Our Financial Independence Journey: Monthly Update #33 (September 2019)

Update 33

Amigos,

The first three quarters of the year have passed. 2019 is 75% loaded. How crazy is that? I feel like we just started.

It’s time for another monthly update.

Personal life: What happened in September?

As you know, I quit my job in July. Now, I have a new job.

I’m in the management team of a pharma company. It’s a good pharma company that does not turn prices up high and does not rip poor people of their savings – quite the opposite.

It’s a position that is very interesting and fun, has a good work-life balance, and – for all you finance lovers – is also compensated well. It will be a while before you see my wife’s and my true income again since I had some time between jobs and she will be having non-paid maternity leave soon.

I feel like I have gotten a new life after quitting my old job. I have time to see my family, I eat at home every night (that is not given for a consultant), I exercise three times per week, and I feel much happier.

Despite having much more time, I have simply not dedicated that much time to MoneyMow these last months. I feel like motivation is coming back, but I’ve had a writer’s block somehow.

Luckily, Google has decided to lift its “ban” of my site, so it’s now bouncing back slowly to old standards. That works for motivation πŸ˜‰

Financials: How are we tracking on our FI goal?

September was the worst month of the year in terms of savings so far.Β 

We ended up with a savings rate of 9%, which was down from last month’s 38%.

Why did we get a low savings rate? We decided to invest in renovating a few rooms in our apartment. I’m not confident we’ll get the investment back when we sell the apartment, but it was a much-needed renovation.

In other news, we decided to re-arrange our loans. This means we will cut our housing costs by roughly 15% each month, which I consider aΒ lot. We do take on a bit more risk with a part of our loan having a variable interest rate, but given the current environment, I don’t expect it to be that much of a risk. Even if the interest rate rose a lot, we would still be fine.

I’m confident this change will improve our savings rate in the coming months. My wife will enter some months of unpaid maternity leave, so that will, however, have a negative impact in some months.

Our combined take-home income was at 61,999 DKK (9,538 USD), which is lower than normal since I had some time between jobs. We managed to save only 5,819 DKK (895 USD) resulting in the 9% savings rate.

Our net worth increased just slightly this month.Β Because of the renovation expenses, we didn’t get to invest this month. I took a share of the renovation costs and added it to our real estate net worth, which explains the slight increase.

Our total combined net worth is 2,713,818 DKK (417,510 USD), which is 0.1% higher than last month. 27% of our assets are liquid meaning they can relatively easily be converted to cash.

Stocks had a bad month, which is visible both on the return from my pension and index funds. They both decreased by -2,6% and 3,3% respectively

Once again this month, our real estate grew the most by 3,3% (if you don’t look at cryptocurrencies that is). Bonds grew by a whopping 0,1% – financial independence, here we come!

All our three financial independence goals decreased this month due to less cash and more real estate:

  1. Three years’ expenses in savings: 51.8% (up from 55.1% due to less cash)
  2. Optimistic FI goal: 35.7% (down from 37.2%)
  3. Traditional FI goal: 9.2% (up from 9.5%)

Blogging: How did key metrics develop on MoneyMow?

The traffic in September remained at lower levels, BUT in the last days of the months, Google decided to open the flood gates once again. It seems like I was punished in their last algorithm update, but now I have somehow made it out again.

This means I expect better metrics for October. Perhaps the traffic will not be back at previous levels, but it is looking better.

The metrics last month were:

  • Visitors: Number of visitors was 4,202, and increased by 8% compared to last month (mostly driven by the last few days of September)
  • Pageviews: Pageviews were 7,247 and increased by 11% compared to last month

I must be honest and say that it is very motivating to see the traffic go up and not down again πŸ™‚

Favorite posts of the month

My favorite posts of the month were:

  • MadFientist wrote a post that hit me. He writes that he has waited his whole life to pursue a dream – and the moral is to not wait until FI (or any other arbitrary goal) to pursue your dreams. In fact, I share the same dream as him.
  • My Money Wizard made a bold prediction about a 2021 recession. I like the analysis, although I’m not sure I would stop investing and build a pile of cash. People have after all been talking about a recession for years – and I generally don’t believe in timing the market and I don’t mind losing big on the market in the short run.
  • She Picks Up Pennies wrote a post “to everyone who went to work today” reminding us about the good things about working. In the personal finance sphere, we tend to criticize work, but it’s not always as bad as it sounds.

Thanks for reading my update this month. Have a great October until we speak again πŸ™‚

Onwards,
Carl

8 comments

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8 comments

Adam October 29, 2019 - 13:56

Nice update. You’re booming it at 29! My net worth then was about gbp 40k. Your 30s is a big accumulation phase. As you break through barriers gets easier. But then life events can change things.

Reply
Carl Jensen October 29, 2019 - 21:23

Thanks, Adam! I’m looking forward to experiencing the snowball rolling in my 30s. You are right that life events (good and bad) can change everything.

Reply
Financial Nordic October 11, 2019 - 00:40

Good luck for the new job and it’s nice to Google likes your website again πŸ™‚

– Financial Nordic

Reply
Carl Jensen October 12, 2019 - 13:39

Thanks, Financial Nordic! I’m also happy to see it rising again πŸ™‚ It makes it a bit more fun to blog!

Reply
FinanceFreedom.eu October 7, 2019 - 10:26

Hey Carl!
Just wondering once again, why did Google suddenly open the flood gates πŸ˜€
Maybe you can track, what was the most viewed/visited post google showed?
Trying to understand the mighty SEO machine. I’ve heard that it can take up to 9 months for Google to work and start bringing in people πŸ˜€
So maybe something you published from 2019 Q1 or Q2?

Also, how much and who received the charity donation? πŸ™‚

Reply
Carl Jensen October 7, 2019 - 20:59

It’s impossible to tell πŸ™‚ they release core updates once in a while and sometimes you get hit, sometimes you benefit. However, if you continue to give unique, fresh and relevant content, you will win in the long term usually πŸ™‚

You mean the charity donation from 2018? It was given to Save The Chidlren and was 2,000 DKK. It will be bigger this year πŸ™‚

Reply
Tawcan October 5, 2019 - 18:23

Stumbled onto this website and very cool to find a Danish FIRE blogger as my wife is Danish. Great update! Keep up the good work! We are heading to Denmark this Christmas and we’re really looking forward to it.

Reply
Carl Jensen October 5, 2019 - 21:38

You have a good taste in women πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the kind words. You’ll enjoy Christmas here. Let me know if you are around Copenhagen!

Reply

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