A Bit Of A Stumble [August Update]
I need to start out by apologizing for such a late post. I’ve been procrastinating on writing this post for a few reasons. I like it when everything can be neatly wrapped up and tied into a bow, and that is most certainly NOT the case right now. The month of July was quite hectic with the move from Thailand to California, so we weren’t quite as diligent in tracking expenses towards the end of the month. I’ve also been trying to convert the base currency for our expense tracking app to US Dollars, but this has proved much more difficult than expected. Even the first two weeks in August has been a dramatic change from the norms over the past year and a half for us, so it has taken some time to get used to. Ultimately, I’ve been using the resulting chaos from these and more as an excuse not to write this post. For my lack of discipline, I am very sorry.
Every Month Will Be A ‘Hectic’ Month
Upon re-reading the July Update I realized that while I may have called out several things, I haven’t done much about the ones that would have had pretty clear action items to make things better. I’ve read that when budgeting, a common mistake is to assume that any spending that doesn’t fit monthly norms is a sign of ‘abnormalities’ and can otherwise be completely ignored when setting the budget. In general, most months will have some level of unexpected expenses or circumstances that would make it easy to discount them as abnormally hectic months. Another obstacle that people new to expense tracking face is that things go really well for the first month or two, and they get complacent or lazy or have a change in circumstances that causes them to falter on tracking expenses. I think this past month, I’ve fallen victim to both mistakes and used our move as a crutch. I need to remember that I need to be tracking all expenses all the time. It honestly doesn’t take that much effort, it’s just discipline and habit.
Friends And Family Are Superstars
An absolutely huge thank you goes out to our friends and family who have given us immense amounts of support with our move and ensuring this was a smooth and comfortable transition back to the US.
Fatima’s family has been graciously hosting us since we arrived back in California, and provided us with somewhere to quarantine, and stay until we can rent our own place. Being able to be around her family has been amazing, and we are extremely grateful to them.
Our Rattachai Muay Thai family also came to our house to help us move many of our things out and even stayed to help us clean up and repair parts of the house for our move out inspection. I am extremely grateful to have been able to train with them and get to know them.
As with previous months, my work income earned in July 2021 was made entirely through contracts billed by my business. As always, it is important to note that this income is pre-tax revenue, and that taxes will need to be paid through the business for this income.
Patrick’s Contract Income (USD): $8,399.50
This month, Fatima had some contract income as well from part time online tutoring contracts. This income is also pre-tax, and as such we will need to pay taxes via income tax in 2022.
Fatima’s Contract Income (THB): ฿7,160.00
Fatima’s Contract Income (USD): $217.72
There were other sources of incoming funds though, as we had to sell many of our belongings prior to the move back to California. This included the return of our housing deposit, and the sale of both motorbikes, several expensive household items such as computer monitors, kitchen appliances, organization tools, and various other small knick knacks.
|Household Item Sales||฿37,560.00|
Income from Sale of Belongings (THB): ฿83,760.00
Income from Sale of Belongings (USD): $2,546.90
Total Income (USD): $11,163.72
Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties with our expense tracking app, I’ve been unable to get a clear picture of our expenses for the month of July. I’ve been having issues connecting (or reconnecting) my bank accounts and credit cards to the application for automatic syncing, so I’ve sent their support team a message in trying to resolve the issue. In the meantime, I only have data up until July 14th for the bank transactions. Because of the move, we stopped tracking daily expenses around the 18th or 19th of the month, so we have slightly more data for that, but still not enough to cover the whole month. One thing to note is that we saved over USD$1,200 by using my credit card points to pay for our flights from Phuket to California, so that was a nice little chunk of change saved. It might be worth tracking credit card points as an asset going forward. For now, here is the breakdown of our expenses.
|Food & Drinks||฿29,044.54|
|Life & Entertainment||฿16,740.77|
As mentioned, the expenses for this month are only a partial picture. There were several cases where we received cash for selling our belongings, and subsequently used this cash for purchases. Once we stopped tracking things, everything kind of spun out of control. Also of note is that we paid rent for July on June 30th, so the housing expenses here were significantly lower than they would otherwise be. Here’s a breakdown of our larger expenses for the month (based on what has been tracked).
|Credit Card Renewal||Financial Expenses||฿18,193.84|
|Eating Out/Ordering In||Food & Drinks||฿12,839.25|
|Groceries||Food & Drinks||฿8,927.56|
|COVID-19 PCR Tests||Life & Entertainment||฿7,000.00|
The largest expenses this month turned out to be my Credit Card Renewal Fee (USD$550), gifts for various important people in our lives, food for the month, and our COVID-19 tests prior to our flight. There was also one major expense that I’ve been unable to figure out for THB฿8,000.00. Once again though, it is important to point out there is a MASSIVE hole in this analysis that misses anywhere from 12 to 17 days of the month. Aside from trying to be more consistent with tracking expenses, I’m not going to read into this too heavily.
Total Expenses (THB): ฿99,378.22
Total Expenses (USD): $3,021.81
Once again, assets are split in 3 different currencies – US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, and Thai Baht. There are also various non-liquid assets.
|Description||Currency||Amount||Current USD Value|
|Business Account, Cash||USD||$31,682.06||$31,682.06|
|Business Account, Cash||CAD||$29,517.77||$23,646.69|
|Bank Account, Cash||USD||$5,483.42||$5,483.42|
|Bank Account, Cash||CAD||$169.54||$135.82|
|Bank Account, Cash||THB||฿47,788.29||$1,453.11|
|Credit Card Points||PTS||44,724||$447.24|
- Note that Credit Card Points Current USD Value is based on a redemption rate of 100PTS to USD$1.00
Total Assets (USD): $67,713.59
Again, this month current debts are exclusively credit card balances the tax liability for my company (which will be paid in July) is unlisted, and currently unknown.
|Description||Currency||Amount||Current USD Value|
Total Debts (USD): $211.40
I’m not comfortable saying this is an accurate representation of where we are financially right now, primarily because of the lack of data and the notable change in life circumstances. That being said, per the numbers, the current net worth is:
Net Worth (USD): $67,502.19
It’s only after I’ve let the ‘abnormalities’ of this past month affect me that I wish I had the data to see how they impact my finances instead. Once I had let go of the discipline of recording the transactions, I let go of the discipline to sit down, analyze the results, and write a post. I am very sorry that this will have continued impact in the next post as well due to the lack of data available for early August. The lesson has been learned. Thank you very much for reading this post, and I hope to have more for you soon. As always, I appreciate you, and if you have any questions about the topics discussed above, or about my own personal finance situation, please post a comment or send me an email.