Category Archives: General Ideas

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 🙂

Goals 2020!

Ahhh! Making goals only in february seems like slacking right? Right…

Let me explain here some of our 2020 goals and how did they go in 2019.


Savings rate at 30%

In 2019 we achieved 24% savings rate. Summing all our income recorded (since August) and subtracting all our expenses we got ~5k saved for 5 months. This accounts for an average of saving 1k per month.

We think we can do better!

For 2020 we would like that this value increases to 1.4k per month in average. For the sake of simplification i’ve assumed we maintained the same income and saving 1.4k would mean 30% savings rate. This is a percentage we feel confortable with.

Increase networth in 10%

In 2019 our Networth increased 114% (+ 211 679,78 €) which was a huge bump. The reason for this was we got married and joined our assets.

I’ve been tracking my Networh individually since 2011 and as you can see there as been a nice rise! I’ve been tracking this since i was 23 years old and started working full-time 2 years before (in 2011). The increase either means i was very poor at the time or i’ve been saving and investing properly. My wage also grew dramatically (thankfully!) over this years.

To be honest i think i already had a good headstart since i dont know much 23 years old Portuguese with a Networth of 19k. And i had alredy bought my car which i valued at ~14k. Meaning when i was 23Y i had ~5k in liquid assets. Yay!

Coming back to topic….

Using currently our forescast for growth i would expect a rise in our networth of ~5%, this would mean 22k. To achieve this value i would use the % i expect our ETF portfolio to grow, what we would save yearly, what P2P returns would be, etc.

Nonetheless, i believe we could go to a higher number of around 39k growth, meaning 10% increase. (+39k).

Starting a company and having revenue of at least 10k

I’m currently in 2 partnerships, one of them already started last year which i will be formalizing soon by creating a company with a business partner. I’m quite confident we would be able to generate significant influx from this endeavor (>50k) at least. Nonetheless, lets be conservative. It’s my first company and i would like to have some activity at least.

Find a new property to invest (Optional)

I’m not making a hard deadline for this. We have still+3Y to invest the proceedings from our apartment sale and if the market doesnt retract soon we are willing to wait more time.


Remodel the farm houses

In 2020 we would like to remodel and have usable our 2 farm houses. Or at least one of them so that we can finally start making use of our farm.

Maintenance primary house

Currently we have several things still to be done on the building we have our primary residence. This involves some work on the roof of the building (on going) but also other things like starting repairments on the facade. We live in a 1900’s building with 2 more tenants and every step takes a toon of time and effort. Making budgets for repairments, sending it to companies that execute this work, having them either not replying or coming and never sending a budget (yes, this happens in Portugal! Angry face).

If i could sum-up our objectives for 2020 it would be having the lateral facade repaired.

Goals (update) – Savings Rate

This week i will be talking about another important step to define in order to reach FI in our Goals – Savings Rate!

So, last time i’ve written about defining our anual / monthly expenses. This is something we will be sharing more with you. It takes consistency and its something we already have to do. So why not share it with you? Missed the post? Check it here.

Step 2 – Defining a Safe Withdrawal Rate

Defining a safe withdrawal rate will in the end determine the amount of money you need to have with a ponderation of different scenarios like inflation, return on your investments., etc.

Currently several studies point to a SWR of 4% in case you will need to withdraw money for the next 30 years. See the trinity study here. There are also very nice explanations for other FIRE enthusiasts like Mad Fientist which gives you a more detailed view on how you should define your own SWR – check here – you can even test it and see how this will determine your speed to FI.

In order to calculate our time to FI we need to have:

Networth – What is the value of our Assets – Liabilities. This is where we are.

Monthly Expenses – How much do we spend per month. (ie – 1.600€). This is how much we need.

Savings Rate – How much are we saving per month (Income – Expenses). – Lets assume 1.200€, thats the value we will be getting in the next few months. This is how fast we are getting there.

Growth rate – How much (in %) do we expect our portfolio / investments will grow. Here i will assume 7% – if its great better! This also how fast we are getting there.

The 4% rule could be easily translated into multiplying your currently yearly expenses by 25 – check here on the Fire Movement wiki. Meaning the bigger our savings (& savings rate) are the faster we can get closer to this number.

Using the logic above, if we assume the 1 600€ monthly that we predicted. This would turn to 19 200€ yearly, which x25 will be 480 000€.

This is the first goal to achieve! And this is why you will see it on the banner on the right side of the blog!

You can also make a few dry-runs and use the FIRECalc to try for yourself.

In our case, here it is:

  • Spending: 19 200€
  • Portfolio value: 480 000€
  • Years: 30 – Why 30? well i’m currently 31. Assuming we hit FI when i’m 35 it means i would need to live off my accounts until i’m 65 when my state pension will kick in.
FIRECalc looked at the 119 possible 30 year periods in the available data, starting with a portfolio of $480,000 and spending your specified amounts each year thereafter.

Here is how your portfolio would have fared in each of the 119 cycles. The lowest and highest portfolio balance at the end of your retirement was $480,000 to $4,570,781, with an average at the end of $2,465,149. (Note: this is looking at all the possible periods; values are in terms of the dollars as of the beginning of the retirement period for each cycle.)

For our purposes, failure means the portfolio was depleted before the end of the 30 years. FIRECalc found that 0 cycles failed, for a success rate of 100.0%.
How our portfolio would play out. In 119 cycles we would get 0% failures. Pretty cool, right?

How to interpret would be to verify when any of the lines crosses the zero X axis. And in this case, it was 0 !

Now, assuming we cannot lower our monthly expenses to 1 600€, we also have the other scenario which is closer to our actual spending (we have an empty rental currently which means ~500€ pending in our necks) of 2 000€, this means:

First Milestone – 480 000€ for 1 600€;

Second Milestone – 600 000€ for 2 000€;

I will be tracking our progress towards the first milestone for now!

Since I’m all about teaching people how to fish, here are some of the resources i searched for this article: