The Big Tent

The Big Tent:  Cavalia

Hello 2015! Our 3rd full year of early retirement is off to a good start.

We kicked off the new year with some fireworks, went to the coast for a bike ride under a mountain (photos below), and then went under the big tent to see Cavalia, a horse and circus extravaganza.

In normal daily life, I continued with my Chinese studies, now in my 4th quarter. Winnie continued with flute lessons and enrolled in 2 new painting classes

We have mostly settled into our new neighborhood, and are now known on site by several of the local restaurants.  At our favorite Szechuan place, as soon as they see Winnie the staff runs in the back room to grab an extra pillow for better back support.  My favorite coffee shop knows my usual order, and the little hole in the wall Japanese place has started giving us free appetizers.  It’s like we are in an episode of Cheers

How much did this extravagant living cost?

2015 Jan Expenses w Average

  • Housing – We rent a great 1-bedroom apartment in the heart of Taipei, Taiwan. Rent is 42,000 TWD (~$1,350 a month), plus an amortized brokerage fee of 1/2 months rent (~$54.)  We also have a housekeeper to help out during the pregnancy, which costs 1,100 TWD (~$35/week.)
  • Healthcare – We had no healthcare expenses this month. Pregnancy and baby related expenses are included in “Other Expenses”
  • Transportation – We regularly ride free bikes around the city, along with buses, the subway, and taxis.  January temperatures are ideal for bike riding.  We also ride Uber from time to time.  Give it a try with a free ride
  • Groceries – We went to a nearby Traditional Market several times this month, mostly for fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables
  • Dining Out – We dined out regularly, as is our norm.  Total spent on food at restaurants, coffee shops, and pastry shops was $806 (~$13/person/day.)  Our most expensive meal for two was ~$55 for a multi-course dinner at a French restaurant
  • Alcohol – I had a boys night out with some friends.  In an effort to prove this photo I found on The Chive right, I spent $44 on whiskey drinks
  • Entertainment – Flute lessons, art classes and supplies, bicycle rental at the coast, and 2 tickets to the circus:  $484
  • Misc – This is the category that lumps together random purchases.  This month included Chinese tuition, a mosquito net, domain registration for the blog, and a $5 contribution to the Skiplagged legal fund
  • Other – Winnie went to the Dr for a baby checkup ($9.50.)  We also helped with some family expenses ($379)
DetailsJan 2015Notes
Housing$1,5541 bedroom apt: $1330
Amortized Broker Fee: $50
Housekeeping: $174 (5wks)
Transportation$56Free public bikes
Typical bus ride: $0.50
Typical subway ride: $0.80
Typical taxi ride: $4
Dining Out$806~$13/person/day
Alcohol$44boys night out
Entertainment$485Cavalia tickets: $233
Painting classes: $73
Painting supplies: $68
Flute lessons (x2): $48 per
Bike rental: $15
Misc$642Chinese class: $354
Amortized housing: $149
W clothes: $42
Blog: $29
Mosquito net: $24
Cell phone bill: $21
Skiplagged legal fund: $5
Other Expenses Atypical and Nonrecurring expenses
Baby checkup$9.50
Total Other Expenses$389
Total January Expenses$4,361
January 2015 Cash Flow

January 2015 Cash Flow

Accounting changes:  last year, the Misc category took over.  Going forward, housing extras like utilities and housekeeping will be included in Housing.  This better reflects our travel custom of renting full-service apartments.

Photos From Fulong Bike Trip

1 mile long tunnel under a mountain

1 mile long tunnel under a mountain

Taiwan's NE Coast

Taiwan’s NE Coast, Turtle Island in the background

Water art

Neverending Waterfall

Retire Early.
Travel the World.

Retire Early.

Travel the World.

Let's do this.

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