In Switzerland, (almost) every company pays employees on thirteen months.
What I noticed as an expat is that most of my fellow coworkers and other friends are using this thirteen payment as a way to deal with all yearly bills - taxes being the most common one.
As a Mustachian, I think this is sad because some budgeting all along the year could transform this Christmas money into some nice cash cushion or other investments.
Anyway, since our household is in this new world of budgeting and financial freedom, we managed to split all yearly expenses between each month, and we see these thirteen salaries as very nice cash bonuses!
What about expenses?
Overall, it was quite an expensive month.
Groceries' bill was higher than December as we had to do a big refill coming back from Christmas holidays.
We also visited the beautiful Lucern city here in Switzerland where we spent a very nice lunch and dinner outside. This goes with additional unusual gas costs.
As we were there, we couldn't miss the most visited museum of Switzerland: the Swiss Museum of Transport, that we can only recommend you as it was such a great time with children!
All in all, this family week-end was really awesome and worth any cents we paid for it! Who said frugal living prevents any pleasure in life?!?
On another topic, we had to replace our iron which decided to die in the beginning of the year... Too bad but this unexpected expense was covered without any financial worries thanks to our cash cushion.
On the yearly fee side, we only had our car tax bill that came in. This one is somehow still a pleasure to pay after that we took the smart decision to switch our V6 engine for a frugal Toyota Prius! It's so cool to save 75% of cash thanks to its low CO2 emissions!
Our savings rate could have been even bigger if we wouldn't have paid two months of taxes in once.
Let me explain you why: in 2014, we were paying our taxes the first day of the month (e.g. 01.11.2014) for the previous month (e.g. October 2014). In 2015, we wanted to follow YNAB philosophy even more closely by paying our next month taxes (e.g. January 2015) with the salary of the previous month (e.g. December 2014). For this to happen, we had to pay double the amount at some point. Which is now done!
Finally, the last unusual expense was my yearly sport subscription. As I see health as an investment into my future, I had no issues to pay this bill neither!
January 2015 savings rate
Looking at our 2014 history, it seems we managed to set a new record with
58% 59% of savings rate!!! This is good to start 2015 in a great mood!
I will nevertheless temper this positive news as a big amount of the saved cash is budgeted in YNAB (referral link) for our summer holidays. This means next month expenses will rebalance the yearly average rate.
But whatever: "Champagne!". No one knows what will happen in some months, and at the moment, the cash is still in our pocket!
What about you? How was your savings rate looking for January?