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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

July 2020 Update

COLLIE Rough puppies 6 weeks - YouTube Happy August everyone. The weather is picking up, and so is life.

July was a fun month - roller derby went back, worked picked up and the weather was great. We've had a few rainy at the start of August, but overall the sunshine and warmth have made a big difference.

In July we spent a lot of time meeting Collies, researching Collies and really making sure they were going to suit us. It took a lot of looking to find a dog that will get into dog-sports with me, but also couch potato on the days when we need to flop. While a Collie is a herding breed that will need plenty of exercise and entertainment, they've also been bred for pet homes for a long while and don't have that crazy high-drive of Border Collies and the like. 

We're confident we've made the right choice, but I do still get hit with regular panics about bringing a puppy into our house. We've always said we don't want children, so raising a baby animal is a big commitment. That said, we've always wanted a dog and everything is lining up right - not just the ability to work-from-home with the pandemic, but Mr. FIRE has gotten a promotion and my team has really embraced flexible working long term.

What does this have to do with a FIRE blog? Puppy is going to be expensive. Not only are we collecting our puppy from a breeder and paying the related prices, but after much discussion, we've agreed that it's time to become a two-car household. Once we have a puppy in the house, it'll be a safety requirement to always have a car available, and I've been turning down a lot of hiking opportunities because of a lack of transport. 

The financial impacts will be quite large in the first year and should taper off over time. We'll be spending a lot in the start on puppy classes, teething toys and exercise pens and baby gates. While we could do it cheaper, we want to do it right. I'm doing as much second-hand shopping as possible, but I'm not skimping. My big goal is to have a puppy I enjoy with minimal accidents (bathroom and chewing!)

While this is a pricey exercise, I'm excited about it. I plan to get into dog sports once our puppy is old enough, and my post-FIRE plans have always been full of dogs. I'm really excited to take this step towards our post-FIRE plans - and get a realistic idea of what the expenses will be. 

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%.

July Rate:  47%
2020 Average: 39% 
Three-Year Average: 37% 
This is pretty obviously and sadly not happening. Looking below at the spending reduction, I don't know if 50% was ever a realistic idea. Still, aim high :) We'll try again next year. The important part is upwards trending.

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

July Spend: $3,699.79 
2020 Average Spend: $4,391.42
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)

So close! Just a few dollars left to go.


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

12 Month Average
Home$1,050$875$943.30 (up 99cents)
Over Budget. We've been living here for almost 18months now. The last five of that I've been home all the time due to the pandemic, and I'm grateful we're here instead of the old house. July was a three-rent month, but otherwise, nothing was spent.
Investment Property 1$1,032.71$1,145.83$1,138.92 (down $47.21)
Under Budget. Thankfully nothing went wrong this month - but I did have to pay the council rates. Otherwise a nice quiet month.  
Home turned IP2$547.08$1,000$1,039.98 (down $10.18)
Under Budget. Just the mortgage. Sometimes we have quiet months.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.26 (no change)
Under Budget. 
Groceries$219.24$190$213.46 (up $6.38)
Over Budget. Not much to say here. Supermarkets are more expensive than the fruit and veg market I've lost easy access to.
$100$111.26 (up $25.83)
Over Budget. Most of this is setting money aside to pay for our puppy. Due to come home at the end of October 😀
Roller Derby$120$175$161.50 (down $89.99)
Under Budget. The 12month average dropped dramatically because I was able to wipe July last year where I was spending for a trip to Utah. Unsurprisingly, there has been no travel this year. Just paying for training from July, and putting aside money for new gear.
Travelling$100$122.50$22.92 (down $148.54)
Under Budget. Again, 12month average dropped dramatically because last year was the international trip, and this year is COVID. Half of this 'spend' is putting aside money for our next travel, whenever that is. The other half is puppy savings 😉
Comfort Food$53.50$40$71.95 (up $0.29)
Over Budget. We threw a Christmas in July party and had friends over where we split Thai food. Then three days later restrictions in our area increased and we weren't allowed to do that anymore 😅  
Other$150$187.00$231.09 (down $3.57)
Under Budget. Most of this is savings - I've been wearing the same glasses for a decade. I also bought juggling balls though - a $4 impulse purchase I have zero regrets about. 
Total$3,699.79$3,987.67$4,154.14 (down $247.99)
Total ex. Donations$3,699.79
$4,061.64 (down $247.99)
Under Budget. with 6 out of 10 categories under! I guess my most interesting purchase was puppy prep. I've been buying plenty of chew toys - my big goals for puppyhood are sleeping through the night, housetraining, and minimising any damage done by a teething whirlwind of a puppy.

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