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Tuesday, 13 October 2020

September 2020 Update

Big month, big spend, new car! Still no puppy.
Welcome to the last 3 months of the longest year on record. It's pretty wild that this time last year I was recovering from a big overseas trip. This year no one in their right mind would be going to the States. A big trip for this year was a 4hour road trip to a regional town - which technically fell in October.

September update is much the same as Augusts - I've been prepping for the puppy to come home and failing to organise my finances. Mr. FIRE and I still need to organise a shared bank account of some time, and we still need to do our tax returns. I was feeling guilty about not having completed my tax returns, but while I was pulling together the paperwork I couldn't find one of my end of year statements. Turns out they didn't send it until the last week of September! Wild.

On this side of this, the big important change is that I bought a car. For the first time in six years, I own a car. I'd been putting off buying it and just hoping that a friend would sell a good car, and it finally happened. A friend of a friend sold me a 10year old car with only 50,000kms on the clock for a measly $7k. Based on my digging a car in that condition could easily have gone for double, so I'm quite happy with the outcome.

While this is obviously a big hit to my savings goals, and will impact the path to FIRE, it really does show what a savings focussed lifestyle can do. I didn't have to stop and think 'wow, where am I going to find this money?'. It was already sitting in my loan offset account waiting for a big purchase. If I didn't have that money available, I would have had to skip out on this undervalued car and probably bought something cheaper - that would have cost more to run long term.

Now that I have a car I expect to go spend on things I've been avoiding, like new glasses. My current ones have lasted close to a decade and while the prescription hasn't changed, the lenses themselves are definitely not in good condition.

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%.

September Rate:-78%   
2020 Average: 28%
Three-Year Average: 34% 
I'm going to roll this goal over to next year 😟 obviously things haven't gone the way we planned.

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.

August Spend: $4,112.21
2020 Average Spend: $4,356.52
Goal Spend: $4,378.30 (or less)

Remember when I complained spending $8k in January was ruining everything, well, I went and bought a car.


Here's what I spent in September, which includes the save-to-spend amounts and a new category for the car.  

12 Month Average
Home$1,511.91$875$954.17 (up)
Over Budget. So this house sucks in winter. The solar panels obviously generate no power, and the heater uses a fair bit of juice. Electricity bill was not nice.
Investment Property 1$1,100$1,145.83$1,145.83 (down )
Under Budget. Paid the mortgage and tucket $500 away for the future.  
Home turned IP2$750$1,000$1,057.81 (up )
Under Budget. Mortgage and $189 for future repairs and maintenance.
Personal Bills$127.26$127.33$127.26 (no change)
Under Budget. It is what it is
Groceries$259.75$190$192.78 (down )
Over Budget. Making up for last months lower spend, I shopped a lot :(
$150$153.41 (up)
Over Budget. Still saving for puppy. Everytime I get impatient on waiting I buy more toys for her. One on hand this is terrible budgeting. On the other hand, every toy I buy is a furniture protection device - so this is great budgeting!
Roller Derby$280.70$175$166.67 (up)
Over Budget. ooft, ouch. So we held a game, so I needed to buy facepaint (needed) and were going to play a regional bout for funsies, so I paid for accomodations for that. Plus the usual dues.
Travelling$100$122.50$25.00 (up)
Under Budget. Still not going anywhere (except derby, which is counted above). Just putting aside money for future travels and puppy.
Comfort Food$50$40$40.40
$36.24 (down $35.71)
Over BudgetWe went camping, which I guess could have been called travel? Anyway this spend covers the bakeries we visited on the way, and the snacks we ate.
Yikes! Paid for the car, then paid the stamp duty - which is basically paying for paying for a car. Rude. Next month I'll need to sort insurance.
Other$284.95$187.00$298.53 (up)
$279.16 (up $48.07)
Over Budget. The expensive part here was a couple of sports massages... I've been feeling old and creaky. It's definitely not a regular indulgence, and given how painful a deep tissue massage is it's barely an indulgence.  
Total$12,015.57$4116.67$4,923.58 (up)
Total ex. Donations$12,015.57
$4,831.08 (up )
Over Budget by a lot. Even without the car, this was going to be an expensive month. It would have been $4,700+ which is not great. Utilities bills hit, derby got expensive, and I threw money at every other category as well. I'm going to have to find a 'new normal' being a car and dog owner.

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