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April 2019 has been a very similar month to March 2019. We went skiing again. Mrs. The Poor Swiss is really getting better and better at skiing. She is now able to get down each blue slope without issue. We were lucky to ski with a Ski Instructor from my family and he helped her a lot during these two days. It was a nice change of pace.
We spent a bit more than I would have wanted this month. However, since it is a month where we do not have to pay taxes, we still ended up with a savings rate of more than 55%! This is really great! And hopefully next month, we will be able to spend less money. However, next month, we will have to pay taxes again.
I am going to go over the details of the month of April 2091 in this post. The goal of our monthly updates is to share all our progress with all our readers. I believe that personal finance blogs should be as transparent as possible.
After the large bonus in March 2019, our income is back to normal. It was still a good month financially. We managed to not spend that much money this month. In fact, we are finally below our goal of 5000 CHF expenses per month. We saved 55.85% of our income. This is a good result I think.
The biggest expense of this month was a new French course module for Mrs. The Poor Swiss. She started last month and now the first module is finished. She is going to start the second module in early May. That means another 570 CHF for the second module. And we will have to pay for the third module in June normally. It is really expensive but she has made a lot of progress since she started the course. So, it is worth it. Hopefully, she can continue after that at a higher level.
Also, I have finally been able to find a smaller computer closet for my office. This is will take half the space of the previous one. I paid 220 CHF for it, including renting a small truck to go take it. Now, it remains to see if I can sell the other one. I have put an auction online for it. If it does not sell the first time, I will reduce it. The problem is that it is huge and heavy.
I still think we have been spending too much this month. We did not have any taxes to pay and yet our expenses are still high. I had to delay a few things. I wanted to buy something for my birthday. But it will have to wait. And the new gym membership will have to wait as well until at least next month. It seems I was really too enthusiastic about these months. Or maybe I am simply too hard on myself, as Mrs. The Poor Swiss would say!
This month, I have posted my longest post yet on this blog about whether one can retire without a successful blog. I wanted to talk about this for a while. Indeed, I think it is important for bloggers to be transparent with their blog income. In most cases, it is great. But some bloggers are not doing a service to the readers with their blog anymore. What do you think about that?
As I said before, we spent a Ski weekend in Fiesch in April. The weather was quite nice. It was a bit too warm to ski and the snow was a bit too wet in the afternoon. However, it was still great to finish the season like this! Mrs. The Poor Swiss is really getting better and better!
Our Ski Weekend in Fiesch made a big dent in our budget. This ski station is very expensive. Before, we used card points to save money on the ski cards. However, in this ski station, card points are very bad. They are only worth it if you are going to do two or three slopes. So we ended up having to pay four one-day passes. And it cost us one full car tank of gas to go there and come back. Overall, it cost 313 CHF. It is not great for two days. And we were staying with a family member. We did not pay anything for our stay.
As usual, here are our detailed expenses for April 2019:
- Insurances: 790.05 CHF. Average. Our health insurances and complementary insurances.
- Transportation: 589.20 CHF. Well above average. We had to pay for Mrs. The Poor Swiss driving exam. She now has three months to pass the exam. And I had to pay to rent a small truck to carry my computer closet.
- Communications: 100.12 CHF. Average. Nothing special here, internet and mobile plans.
- Personal: 1307 CHF. Above average. We paid for the French course, the Ski, the new computer closet and a few other small items.
- Food: 250 CHF. Slightly below average. We did not have anything special for our Food budget this month.
- Apartment: 1247 CHF. Only our rent.
- Taxes: 0 CHF. We are in between taxes.
So overall, we spent 4284 CHF in April 2019. It is below our goal of 5000 CHF per month. Which is good. But several items are weighing in and make it higher than it should have been. But overall, I should be happy with our results!
Here is the state of our 2019 Goals at the end of this month:
Overall, our goals are going great! We are back below 5000 CHF average, although only slightly. And for most of the goals, we are already ahead of the expected progress. The only goal that is not going anywhere is the goal of DIY projects. I have a few ideas in mind. But my motivation is lower than last year for that. Maybe it will come back with the nicer days.
I managed to cut one more bill for next year! This is about Religion. This is not something I really want to talk about since it is a bit delicate for some people. But I want to be transparent on this blog. I am officially Catholic, even though I am not a believer and my wife has no religion. Until this year, I have been paying the church taxes. I decided to remove myself from the church. Therefore, next year, I will save about 400 CHF of Church taxes. This is a personal decision and should not be based on frugality only.
This month, I got rid of a big pile of computer science books from my closet, more than ten very thick books. All these books were almost new and were far from being my favorites. They were all about technologies that I do not use anymore. These are books I know I will never read again. Even though I like the look of them, I decided to part with them. This makes some more room at home. I was planning to donate them. But I first brought them to my company to see if someone could use them. And it was decided to let them in the company library that was in need of some more books.
Last month, we saw a big increase in net worth because of my bonus, this month, we are back to normal growth:
Even though we did not have any big income, our net worth jumped almost 10K CHF! Our net worth now reached 169’475 CHF. This is a really good increase. We were able to save almost 5000 CHF this month. And the market has been quite strong as well. This gave us almost 4000 CHF of returns in one month.
After the yield curve inversion last month, it seems for now that the bulls still have the control of the market. We will see how that goes. We know that a recession is coming. However, we just have no idea when it is coming.
All the money from DEGIRO has now been transferred to Interactive Brokers. We still have too much cash for now. But this should go away soon.
The blog is going great!
This was another great month for the blog! For the first time, I reached 10’000 users in one month. This will seem very small for most bloggers. But I am really happy about that! After a great month of March 2019 for blogging, April 2019 is also awesome.
The blog has had about 50% more users and about 30% more page views. I did not think I could sustain the rhythm of last month. I am still expecting a slow down next month. But I am going to do all I can to avoid it. I am already past my year goals of having 500 page views each day! I am going to aim for 1000 page views now as my stretch goal by the end of the year now!
Updates on the blog
I have finally moved away from Jetpack. I was using them for my email list. But this is really not optimal! First of all, I cannot send customized emails to subscribers. Then, some users had issues subscribing. I have probably missed quite a few subscribers because of this. After some research, I decided to use MailerLite to replace Jetpack Subscriptions.
All email followers have been migrated to the new list. And should have received a mail for this present email. If you did not receive it, please let me know in the comments below! Unfortunately, non-email followers were not migrated since I cannot contact me. I am going to see if I can fix this later on.
Aside from this, I did not make a lot of big changes this month on the blog. I have changed to a new plugin to generate related posts at the end of each post. Before I was using YARPP but it was discontinued. And I was not really satisfied with YARPP since it was not always being rendered nicely. I switched to Contextual Related Posts and it looks much better and is actually a bit faster.
I have also improved a few of the pages on the blog. And I have made slight improvements to the speed.
What do you think about these changes?
Blog posts in April 2019
Since I am starting to have a lot of blog posts, I have made a Google Sheets to manage them. That way, I have an easy view of all my posts and I can track what needs to be done by focusing on the most important posts of the blog. My plan is to update some of the previous blog posts that could be better. I am also using this spreadsheet to organize my shares on social media.
I have already used this spreadsheet to improve some of the previous blog titles. And it gave a few good ideas as to what to do next on the blog. But this is slow progress.
Here are the three blog posts with the most page views in April 2019:
- Revolut Credit Card: No More Foreign Exchange Fees! This post is by far my best performing post ever.
- Can you Retire Early without a Successful Blog? This new post got a nice audience. I am glad because this was a lot of work and I believe this is quite important.
- ETF Portfolio with European ETFs. This is something important for people who lost access to U.S. ETFs. It is important to know the difference between European and U.S. funds.
Which was your favorite post this month?
Next month – May 2019
Next month should be a normal month from a financial point of view. We will pay taxes again. But I am expecting to keep below 5000 CHF expenses. Although, once again, I am pretty bad with forecasting our expenses. We are finally going to do a full medical checkup. This is the first step of our 2019 Health Plan. Normally, this should be reimbursed in full by our insurance. But we may have to advance the money. We will see how that goes.
What about you? How was April 2019 for you? What do you have planned for May 2019?