Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

We’ve been on the road now for over 6 weeks and honestly, it feels like this year has just been one enormous adventure.

They say a change is as good as a holiday and ain’t that the truth!

I did enjoy my job back home but just like your favourite game or movie, you eventually get sick of them and loading in a new disk every once in a while can be therapeutic.

Even though I managed to find work in London this year, the novelty of a career change made it exciting. Yeah, there were a few late nights here and there and I had to figure how this game worked at the start. But it’s been a lot of fun so far and I’m looking forward to booting it back up when we get back to London at the start of October.

We continue our European summer trip finishing up in Spain and heading over The Middle East.

Here are some of the spots we hit up in August.

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The Great Pyramids of Giza

Diving in the Red Sea


Travelling through the Middle East was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. Going in the middle of summer was a big mistake in hindsight. It pretty much worked out that we had to do it in summer but wowee she was steaming!

I’m talking 46°C in the middle of the desert with humidity 😅🌡🔥☀

Seeing the Pyramids and Petra was truly mind-blowing and the culture shock was one I’ll never forget.

Being a finance and economic junkie, it was extremely interesting hearing first hand from the people of Egypt and Jordan about jobs, future prospects, education, health care and all the other topics I managed to chew their ears off about.

Both countries rely heavily on tourism. And if you can remember the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, it may shock you to know that the country has still not recovered from it all these years later. Some industries that relied on tourist were completely destroyed overnight apparently and the Nile cruises, for example, are only back to about 60% capacity. I would highly recommend them too if you’re down that way. The people didn’t lack education either. Maybe not all, but a hell of a lot of taxi drivers, tourist group leaders and even the dudes that looked after the camels had university educations! I can’t tell you how legit they were but it seemed that the issues were not education, but rather job opportunities that paid a decent wage.

Jordan also was hit hard when they took in refugees from Syria in the last couple of years too. I couldn’t get to the bottom of it but apparently inflation had eroded the local currency with prices for goods and services going up but wages staying stagnant. This is what I was told anyway and I’m definitely not an expert in this area but I found it interesting to listen to.

I continue to have a newfound appreciation of what Australia has and offers as we continue our journey around the globe. I can see quite clearly now why so many people want to migrate to our neck of the woods and sometimes cringe whenever I come across a story about a 20-something millennial who can’t afford a 3 bedroom house in Sydney’s CBD.

Like, yeah, housing and living costs in Melbourne and Sydney are bloody expensive, probably overpriced. But fm dead, if you’d have seen some of the living conditions, opportunities and wages of some of these countries, I feel as though a lot of the first world struggles would seem minuscule. I also believe that it’s a major reason why Sydney and Melbourne will never ever be cheap to buy. Australia would have to go way downhill for bargains to start appearing in the biggest two cities.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting for now. The Middle East was kick-ass and I’d highly recommend. If you do Petra, try to go to the night show before you see it in the day. It’s completely different at night and was an unforgettable experience.

Net Worth Update

As impressive as August’s update seems to be (especially considering the how far the markets fell), there is a looming tax burden that’s about to hit.

I’ve been raising invoices for my contracting work and each invoice has an additional 20% tax added to them called the VAT tax (similar to our GST I believe).

I get to keep around 5% of that 20% tax apparently as sort of a ‘collection payment’ from HMRC which is the UK’s version of the ATO.

I’ll go through this for the first time very soon so I’ll have a much better understanding of how it all works by next month.

I only have one invoice left too which means no flowing income until I start working again. And even if I do get work asap when we’re back in October. It won’t be paid until the last Friday of the next month! So it’s almost a certainty that the update for October will be negative unless the markets have an upswing.

We also haven’t spent a lot of money this month believe it or not. This is mostly due to pre-booking nearly everything and subletting our London flat. So we only really have spent money on food and activities which have been pretty cheap for August thankfully.


No changes in the properties this month.

Property 1 was sold in August 2018


Various data sources (RP data, etc.) are used in combination of what similar surrounding properties were sold for to calculate an estimate. This is an official Commonwealth bank estimate and one which they use to approve loans.


A few divvies but mostly red across the board with Aussie shares taking the biggest hit.

I’ve been expecting this for some time now considering just how much the ASX has gained over the last couple of months. What’s also interesting to see is how much the LICs drop in value as they pay out their dividends. A popular strategy I’ve seen out there is to wait until ETFs or LICs go past their ex-div date and buy on the drop. This theoretically means you can buy more units of the same fund and slightly delay being taxed on the dividends until the next payout.

I don’t do this but I can see how it makes sense.


We ended up buying another lot of A200 again this month and for everyone out there that keeps asking about our strategy, I promise to have published the newly tweaked strategy before the end of this month!

I have some things I want to cover that requires it’s own article. Nothing too drastic but my thoughts and opinions nonetheless that a few have been asking for. Sorry it’s taking forever. It’s really hard to find time atm but I’ll finish it off in the next couple of weeks.



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