February 2018 Update – Vacation and wedding

Mr. The Poor Swiss | Updated: | Updates
February 2018 Update

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Update: I changed the way I am accounting for my life insurance, this gives me a savings rate of 4.2% now. It is still a very bad month.

February is now done, it is time for another monthly update! This was not a good month at all for the financial side. But we had a lot of fun in China. And I was happy to see my fiancee again!

I have not posted on this blog since the last update, I was on vacation in China for more than half the month. I hope to post more in March.

February 2018

After a very good start for 2018 with a very strong January, February was a very bad month for finances. I was not able to save anything and lost about 42 CHF this month. This put my savings rate to 0.0% (after January at around 30%).

This month is very poor even though my salary increased by around 900 CHF. This should help a lot for next month.

There are several reasons for this very poor result. First, following Chinese culture, I paid a dowry to my to-be father in law. Although it is a correct number compared to some other families, it is still around 25% of my salary, so it weighs very heavily on the budget. Moreover, I had to pay more than 700 CHF in visa and wedding fees. I do not regret these fees since the result will be to get married to my girlfriend. But it would have been better if these expenses were dispatched over several months. Finally, the holidays cost me more than I had expected (around 600 CHF). We will have to be more frugal next time we go to China.

On the investment side, since I still had too much cash sitting in my savings from last month, I invested 1000 CHF more in my broker and 500 more in my 3rd pillar (retirement).

For my expenses, with 5991.75, this is well above average. Here are the details:

  • Insurances: 255 CHF: Average
  • Transportation: 131.00 CHF: Below average. I did not need any gas this month. But had to pay the Ferry from Hong Kong to Shenzen and back.
  • Communications: 118 CHF: Average
  • Personal: 3511.97 CHF: Very highly above average, as explained before
  • Food: 318.64 CHF: Average.
  • Apartment: 1300 CHF: Average
  • Taxes: 356.55 CHF: Below Average. Only had to pay the county taxes this month since I finished paying the state taxes already.

Next month, I will have to be very careful about what I use to compensate for this bad month. I wanted to finally buy some home automation components, but this will have to wait until April (and my birthday).

As for my net worth, it is 55002 CHF. This is lower than last month, especially because of the loss of the USD against the CHF. This makes me want to reduce my USD allocation and increase EUR and CHF, but I do not know exactly how I will do this.

2018 Goals

Here is the current status of my goals for this year:

Status of my 2018 Goals at the end of February

As stated, I did not stay under 4500 CHF expenses this month. So I failed this goal is failed this month. As for the other goals, I invested 500 CHF in my 3rd pillar account which makes for a third of my yearly (easy) goal. I am now at 20% of my yearly investing goal (only due to good January). I think I will be able to invest the 5% in bonds this month. Unfortunately, I still have not sold my last small PostFinance fund. This year, I have yet to receive dividends. But I should receive a small dividend in March. I think that the objective of 500 CHF for 2018 was too high.

I am also more than 80% done with my document scanning task, only one binder left and it is already in good shape. Finally, for the blog, I already blogged 8 times (including this post) but I did not blog enough in February. I have several posts planned for March, so this should be good. I still think I’m going to be able to move the blog out of wordpress.com this month. And very good news, I signed the contract for my new job, starting the 1st of June.

Next month

March should be a much better month. I do not have any big spending planned (I moved some planned spending for later) and my salary increased in February, so it should be a good month.

What about you? How was your February? Do you have any advice for me?

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

5 thoughts on “February 2018 Update – Vacation and wedding”

  1. Dear TPS,
    I’ve noticed you are scanning your documents. I think it is a great idea and I thought about it many times myself. The question is: what is the best way to store scanned documents? What is your experience in this matter?

    Regards,

    1. Hi TPP,

      I am using Google Drive to store all the scanned documents. This is what I have found best, I do not have to pay for it and it’s accessible everywhere I need it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Dear TPS,

        Thank you for your answer.

        I’ve been considering it myself. Especially Google offer is very powerful!

        However I see following risks (in general):
        1. Documents may leak,
        2. One may lost login data,
        3. Server may suddenly close and all stored information could be lost.

        Risks specific to Google:
        4. Google is very low at DuckDuckGo privacy ratings. For example in my working place (large Swiss engineering company) usage of Google is prohibited. Uploading personal documents to Google feels like disclosing them to service provider (maybe this is the price for so called “free service”^^)
        5. Google license agreement updates are extremely often. Associated risks are:
        a. Google policy could change in a not acceptable way. If one doesn’t accept, probably would remain locked outside.
        b. When one need to read so often so long license agreement with understanding. Probably after a while will do is with little understanding or just click it though. Something could be overlooked when need to read license agreement again and again so often.
        6. Google may not be accessible in certain countries or locations (the best example is my working place)

        If you extensively use Google drive, I assume you have accepted them. I am curious what are your thoughts on mentioned risks?

        Regards,

        1. Hi TPP,

          I do not feel like these risks are enough to outweigh the advantages.

          1-2-3 are risk that apply to any online services, not only file storage services. The only way to avoid them is to not use any online services.
          I do not care at all about 4 and 5.
          For 6, GDrive is currently available in all the places I need, so it does not bother me for now. But if this changes in the future, I may reconsider.

          Thanks for stopping by!

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