Monthly Financial Snapshot: May 2019

My first full month in Japan is officially over. This month I’ve been mostly staying in business hotels (small, no-frills hotels that cater to budget-conscious business travelers). I try to maximize my savings by changing hotels every few days when rates predictably spike for weekends, booking through Hotels.com which gives a free night after every … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: May 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: April 2019

There have been a few changes this month. For starters, I quit my job [cue gasps of shock and amazement]. By most typical measures, I had an excellent job situation: great salary and good benefits at a historically stable industry and company. However, over the last year or so, I had become increasingly pessimistic about … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: April 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: March 2019

Another month has come and gone. We finished the busy overtime period at work, and I got to do some traveling to see family as well. February and March are always my busy months at work, and I’m glad that they are finally over. I’m also glad that I was able to take some time … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: March 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: February 2019

February is the shortest month by calendar days, but it’s also the longest month for me in terms of hours spent working. In a typical month, I might spend approximately 168 hours working, but in February I worked 220 hours. That comes out to nearly an extra week’s worth of work due to mandatory overtime! … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: February 2019

Market Independence: Why a High Savings Rate is Critical to FI Success

In the Financial Independence community, there’s a lot of talk about one’s savings rate (SR). People argue about how to calculate it, how to compare it, and the best ways to improve it. But, I don’t think there’s enough attention given to one of the best consequences of having a high SR: market independence. In … Read moreMarket Independence: Why a High Savings Rate is Critical to FI Success

The Five Stages of Tax Refund Enlightenment

Ah, tax season. It’s my favorite time of the year as it’s a great opportunity to assess my financial standing from the previous year, as well as plan ahead for the year ahead. Plus, it usually brings a cash infusion in the form of a tax refund! Who doesn’t like getting money, right? As I’ve … Read moreThe Five Stages of Tax Refund Enlightenment

Monthly Financial Snapshot: January 2019

This was an interesting month. The stock markets seem to have regained their confidence this month and have rewarded investors accordingly. In January alone, the total US market returned about 8.7%, and the non-US market returned about 7.5%. Meanwhile, between October and December of last year, the total US market declined by 14.8% and the … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: January 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: December 2018

Here’s my final expense report for 2018. Highlights include a weekend trip to New York to visit family, and holiday gift shopping. After looking at my year as a whole, I decided to adjust how I account for my business spending. Previously, I had been recording all business expenses under its own category, but lumping … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: December 2018

Monthly Financial Snapshot: November 2018

Category Nov-18 Comments Rent $768.75 $750 for rent, paid via Plastiq Internet $55.92 Internet is kind of expensive. Cell Phone $0.00 Nothing this month. Natural Gas $19.59 Little below average. Electricity $21.64 Below average for the month. Water $35.25 Slightly above average Groceries $106.39 Less this month, due to travel. Car Insurance $0.00 I pay … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: November 2018

Monthly Financial Snapshot: October 2018

Well, October was an interesting month. The markets panicked a bit this month, dropping about 7.4% in the US and 8.5% internationally. The headlines tell me that this was the biggest monthly drop in 7 years. But honestly, I wasn’t paying that much attention while it was happening. These things happen from time to time, … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: October 2018