Sunday, 1 April 2018


In times of extensive expenditure, it feels uncomfortable with a volatile stock market. It affects assets in stocks, funds, pensions and most of all - FI: my financial independence number.

I count it in the same way on the first of every month and it is the total value of assets (excluding property that I live in and pension rights that I can not touch or control). I will always need to live somewhere and although there are assets in the small studio that is my bolt hole in my mother's country, it is currently not for sale and therefore the assets are nil. I do not count the value of pension rights invested beyond my control before my retirement as the value is currently nil for me and what the value will be the day I retire, is anybody's guess. So I will not guess, but I do track the value.

I do not count the value of any other property (not that I have any) in my assets. Cars can go over the edge into a canal faster than you say "parallel parking in Amsterdam" and second hand items have none or very little value.
I have no debt since 2010 but that would be deducted from the assets (actually I do owe taxes currently and my employer owes me travel cost reimbursements - it will all be sorted during the month, and should if done completely correctly be included in the assets calculations.)

I log on to all accounts on the first of each month when all bills for the coming month are paid. (I have adjusted payment dates for all fixed bills to coincide with salary payments. It just goes in 'n' out and that part of my salary I never really see.) The rest of income is saved or booked for any other payments. At the end of the first of the month, I know I am financially secure at least that month - for what ever I can predict. The savings are invested with focus in long-term dividends and with the ambition of never loosing its value. I do not risk my investments - they are my financial independence money and they must always be there. Some available immediately, some in stocks with dividends, some in long-term funds. Everything is in my name. The man and I have separate financial lives for reasons.

I divide my total assets with my annual budget (that I live within comfortably and have for years) as I keep the costs lower than the budget. 

Currently the FI-number is 35,96 - meaning I can live almost 36 years within my current budget keeping my fingers crossed that price increases and dividends/interests equalise and compensate each other. I also still work - although only four days a week - and still add to the savings each month.

This month is another disasterous stock market month - although not as bad as last week. I tell myself "long term investments and dividends focusing so the current value does not matter" - but it is hard.

It is especially hard since I am currently also using savings from the "house repairs" part of the budget, not used very much the last few years to pay for Project Bedroom and will use savings from the saved "vacation" part of the budget to buy a new bicycle. With a new fridge in the horizon and warm weather for camping coming, there will be some serious (for me) spendings in the future.
I do not like it one bit. I do not like spending.
But that is what I save for - now I can enjoy the results of eating at home, bringing own snacks, never going out for coffee and having no car to pay for. 

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