Journal From A Dane

Where are you and where are you going?
herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:19 pm

wood wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:14 am
Hi!
Nice dad you have:)

Does he or anyone else in the family have any expectations as to what to do with the vacation home? I'm pretty sure that if I found myself in the same scenario, there would be expectations from family that I maintain it and offer it as a guesthouse.
No expectations. He has considered selling it on the open market many times in recent years.
wood wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:14 am
Have you done the math on outsourcing all the upgrade work and then renting it out?
singvestor wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:24 pm
How about using a portal like airbnb to monetise the vacation home?
I'm not sure about the yield from renting, but I don't expect much more than what property taxes would cost me and it's an area that I have no experience in. It is something that I've considered, though.

I think if I could rent it out as a vacation home, that might be an option. I'm not so sure about a full time rental, though, as laws and regulation are very renter-friendly.

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:26 pm

I've thought a lot about early inheritance of the vacation home, and the more I think about it, at the risk of sounding cynical and ungrateful, the more I see how much of a financial strain it would be.

Property taxes, maintenance, insurance, and utilities could all run up to 6-7.5k USD annually and that's just not compatible with my frugal nature.

I also think renting it out is unrealistic. It's loaded to the hilt with various items - mostly extra furniture and lots of canned food (my mother is a hoarder).

The main argument in favor of inheriting it early is while public valuation of the place is low (property taxes have been a big mess in Denmark in recent years). It would enable my father to pass it on to me at a lower cost basis, thus saving a good chunk of taxes (15% inheritance tax above a flat deduction). On the flip side, he gets a discount on property taxes because he's a retiree, so the advantage may not be as clear cut.

In either case, it would probably be wise to consult a professional advisor.

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Eureka
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by Eureka » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:11 am

Have you considered living in the vacation house during (some part of) summer and renting out your usual home during that period? Eiher Airbnb or just to someone who stays for the full period. It will easily provide you with more than 7.5k DKK

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:22 am

Eureka wrote:
Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:11 am
Have you considered living in the vacation house during (some part of) summer and renting out your usual home during that period? Eiher Airbnb or just to someone who stays for the full period. It will easily provide you with more than 7.5k DKK
The vacation home is not anywhere near livable in its current state and as I mentioned previously, I really don't see it becoming so. I feel like I already have too much going on in my life these past few months, having crashed with work-related stress a few months ago. I don't have the ability to undertake a major renovation project at this point.

At the end of the day, I have no desire to live there. I consider it a nice place to visit every now and then, but that's it.

Also, it's not 7.5k DKK but USD.

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Eureka
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:03 am

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by Eureka » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:33 pm

Ok, I think you gave the answer then in the form of a big no thanks?

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:19 pm

I haven't decided. The offer will stay open for a while :)

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:52 am

June:

Report USD

Earned income 2953
Reward points 9

Expenses
Rent (incl. heating + cable) 943
Utilities 65
Transportation 80
Food 181
Entertainment 5
Phone 8
Union + unemployment insurance 131
Bank fees 31
Books 2

Savings 1437

Savings rate 48%

Very normal month. My bank has introduced new fees which will run 46 USD annually, but I really don't consider that a big deal. I've thought about finding another bank, but switching would cost even more and I don't consider it worth the hassle.

(If I include monthly employer retirement contributions I'm at about 58% savings rate before fees - not bad!).

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:36 pm

Pretty sure I won't have any meaningful expenses tomorrow, so here's the report for July.

July:

Report USD

Earned income 3035
Sale of items 240
Other income 93

Expenses
Rent (incl. heating + cable) 970
Transportation 27
Food 195
Entertainment 24
Phone 9
Union + unemployment insurance 135
Donations 8
Books 6
Other 16

Savings 1978

Savings rate 58%

A better than average month due to some extra income from a couple of sales. I resold some lamps that were snagged up at bargain prices. I also resold a tablet that was found and that I later fixed (didn't make much on that one though, it was almost worthless). I also returned some expired bus fare cards for over 90 USD.

It's been fun adding a bit of extra income, even if it's not a large amount. I might look into more such opportunities in the future.

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:32 pm

This month seemed to pass by fairly quickly.

August:

Report USD

Earned income 3417

Expenses
Rent (incl. heating + cable) 977
Utilities 38
Transportation 80
Food 184
Entertainment 103
Phone 9
Union + unemployment insurance 136
Donations 8
Other 21

Savings 1861

Savings rate 54%

Entertainment budget hiked some due to starting archery which I'm so far finding both difficult and fun.

Noedig
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by Noedig » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:23 pm

Hi Herp. To respond to one of your earlier posts: Buying alcohol in bars is undoubtedly expensive, and a kind of socialization tax.

Avoid if you can. But how? Here are the obvious ways:

-Drink only non-alcoholic drinks. But a man must stand his round so having no fun yourself while paying for others, is the worst of all worlds.

-Drink at home! Suits a regular event, like poker, does not suit spontaneous meets of friends after work.

-Drink somewhere cheap! Ah, but where?
https://www.routesnorth.com/copenhagen/ ... openhagen/ Get one of those large jugs of Tuborg, very economical. I would like to be able to tell you where, but my memories of that evening are indistinct! I do remember it was quite near the former HQ of the former Danish Communist Party, now a rather nice restaurant.

The last is my preferred solution. The first bar has a 60% chance of being the bar all evening, in my experience.

Other solutions exist, for example the "Christiania approach", but purist beer lovers do not mix their joys!

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:21 am

Savings rate is down a bit, but not too much.

September:

Report USD

Earned income 3203
Refund 20

Expenses
Rent (incl. heating + cable) 975
Utilities 82
Transportation 75
Food 193
Entertainment 23
Phone 9
Union + unemployment insurance 136
Dental 316
Other 28

Savings 1386

Savings rate 43%

Expenses were larger than normal due to requiring some dental work. Treatment is not done yet, so I'll have more expenses coming in over the next few months. I'll get some coverage from insurance which will be paid out in the coming months, so that's going to help.

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:06 am

October:

Report USD

Earned income 3157
Insurance coverage 257
Sale of items 93

Expenses
Rent 947
Transportation 75
Food 173
Union + unemployment insurance 133
Phone 9
Donation 7
Other 5
Entertainment 5
Dental 450
Other healthcare 231

Savings 1472

Savings rate 42%

Pretty normal month other than healthcare costs being much higher than average. Still need a bit more dental work done (double wisdom tooth extraction soon, eek), but I hope to finish treatment this month.

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:14 pm

November:

Earned income 3224
Insurance 235

Rent 978
Union + unemployment insurance 137
Food 182
Transportation 80
Phone 9
Other 18
Dental 21
Electronics 145
Other healthcare 161
Entertainment 68

Savings 1190

Savings rate 39%

Higher expenses than most other months due to splurging a bit on a new phone (great bang for buck Black Friday deal, no regrets!) and some other hobby/electronics items. Healthcare costs will keep rolling for a couple of additional months after which I expect them to almost disappear.

I've also discovered that my dentist is on the expensive side, so I'm going to look for a new one. Definitely a worthy savings tip for any other danes out there!

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:14 am

December:

Earned income 3438
Sale of item 64

Rent 993
Utilities 141
Union + unemployment insurance 139
Food 161
Transportation 61
Phone 10
Bank fees 4
Dental 117
Books 5
Furniture 56
Other healthcare 109
Other 69
Gifts 27
Entertainment 15

Savings 1595

Savings rate 45%

Very average month. Expenses were slightly higher than normal, but not by a lot. I got through Christmas without spending much extra, so that's a plus ;) The post-tax earned income above is a bit higher than it should have been due to withholding taxes going awry at the end of the year. I expect to owe $250-300 extra for 2017 due to some additional capital gains triggered during the final days of 2017.

It's been a great exercise to track income and expenses for 2017. I haven't factored in gains from investments, nor have I taken retirement savings into account. If I add both of those, the overall picture would improve quite a bit.

It has also become clear to me that I will not be pursuing ERE. The more obsessed I have been about my savings rate and ERE, the more constrained and worried I have felt. These past few months I've decided to take a more relaxed attitude towards spending and savings and I've still accomplished solid savings rates. Going forward, that's a mindset that I tend to keep. That said, I still have ER as a desired goal later in life, and I will continue to maintain a high savings rate.

Happy New Year!

suomalainen
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by suomalainen » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:39 am

herp wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:14 am
The more obsessed I have been about my savings rate and ERE, the more constrained and worried I have felt.
Amen. Although it does now make me wonder if this just means I'm doing it wrong?! I wonder what Dear Leader would say about that.

Forskaren
Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by Forskaren » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:17 am

herp wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:14 am

It has also become clear to me that I will not be pursuing ERE. The more obsessed I have been about my savings rate and ERE, the more constrained and worried I have felt. These past few months I've decided to take a more relaxed attitude towards spending and savings and I've still accomplished solid savings rates. Going forward, that's a mindset that I tend to keep. That said, I still have ER as a desired goal later in life, and I will continue to maintain a high savings rate.
I sometimes think it helps to be less strict for some time. You can go back to being more strict later if you feel for it. I also think that it is a difference between being strict on the planing compared to the tracking. Even if you are a spender, it can be good to track it, evaluate it and learn what gave poor value.

Maybe you are like me, more FI material rather than ERE material?

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:55 am

Forskaren wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:17 am
I sometimes think it helps to be less strict for some time. You can go back to being more strict later if you feel for it. I also think that it is a difference between being strict on the planing compared to the tracking. Even if you are a spender, it can be good to track it, evaluate it and learn what gave poor value.

Maybe you are like me, more FI material rather than ERE material?
Absolutely. I have more of an FI mindset than an ERE mindset. To me, the end goal is to be financially independent by the time I'm middle aged. That's something which I consider realistic while leading a frugal life by normal standards. I realize that by being unwilling to cut all expenses to the bone, I'm prolonging my FI date by a lot, but in the end it's also a question of what kind of life you wish to lead and I've realized that the ERE path just isn't for me.

My biggest expense has and will probably for a long time be rent (or a mortgage if I decide to buy something down the road, right now I don't consider it attractive though). I could see myself moving to a cheaper area when I leave the workforce, but that's a decade or two down the road.

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:43 am

January:

Earned income 3494
Refund 33
Insurance 170

Rent 1050
Union + unemployment insurance 144
Food 184
Health insurance 233
Transportation 63
Phone 10
Electronics 23
Other healthcare 169
Entertainment 26
Subscription 400
Associations 17
Other 34
Medical 4
Missing taxes for 2017 296

Savings 1044

Savings rate 28%

Worst month so far mainly because of the taxes that I anticipated and a $400 annual subscription.

I've started using a credit card to pay for as many expenses as I can in order to earn reward points for airline tickets. This has messed up my accounting a bit as I'm now essentially forwarding quite a few expenses up to a month or more. I'll have to figure out how to streamline it, so I'll be back to clean up the report.
Last edited by herp on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wolf
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by wolf » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:43 am

Hi herp. Have you already calculated if buying is cheaper than renting in the longterm?
Early Retirement Now did 10 case studies about people who want to retire early. And 9 out of 10 are homeowners.
https://earlyretirementnow.com/2018/01/ ... e-studies/
https://earlyretirementnowdotcom.files. ... .png?w=809
Maybe it is an alternative to lower your housing expenses. In my personal experience I am quite satisfied with my own apartment. I have low running expenses and nobody can make me to leave it. Of course such a decision also depends on your personality. In my case, I value mid-/long-term stability and planning. How is the real estate market in Denmark? Expensive?

herp
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Journal From A Dane

Post by herp » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:54 am

Hi wolf

This is perhaps one of the great questions that's been on my mind in recent years.

Each time I have done the investigation, it has come out in favor of renting when considering the real estate market in my area which is indeed quite expensive. A similar apartment would easily cost 20-25x of what I am now paying in rent alone and then you have to factor in property taxes, extra maintenance, and insurance. In short, I have a hard time seeing how it's a better deal in my case.

I'm very open to buying down the road if the ratio becomes more favorable, though.

I'll check out the links. Cheers!

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