Monthly Financial Snapshot: September 2019

Most of this month was spent visiting family and continuing to prepare for my move to Tokyo. My visa paperwork arrived mid-month, but I discovered that I needed to go to the consulate for my state of residence to get my visa, which necessitated a last-minute trip to Chicago. Fortunately, I was able to book … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: September 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: August 2019

I spent most of this month getting rid of almost all of my possessions in preparation for my move. It was a little bit difficult parting with the things that I acquired over the past 4.5 years, but it was also relieving. Now that everything I own fits into two suitcases and a backpack, I … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: August 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: July 2019

My final month in Japan has come to an end, but not without some exciting developments. During this month, I had another family member come to visit me during my final weeks in Japan, so I got to play tour guide showing her around Tokyo and the Kansai (Kyoto, Nara, Osaka) region. Because my bank … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: July 2019

Monthly Financial Snapshot: June 2019

Another month gone by in my 3 month stay in Japan. This month was pretty good on the spending front. Since I have already pre-paid my housing, most of my spending this month was food and transportation. A family member came to visit during the latter part of the month, so I did some extra … Read moreMonthly Financial Snapshot: June 2019

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 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