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July 2021 Net Worth update: $201,623
July came and went as well as the year of 2021 is coming and going. We are halfway through the year, and our net worth surpasses anything we thought possible in 2021. You can never see how the market will turn out.
The great thing about July is that we start to get our tax refund and the withholding taxes back. Our tax refund will come in August due to the Covid outbreak that happened in May. The great thing is that we would get the withholding tax back from our school in July.
Employers in Taiwan hold 18% withholding tax for foreigners for the first 183 days. If the individual stays in the country for over 183 days, that individual will receive 13% back and only have to pay 5% taxes the rest of the year. If the employee makes a certain amount, then the taxes around tax time could be higher. It all depends on the income.
The great thing is that both my wife and I got our 13% back from our school. That ended up being around $3,435 USD. For people that are pretty frugal, this was a good amount of money to get in the summertime. We were very thankful and added that to the income portion of our budget.
Taiwan Opening Up:
As we lived in Taiwan through July, it was a moment of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. You could see that our recent outbreak in May was subsiding. People were getting vaccinated, and the cases were coming down drastically. Taiwan was on the verge of opening back up.
On July 26th, the country was back open. No longer were we working from home, but it was time to go back to school to figure out our new semester of classes.
With this new sense of opening back up, my wife and I went down to the central part of Taiwan to Chunghua to visit a friend. We were fortunate enough to see another friend in Taichung, Taiwan as well.
After a long two and half months of being locked down, we realize that it is time to see people, escape the city, and enjoy life with other people. Life is short; you have to be able to explore and enjoy the aspects afforded to you. Not everyone will have the same opportunities. You have to take advantage of the time you have.
Lucky enough, we got to visit the famous Miyahara Icecream in Taichung. Going inside was like walking through something you would see in Harry Potter. The ice cream was delicious and a great treat to have while traveling. I highly recommend it.
The End of Summer:
Summer is coming to a close. Our new contract with our school starts August 1st. So we will be sitting and planning for the next month for our new year of school. Many things are happening so we are hopeful for a smooth transition into the new school year.
July was a great month of non-spending. We didn’t spend so much. Our expenses were quite the same as in June or a bit lower than in June. The one thing that helped out our savings rate was the extra income from the taxes coming back. That pushed up our savings rate to an additional 10%.
This month of July, we hit a savings rate of 74.5%. It was a massive month of living the same life as we usually do and not letting lifestyle creep affect our spendings too much. The tax coming back only happens once a year, so we need to make sure we continue our frugal spending patterns.
July Net Worth Update:
Our Net Worth went up to $10,123. It is just amazing to see. Each month, our net worth continues to go up. It is a matter of just being able to consistently invest and allow compounding interest to do the rest. Our taxable account went up, and we saved over 74% of our month’s income.
Net Worth Breakdown
Cash Savings:(- $1,147)
This month our cash savings was down a bit. As you may have been reading, you may ask, “why would his cash savings be down?” That is a great question indeed.
Every few months, when our cash savings in Taiwan get to a high enough point, we will send it back to our U.S. bank account to invest that money. We typically wait until we have close to over $9,000. It helps to save on the fees that can be attributed to transferring money.
Our cash is not down too far, but we are always excited to invest more money to hit our FI goals.
Taxable Brokerage Account: (+$10,898)
As I said, we were able to invest more money into our account. The higher this amount can get, the quicker we can attain financial freedom and do as we like. Investing is something I highly believe in. I think as we continue to create wealth, this money will continue to compound and grow.
We invest. Our portfolio consists of index fund ETFs such as VTI, VXUS, and a little bit of VGT, and BND. These ETFs have powered our portfolio to grow so fast. This year has been a fantastic year for growth. We cannot expect this every year but are very fortunate to see our money grow.
Invest Simply with M1 Finance. You can easily set up a 3-Fund portfolio. Get $30 Free with a deposit of $100.
Roth IRA: (+$61)
Our Roth IRA continues its slow incline, but every month it keeps going forward. We will take any gains and continue to hope that we can contribute more. Who knows where we may end up, but living outside of the U.S. I will probably not contribute to my Roth IRA until the end of the year when I do some tax-gain harvesting.
My Wife's Super: (+$50)
With the valuation of the AUD going up and down so often, my wife’s Super account continues to go up and down. In AUD, it keeps going up. That is a huge plus. In the last year, it has gone up about $10,000 AUD since September of 2020. The growth has been doing well. I am glad I have left it in index funds that are 40% for overseas companies and 35% for Australian shares. It has gone up about 20% in the last year. So not so bad at all.
Mrs. FE's Taiwan Pension (+$168 )
My wife’s Taiwanese pension grows at about $168 a month. That is because our school puts in about 6% every month. I will be able to qualify for this sooner than I had expected. Taiwan is working on a law to give some foreign workers a permanent residence, which would give me access to Pension funds as well.
So this looks like an exciting thing to have. We can then collect this at 60 years of age.
Liabilities (-$93 )
It looks like our costs have gone down by $93 for this month on our credit card. Right now, we use it to purchase things from abroad. I have joined a mastermind group that costs a bit of money, which will be part of our liabilities until my blog income can increase enough to know this out.
As this summer is coming to an end, we are very excited about our massive savings rate. It is a great thing to be able to save more than we spend. Hitting a 74% savings rate is an incredible feat to accomplish, and I believe the more we make, the higher this will become. We keep our spending pretty low, and that helps out.
Our goal is to hit Financial independence in the next nine to ten years. Things can always change, but we are pushing to get that done. Keep following for more updates. Let me know how your net worth is going.
I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.