Savings Report #24 – Moving Country is Hard!


This is a Saving Ninja savings report. Go to How To Track Your Savings to check out the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet. Please note that I split my expenses equally with my partner and the savings rate, house equity and house value represent my share only. The spreadsheet calculates my savings rate based off £12,000 worth of expenses per year, even though my expenses are actually Less Than 10k Per Year. This is to create a buffer; I’m aiming for at least 12k to reach financial independence.

Click here to see all of my past Savings Reports and view my interactive net worth chart


This month has marked the lowest month I’ve ever contributed to my savings.

It’s the first month since the inception of this blog that I’ve contributed nothing to my ISA, and even back in August 2018 I contributed more to my pension.

This is, of course, because I’m moving to Sweden in August. I have no idea how much money I’ll need over there, or how long it will take for my wife to get a job, so I’ll be throttling the contributions down to about this level for a long while.

Luckily, my current and future employer both contribute a fair whack to my private pension, so I’ll still have something being added each month!

Stocks have continued a sharp increase putting my portfolio back in the green, although since taking this snapshot, they do seem to have slumped slightly again.

Tesla is still propping up my entire portfolio with a growth of 15%; it’s crazy that this started out as a £1k fun investment and is now holding up a six-figure portfolio!

However, there is sad news for me and Tesla. In the UK we have a personal allowance for capital gains of £12k per year, in Sweden this doesn’t exist, it’s 30% on ANY gains. As I had about £3k of profit from Tesla in Trading212, I attempted to sell and withdraw the funds to save £900 of capital gains tax with the hope to reinvest.

Click here to get a free, no questions asked, share worth up to £100 from Trading212. You just have to deposit £1, then you can withdraw all of your money!

This happened the day before Tesla shot up by over 10%!! My trading platform takes 3 days to withdraw and I’m thinking I might have lost my chance to buy back into Tesla, which sucks.

I sold for $1,123 per share, they’re now hovering at around $1,200. If they don’t drop back to below my sale price in the next month then I’ll have to add the investment to my ISA instead.

Other News

Preparations for moving to Sweden have been…painful. For once in my life, due to the unprecedented COVID-times, I’ve been unable to forecast and plan; to have that taken away from me during one of the more significant parts of my life has been difficult.

Our journey to Sweden has changed 3 times already. We’ll now be driving to the edge of Germany, getting a 10-hour ferry to the south of Sweden, and continuing with the drive into Stockholm for a further 7 hours.

I just hope no more borders shut. If Germany shuts their borders, we’ll be looking at an even longer drive!

What to do with our UK Bricks?

It was our intention to opt for simplicity and sell our UK home. We were growing tired of the place and the profits (or lack-there-of) and added Swedish tax complications hardly seemed worth keeping it when we were gone.

Unfortunately due to COVID, we’ve had absolutely no interest. So, we’ve decided to give leasing a try, at least until the market picks up again. This had added to our already full plates of preparation and planning, but after the initial investigation we feel like we’re at a good place now.

We were aghast at the high street letting agent costs… 18% per month for full management, £600 for finding tenants, and then £600 each year to renew!! 12% of the cost of maintenance just to let the contractors in and check if they did it afterwards… Absolute bandits.

Thankfully, we managed to look past the paid for comparison sites and find some local letting agents. We’re now very happy with the people that we found who charge a flat 10% rate and £175 tenant finders fee (with a £50 renewal,) and no stupid extra charges.

Our beautiful hallway

The house needs some electrical and painting work and a new carpet laid in the downstairs rooms. Normally, myself and Mrs SavingNinja would not shy away from painting, we did an awesome job in our hallway.

But we sold all of our painting stuff a couple of weeks ago thinking that we wouldn’t need it anymore. We literally gave over £100 worth of stuff (including paint) away for a tenner.

So, we got some painters quotes…

£500 to paint a single room!!!!

Fuck that.

We’re now going out to re-buy rollers, paint, sandpaper, and a scraper to do it ourselves and we’re really kicking ourselves here.

We even sold our step ladder…

New Job

I haven’t had much time to get excited about my new job. I’m so preoccupied with moving to Sweden that I sometimes forget about the new job completely.

Working at my new place will be unlike any other place I’ve been. Some parts of that have already become apparent with how organised they are when enrolling new employees.

My current corporate bank takes a minimum of 2 months to enrol new employees once they’ve started. You can forget about them starting the process before they’ve joined! One third party contractor has been earning a day rate for over 6 months and they’ve still not been successfully set up with a development machine, she’s been watching Udemy videos the whole time…

My new employer however has already contacted me to ask which mobile phone and laptop I would like so they can order it now.

No more working on second hand old machines too. They will be ordering a MacBook Pro with 64GB of RAM and an i9 processor, and an iPhone Max. I would never order these things myself, it’s almost too much. Who needs 64GB of RAM? But it’s nice nonetheless, and I’m hoping that it’s a predicate of more nice surprises to come.

I’ll be staying in employee funded corporate housing for the first month in Sweden, while they try to find us a rental. We’re hoping to buy a house after the first year as it should save us a lot of money and then we can get back to increasing our savings rate.

More Posts to Come

I’ve been handed a very complicated employee share scheme, so I’ll be making a post about the different options so you guys can help me decide which route to take!

I’ll also be making a post documenting all I’ve learned about the different investment vehicles in Sweden and tax laws, this will be pretty limited knowledge so far, but I hope to update it once I’ve learned more.

A few very helpful Swedish readers have contacted me to tell me about some different investment choices, thank you for this! I’ll be using your knowledge in the upcoming posts.

OddsMonkey

9 thoughts on “Savings Report #24 – Moving Country is Hard!

  1. Nice update, I am interested to know how you mananaged to being able to sublet your property with Mortgage? Did you just ask your lender for permison? Or you remortgage?

    We may be in a similar position but we are fixed for 4 more years so unsure how we could sublet it

    1. Thanks Tom, we’re going down the route of requesting permission to let, and then we’ll be switching to a BTL mortgage. If you’re fixed, you’ll probably have to stay with your current mortgage until it’s over via consent to let.

  2. Hey SN

    When I first read the ‘18% per month for full management…” I was going to shout out, ‘Don’t do it!’ but fortunately, the local letting agent you’ve found is a lot more reasonable! A shame that you’ve become reluctant landlords so I hope all works out for you. I recall your mortgage was on the small side for London, so this might turn into a ‘good investment’ even in void periods.

    I can imagine things being stressful for you (albeit in an exciting way) – you and the missus are pretty good at organising stuff though so I’m sure it’ll all turn out ok in the end.

    1. Hey Weenie,

      Yeah, it might turn out OK; the extra potential stress just doesn’t seem worth it though. I think it equates to about £5k profit per annum with an interest-only mortgage if nothing big goes wrong. Although that will be severely reduced if we are restricted to expensive expat mortgages and also have to pay Swedish tax.

  3. hi SN,
    I nearly cried when i saw your 18% agency charges. It is a matter of shopping around and also bartering with them. They will all drop their initial rates when you start quoting other offers so you can then look for the right management activities for an acceptable cost and get it in the contract.
    Note – there is a new electricity check that needs to be done and a certificate provided before a property can be rented now. It has just come in this month and affects new tenancies only. Another onerous landlord overhead to go with the increased taxes to try and drive landlords out of the market.

    Have you looked at retaining UK citizenship so you can pay UK tax? An old next door neighbour spent most of his time working in Japan and would come back into the UK for a set period of days so that he could retain UK citizenship and pay UK tax on UK based income?
    My uncle does something similar, he splits his time between the US and UK.

    1. Hey!

      Yeah, we bartered a bit and got the tenant find fee reduced from £600 to £175. We’re also having the electrician come around on Tuesday, hopefully there wont be any massive costs D:

      Unfortunately we won’t be able to retain UK citizenship as we will be getting paid in SEK and working in Sweden; my new employer won’t take kindly to us living in the UK for 60+ days either. I think even then, we’ll get taxed in both countries and have to claim back any double taxation (so we’ll end up paying Swedish taxes as they’re higher.)

  4. Nice write up, I enjoy reading your blog updates. New MacBook and iPhone Max on day 1, that’s good!, you hit the jackpot there!

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