Automating Your Personal Finances is a Mistake

Categories Investing, Budget

In the Personal Finance community, many people are advising everybody to automate as much as their personal finances as they can. I am not one of them. I do not automate anything in my personal finances. I do not like automation for my personal finances.

I think it is a big mistake. Automating your personal finances is a lazy excuse for not being rigorous enough to manage them yourself. The worst is the “set it and forget it” advice for automating your personal finances!

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How Much We Spent in 2019 – Detailed Expenses Report

Categories Budget

It is time for a full expenses report for the entire year 2019. I am already doing an expense report every month. But having a yearly view helps put things in perspective.

I think it is essential to do this. It shows that some expenses that you feel are small can quickly pile up. 400 CHF per month may not seem much, but this 4800 CHF per year! And this sounds like a lot of money!

Another advantage of doing that is to clean up all your expenses. In my budget tool, once I aggregate all our expenses together, I often see some small mistakes in my accounting. Once fixed, it makes the entire year nicer.

So, let’s see how much the Poor Swiss Family spent in 2019!

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11 Simple Tips to Find Cheap Kindle Ebooks in 2020

Categories Frugality, Budget

I bought my Amazon Kindle more than six years ago. First, I purchased the original Kindle. A few years later, I bought the Kindle Paperwhite. I have been delighted with both. It is such a fantastic thing to travel with all my ebooks in my pocket and not have five or more heavy books in my luggage.

Over the years, I bought and read well over 120 books on my Kindle. At the time, I thought it was very cheap. And indeed, I was saving money compared to print books. I realize now that this may not have been the case.

For frugal people, there is one big issue with Kindle books: You cannot buy used books. In the last two years, I almost have not purchased any Kindle ebook. Instead, I bought many used books. There is a second-hand shop near my current job. I probably bought over 40 books during this time. I bought them for less than 2 CHF each on average. And I only bought books in a great state.

The problem is the room second-hand books take! My bookshelf is full, and books are piling up! I am going to build a new one. But after some time, the new one will be full too. The other problem is traveling. If I need several books, it is a pain to carry them.

So I only bought Kindle ebooks for traveling. But there are still so many advantages to my Kindle. Therefore, I have been looking for ways to find cheap Kindle books. Here are nine simple tricks to find cheap ebooks for Kindle.

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Revolut in Switzerland Top Up For Free with Revolut Swiss IBAN

Categories Investing, Budget, Frugality

I think Swiss investors will agree that the biggest problem with Revolut was that they did not have a Swiss IBAN. Some good news just arrived for us!

Revolut now includes a Swiss IBAN when you want to top it up! It means you can now top up your Revolut account for free directly from your bank account. It is great since that was missing from the start on the Revolut account.

And probably even bigger news for Revolut: they got a European Specialised Bank License! It is a big deal for the company. Revolut is now officially a bank and will soon start offering new services. But for us, it will not change much soon.

I have been using Revolut for about six months now, and I like it. During that time, I have saved a lot of money by using their free currency exchange services. I am interested to see how they are going to implement this banking license in the future. I would like to have a cheap and good bank account in the future. In the meantime, Neon is an excellent bank account.

In this post, we are going to see what do these changes mean for other Revolut customers and me! If you do not know about Revolut, stay tuned!

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The 13 Steps of My Monthly Personal Finance Routine

Categories Budget, Financial Independence

For a lot of people, having a strict routine will help remember essential things. It is the case for me. I like routines. Each month, I am following the same personal finance routine for my budget. You can see most of the results in my monthly finance reports. In this post, I am going to describe the steps I am doing every month.

I think it is great to have a routine. It helps you get more efficient, and like this, you do not forget to do everything. And once you start doing it routinely, it becomes automatic, and you will save time.

Of course, you do not need to follow the same steps as me. You should probably not have the same steps. Every people can have different things to do based on the way they are investing or based on their situation.

But I would encourage you to define your at least a monthly routine clearly. You can use mine as a base template if you want. And why not even a weekly routine?

So, here are the 13 steps of my monthly personal finance routine.

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Emergency Fund – Do you Really Need One in 2020?

Categories Budget, Financial Independence, Frugality, Investing

If you are interested in personal finance, you probably have come across the term Emergency Fund. An Emergency Fund is simply some money, available directly, that you can use in case of emergency. Most people will advise you to get such an account. And they will insist heavily on this subject.

It is an interesting subject since not everybody agrees on it. Some people have an emergency fund that can cover one year of expenses. And some people think you do not need one.

Personally, I do not think an emergency fund is a bad thing. But you should be aware of its cost. It also has disadvantages. And you may not need a fund as big as some people tell you. I think that too much people put too much emphasis on the emergency fund.

In this post, we are going to see both sides of the story. We are going to see in details what an emergency fund is.

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5 More Money Lessons from Family Guy #2

Categories Budget, Frugality

It is time for another installment in the money lessons from animated sitcoms! It has been too long since I did one of these!

So today, we are going to find out about five more money lessons from Family Guy. Out of the three posts I did so far in the series, the one about Family Guy was the best received. So I figured I better start with this one for a second part!

If you do not know this show, it is an American animated sitcom from Seth Mac Farlane. The series follows the adventures of the Griffin Family. Contrary to some other series, it does not have a focus on one character or even one story. There are generally several stories in each episode. And often, the main one is not the funniest.

In the Griffin family, there is Peter and Lois Griffin, the parents. They have three children, Meg, Chris and Stewie, the baby. And they have a dog, Brian.

For more context, nobody likes Meg, the baby is a Genius, and the dog can talk! And both Peter and Chris are pretty dumb! Oh, and the baby wants to kill his mom. It is a hilarious show!

In this post, we are going to talk about five episodes from the show with some focus on money. The idea of the series is to see if we can learn some things about money from animated TV sitcoms.

The pictures in this post are the property of Fox.

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N26 in Switzerland – Save on Foreign Currency Fees

Categories Budget, Switzerland

Everybody will agree with me that paying 1.5% of fees, or even more,  on each transaction abroad really sucks! That is not something you want to think about when you are on vacation or shopping online in other countries. Thanks to N26, this should never be necessary anymore!

N26 is a digital bank offering transfers in other currencies for free! Not only that. But the entire bank account is free! And they are a bank! European regulations will protect the money you have on N26. You can even withdraw money for free several times a month! That sounds great!

In this post, I am going to cover everything you need to know about N26. And since I have already talked about Revolut on this blog, I will compare both services, which are similar but not equivalent!

Stay tuned to find out how to save money on foreign exchange fees!

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You do not need to pay for a budgeting app!

Categories Budget

I strongly feel that most people need a budget. And everybody should track their expenses. However, I think that there is no need to pay for a budgeting app at all!

You should not spend money on your budget to save money on your budget!

Nevertheless, there are still many people that pay for their budgeting application. And I think for the immense majority of them, there is no need for their fancy application.

I do not think you will recoup any of the costs. And I believe that most of the features are useless if not harmful.

Let’s get into why you should not pay for a budgeting app.

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6 Steps towards a Solid Budget can make you Debt-Free

Categories Budget

Today’s post is a guest post by Aiden White, a San Francisco Writer. She enjoys writing about debts and many other financial subjects. She is the author behind I am happy to have her as a guest poster for the second time!

“Are you worried about your increasing weight? Did you already plan your daily gym routine and diet chart after consulting an expert?”

If I ask these questions to any normal people, most of them will answer me by saying Yes!

But what if I ask someone this – “How much debts you have?” or “are you making payments on your high-interest credit cards?” or “are you worried about your increasing debt load?”

The answers you might get would not be so encouraging, trust me. But it is also a fact that a maxed-out credit card or few unpaid payday loans may increase your debt weight more than you can imagine.

So what is the option you have? Just get out of debt and improve your financial status, that’s it! And in this case, a proper budgeting strategy will help you a lot to reduce the debt burden.

How? Read on to know more.

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