Still waiting on US flight prices / availability to go back to a somewhat reasonable level. United decided to do a surprise mile devaluation a week ago, so now Economy US-Japan flights are 55k miles each way, minimum. Previously to the devaluation, you could get flights for 35k miles, and occasionally below that. I have about 53k miles stranded at United after I had to do a last-minute cancellation for a planned US trip in April, and this devaluation has all but eliminated any reason to use United miles for an upcoming trip, unless there are no better alternatives. As a result, I will try to use up those United miles on domestic Japan trips before they do a devaluation for Star ALliance partner flights too. As of right now, I can still get domestic flights for 5.5k each way, so 53k miles is enough for almost 10 flights, which is 2.5 round trips for 2 people. I might be able to squeeze in a Sapporo trip and a Beppu trip this summer.

Finance-wise, the Yen has fallen a little bit more so it’s down to 140 per dollar. With the new BoJ governor I was hoping that he would take steps to strengthen the Yen (maybe by raising interest rates to combat the inflation we’re seeing?) but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards so far. I would like to get back to contributing to my investments again, but the poor exchange rate makes it very unpalatable. I can’t seem to give up hope that the exchange rate won’t eventually go back to the 100-110 -ish “normal” range at some point, even though that’s seeming increasingly unlikely.

Here’s a summary of my financial position this month:

Description 05/23
Total Expenses $2,787.67
Gross Income $4,760.40
Taxes $675.56
Net Income $4,084.84
Savings $1,297.17
Savings Rate 31.8%
Net Worth $420,299.01

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 7 years, 8 months.