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 🙂

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