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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

January 2019 Update - All those houses

Happy New Year!! and guess what? Happy New House!! 2019 is going to be a weird new year with so many changes.

January was a whirlwind of a month, I can't believe it's over and it's almost mid-February. This post is much later than I wanted it to be. In fact, this is the second time I've written this post because blogger decided to lose the whole thing, thanks Blogger.

On top of that, January was a crazy month because roller derby started again and I trained 24 hours between the 9th and the 29th, then headed of to a 3 day camp. On top of that work ramped up for the start of the year, and oh, did I mention Mr. FIRE and I bought a house!

My initial set of goals for 2019 included investing a lot of money, saving even more, and getting my current house ready to rent out while we looked for a new place. Then in January we saw a property we'd already looked at and passed over for being too expensive was back on the market 8% lower than the original asking price. We then put in a lowball offer another 6% under that (a crazy 14% under the original asking price) and they accepted it!!

Suddenly, we have houses to deal with. We have settlement on the 1st of March, and want to have our current home up for rent by the 1st of April. There isn't a massive amount of pre-move work to do at the new place besides painting. There is a massive amount of work to do at our current place. To compound this issue, it's the start of the derby season and I. am. busy.

With that in mind, my goals for this year are still a bit up in the air, but I have got two locked in.

Investing Goal: $110,000 in Vanguard

I'm starting the year with just under $80,000 and aiming for $110,000 by the end of the year. This isn't a huge goal, and $30,000 in a year would normally be easy (in the Year of Investing I put aside $36,000) however I'm not sure what kind of money I'm going to end up spending on the properties, or how long it will take to find a tenant. So I'm sticking to a goal that I know I can achieve.

Spending Goal: Under Control!

This is a simple request, from me to me. Simple to ask, hard to do. I want all my non-house expenses under budget. That's not much to ask right?

I'm not asking for the house expenses to be under budget because, A. not even sure what budget is just yet. I have a ball park idea, but not confirmed numbers. and B. with the renovation works, we're going to be spending more in the next 3 months than we would normally spend in a year. Okay maybe not that bad, but it's going to be expensive. Mostly the painting.

Bonus Goal, if we can: $10,000 worth of an Asia focused ETF

If things go my way, and if my finances play along, I'd like to purchase a chunk of the Asian markets. I have been watching, and while I don't have any concrete evidence, I'm starting to feel like the superpower that is the US of A might not be the biggest economic power in the next decade. I currently own a mix of Vanguard International Shares (which is mostly US, then Japan) and a lot of Australia. I feel like this missing piece is the rest of the Asian markets. While I don't need it, I'll feel a lot more comfortable if I diversify across the globe some more.

However, given everything else going on, this is a bonus goal. We'll see what happens across the year.

January Results

These goals took most of the month to pin down, so my spending is... a bit out of control. I admit I spent too much on video games. Firstly though, savings and investing...



Opening Balance: $78,424.57
Deposit: $1,900
Dividends: $1,214.86
Market Gains: $1,289.12
Current Balance: $82,828.55

Woah! The markets bounced back with a vengeance and I am so crazy far ahead of where I need to be!


For the sake of curiosity, here's what I spent in January, which includes the save-to-spend amounts.

CategorySpentBudgeted12 Month Average
Home$1,415.55$1,318$1,343.19 (up $36.09)
The bills arrived! But also I've started putting aside money to do all the pre-rental works I want to get done. Prepare to watch this number skyrocket!
Also, this will be getting labelled Investment Property #2 soon. I should find fun names for them...
Investment Property$1,622.84$1,190.83$1,356.92 (up $41.92)
I said there had been no bills for two months, well now they're here. Half of them, I have another big bill coming up in February. 
Personal Bills$126.60$126.67$140.04 (down $1.70)
The stock standard usual.. nothing to see here. Then my health insurance will go up in a month or two - Happy New Year *eyeroll*
Groceries$113.08$190$202.61 (down $6.95)
Most of the reason this is low is because I was using the gift card I paid for back in December. Without it the cost would have come in around $170, still under budget.
Pets$23.20$50$63.12 (up $1.02)
After Decembers vet emergency it was nice to have a quiet month - all I paid for was food. I need to sell more eggs though.
Roller Derby$76.70$175$219.67 (down $11.26)
The year has started, but my first set of fees don't come out till February. Still I paid for a trip to camp, put some money aside for a new helmet, and forked out for new knee-pads. Because safety gear is much cheaper than surgery.
Travelling$110$122.50$57.50 (up $9.17)
Next year I'm hoping to go to Canada! With the house purchase, Mr. FIRE and I have wisely postponed any Canada plans. However we are considering another trip to Tasmania, maybe New Zealand. We'll see :) 
Comfort Food$8.90$40$50.64 (down $0.51)
I split this out in November and it's amazing how much measuring something changes it. From spending an average of $50 per month, I just spent $8.90 - which was one beer. Go me.
Other$430.00$187.00$269 (up $6.83)
Unfortunately my video card in my computer went up in smoke - literally. It was a hand-me-down card and one of the components burned out. It was a very small bit of fire, followed by some smoke and a $275 replacement. Outside of that I bought a couple more games (Kingdom Hearts 3!!!) and did some necessary underwear shopping (exciting).
Total$3,962.87$3,400$3,703.04 (up $74.58)
Ouch. Not a good time. $3,000 of this spend was from the houses, but I was over on a lot of the other categories too. Not a good start considering my goal for the year of bringing my expenses back down under the budget lines...


  1. Are you still investing in ratesetter?

    1. Absolutely! I'm still a huge fan, however there was a solid drop in their rates over the last 3 months of almost 1%. I don't want to invest too heavily because a swing like that could have a big impact. I'm still putting $200 a month in, but I want it to make up a smaller percentage of my investments by the end of the year.


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