February 2021 Net Worth update: $166,005
It is that time of the month when we update our Net Worth. The February 2021 Net Worth has gone up a bit due to some market swings. The end of January, there was some down time in the market, which went right back up in the beginning of February.
As we look at some of these things that happen in February, people need to remember that the market can swing. The stock market is not always full of constant ups. In the last 100 years, the S&P 500 on average has grown by just 10%. If you take away inflation that is just 7% per year.
You cannot always expect the market to continue to go higher and higher each and every day. There are corrections and crashes. February has been pretty nice. I do not fear market volatility.
It is time to reflect on the great month of February. In Taiwan, schools had their winter break followed by Chinese New Year.
Usually, my wife and I take off for a holiday to far away countries. This year due to Covid, we did some adventures here in Taiwan.
We were able to finish a cycle route from the city of Taitung to Kenting. We did more than expected with a detour, but it was a fun 170 km bike ride.
Right before Chinese New Year, my wife and I celebrated two years of being married. It has been a fun two years, and we are hopeful for many more fun years together.
Our Chinese New Year Break:
We were able to visit a friend down in Toucheng Taiwan. During Chinese New Year, we had like 7 days off.
So we visited our friend, did some hiking, more cycling, and played with her dog. For our break, it was much needed and a very pleasant experience.
Budget and Savings for February:
Our taxes have gone up, and therefore we have a little less pay. For foreigners we have an effective 18% tax rate up to 183 days being in Taiwan. After that 183 days, the tax rate goes down to 5%. The other 13% will be refunded to us after that 183 days.
So it is basically like a 6 month loan to the government for being a foreigner.
No worries about that, we will just have a lower savings rate than usual.
Due to our many adventures in February we spend more than we would in a usual month, but we also spent less than we would during our break since we did not travel.
Savings rate is at 55%. We only spend 35% of our money, but we use 10% of our money as a tithe to the church or we may give it as a generous donation to some missionaries.
Here is a breakdown of some of our spendings:
A Big Expense for February
One of our biggest expenses for the month of February was travel. We traveled all over Taiwan. We took a great bike trip from Taitung to Kenting. After that, we visited a friend in Changwa, and then eventually spent some time in the Yilan area.
Some of this travel costs money, but it is all worth it for the experiences we have. I enjoy traveling with my wife and creating new experiences.
Net Worth Breakdown
Here is the breakdown for February 2021 Net Worth:
Cash Savings: (+$1,645)
We have less cash coming in this month due to our vacation time. Our incomes have both decreased with the increased tax rate until after July, and since it was a holiday time we have been unable to do any tutoring to gain extra income.
Taxable Brokerage Account: (+$3,007)
Our taxable brokerage account has gone up in value. We invested a tiny bit into the dip, but otherwise the market has been up in the month of February.
That is always a good thing, but when the market drops it is just an opportunity to buy more or just hold.
We never like to sell any of our investments. Buy and hold long term is part of our strategy to gain wealth.
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: (+$120)
My Roth IRA is still basically on auto pilot. I have not put any money in it since 2017. So for now, it will just gain dividends and any ups in the market. It is always good to start early when you are investing in an IRA.
My Wife's Super: (+$1,646)
My wife’s super just goes up with the market and goes down when the market falls. We haven’t been putting any money in it because we do not live in Australia.
The bad part is that Super’s in Australia will sell shares in order to pay for their monthly fees. I am not the biggest fan of fees.
Liabilities (-$14 )
Our liabilities went up a bit. We had our anniversary, and I took my wife to a nice Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant. Through the use of some vouchers, we were able to lower our bill by half.
Sometimes, you should treat your wife to a good experience. We had a blast!!
That is about it for our Net Worth update. My wife’s pension payment was already paid, and I counted it for January. So no update on that.
Mrs. FE's Taiwan Pension (+$0 )
I added February's pension number into the January financial numbers. next month, we will do better an updating this.
The cool thing is my wife gets 6% back every month to go into the Taiwan pension. It is still pretty exciting.
Spring is finally here.
Right now, we are back in the full swing of things. I am hopeful to save some more money in March, and see where the world takes us. It seems like it will be a nice spring here in Taiwan.
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.