Hey there! It has been a two weeks since my last FIRE update. It has been quite an eventful two weeks.
We have still not got Netflix. Life goes on without it. I reported my May’20 finances a few days back, check it out if you haven’t already. For the past month or so I have been saving money for some major investments. As the first of that, I have put in Rs.50,000 into National Pension Scheme.
NPS to investment portfolio mix
National Pension Scheme (NPS) offers better 8% to 10% of growth. It is locked in till I turn 60. I could write separately detailing the pros and cons of investing in NPS. But for the moment, this is purely in order to save taxes. Plus, last year I did not have surplus funds.
Recently, with the Finance Minister extending all investment deadlines for 2019 to 2020 financial year to end of June, it made sense for me to put in the money saved from the last 2 months into NPS.
For the Rs.50,000, I will be getting a tax break worth Rs.15,000. This and the touted 8+% of growth makes it worth my while. And I used ET Money app for investing. It took me 10 minutes to open a new NPS savings account and invest the Rs.50,000. Simple as that!
Got some bitcoins when the prices went down
After months of waiting for the right time to pick up some Bitcoins, I have finally got some. I now own 4% of a Bitcoin. Not much, I know. Ultimately, I hope to keep picking up Bitcoins during dips to finally have 1 full Bitcoin some point of time in the future. Just a whim of mine!
For this time, transactions costs etc included, I paid about Rs.30,000 to get the crypto into a wallet I own. Now, I am experimenting on a few ways to put the crypto to some use and generate me some passive income. More on this later.
Savings% and Increasing Income
Recently I was checking out my income to savings ratio. As of now, I am saving a bit over 60% of my income. While that is great, my friend Bhavesh (@cabhaveshjain) says it can still be improved further.
Interestingly, he does not say that I need to reduce my expenses. Rather, he is pointing out to increasing the income, which happens to be one of the key principles of FIRE.
I am working on a few side hustles that will in the near future help boost my income. All of them are in the infant stage and I can’t comment much on it at the moment. But, once thing is very clear, like I pointed out when setting my FIRE goal, simply saving from my salary alone will only help me get to about Rs.3 Crores. If I am to reach my stretch goal of Rs.5 Crores, then I need to have a steady stream of income from side hustles as well.
My ULIP and ELSS policies are due, I need to add about Rs.1,00,000 to them this month. I have been scrounging and saving up for this too. And the best part, Paytm is allowing me to pay using my credit cards for this. So I get to pay back the cards at the end of next month.
A new laptop at a bargain. Thanks Amazon!
Had to get a new laptop for Rs.33,000. Went for a refurbished Asus from Amazon Renewed. i5 processor, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD, 2GB NVIDIA graphics and a somewhat decent build quality. What was surprising was that I got a BRAND Freaking new laptop. Not a scratch or dot in sight. Looks like someone bought the laptop, saw it was slow and returned it.
I knew the laptop is slow BTW. It is running on the older mechanical hard drives. All I need to do now is to buy a SSD from Amazon (not renewed this time) and add it to the laptop to fire it up.
A SSD would cost Rs.3,500. Together, for Rs.36,500, this is a pretty damn good deal, I’d say! And, before you say anything, Yes, I used Cashkaro to get an extra 2% cashback.
This is the laptop I bought.