July 2021 – New schedule for the blog

Mr. The Poor Swiss | Updated: | Updates
July 2021 - New schedule for the blog

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Overall, July 2021 was a good month for us. We could see many friends and family members that we had not seen in a long time. The weather was not great, with many floods in Switzerland, but the weather did not impact us too much.

Financially, it was an awful month because of the taxes due from next year. Because of that, we were not able to save any money during the month. But we already knew it was going to happen. So, this is not too bad in the end.

July 2021

During this month, we had several parties with friends and family members. It was great to see many of these people that we had not seen in a long time. We had a great time. We also ate too much, but that generally goes hand in hand with a good time.

Aside from this, it was pretty much business as usual for us.

Financially, we managed to spend very little on most fronts. However, we had to pay a ton of taxes because we did not pay enough last year. Now, the monthly payments are more accurate. So, we should not be in this situation next year.

In the end, we could not save any money this month. This is already the second month this happens this year. But both months were particular:

  • Big bill for the house
  • Big taxes from last year

So, this should not be a trend. On the other hand, our expenses before taxes are really low this month. So, we are still doing a great job.

Expenses

Let’s take a look at the same of our expenses for July 2021:

Category Total Status Details
Insurances 745 Average Health Insurance
Transportation 60 New average Parking + Fuel
Communications 65  Average Internet
Personal 724 Average A new garden lounge, some health bills, and misc purchases
Food 625 Above average Groceries
Housing 643 Above average Interests, heating, and water
Taxes 19697 Well above average Standard taxes + taxes from last year

Overall, we spent 22566 CHF in July 2021. This is a pretty impressive number! It is the second month this year we spent more than 20’000 CHF. That is not a trend we want to continue. However, without taxes, we only spent 2869 CHF! This is a great result, much lower than our average.

Obviously, the taxes destroyed our finances this month. But we knew this was coming. And next month, we will start again with a normal level of taxes. And since the monthly bills for the taxes are more accurate this year, and our income will not increase much this year, we should not have that much of a gap next year.

We also went a bit nuts with the food budget. Since we invited people several times, we had to buy many things we are not used to buying, inflating our budget significantly. Nevertheless, our average food expenses are getting too high for my taste. We will have to watch it more. But I do not know what we changed in our purchases.

Overall, our expenses were great this month (not counting taxes). We managed to spend very little money even though we had a normal month. We definitely cannot spend less than 3000 CHF every month. But it is great to see that we can still have some good months!

2021 Goals

Let’s look at the state of our 2021 goals:

Our goals as of July 2021
Our goals as of July 2021

Except for one goal, our goals are doing good this month. With our good expenses this month, we are very close to (slightly below) our goal of 4500 CHF monthly expenses. On the other hand, the 0% savings rate adds some pressure on our savings rate goal. If we get a few more good months for savings rates, we should be fine with reaching a 50% average by the end of the year.

Even though they are globally doing well, I could not walk and work out so much this month. For walks, this can be explained by the horrible weather. And for working out, I usually work out during pauses during workdays. And this month has been quite intense at work, with some days without pauses, so no workout.

Next month, I will optimize one bill worth about 45 CHF per month to be done with the optimization goal. Of course, I am always looking for more optimizations, but there is really not much we can cut at this stage. The only expense category really weighing on our budget is taxes. And there does not seem to be much we could be doing to lower our taxes.

I do not want to talk about the page views goal. I will talk about it in the blog section.

So, overall, our goals are doing well. I am not sure we will reach our expenses goal and our savings rate goal, but we still have a few months to work on that. And we are at a pretty good level right now.

Net Worth

Let’s look at the state of our net worth:

Our Net Worth as of July 2021
Our Net Worth as of July 2021

At the end of the month, our net worth was at 408K. This is about 3% lower than last month but still 21% higher than the beginning of the year.

As expected, our net worth went down significantly. This makes sense with this level of expense. As for our investments, the stock market stayed pretty much flat this month, so no big changes there. Since we were expecting that event, we are still happy about the state of our net worth. We are still higher than I was expecting!

Except for the huge tax bills we had to pay, nothing much happened on the side of our finances.

Very early next month, my ESPP shares will vest. This may make a nice difference to our net worth unless the market tanks. Aside from this, nothing particular should happen to our net worth next month.

The Blog

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As usual, the blog lost a ton of traffic again. This month, the blog lost more than 15% of traffic. This is one of the worst months of the year. At this point, I have entirely given up trying to understand what is wrong with what I am doing for the blog. I am not 10% lower than last year. I have to admit that I am bad at this.

Seeing that, I do not feel like writing so much on the blog. Consequently, starting this month, I will change my schedule on the blog. I will only publish one article per week, on Tuesday, instead of two articles per week. Since writing two articles a week takes a lot of time and has no result, I reduce the schedule to once a week.

I have no doubt that this will lower the traffic even further, but I have no solution to increase the traffic even with hard work. So I’d rather take it down and stop trying.

I continued to translate and update articles, but I am probably wasting my time at this stage. With more articles translated, I actually get less traffic on the French part of the blog.

Next month, I will stop translating articles. I will also stop updating articles unless there is something really wrong with them.

Next month – August 2021

Overall, July 2021 was a good month for us, a bad month for our finances, and a terrible month for the blog.

In August 2021, we have a few family and friend events. We are just hoping the weather will be good for these. Aside from this, there will be one major event, but I will share this in the next monthly update.

What about you? How was July 2021 for you?

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.

27 thoughts on “July 2021 – New schedule for the blog”

  1. Dear Poor Swiss

    I read your homepage from time to time but not on a regular basis. Every time I visit I observe the following:

    The layout of your page looks generic and does not spark an interest to browse (or comeback) even though the content might be good.

    The topics you write about can be found on other pages too that are probably more popular (rip, mustachian post, sparkojote, Finanzfabio to name a few).

    You seem to write in order grow an audience (and make money) instead of writing about topics that interests you personally. Try not to write to increase your views, try to write about something that you would read yourself and take it from there.

    Keep up the good work and don’t give up :)

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I am sorry you feel that way about the articles I write. I only write on things that interest me and money has never been the focus of this blog. Otherwise, I would write totally different articles.

  2. Back to the topic of how much traffic your blog is generating.
    Another reader has mentioned that at first sight it looked abandoned – which I may actually subscribe.
    now, it’s a matter of taste, but I think that the choice of those big colored title boxes is not doing you a favour. To my taste, they look terribly “from the nineties”, smells like geocities (if you still remember it).
    On the constructive side:
    – can you maybe invest 1hr to browse through some popular blogs and get fresh inspiration
    – add pictures / replace those colored text headings with nice, inspirational pictures? You already have a link title “How to make money with your car”, why do you need to waste space to repeat the same text in picture format? Save the space or use an inspirational picture, that speaks to the emotional part of viewer’s brains, not only to the rational part
    – what are the analytics telling you? Are people leaving too early, after 1-2 pageviews, or just fewer people landing here? (i.e. is it a visibility issue, or a retention issue?)
    Just a thought, with the goal of making your website as successful as possible.

    1. Hi MFF,

      Thanks for your feedback. It seems that the home page is not very popular :)
      I will try to see what I can do about it.

      As for the pictures, I will not put any other pictures. That’s just not something I enjoy. I could consider removing the title image altogether from single article pages. But I believe it looks better with an image in the feed.

      As for analytics, people don’t come back mostly. But once they come, they generally see more than one page and generally spend a long time on page.

  3. Grüzi

    I just wanted so say I appreciate your transparency and thought process. As a soon to-be undergraduate with interest in financial subjects, this is super helpful to me. Especially since we share the same country. Keep it up!
    As others have mentioned: Maybe a refreshed website might draw some new attention :) .
    I wish you all the best!

    Phil

    1. Hi Philipp,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      My idea of online design is more minimalistic. So except from making it more minimalist, I am not really able to refresh it :)
      And I would rather people like the content than the design. But some parts may need a refresh indeed, but I am not capable of doing it.

  4. Maybe you could rethink the website structure/layout/navigation. I am coming here since about a month and only yesterday I realized there is some continuous blog posting section. It is pretty difficult to orientate oneself on the page – until now I thought it is mainly collection of (chaotically) placed articles which i took time to navigate through as i find the content highly valuable. This is not to put critic on you, it is food for thought as I value your high quality content which I believe deserves more attention.

      1. The top and the bottom of the home page never changes (almost), the same articles are displayed. This gives the impression of a dead/abandoned page. Initially, I thought that the page is not maintained anymore (I did not notice that there is something changing in the middle of the page). I was surprised as I found only few days ago that there is a blog tab and you put some continous posts there. It could be that most of the additional work you put goes unnoticed for the average user who lands here from google – it is like you are hiding your new content from the users as the choice of layout/presentation is rather very unusual for a blog.

        It could be a good idea to show your blog posts stream on the home page directly and include date near the titles, so that the page looks alive and there is something for the people to come back for to read new content.

        1. Hi Kuba,

          It’s true, I rarely change the popular and featured content. I will try to put the updated content at the top of the page to see if this makes a difference. And I will also try to display 6 recent articles instead of only 3.
          Thanks for the suggestions :)

  5. We came across your blog when preparing for out move from the US. Your blog has been tremendously valuable to us and helped us a great deal as we are settling in. I am sharing with all my expat friends. Please do not be discouraged!

  6. Thanks for the post.

    I guess it makes sense to focus your limited time on things that drive an impact for the blog (however you want to measure that). I just wanted to say that I enjoy your analysis and have shared several of your articles with friends that wanted to know about Roboadvisors, Pillar 3a, etc.

    As others have said, keep up the good work and don’t feel demotivated by short term metrics.

    A fellow reader.

    1. Hi Eric,

      Thank you very much for your kind words! And thank you for sharing my articles :)

      I will keep writing for the blog and hopefully, it will continue to be helpful!
      Next year, I definitely won’t focus on the analytics of the blog :)

  7. Been following your blog for a few months now, I enjoy reading it. Please don’t get disheartened by the traffic levels. I find your blog thoughtful and logical, with excellent analysis. Keep writing about what interests you, there will be a core audience that finds it interesting too.

  8. Hi, thank you very much for the information. If I may ask you, what TV and internet subscriptions do you have? What invoices have you optimized this year? Thank you

    1. Hi Omar,

      I do not have a TV subscription. And we use Swisscom Internet S for internet.

      This year:
      * I canceled one domain name that I was not using anymore to save 14.39 USD per year
      * Canceled the partial casco insurance on our car to save 250 CHF per year

      Next year, we will be able to cancel some of the supplemental health insurance that we do not really need. Aside from this, I do not have many ideas left :)

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