We have reached the last month of the year, and I am sure I’m not the only one who feels like the past year has been flying by at an insane speed. A lot of things have happened this year, which will be the focus of my yearly recap in next month’s update.
As you will see in this month’s update, it has not been a normal month, since we have a negative savings rate.
Personal life: What happened in November?
November was our first month of having combined finances, so we spent time on setting it up in spreadsheets and reconfirming some of the talks we have had about spending. I am confident we will be able to figure it out, but we also agree that if it doesn’t work out, we can separate it again.
November was also the month of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and what not, and I decided not to buy anything in particular, but instead donate some money to UNICEF. I’m not opposed to people buying things on Black Friday if they really need the things and have planned to buy it at a discount, but I also believe we should donate to charities as I do every month.
As of late November, we have now embarked on our mini-retirement and it is amazing. We are traveling in LCOL areas and are just enjoying time off work. It is an amazing way of testing elements in our post-FI lifestyle and I will make sure to follow up on this in the coming months.
In the beginning of November I got some great news. I have been promoted quite some time before I expected it, which means new exciting opportunities professionally and a 30% (!) salary increase. This will obviously make a big difference in our monthly take-home income and boost our savings rate.
Financials: How are we tracking on our FI goal?
The bad news of the month is that we got a negative savings rate. Since we are now on our mini-retirement, we will not be getting any salary in the coming months (except for a few weeks of vacation and a good bonus on the way). This obviously means that the next couple of months will have a worse savings rate than normally.
Our savings rate for November ended at a horrible -174%. This is my worst savings rate ever. This means that we obviously spent way more than what we got in salary, but this was expected since we didn’t plan on getting salary this month due to our mini-retirement.
MoneyMow savings rate over time (%)
Our combined take-home income was 19,236 DKK (2,959 USD) and we managed to spend 52,647 DKK (8,100 USD) resulting in the -174% savings rate excluding income from the blog. This is mostly because of travel-related expenses, a much larger heating bill than expected and a low income for the month.
Our total combined net worth is 2,326,429 DKK (357,912 USD) and declining -1.6% last month due to low income, high spending on the mini-retirement and another sharp drop in cryptocurrencies.
Liquid assets make up 22% of our total assets with a value of 521,232 DKK (80,190 USD).
Illiquid assets make up 78% of our total assets with a value of 1,805,197 DKK (277,723 USD).
Pension returns decreased -1.1%, stocks increased 2.0%, bonds increased 0.2%, crowdlending increased 0.9% while cryptocurrencies plummeted once again with -44.9%. Our cryptocurrencies have now been declining in nearly all months of 2018 – let’s see whether 2019 will be a better year.
As I introduced last month, we are tracking three different financial independence goals. Since our liquid assets declined this month, you will see our progress towards the three goals declined slightly.
For the first goal, we are 36.2% of the way towards having three years’ expenses in savings with 521,232 DKK (80,190 USD) in liquid assets down from progress of 39.7% last month.
For the second and third goal, we are 27.3% (29.1% last month) of the way towards reaching our optimistic financial independence goal and 7.0% (7.5% last month) of the way towards reaching traditional financial independence with 764,061 DKK (117,548 USD) in FI savings including 15% realized real estate equity.
Overall, we took a hit this month on reaching our three goals, but it is mostly due to our mini-retirement, which is desperately needed and will be a good way to test out our FI lifestyle.
Blogging: How did income and key metrics develop on MoneyMow?
MoneyMow’s traffic declined in November – mostly because of a big feature in Rockstar Finance from October that made October very high.
My income on the blog for November was:
- Affiliate programs: 564 DKK (87 USD)
- Sponsored posts: 2,093 DKK (322 USD)
- AdSense: 77 DKK (12 USD)
The total blog income for November was 2,734 DKK (421 USD). This is a lot higher than previous months – mostly because I finally found time to follow up on sponsored post requests. During our mini-retirement, I will try to focus a bit more on how to monetize the site, so you might see some more affiliate marketing coming up (clearly marked though).
The metrics from November look really good:
- Visitors: Number of visitors were 4,319 and declined with 31% compared to last month
- Page views: Page views were 11,037 and declined with 23% compared to last month
- Facebook likes: Facebook likes are at 2,829 up from 2,765 last month
- Twitter followers: Twitter followers are at 931 compared to 925 last month
- Newsletter growth: The number of people following my newsletter reached 214 subscribers up from 207 last month
Favorite posts of the month
My favorite posts of the month were:
- Retireby40 wrote a much-needed article on work and retirement. He argues that everyone should work after retirement and that we need to think about “work” in different ways. I couldn’t agree more as I also believe I will continue working after achieving FI.
- Cassandra from The Diary Of A Frugal Family posts a weekly “five frugal things I’ve done this week” that I like to follow. It is often filled with simple and practical tips on how you can become just a bit more frugal!
- Ms ZiYou wrote a great post on why she doesn’t overpay the mortgage – a topic that definitely has two camps in the personal finance sphere. I am in the same camp as her and do not overpay mortgage and I believe she outlines good reasons for not doing so under the right circumstances.
That’s it for November. See you for the end-of-year update when we enter the last year of this decade.