Savings Report #40 – Construction and Management

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The stock market did very well this month, I gained £4,860 in interest to go along with my £5,582 of increased contributions. Part of this sharp rise is due to my portfolio being 3% invested in my company stock which increased a lot this month, I hope it stays this high!

I really really want to hit £300k net worth before the end of the year as this is the figure that I set out to get when I started SavingNinja 40 months ago to reach financial independence. It will also mean that I reached this goal before turning 30 years old at Christmas, so I can be one of those smug FIRE-types who say “I achieved financial independence before I was 30!”

I’m also pretty excited for two new milestones: Hitting £250k in the stock market, and having my pre-pension pot grow larger than my pension pot. The pre-pension pot has mainly grown from a huge increase in contributions this year after I decided that I was done with my pension pot, more than doubling what I had in these accounts before coming to Sweden.

Before coming to Sweden in August of last year, my investments have gone up a lot more than I expected. Looking back I’m always in awe of the growth, especially as I wasn’t able to contribute as much when I first moved. My net worth has grown by £112k, £88k of that outside of my pension.

August, 2020

My portfolio graph is becoming steeper and steeper, maybe I’m finally starting to feel the tailwind of compound interest?

It will be a happy day when my investments regularly earn more than my monthly contributions, although that’s probably still a few years away!

Our First Construction Project!

We’re building a shed from scratch. This may have not been the most frugal option, and it has taken a long time, but with our neighbours tools in tow we decided that if we were serious about building our own house in the future, we better experience building something on a smaller scale now.

We started off by digging our garden for the base of the shed. Then we filled it with gravel, built a subfloor and placed it on stone slabs. Then we laid the floor, built the framing, and panelled the whole thing.

It’s taken the better part of a week with both me and my wife working all day, way longer than we thought it would take! But we are happy with the result, and we both learnt a lot. The last thing to do is the roof, and we’re using some Swedish technique of making the roofing felt raise up in the corners and then capping the edges with metal trims that hover over the roof called Vattbrädesbeslag.

The cost has also been a lot higher than we initially thought, at around £800. Still cheaper than if we would have bought a shed of this size and quality pre-fab though and our little house definitely needs the extra space. After the roof, we’ll be adding shelving along one wall and replacing more grass outside the shed with gravel.

Becoming an Engineering Manager

One of my goals for the year was to apply to two Engineering manager positions as I believed this type of role would suit my skills better and also aide my career and American relocation ambitions. I’m happy to say that this month, after 4 hours of interviews, I accepted a job in my current company as an Engineering Manager!

I will be line managing 8 engineers on a critical team, and I have to say; I’m scared shitless. Imposter Syndrome is running rampant as I’m the youngest Engineering Manager in my product area but I feel that I will be a good manager, way better than a lot that I’ve encountered in my career so far, so I’m hoping that this feeling will wear off after a few months in my new role.

I know that this will be a huge career change for me, as right now I identify completely as an Engineer. I don’t see myself as a ‘manager’ who doesn’t code. I feel like people will also see me differently on my social feeds and in person, I won’t be ‘one of the Engineers’ anymore. It feels a little weird. But ultimately, I’m excited for a new challenge and I can’t wait to get stuck into some ‘leadership’ books and courses.

Sweden

The cold, long winter is starting in Sweden, it’s already getting dark at around 3pm and the temperature is beginning to drop below zero. After some deliberation the SavingNinja household has decided that we don’t want to stay in Sweden forever. And if we don’t want to stay here forever, why wait?

I’ll be speaking to my manager after Christmas to let him know that we will only be staying in Sweden for one more year. I will say that we will prefer to relocate to Boston, but if we can’t, we’ll go back to the UK until we can move to America. Half of the team that I will be managing are actually located on the east coast of America, so it should be easily doable for my company to relocate us on an F1 Visa.

I feel like we (or rather me) won’t be fully happy until we’ve at least tried living in America. I’ve wanted to move there for most of my life, and I still have that dream of living on an American homestead. The main reason that I studied so hard to get into my current company was to be able to relocate to America. We’re so close now, we may as well go the whole way. The language barrier is difficult in Sweden, and I’m too selfish to appreciate the socialist ideologies that are adored here. I need to live in America to either finally ‘start living’ or to burst my American Dream bubble.

Monthly Round-Up

  • Pixel 6 Event
    • The new Pixel looks amazing, sporting Google’s new Tensor chip it’s capable of some pretty sweet things like instant voice translation and removing objects from your photos with the tap of a finger.
  • Metaverse Facebook Keynote
    • Facebook is changing their name to Meta to show their fully invested into the new Metaverse accessed via augmented and virtual reality. Although the video was cheesy and creepy as hell, I’m happy they’re doing this. They’re bringing the Oasis to life, which is awesome!
  • Roblox
    • Apparently this has been around for quite a while, but I only just found out about this game recently. It’s a game where anyone can create any other game with minimum game development knowledge required. It’s like a cross between Minecraft and Garry’s Mod. Find it on the App Store or Google Play for free. I’ve been enjoying playing on Squid Game recreations.

How was your month?

OddsMonkey

6 thoughts on “Savings Report #40 – Construction and Management

  1. You’re absolutely nailing it, well done. FIRE before 30 would be an incredible milestone, but either way you’re on a great trajectory.

    Looking forward to seeing how the US relocation plans develop in 2022. Fingers crossed you settle into the management role well. Onwards and upwards!

  2. Well done on getting up to nearly the 300,000 mark! I wouldn’t think that compound interest has really kicked in yet – rebound growth would be more likely.

    As someone who has lived in the Nordic region, the uk and America – of the 3 it is Sweden and Finland I miss now not the US. You’ll have to try it of course – and there’s plenty of places to choose from – I was on the East coast. I would even say the coldness of the climate of Sweden and winter was my favourite season in the end – so cold but so cosy with the right clothes. It took me 2 years to really get to know people and have them open up and me generous with their time in a way that I never experienced in America.

    Don’t discount it too quickly. But enjoy the journey – it makes me want to move again. Maybe the southern hemisphere – I’ve still not tried it!

    Good luck!

    1. Thank you. You’re probably right, I invested a lot during the COVID crash.

      Now that we know we’ll be setting a time limit on our stay after Christmas, we’ve started realizing that we will miss some things here in Sweden. We also really like being cozy and snow, we’ll see how this next winter goes 🙂

      I’m not too worried as I have an Italian passport, so if we didn’t like America and realised we preferred Sweden, we could always retire here.

  3. Wow congrats on the huge progress yet again SN!
    Hat doffed and round of applause.

    I still think you need to learn to be happy with what you already have before you can expect to be suddenly happy with the move to America. It will be just like anywhere else, some things better but others will be worse.
    Obviously not putting you off your dream, especially as you are so close! But just something to bear in mind before you make it there.

    All the best me old chum 🙂

    1. Cheers TFS 🙂

      Yeah, me too. I’ve listened to and read books on enough gurus like Naval now that pragmatically, I know that moving to the US, or even reaching FIRE, won’t magically make me happy, it’s just not sunk in yet. There’s are all of the reasons in the world why I should be super happy right now.

      I have come to the realisation that I’m happier when I’m working toward something else. When first moving to Sweden I felt down as I had been working toward this for so long, then all of a sudden, there wasn’t a goal anymore. Now I’m super busy with a new job-type, writing a book, and with our eyes fixated on America, I feel great. I just hope it’s not substituting the depression with keeping myself busy?

      I think I’ll have to find a balance. Always working on a project and an ambitious goal, but learning to enjoy the present more too. And understanding that as much as I can look at my life with rose-tinted glasses if I ‘achieve my next goal’ that pretty quickly things will settle into normalcy after getting there.

      Thanks for the wise words as always and making me think.

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