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Happy New Year!
The first month of the year is already over! It was a good month, with few events planned. We did a few things, the three of us, which was great.
Financially, it was a good month despite the usual yearly expenses. We managed to save almost half of our income.
I also have created a forum for the blog (more details below).
After an eventful month of December, January was very quiet. Nothing changes every year just because we are in a new year. I did not even wait for midnight on New Year’s Eve. I was already asleep!
We did not celebrate New Year’s except for some small firecrackers for our son. We had only a few events this month, which was good for recharge.
So far, we have not been able to restore our son’s sleep schedule to before the holidays. He almost gave up on naps already, and it takes a while to put him to sleep. Our sleep quality went back down (although we are still far from the worst).
Financially, it was a good month. Since we are done paying the federal taxes, we paid only canton and municipality taxes this month. This is good because in January we have to pay several yearly bills. So, we managed to save a significant amount of money this month.
We start the year with a 49% savings rate, which is great!
Here are the details of our expenses in January 2024:
|Higher than average
|Yearly license fee, fuel, bus, and trains.
|Well above average
|Higher than average
|Many small bills piling up
|Usual groceries, a few small snacks out
|Water, heating, mortgage, and wood
|Only municipality and canton
In total, we spent 8401 CHF. Without the taxes, it comes down to 4823 CHF. This is an excellent result to start the year because we aim lower than 5000 CHF.
Since we were running slightly short on firewood, we bought four more cubic meters. This is good because one of my family members has forests near us, so we know where the wood comes from, and the money stays in the family.
In January, we usually have some yearly expenses that happen. This month, we had to pay:
- The car license
- The stupid Serafe bill
- The water bill (bi-yearly)
In addition, I bought quite a few second-hand books for my son and a second-hand indoor bicycle. When the weather was nice, we did a few things together.
As mentioned before, we paid less in taxes than usual. The federal taxes were paid with only six bills, so we are now done with them. Next month, we will only have the municipality taxes to pay. Finally, in March, we will not have any taxes to pay.
Overall, it was a slightly expensive month, but much was due to things we only pay once or twice a year. So, I would say this is a reasonable level of expenses to start the year.
Here is the status of our goals by the end of January 2024:
Overall, our goals are going well. We spent significantly less this month than our average, so we are starting on a good note despite paying some yearly bills this month.
We are low on income goal, but this is expected for the first two months because my income varies significantly, and March will be a major contributing month because of the bonus. Also, we only extract a regular monthly salary from the blog, which will lower our average income this year.
On the other hand, our savings rate is slightly below our objective but still a very decent 49%!
I did well on my workouts this month. I only missed a day when I had to go to the office and did three circuits on each workout. On top of that, I managed to start some indoor bicycle workouts. I still struggle to get time for them, but I did them multiple times this month already.
On the other hand, I am not entirely satisfied with my steps this month. There were many days with a very low number of steps. Because of the cold, we did not go out much with our son during the weekend. And even though I continued my daily morning walk, I cut it out a few times for the weather. I hope I will get more motivation next month.
Finally, our energy consumption went up slightly this month. It is only 3%, so it is difficult to know why. The number is still way below January 2023, but we are slightly short of our goal.
Overall, I am happy with these results.
Here is the progress of our FI Ratio as of January 2024:
Our FI Ratio increased nicely this month to 23.32%. Our expenses remained almost flat, so our target did not move much. We also saved a nice amount of money this month.
More importantly, our net worth increased significantly this month. The USD appreciated very slightly, and our stocks appreciated as well. For once, our savings contribution to our net worth growth is below 30%.
So, I am pleased about the beginning of the year for our FI Ratio.
The Blog and Forum!
Since I had several articles written in advance in December, I could focus on other things on the blog this month.
I was able to update many articles with updates to services. I am always trying to keep up with updates of other services in my reviews, for instance. This takes a lot of time, and I cannot always do it as quickly as I would like. I also updated my Updated Trinity Study article for 2024. This is something I do every year.
Another thing I did was create a forum for the blog: The Poor Swiss Forums. Multiple people asked about this, and I was wondering about it as well. So, we now have a forum for Personal Finance discussions.
At this stage, I consider this a test. If this works well, we can continue the forums. Otherwise, I will call it quits after a few months. But I will continue if this can help more people with their money in Switzerland. Of course, I cannot guarantee that I will answer every question. The goal of the forums is to bring people together to discuss and help each other.
Let me know what you think about the forum.
Next Month – February 2024
We do not have much planned for next month, just a few events with family and friends. This will be good enough.
Financially, it should be a good month because we will only pay one set of taxes instead of three. I also expect some shares to vest from my company, so we should have an excellent savings rate.
What about you? How was January 2024 for you?
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