August 2015-2016 Update

It has been a year now since I last published my August 2015 update.  That was when I decided to move to a new city (in a new country) via a week long conference in Seattle and took stock of what I was up to from August 2014 to 2015.

One of my goals that last time I worked overseas was to save income and funnel into an investment portfolio.  A few years ago, I was pretty much all about Carpe Diem-ing to the max.  I travelled to 12-15 countries, lived in two expensive areas (Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood), went out a lot, private membership clubs at Searcys, etc. I was living under a rock in terms of further teaching myself about personal finance.  I did sign up to a CFA Level 1 course offered by London School of Business and Finance but didn’t pull through (I ended up sitting the exam after 6 months of study two years later but that is another story..).

Today I continue to live overseas in a new country as a temporary resident.  I still get the feeling of being more exposed to the elements. Being on your own forces you to be more independent and to be more prepared.  Do you know that according to CNBC, 66 million Americans do not have a safety net for unplanned events?  The thought of having a safety net has been drilled into me the first time I moved out of the country town that I lived in at age 18, the first time I moved out of the country at age 23 and once again here.

So now I am looking forward to continuing to grow this.  Having this also helps put my mind to ease.  One of the issues that have been languishing is creating the investment base including retirement. I also want it to be mobile.  I am still researching the mobility part. There are also the additional shortfalls that I am still researching – such as exposure to currency risks, whether or not it’s better to move to my home bank etc.

The next 12 months

Savings: In the next 12 months I aim to be bringing up the percentage to 50%.  Maybe that’s too much.  I’ll take it to 40% instead.  Either way, the % needs to improve.  My goal is to eventually make it to 75% but I would love to one day see 90% going back.

What I will improve in the next 12 months:

  • Cut down on disposable income spending that I have in the past 12 months.  I improved in 2014-2015 but 2016 went downhill. I recognized that the additional spending was primarily driven by boredom.  Also driven by the need to ‘go for a walk’  which ended up walking to the nearest mall since there are no walkable pathways here.
  • Maybe: Cut down on travel. Instead allocate vacation days into personal development days.  I am getting a bit worn out with the hassles involved with travelling (see post about being involuntarily denied boarding) and I really do not mind at all not doing this again for a while now.
  • Cut down on private transport (i.e. taxis) unless for personal safety reasons.
  • Maintain the current % that I have in rent and utilities.
  • Decrease the current % that I have required to live (i.e. food, clothing). The current % I have can be decreased if I can work on the first point.