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Friday, 20 March 2020

February 2020 Update

Halfway through March, it's past time to report on how February goes.

I know it's a long way into March to be doing a February report. I have to admit that COVID-19 has thrown my financial confidence for a spin. I won't talk about it much more than I need to, but I will say that all the gains I made in 2019 have been wiped off the board. It's a tumultuous time. With that said, I made goals for 2020 around saving and spending! Regardless of the world climate, I should have a reasonably large measure of control over this.

Outside of global pressures, March so far has been really stressful (hence this post being really late). I've been overwhelmed with pantry moths wiping out my food supplies, mites on my chickens (gross) and a fruit fly outbreak in my suburb. It's been a crazy bug month.

February was... a long time ago. I know in this introduction I'm supposed to talk about what happened in February, but I can't even recall what I did. Moving swiftly onwards!

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%. At the start of 2020 it was a weenie 35%. 

Getting my 3-year average savings rate to 50% is going to be next to impossible, but I'm going to track it for interest. The actual goal is for this 12month period to sit comfortable above 50%.

February Rate: 65%
2020 Average: 44%
Three-Year Average: 37%

February was a quiet month, and even with only 29 days I still managed to sneak in 3 paydays. It definitely helped push the rate in the right direction.

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 at the start of 2020.

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: $4,299.96
2020 Average Spend: $5,829.91
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)

Success! My actual spend for February was $3,630.37, including booking flights to the Gold Coast. Roller Derby is not a cheap hobby to start with, and I get to travel interstate (and sometimes internationally!) to compete with my team. I don't consider myself to lead a super restricted life, but I do recognise that all this roller derby travel is a wild expense. Technically no one needs to travel for a sport, but it's g'damn amazing and I'm going to do it for as long as I can. I wrote that last sentence a couple of weeks ago... since then my tournament has been cancelled. I'm not sure if I will get a cash refund, and I have no idea when I'll be able to travel again. 


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

12 Month Average
Home$1,050$875$850.99 (up $54.16)
Over Budget. Had to pay rent three times :( But after a year of living here, I've decided I'm comfortable dropping the budgeted amount from $940 down to $875 a month.
OG Investment Property$664.20$1,190.83$1,209.07 (down $38.50)
Under Budget! Just the mortgage, and it's a really small mortgage!
Home turned Investment Property$914.15$1,042.33$1,519.12  (down $89.81)
Under Budget! House insurance and the mortgage. A much appreciated low spend month.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.21 (up 6cents)
Under Budget! Still using my old phone. Wild!
Groceries$125.74$190$200.34 (up $3.87)
Under Budget! Still eating lots of greens. I've been on a fruit binge and I'm eating heaps.
Pets-$3$50$54.08 (down 80cents)
Under Budget! I had to buy a mousetrap. Having my old and news hens separated means I don't have enough secure feeders and now I have mice :( But I also sold two dozen eggs, so negative spend month
Roller Derby$615.77$175$277.25 (up $21.24)
Over Budget Ah yes... the year begins. Flights to the Gold Coast are not cheap.
Travelling$0$122.50$223.13 (down $9.17)
Under Budget! Nothing again! I honestly just forgot to start squirrelling holiday money away.
Comfort Food$18$40$69.24 (down $9.07)
Under Budget! I went on a date. It was okay, but there wasn't a second date. We went to a free lecture on fossils and drank beer!
While it's been a stressful month across the globe, I didn't find anything that tugged my heart enough to open the purse.
Other$195.75$187.00$242.78 (down $5.91)
Over Budget! I went out to a Fringe gig. It was an okay show, but not recommendable. I also restocked the ol' underwear drawer. Thrilling! 
Total$3,630.37$4,000$4,777.20 (down $161.20)
Total ex. Donations$3,630.37
$4,685.54 (down $161.20)
Under Budget, with 7 out of 10 categories under! It was a good month all told, even though it ended with an intense stock market crash. These things happen and given I'm five years away from my FIRE goal, it's not a huge concern. 

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