I spent half of February 2019 in China. Me and Mrs. The Poor Swiss were visiting my in-laws for the Chinese new year. Most of the trip was very frugal since we stayed at my father-in-law house. And we mostly ate at home. However, I am following Chinese culture and paying a dowry to my father-in-law, this makes a big hole in the budget of the month.
Mrs. The Poor Swiss also started skiing this month. Since she had no equipment at all, we had to buy the clothes for skiing. And we had to rent the ski equipment itself for the season. This makes another hole in the budget.
Even though we had lower savings than what we are aiming for, this month was quite good for our net worth. With the stock market returns, our savings and the sale of my ESPP shares, our net worth made a nice jump this month!
In this post, you can find everything that happened to us in February 2019.
Continue reading “February 2019 – China, dowry and ski”
Last weekend, we went to Brussels, in Belgium to visit one of my family members that has been living there for a few years. I had not seen him since last Christmas, so it was quite cool to meet him again. We always had a very good relationship.
Brussels is the capital of the country of Belgium. We had quite a good time in Brussels. It is a really nice city with some very nice monuments. There are also many nice wall paintings. And Belgium is also famous for its beers. You can find many pubs and bars in Brussels where you can drink quite good beers.
The weather was not great during the weekend. Nevertheless, we had a really good time in Brussels! I did not manage to take really good pictures, sorry about that.
Continue reading “A Weekend in Brussels, Belgium – Beautiful Monuments and Good Beer”
Once again, it is time for a new monthly update from us! This month has passed incredibly fast. I do not know what happened. But I fell that the month was twice faster than other previous months!
There were not many big events this month. But a lot of small events. We went several times to restaurants. We spent a weekend in Brussels, Belgium. And we also had many events with our friends and family. And we went to two concerts. All these small events and some shopping by Mrs. The Poor Swiss made this month more expensive than usual. We managed to save about 45% of our income this month. Although it is not really bad, it is not as much as last month and not as much as I was expecting.
The stock market continued to be very volatile this month. After last month big loss, the market started going up for the first week of the month. But then, it started going down once again to reach a new low for the month.
In this post, I am going to describe all that happened for us, and especially for our finances, for November 2018.
Continue reading “November 2018 – Brussels and too much shopping!”
If you want to reach Financial Independence and be able to retire, you need to know how much you are going to spend while retired. If you are retiring next year, it is really easy to know how much you are going to spend. However, if you are going to retire in a long time, it is not trivial to estimate your retirement expenses.
I have already talked about the different ways tor each Financial Independence (FI). Regardless of which way you choose to reach FI, you will need an accurate estimation of your retirement expenses. Without this, you will not be able to know how much of the road remains.
You could think that you are going to spend exactly the same as you spend now. But this is quite wrong. You need to take into account many things. You will normally pay fewer taxes. But your health expenses are likely to increase. And inflation will increase your expenses significantly over the years.
In this post, I am going to cover the main points that will impact your retirement spending. It is not a surefire way to estimate your retirement expenses. But it will definitely help if you want an accurate estimation.
Continue reading “How Much Will You Spend in Retirement?”
This month, I spent ten days in the United States for my company. Since it was not far, I and one colleague decided to go visit Washington D.C. while we had the chance. We only went there for a day but we already were able to see quite a lot of things.
Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States. It is just between the states of Maryland and Virginia. It is interesting to know that they in no real state. In fact, Washington D.C. is in the district of Columbia (hence D.C.). And its inhabitants do not get a vote in Congress. It is not a huge city, having less than one million people. But it contains many very iconic buildings such as the Capitol, the White House or the Lincoln Memorial. It is really a nice place to visit.
The day was quite cloudy during our visit. Unfortunately, some of my pictures are not very clear as a result. But we did not get any rain and the trip was very good. And very frugal. I managed to not spend anything in D.C. :)
Continue reading “One Day in Washington D.C. – Frugal and Awesome”
One thing I did not cover yet on this blog is how do we get around. You may be surprised to hear that we mostly use a car. If you follow several personal finance blogs, you may have heard that cars are almost evil. Most people will actually advocate you to ride a bike or take public transportation.
However, I think that cars are not evil for your finances. I do not really like driving, but I like the freedom that a car gives me. Moreover, where I live, it is almost mandatory to own a car. We use it to get around almost everywhere.
In this post, we are going to see how we get around with our car and how we are traveling abroad. I am also going to detail the cost related to my car. I am not going to advocate you to have a car. The choice is for everyone to do. I can totally understand people who do not want to drive. If you live in a city, for example, it is not as useful. But cars are not evil! You can become financially independent with a car ;)
Continue reading “How do We Get Around?”
Before Mrs. The Poor Swiss could join me in Switzerland, we had to go through the procedure to get her a visa. Since we knew that we wanted to get married in Switzerland, we used a visa for marriage. This kind of visa allowed her to come to Switzerland and to get married to me!
The steps are not really intuitive and take a lot of time (and money). For us, it was a bit overwhelming. In this post, we are going to cover all the steps that we had to do. From the application in China to the reception of the residence permit in Switzerland. This should help any Chinese that wants to get married in Switzerland to get a Visa for this!
Before you do any procedure, there is one thing you need to decide together. The wife can take the name of the husband after the marriage. This is optional. This can surprising since people do not change their name after marriage in China. Even if the wife is from China, she can decide to change her name after the marriage. However, her name in China will not change. And you will also need to decide which name will the children take. In our case, Mrs. The Poor Swiss decided to take my name after the marriage and our future children will take the same name as well. This is an important decision of course for the couple.
Continue reading “How to Get Swiss Marriage Visa for a Chinese”
One week after our lake wedding, we left for our sea honeymoon! We chose to go to Hurghada in Egypt in an all-inclusive hotel. We wanted to do very little for a few days and wanted to rest. Finally, we also wanted to get something relatively cheap and convenient, hence the all-inclusive. Neither of us had an all-inclusive experience before, so it was about time we tried :)
We used Migros Travel agency to book the entire trip. They booked the plane, the hotel and the transfers between airport and hotel. We compared between booking the trip ourselves and using this agency. It was a bit cheaper for the agency. And we did not have to book everything independently. From what we read about Egypt, it is also much better to be part of some tour. This is especially true for the Visa and the shuttle to and from the airport.
Overall, it was a great honeymoon. We had a lot of fun, were able to rest and saw some great things! Find out all the details below!
Continue reading “Our Honeymoon in Hurghada, Egypt”
In 2018, we went to Orléans in France. I went there to present a paper for some work that I did at my previous company. The presentation was five days, but the first day was only starting late in the night. Friday was finished in the morning. And Thursday was social tours by the conference. So we had quite some time for us. That is why Mrs. The Poor Swiss decided to come around as a small vacation.
All around, it was a great trip in a really beautiful city. We had a great time. I wanted to share this travel for you. And also share some of the pictures we took :)
Continue reading “Our trip to Orléans, France – Beautiful City”
One big problem with most credit cards is that they charge large fees for transactions in foreign currencies. If your base currency is Swiss Francs and you are paying something in dollars, you will have to pay a percentage of the transaction as a fee. It is not uncommon for credit cards companies to charge more than 2% fees on such transactions. That is where the Revolut travel card comes into play!
As we are going to see, Revolut can help you save a lot of money on foreign transactions fees. Moreover, where banks are generally giving bad exchange rates between currencies, Revolut is generally giving you the best rates available. If you purchase things in other currencies, or even other countries, such a travel card is essential to saving you money!
I already tried to find the best credit card in Switzerland. When I compare all my options, I found out that foreign exchange fees were costing me more than the annual fee on the card.
In my first review of my options for Switzerland, I already took a look at Revolut. At that time, I did not delve too deep into it. It is now time to fill this void in my credit card strategy. I finally decided to order a Revolut credit card! And I found out a process to top up a Revolut card for free in Switzerland!
Continue reading “Revolut Credit Card – Eliminate Foreign Exchange Fees!”