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Friday, 2 June 2017

Goals Update: May 2017

What a month. Record income, low expenses and bonus mortgage payments all came together to mean the dial didn't shift much. We also had a trip to the emergency room resulting in surgery, and I flew out to Queensland for a couple of days.

Do physical fun stuff 4x a week

Well, this started out really well. Really really well. Then Mr. FIRE decided he wanted some more attention and tore his meniscus, putting himself in hospital. To be technical the tear is about 9 months old, but while he was halfway up a rock wall he managed to flip the back half of his meniscus to the front half of his knee. Thankfully private health insurance means he injured himself Tuesday and went into surgery Friday. Looks like climbing is off the cards for a while though.

Grade: B

Create something each month

If this blog counts, I did great, I almost cracked 3,000 views in a month. It was worth a whole 7cents a day! If we aren't counting the blog, I made nothing else. Well, nothing outside the kitchen. I love cooking.

Grade: C-

Apply for one freelance task a week

Winter has definitely kicked in and my enthusiasm for extra work is waning. I made about $60 in the first half of the month and then I started knocking back offers of work. I don't function without the sun and I very much want to snooze.

Grade: B

And now, the money!

May Totals


Sidegigs$2.50 (Acorns) + $187.19(Upwork)
Investment Property #1$1649.25
Investment Property #2$0
Bank Interest$12.56
Cash Dividends$0


Nothing exciting here. I work, I get paid.

Side gigs

I received $2.50 in referral bonuses from Acorns - shout out to you random reader! Acorns doesn't tell me your name, but thanks, and I hope you're enjoying it. I also cashed in my UpWork earnings - just under $150USD converted to Australian Dollars (roughly $1 / $1.30) then lost a $1 in service fees. The fees on UpWork are insane.


I bought home entirely in my name, but my partner lives here. He pays half of all the bills, plus $300 a fortnight in rent. Pretty sweet deal.

Investment property #1

My tenants pay fortnightly and this month happened to have 3 payments. Happy days!!

Investment property #2

I started including this in March as we had expenses start.Then our valuations came in $50,000 under the asking price. Because it was a new building there weren't many comparables at the start of the purchase, but I had another look when the valuation came in and both rents and sales were below expected. We ran from this deal, cost us $1,300 in legal fees and paperwork, but better than throwing good money after bad.

Bank Interest

I bank with ING Direct, pay no fees and receive 3% p/a interest. If you're looking for a kickass new bank, sign up with promo code EBB062 and we'll both get $100 bonus (thanks ING, you're a bit alright).


Zip, nada, nothing. Boring.

Investment performance

DepositReinvested DividendsAnnual Return
Disclaimer: I'm definitely calculating my returns in a weird way. Current Value divided by Amount Invested equals Overall Return. The number is then adjusted to be annual. It means if I dump in a huge sum of money my return appears to go down. Therefore the return quoted here is a conservative number and I'm okay with that.

Acorns returns are still sitting over 9%. How long can this magic last? Only time will tell. It's all from the Trump Rally and given his ability to string a sentence together what goes up must surely fall. I did leave the $2.50 referral bonus in the account - it basically pays 2 months worth of fees.


SpentBudgetedAnnual Average
Home$1582.82$1,250$1,346.83 (up $27.86
Investment Property #1$682.72$1,250$1,580.62 (down $32.98)
Investment Property #2$20.20$0$36.81 (down $42.74)
Personal Bills$146.91$147.08$116.33 (up $6.82)
Groceries$175.28$200$196.64 (up $5.64)
Pets$10.00$30$23.91 (up $0.83)
Roller Derby$219.14$100$112.67 (up $11.54)
Travel$0$108$131.19 (no change)
Other$254.60$250$208.78 (down $324.73)
Total$3091.67$3,333$3,753.78 (down $385.41)

Home (Over $332.82)

Bills bills bills... what fun. You know what else is fun? Accidentally paying the water bill twice. Yeah, woops. At least I won't be paying it again for six months *sigh*

Investment Property #1 (Under $567.28)

No bills, woo!

Investment Property #2 (Over 20.20)

No property, very little spend (paperwork...). We're looking though. As I mentioned above the place we had three-quarters bought came in way too far under valuation for us to accept. I have a zero budget here and will probably remove this category until there is something to report.

Personal Bills (Under $0.17)

This is my phone bill and health insurance, it should never change. The average is low because I upgraded my health insurance to include hospital cover in January. So the average is reflecting the old, lower cover and will steadily come up across the year.

Groceries (Under $24.72)

We did a bulk 'celery cook' which stacked our freezer full of delicious cheap meals. Even with the expensive roast as a reward for saving and buying a pile of comfort junk food for Mr. FIRE and his injury I'm still stoked with the spend this month.

Pets (Under $20.00)

Another quiet month of just cat food. Back in February I bought 3 of kitty litter and in March I bought 2 bags of chicken feed, I'm about halfway through the kitty litter and I've just cracked the second bag of chicken food. Life is good.

Roller Derby (Over $119.14)

So this month we had 3 home season games and a weekend away. Which means I spent on a lot on food and beers :D you could argue that the food is a 'grocery' cost, but I wouldn't be eating these pub meals except for derby bonding time, so I'm counting them here.

Next month we're headed to Queensland for five days so this will go horribly over budget again. Derby is the one blowout I never complain about, I do my best to be smart about the spend but when I get old and creaky I'll have to hang up my skates, so I'm doing it while I can!

Travel (Under $108)

No travel, no spend. Easy peasy :) Any travel for derby is counted in the derby category. The average isn't dropping because I also spent nothing this month last year.

Other (Over $4.60)

So... we went to the medieval fair. I dropped $35 on tickets, and then walked straight to the mead stand and spent $125. Absolutely zero regrets because I've been looking forward to this for months. The atmosphere is great and my hands itch to pick up a bow again or ride a horse. Oh the things I will do once I'm FIREd and actually have the time!!

I was still going to come in under budget but we spent a lot on parking at the hospital (ridiculous!) drinking Hudsons coffee in the waiting room (oops) and I paid for a tank of petrol because I drive the car very occasionally, so I chip in.

Savings Goal

High Interest: $4800.82
Offset Balance: $9,381.34
Owing on Credit Cards: $737.53
Total: $13,444.63

Increase from last month: $991.86
Amount remaining: $6,555.37 - in one month!

Well, the amount I need to save in June is higher than my regular income. I'm not disappointed, because as I said last month this was a really ambitious goal.

I'm going to spend June getting as close as I can and nailing down my next set of goals. This will mean a complete overhaul of these goals reports, so if there is more or less you want to hear about, let me know! One thing I'll be making clearer is my mortgage repayments, if you look closely at this update I only list my interest payments, not the principal payments - so it looks like $1,000+ each month is disappearing without a trace!

I pay my mortgage fortnightly so I can get ahead, and this month I had 3 payments go through which is the main reason that while my income is up and my spending is down, it appears my savings haven't gone up significantly - it all got absorbed into my mortgages payments.

Check out this handy-dandy chart to see how well I'm (not) doing.

Check out the history of this goal:


  1. You have piqued my curiosity... what is a bulk celery cook?

    1. It's a lot less exciting than it sounds! I just find celery the single most annoying ingredient because every recipe calls for a stick or two, but the smallest you can buy is half a celery. And then half a celery costs almost as much as a whole one!

      So a 'bulk celery cook' just means that I bought a celery and did some proper meal planning to use it up without wasting it. I made Cajun Chicken Jambalaya, Chicken Chow Mein, Pork Stir Fry and Minestrone soup.

      All super cheap, they share a lot of ingredients and because I planned to much there was not last minute expensive throw together meals :) Probably made 25-30 meals off those 4 recipes.

    2. How long can these meals last in the freezer ?

    3. Good question, I've never had any go bad. We have a half-half fridge freezer, so a chest freezer would keep longer as they're slightly colder. I think the longest I've left something would be around six weeks, and it warmed up just fine. Just make sure it cools down before putting it in the freezer otherwise you get lots of ice crystals.

      A quick googling supports my own experiences - around 3 months is fine for safety and quality. Around 6 months is getting iffy.

  2. Ouch to the meniscus tear! One lady at work had an ACL surgery last year and she told me about how painful everything was - from pre to post-surgery. I hope he's recovering all right! How is RateSetter going for you? Do you have a review post for it?

    Also, I left a comment on your fishing post but I think it didn't go through. High five for being a fisherman's girl. Haha!

    1. I had an ACL surgery last year and it wasn't painful at all. Mostly just really f*cking uncomfortable. I only used the serious pain meds for a day or two, then panadol for less than a week. Definite upsides to going through a private hospital, the doc used a nerve blocker in my leg that kept the pain down for 2-3 days.

      I have indeed reviewed RateSetter - http://firebythirtyfive.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/ratesetter-peer-to-peer-lending.html It's going brilliant, it's probably my favourite investment. The only reason I don't push more money into it is because I'm wary of having too much of my future dependent on one company.

      Your comment on the fishing post hasn't come through :( and to be technical I'm not a fisherman's girl, I think he's a fisherladies man ;) I'm keener than he is!


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