My Financial Independence Journey: Monthly Update #6 (June 2017)

Early retirement and financial independence

Hello Frengers,

I hope you have all had a great May and start on June! I have been super busy, and you have probably noticed that the activity on the blog has suffered slightly because of that. Not only has the blog suffered, but my monthly savings rate is a disaster for the second month in a row!

I am sure that the last two months are not the new normal, but it is still painful to see red green numbers everywhere in my budget.

What happened in May?

In May, I travelled to three countries for weddings and holidays – and even though I tried to keep costs down, traveling is just crazy expensive. This amounted to the majority of my costs for the month, and I had a great time being abroad, but I need to get back in the FIRE game and watch my money more closely.

My disastrous savings rate for the month was 6% – even lower than April’s historic low of 8%.

I did not manage to fulfill my three targets from last month regarding:

  • Write an article once a week: I only managed to write one single article – bummer!
  • Engage in the personal finance blogger community: I only managed to write emails to a few new acquaintances in the blogosphere
  • Control travel costs: Well, no need to elaborate on this one…

… obviously, I need to become better at setting realistic goals and stick to them.

On a more positive note, two great things happened in May!

First of all, I now have a working calculator on MoneyMow. It is rather ugly in design, but it took three different web developers to understand the formula and build the calculator. The calculator can calculate how many years you have until retirement, and uses the formula that I have presented in an earlier post.

Secondly, I am starting to get quite a few people asking to post guest posts – this is extremely cool! I have decided that I will only accept relevant and well-written posts by established authors for now, but some of them come with a price tag of $100 USD per article posted, so I am definitely considering it as a secondary source of income.

How am I tracking on my early retirement goal?

My take-home income was 28,341 DKK (4,048 USD), which is a bit lower than usual, because I have decided to increase my tax payments by a few percentage points to get a higher tax return next year (it is purely because of psychological reasons and not financial), and my savings rate was 6%.

My current assets are:

Assets1 April 2017 (DKK)1 April 2017 (USD)1 May 2017 (DKK)1 May 2017 (USD)
Total assets204,78529,255198,62228,375
Peer-to-peer lending15,0532,15014,8902,127
Stock indexes32,8804,69732,9534,708
Cash52,0007,42954,8817,840
Pension95,73213,67691,33813,048
Home equity9,1201,3034,560651

Just as last month (and in the future), I am including home equity since I am now a house owner.

My total assets including pension of 204,785 DKK (29,255 USD) was an increase of 3.1% up from last month.

The total assets excluding pension of 109,053 DKK (15,579 USD) was an increase of 1.6% up from last month. This means that I managed to save 1,679 DKK out of my take-home pay of 28,341 DKK, which equals a savings rate of (1,679/28,341) = 6% (down from 8% last month).

Using my new calculator, I can see that I will be able to retire in 57 years with a savings rate of 6%. Not entirely what you expect from a blog on early retirement, huh? 🙂 My target savings rate is 75%, which will enable me to retire in 7 years and being financially independent – and it will remain the target despite two bad months.

Focus areas for the coming month

For the coming month, I will be focusing very strictly on my savings and start building the blog further.

  1. Get a savings rate of more than 25% to get back in the game
  2. Engage in the personal finance blogger community
  3. Set up an Analytics dashboard for MoneyMow, so I start tracking visitors and engagement month-on-month

Favorite posts of the month

Despite being busy, I found a few golden nuggets this month:

  • Mr Money Moustache wrote a great piece on biking to/from work. Being from Copenhagen where everybody bikes ALL THE TIME, and biking to work myself, I can highly recommend this form of transportation. It is beautiful, it is most often faster and it keeps you healthy. You should try it out!
  • Becoming Minimalist once again have a great article that I can relate to. The piece is about not speaking up when people spend their money foolishly. I often find myself in situations where I could have given useful advice to people, but I choose not to because of the potential of it backfiring
  • The last post is actually not FIRE-related, but is about Bitcoin – it is the original study on Bitcoin, and if you are remotely interested in new blockchain technologies, I would recommend reading it

Thanks for following my journey yet another month!

Onwards,
Carl

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4 Comments

    1. Thanks for the kind words – I’ll do my best to keep it honest on the entire journey 🙂

  1. Hey Carl! I recently started following your blog and I like reading these monthly updates. As a budding personal finance fanatic myself (nerdy-sounding, I know!), I appreciate you not sugar-coating your reports and therefore giving us readers a true picture of what a financial goal journey looks like from your perspective. I believe you can do it 🙂 Looking forward to following your journey to early retirement and learning with you along the way!

    1. Hi Lynette!

      Thanks a lot for your kind words. It really gives me a lot of motivation to hear from readers of the blog!

      I am happy to hear that you still like reading the monthly updates even though they have not been filled with the best news recently – I’ll do my best to keep them as honest as I possibly can going forward.

      Let’s stay in touch 🙂

      Onwards,
      Carl

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