Expat Series : Anatomy of my paycheck

When I was trying to figure out how much I would need to make in the US, and after I negotiated my salary, one of the things I had a hard time finding out is how a gross annual figure translates into monthly income. If you’re in that same boat, here’s a quick rundown of what my paycheck looks like. Continue reading


Monthly recap – May 2015

My first monthly recap !

So how did May go ?

May was tough on a few categories – mainly Groceries and Restaurants. I’ve been both hungry and lazy, and the numbers show it. I’m over my groceries budget by $90 and my restaurant one by $50. And they’re both already quite high for a single person. Fail.

That being said, Continue reading

Automate your finances

When I first arrived in the US, I read a lot about how banking and getting paid works. One thing that stood out was that most people in the US are paid on a different schedule than what I was used to. In France, you mostly get paid at the end of every month, so there is really no such thing as living paycheck to paycheck. Technically, sure, we do. But since we’re getting paid monthly, it aligns perfectly with having monthly living expenses, so it ends up being a non-issue. Continue reading

My financial situation : starting point

Here is my financial situation, as of May 2015.

  • Cash : $4,000. This includes my living expenses for this month, and short-term savings for scheduled living expenses this year (sinking fund).
  • Emergency Fund : $7,100. In a savings account. Ideally, it should be at least $12,000, but my down payment fund can totally double as an EF as long as I’m not buying a home.
  • Down Payment fund : $11,500. Part of it is in my Roth IRA, which I maxed out for the year, and the rest in a classic savings account.
  • Retirement savings : $50,800 in my 401(k).
  • Other Assets : $0. Well, I do have a (paid off) car, which I think is worth ~ $10,000, but I don’t consider it an asset any more than, say, my computer or my couch.
  • Debt : $0. No credit card balance, no car loan, nothing.

Net worth as of 04/30/2015 : $76,606.

Overall, given that I’m already 40, this seems pretty bleak. When it comes to savings and assets, I have nothing to say in my own defense. When it comes to retirement savings, keep in mind I’ve only been in the US for 3 years and a few months, so that’s not so bad after all. Right ?