Current exchange rate: 146

Market movement: down

US travel: planned!

I finally pulled the trigger on this year’s US trip. I wasn’t able to get the absolute lowest flight prices I saw (at one point I saw tickets for under $1,000 RT per person, but I hesitated and prices went up again), but they were good enough to be worth getting. Since my family has mostly dispersed away from California over the last few years, it’s more complicated to plan a visit to see everyone. As a result, on this trip there will be 3 domestic flights involved in addition to the main flights to and from Japan. For the domestic flights, I was able to use miles for one of them and got pretty good cash prices for the other two. In addition, I will need to drive for the first time in almost 4 years, and I’m not looking forward to it. Japan has spoiled me with its excellent and ubiquitous mass transit and I’m sure I’ll have even more appreciation for it after coming back from my US trip in October.

Investment-wise, the market dropped slightly in August and so did the Yen. Both of these effects knocked my numbers down quite a bit back down to the $430k - $435k range. It seems I’ve been “stuck” here for quite some time, but it’s difficult to move past it when your home currency (and therefore your primary income) devalues against USD so quickly. If the Yen ever gets its strength back (at this point, I would consider anything below about 120 Yen / USD to be “strong”), I stand to gain quite a bit from my Yen savings in dollar terms. But if it continues its downward slide, I should still be ok as my USD holdings appreciate in value and hopefully prices here won’t rise too quickly in response.

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

Description 08/23
Total Expenses $3,976.40
Gross Income $5,513.74
Taxes $820.86
Net Income $4,692.88
Savings $716.48
Savings Rate 15.3%
Net Worth $435,220.66

Projected time to FI (assuming 6% growth and 4% withdrawal rate): 8 years, 3 months.