FIRE Update 13: August

We have arrived in August, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and we can take stock of how the month went. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

I’ve been working like crazy, especially since BOTH of my holidays were cancelled due to covid. So far, it has not been the best summer, but I am going back to my home country next week, and I hope all the extra work hours will pay off come September. I am looking forward to catching up with friends and family, eat food for free (lol), and have something that can resemble an actual holiday. I’ve also had some luck with eBay and Vestiaire Collective, where I am expecting some money to trickle in soon. Overall, I am very positive about the next few months, even if I am in a tight spot right now.

Savings

My current general savings are $9,066.

My travel and luxury savings are $103.

I have to dip a bit into my savings to make up for the missing $1,721 in state grants, and moving into a place with practically no furniture or kitchen stuff has also proved to be expensive. However, it is true that splitting costs with a partner help lessen the burden, so I hope to bounce back soon. The more I save now, the less I need to loan to cover my tuition for the coming academic year.

There’s also not a lot of luxury in the luxury savings account at the moment – I’ve had to pay for tests before flying, and I expect to use the remaining money for birthday presents and celebrating my own birthday with friends. However, I do feel prepared for these extra expenses, since my freelancing gig is going pretty smoothly. Hopefully, it will help cover the rest.

Spending

I have tracked my spending generally but deleted the sheet before I realised I had to post a number here. Whoops. I promise I’ll do better next month. I can tell you, however, that the number is probably super high…

Investments

My current investments are $6,966 out of my $33,000 goal (21%)
My net worth is -$25,900

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $54,800. (when I last calculated it).

Goals for next month

I plan to relax and try being sensible about my upcoming holidays. I will be saving on general food costs, but I imagine that transport and eating out will go up significantly. I’ll just take things as they come and try to prepare as much as possible for the trip, so I have enough funds to get by.

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FIRE Update 12: July

Another skip, but I’ve been overwhelmed by everything it seems, haha. It has taken me longer to recover from stress than what I realised. The next few months will be tough on the finance end, but I’ll do my best to make everything work out smoothly.

We have arrived in July, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

The weather has not been very summery, so I’ve mainly focused on work and an upcoming move closer to central London. I also had the unfortunate realisation that I’m losing out on a couple month’s worth of my student grant until I start my Master’s, so I have to save a lot more this summer to avoid dipping too much into my savings. I’m really grateful that I have my freelance work right now, because that will help lessen the impact as well.

Savings

My current general savings are $14,238.

My travel and luxury savings are $64.

The travel/luxury account got depleted, mainly due to flight tickets and so on, but I’m not too fussed. Since I am moving, I’m selling a ton of stuff on eBay so it would be stupid to buy more things anyway (except for the basic apartment stuff, of course). The dip in my savings are mainly due to moving and the lack of income I suddenly experienced.

Investments

My current investments are $6,648 out of my $33,000 goal (20%)
My net worth is -$22,282

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,100. (when I last calculated it).

Goals for next month

If I can get through July with a sensible moving experience, some basic purchases for the new place, and work enough to only use a minimum of my savings, I’ll be happy!

I’ll also add a spending category for next month, so I can track how much I spent.

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FIRE Update 11: May

First of all – I skipped the April update. I was caught in a mix of exam stress and blog-crisis. We’re back now, hopefully more improved by now!

We have arrived in May, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

I have just been busy with exams. I also had a bit of shopping spree – not a big one, but enough to soothe my stress (lol, at least I am aware of it now!) and to celebrate some good things happening in the family.

I’ve also taken some time to reflect on where I’ll be prioritising my energy from now on. I’ve had an incredibly stressful semester that took its toll on my body. It was a scary experience, so I now have to be ruthless on how I navigate my everyday life and not just “power through”. Therefore, I am now only sticking with stuff that I either find enjoyable, is worth the money, or is a core activity that makes a significant positive impact on my life. I’ll be talking more about that later in a post on how I plan to “summer audit” my life.

Savings

My current general savings are $16,065.

My travel and luxury savings are $890.

So I’ve done some readjustments since I’ll be embarking on a Master’s degree next semester, and I got some unexpected money. Suddenly it seemed like a reasonable task to try to save up as much as possible to diminish the need for loans. I’ll also be moving houses in a few months, so it is nice with a laser-focus on saving money and reducing my belongings. However, I also plan to travel (if the world allows it) and still buy a few quality pieces from my wishlist if they show up, so I also have a separate account for those frivolous things…

Investments

My current investments are $6,186 out of my $33,000 goal (19%)
My net worth is -$20,200

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,100. (when I last calculated it).

Goals for next month

I’ll be finishing up my degree (woo!) and plan out a whole Life Audit over the summer before I start on my Master’s degree. More on that later!

How is your May going, and how did April go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 10: March

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I can’t believe I’ve almost done this for a year! We have arrived in March, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable. I am still keeping up, even if life is a bit overwhelming at the moment!

What happened this month?

I was very happy to learn that I have been accepted into a really good Master’s programme, so it has been a great month so far. Other than that, I am still just grinding away. I have also signed up for All Star Money, which looks super interesting and the articles they pick out seem quite inspiring. So maybe I’ll attempt to rack my efforts up here some more and hope for a good opportunity to show up, haha.
Otherwise, I just had my 2-year anniversary at the world’s best student job, aka my consulting position. I got a raise, which is not bad, and I’ve been handed some extra work on a more regular basis (although that is not related to the raise). So I take that as good signs, because I do prefer to divide my energy between my studies and that job.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $7,600.
So my computer had to be repaired, which means I had to dip into my savings. I am not trying to worry too much – after all, this is what my savings are for and I am grateful for having this kind of cushion. Therefore, I am just continuing with work and spending as minimally as possible. This is turning out to be easier than I expected – when you are worn out and overworked, I often find that I spend less – because I am too exhausted and don’t have time for online shopping. So as long as we avoid emotional spending to cope with the stress, it should be OK on that front (while looking out for my mental health).

Investments

My current investments are $5,500 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-30,500.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,100. (when I last calculated it)

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

Mainly just academic stuff, and then some money articles from the website I mentioned above!

Goals for next month

I am going to get back into the minimalism challenge. I ended up stuck after 2 weeks, but I’ll get my head into it again. Then I also hope to have written a big chunk off my uni work, and have launched my website.

How is your March going, and how did February go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 9: February

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We have arrived in February, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable. I am still keeping up, even if life is a bit overwhelming at the moment!

What happened this month?

Busy as always. I have finished most of my applications by now, but I still have, well, a whole thesis to write and stay on top of work and uni. It feels like pouring in a lot of hours without a lot of tangible output just yet. But we are staying on track.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $8,000.
I am very close to reaching my savings goal, and I had initially changed it to $8,250, but I might just go for $9,000. The extra padding is to ensure that I have enough for moving apartments, studying (even if something happened with my finances), and still have leftover money to put down a deposit after my studies. But once that has been solved, I am going to go all-in on investments and a bit of debt repayment. I am also adding to a travel fund, which is obviously not gonna get used any time soon, but once the pandemic is over, I think I’ll be happy to have funds that are allocated to have fun, lol. Especially between my degrees.

Investments

My current investments are $5,380 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-29,400. You may have noticed there is a sharp decline in my negative net worth, which is mainly because I put in extra money on my savings and recalculated my student loans.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,100.

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

I am currently reading “Superhero nutrition”, but I am in the process of setting up a website for my articles and everything.

Goals for next month

I have started a minimalism challenge with my friend. I have to declutter 1 item a day, and send her a picture of it, which keeps me accountable. I’ll save all the pictures for a collage. 1 a day seems reasonable, and if I keep it up, I’ll be in a much better place once I am actually moving out. I refuse to carry around stuff I will never get to use.

How is your February going, and how did January go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 8: January

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We’re already well into January, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable. I am still keeping up, even if life is a bit overwhelming at the moment!

What happened this month?

Christmas happened! It was great seeing my family and I enjoyed the time there, but I also still have tons of studying and work to do, as the exams are just around the corner. So the grind is still on, but I am staying optimistic. Better to focus on my studies than worrying too much about my applications for further study. Lol.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $6,270.
I have done some calculations concerning the next year of my life. My primary objective is to have a sufficient safety net that would cover living costs during a Master’s degree, and still have money leftover for a deposit and moving costs. My goal is, therefore, to have $8,250 in that account, and then I’ve decided to focus somewhere else. I want to build up a travel fund and my investments further, and then pay down debt a bit more aggressively. I’ve written some smaller goals along the way that I am working towards.

Investments

My current investments are $5,200 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-48,000.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $56,634.

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

All I am reading for now is just academic stuff. 🙁

Goals for next month

My goal is to survive exams and deadlines. I am also pulling out a bit more from my closet and shoes to sell (it is highly addictive once you get going), so I will not have as much of an overflow as before. Since I know I am moving in six months, I know I need to downsize as much as possible.

How is your January going, and how did December go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 7: December

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We’re already well into December, and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

So, I almost skipped this update for two months straight. This has mainly been due to a combination of tons of deadlines, work and the fact that I’ve had to dip into my savings, which means that the number hasn’t looked all that impressive to me, to be honest. But we are still heading in the right direction, so I just have to keep my head held high.

As you already know, I’ve done a huge closet clean-out, so that meant extra money for me, but it has also taken a long time to upload all these things for sale. That’s just how it is. I am also really swamped with work, so I am honestly just looking forward to getting through with all the work and really enjoy my Christmas.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $5,431.
Slow but steady increase. I had to dip into the savings account last month, so we’re rebuilding it and perhaps aiming for $9,800-10,000 instead of $6,000. I do want some extra cushion, since I am not sure what life will throw at me once I have to choose a place to study for my Master’s.

Investments

My current investments are $4,770 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-45,689.
I’ve increased my investments the last two months, so we’re picking up speed, which is really nice. I’ve accumulated some more debt, but this is used to pay off my tuition fee loan, which is a more expensive loan – so it is a calculated risk. It will all be OK in the end.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $54,634.

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

I’ve read “Cant Hurt Me” by David Goggins and I am currently reading “The Alter Ego Effect”. It will be a slow progress though, because I need to channel all my energy into my dissertation.

Goals for next month

My goal is to finish off those stupid deadlines and get on track with my dissertation. Meanwhile, thanks to the wake-up call from my closet clean-out, I am also in a mindset of saving money and squirrel as much away as possible. Hopefully that will translate into more savings and investment… and debt payoff as well.

How is your December going, and how did November go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 6: September

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We are at the end of September and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

While my blog activity is still put on a back-burner, then I am happy to stay consistent with my monthly updates. Just the fact that I am posting my finances online (albeit semi-anonymously), means that I am keeping myself more accountable and think twice before making movements that impacts my finances.

September has been intense, in the sense that I’ve been busy with my internship and then university also started. So I have more than enough to look into, and it will probably continue in October. I still have ideas for posts to write, and, more generally, the direction I want to take my own writing, but I have accepted that it is better to have it on the “not to-do list” for now and simply wait until I have some more breathing room. I am still doing things I enjoy and find important, after all.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $4,874.
Slow but steady increase. I even had some unexpected expenses this month, so I am happy that I still came out with an increase. We’ll just carry on with this until we reach the $6,000 mark, and then I’ll see if I should lower the monthly payment for more investing/debt repayment instead.

Investments

My current investments are $4,088 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-44,796.
I paid off a debt I “owed to myself” and added some extra debt repayment. My investments were kept on the same level though, but I figure that I will start increasing that from November and onwards, as I have a few big expenses this month I need to save up for. But the net worth is slowly moving the right way, which is nice.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,664.
I owe myself $0!

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

I am currently reading Dostoyevsky. I’ve also read a number of nonfiction books related to studyinng, such as “Make it stick” and “How to take notes”, which have been very useful and inspired me to amp up my efforts. I also have a few books waiting on me for my dissertation, so I try to make sure I read at least 1 hour a day besides the standard studying.

Goals for next month

My goal is to amp up my activity level for October, as I want to focus more on strength training. Othewise, now that university has started, I figure that I will be busy and need to develop an even more co-dependent relationship with my calendar. To-do lists are awesome. Other than that, I am actually trying to use up a lot of skincare products so I can’t take them with me back to London, and then I am working to save up for big expenses and more investing.

How did your September go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 5: August

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We are at the end of August and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

I managed to get my passport covered by my insurance and received it just in time before I had to leave for Brussels. I am super excited about this internship, but I can tell already now that it is going to be a tough few weeks ahead. On the bright side, I have set aside enough funds for it and have a good, reasonable budget. I had a large payout this month so I have put extra into my savings and debt repayment. I’ll start focusing on upping my investments even more from now on, as I hit a milestone with my savings.

I have tried to get my academic stuff sorted out, which proved to be more difficult than what I initially thought, but it is going in the right direction. I have to start thinking about my dissertation and what I’ll do after my degree, so I hope I will have sufficient time to come up with these things.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $4,750.
My September trip got cancelled, so I technically also have a travel fund now, but I’ll keep it out of the equation – I figure I’ll need those funds later this year anyway so at least they are just sitting there now. My goal for my apartment savings is $6,350, to get it to pre-uni level, but I am very happy with the current sum, so I’ll the extra payments down and instead amp up investing and debt repayment.

Investments

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My current investments are $3,950 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-45,721.
Due to the summer holiday, I had extra hours waiting for me this month, which meant I paid off more debt and put more into savings. However, my investments were kept at the same level and I would like to ‘supercharge’ it a bit more, so I will work more towards that from now on.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,664.
I owe myself $158.

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

I read “Women Don’t Owe You Pretty” by Florence Given, which was a super interesting read. I have only written opinion pieces for my work this month (which I also appreciate the opportunity to do!), but I am working on launching a more EU-focused blog. And an author blog, to keep my other pieces aside, but I am not prioritising that right now.

Goals for next month

My goal is to “survive” September, which means sleep, eat, work, study, repeat. I won’t be trying out new wild recipes, I cannot sell anything and I should not buy shit I have to drag with me back from Brussels. I will make an effort to eat healthy food, take good care of my skin and make sure I stay active throughout my crazy schedule.

How did your August go? Do you have any goals?

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FIRE Update 4: July

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We are at the beginning of August and that means that the paycheck has rolled in, the investments are transferring and I have to look through my finances anyway. It is the perfect time to review my journey and just keep myself accountable.

What happened this month?

What a month. I came back to London, and while I am happy to be back and seeing friends and loved ones, then I also got my passport stolen in a robbery. Not only is that a huge hassle, but it is also very expensive to get a new passport (£121 for my country).

Besides that, then I’ve had a busy month with a lot of work and family commitments. I actually felt terribly stressed out at the end of July, which I why I decided to put my freelance status as “out of office”. I need to scale down those activities, especially once I start my internship in Brussels – but I decided to do it now so I can both stay on top of work, review material for university, and have more time to have fun and get other things done before September comes. I have turned in the last few freelance assignments and it will be nice with a commitment less to worry about.

Savings

My general/apartment savings are currently $4,251.
I am also starting to save up for a trip in September with my partner. It will only be a weekend getaway, so it will not be too expensive, but I like to be prepared, so I have already put aside $150 and would like to have around $500 for it. Otherwise I am just working towards my savings goal for the apartment savings.

Investments

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My current investments are $3,824 out of my $33,000 goal.
My net worth is $-47,152.
I did a massive recalculation of my tuition fee, mainly because my home government had offered extra loans, which are far cheaper than the UK tuition fee loan I have. That meant my networth went even more down. Since I haven’t subtracted this loan from the more expensive loan, they are currently on top of each other, so I know it will readjust in the future, when I have a final number on how much money that should be repaid. The numbers are just quite painful right now, but I think I need exactly that. The more I can pay off early, the better. Sigh. I may do updated numbers for my loan at the end of the year, just to end the year on a more positive note.

Debt repayment

My current tuition fee debt is $52,664.
I owe myself $629.

Books I’ve read and texts I’ve written

I did not get a lot of writing done this month because I was too stressed out, but I have read some books. I am starting on Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky (or however you English-speaking people spell it), which is a big whale to get going with, but I am quite optimistic.

Goals for next month

For August, I will mainly be sorting out academic stuff, work at my part time job, and focus on my health. I do have a couple of planned purchases, but nothing too frivolous. I don’t have a huge urge to spend anymore, which is wonderful, so I will just be mindful and appreciate whatever extra funds that come my way. I will also start up my eBay selling again, so I have a smaller closet before my internship starts. I am quite excited!

How did your July go? Do you have any goals?

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