Before I share with you our November 2021 results, as I promised in July, I’ll share with you what we’ve been up to the past month. After that, we can talk about the numbers.
What have we been up to this month?
I’m not going to lie- this month (at least the end of it) was tough, here are this month’s highlights.
Personal life positives
This month started very positively.
We went out as a family to the science museum (and Nando’s of course).
A few days later, we went to Camden market and found out our daughter loves Amba (an Israeli mango pickle), weird and very funny. She drank it like it was juice!
Lazy FI Mum’s mother also came to stay with us for a couple of weeks and our daughter loved it! To be fair, she was quite a lifesaver while Lazy FI Mum wasn’t feeling so well (see “negatives” section below). We went with her to Winter Wonderland and the Transport Museum. Our daughter enjoyed both of these places a lot.
During this month, our daughter’s communication skills improved so much, it’s really amazing to watch. She is expressing herself so nicely, way better than I do.
Our daughter also really started enjoying a new frugal activity. She enjoys going to our local train station and looking at trains. We stand at the top of the stairs and look at the trains. Then, we go to the other platform and do the same thing. With 2 trains every 15 minutes, an hour of fun is easily achieved.
It is also Chanuka, the Jewish festival of lights. so Happy Chanukah everybody!
Although not cheap at all, I ordered my annual panettone from Carluccio’s. Every year I order one for me and one for my uncle. However, in past years it was very hard to find any left because I wait until December. This year, I set a reminder for mid-November so no problems this year. It is not cheap but I limit myself to one (for me) a year. This is definitely a positive for me this month, delicious.
Although not exactly personal life, I’m very happy that the post I wrote for FIology finally got posted. I worked on it for weeks and I hope you find it helpful.
Money related positives
Last month, I told you that I landed a new corporate client for my side hustle (teaching Microsoft Excel). A law firm hired my services to improve their employees Excel skills. Anyway, we already did 2 sessions (out of 4) and the feedback so far is really good.
Still Excel-related, I had another company ask for a course. They approached me a year ago, I told them about the courses and prices and didn’t hear back. Out of the blue, they contacted me this month so I’m hoping to book something with them during December (a busy month!).
Back in August, I told you I spent a fortune on tickets for the Euro 2020 final in a separate post. I am happy to share the debt has finally been paid off, this means that I got some money this month for teaching and it finally goes to the “other income” line, woohoo. The extra income made the November 2021 results look a lot better.
Last month, I shared with you that Lazy FI Mum was pregnant. Now add some COVID 19 to the mix and you have a real mess. Halfway through the month, Lazy FI Mum caught Covid and we all went into isolation. A few days later, our daughter got it too. A few days later, I joined the party too! Although we got a positive result on the COVID test, this belongs in the negative section.
We’ve been isolating ourselves for almost 2 weeks now and it’s not fun. However, we try to make the best of it and try to do fun things with our daughter.
The weather continues to appear in the negative section but hey, we can’t go outside anyway, right?
The whole COVID thing also meant I had to delay some of my Excel sessions for 2 reasons:
- I wasn’t feeling well.
- I couldn’t lock myself in the room for 2 hours while my pregnant wife does all the work(/fun) with our daughter.
I’m hoping to get back to teaching very soon.
Finally, being locked up means I had to cancel 2 very nice mystery dines.
One last negative (sorry) is that we’re having a bit of a delay with purchasing our shared-ownership flat. We’re doing our best to complete while the valuation is still valid.
All in all, I think we’re dealing with this isolation very well. Yes, it’s not ideal but we make it work somehow. It’s times like these that remind me what an awesome family I have.
OK, enough with the negativity. Let’s see how our November 2021 results look like.
November 2021 results- savings rate
Our savings rate for November 2021 was 38.24%. As a reminder, my long term target is 40% with 50% being an ambitious target.
Our (weighted) average savings rate for the past 6 months is 47.03%. Our 12-month-weighted average savings rate is 50.31% (phew).
I am not disappointed with this result because I know the main reason, which I’ll share in the next section.
November 2021 results- What was different this month?
Every month something unusual happens. Sometimes it’s a one-off expense and sometimes it’s a one-off income. The fact that this happens every single month amuses me but also makes it harder to analyse the savings rate and draw conclusions. That’s why I also use the 6-month (and 12-month) average figure to “smooth” the data.
Anyway, what was different this month?
In short- Childcare, teaching, and COVID.
As you may remember, we contribute to our daughter’s tax-free childcare account once a quarter (every 3 months). November was that month. Every time this happens, it messes with the whole month’s figures. Considering we paid for almost 3 months of childcare this month, I’m actually super impressed with our November 2021 results.
As mentioned above, we also have an increase in “other income” due to the money I got from teaching Excel.
Mystery dining also helped this month. This month, I got paid for the October dines but didn’t spend a lot in November. The net result is a “negative expense” as I got more money from mystery dining this month than I spent.
Due to the Lazy FI Mum’s mother’s visit, our going out and eating-out lines increased a lot. Lazy FI Mum went out with her mother several times, we all went out and I and Lazy FI Mum even managed to have one date while our daughter stayed with her grandmother. Just to clarify, when I say “went up a lot”, I mean in %, the monetary amounts aren’t that big.
Our “misc” line also went up this month due to some service payments and some electronics. The 2 big ones are Zoom and Google Drive. I use both for teaching so am ok with these expenses, they’ll pay themselves back. Funny enough, an annual license for Zoom and a charger for my phone is all I got during Black Friday, not too bad.
COVID also “helped” because going together to the COVID testing centre is a very frugal family activity. Now that I think about it, so is staying at home.
And now for the weirdest item this month: we spent over £100 on vegan chocolate! no excuses. You can read about it on this thread on Twitter.
November 2021 results- Net worth
In November 2021, our net worth increased by 2.82%. The 2.82% is made of 2 parts:
- Our actual savings increase our net worth by 0.84%
- Our investments went up in value, which increased our net worth by 1.98%
Mr Market once again shows us who’s the boss.
Achieving FI– how far are we into our journey?
Reminder: I set our FI number (how much we need to retire) in July 2020 and update it every month for inflation (I use CPIH* index).
At the end of November 2021, our net worth is 29.24% (October 2021: 28.69%) of that number.
The 0.55% increase in our FI journey (as a percentage of our FI number) from 28.69% to 29.24% means a real (inflation-adjusted) increase of 1.91%** (29.24/ 28.69 – 1), which can be broken down into these two parts:
- Our nominal net worth increased by 2.82% as mentioned above.
- The CPIH index increased by 0.89%, which decreased our real (inflation-adjusted) net worth.
As you can see, 3 factors aren’t in our control:
- The market performance (are our investments worth more or less this month?)
- FX rate (are our Israeli Shekels worth more pounds or less compared to last month?). Now that we sold all our Israeli investments, this will no longer be an issue. We only have a small amount in the account to pay some bills and some income from my Excel teaching.
- Inflation (are things more expensive than last month?)
As these factors are out of our control- I’m happy with this month’s results as we achieved an impressive savings rate, which is the only part that’s within our control.
When can we achieve FI (and possibly retire)?
As I told you last month (October 2021), calculating an FI date is not relevant for us anymore. We will move back to Israel sometime between December 2025 and June 2026. As my models are split into tax years, that means April 2026 is our relevant date.
Once we move back to Israel, I will either move to “just” teaching (no accounting) or try and keep my current job but part-time. In any case, we will not reach our full FI number by then. Therefore, the only relevant question is.
If anyone’s wondering if moving to Israel will help or hurt our FI journey, I present to you this article:
Tel Aviv named as world’s most expensive city to live in – BBC News.
No need to click the link, the title gives it away. Good luck to us.
How far into our journey to FI will we be by April 2026?
Based on my “regular” (which has been updated to worst-case) scenario, we expect to be 51.19% FI by April 2026. That means that if our expenses in Israel will be the same as in the UK, we only need to cover 48.81% of our expenses from work. However, this is based on our UK level of expenses. I really don’t know how expensive Israel will be. We’ll need to track our expenses for a few months there to get a better understanding. Also, I will have to learn all the little local tricks (like I learned in the UK) on how to save money, get free stuff, and reduce my tax bill.
The 51.19% is lower than the 54.20% I quoted last month. I changed a few assumptions in my model. The main difference is that last month’s model assumed a 4% real return on ALL the assets that make our net worth. The new model assumes that only our ISAs, LISAs and pensions will generate 4%. Meanwhile, I assume our real estate and cash will retain their real value but not increase. This, obviously, decreased the future value of our portfolio. In addition, it assumes no income from teaching as I can’t reliably forecast how much I’ll earn from this side hustle.
I know these assumptions are very prudent but I prefer being prudent and positively surprised than “realistic” and having to deal with unforeseen issues.
I am happy with the changes to the model and how it looks. Especially as it’s based on a worst-case scenario, which is no bonus from work and no income from teaching.
Well, that’s our November 2021 results, have a great weekend everyone!
*CPIH- “Consumer Price Inflation including owner-occupiers’ Housing costs”. As we are consumers and we do, partly, own our home- I think this is the best inflation metric for us. You can see the changes in the index here.
**If you type (29.24/ 28.69 – 1) into a calculator you actually get 1.92% but these are rounded numbers, 1.91% is based on actual numbers and is more accurate.