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Tuesday, 21 April 2020

March 2020 Update

Coat Colour Genetics in Labrador Retrievers | Pet365 BlogI'm FIRE'd! Aprils Fools... I'm not FIRE'd or fired, just working from home forever.

It's mid-April and the end of my third week working from home due to the pandemic, and here's my three big takeaways:
  • Humans are not 'houseplants with complicated emotions'. We need more than sunlight and water, we need exercise. Lots of it.
  • WFH is far easier than working in the office, but even I miss people, and I'm a huge introvert.
  • I need a dog.
The biggest impact so far has been the complete overhaul of my exercise routine impacting my ability to sleep. Financially, almost nothing has changed. If anything I've been spending a bit more because I keep looking at my house and I finally have the time to do the things I wanted to do since we moved in and it's right there in my face.

We haven't changed our eating habits, but I haven't been able to access the cheap fruit n veg markets, so my spending has been impacted. Also, because I'm sure everyone wants to know, we haven't been in toilet paper crisis mode yet. This week will tell though...

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 sitting 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 comfortably above 50%.

March Rate: 25%
2020 Average: 38%
Three-Year Average: 36%

Marches rent actually got paid in April, so my income was lower than it could have been. That being said, I gave my tenants two weeks free rent (they're both hospitality workers) so I won't be seeing a huge income next time either, which will affect my savings percentage.

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: $4,752.59
2020 Average Spend: $5,204.23
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)

Success! My actual spend for March was $3,952.86. I didn't get a cash refund for my flights and at this stage, I'm wondering if the flight voucher will even be honoured - last time I checked Virgin was almost underwater. Considering I'm still employed and all my tenants are paying rent I'm not too badly put out, but it is $400 that I'll miss having. 


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

12 Month Average
Home$1,089.72$875$881.75 (up $30.76)
Over Budget. Dang power bill ruining my budgets. It was less than expected for a summer of air-conditioning use, but more than hoped.
OG Investment Property$1,630.01$1,190.83$1,201.11 (down $7.96)
Over Budget. Ah, the expensive body corporate payment... my favourite.
Home turned Investment Property$573.19$1,042.33$1,485.52 (down $33.60)
Under Budget! Just the mortgage. Happy times.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.26 (up 5cents)
Under Budget! The old phone has had some blips but it's hanging in there. My health insurer was 'kind' enough to delay the annual premium rise by six months so... yay? Considering most electives are shut down at the moment it would have been really rude to charge me more.
Groceries$281.23$190$206.78 (up $6.44)
Over Budget. I tried really hard to ignore the madness, but it seeped in. I didn't buy that much extra, but I did pick up a dehydrator that I've had my eye on for a while. It works really well because now I can buy a whole pumpkin, shred it and dehydrate the spare. It means I've kicked off the garden as well! We have enough freezer meals for another week, but I really miss fresh vegetables.
Pets$53.45$50$54.12 (up 4cents)
Over Budget. My chickens had mites. Thousands of the little bastards that were also coming in through my bedroom window. Insect powder was absolutely worth spending money on.
April is going to be a whole new month, at the time of writing we don't have a dog, but I've started collecting supplies. 
Roller Derby$120$175$269.86 (down $7.36)
Under Budget... So technically I spent nothing, but I put aside money for new skates. We cancelled trainings till COVID blows over and god, damn, I am bored.
Travelling$0$122.50$213.96 (down $9.17)
Under Budget! Nothing... we're not even allowed to leave the State so... yeah
Comfort Food$0$40$66.27 (down $2.97)
Under Budget! Probably could have shifted some of the grocery spending to this category? Oh well
I did give my tenants two weeks free rent in April, but otherwise, it's penny-pinching time as the world spirals out of control.
Other$78$187.00$245.94 (up $3.16)
Under Budget! Some very boring purchases include new towels, some air-tight jars for the pantry, soap, and veggie garden supplies. A little bit pandemic-panic, but mostly just getting around to doing the gardening we've always wanted. I also got a refund for a gig that was cancelled.
Total$3,952.86$4,000$4,752.59 (down $24.61)
Total ex. Donations$3,952.86
$4,844.25 (down $158.71)
Under Budget, with 6 out of 10 categories under! Apart from regular bills and a little food shopping, nothing much happened. My shares bounced back a bit, but (like everyone) I'm not feeling the best at the moment. I'm used to be able to take action to fix things, this watch and wait business is no fun. 

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