I try keep a minimum of ~ 3000 euro cash on my account (for emergency spending + any monthly bills). Rest in invested in strong assets. Often this minimum goal is aspirational and I try to get by with what I have.
Tax wise, at least in Europe, you pay ~ 21% VAT every 3 months. You then pay income tax once a year, at least in NL all that's done through a website. Income tax is often progressive so amount you pay depends on how much you earned in the year.
I found asking ChatGPT questions regarding taxes/finances very useful. Do double check though as model can hallucinate.
There are ways to avoid paying the tax if you don't stay a tax resident in any one country for prolonged time (usually 180 days). But I haven't tried doing that.
I do budgets on quarterly bases as I send in my revenue for 3 months to pay VAT tax. Anything beyond the 3000 cash goal gets invested into my portfolio of stocks/ETFs at each end of month. Might automate it at some point.
Aside from investing in ETFs, I use the money to invest in ideas that interest me. Pay open source contributors whose libraries I like. And generally try to give back to community on whose work I build on.
I try reflect on my progress both financial and otherwise as part of my look backs.
I want to build an app to help manage my finances better as well keep track of invoices I send and which invoices I paid out more easily too. Currently it's quite messy. I tried using Notion for it and it looked something like:
In some ways it's a light variation of YNAB methodology. Goal is to be mindful of how the money gets spent monthly to make projections into future. Thus removing anxiety for potential future unforseen expenses.
I try to be mindful of more expensive things I buy but do try to never disregard spending money on quality healthy food and essentials for my well being. All modern banks including Wise track spending into categories automatically.
As mentioned above, I want to build an app that would automate all things financing, safe investing & bookkeeping for me. Where tax is optimized based on all information that is available to me and payment of tax is easy as all the bookkeeping details are neatly organized.
The app should:
- Read live data from my bank(s)
- All expenses automatically categorized (I should be able to instantly see how much was spent on what and how that change over last month or any other time period) (can get categories either from bank itself or write my own classifier)
- Ability to make projections based on historical data
- Ability to set goals on total value of assets
- Ability to set limits on categories and ideally have the bank enforce those limits or at least remind me when I went over the limit as the app reads live data from the bank as each transaction gets made
Actual Budget is in some ways close to what the UI for such an app should look like but it doesn't let you connect to EU banks.
This person's Notion setup is close to the idea too.
I use Interactive Brokers currently to make investments but honestly wish there was something better. The UI/UX of IB is horrendous but you can't easily purchase ETFs in any other app as EU citizen (I think at least).
In EU, I'd use Wise.
Ideally Adyen builds better integration points with as much care into integrations as Stripe has.
My personal goal though is to minimize fees I pay on each transaction over how nice DX is as I can abstract that away. Thus Adyen seems like a perfect company.
In future I'd love to build some things on top of global payment infrastructure and get those fees closer to minimum as possible. Perhaps by building on something like TrueLayer as you need a banking license to innovate in fin tech.
Ideally anything related to finances is automated as much as possible for me.
Want to study all the financial crisis that happened across history and understand the root causes of each one. Specifically I don't fully understand the importance of raising/lowering interest rates and how it influences the economy.
I use Bobby iOS app to track my ongoing subscriptions. I review it monthly as part of my finance check up. The app I mentioned above will cover the use case of Bobby too so hopefully I won't need this app in future.
Tracking what to buy next
I use 2Do to track what things I want to buy next. These are just tasks with
buy tag in 2Do sorted by priority. Here is how it looks:
- FI is possible everywhere. The idea stays the same, save more than you spend, try generate passive income through stocks, dividends and property.
- I think most people are going to mention credit cards in some way, but for me, it was how my actual bank accounts don't matter. It doesn't matter if I have $X in my savings and $Y in my checking account. I have $(X+Y) to budget and I need to budget $X for an emergency fund.
- Also, having $Z left over after budgeting doesn't mean I have $Z to blow. I have $Z to budget for next month since I already budgeted for my frivolous spending. That doesn't mean I don't just move $Z to something frivolous anyways.
- It's a different way of thinking about budgeting. It's an envelope system. You have a pile of dollars (real dollars - these are all the dollars you own, right now, in your accounts), and a pile of envelopes. You begin stuffing dollar bills into envelopes - some into the bills coming due before you get paid again, some for groceries until you get paid again, some for gas until you get paid again, and with the smaller pile of dollars after those needs are taken care of, you begin to stuff dollars into your True Expenses - things like Car Maintenance, Insurance Payment, etc. When you run out of dollars, you STOP.
- You stop, because you can't put imaginary dollars into envelopes.
- YNAB is all about the now - about giving jobs to the money you have. Not to the money you might have later on. It is a different way of thinking, but once you make that mental shift, it comes clear and works beautifully.
- Invoiced has great invoice generator.
- IBKR trades currency for you on the actual market at whatever price it's currently trading. No fee. Perfect for exchanging FIAT.
- After the financial crisis, banks were more tightly regulated, had to hold more capital, and the fed eventually started paying interest on excess reserves, so it should be fairly obvious that this means banks are encouraged to just park (some) of their reserves.
- You have 2 ways of receiving money, as an individual or as a company. If you need to spend your money you are going to be subject to personal income tax laws. There are 2 ways to reduce this kind of tax, run a legitimate business that enables you to write off big day to day spends (like run a catering company and you eat the food it buys) or move to a country with favourable income tax breaks for new residents (Greece/Spain). If you plan on saving your money then you can start a legitimate business in a country with low or zero income tax (Estonia, Caymen islands). That business could be to buy property or an investment vehicle, that way you can benefit from keeping more of the money pre tax accumulating in interest before it's taxed on your personal income tax. Saying all that, it's a lot of work to figure it all out and make the pieces fit, or expensive to hire a good accountant to figure it out for you. Especially if you have an average income where your only saving a few thousand I'm tax a year.
- If someone not paying their invoices for long time: First, create a paper trail of contact. Call them and follow up with an email documenting your call attempt and repeat your collection message. Continue this several more times as needed over several days. Only then escalate to an attorney letter. This process gives your attorney more firepower for the letter. Let them know they have x days until litigation, cc them with records of contact so they can't deny and let draft a very formal letter letting them know you have already taken steps to contact the people to take this to court. The very threat of having to deal with the court proceedings usually does the trick. I had the same thing happen (for less money mind you) after the letter was sent they paid almost the same day.
- I call our cell phone/ internet company every once in awhile and ask for a discount. It's normally works. Just got a $25 discount off our cell/internet bill today. You can always look up rates of competitors and then claim you are going to switch. That normally gets them to go lower.
- VAT is about where the sale takes place, which for online digital goods is where the customer is, not where the business is.
- US sales tax is not a VAT. If you're selling online goods and services, you only need to pay US sales tax if you have a "nexus" or presence in that state. That means you're either physically present there, have an office or factory or equipment in that state, OR if you're above certain limit (in $ terms). This varies per state. Google "sales tax nexus for online services" or similar keywords. If you're a EU company, the VAT is calculated based on the sale "location". For digital services (IIRC for digital goods as well) it's location of the user. Meaning if your user is US based, no VAT.
- Important saving goals people should have
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- Awesome Quant
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- Best software for submitting receipts
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- Bits about Money by Patrick McKenzie (patio11) - About the modern financial infrastructure that the world sits atop of.
- Stripe for book-keeping tools (2021)
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- Wise - Online Money Transfers | International Banking Features.
- An Introduction to Machine Learning in Quantitative Finance
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- Monzo - Online bank based in the United Kingdom. (GitHub) (Awesome)
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- If SWIFT is banned, what then?
- SWIFT ELI5
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- Awesome Systematic Trading
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- Inflation is structural
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- ExpatFIRE Reddit
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- Free invoice builder
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- ISO8583 - Implements an ISO 8583 message reader and writer. Give developers an easy way to create and integrate bank processing into their own software products.
- Ask HN: How do you and your spouse handle big income differences? (2022)
- Ask HN: Why hasn't the ACH system been more abused? (2022)
- It’s not what you earn, it’s what you get to keep. My 10 favorite tax hacks for business owners.
- Tiingo Python - Python client for interacting with the Tiingo Financial Data API (stock ticker and news data).
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- Orderbook: an experimental order filling engine written in Go (2022) (Lobsters)
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- Tier - Terraform for Stripe. (HN)
- Adyen - End-to-end payments, data, and financial management in a single solution.
- tick-rs - Real time ticker data in your terminal. Built with Rust. Data sourced from Yahoo! Finance.
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- Wallstreet - Real time Stock and Option tools.
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- rust_ledger - Rust implementation of ledger, the command line accounting tool.
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- ISO 8583 - Wikipedia
- Order matching engine (orderbook) written in Rust
- matching_engine - Simple financial trading matching engine. Built to learn more about how they work.
- How to Build an Exchange (2017)
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- Invoice Template – Figma
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- Sales calculations - Manage order calculations based on invoices, refunds, cancellations.
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- Ask HN: HN for Finance? (2023)
- Money Laundering and AML Compliance (2023) (HN)
- pdoc - Command-line invoice / receipt generator, which stores user/client/project info as YAML files, and produces PDFs.
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- Compotes - Small app to manage bank account operations and display rich analytics.
- monetr - Budgeting application focused on planning for recurring expenses. (Code)
- Terzo AI - Contract Intelligence and Analytics.
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- Data-Centric FinGPT - Open-source for Open Finance.
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- Fuse - Unified API for financial data aggregators. (HN)
- Zero is Not Hero Yet: Benchmarking Zero-Shot Performance of LLMs for Financial Tasks
- Invoice - Generate invoices from the command line.
- Ask HN: Alternatives to Stripe? (2023)
- Ask HN: What are some low cost payment processing alternatives to Stripe? (2023)
- Invoice Dragon - Open source app to create PDF invoices. (HN) (Code)
- SolidInvoice - Simple and elegant invoicing solution. (Code)
- Financial machine learning
- Griffin – A fully-regulated, API-driven bank, with Clojure (2023) (HN)