All the things I spend money on in a year. Total 26,477€

The moment of truth.

You know, I thought I won't do this this year. For a while I thought I had saved myself from doing this because I decided not to follow my expenses monthly last year. But then I looked into Tink, and got a little carried away.

By authenticating through Tink to the different banks I have an account with, I can aggregate all the transaction data for the whole year! Tink even categorizes it for me. After a while of scripting I got a result: 30,000€ spent on bars in January 2019. I'm sorry what? I'm sorry, Tink, but I'm pretty sure that didn't happen, or I'd remember it.

The #1 metric that matters when pursuing financial independence

It's not income

You've probably read about Johnny Depp's financial challenges. The guy allegedly has made 650 million dollars over the course of his career and it's all almost gone. Today he is forced to make more movies, work, which he receives an approximate 20 million dollars per movie. Imagine the agony.

There are countless of examples like that. Clearly even the highest of incomes isn't enough to guarantee financial independence. It's a component of that, but not the essence.

Return rate? Nope.

No, you can't have a 20% return in the long term. It's very unlikely you will even get 10%. You can try, but the harder you go for extraordinary returns, the more likely it is you will start again at the bottom.

A simple formula I've heard used is: "if you save half of your income for ten years and get a 10% interest for it, you can sustain your current lifestyle indefinitely." The culprit? You cannot rely on a 10% return over the long run. There are very few people in the world who can do that. Why would you?

If you're good with money, you'll get the average stock returns, minus taxes and inflation. That might leave you for example with 5% real returns. Even less.

It's not going to dictate how long it will take for you, unless you screw things up.

Savings rate? Yes!

Above anything else, your savings rate is the most influential number to the time it takes for you to reach financial independence. Yes, you can improve your income, and you should. And yes, you can have bad returns and if you're lucky, good. But what actually makes the most difference is how much you save.

Conveniently, your savings rate is also a testament to your spending habits, which you can easily change. With a decent income, you can truly save a significant portion of your income. If your income increases, but your savings rate does not, you're actually not getting any closer to your financial independence. The opposite, actually.

If you have saved for financial independence for 5 years, saving 50% of your 3000€/month income, and suddenly you double your income to 6000€, but your savings rate doesn't change, that means you've doubled your spending from 1500€ to 3000€. With an approximate 5% real returns, you might have been 9 years from FI, but since your spending doubled mid-way, it moved your goal a few years forward.

So, while everything else matters too and you can definitely hasten your journey to FI by doubling your income, the metric that matters the most is your savings rate. Start tracking it asap!

What savings rate do you need?

The savings rate you need depends on a few factors, but mainly how much you have saved already and what is the real return on those investments. Rather than calculating a multitude of scenarios open for you, why don't you try the interactive FIRE calculator.

Hyperbolic discounting will ruin your financial targets

Ok I might have gone a LITTLE over board with the title, but nevertheless, it is absolutely critical to understand what hyperbolic discounting is.

Ok, maybe it isn't. Actually, it most definitely is not.

BUT! It's pretty cool. I promise you'll be entertained.

Agrikaab review: food production in East Africa

Background of Agrikaab

Agrikaab was founded in 2016 by Mohamed M Jimale, who was born in Somalia and moved to Sweden as a refugee. Having IT skills and ties back home to the nomads of Somalia, he decided to do something to help as drought hit East Africa.

April 2019 Update: 17 € from camel milk πŸ•ΊπŸ»

Such an interesting month! Wow! I'm calling this my April update, because I don't think I will be able to always do an update of the passed month right after the month changes. So, as I'm giving my update in April, this is the April update.

Traffic increased from 169 visitors to 243 😁. Now, absolute terms that's no much, but relative terms that's an increase of 44% month-over-month! I'm going to hit over 300 next month. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

I reached 100 Twitter followers, yay! I probably had less than 40 in the beginning of the month, so over +100% growth. I'm sure it gets tougher at some point.

I have 10 readers on my mailing list! That's 5 more than what I did in the beginning. Another +100% growth.

I have a couple of other blogs I write to, but the take off of this one has by far surpassed the others. I feel bad for not finding time to write to all of them enough. I will do my best though! πŸ™ƒ

Let's get to the actual content, what you're here for. Passive income of this month: πŸ‘‡πŸ»

What do aluminium production, food transportation, consumer loans and camels have in common?

The answer of course is: I've invested in all of them quite recently. Even though the month is only half way through. it has been quite an active for me. I've finally taken the steps to put my cash into use, leaving only a 2 month buffer on my bank account.

Three exciting things I need to share with you

Three exciting updates!
  1. I'm going to start tracking my passive income. This is my first update.
  2. Get a preview of how you compare to others in terms of wealth and savings rate
  3. A project to make an aggregate glimpse of Europe's FI-bloggers