Monthly Financial Snapshot: October 2019

Well, it’s finally done. I successfully moved to Japan.

There are still a couple of things that I need to finish setting up before I would consider myself completely “settled”, but I’m about 95% of the way there at this point. I’ve started my new job and I think I’ve been making good progress transitioning to my new career field given my limited prior professional experience until now.

High moving expenses are an almost unavoidable aspect of moving internationally, and this month was no exception. The vast majority of my expenses are related to housing, as Japan requires large up-front deposits / fees when moving apartments. My monthly rent for my apartment will be somewhere around $1000 / month (depending on exchange rates), but this month I had to pay the equivalent of 4 months’ rent in upfront deposits and fees. I’ll likely receive some if it back if/when I eventually move again, but it will likely go towards the next apartment’s fees, rather than into my long-term savings!

In Japan, paychecks are typically paid monthly, so I won’t receive my first one until later in November, which is why my savings rate this month is so terrible. Hopefully when my expenses stabilize and I start receiving an income again, my statistics will go back to normal and I’ll be able to continue saving towards early retirement again.

In order to simplify my expense tracking, I will be recording my expenses in Japanese yen in my spreadsheet, and converting to US dollars at the end of the month for my records. I will continue to report my expenses in US dollars on the blog, but take note that the amounts may fluctuate slightly due to exchange rate differences from month to month.

Here’s a summary of my expenses for this month:

CategoryOct-19Comments
Rent$3,998.29Apartment move-in payments in Japan are expensive!
Internet$0.00Nothing this month
Cell Phone$25.27Extra data SIM card until my home internet gets set up
Natural Gas$0.00Nothing this month
Electricity$0.00Nothing this month
Water$3.17Initial water payment
Groceries$211.81Not too terrible, but I'll reserve final judgement until I get a feel for baseline grocery expenses.
Transport$271.33Paid for a 6 month commuter pass for work.
Health$9.39Cold medicine
Other$237.37Haircut, shipping, mail forwarding
Necessary$4,756.63Pretty high, but this will drop dramatically starting next month
Restaurants$160.59Not too bad, considering how much more often I'm eating out than the US
Entertainment$0.00Nothing this month.
Shopping$1,055.20Furnishing my new apartment
Travel/Parking$283.26Discounted hotels.com gift card, airfare for travel in December
Gifts/Donations$0.00Nothing this month.
Software/Games$0.00Nothing this month.
Business$8.72Residual amazon fees
Other$0.00Nothing this month.
Discretionary$1,507.77Pretty high, but this will drop dramatically starting next month
Total Expenses$6,264.40Pretty high, but this will drop dramatically starting next month
Gross Income$162.24Interest
401(k) Match$0.00Nothing this month
Taxes$0.00Nothing this month
Net Income$162.24Not much to speak of
Savings-$6,102.16Really, really low
Savings Rate-3761.19%Really, really low
Net Worth$316,624.30Only slightly below last month, which is great considering how much I spent moving this month

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 6 years, 2 months.

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