May 2021 Net Worth Update: Summer time.

Steve Cummings

May 2021 Net Worth update: $185,761

May was an up and down month for our investments and living in Taiwan as well. This was a month that we ended our camps are started working from home due to a Covid Outbreak. With Covid around things can change pretty fast. Luckily, we are pretty safe at our jobs and still save a good bit. 

Every month, I like to do a net worth statement to help track to see how we are doing towards our goals. If the market is good, then our money will grow, otherwise, we continue to be patient.

2021 is Zooming Fast

It is amazing to look back and see where I started keeping track of our Net worth. My first net worth statement was from May 2020. It is where I recorded our first Net worth here on the blog.

As we continue to invest and see how things grow, we are reminded that it takes patience, time, commitment, and resources. We keep everything pretty simple.

Our investments are in index funds like VTI, VXUS, and 1% in BND. This is just a classic 3-Fund Portfolio which you can set up by yourself with an account through Vanguard or even through M1 Finance.

I believe anyone can really make this type of progress. It just takes time and patience, plus continuing to add money.


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Our Kinmen Trip:

My wife and I wanted to go to Kinmen Island in April. Due to foggy weather, our trip was unfortunately canceled. We were able to fly there in the middle of May before the Covid restrictions took place. 

This was the last island on our list of Taiwan islands to visit. The cool part was that we did not have to pay for our tickets. With my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, I get a $300 travel credit. Since we have not done much traveling since March of 2020 there was still plenty of money for that credit. That credit helped us save about $200 so our flight was free. 

Kinmen is very close to China. It was a part of China a long time ago. Since it has such so much history there are tons of museums and old-time villages that we could visit. It was a great time seeing the sights, and being able to experience a different culture than mainland Taiwan. 

My wife and I were also quite frugal on this trip. While looking up information about the island, we found that there are some tent platforms near the beach, which is a ten-minute scooter ride from the airport. So we camped there for two nights and used their free showers to stay clean. 

All in all, we had a great time visiting Kinmen island. This would be the last place we could venture off to. The country of Taiwan quickly went into Level 3 restrictions on our last day, and as we came back to Taipei things had radically changed due to the outbreak.

Covid Outbreak:

This Covid outbreak was caused by greed and sex. Let’s be completely honest. A quarantine hotel wanted to attract more business and had a separate building from the quarantine side of things to attract people to watch the airplane take off. Accidentally, they housed some China Airlines pilots coming in from Covid hotspots with tourists. 

These tourists went off to social groups like the Lions club. These older gentlemen went off to the red light district to partake in “tea houses.” These are just special establishments with older ladies for older gentlemen. This sparked a huge outbreak within northern Taiwan. Greed and sex caused the safest country in the world to have a massive outbreak.

The End of the School Year:

We are fortunate to be teachers that are close to the end of the school year. It gives the government a good amount of time to make decisions, have progress, and get ready for next year. As we come to the end of the school year, we will no longer get that wonderful free food from our school. 

Our expenses may have gone up for certain parts of our budget, but we consistently try to stay within a good savings rate. Summer is here and we are trying to save on electricity and any other bills that come our way.

May Expenses

The great thing about this month is that we hit a 60% savings rate. The amount of money we spent on food increased, but all in all we are doing an excellent job trying to save money. Even without vacation, we did a great job being frugal while still enjoying every piece of Kinmen. 

This frugal mindfulness keeps us focused on our goals. We want to save for financial freedom and also do traveling. So we have to save and invest each part of the way. It is a long process, but that is why we work on it each and every month.

May Net Worth Update:

Our Net Worth went up to $4,290. 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 another 60% of a month’s worth of salary.

Net Worth Breakdown

Cash Savings:(+ $1,779)

Each month is different. We have lost one of our side gigs, which was tutoring to our landlord’s kids. Due to the Covid outbreak, people just don’t want to put themselves in an unnecessary position. It is quite understandable. Even though we lost that extra money, we have still found ways to live frugally.

Taxable Brokerage Account: (+$1,798)

It is amazing to watch our money grown. If it is $1,000, $2,000, or even $200, we are watching the money continue to grow and multiply. This is the amazing thing about investing. Money is used as a tool to help make money as we sleep. This passive income is helping us to reach our dreams even faster. We just keep it simple by buying VTI ( it is an index fund ETF).

Roth IRA: (+$16)

As we look towards retirement, I wish I had more money in the Roth IRA. Unfortunately, since most of the money I make is tax free for the U.S. because I live abroad and claim a FEIE credit. So there is no money that can be taxed in order to be put into the Roth IRA.

I could change some of my taxes in order for this, but I may wait to see if my income increases more in the long term.

My Wife's Super: (+$602)

Mrs. FE’s Super Annulation keeps growing as well. This Bull market is not just good in the USA, but it is good all over the world. As my investments grow, my wife’s continue to grow as well.

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 (-$72 )

The liabilities are a bit low for the month of May. We haven't been using our credit cards often so this does not go up very much. We are trying to keep things low. 

Summer is Upon Us.

As it is getting hotter here in Taiwan, we are trying to use less electricity. The bills can get much higher. We are spending more time inside due to Covid so the electricity bill could be kicking us in the butt come July. 

The great thing is that we are thinking of going to travel to America at the end of July. I will make sure to keep writing and take photos as we travel. These plans are not set yet, but we shall see what happens. 

4 thoughts on “May 2021 Net Worth Update: Summer time.”

  1. I always enjoy your updates, particularly the little tidbits of info you share about life in Taiwan. I’d heard about the outbreak, but didn’t realize it was for such nefarious reasons! How terrible and unfortunate. 🙁

    I’m loving that you’re sharing more and more non-anonymous photos on your blog. That’s a cute shot of you and your wife on Kinsmen Island. ♥

    Congrats on your continued success with growing your net worth. It’s so much fun following along with your progress!

    • The outbreak has been a crushing blow. The good thing is that my wife and I got our vaccine recently. Our Covid numbers are starting to improve.

      We are hopeful to have some more pictures. We are planning some trips out to the Western part of the U.S. for a like a 2 week trip, but we wish it could be longer. Taiwan’s quarantine is a bit long. So our trip is much shorter.


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