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Friday, 12 June 2020

May 2020 Update

Alinga HogWild - Australian Cattle Dog - Photos | Facebook May was a roller-coaster of a month. I got a dog, I gave back my dog, I had a huge burnout, and I pulled it all back together.

My biggest financial and emotional news of May is that we got a dog. She was an Australian Cattle Dog and she was amazing. She came to us with all her house manners, great leash manners, a very polite fetch and a love of food that made her really easy to train. She also wanted to be on the go All The Time. We worked constantly on teaching her when to lay down and settle, and when it was okay to hassle mum and dad for playtime. 

At the end of our two-week trial, I was going to bed early every night, zonked out in the middle of the day and completely run down. If she had 'issues' we had to work through then we probably would have kept her, but there was nothing to fix about her, we just didn't have the energy to keep up. Taking her back was pretty gut-wrenching, and as much as I regret it I also couldn't keep going the way I was.

Outside of the dog whirlwind, May was more of the same pandemic lockdown. Things should be changing in June with sports being approved to start again (pending figuring out the hygiene rules) and work has started trialling return to the office systems. With that being most of my team has agreed we don't want to be back in the office five days a week, and are starting to negotiate partial working-from-home arrangements. 

I've gotten used to my at-home routines and I'm finding the best part is knowing which meetings are 'hands-on' and which are just catch-ups. Every morning I have a catch-up that doubles as my 'check the chickens and water the garden' time in the sun. Without my commute, I'm saving over an hour a day and I actually get to see the sunshine. Plus I can take a fifteen-minute work break if my brain is overloaded and do quick house chores. That being said I miss seeing my team, and I definitely miss working right next to the markets - my diet has had a lot fewer veggies.

All of this change contributed to a pretty stressful May. It's hard to be sure if our dog-adoption failure was really because she was going to be too much, or because our lives are looking to be so shaken up she was one more thing I wasn't ready for. Knowing that everything is changing, and we're going into winter (a traditionally hard time for me) we've put a hold on our dog search and we donated a lot of the supplies we bought. At the earliest, we're planning to try again with a doggo towards the end of August when the sun comes back.

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%.

May Rate: 47%
2020 Average: 42%
Three-Year Average: 37%

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

April Spend: $4,102.25
2020 Average Spend: $4,656.38
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)

May's spending numbers were pretty average. I spent a lot more in the pets column than I ever have before, but most other categories were down. 


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

12 Month Average
Home$800$875$891.87 (up $8.33)
Under Budget! Just the rent and a quick trip to Bunnings for another set of garden beds.
Original Investment Property$1,027.55$1,145.83$1,084.55 (down $63.89)
Under Budget! Mortgage plus council rates.
Home turned Investment Property$549.20$1,000$1,089.14 (down $137.02)
Under Budget! Just the mortgage. It's nice having the mortgage super cheap because a month without rent wasn't fun at all.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.26 (no change)
Under Budget! So this is basically it until either my health insurance premiums change, or I get a new phone. 
Groceries$255.53$190$211.31 (up $4.76)
Over Budget. I haven't been able to get to the fruit and veg markets for cheap produce so my shopping bill is up, and I've been eating worse. Not a huge fan. 
$100$84.87 (up $24.33)
Over Budget. We got a dog! And then we returned her to the rescue. It was a big intense heartbreaking two weeks where she seemed perfect on paper but exhausting and stressful in real life. We're really questioning now if we're in the right place in life for a dog :( 
Roller Derby$120$175$257.82 (down $7.46)
Under Budget... Just like the last couple of months, I spent nothing, but I put aside money for new skates. Training starts again in two weeks!
Travelling$0$122.50$188.13 (down $16.67)
Under Budget! Nothing... no surprises.
Comfort Food$0$40$71.24 (down $2.11)
Under Budget! Another one of those months where I could probably put some of the grocery bill in here, but I forgot to.
One of my friends played a livestream gig. I guess this could be a misc. spending, but I'm calling it a donation because... reasons.
Other$151.49$187.00$238.09 (down $3.31)
Under Budget! Most of this was my three-yearly birth control update. It's far cheaper than those children I don't want. I also put aside $50 for future spending.
Total$3,383.05$3,987.67$4,336.78 (down $192.20)
Total ex. Donations$3,373.05
$4,244.28 (down $193.03)
Under Budget, with 8 out of 10 categories under! May was really stressful with our dog. She was wonderful but I also had a proper panic attack, took a sick day off work and went to bed early 3 days. I think there was more to it, but she was definitely the catalyst. 


  1. What do you use to track your expenditure?

    1. A far oo elaborate excel sheet that I made myself. It started out as a pretty simple one pager. It's grown over a decade :p


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