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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

January 2020 Update

New year, new goals!

If you didn't notice, I snuck through January without setting any goals for the year. 2020 is in full swing and I'm starting to feel like I've recovered from the holidays and I'm ready to take on the year. The upside to not having any goals set for January means I can use the numbers as a baseline to improve from. And there is a lot of room for improvement... The downside to not setting any goals is that the month slipped by without anything exciting to report on.

Goals For 2020

Goal #1 : 50% Savings

I have a confession to make: I'm a FIRE blogger and my savings rate sucks.

At the end of The Year of Investing in 2018 my savings rate was siting comfortably at 55%. Looking at the big picture since the start of 2018 to now, it's sunk to a weenie 35%. I've made excuses over that time of having house renovations, and a big overseas trip, but honestly I could make excuses for the rest of forever. At some point I need to suck it up and do better.

I crunched the numbers and getting my 3 year average savings rate to 50% is going to be next to impossible - I'd need to save more than 75% each month till the end of this year. I'm going to track the 3-year rate, but the actual goal is for this 12month period to sit comfortable above 50%.

January Rate: 24%
2020 Average: 24%
Three-Year Average: 35%

Goal #2 Reduce Average Spending by 10%

Having two investments has gotten expensive, and my spending has been creep-creep-creeping. From an average $3,500 spending back in 2018, now I'm sitting at $4,800

For starters, some honest facts - owning investment properties costs money. You can't buy a house, pay the mortgage, get adequate insurance and stay on top of the maintenance without spending any money. However I shouldn't need to spend an average of $5,000 a month.I've written out a budget for $4,000. I'm not confident that $4,000 is a correct number - even after almost a year in this house I still don't feel like I've settled into a groove. And my old place keeps needing repairs - they're all valid repairs of things that I know need doing in a 30 year old house, but they're also ones I kinda wish the tenants would just suck it up and deal with.

With all that in mind, the goal is to reduce my average spend by 10% from January - excluding donations. My goals to do better with my money shouldn't limit my hopes for changing the world

12 month Average Spend: $4,864.78
2020 Average Spend: $8,029.45
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)


Here's what I spent in January, which includes the save-to-spend amounts.  

12 Month Average
Home$700$938.17$796.83 (up $58.34)
Under Budget. Just rents :)
OG Investment Property$1,508.83$1,190.83$1,247.57 (down $9.51)
Over Budget Bills are no fun, water and council rates.
Home turned Investment Property$5,314.71$1,042.33$1,608.93 (up $321.93)
Over Budget! Really hoped the A/C would make it through a summer before I had to replace it, but no. It was a pricey one, but definitely necessary.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.15 (up 5cents)
Under Budget! I'm not sure how long I can stay amazed at my phone. Three and a half years and it's sill beating manufactured obselecence.
Groceries$158.10$190$196.47 (up $3.76)
Under Budget! Time to recover from Christmas. We're eating a lot of fruit and veg.
Pets$124.30$50$54.48 (up $8.43)
Over Budget! After all the coop building it was finally time to buy new chickens. I got three sussex / wyandotte mixes and they are gosh darn pretty birds! I could have gotten slightly cheaper chickens by buying a standard petshop breed, but in my experience the heritage breeds are healthier and last longer.
Roller Derby$120$175$256.01 (up $3.67)
Under Budget! I say under budget but it's a lie. I siphoned a few dollars from the new skates fund to pay for camp...
Travelling$0$122.50$232.30 (down $9.15)
Under Budget! Nothing again! I was going to start saving for the next trip but it was an expensive month.
Comfort Food$58.25$40$78.31(up $4.11)
Over Budget! This year I want to spend more time with friends. I did really well in January going out for Friday night beers - but obviously that's not free. It wasn't $58 on beers - there was some snacks in there too!
In January I got angry about right-wing biased media and threw some money at the Guardian.
Other$228$187.00$248.69 (down $16.84)
Over Budget! Board games and house plants! 2020 is the year of more time with friends, but also of making home a nicer place to be. 
Total$8,399.45$4,063.17$4,938.40 (up $369.71)
Total ex. Donations$8,339.45
$4,846.74 (up $364.66)
Over Budget, with 5 out of 10 categories under, there was still no way to stay under budget with the huge blowout in paying for the air-condiioner.

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