Goals for 2018

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For once, I’m gonna try to set clear goals for this year! I’ve set up a nice spreadsheet for my goals for this year (credits to retirebyforty for the spreadsheets idea):

My 2018 Goals

I’ve tried to not set goals that are too high but still strive for better than this year. This is my first attempt at setting yearly goals, so maybe I’ll add new goals during the year, but I’ll not remove any goal nor downsize any goal.

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November 2017 Update

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November is over, it is time for another monthly update.

November 2017 was not bad in terms of savings, but a bit lower than I was expecting. The savings rate for the month is 14.25%. It’s not perfect, but still better than last month. My objective is to go to 25%, but probably will need a raise to go there (I’m still gonna try without the raise).

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Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

Posted on Categories Budget, Frugality, Spending, Tips3 Comments on Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for. They answered more than two months after my request… My base rent goes from 1175 to 1122. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st. But this means that next year, I’ll save 53 CHF * 9 = 477 CHF.

In Switzerland, rent prices are indexed on a reference interest rate. When the interest rate goes down, you can ask for a reduction of your rent. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process. You have to ask yourself to your house owner or building managers. On the other hand, you can be sure that if the interest rate rises, it will be an “automatic” process… Switzerland is very good to the rich. It makes it easier for them to stay richer 😉

Don’t forget to check if the interest rate decreased since you signed your lease. If you haven’t asked for a reduction in many years, this could be a large reduction! There are lots of models online for this, such as the calculator from ASLOCA or the one from Comparis.ch. You should really not hesitate doing this, it’s in your rights. They cannot refuse to reduce the rent, it’s in the law. The only reason they would have to refuse would be if they had made improvements to your apartment that would raise its value.

You can find the most recent reference interest rate on the admin.ch website (in French/German/Italian).

Overall, I’m still quite happy, this is more than 50 CHF per month saved next year! The rent is often the biggest item in a budget. At least, it is the case in my budget. Therefore, it can be very interesting to reduce it. But, it’s not always possible. If the reference index rate decreases, it is a nice opportunity to cut this large expense!

What about you ? Do you have any saving tip ? Did you find a way to save on your rent ?

October 2017 Update

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This is the first monthly update of my budget  and finances on this blog. I’ll try to do this every month and normally earlier than this (I was in vacation).

October 2017 was not really good in terms of savings, but a bit better than I was expecting. The savings rate for the month is 8.15%. It’s not really good but I was expecting a loss, so it’s not so bad.

Even though I was in vacation in China, this is not what made my budget so bad. The only really expensive stuff was the plane tickets but they were paid earlier. I had to pay almost 600 CHF for dentist and 450 CHF for Billag. On that note, I really hope the “No Billag” initiative will pass next March, that would be a very nice improvement to my budget, especially since I don’t watch TV and don’t listen to the radio.

Update: Unfortunately, Swiss people seem to like taxes and rejected the initiative

I have started to review my portfolio with better investments. I still have around 60% of my assets in cash, 11% in international stocks, 10% in domestic stocks and 17% in bonds. I plan to decrease the cash this month, especially for my retirement savings third pillar.

November should not be very good since I have to purchase new plane tickets to China, but this will hopefully be the only big expense of the month and therefore the  savings rate should be better. I plan to be very frugal this month. I also plan to reduce a few of my monthly expenses (more on that later). I will check again all the expenses on my budget and try to come up with solutions to reduce the overall spend that is still too high.

What about you ? How was your October ?