Ed in Lausanne in Kanton Waadt personal numbers

Hi there!

I’ve already introduced myself pretty quickly. I live in Lausanne and pay too much rent.

Following @Mr.RTF’s advice, I’m publishing here are my expenses for 2018 in the hopes that a) I can get some useful feedback b) I can feel the public shame of not being that mustachian c) feel the “obligation” to justify myself at the end of 2019 to see if I’ve done better.

Some comments:

  • These are my numbers. For common expenses this is my part. Depending on which expense is considered, my part may be above 50%.
  • Banks’ greed: will get rid of the PF credit card this year. Trading costs are here too.
  • Education: some books, especially on machine learning
  • Entertainment: Spotify, going to the movies and to the theater
  • Lunch at work: I do not always have a Tupperware ready…
  • Health insurance: went down to 300 deductible because of some health problems
  • Doctors, dentist and pharmacy: takes into account reimbursements from Assura
  • Furniture, improvements: mainly a new bed sofa and some repairs
  • Help: yes, we have a Putzfrau. Helps with the couple’s health
  • Home insurance: civil responsibility and burglary. I sleep better at night
  • Household good, laundry: I don’t understand how we spend so much in cleaning products and toilet paper. Barely use the dry cleaner’s.
  • Personal hygiene: I like Otto’s and cheap barbers
  • Cat stuff: this is food and litter. Maybe find cheaper litter. We are using Catsan’s convenient bags
  • Catsitting: the poor cat can’t cook for itself (yet!!)
  • Rent: ouch!!!
  • Software and electronics: awful! iPad, audio stuff, phone screen repair, useless online stuff
  • eBike: annual service
  • Travel: ouch, yes, but not as much as rent. I enjoyed myself.
  • Mobile phone: includes topping-up my foreign phone number and roaming rip-offs
  • Heating and common costs: my régie hasn’t given be any money back during 2018, shame on them!

So that’s it for 2018.

Now, a bit of context:

  • I’m not ready to disclose how much I earn, but my saving rates is not mustachian
  • I haven’t taken taxes into account as an expense (except for BIllag/Serafe) because there’s not much you can do there. But boy they are heavy. One of the “perks” of living in Suisse Romande I guess.
  • My asset allocation is a mess. I’m heavily invested (70% of my NW) but I’ve been quite a stock picker. I intend to get this under control in 2019. I have over 20 different products, most of them single stocks, some expensive mutual funds and hey, some Vanguard trackers too.

Thanks for reading up to here. I was thinking whether I should open my own blog but given how much I pay for hosting (for other online projects I have) I guess that’s not sensible. And if you guys let me use this topic here in this forum as my little corner of Ed’s FIRE on the Internet, I think I can feel at home.

Thanks again, tty soon :slight_smile:


Hey Ed,

IMHO, you are doing a fairly good job, especially with regard to food and transportation! Please find below some ideas for improvements:

Bank: Give a look at BCV, you could get a banking solution for free (incl. pretty user friendly e-banking, eBill, Twint, current account and saving account).

Health: I wish you a prompt recovery!:muscle:

Home: I hope that you are contributing to more than 50% or your rent is rather expensive :sweat_smile:
Based on the current interest rate situation, you could apply for a rent reduction. Alternatively, you might explore the possibility to downsize, I guess that you are currently living in a 3.5 rooms with your girlfriend and your cat. You could move to a smaller 3.5 or even to a 2.5 if you would like to go for a more frugal alternative :smiley: The bigger the appartment, the higher are the rent, electricity/heating bills, furniture costs, etc. Currently, your rent and your home related expenses (utility, furnitures, cleaning, etc.) account for approx. 45% of your total yearly expenses (22.5k/49.7k). That’s what I call the elephant in the room!

Catsitting: Back in the days, my parents used to ask our neighbors to feed our cat while we were in vacation. In exchange, they would take care of their plants while they were away or simply invite them for dinner. I know how cold the “vaudois” can be but you never know, it’s worth a try! :wink:

Software and electronics: Everyone has a vice :smiley:

Travel: I like to travel as well… The compromise I found is that I try to travel in a more frugal way, i.e. I try to optimize the housing and the transports parts. It works for me, I still travel a lot but I achieved to lower my travel related expenses.

Focus on constant improvements and enjoy the process :+1:

I’m looking forward to reading you!


Thanks for taking the time to respond. I feel old and ignorant compared to you. Just starting here. 30s are the new 20s :smiley:

Thanks, man! There is still too much Migros+Coop un there. And transportation is good mainly because of where I live which allows me to walk or bike to most places I go to, including work if it’s not too hot or too snowy out there.

You can see I’m still with PF. I was happy to use their card because it paid for itself with the cashback program and it’s actual cash back on your bank account, not some points. And they don’t charge for transactions in CHF even if the country is not Switzerland. For plain tickets this is awesome. Also, it’s the only card that has consistently worked everywhere I’ve tried it and has never been blocked by some paranoid antifraud policies (hello Viseca!). So while I could do better, the card was costing me virtually nothing.

Now, with the introduction of the monthly 5.- fee, I’m in the process or leaving. I must admit it’s hard because of e-bill: there is no comprehensive list of all the providers you’re subscribed to. Also, I like to have several current accounts. I currently have two in CHF and two in EUR with PF. Helps me organize my money psychologically. Most banks, including BCV have nice packages but the number of accounts is limited and EUR accounts are hard to get for free.

So that’s why I’m cancelling my card that costs 50.-. worst case scenario I go from paying 50 a year to PostFinance to paying 60. And since I need to get my 3rd out of that rip-off that my life insurance is, I might decide to put 25k in a PF 75 3a fund and the rest, if there is a rest, in VIAC.

Thanks! 2019 should be lower than 2018 and I wish me the best for 2020.

Erm… yes but not by much :disappointed_relieved: Location, location, location.

Unfortunately my rent is indexed to the CPI not the interest rates. So one can only apply to that once in every 5 years (at the end of each term). I missed that last year so unless I move that would be in 3-4 years.

Yes, we’re thinking of moving to a smaller 3.5 apartment, but have a hard time moving far from where we are. We seem to be quite bad to find good deals. We’ve found nothing that would makes up save more than 200-300 bucks a month. I’m willing to pay that premium for the convenience.

The other possibility is living further away in the countryside but they would mean a car and all the associated costs. Also maybe less walking on a regular working day therefore less health.

Rent is really a tough cookie for me right now.

:elephant::elephant::elephant::elephant: You know what? I never thought about that!! Indeed this needs to be addressed. Urgently! It’s true that 200.- less a month is 1200.- less a year… But that would still be 1200.- a month for me.

Lol. Already tried this with mixed results. Also, people move often in the building. We currently have nobody we trust. Trying to get to know the new neighbors…

Let’s call this an “investment”. I spent so much last year that it has taught me a lesson. I won’t buy as many electronics this year.

In my defense, I broke my phone last year and bought an iPad (that I’m using daily for work). I also bought tons of useless stuff, yes.

Sound advice. As I’m currently planning my next trip I’ll take this into account.[quote=“Mr.RTF, post:2, topic:2093”]
Focus on constant improvements and enjoy the process

I love tracking things! Now onto optimization.

Also, I’m trying to organize my investment allocation. Once I feel my Excel is ready for public display I’ll share my current shameful allocation in here.

Happy Easter Monday everyone!

How do you spend so little on food?? :open_mouth:

edit: Ah, I see you are a couple, if I get it correctly - makes it a bit more manageable (if that’s the “split” amount). :slight_smile:

Exactly! We go 50-50 on that one, so we spent exactly double that. Also, consider that every time we pay using Cumulus points at Migros I compute that as a negative expenditure on groceries, even if it was used to pay for cleaning products, for example.

We try to optimize promotions, get points for using Mobility and are working towards shifting more and more to Aldi.

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Says who? Your contract? This is a non negotiable part of rental law. Demand the reduction right away.

Or are you on a multi-year fixed term contract instead of standard open ended one? I think those are especially popular in Romandie and then the reduction would only start from your next term in a few years lol

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I guess I don’t spend more than you on anything except food. 300 per month is really unimaginable for me.

I spend like 20 * 10 CHF in the office canteen per month. On the weekends some nice restaurant, let’s make it 8 * 50 CHF. And I visit Coop daily to buy some dinner (often ready-made, I only cook if I don’t mind wasting time), that’s 30 * 20 CHF. That’s 1200 CHF just for food each month. 1000 if I take it easy on restaurants.

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Yes. Unfortunately I’ve even contacted the ASLOCA (Western Switzerland equivalent of the Mieterverband). I only have the link in French but they say:

Tous les loyers ne peuvent pas être baissés selon la méthode expliquée ci-dessus. Il existe des exceptions. Ainsi, notamment les loyers qui sont indexés à l’inflation (évolution de l’indice suisse des prix à la consommation) ne sont pas sensibles aux baisses du taux hypothécaire pendant la durée du contrat, mais seulement à leur échéance: pour qu’un loyer puisse être indexé à l’inflation, il faut qu’il soit d’une durée minimum de cinq ans. Ce n’est qu’à l’expiration de cette durée que l’on pourra éventuellement faire valoir une baisse du taux hypothécaire depuis le début du contrat.

Which means that if your contract is indexed to the CPI (instead of the mortgage rate) then you can request a rent reduction only at the end of the contract. And since these contracts are renewed every 5 years, that effectively means that you can only request the reduction once every 5 years.

It’s kind of a new fashion here in Suisse Romande to make this kind of contracts. Fixed-term CPI-indexed for 5 years. You still can ask for an adjustment once a year if the CPI goes down, which fortunately has happened but without significant effects to my rent.

And of course I already missed my once-every-five-years window of opportunity. Oh yeah I’m such an idiot. :frowning:

Another perk of Suisse Romande :money_mouth_face:

The reference rate change still applies in principle, it’s just that the reduction begins at the next possible ordinary contract cancellation date - which seems to be every five years in your case.

On typical open ended rental contracts as we have in ZH you have usually 2-3 cancellation dates per year so that’s how fast you’d get the reduction here

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That should be encouraging for you! You’re pretty much optimized then. But it also means that I’m doing worse than you are, and that without kids.

Good, good, this is motivating me :wink:

Almost. The reduction begins at the beginning of the next contract. Since CPI-index rental contracts last for at least 5 years, that indeed means every five years.

However, I still get one cancellation date a year with a 3-month notice. One cannot use this date to take into account the mortgage index rate, only CPI (see my post from ASLOCA above). CPI has been favorable lately, but it’s almost flat anyway.

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