Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for (they answered more than two months later than my request…). My base rent goes from 1175 to 1122. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st, but this means next year, I’ll save 53 * 9 = 477 CHF.

In Switzerland, rent prices are index on a reference interest rate. When the interest goes down, you can aks for a reduction of rent. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process, so you have to ask yourself to your house owner or building managers. On the other hand, you can be sure that if the interest rate rises, it will be an “automatic” process…

Don’t forget to check if the interest rate decreased since you signed your lease. If you haven’t asked for a reduction in many years, this could be a large reduction!

Overall, I’m still quite happy, this is more than 50 CHF per month saved next year!

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Save 350CHF per year by changing car insurance

This year, I’ve checked again the car insurances for my car. Until now, I was with AXA Winterthur. When I got this offer almost 5 years ago, it was the cheapest offer. Unfortunately, it’s the not the case anymore and I didn’t think to check again before this year. I’ve now changed my car insurance to Helvetia. Before, I was paying 668.95 CHF each semester, now I’ll pay only 492.20 per semester, this is  353 CHF savings per year. Once I’ve got a better salary, I’ll also stop paying per semester in order to save 30 CHF each, but for now, it’s a bit too much to pay at once.

For now, my car has still only few kilometers (less than 40K), so I’m still keeping my complete Casco insurance. Next year, I’ll reconsider this. I may also consider increasing my deductible to reduce the fee.

This time, I used a insurance advisor (free) to check the fees for me, but it seems that even if this is much better, this is still not the cheapest possible. Next time, I’ll do the check first online to make sure I’m not getting ripped of.  This time, I cannot change insurer for a few years, but I can still change details of my insurance such as deductible and remove some parts of the insurance.

Don’t forget to check if you can save some money by changing insurances. In Switzerland, the prices of the insurances are quite unstable, and therefore it’s often a good idea to change, even if it’s a bit a pain in the ass to change the insurance.

Overall, I’m still quite happy, this is about 30 CHF per month saved next year!

Opened a broker account on DEGIRO

Hi,

After reading a lot about funds and low-cost index funds in particular and the inefficiency of most actively-managed funds , I decided I will stop giving my money to fund managers. Therefore, I decided to start investing in passive index funds rather than active funds. Moreover, I also decided to only focus on no-load funds. Currently, I was investing with PostFinance funds, but the Total Expense Ratio (TER) of these funds is high and PostFinance is charging a 0.5% percent load on each buy of funds.Since we don’t access to excellent mutual funds such as Vanguard funds here, I decided to invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) versions of the funds. This means I need a broker to invest. I looked at the trading offer of PostFinance but it is insanely expensive.Therefore I decided to find a new broker with much lower fees.

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October 2017 Update

Hi,

This is the first monthly update on this blog. I’ll try to do this every month and normally earlier than this (I was in vacation).

October 2017 was not really good in terms of savings, but a bit better than I was expecting. The savings rate for the month is 8.15%. It’s not really good but I was expecting a loss, so it’s not so bad.

Even though I was in vacation in China, this is not what made my budget so bad. The only really expensive stuff was the plane tickets but they were paid earlier. I had to pay almost 600 CHF for dentist and 450 CHF for Billag. On that latter note, I really hope the “No Billag” initiative will pass next March, that would be a very nice improvement to my budget, especially since I don’t watch TV and don’t listen to the radio.

I have started to review my portfolio with better investments. I still have around 60% of my assets in cash, 11% in international stocks, 10% in domestic stocks and 17% in bonds. I plan to decrease the cash this month, especially for my retirement savings third pillar.

November should not be very good since I have to purchase new plane tickets to China, but this will hopefully be the only big expense of the month and therefore the  savings rate should be better. I plan to be very frugal this month. I also plan to reduce a few of my monthly expenses (more on that later). I will check again all the expenses on my budget and try to come up with solutions to reduce the overall spend that is still too high.

Birth of this blog

Welcome to this blog 🙂

This year has been quite disastrous in terms of savings. This is mostly due to many big expenses such as plane tickets and unexpected health care, but this made me realize that I’m not saving enough at all. Although I have a good a salary and live quite well, I’ve a tendency to spend too much. Last year, my savings rate was around 18%. This is not really bad, but still lower than I would have liked. But this year, my savings rate is down to around 7%. This is way too low and made me realize that my expenses are way too high. Moreover, the last two months have been negative months although not by a long shot. This month is also likely to end up being negative.

Since this point, I started reading many personal finance blogs and websites and I’ve learned a lot of things regarding investments and spending. In the coming months, I plan to put theses lessons to work. My main change now will be to reduce my spending. I’ll then continue to learn about investments and I’ll try to put my money to work.

I’m mostly writing this blog to motivate myself. I’ll try to share some monthly reports and some information I’ve found.

And don’t forget I’m mostly bad with my money, so don’t follow everything I do, but you may try to learn from my mistakes.