January 2017 Savings Rate

Antwerp Meetup

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the Saving Rate for the Month of January, let’s review our Meetup on Antwerp last Saturday (February 4). We personally had a great time, we enjoyed the presentations, discussions and the great open atmosphere in the room. We had over 20 people show up for this event, some bloggers, some not, some for a second time, some new, some young, some “not so young anymore”. In short, it was a very fun very interesting day. Thank you everyone for attending and your inputs, it was awesome!

We are seriously looking forward to the next event and have a long list of ideas that we want to pass by you all for some feedback and inputs! So keep eye on your mail box (for those whom attended one of the last two events), this blog or that of  Amber Tree Leaves.

January Finances

Ok, back to the financial stuff again: The Savings Rate. January was again a “normal” month (after the really spectacular November and December months of last year) from a saving rate perspective. Let’s have a quick look at what happened:

  • Regular (so one each) incomes from Mr. and Mrs. CF where deposited in the checking account;
  • There was a surprise in crowdfunding income. One project actually went bankrupt (second issue out of 34 projects) but was bought out by another party! We suddenly got paid out the total remainig loan! Lovely, 7.5% interest on 13 months and full investment back. Bring on more of those! Total “income” (interest and principal payments) from crowdfunding was €355;
  • No surprises on the living side of things. But we did finally get the bill for the roof replacement and repair work done in 2016. This was a rather “pleasant” surprise (for as far as a bill is pleasant), as it was a couple hundred lower than we expected and came in at just over 513 (it also helped that Mr. CF assisted to contractor in his work). No complaining at all!
  • Other costs in the Living and Healthcare category included some sewage taxes (€109), quarterly water bill (€41) and insurance premiums (€182);
  • Transport costs are increasing due to using our car again to get to work (company car is gone). Total costs for the month included about €336, which is primarily fuel (€112), road tax (€179) and insurance (€25);
  • Grocery costs were lower than normal this month, as we are still partially living off the large shopping spree from last December. Total spend was about €266;
  • The kid category was pretty stable too, not much more spend than the day care fees (net fees are about €950 – looking forward to Miss CF going to school by the end of this year, should cut the costs down to about 1/3rd or less!);
  • Travel and Leisure included some activities with Miss CF (skating on a market square). We also had tons of birthdays in January, so lot’s of “free” entertainment (gifts, if any, are covered in the “other” category); and,
  • Other items included a replacement charger for the our camera battery (€23) and a transformer (58) for the PS3 we brought back from Canada.

January Savings Rate 

All the above boiled down to a savings rate of 55.8%, we are pretty happy with that, because this is about as good as it gets for us! 

If you breakdown our expenses for the month, the distribution looks like this:

How was your Savings Rate for January? Where you happy with the results, if not, why?


  1. Fantastic savings rate as usual. Congratulations on seeing 2017 off to a strong start.

    I’ll be in Amsterdam in September of this year, so maybe if there is a meetup at that time, I can pop in and say hi!

    1. You are more then welcome to drop in if there is a meet up in September. We have not planned the next one just yet!
      That being said, if there is non, we would still love to meet up anyway 🙂

  2. p.s. A comment on the long roadtrip and missing out on school in the Netherlands. (could not comment under the right thread) Till the little one is 5 yrs old you can skip school for a long trip.

    1. That knowledge is exactly what triggered the exchange in comments. We both realized that we now have a chance to get out and enjoy the time as a family. It will become a lot harder once they reach the age of 5 year and have to school mandatorily.

  3. Thanks for the review of the event CF and ATL. Really sad I couldn’t make it this time. Count me in next time!

  4. Thanks again for the great meet-up! We had awesome things to talk over on the way home. Which was 3 hours long by the way, because of a closed highway, ugh…

    And a 55.8% savings ratio is pretty impressive. We were more or less on the 40% for 2016. The numbers of 2017 are not yet in, because I was lacking in tracking everything (experiment gone wrong).

    1. Hey DN, ouch, that is a very long trip back…. Glad you had something to talk about 😉
      If you guys are already at 40%, you are doing great! Just keep going and it will improve over time. Best of luck

  5. Thanks to you and Amber for organising a great meetup!

    It was fun meeting so many like-minded folks, and I’m full of new ideas now.

  6. Thanks for the great meet-up, I really enjoyed it. Nice to know some faces behind the blogs 🙂
    And great savings numbers again, congrats!

  7. Hi Guys, I really like how you do the running log of what happened during the month.

    Couldn’t help but notice the significant road tax amount. Is that the car lust overcoming FI sensibility? 😉 Or are you running diesel perhaps?


    1. Ha no, no diesel for us. We actually have a nice fuel efficient hybrid, but it is a sizeable car for sure. It’s a remnant of the Canada days. Funny you mention this, because we have been discussing downsizing the car lately. But because we are planning a 9 week road trip in 2018, we have decided to keep the car until that time, after which we will likely downsize to a smaller car (or no car at all).
      What’s actually even worse is that the quarterly tax is going up next quarter. We loose the hybrid benefit (125kg discount) on the road tax, so it will rise to 229 euros!

      1. And let me guess… the road trip is timed in such a way that you get it in before little Miss CF is locked into the Dutch school system and long breaks like this become impossible, without breaking the law? 🙂

        This was a topic of discussion in our house on the weekend. Well, technically, it was in the car while we were out driving and little Mr. Cameron was sleeping.

      2. BTW, I don’t want to be the car fantasy killjoy, but, if I were counter arguing, I’d tell you that down-sizing now and saving 150e a month in road tax, possibly more in lower fuel costs, and renting a bigger car for the road trip, could make sense. Could… I realise the decision basis isn’t completely based on rationalisation 🙂

      3. Nope, but you are close! The rental costs for a bigger car would be so high for 9 weeks, it’s cheaper to keep our current car for now (it’s very fuel efficient, so not much to win here). That being said, we are also keeping the car because of the space/size. We are (fairly) tall, so the extra leg room will come in handy for a very long road trip. This was also the primary reason for buying the car in the first place.

      4. Great minds think alike! That is exactly the reason for the planning 🙂
        Considering you were discussing it too, are you going for it? We already informed our employers and Mrs CF already arranged for paid (!) time off (her bonus for that year will be two months paid time off, how great is that?).

      5. Good result getting the commitment from your employer(s) locked in already.

        It actually came us a surprise to me that school started so soon. I was fantasising about a longer holiday in about four and a half years, and discovered that the time window was closer to two years… so I’m in the “awareness” phase of (re)-planning! I don’t want to miss the opportunity though, so will almost certainly find a way to make something happen.

      6. Being open with you employer usually helps, if you relationship is good the answer is usually “yes” for paid or unpaid time off. Giving a heads up is also appreciated as your boss can take action if required to accomodate you being gone for a longer period of time.
        Have fun planning, we are seriously looking forward to the long road trip! But it is still more than a year away.
        By the way, we were talking to Amber Tree over the weekend. You can always temporarily move to Belgium and get examption from your kid needing to go to school. But home schooling will be required in the mean time (with exams at an testing institution). So there are alternatives if you want to do this later in life 🙂

    1. Hey AT, we are really happy with the numbers. We actually have the feeling we have hit our ceiling of how well we can do without loosing out on life. The system is working 😉

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