Rube's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Rube's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:20 am

I like the marathon analogy!

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:17 pm

Thanks Gilberto.

March update

Finances
Expenses: 2208
Income 7098 (5363 regular income, 825 tax refund, 654 Interest/cash back, 101 dividend, 151 CL sales )
Savings ratio 69% (average 12 months 65%)

Special expenses: about 800 for a new kitchen (not finished yet). But our mortgage of March was paid only early April, so actually expenses were higher but this will become visible in April totals.

Income: the regular income was common, but we received quite some additional money by the tax refund, interest, dividend and craiglist sales. Also we got 200 through a special kind of cash back action by opening 4 accounts. It’s one time only cash back, I’ll withdraw the money in June and close the accounts again but I thought it was worth to spend an hour or so to earn 200 euro’s.

Moved some savings to pay off another 7K from our mortgage. Somewhere later this year we’ll pay another 7K and then we’ll have to wait till next year again before we can pay off without getting a penalty.

My manager informed me that my salary will increase by 2.5% per April. Not a huge raise, but will still be about 80 euro’s net a month, so I’ll take it.

I received our tax-free mortgage saving overview and found out that the value was about 1K higher as I expected.

Our net worth increased 4.6K to 318.5K.

Side business
The side business value, cash on bank account only, increased also by about 1K due to receiving some payments.

Other
Spring has arrived again! Lovely weather, could even go outside in a shirt only a few days. Argh, I like that so much.

Some exciting things happened at work. Can’t go into details, but I felt “to be in action” and I learned more things in the last 10 days then in 3 months before. It seems also that everybody is accepting my decisions about how to handle this and is acting accordingly.
Sometimes I am surprised that people do see me in certain cases like a leader and the specialist who decides about pretty important (well, what’s important…) things. I don’t see myself like that.

April finance forecast
Car maintenance will be added to the budget (450) and two times the mortgage payment (620 more) as well as some additional kitchen stuff (estimate about 300). So April will be a month of high expenses.
I expect to receive about 250 additional interest due to an action of our bank, but that’s it. Nothing else expected apart from the regular income, So it will probably a low savings rate for us.

I also did our tax filing and we’ll need to pay about 600, but that will likely be in June / July.

Graphics
Savings account percentage of the total net worth went down from 43% to 41% due to the move to the mortgage pay off.
PP total is not doing much, but who would have thought that long term bonds would be up by almost 6-7% in a year?!
Gold is down about 25%. I am planning to re-balance this month. Likely I will purchase some additional gold to bring all back to 25%.

I added a graphic showing current expenses, expenses when we would now not be working (Expenses ERE) and theoretical WR at 3% and 5% and actually realized nor-regular-work income.

Image

Thanks for reading again!

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:56 pm

Hi Rube,
Just have been reading your journal, and congratulations to keep expenses so low for a Dutch situation. I just visited my sisters in the Netherlands, and one of them (with one kid) is spending 3500 euro per Month, and the one with 2 kids, at least 4000 euro per Month !! When they complained that they need to work till at least 65 (especially when I told that I want ERE now), I told them to change their behavior of consuming, and start saving more. So, congratulations to you !!

DutchGirl
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Rube's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:49 pm

Henk and Rube,

I get part of my inspiration to stay frugal from this blog: http://zuinigaan.blogspot.nl/2014/03/ve ... -maar.html

My expenses are roughly 1500 euros per month, and I guess my boyfriend spends at least another 1000 euros per month (maybe more, I don't know all of his expenses, I know he pays 400 for housing and utilities, 300 for groceries, and 150 for health insurance... ). But she manages to spend for example 150 euros per month, and that includes groceries, gifts, clothing... Plus she currently has a mortgage of only a few hundred euros per month because she paid it down rigorously.

It's inspiring, or it may also be a bit frustrating if your expenses are roughly 7-10 times higher than hers... But I'll go with inspiring...

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:13 pm

@Hankaroundtheworld: thank you appreciated. And, you’re doing quite well yourself also.

@DG: Yes, I say inspiring. And I could down further if I would be alone (in decision making). But, I need to compromise with the family sometimes (and they with me, ha!) We found a quite okay level where we’re all happy I guess. When I would not work/have more time, we could save some more. But the time it would consume is not worth the effort for me right. We’re working 40+26 hours and have 2 kids to entertain (or they entertain us maybe??).

April update

Finances
Expenses: 3261
Income 5953 (5429 regular income, 240 Interest, 284 CL sales)
Savings ratio 45% (average 12 months 63%)

Special expenses:
2 x mortgage due to late debit in March. So nothing unexpected, it’s just messing up my monthly figures :evil:
Another 385 for the new kitchen. I still need to install it, but we got now almost all materials and equipment so no major expenses on this anymore expected. Without these special expenses the total would have been 2279 versus 2333 at the 12 months average. So I am not worried about the increased costs this month.

Income: the regular income was common. My pay raise came out net at 67. Some nice interest and CL sales of together a little over 500.

Decided to pay another 7K to our mortgage. Now we have to wait till next year before we can pay off another 10%.
Our net worth increased 3.9K to 323K.

Side business
The side business value, cash on bank account only, increased also by about 0.6K due to delivering an order and receiving a payment.

Investments
For the first time we jumped (slightly) into the PP 13 months ago we’re positive!
Bought some gold to re-balance the PP, but need to buy some more to re-balance correctly. Need to find some time to do so.
Bought 4 dividend growth stocks (well, I a hope it will turns out to be dividend growth stocks ;) ). All just small investments.

Due to the investments and paying 7K to the mortgage, the Cash and savings account parts is decreased to 38% from 41% last month.

We save on average about 4K, where do I need to invest it each month?? :?:


Other
Ehm..been busy (a bit) in the weekends to prepare to install our Kitchen. Hope I will be ready with in May.
I have been only in the office a few times this months. I was very busy with work and it was more efficient to work from home. Nobody noticed, my manager is not aware (he’s working from another continent). Furthermore nothing special I guess.

May finance forecast
Ah, May will likely be good for the savings ratio: DW and I expect the annual “holiday allowances”, roughly about 4K additional. So income in total around 9.4K. Also I expect to be reimbursed by my employer for € 400 so if nothing unexpected will happen, our expenses will likely be around 2K or even a little lower.
If that would come true, it would result in a 78% savings rate and our highest ever :shock: and bring the 12 months average 1% up (down 2% this month..)

Graphics
Well, what to say about. Anyone who follows my journal knows what to expect I guess.

Image

Hope it is useful for anybody (it is for me, and I just like to keep track of it anyway :lol: )

Questions, comments, feel free to write in my journal.

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:59 am

May update

Finances
Expenses: 2225
Income 9710 (9569 regular income, 142 Dividend)
Savings ratio 77% (average 12 months 64%)

Special expenses:
Some additional daycare and some more stuff for the new kitchen. In the end it didn’t affected the total amount too much because we were reimbursed by the employer for earlier expenses.

Income: very high as expected, due to the annual holiday allowances in may. It is the highest income we ever had.

Investments
Value of PP and other investments increased a little more. Where does it end, when do we get the correction?
Bought some more gold to re-balance the PP, almost done now.
Bought also some more dividend growth stocks and invested a some in P2P lending. All nothing major in the total scheme of assets.
The cash and savings account part stayed at 38%.

Other
Still busy in the weekends with our new kitchen. Hope to finish it this weekend, one week later as I hoped last month..
We bought the equipment 2nd hand (but fairly new), cabinets and counter top from IKEA. Looks pretty good if I may say myself.
Total cost 1700 Euro and I gained some skills. If we would have bought and installed in the “normal way”, we would probably have spend 4K more. I am very happy with the result.
I guess the value of the house will actually increase (at least) similar to the costs, but I’ll play it “safe” and keep the value of the house the same.

Again, I have been only in the office a few times this months. Reduced my commuting cost a bit although that was not specifically the reason.

Went on a short business trip in the EU, nothing special this time: I spend all of it in planes, trains, cars and offices.

June forecast
Nothing really special expected, should be an average month both for income as expenses.

Graphics
I added one new chart, to keep track of the difference between our average monthly savings and the average monthly increase of our net worth.

Image

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:13 pm

What P2P lending are you using, is this in the Netherlands, and if not, where did you go, thanks for some sharing on that

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Rube's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Fri Jun 06, 2014 12:21 pm

I'm not Rube, but I use http://www.geldvoorelkaar.nl . I've been using it for three years now and so far so good; average PROMISED interest rate for me is around 9%, however: only two loans have finished paying back so far. If defaults happen, my 9% profit could easily turn into a loss.

Disadvantages: minimum investment per loan is 100 euros or roughly $130. Very long loan periods, currently all available ones run for 60 months (although you get a repayment every month, this means that you only get to see some real profit during the fifth year). There are not many investment options offered at the same time (currently about 10), terrible search engine and no way to be alerted about upcoming interesting offers.

I am considering quitting it, letting the current loans run their course but not add new ones. It'll simplify my investments somewhat and you can probably get a just slightly lower profit with less risk when you invest in the stock market...

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:20 pm

Indeed, "geldvoorelkaar" and it has all the disadvantages DG mentioned. I invested in about 15 loans for 125 on average orso. The higher yield looks nice but it's too risky too put in a substantial amount.

There is also www.bondora.com to which I transferred 25 euro to, just to see how it works.
It looks better, but I am not sure how trustworthy it is AND the interest the people that take out loans have to pay is sometimes enormous, like 30%. It doesn't feel morally right to make profit that way. For both reasons I likely won't invest a lot here either.

But the question remains: where to invest into instead, everything looks expensive at the moment.

henrik
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Location: EE

Re: Rube's journal

Post by henrik » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:54 pm

I've been using Bondora for 8 months now, so far so good. They are expanding across Europe very agressively, which I guess has its potential upsides and downsides in terms of risk.

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:10 am

Hi, thanks for the idea; this Bondora sounds a bit too good to be true, who knows there is a Pyramid scheme behind it, and they pay well with fresh investor money coming in, till it explodes ...
I have tried to find how your money is kept; I mean what account and how well protected?
How about transferring money back to your Bank, how does that work?

henrik
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: Rube's journal

Post by henrik » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:25 pm

Logically, any P2P lending platform will have characteristics of a pyramid scheme. Loans take a while before they default and then those that don't get recovered will take a while before they get charged off. This means that when the proportion of new investors is high, the overall default rate is correspondingly lower and the returns that much higher.

My returns (actual realised, XIRR, annualised) have hovered between 20 and 22%. I'm surprised by how stable it's been, but I have every expectation that as my portfolio and the whole platform becomes more mature, the returns will go down. I believe this also happened with LendingClub and other more popular ones as they grew and matured.

Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:46 pm

May be use some play-money of 5000 Euro, for the fun and try out, I am thinking of it

henrik
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Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: Rube's journal

Post by henrik » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:53 pm

Maybe an admin could split the last few posts of this into a "European P2P lending" thread or something like that so we could keep track of options and how we're doing and not hijack rube's journal?

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:04 pm

Henrik, NP. to keep these current posts here. I am interested in more details as well.

henrik
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Re: Rube's journal

Post by henrik » Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:02 am

Hankaroundtheworld wrote:I have tried to find how your money is kept; I mean what account and how well protected?
How about transferring money back to your Bank, how does that work?
Well, ideally your money is not kept anywhere, but invested in loans, i.e. used to pay for other people's stuff:) That said, the specific account I have used to transfer funds to Bondora is, if I read the IBAN format right, in the Estonian subsidiary of SEB. Of course they might have more accounts than that one, but I doubt that the bank is a high source of risk here.

As for transferring money, when you transfer funds to them, your bank account number gets associated with your Bondora account and thereafter funds can be transferred out only to that same account. I understand it's intended so that even if anyone gets access to your Bondora account, funds can still only be transferred out to you.

Personally, I consider P2P lending quite risky. Not so much because of loan default risk (there are various strategies to mitigate that from diversification to criteria screening etc), but because of the single point of failure that is the company operating the platform. Legally, even if the company goes bankrupt for whatever reason, you will still own your loans. But if you have diversified well enough (eg Bondora lets you invest even in 5€ notes), it will not be realistic to go after each of those small pieces on your own by way of debt collection agencies or courts.

rube
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Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:59 am

DW had an interview yesterday with a recruiter. Most likely she'll have next week 1st interview with the company. Priority is the work okay and atmosphere is better as current work. But if it all goes further she's likely able to make a nice jump in salary as there is a huge demand and low supply of her expertise. Fingers crossed.

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:25 am

DW got interviewed 4 times now and expects an offer within a few days. Quite interesting how all went so far. Maybe I post more details later, maybe not (because of privacy).

Work and social life is keeping me and the family quite busy lately. I kept track of all financial details in June but will post the graphics and details later this month when I have some more time/energy, perhaps I combine them with July.

Currently preparing/packing my stuff for a business trip later this month to CA-USA. I will have some free time in the weekend to do some sight seeing. I Look forward to that.

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:19 pm

I have not abandoned my journal at all, but it is just quite busy (work, social, holiday) and at some other times I just didn't want to do anything but relax.

DW received a lousy offer after 4 interviews. The headhunter made a big judgement mistake in the proces (he already thought his bonus was in the pocket). She obviously didn't accept it.

With the first few days gone in August we already spend half of our normal monthly expenses due to new glasses for dw and additional daycare for the kids during their school holiday periode. And we still have to leave for the final holiday...

No complains however on the financial side. I'll try to give a long(er) update next week when we have holiday, but no promises ;)

DutchGirl
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Re: Rube's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:27 am

Damn, that's too bad (the offer).

But enjoy your holiday!

rube
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:23 pm

Well, even with the substantial increase we were aiming for, our saving ration would "only" go up about 5% or so. It would be nice, but it would also mean more work, less flexibility with and more stress on the family. In the end, we don't mind really it didn't happen.

Re: holiday, yes I enjoy it. But work is still continuing unfortunately. I have worked at least still 2 hours each day beside the swimming pool and answering emails while walking etc. Lot of things are happening lately which are not good. Management is pushing everybody to go faster, make (more) money etc. and faults are the results. Faults which I have to deal with. It helps me only more to realize I want to become fully FI. I told my supervisor already clearly how I feel about it currently. My personality is such that I probably would have told him also without any FU money, but it is always nice to know the back-up :D. Anyway, I am on purpose not replying on all mails instantly or simply telling them I can't (which is true, because of little time/lousy internet connection/not carrying my laptop the whole time with me etc.). So he is realizing now a little bit more what I have to deal with. so far this rant and not any of my usual financial updates yet.

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:31 pm

LONG DELAYED UPDATE JUNE - JULY (and a little of August)

NON FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
June: Finished our new kitchen. Was able to stay well below 2K, even including a new (2nd hand) heater, additional insulation, plastering wall etc. Pretty happy with the result.

July: Went on a business-trip to LA. I had 2 weekends to myself and went 1 weekend to Death Valley. I really loved the extremes of it. The other weekend I went up north along the coast way and enjoyed the scenery.

As mentioned earlier, DW declined a job offer. It was really quite a stressful period with DW having 4(!) interviews, discussing details with me (even while me on the business trip) etc. It was quite a disappointment they came in with such a low offer and very inflexible hours etc. Especially the fixed hours required to be present surprised us. We're both used to be responsible for our work (=result) and are able to shift hours when we want (need) to. And this is very important for us, in case a child get sick, has a school performance, we need to run some errand etc. It really surprised me that this branch of a global – large company was really old-fashioned in this regard. I understand for certain jobs fixed hours is necessary, but certainly not for this job type. Anyway, we moved on.

August: My Job was stressful on some parts with some issues going on. I didn't liked it, well some was okay but not all. I wrote earlier about it. But I think I'll be able to handle and learn from it. The better part of August: went on holiday with the family and had a great time. Actually, will still have holiday for another 3 days.

These last three months went very fast, but I enjoyed many things.

Expectation September: I'll will probably be traveling for another 2 weeks for business, but I stay in Europe this time. Coming back from holiday, handling the ongoing issues at work and preparing for another 2 week traveling will be probably take a lot of my time and energy. Means, it will be end of September again soon.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS JUNE/JULY
Expenses: 2011 / 2886
Income 5323 / 5660 (165 / 52 Dividend; 311 / 0 Interest ; 33 / 179 sales)
Savings ratio 62% / 49% (average 12 months 63%)

Special expenses:
July: Private traveling during business trip and advance payment for holiday in August were around € 1000. I actually spend quite a lot (for my / ERE standards) on the weekends in California, but I think it was worth it. Btw, decided one night to sleep a few hours in the car and saved a few buck on a motel.

Income:
June: had to pay 600 tax (over 2013) which made our income lower then usual.

Graphics
Despite the usual unusual expenses / incomes etc. the net worth graphic is almost a stright (up going line). The same for the average savings ratio, always arounf 63-64% it seems.
Image

User avatar
GandK
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Re: Rube's journal

Post by GandK » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:38 am

You guys are doing a great job maintaining your savings rate! I wish we were half that disciplined. :D

And I love the charts.

DutchGirl
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Rube's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:26 am

Nice! You two are definitely getting closer every month - just a few more years, I think?

rube
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:01 pm

Thanks GandK, I can tell already that in August we will only be at a 30ish% savings rate, but that is okay as it is same as last year (holiday) and I expect it will be up again in the comming months. And to be honest, it really doesn't feel as a discipline I just really feel bad if I spend money unless it is something I really like (holiday) or simple need (groceries). Combine that with a pretty good income and this is the result.

@Dutchgirl: we spend on average 2350 per month. If I deduct childcare and commuting we're at about 2K a month, 24K a year. Based on the 30 year rule we need about 720K. We now have 340K. still needed 380K at a savings rate of about 50K now and hopefully (!) 60K on average for the comming years (compounding interest). Means a little over 6 years still to go...But we're almost halfway and only two years ago we we're on only one third. So it is going ok although..this is not including any increase of cost for the kids (university..?) and the fact that we would like to change our townhouse for a detached self-build energy plus house. This will probably ad another 3-4 years.
Combine that with the fact that dw wants to move preferable asap and I probably later (so money can grow first) and that 6-9 years is a long time to look into the future, we're further away from it as just a few years. But as said, for the basic ER version we're halfway and I am very gratefull to be able to say that while not being 40 yet.

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