retire2asia

job-free at 37

Author: MrR2A (page 1 of 4)

Net Worth – October 2019

There’s one massive change to our net worth this month: Our house value. Traditionally I’ve always been conservative when valuing the home we live in. I’d rather increase its value slowly overtime and undervalue it on our books so that when the housing market downturn inevitably happens I don’t have to write any value off.

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The Marginal Benefits of Increased Income

I’ve written quite a few posts about frugality in the short time I’ve been blogging here. But when it comes to saving, there’s a lot to be said for increasing your income. Whether that’s through a promotion, changing job, or just renting a room out on Airbnb, a bit of extra cash coming in can have a disproportionate effect on your savings.

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How Much Should A Wedding Cost?

I should begin by saying this post is not going to be prescriptive like the title suggests. If after reading this you are satisfied that it’s the right thing for you to have the luxury wedding you’ve always dreamed of, then go you! But I do hope to give some food for thought.

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Are Kids Expensive?

It seems to be pretty common for people to believe that having kids is an expensive endeavour. The cynical part of me thinks maybe the people spreading this idea are the same ones who spend tens of thousands of dollars on their weddings.

Now to be fair, of course kids are going to have some impact on your wallet. Unlike most things in your life, kids are people too so you can’t sell them or just neglect them if times get tough. There is a floor to how low you can go with your spending on kids. It would be criminal to not feed them properly, for example.

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Our Number

As you may have read, our current plan for achieving financial independence involves a move to the Philippines at some point in the medium term. I’ve posted a lot of net worth updates showcasing how far along we are, but what I haven’t really stated explicitly is exactly what we’re aiming for.

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Countdown Smartfuel Hack

Today I accidentally stumbled across a hack for getting the full amount of Smartfuel discounts available through Countdown every time. I’ll spell out the method soon, but first for the uninitiated I’ll give a brief rundown of how Countdown’s Smartfuel program works when you use it in the regular way:

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Net Worth – September 2019

August was an interesting month. Our KiwiSavers actually went down, despite some additional contributions. Meanwhile, our Sharesies account actually went up. Some of this was additional contributions, but there were also returns that boosted our investment. The reason this is interesting is that they are essentially invested in the same markets. Not identically, but still you would expect them to generally move in the same direction. Looks like I beat ASB’s fund managers this round 😉

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Apple and Financial Independence

I should preface this post by saying I’m not looking to have an Apple vs. Android debate. The theme behind what I’m thinking is about how to get products you want without breaking the bank. Yes, I do like Apple and their approach to privacy and security compared to the more cavalier attitudes of Google and Facebook. I do think their products are just that bit easier to use and more intuitive than their competitors. But of course part of what makes this post an interesting one is the fact that their products are darn expensive when you buy them brand new!

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Do rewards credit cards work in New Zealand?

I’m turning 31 this year. I’ve made it this far in my life without a credit card. I’ve always viewed them as evil. My accounting teacher in high school told us having a credit card is fine as long as you pay it off in full at the end of every month, but I didn’t understand why you would do that instead of just using your EFTPOS card (for overseas readers, this is how us kiwis ditched cash long before debit cards became a big thing).

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Changing Checkout Lanes

I was at the supermarket a couple of weeks ago, waiting in line to have my groceries scanned and bagged, when I noticed a guy at the next checkout over anxiously looking around. Now, he could have been doing this for any number of reasons but what it looked like – and the conclusion I immediately jumped to – was that he was looking to see if he’d get through faster if he swapped to a different checkout.

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