Hey, this site uses sponsored adverts to make a lil' money. If you'd like to whitelist firebythirtyfive.blogspot.com.au that'd be ace.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Year of Investing - September 2017

September went so well I set myself an investing stretch goal! It may have been a quiet month on the blogging from, but the weather has turned wonderful, my accounts are trending steadily upwards and life feels good.

To reach Financial Independence, Retire Early, and not have to go to work on a Monday ever again I need lots of money. More importantly I need money that produces more money. Right now I spend between $25,000 and $30,000 a year. This doesn't include the maintenance costs on my investment property, because that is covered by the rent. So if I wanted to walk out of work and never come back again, I need to find a way to make $25,000 a year, without a regular paycheck.

I'd rather go for the higher end of the scale though, so to fund my $30,000 lifestyle in retirement, I'm going to need to find $750,000 in the next eight and a half years, in accordance with the four percent rule.

The investment plan

For the next twelve months (July 2017 - June 2018) I am going to focus on supercharging my investments. The earlier in my retirement journey I start investing the more heavy lifting will be done by compound interest. By spending my money on buying more money in the early years, I hope to see my investments growing on their own through the next few years.

In the Year of Investing I plan on building up my existing accounts until I have just over 10% of my retirement fund. Starting from $52,000 I'm aiming for $80,000 by July 1 2018, an increase of $28,000 - just shy of $2,400 a month.


Want to try out Acorns? Check out my review first.


Opening Balance: $1554.64
Deposited: $306.06
Dividends: $0.08
Market Gains: -$7.78
Current Balance: $1,853.00

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $813.53
Deposited: $1,034.51
Dividends: $7.44
Market Gains: -$2.51
Current Balance: $1,853.00

It was an interestingly bad month for my Acorns portfolio, I think this is the first time it hasn't made a gain for a month. In July there was a bit of a fall, but that was balanced by the dividends. I'm interested to see how this pans out over the long term.

Goal: $5,000
Amount remaining: $3,147 ($349.66 per month)
Current investment plan: $75 per week


Want to try out Vanguard? Check out my review first.


Opening Balance: $42,993.13
Deposited: $1,850
Dividends: $0
Market Gains: $538.21
Current Balance: $45,381.34

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $39,566.66
Deposited: $5,600
Dividends: $0
Market Gains: $214.68
Current Balance: $45,381.34

Vanguard performed so well this month I set myself a stretch goal, and I'm on track to meet it. Unfortunately I forgot that Vanguard always has a big run up leading up to dividend time, and will probably slide back down a bi in October, so I'm worried about meeting the stretch goal in October. But hey, what's life without challenges!

Goal: $60,000
Amount remaining: $14,618.66 ($1,624.29 per month)
Stretch Goal: $65,000
Stretch amount remaining: $19,618.66 ($2,179.85 per month)
Current investment plan: $1,300 per month, plus whatever extra I can find


Want to try out RateSetter? Check out my review first.


Opening Balance: $12,037.35
Deposited: $200.00
Loan Returns: $98.88
Current Balance: $12,336.23

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $11,416.13
Deposited: $650
Loan Returns: $270.10
Current Balance: $12,336.23

So close to $100 in a month! The elusive three figures. Projections are that I'll make $107 in October, but that's assuming that payments come in on time. I've never had a payment not be made, but processing takes a couple of days so sometimes Octobers money appears in November and so on.

Goal: $15,000
Amount remaining: $2663.77 ($295.97 per month)
Current investment plan: $200 per month

The big picture - my savings rate

In total I'm hoping to invest $23,000 during the Year of Investing. On top of that I plan to keep up with my mortgage repayments, which should see my debts drop by approximately $12,500. This means saving $35,500, just shy of 50% of my income. 

So on top of paying down my mortgage and investing, I plan to squirrel away a little bit more so I can declare that I saved 50% of my income. In the previous 12 months I saved 41% of my income, so this year I though 'What the heck, let's push for 50%'.

According to the networthify early retirement calculator, if I pull this off I'll be able to retire in 9 years - just a few short months after my goal. A lot can happen in nine years, and I intend to prove that calculator wrong ;)

Here's how my savings look for September:

Despite being a 3 pay month I had to pay my massive credit card bill from August (which is why I had such a high savings rate then) so my savings rate is lower than I hoped. However most of Octobers bills (and there are a lot coming) are after the credit card cut off date, so they won't actually hit till November. With September being such a cheap month, we should see an uptick in savings for October. I hope.


For the sake of curiosity, here's what I spent in September.

CategorySpentBudgetedAnnual Average
Home$1462.65$1,312.50$1363.84 (up $15.40)
A pricey month with gas and electricity due.
Investment Property$702.59$1,166.67$1,447.05 (down $98.01)
An entire bill free month! All I paid was the mortgage! Woo! Two months in a row!
Personal Bills$146.91$147.08$139.22 (up $5.32)
The usual
Groceries$189.63$200.00$189.63 (down $7.54)
I was sitting at $150 for the month thanks to eating less meat until I stepped into the butcher on the 30th to buy cat food and spotted bulk packs of chicken and steak for half price. 
Pets$42.98$29.00$27.67 (up $2.33)
A normal month for cat and chickens, but I decided to start farming meal worms - which cost a whopping $30 to set up a 7 tub breeding farm. More info to come.
Roller Derby$176.11$128.92$167.05 (up $14.68)
I paid a grand total of $72 for round trip flights to Melbourne for a tournament. However I also dropped $50 on drinks and an Uber... oh well, you're league only turns 10 once!
Travelling$0$100$110.35 (down $15.84)
I haven't travelled since October last year and the costs are starting to fall off the 12 months average. Time to book another holiday!
Other$65.91$245$254.68 (down $17.07)
Random bits and pieces - went out for dinner, bought a couple of computer games on super sale, pre-ordered a copy of The Core. 
Total$3,011.48$3,329.17$3760.93 (down $82.00)
So close to scraping in under $3,000 for the month. If I hadn't been lured in by the siren song of half price meat I would have made it too! Oh well, still under budget, so I'm still happy about it.

psst - did you notice my budgeted amounts have gone down? And they've gone down by really odd amounts? That's because I knocked $50 off my annual budget. It's a little change, but I think in 3 months I'll be under. Woohoo! Just chipping away one small piece at a time.

Blast from the Past!

The Year of Investing started July 2017. You can see past reports here:


  1. Your average savings rate is sitting just above 50% - well done!
    Your investments look well on track - a stretch goal is a great idea. I think it is important to commit to investing a certain amount yourself - which you have, but also considering what market gains will mean for your portfolio overall. Are all of your gains currently reinvested? Would that bring up your investment amount goal by a fair amount?

    1. All gains are reinvested.

      I keep thinking about stretching the goal even further, but that wouldn't leave me with any cash surplus if the value drops again. Sticking to the plan so I can dollar value average properly :)

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...