February 2023 Savings, plus other updates

This month saw me and my sister attending an uncle’s funeral – he’d died at the grand old age of 91.

Although a sad affair, it was an opportunity to catch up with extended members of the family (first cousins).

There was one cousin I last saw while we were both still at uni and it was interesting to hear that he and his missus had done the whole geo arbitrage FIRE thing.

What I mean is that they jacked in their jobs in 2019 when they both turned 49 (he an IT consultant, she a dentist with a share in private practice), sold their house in Croydon and relocated to Thailand, where they’ve been renting an apartment in Bangkok, enjoying the benefits of far lower cost of living. They’ve no kids so unlikely they would have made this move if they had.

He dabbles in a bit of trading for pocket money, she spends her time helping out in the local community and it sounds like they are living their dream. Both are modest and happy to live a simple life, and they have been taking the opportunity to visit other countries in eastern Asia.

I wonder if they had heard of FIRE? I didn’t get the chance to ask them.

Anyway, attended another enjoyable pub meet up in Manchester this month (next face to face is in April) and I forgot to mention that at the end of last month, I had a a good catch up (online) with TheFIREStarter (yes, I did ask when his next update would be!) and SavingNinja, who was dialling in from the US.

No update on the Twitter issue but a big thanks to the 138 new subscribers to my blog – thanks for reading! 🙂

So, let’s take a look at how I did in February:

I saved 16.6% of my net salary.  The above includes £67.17 from doing Prolific surveys.

Shares and Investment Trusts

I can’t remember buying anything new so I guess I just topped up existing investments.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

A bit of a wobble in the stock markets but nothing to be concerned about.

At the end of the month, my Future Fund was down a little at £231,522.

Dividends and Other Income

Dividends continue to roll in as usual:

I received £438.19, of which £302.39 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs.

Here’s what the graph looks like:

Goals Update

Here’s how things are looking:

Nothing else to report really; with general costs going up (broadband, utilities and council tax), some more juggling will be required to ensure I try to continue to save/invest as much as I can towards my goals, while living a life that is not devoid of enjoyment.

Hope you all had a good February.

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9 thoughts on “February 2023 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Hate to generalise about people but in my travels found the Thais among the friendliest and as such a great country to emigrate to .Remarkable given all the Western Sex Tourists they must get.
    A survey of expats has suggested Portugal the best country in Europe overall to be an emigre in and i’ve also found the Portuguese very friendly.Least friendly……affluent Heritage cities if you do not speak the local language

  2. Sorry to hear about your uncle, though a sad benefit is that funerals are one of the few times extended families get together. I’ve certainly considered geo-arb from my current place in the San Francisco Bay Area, though I’m a ways away from that and likely will be domestic here in the States. Thailand is a very adventurous move so good for them!

    • Thanks IF. Yes, it’s weddings or funerals and I’m now at an age where it’s probably mostly the latter (until when my nieces/nephews start getting married!). Yes, my cousin could have moved to a location cheaper than where he lived but I guess they wanted more of a change. Will be interesting to hear where you move (if/when you do move!) away from SF Bay area.

  3. I think I would have been tempted to keep the house and rent it out. That’s what I did when I first moved to Thailand in the early 2000s. I never regretted that, as I ended up coming back to UK. Yes, you can put the money from the house sale in investments, but then…tax…

    Thailand is not what it was. Twenty years ago (and I just realized writing this it will be twenty years this week since I first went to Thailand), it was an undiscovered paradise. I was probably one of the first “technomads” there. Mostly people who lived there were English teachers. Chiang Mai was considered “back of beyond/boondocks” and you only went there to avoid the 40C heat of BKK in March/April. Now it’s the technomad capital of the world…

    In 2007 everything changed. The iPhone came out and the “kimono was lifted” on Thailand. Every aspect has been iPhoned, YouTubed, Instagrammed, and Tweeted etc. The mystery has long since gone.

    In fact, things probably started to change significant mid-2000s (2004/2005 ish) when more and more people got “always-on Internet” with ADSL. It was dial-up mostly before that – or Internet Cafes (if you remember them).

    These tech changes allowed the word to spread about Thailand, and now everyone and their dog knows about it, and that brings change, and a lot of what made Thailand a unique experience has gone, or changed beyond recognition, because everyone’s “doing Thailand” now.

    Of course there is still much that’s positive about Thailand today, but personally I avoid it now. I tend to go up to Chiang Rai, and hop over the kong into Laos. Or find an island in Philippines or Malaysia that is as yet undiscovered. It’s getting harder though. The number of Chinese tourists visiting SEA these days is astronomical – it dwarfs the Western cohort by orders of magnitude – or at least it did before Rona…but things are picking up again…

    Just me reminiscing and feeling nostalgic and remembering what’s been lost with progress – still remember my first trip to Thailand as if it were yesterday…

    • Hi Codefreeze

      Agree, I would have been tempted to keep the house to rent out too but I don’t know the full story, they may well still have a rental property in the UK.

      The Thailand I first visited in the 90s as a uni student was different from when I revisited 20 years later but I just saw it as progression (good and bad). Yeah, back then, none of my friends had been and it was one of those far-off ‘exotic’ countries; now, people don’t even have to visit to know what it looks like as they’ve seen all the pictures on Insta etc!

    • Hate to be picky, but I didn’t say Thailand “was destroyed”. I actually said there’s much to be positive about. But it’s certainly changed. You see it on the faces of Thais in the foodcourts.

      Plus Thailand already had decent Internet and Starbucks back in 2003. 🙂

    • Thanks GFF.

      Yes, my cousin did look very happy – at first, he seemed reluctant to say what he was doing/had done, almost as if he was expecting some sort of negative reaction, which he may have received from certain members of the family, though probably out of concern.

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