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January 2020 Net Worth update: $159,601
The New Year has begun, which means new things, people have their lists and goals to accomplish. There are people going to the gym to lose that weight. The New Year Resolutions are in full swing. Lots of things have happened this January, and it is time for our January 2021 Net Worth update.
There are so many big things that come with the beginning of the New Year. Since it is 2021, we have a new President that was inaugurated. Before that happened, there was the massive insurrection at the Capitol.
Politics with President Biden in charge may just get a bit boring. Boring is good. I like Index Funds and they are boring, safe, simple, and increase wealth over time. It is nice to have some stability coming to the White House.
The Short Squeeze of Game Stop
The market has had an upward climb throughout the month until hitting a big time drop. Now this was not some ordinary drop. It was a short squeeze on the stock GME, or GameStop.
What happened boils down to some hedge funds shorting the stock of GameStop, which is betting that GameStop would fail. If the stock fails then they make money. Now, if the stock rises they lose money.
A subreddit group called Wallstreet Bets got a ton of reddit people to drive the stock up to a whopping $480.
At this point, some of the hedge funds went bankrupt. There was a loss of up to $70 Billion dollars. With that these funds needed to sell some stock in order to cover losses. The market then dropped a bit, but that is ok.
GameStop made the news for a few days, people got excited, and then when the prices dropped people lost money.
FOMO can be a big thing. I hope people learned something throughout that week. It is time to get back to basics and invest in boring low-cost index funds and value investing.
The January Budget and Savings Rate:
The budget has been quite steady for the most part. We are saving close to 60% for January. It was at 59%. It is not a bad way to start off 2021. Hopefully, we can clamp it down a bit and hit closer to 66% or higher. That is ok.
Here is a break down of our spendings
Expenses for the month of January:
We try to keep most of our expenses quite the same. January there has been some increases in some of our expenses that have primarily been in the health budget item.
Mrs. FE and I do not go to the doctor often. Healthcare is quite cheap in Taiwan, and it is universal so we rarely spend money on it, unless it is an emergency. So it is quite rare for our healthcare to go up.
In the last few months, we have been increasing our spendings in the health department mainly because we are trying to have some kids.
Due to some fertility issues, we are having to rely on some medication to have the possibility of conceiving a child. From what I hear from other friends, this is not an uncommon thing.
In January we spent around 7600NT, which is like $271 on fertility appointments and drugs. It seems very expensive to us, but for most people that is worth the cost.
We are still hopeful for a child and will continue to try. One of our drugs was close to $130.
If you take away this expense, we did pretty well on our budget. We still saved 59%, and spent way more on health. That is a great thing.
We are right now averaging about $2 per person per meal. For the month of January we spent a whopping $215 on food. We do what we can do cheaply, and we like to eat the free food provided from our job as well.
The rent of our apartment is still the same. It is around $643. I am always happy when we renew our lease and the rent has not gone up.
Our lease renewal comes up in March, so we are hopeful for the rate to stay the same. Inflation in Taiwan is around 1.2% so I do not foresee an increase in that at all.
Total Expenditures for January:
Most other things in our budget are quite miniscule. We do give about 10% of our money to the church or mission organization as a tithe so that is an additional expense.
So for the grand total of expenditures we came out spending about $2,038 for the month of January. Not so bad at all. If we had one of us working instead of both we could tighten up the budget a bit more.
Here is the breakdown for January 2021 Net Worth:
Cash Savings: (-$6,258)
The month of January, we were able to transfer some of our cash back to the U.S. to invest. We had invested more cash into our investments to help that snowball grow.
We were lucky to get January’s paycheck early before our tax rate changed. In the first 6 months of the year, our tax rate is 18%. After the 6 months, we will get 13% of that tax back in a lump sum, and our tax rate will go back to 5%.
The next few months, our paychecks will be less due to higher taxes. We just make sure we stay in Taiwan for at least 183 days in order to get that tax money back.
Taxable Brokerage Account: (+$8,557)
We were able to invest more money to get 2021 started with a bang. With some of the roller coaster ride, the investments were up and then went down at the end of the month.
No worries these things happen, and that is why we focus on long term investing.
As our investments continue to increase it will help us to create a better nest egg for that day when we hit Financial Independence.
Roth IRA: (-$13)
With the drop in the market at the end of the month, the Roth IRA took a bit of a hit. It lost $13, which in the grand scheme of things is not so bad. As the market goes up, it will continue to grow and grow.
My Wife's Super: (-$524)
Mrs. FE’s Super decreased a bit in value. The market went down a tiny bit. Her super is a retirement account.
The only thing I really dislike about this is the fees. There are some fees they take out, and therefore have to sell some shares. If not for the miniscule fees I would like it more.
Liabilities (+$122 )
Our liabilities have been quite low the last couple of months. At the end of January, our credit bill amounted to $58. That is an excellent amount.
Oftentimes, we would be off to travel spending money on adventures and exciting things to do. This is not the case, since traveling is not much of an option.
We shall see how February goes. February will be full of traveling during Chinese New Year.
Mrs. FE's Taiwan Pension (+$1,400 )
To find out, when you get your permanent residency you can be eligible for pension payments that you can take as a lump sum when you hit 65. My wife got her APRC (Alien Permanent Residency Card) in April and started to get payments.
We now know how much she is getting, which is around $171 per month around 6% of her pay. This will be an addition to our Net Worth updates.
The New Year has begun
As 2021 begins, we will be trying to get close to having a net worth of $197,000 USD by the end of the year. It all starts by investing early and often. We have a good start, and now it is to stay motivated and keep going forward.
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.