will this impact our goal setting? Lets see.


Savings rate at 18%

Last year we had 31% savings rate, slightly above our target of 30%. As i previously mentioned this year we expect to save ~500€ monthly. This would account for ~18% which is a target we are confortable on achieving. I’m also counting on our savings to go back to old values in November and December once the rental pays for itself.

Rental Units

After a few changes the plan will be to have 3x1B and a 4B duplex. Plan is to have it ready to be rented in the end of October. If earlier, better!

Increase networth in 10%

If things go as planned there is a significant equity gain from the renovation. After renovations the bank is calculating the rental building to be worth 585k. Well..after some easy search nearby we can quickly find out that market value is at least 700k. If we add the rental valuation method for a 5% cap rate (on that area, Lisbon is between 4%-6%) income of 3k monthly (36k anual) we would have 720k.

After some calculations i got to the number of 34% networth increase. Nonetheless, i want to be conservative so i will maintain the 10% increase. Which is already an awesome number.

Starting a company and having revenue of at least 10k

Here i will be keeping the same goal. I was able to achieve 34% of this goal last year and i will try my best to achieve the 10k mark. Time will tell if i’m succesfull. It won’t be for the lack of trying!


Remodel the farm houses

Even if its not a full revamp (that would cost ~80k) i would at least want to have there running water and electricity.

Finalize maintenance on the building we currently live

Our current place needs some maintenance namely the facade (which already started). I’m going to leave this objective here as well.

Create network of real estate professionals

Something i noticed while doing this investment is that i have an almost non-existent network of real estate professionals. That worked fine for buying but not for a big Reno like the one we are currently. This means i want to get at least the following good contacts:

  • Real estate investors (2)
  • Property managers (1)
  • Architects (2)
  • “Do-it-all” (2)
  • Eletrical
  • Water
  • Plumber
  • Specialties (eg. Water, HAVAC, Eletrical, etc) (1)

Those are not written in stone but as you can see i want to increase my network dramatically since i think i will need those professionals for this or next deals.

Networth Update – 01/2021 (January)

Welcome to the first Networth update of 2021, January! I know i’m still slacking on my 2021 goals but they have been hard to pin-point with some uncertainty we have currently going on. Mostly the real estate invesment.


Now imagine. On the other side. Me working all day…for 3-4 months. 🙂

The good news is that one of our 2020 Goals was/is being accomplished as we speak. Late December we finally got the permit accepted from the municipality and the construction company came last week to put the protection around the building.

In order to proceed we needed to pitch in for our part which was ~2.9k thus killing our savings rate this month. Otherwise we would have saved ~23% of our income.

I’ve also removed the P2P monethera entry from our network. The website is down and altough i’ve joined the telegram group i dont wish to spend my energy getting my hopes up about receiving any of this money…

How about the rest?

Portugal is now one of the worst countries in the world managing the pandemic with the biggest new daily infections per 100k habitants. We are having a number between 10k-15k on a daily basis with >200 people passing away every day. Our numbers of critical care patients (UCI) is now >800 which makes a lot of pressure in our national health system. Adding to this even with the number of vaccines being distributed in a good pace we got several cases of pety corruption with people bypassing vaccination priorities (eg. the husband of the secretary of a hospital manager). This causes social unrest as it could be imagined.

Trying to contain those numbers, the government put us in a more strick lockdown. Restaurants are closed, going outside only for small walks (when the weather allows), no crossing between municipalities on weekends (etc). For us this meant less spending with eating out.

Reno Updates

General updates:

1- Construction: Contractor gave notice that the designs would greatly go over the 150k mark so i’ve asked the architects to review the plan and put it in a minimalistic version. The idea for lowering the floor on the attic to have a 1 bedroom has been cancelled we will transform the ground floor 2B into a 4B duplex taking advantage of the stairs already next to it. Most of the changes will now be cosmetic and wont change the layout of the building.

2- Tax gains “Mais-valias”: There are several options on how the IRS will see this. Good news is that we now have someone knowledgeable on the topic. The advice was to wait for the IRS delivery happening in March to see what is the best course of action. Most likely this will generate an alert and we will have to clarify the tipic

There are some doubts on how to consider what was invested from our side and if that is applicable to the whole building. In the best scenario we will be taxed extra with 1.3k (great!) and in the worst with 34k (not good…).

Savings Rate

As previously stated, this month we had to chip in for the building facade renovations eating away our savings.

December Summary:

1) Changes : received a 66€ refund from medical expenses. We bought some gifts for babies of our friends and we only managed to give them in january.

2) Projects: Received 2k from an invoice from September. I will have some expenses with this so i’m antecipating my net return to be 400 € on this one. I’ve made a post just on my entrepreneurship journey – here.

Now, coming to our monthly networth…


Our Networth value for January is 450 527.48€ (-6 060.13)


Investment accounts

  • ETFs Portfolio: 31 211.21 € (+895.27)
  • Retirement Accounts (aka PPR): 16 883.90 € (-77.13)
  • Certificates Deposit + Emergency Fund: 50 007.56 € (– 2 591.72
  • P2P Portfolio: 2 467.71 € ( – 5 079.28 )
  • Total Investment accounts: 100 570.38 € ( -6 852.86)

Real Estate (Based on Market Values)

  • Primary Residency: 300 000 €
  • Farms: 70 000 €
  • Rental House: 414.500
  • Total Real Estate: 784 500€


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

Total Assets: 924 570.38 € (-6 852.86)


  • Primary Residency: 188 814.00 € (-349.60)
  • Rental House: 285 228.90 ( -443.13)

Our Networth drilldown looks like this:

You can follow our Networth status always here

Goals 2020 – conclusions – Part 3 Company

On my last posts i’ve started to analyse our 2020 goals and how did they went. I’ve started with the savings rate goal of 30% – we did 31% – followed by a networth increase of 10% – we did 15% – and today i’m going to focus on my entrepreneurship journey.

Back in February 2020 i did a post mentioning our 2020 goals and they could sum up to the following:


  • Savings rate at 30% – done (31%)
  • Increase networth in 10%done (15%)
  • Starting a company and having revenue of at least 10k – 34% (3400 / 10.000) – not done
  • Find a new property to invest (Optional) done


  • Remodel the farm houses – we just had a small budget for some minor renovations in order for the main house to be usable. – not done
  • Maintenance primary house – not done

My entrepreneurship journey:

In the beginning of 2020 i had a goal of starting my own company and having a revenue of at least 10k. I’ve started with 2 business ventures. One was to do IT consulting that could afterwords even become my full-time job and the other was to use the company my partner already had to sell an additional training product.

Trough the year i’ve tried many different things which resulted in the following:

  • New IT Training venture – Failed
  • IT Consulting – on going
  • eHealth SW for doctors – Failed
  • Selling of software licenses – Failed
  • Bringing an energy company to PT and selling market analysis – Failed
  • Developed a solution for ehealth with integrated micro-services – Failed
  • IT Consulting partnering with a Marketing agency – Failed
  • IT Patent predictive analystics software – Failed
  • IoT Domotics project – on going
  • IT Lecturing – done

There were different reasons for each failure and i’ve indeed learned a lot while doing this journey. This was all on top of my regular job and even if some of them required more attention, dedication or lasted longer they were all a journey.

As you can see one of them still keep going and this is the one with a bigger chance of resulting into a permanent consulting contract or another solution.

The other one IoT Domotics project is something i wont be spending more time and i expect to be implemented mid of 2021 therefore I havent received payment yet. Only once it starts.


There are several lessons i can take from this years entrepreneurial journey.
  • Verify who you partner with – make sure that your partner is someone able to execute and has the same standards for quality, vision, etc that i have. Leadership matters and also organization. If the partner(s) is not commited then it would be easier for me to overcommit (since i’ve self-motived by nature) and then have the expection to get some return.
  • Fail fast – do the minimum for a PoC and show the concept. if it doesnt fly i wont invest more time or effort into it.
  • Manage expectations – Company cycles are very slow specially Portuguese companies. They tend to pass multiple layers of decision and even once all seems to be decided and to move forward, they can crash.
  • How a small company operates from a tax perspective – major learnings into the in-and-outs of running a small company and how to set it up.
  • How much to charge for my services, my partner value (what i bring to the table) and to negotiate that into a partnership, how to calculate a DCF and pitch to a VC.


I’ve managed to hit 34% of my goal (3.400 / 10.000) that came from:

  • IT Consulting – 2.000 €
  • eHealth SW for doctors – 200 €
  • IT Consulting partnering with a Marketing agency – 200 €
  • IT Lecturing – 1.000 €

To the revenue if i exclude expenses that i had to execute the projects this would bring the value down to 2.500 €. Here i would need to pay taxes and include this income into my anual taxes.

For 2021 i would like to hit that mark excluding the rental income coming from the property.

For confidentialy reasons i’m not disclosing too much details on the projects but i do think they can be understood. If this is not the case, please shout out!

Goals 2020 – conclusions – Part 2 Networth

On my last post i’ve started to analyse our 2020 goals and how did they went. I’ve started with the savings rate goal of 30% that we had and that we have hit the 31% mark.

Back in February i did a post mentioning our 2020 goals and they could sum up to the following:


  • Savings rate at 30% – done (31%)
  • Increase networth in 10%done (15%)
  • Starting a company and having revenue of at least 10k – 0€ in 2019, company not started
  • Find a new property to invest (Optional)done


  • Remodel the farm houses – we just had a small budget for some minor renovations in order for the main house to be usable. – not done
  • Maintenance primary house – not done

Focusing on networth + new property:

We have ended 2019 with a networth of 396 667,95 €. Even with solid 2 digit growths without any significant change i did some calculations:

  • Cash: Assuming a saving of 1.4k monthly which would mean ~30% savings rate. In line with our prior post and estimation.
  • Portfolio: 5% increase
  • P2P: 10% increase
  • PPR: 35% increase – due to mostly contributions i do every month plus my employeer matching.

So, back in February when i did the post what i considered was a 22k increase which would mean circa +5% and the following:

First Estimation

Since that seemed like a low number i decided to put our objective in 10%, or +39k with a total of 435k to challenge us to find creative ways to increase our networth just more than our monthly savings.

Than we had covid and our Portfolio took a hit of almost -7% in February and -5% in March.

You see 2 entries for 2020-03 since we’ve invested 5k on the 12th

This meant a stable and slightly decreased networth up to March. Since March, well…everything started to improve.

Our investment in the portfolio paid off and not only this we recover what we have lost but we managed to get a ROI of 7,5% and IRR of 6,5% (discounting the 5k invested in March) from our ending value of 2019.

Networth moments of the year:

What a ride!

Starting in April, adding to almost 600 € less expenses in that month we managed to save ~2k and our portfolio started going up resulting in 5k networth gain that month.

In June we got our 13th month payment (vacation) together with our tax refund and a portfolio +1k bump.

In September (winner) we managed to find a rental building for 355k – below market value of which the bank valued it at 414,5k. Excluding the aquisition costs ~19k we ended up increasing out networth by 37k. You can see more details here.

October we had some extraordinary expenses – arquitects and gardner to clean the new aquired property.

In November we got our 14th month payment (Christmas) of which we managed to save a huge chunk of it together with a portfolio +1k bump.

To end nicely in December i’ve gotten my anual company bonus which gave us another 2.6k bump.


Our networth managed to increase by 15%, bigger than the 10% projected for 2020 and it keeps growing! I wonder if for 2021 we will be able to go double digits again.

Keeping track since 2011.

Goals 2020 – conclusions – Part 1 Savings rate

As i mentioned in my last post I would do a 2020 analysis and how our targets met our expectations when 2020 started, similar to what i did last year.

Back in February i did a post mentioning our 2020 goals and they could sum up to the following:


  • Savings rate at 30% – was 24% in 2019
  • Increase networth in 10% – we had increased 114% in 2019 due to our marriage
  • Starting a company and having revenue of at least 10k – 0€ in 2019, company not started
  • Find a new property to invest (Optional) – had nothing in sight just an idea of what could be an interesting investment


  • Remodel the farm houses – we just had a small budget for some minor renovations in order for the main house to be usable.
  • Maintenance primary house

Lets go point by point:

Savings rate at 30%

For the sake of transparency i will be sharing our monthly expeditures within several categories and also our income. Be aware that i’m not including any investment gains since those are evaluated on the networth part (next item).

First thing to notice is our savings rate (1- (38047.15 / 55 368.02)) of 31%. Slightly above our target. 🙂

Expenses analysis

Lets drill down into the major categories.


Prior to buying our investment property our mortgage costs represented ~18% of our yearly expenses which is a good number and If we consider our income it would mean less, ~12%. This number will increase next year due to the simple fact that we have a renovation going on and we will use the line of credit forecasted which will mean more expenses and…of course, also adding to the income side.


Second biggest expense we had this year was vacations. This year they didnt mean any fancy trip somewhere (we did go to Ireland for 2 weeks in February) but doing vacations in Portugal can still cost a big amount. We budgeted for 6k but ended but spending 5k. Next year i dont think we will spend this much again..

Food (Supermarket & Restaurants)

Third biggest expense is food related. Between restaurants and supermarket we spent almost 19% on both or an average of 580 € monthly. On the restaurant part we usually go out about 4 times per week (16 times per month) but since we are staying home more this means lunches, dinners, coffee with friends, etc. This is also related with Mrs.Firecracker going out with her friends and vice-versa which is also mentaly healthly for both of us. Oh and since sushi is not getting any cheaper ~50 € per meal we are going there about once per month.

Good extras this year

Car Insurance – We renegotiated one of our car insurance saving ~40€ per month. This is something similar to life or property insurance which you should keep an eye. Contas Poupança, a blog from a famous news reporter had the most views last year with his article on “saving on your auto insurance”. Check it out here (PT only).

Telecom – Even though i have sold the rental apartment back in 2019 our telecom contract there was valid until June which meant paying for something that we couldnt use..this is a very stupid rule. The only cenario they consider enabling you to cancel the contract is if you go abroad. So, I’ve made a report on the regulatory entity which resulted in nothing but i guess they are to busy doing…erhm…stuff.

Funny part is that in our primary residence (where we use cable as well) we have the same provider so we couldnt transfer the contract. Conclusion, this meant a saving of 30€ per month after June and a slight increase in October with +5 € since we subscribed HBO.

Crazy expenses i wouldnt notice if i didnt do this post

We spent 570 € in tolls and parking meters! This is mostly for tools since our parents live on the south side of Lisbon and for crossing back to Lisbon we need to pay 1.65 €.

25 Abril bridge.

Btw, the bridge was built in 1966 and the toll was introduced to pay for its building and maintenance. Starting in 1995 and finalizing in 2000 when the governments (more than one) decided to build the new bridge “Ponte Vasco da Gama” they accepted a heavy investment from the then company running the toll system “Lusoponte”, adding to the nice shady deals of the 90’s you end up with a toll system that goes 100% into a private company and the state needing to pay for the maintenance of the bridge. 2y ago this was about 20M….Unfortunetly only in Portuguese but you can translate the following article in case you are interested.

Everytime we also travelled during our vacation, tolls is something you can find (very often!!) in Portugal, specially in the north. Here is a nice post explaining how our toll system works.

That was a lot!

Woah ! I didnt expect to write so much about our living expenses but i guess its a good exercise to analyse them and try to see where we could improve! Anything in particular that you are doing differently ? Or that we could improve? Let us know 🙂