It has been a few months now since my last update but I have still been recording my monthly totals (I feel I will be doing them now until the day I die). My numbers and financial resources were greatly strained during the summer months when I was off from work and also because I took a trip back home after being away for a year. It is only after two months of work that I am beginning to inch back to growth and can finally start accumulating savings again.
The truth about living in Hong Kong is that while certain things are incredibly expensive, it is still possible to maintain a comfortable lifestyle while saving money - that is, if you earn at least a modest income and are okay living in tiny accommodations. Taxation is low in Hong Kong and it is also not taken off at the source so you have that money to use however you would like throughout the year. I know for some that this would be an issue later when a large tax bill comes all at once but for myself I enjoy the extra freedom to use the money until then.
If I do not take any trips during a given month I can expect to realistically save around half of my salary or $10,000 HKD($1,629 CAD at today's rate). Not a huge amount on a yearly basis but then again on my modest income I don't think I can complain.
For the sake of actually getting this post up and out there I've condensed all my numbers down to just the totals for this month. Truthfully the most interesting part is looking at the chart anyways.
Time rolls on and I realize now I haven't made a post since Oct 2016 which is remarkable. However, I have kept up with my own net worth calculations at least. Instead of catching up with all of those missed months I will just post my most recent update. I have seen decent gains since moving to HK but then I have also taken countless small vacations here and there that have dented the numbers. But in the end am I happier having taken all those trips than I would be now with a few thousands dollar more? Absolutely. What is life without these experiences? In the last 12 months I have visited Spain, Andorra, Mauritius, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Canada. - Some of these countries I visited multiple times. Here are my numbers for the month and they are so complicated now with foreign currencies that I won't bother breaking them down more than below. Aug 4, 2017
This post is quite overdue but I'm happy to report that I finally did something to change my situation - I've moved to Hong Kong. I've taken up teaching English here in Hong Kong, temporarily at least to get myself over here, and may well turn into a new career on its own..who knows. Just to give a quick update of the events: I sold a few things and gave away almost everything else I owned to family, friends, and even strangers. After getting rid of basically all of my material possessions in less than two weeks I got on the plane to HK at the end of July. (I actually took a two week long vacation here to Europe before I came back to HK for a second time.) In August I dealt with the usual paperwork resulting from a move: activating my visa, opening a bank account, getting a new phone number, and applying for my HKID, among other things. On September 1st I started work in Hong Kong for the first time and only now do I have time to write this quick update. I'd like to say it's been great so far, but life is never so easy. I've been quite stressed with the new position as I try to settle in to a new workplace and routine. It's been a struggle to say the least. So to get to the numbers, I spent a sizable sum of money in August, first on a vacation, and then as I settled here in Hong Kong without an income stream to support me. My new position only pays once a month and so I will not receive my first paycheque until early in October. It has been difficult as I use up my available cash, but I am confident I will be able to survive and not have to draw down my investments. So here are my mid-month numbers as of Sep 21, 2016. I will try to get back to proper updates on the first of the month starting in October, but I've been so busy that I can't guarantee anything. Considering how much I spent in August I am not too unhappy with the numbers - still within reach of the $50k mark and should begin climbing in the coming months as I settle in.
Sep 21, 2016
TFSA - $47,736.66 +4.42%
Stocks - $0 -100%
Cash - $1,232.35
Total: $48,969.01 CAD
1 CAD = 5.89496 HKD @ 9/21/2016
(It was 1 CAD to 7.5 HKD as recently as 2013, sigh. It will be interesting to watch the currency fluctuations as the HKD is pegged to the USD currently.)
I've now liquidated the last of my RRSP's in anticipation of a big life change coming up. The tax implications of the withdrawal will be negligible because I did not claim the full deduction amount previously. The only reason I contributed to my RRSP in the first place was because my company matched my contribution up to 5% of my salary. I have never been a fan of RRSP's in general (the idea of delaying taxes in the hope of paying less later), so I am glad to be rid of them. This coming month will be a busy one and I may post my next net worth update from another country. I will write about that later. Here are my numbers for the month that saw huge swings in either direction before levelling off. I believe they've held up well considering the amount of uncertainty in the markets.