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Friday, 1 December 2017

The Year of Investing - November 2017

November is the real start of summer! And it has been the start of businesses ramping up for Christmas, and my investments have all performed admirably. I've been completely disengaged from this blog dealing with professional turmoils at work, but I'm cautiously optimistic this shake up will lead to some career leaps, more money and more responsibility if I can play my cards right - and not lose my temper at the guy who seems determined to snatch the same opportunity.

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: $2,236.78
Deposited: $395.31
Dividends: $0.12
Market Gains: $33.28
Current Balance: $2,665.49

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $813.53
Deposited: $1,740.63
Dividends: $24.09
Market Gains: $87.24
Current Balance: $2,665.49

It was an interesting month for Acorns - a couple of weeks that trended down, a couple that climbed up all culminated in a bit over 1% gain. If only that happened every month.

Goal: $5,000
Amount remaining: $2,334.51 ($333.50 per month)
Current investment plan: $75 per week


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


Opening Balance: $48,491.76
Deposited: $1,300
Dividends: $0.00
Market Gains: $886.05
Current Balance: $50,677.81

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $39,566.66
Deposited: $8,550
Dividends: $428.44
Market Gains: $2,132.71
Current Balance: $50,677.81

I only had to put in my minimum amount this month to hit both my goal AND my stretch goal. Absolutely wonderful to see the markets racing upwards, but I'd kind of like them to settle down a bit. I have a wad of spare cash to deploy and I'm starting to think I should be setting my sights higher.

Goal: $60,000
Amount remaining: $9,322.19 ($1,331.74 per month)
Stretch Goal: $65,000
Stretch amount remaining: $14,322.19 ($2,046.02 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: $12,625.56
Deposited: $300.00
Loan Returns: $91.18
Current Balance: $13,016.74

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $11,416.13
Deposited: $1,150
Loan Returns: $450.61
Current Balance: $13,016.74

The $100 a month returns continue to elude me! I threw in an extra $100 this month, and if my calculations are correct, between loan returns and my usual $200 a month, I should be right on track to hit my goal on the 30th of June.

Goal: $15,000
Amount remaining: $1,983.26 ($283.32 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 November:

Let's be honest, I have no idea how this keeps happening. It's confusing and magical and I'm definitely not complaining, but surely the tide has to turn at some point? I have checked and rechecked my numbers and they aren't wrong, just a bit amazing!


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

CategorySpentBudgeted12 Month Average
Home$1,621.69$1,312.50$1,345.89 (down $31.99)
Three separate bills in November, including the dreaded electricity bill. In December I should just be paying the gas bill, so it should be a quiet month.
Investment Property$700.29$1,166.67$1,233.74 (down $168)
Just the mortgage. Phew.
Personal Bills$146.91$147.08$139.22 (up $10.57)
The usual
Groceries$220.45$200.00$204.92 (down $5.06)
We had a few warm days over November, which lead to buying plenty of fresh fruits, salads and other light delicious things. While eating fresh homemade food is cheaper than going out, eating salads is always going to be pricier than meals bulked out with pasta or rice. 
Pets$24.51$29.00$28.45 (up $2.05)
I've finally recorded a full year of pet expenses - previously my pet costs were hidden inside grocery expenses. Cats are cheap, especially as my monster is an indoors only cat - reducing the need for regular worming / flea treatments and no mishaps wandering the streets..
Roller Derby$226.50$150.00$192.69 (up $18.46)
I spent a few days in Melbourne and spent a bit of money. I'd say whoops, but it was no accident. While I was away I was very conscious of not penny pinching and enjoying myself -  I couldn't throw off my frugal ways entirely, but I did relax!
Travelling$0$100.00$21.58 (down $8.42)
Nothing! Time for another holiday. Mr. Fire and I are thinking a Christmas road trip.
Other$292.00$157.25$235.54 (down $0.48)
This might look like a big splurge, but it was just a couple of big ticket items, and a doctors trip. I bought a 10 pass for rock climbing, some new contacts, and had a medical scare that turned out to just be 'we think maybe you drank too much water'. Urine and Blood tests to be told I'm pretty darn healthy
Total$3,232.35$3,329.17$3,446.39 (down $188.14)
It was a good month. I'm pretty surprised, I traveled, I had some big spends, I went over on groceries, but as a whole I kept the spending pretty low. In fact, I had to double check all my calculations to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Quite chuffed with how this turned out.

Blast from the Past!

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


  1. Hi, have you noticed that Vanguard is now offering their lifestrategy funds in the ETF format? I believe that the MER is much lower at about 0.26% however you would still need to pay for brokerage. What are your thoughts on that if you don't mind me asking?

  2. Well done on being well above target for another month!!
    Hopefully your work woes sort themselves out and you get a career and salary boost which will really supercharge your investment strategy. 9 years may turn into 5! Go on, be ambitious ;)

  3. Great job. I plan to retire in 9 years too (8 years and 7 months to be exact).


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