Amber index and Saving rate – July update

In line with a lot of others in the community, I share my progress on the road to FIRE. The date is planned in 2029 and with this post, you see some progress to this goal.

In the middle of the Chinese, Greek and maybe Puerto Rican storm, we sticked to our plan of living below our means and we kept investing according to our investment plan.

Savings rate

It has been a good month on the savings front, thanks to vacation money that came our way and that we were able to set aside for investing. This gives a nice boost. The graph below shows the numbers

Savings Rate June 2015As you can see, we are well above the targets this month. It is nice to see on the graph that the plan works. Now, what is the plan? We rely a lot on automation. I am preparing a post on that soon. Due to this automation, we pay ourselves first. We also live on a budget that has a proven track record. I do not keep track of all detailed expenses, only the big categories.

The good news is that there might be room for further improvement, but we are happy with the numbers as they are now.

You might also notice that I report 2 savings rate. a full and a revised savings rate. What is teh difference

  • The full savings rate shows almost all the money that goes to mortgage payments, the savings accounts and the investment accounts.
  • The revised savings rate contains a correction for some transfers like the mortgage payment and the emergency fund saving.

Why do I do this?

In the calculation of our FIRE date, I do not take into account the value of our house and our emergency fund. These are 2 things that we need always and that we can not live without easily (Renting creates other problems in my humble opinion). I do not count on them to throw passive income at us in our Freedom life. Hence, to me, it makes sense to exclude them from the savings rate.

Progress towards 2029

In the calculation the amber index, I have made some updates, as suggested by some readers

  • I try to keep the value of my insurance products as accurate as possible. This is a little effort that actually provides me a better insight in my portfolio and that demonstrates better the dampening effect of this bond proxies. The update might not be monthly, as I rely on the website of the companies to give the value. It turns out that they update roughly every quarter the value.
  • I also started to track the value of our company pension plan. This will kept outside the net worth, for the simple reason that I can not use it in 2029 to give me a passive income already. In Belgium, you have to wait until you are 65 before you can enjoy this. As there is no website to follow this up, I rely on a once-per-year communication via letter. So, expect this number to be updated slowly.
  • Lastly, I have to admit that I overlooked a pension saving account of my wife. I made a correction for that and calculated for this month the with and without number. Maybe it is a signal that we need to streamline a little bit all our accounts to keep things simple… Al tough the same rule could apply as with the company pension, I prefer to keep it in the list of net worth.

amberindex201507We rose to 24pct this month! Only 0,74 pct to go this year according to the plan. Happy about this.

As a bonus, in the company pension savings accounts, we have almost 6pct extra. As said, I do not count this towards the F-Money.

What is your progress?


8 thoughts on “Amber index and Saving rate – July update

  1. Nice job. You are making great progress! Our June results were dampened by the Greece turmoil, but we have been doing well with our savings, so we are still buying shares, even if their value has declined!


  2. Congrats on increasing your metrics and continuing to grow towards your goals. It is exciting to see the progress.

    For me, I am closing on a house in a week and starting August 1st, I am going to start posting updates like these. Should be fun!

    Have a good day,


  3. AT,

    Great job, but you don’t need me to tell you that when you’ve got such great numbers on the charts! 😉

    It’s nice to see that I’m not an anomaly and that other Belgians seem to be able to become financially independent too. I often hear how it’s much harder or even impossible in Belgium due to the high taxes and expensive housing, but you, Geblin and I show otherwise.

    Keep it up,


    1. Thx for the support.
      There are many good reasons not to start the FI journey. It is good for you, me and other that we have found even more reasons to start, despite taxes, housing and other excuses.



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