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Checking in for one last time before leaving the land of the free.

I’m writing this on my last piece of furniture, my desk. I left it until the last moment to sell so I could be comfortable interviewing. I’m hoping I can sell it before we leave which is in 6 days.

Everything else has been sold! We managed to sell our car for $20k to a bulk car purchaser called CarMax, these guys offered $5k more than anyone else, and the process was super easy. We got a rental car for 2 weeks, and although it’s very ill-equipped to deal with the New Hampshire weather, we managed to fit all 8 of our suitcases in when we did a trial run last week.

We’re now sleeping on an inflatable double-air mattress, our sofa is going to go to our neighbor the day before we leave, and everything has been packed after numerous cullings of our stuff to fit the weight limit of 23kg per suitcase.

We’ve prepared as much as we can, and now all that is left is to hope that everything goes to plan next week. We’re waiting on the USDA to return our ‘approved’ cat travel forms (they can only send this 10 days before travel - and the mail service in the states is awful!) On the day, we’ll clean our rental property, then drive the 2h to the airport, I’ll get dropped off with 8 suitcases and the cat and I’ll shuffle my way into the lobby while my wife drops off the rental car in Boston and gets an Uber back to the airport. 15h later, my father-in-law will be waiting for us in Paris, we’ll then drive the 7hrs back to Devon via the channel tunnel and arrive just in time for dinner.

Whew, it’s going to be tiring.

Interviewing marathon

March has been jam-packed with interviewing. In the last week of March I had 3hrs of interviews a day for the whole week. I feel like I can recite behavior examples by heart at this point. I’m really hoping for an offer this week, I am pretty confident I’ll get an offer from at least one of the companies, but I’m hoping the others will respond too as they’re not my first choice. BUT all of them are fully remote and above £100k salary, so I’m very happy with that as it seems we won’t have to sacrifice too much while still being able to save a chunk.

There’s also a possibility of my former employer re-hiring me in the UK, as the only reason I was laid off was because they shut down the USA based teams and there’s a backfill opportunity. If this happens my salary will be around double the other potential companies which would be amazing! I’m not getting my hopes up just yet, but I’ll be over the moon if this can happen.

I’ve been quite impressed with the amount of roles that are fully remote and can offer London-like salaries. This is undoubtedly due to the much better remote software available post-COVID, I also think it’s because I’m interviewing for Engineering Manager positions.

Prior to my current position I was an engineer, I was solely in the mobile development space. My EM interviews have all been in the non-mobile space, web companies and infrastructure companies, scale ups and open source projects. It seems being an EM has opened up a number of different employment opportunities outside of my engineering tech stack background, and due to this, there have been more remote opportunities that hire globally. The remote-first trend is only going to grow as time goes on as well!

I’m thrilled that it looks like I won’t have to re-join the London commuter grind ever again. Maybe our chicken-coop building dreams are closer than we think.

Reaching $1m

This month also marked my official end of employment. It’s the first time I’ve been unemployed since I started my career almost 10 years ago.

It was bittersweet as at the same time, I got paid my 4 months of severance and it pushed the SavingNinja house-hold over an important milestone.

We became USD-millionaires.

Due to the still roaring bull run in the stock market, we’ve now actually passed another milestone. We’ve became Euro-millionaires as well.

I’ve not updated this in my savings spreadsheet yet as most of the extra is cash. I plan to invest it when we’re back in the UK in ISAs, so it will get added then. Of course, it may not be invested if I don’t get a job and we need to use it to live.

Below is a screenshot of where this is coming from and the different currency totals.

1-mill-networth Image

The cash is in Interactive Brokers earning 4.84% (minus the first $10k.) The RSUs are what is left over from my last promotion at work.

I’ve not been including my RSUs in the past. I saw them as kind of bonuses that I’d sell eventually and add into my existing “main” portfolio where it would be included in our net worth.

I may still not include them in this spreadsheet as I don’t like seeing our net worth analytics jump up and down as I move investments around. I’ll be doing a lot of shuffling over the coming months as we transfer USD accounts into UK accounts and move cash into ISAs. I plan to sell the RSUs under Mrs SavingNinja’s name to pay less tax - the UK allows you to transfer assets and the capital gains liability to your spouse!

I’ll keep the savings spreadsheet as net worth of our long-term assets that I plan to not touch, so this cash and the RSUs should be added in the coming months and year.

It’s still nice to know that we’ve hit that figure in real terms non the less! We’ll just have to celebrate again when we’ve ‘officially’ crossed the line in the spreadsheet.

It’s crazy to look back at my financial journey and see that I’ve been posting these savings reports every month since 2018, when my net worth figure was £54k. If you’ve been with me since the beginning reading these updates, thanks for joining me on this wild ride!

I’m wondering, when will the ride end? I’m seeing a lot more contemplative posts in the near future about when to actually stop working and what to do with your life when you FIRE; that is when the second half of the journey begins!

See you next month when I’m back in the UK.