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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Year of Investing - May 2018

So uh.. I may have bought lots of things. And a fair bit of stuff. And I did some manufactured spending to hit credit card minimum spends. And then I bought some more bits and pieces.

I may have disengaged the frugal auto-pilot for a month. Woops.
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.

Except, not really, because I have a stretch goal, and now a double stretch! Overall I plan to have $90k invested, for an increase of $38,000, or just over $3,150 a month.

Acorns Raiz

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


Opening Balance: $4,403.39
Deposited: $330.68
Dividends: $0.24
Market Gains: $26.13
Current Balance: $4,760.44

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $813.53
Deposited: $3679.80
Dividends: $73.03
Market Gains: $194.08
Current Balance: $4,760.44

Nothing particularly exciting, but it's nice to see we're on track.

Goal: $5,000
Amount remaining: $239.59
Current investment plan: $60 per week (I've reduced this again, goals are trucking along nicely)


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


Opening Balance: $64,435.49
Deposited: $2,000
Dividends: $0
Market Gains: $284.88
Current Balance: $66,720.37

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $39,566.66
Deposited: $24,425
Dividends: $1,247.61
Market Gains: $1,481.10
Current Balance: $66,720.37

Two things happened this month, firstly I passed my stretch goal (woo!) and secondly, I was $8 short of target for this month. For the majority of the month it was tracking nicely, first I projected $1,000 ahead of target, then $700, then $500, then $300. And then in the last couple of days everything dipped and I came in $8 under target. I still made money and I've basically hit my goal, but the perfectionist in me is irate that the markets didn't behave properly.

Goal: $60,000
Amount remaining: Done!
Stretch Goal: $65,000
Stretch amount remaining: Done!
Double Stretch Goal: $70,000
Double stretch amount remaining: $3,279.63
Current investment plan: $1,900 per month, plus whatever extra I can find


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


Opening Balance: $14,521.53
Deposited: $200
Loan Returns: $134.07
Current Balance: $14,855.60

Since starting The Year of Investing

Opening Balance: $11,416.13
Deposited: $2,350
Loan Returns$1,089.47
Current Balance: $14,855.60

Once again RateSetter just keeps plugging along, nothing exciting, just slow and steady gains. RateSetter is definitely the mule of the investing world - nothing nice to look at, not very exciting, but sturdy, reliable, and exactly what you need to get the job done.

Goal: $15,000
Amount remaining: $144.40
Current investment plan: $200 per month even though I'm going to come in ahead of target, I'm not reducing this amount. I love RateSetter and plan to steadily increase the amount I have out on loan for the next few years.

The big picture - my savings rate
In total I'm hoping to invest $23,000 during the Year of Investing (now $33,000 with my double stretch goal!). 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, (45,500) just shy of 50% of my income (just over 57%). 

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 ;)

According to the Mad Fientist Lab, after April I'm eight years and four months away. I've gone very far backwards because of a very expensive month of spending.

Here's how my savings look for May:

I spent.. a lot, just look below.


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

CategorySpentBudgeted12 Month Average
Home$2,605.18$1,312.50$1,377.07 (up $85.19)
While this is a big big spend month, it's actually not concerning. I was having trouble meeting the minimum spend on one of my credit cards, so I paid double on my water, gas and electricity bills. It means a big spend now, but I should be able to skip the next quarter.
Investment Property$1,775.68$1,166.67$1,363.97 (up $91.08)
I also overpaid one of my bills here to pump a bit more money through my credit card. Meeting minimum spends means that I get bonus points that I can use for super cheap flights.
Personal Bills$151.60$151.60$147.69 (up $0.39)
New year, new health insurance premiums. Blergh.
Groceries$154.32$200.00$198.49 (down $1.75)
I'm pleased with this spend, but I'm even more pleased with the content of my freezer right now. I was feeling a bit bleh on foods, and I looked back at some of my old recipes that I haven't made for ages. At a rough guess there are currently enough leftovers in my freezer to feed us for two weeks.
Pets$86.98$29.00$32.70 (up $6.41)
BUY ALL THE THINGS!! The miniature homestead now has two new chickens, and four new quail! I'm going to be swimming in eggs come spring, and plan to sell the surplus. Quail are new for me, which means I'm probably going to spend the next month or so tweaking their housing to get it just right. I'll DIY where possible, but there will be a few small costs - like a special watering cup to cut down on spillage.
Roller Derby$156.16$150.00$211.71 (down $5.25)
Nothing hugely exciting. A team dinner and some skate repair. 
Travelling$0$100.00$0.00 (no change)
As usual, nothing, because I keep travelling for derby.
Other$542.79$157.25$229.25 (up $24.01)
I got a tattoo. Nothing big or overly meaningful, it's an owl, from one of my favourite movies (no, not Harry Potter). It hurt a lot less than anticipated, and I'm happy to tick it off the bucket list. I also had to restock the wine cupboard - going into winter means drinking more red wine!
Total$5,472.71$3,267.02$3,560.89 (up $198.42)
Eeeexpensive! I comfort myself knowing that I've intentionally overpaid 4 different bills and that I shouldn't see them for a while. But still, that's a big number. 

Blast from the Past!

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


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

  2. question: is your plan take into account kids? 25k seems small :-)))

    1. Definitely isn't. I'm a cynical millenial - I have serious concerns about the longevity of this planet, and I don't think bringing another human being into this world is responsible.

      Plus, raising kids is a massive commitment. I already know that I do not have the capacity to love and support them through all the roller coasters of life.


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