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

Go to How To Track Your Savings  to check out the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet.

It’s so nice to be writing this Savings Report in my favorite editor: Visual Studio Code.

This is the first post that I’ve written since migrating TSN to a statically generated markdown site using Hugo and it’s an absolute joy.

Everything being local and in markdown means that I can use templates and scripts to help speed up the creation of my content. I write Bash scripts for a living now so this is a big plus!

I no longer have to copy and paste the same Savings Report content that you see at the top of this post every month, I don’t have to use the sloooow WordPress media editor to upload the cover image, all I have to do is use my newly created script and it will automatically create it in the correct place and pre-fill a lot of the dynamic meta data.

Here’s a peak at the script if any of my fellow nerdy readers want to check it out:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

replace_string_in_file() {
  local file="$1"
  local old="$2"
  local new="$3"

  regexp=$(printf %s "$old" | sed 's:[$*./\[^]:\\&:g')
  replacement=$(printf %s "$new" | sed 's:[\&/]:\\&:g')
  sed -i -e "s/$regexp/$replacement/g" $file
  rm "$file"-e

print_escaped_title() {
  local title=$1
  local escaped=$(echo $title | awk '{print tolower($0)}')
  escaped="${escaped// /-}"
  echo "$escaped"

slug=$(print_escaped_title "$title")

hugo new --kind savings-report $file

mkdir $images_dir
mv $image_name $images_dir

replace_string_in_file $file "\$title" "$title"
replace_string_in_file $file "\$slug" "$slug"
replace_string_in_file $file "\$coverImage" "$image_name"
replace_string_in_file $file "\$coverAlt" "${image_name%.*} cover image"

Pretty neat code block that Hugo can generate too huh?

Alright, enough of me nerding out about how awesome Hugo is! Let’s get down to business.

Half a mill club!

We’ve reached half a million net worth!!

Well, not quite in British pounds yet, but who cares about that Brexit-riddled currency anyway? We’ve crossed the milestone in Dollars and Euros.

This month actually marks the sharpest increase in capital gains that we’ve ever had. I didn’t contribute anything and our net worth increased by $28.5k. Am I feeling the tinglings of compound interest again? I can’t wait until I’m stuck in the tailwind of this wonder of the world and our regular monthly gains out-perform our salaried pay.

Next month I’m hoping to start investing regularly again, my US pension should also see its first deposit in the next Savings Report.

Here’s to the next half a mill!

Getting familiar

It’s been 2 months since we moved from Sweden to the USA. We’re definitely starting to feel a little more settled. We’ve slowly purchased all of the conveniences that we left behind in Sweden.

We bought some rugs, a nice bed frame, a good TV, blinds and curtains. I even splurged and bought an Xbox One to tide us over until we build some gaming PCs again, we’ve been having fun on some local co-op games like It Takes Two and Unravel Two .

The weather is humid and hot here in Massachusetts. I didn’t realize that it would be this humid. It reached 95% humidity one day this month, it was like swimming through the air. To combat this along with the daily 35-38 degrees heat we have now accumulated 3 air conditioners.

We’re spending a lot more money on products here in the US. I’ve surmised that it’s due to these points:

  1. Products are cheaper, which eliminates the bad value anxiety that I have.
  2. There are sales all of the time from outlets like Costco and events like Prime Day.
  3. I earn more money.
  4. I pay a lower tax rate.
  5. My expenses are less.
  6. We are fairly confident that we want to stay here for the long-term, so we’re not afraid of buying more/higher quality things that will last.

The United States really is the land of excess. I’m realizing that now that I’ve been here a little longer. It’s subtle at first, and it’s hard to really pin-point what it is, but there is something quite dystopian about it here.

Maybe it’s that there is valet parking for everything, even when you go to the shopping center or doctors…

Or maybe it’s the oddity that every supermarket has a bag packer at each till, and each fuel station has someone standing there waiting to fuel your car and take your card meaning you don’t even have to get out…

Amazon’s default delivery time is under 2 hours…

There are wine stores the size of football fields, and Walmart’s the size of stadiums…

There is just so much excess and money flying around, it means that nothing is free and there is a service for everything. If there’s a way to save a little bit of time or energy, people seem to pay for it; like valet parking or bag packing and a million other small and almost unnoticeable things to a tourist.

I think that’s what gives the place a dystopian feel. I don’t see any simplicity, frugality or sustainability, just a lot of excess, waste, and laziness. It’s the polar opposite of Italy, Sweden, and to a lesser extent, the UK.

Or maybe it’s just because I’m new here? Maybe this is what is destined for every country the further they advance their technology, improve their economy and embrace capitalism?

It’s not all doom and gloom. I do still like it here, and I think it will be the place that we set our roots. As we are in the land of excess, if we don’t fall into the US of A’s trap and we keep to our monk-like FIRE principles, we will be way better off financially here.

And it sure is a beautiful country.

See you next month!