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February was a better month than January. We did not have to deal with COVID again. And we managed to do a few things again with friends and family.
Overall, not much happened this month.
Financially, it was quite a good month. We had a good income and a few extra expenses, but nothing too expensive. So we managed to save a substantial portion of our income.
Overall, February is much better than January. There was no COVID on the radar, so no quarantine or isolation, and we could see our friends and family again. With the easing (or removal) of the measures, we plan to invite a few friends in tiny groups starting next month. It will give us a change of pace.
We are still not sleeping much. It is getting more difficult during the days since he is not sleeping much and demands constant attention. And continuous attention is more difficult while we are tired.
I have filled and sent my tax declaration this month. I thought our taxes would go down, but this is unfortunately not the case. We get a tax reduction thanks to my son, but on the other hand, our taxable income increased enough to offset that. We are slowly reaching an obscene amount of taxes to pay…
Financially, it was an excellent month. We had some extra expenses and some extra earnings (RSU and ESPP). Also, we only paid county taxes this month, making our total expenses significantly lower. We managed to save 80% of our income this month. It is definitely a great result.
Let’s see the details of our expenses in February 2022:
|Transportation||3||Below average||Just one parking fee|
|Communications||65||Average||Only internet bill|
|Blog||283||Average?||A few small bills and email system yearly bill|
|Personal||2237||Above average||New laptop, stuff for the office, physiotherapy, …|
|Food||300||Below average||Very reasonable groceries|
|Housing||550||Average||Mortgage and heating|
|Taxes||1061||Below average||County taxes only|
Overall, we had a very reasonable month on the expenses side. In total, we spent 5346 CHF. Without taxes, we spent 4284 CHF, which is a good result considering we bought a new laptop.
We only paid county taxes this month. For stupid reasons, the county gives me ten bills, the state nine bills, and the country six bills. So, there are a few cheaper months. For instance, I will not have to pay any taxes next month. I prefer to receive more bills and have a smoother budget every month.
On the unusual expenses, we had to pay a large physiotherapy bill for Mrs. The Poor Swiss. And I also got a new laptop for home. With the current situation, I often have to stay in the living room, and having the single laptop of Mrs. The Poor Swiss was not enough. So, now we have two laptops for the living room. I still have my computers in the office, but I do not use them as much as I would like.
Other than that, the expenses were reasonably standard this month. I also spent some money on improving the office, but the bulk of the costs will come next month.
We bought a new tropical shower, but we made the mistake of buying it at Lidl. The quality is horrible. As soon as I installed it, the water exchanger stopped working. I will stop buying anything else than food groceries at Lidl. I was not expecting high quality for this price, but I was not expecting them to sell such poor products. I am really disappointed there.
Overall, it was a good month for our expenses, we cannot complain!
Let’s take a look at our goals by the end of February 2022:
Overall, our goals are doing fine. We have made good progress towards our financial goals.
We are still below our spending target and above our savings rate target. Next month will challenge the spending target. But it is still good to start well!
I have been able to force myself to work on my office redesign. I have moved things already and have made many decisions about what I need to do. I have a pretty clear picture of what I want at this point. Next month, I will order a new desk. And once I receive it, I will be able to start the main changes. Normally, I have finished all the planning at this point.
I have still not done anything for my knee. I am still waiting until COVID cases go down a little before going to the doctor. But I may go in March.
I also have not reduced any bills yet. However, I have two ideas of what I can do this year. I just need to implement them. I still have no clue about the third one.
Our FI ratio is also well below our target—more on that in the next section.
But overall, our goals are doing nicely.
Let’s take a look at our progress towards Financial Independence:
Our FI ratio barely moved this month, from 11.40% to 11.80%. Our average expenses are now slightly lower with a good month.
On the other side, the stock market was not on our side this month. Even before the events in Ukraine, the stock market was more on the downside. It means that even though we saved a lot of money this month, our net worth barely moved.
I am not worried about that since we are far from early retirement anyway. Also, this allowed us to buy stocks cheaper this month. Nevertheless, I will never be able to reach my goal of 20% this year. I would already be surprised if I reach 15% by the end of the year. We will see what happens.
The blog is back on its previous behavior and started losing traffic again. This month, the blog lost more than 10% of traffic.
I got a big issue with two plugins not working well together. This led to many links being broken on the French version of the site. And I had to spend many hours investigating the issue and doing a fix myself. And fixing all the links afterward also took a long time.
So, with that issue, I could not get a lot done on the blog this month. I do not have many articles planned in advance and progress on the French translation has been halted.
And on top of that, I have had other issues with the translation plugin I am using (WPML). I cannot believe how much time I waste dealing with plugins issues. At this point, I am entirely disgusted with translations. I was thinking of doing German after French, but I do not feel like I can deal with it. WordPress has some good things, but overall, I like it less and less.
Other than that, I have been working on securing emails sent from the mailing list. This should help not having them fall into the spam folder for some people.
Next month, I hope I will pick up momentum on the French translation and keep up with the blogging schedule.
Next month – March 2022
We do not have anything particular planned for next month. It should be a fairly standard month. Hopefully, the number of COVID cases will go down enough that we will see the end of the tunnel.
Financially, it should be a good month. In March, I should receive my bonus. That will make a significant bump in our income. On the other hand, we have several expensive things to buy, so that will not be a frugal month by any means.
What about you? How was March for you?