Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

APR19 Net Worth $646,027 (+$4,354)

APR19 Net Worth $646,027 (+$4,354)

Mrs. FB and I were well and truly in ‘The Grind’ for roughly the last 4 years back home. We had holidays every year and plenty of social events but the routine of work, gym, nightly wind down (book/Game of Thrones/Youtube) from Mon-Fri was pretty much the same for a very long time.

When you get stuck in ‘The Grind’ it seems like days melt into weeks, weeks dissolve into months and before you know it, a year has passed without you even blinking!

When you’re out of the grind and exploring around through … it feels like you get to see and experience more in a month than you might in a year!

Which is why these monthly updates are so long these days I guess 😁

I have been contracting as a consultant for over a month now and the dynamics of the workplace have been extremely interesting to witness. Without naming names, I have landed a contract with a multinational corporation within the heart of London. I had come across the ‘corporate elite’ back home but it feels like it’s ramped up over here. Where you work and what position you have is very important in some groups. And the cost of living is so high that a lot of people who have relatively high paying jobs can’t afford much. A lot of it has to do with ‘Keeping up with Jones’, where you live, why do you have roommates? Can’t you afford a place yourself, bars you go to etc. etc.

I will say this though, the Brits know how to drink! It has been really fun working a new job and getting to know a new team.

I have been working a few days a week outside of London at the client’s site which has been a bit of a hassle but my employer pays for all transport, food and accommodation which helps. When we’re out at the client’s site, all dinners are paid for on the corporate card. Now I’ve been a public servant for the last 7 years so you could imagine my shock when they started to order alcohol 😱.

I can definitely see the appeal for working these consulting jobs though. It’s almost like a trap. Basically, everything is paid for, the money is great and you get to travel internationally if you want.

But there is a secret tax which is paid without you noticing if you’re not careful. And that is the impact these jobs have on your health and relationships. It’s so incredibly easier to eat bad and drink wine every night because one, you’re not paying for it, and two, it’s what everyone does and you don’t want to be the only one not going out with the group. And the time away from home sucks!

But I tell ya what, if you’re young without a partner/family (or if your partner is willing to relocate), this type of work can be amazing!

I’m going to try to stay in London 5 days a week for my next contract and we’re only here for a short period of time (relatively) so it’s not quite the same… part of me wants to get back to ‘The Grind’ but the new experiences have been cool so far!

Speaking of new experiences. We attending our first Rugby match in April.

Up the Quins

We also made our way down to Brighton for the long weekend and was blessed with amazing 22c weather 😂. But for real, the weather was actually good and my goodness does everyone get up and about for it. Volleyball, beach ping pong, skating down the boulevard, sunbaking, beach bars were absolutely packed!

When the sun is shining, everyone is up for a good time and the vibe was amazing.

Although I had to laugh that they called this a ‘beach’

It’s more of a rock barrier but let’s not spoil their party 😜

We are trying to stick to one country per month and somewhere in the UK too with the other two weeks off just to recharge.

Our first Euro trip was catching the Euro Star to the land of chocolate, waffles and beer… Belgium!

Even though the UK is apart of Europe… it’s not really Euro in most peoples eyes. I definitely noticed a more European vibe when we arrived in Belgium.

Sir Firebug

The options

The best waffle I’ve ever had!

Belgium beer 🙂

The cobblestone streets are just incredible. Also, I know there’s plenty of them but my God the elaborateness of the churches and the town centre is out of control.

Just staring at the detail of the craftsmanship on these buildings is mind-blowing.

This one must have had over 1,000 individually crafted statues that were nearly the size of an adult (seriously, click on it and zoom in). Can you imagine how much work went into those statues… and there’s over a 1,000 😱

There will never be buildings built like this again because most of today’s buildings are built for profit or are built with taxpayers dollars. Everything about these structures is over the top and not efficient but gee whizz they look cool.


The waffles, beer and chocolate lived up to the high standard I was expecting so no complaints there!

9/10 for would recommend!


Net Worth Update

It wasn’t much but we keep progressing with the net worth in April moving the needle by about $4K in the right direction. The big change, however, is the weightings of our overall net worth have changed significantly.

I refinanced (again) to a new lender (Macquarie) who has given us a really good rate of 3.90% for both the investment loans with an offset. But unfortunately, they wanted a lower LVR to complete the deal and so I had to throw in about $30K extra to add to the loans. I really didn’t want to have to do this but the rate was really good and I was looking at finishing things up with CBA anyway.

They also required the loan to be P&I, not IO. So whilst I don’t really want to pay down the IP’s loans, the rate difference is past the tipping point and it’s more attractive for us to get the cheaper rate vs staying IO (good job APRA).

As a result, you will notice that the pie chart for our net worth has added $30K to real estate equity and our cash holdings have dropped by the same amount.

It’s what happens when the real estate market is going through a downturn. Even though our properties are in Queensland, the major capitals (Melbourne and Sydney) have taken a hit and the banks are being extra cautious.

We will wait for the market to bounce back whenever the hell that is and then sell the IP’s as per the strategy. They are cash flowing nicely so no stress on that part.


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.


We continue our trend of pouring money into A200 in April with another $18K added.

This is diverting from Strategy 3 where we were originally planning to buy LICs if they were trading at a discount (which they are), but I just keep coming back to regulatory changes (the franking refund being axed) that would severely impact this strategy. I’m a big believer in not speculating potential future changes but I just feel more comfortable buying the vanilla index.

There’s plenty of ways around what’s being proposed but for my sleep at night factor, the A200 just sits better.




MAR19 Net Worth $641,673 (+$3,066)

MAR19 Net Worth $641,673 (+$3,066)

I don’t even know where to begin with this months update. So much has happened that it feels like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve logged in to give you all an update on our journey.

I guess I’ll just go in chronological order but I may have a few sidebars here and there.

We were still in Vietnam at the start of March and I pretty much covered all the things we did there in our Feb update… I don’t think there’s anything noteworthy on the last few days.

Oh, one thing I will mention is that we couldn’t really shop anywhere in SE Asia because we were backpacking and didn’t have any checked luggage. This is a much more convenient way to travel around but you sometimes see some killer deals and want to buy stuff but can’t. We had already well and truly maxed out our 7kg carry on limit multiple times when boarding (most of the time getting away with extra weight).

So anyway, because our last stop was in Hanoi and the next two flights (Dubai and London) included checked luggage for both of us, this meant that we could buy a suitcase and do a big shop before we eventually ended up at our new home in cold old England!

We ended up with this haul after one shop at the night markets costing a total of $400 AUD!

The best buys from everything had to be our ‘North Fake’ jackets! They are so incredibly warm and if you look really close you will see the logo is slightly suss but honestly you can’t even tell. We have been wearing them almost daily now in cold AF London and they have been the best! No signs of dodgy materials… yet. I was also really happy with the fake Daniel Wellington watch, looks great and cost around $10 AUD.

We then packed our bags and finished our SE Asai adventure and boarded a flight to Dubai which was a nice in-between stop on the way to England but was a place I had really wanted to see for a while too.

You can go snowboarding in the mall when it’s 40+ outside

A two-story aquarium in the mall



What can I say about Dubai… it was a big shock paying western prices again after we got so used to SE Asia, especially the cost of alcohol!

Dubai definitely lived up to the hype in terms of big is better and a lot of flash and bling everywhere. Each time I looked around at the buildings it was as if every single architect was trying to outdo each other. Many of the 100+ buildings we saw would have probably been world famous if it had been built in Melbourne just because they were so nice looking and unique. But over there it’s just another skyscraper. Everything is so new and luxurious it’s crazy!

I finally met up with someone who reads the blog in Dubai too which was extremely cool! This person reached out to me months ago through my contact me page and I can’t remember the exact details but they mentioned they lived in Dubai and if I was ever traveling through I should shout out.

Well that’s exactly what I did and we caught up in person for a beer

We also went out for dinner with our partners and it was a lot of fun to finally chat with other people from the FIRE community in person.

And you couldn’t mention Dubai without bringing up the Burj Khalifa AKA the world tallest building.

Photos do not do this engineering feat justice! It’s simply incredible to look at something so insanely tall and realise it was built by humans. We have come a long way from the cave!

We were only in Dubai for a few nights before jetting off to London which took roughly 8 hours.

It’s been an absolute whirlwind since landing in London. I really wanted to prioritise finding a job ASAP and not sightseeing straight away. There’s only so much holidaying I can enjoy before itching to get back to work and have some income rolling in again. It does help that I’m getting long service leave until June but still.

Mrs. FB teaching gig is super easy and the pathway for teachers from Australia to London is well established and very mature. They even have a bloody app where you just tick on you’re available and you’ll have school contact you. Super easy!

So she was working within the second week we got there which was very easy. My work, however, was a little bit more unknown.

I wanted to see if I could get into contracting in London. I had always seen that there was plenty of money to be made in Melbourne, but that of course came with a much higher cost of living so I never really entertained that idea. But since I was moving to one of the worlds biggest and most popular cities I thought I’d investigate a bit more. Contracting usually offers a very competitive day rate and is perfect for a travelers lifestyle. You get paid well for short periods (3-6 months) and then you need to find more work. This could give us some flexibility and allow time for traveling Europe.

I updated the resume and started applying for contracts. The first week was a bit disheartening because I hardly had any responses and wasn’t even sure if I was experienced enough to be applying for these lucrative contracts. But I was determined to land one of these jobs and continue doing my research.

My luck turned around in my second week when I found a fanatic website that was made for IT contractors in the UK. I was doing so many things wrong and the forum there helped immensely.

I also ended up connecting with another reader on the blog who was already a contractor here in London. It was great to chat to an Aussie who has made the move over here and had successfully secured a contract and also just happened to be apart of the FIRE community. We chatted over a beer of course.

Another beer with an Aussie Firebug reader in London

I changed my resume around and created my own limited company as an IT consultant which costs around £1,000 all up (with all the insurance and everything). It was a bit of a gamble but it’s what’s needed if you want to land the job.

I ended up with 2 contract offers by week 3 each paying £500 a day and both for 3 months 👊

There’s also an extremely big tax advantage for limited companies as opposed to PAYG which I’ll probably go over in another post. The dividend system is completely different over here and the UK pay way less tax in general than Australia which I am constantly reminded is one of the highest taxed countries in the world.

The other big piece to the puzzle was finding a place to live. I had dreaded spending days on end looking at apartments and rooms only to be disappointed. I knew this part of our trip was going to be hard. The rent is so much and you get so little but it’s the price you pay to live in London I guess.

Fortunately, we got extremely lucky and found a place that was perfect in just the second go! Right near the train station, 25 minutes out of the CBD, cool places all around, reasonable rent (£900/m), came with an ensuite which Mrs. FB had said long ago was a non-negotiable and most importantly… came with great housemates who we have been living with now for 3 weeks.

The rent of £900/m is a tough pill to swallow and was right at the max of what we were going to pay. But the place is brand new (we’re legitimately the first to live here) and it’s a killer area so it makes it easier… it’s still more than double of what we were paying back home though 😢

Setting everything up here in London has been exhausting. Just navigating around, finding a gym, working out the trains, setting up a bank account and all that takes time and energy. After nearly 4 weeks I only now just feel like we’re getting settled and back into a routine.

Traveling takes a toll on your health (for me anyway) but you gain some much valuable experiences from it. I’m honestly loving getting back into the routine of work (ironic for this blog), gym, eating healthy and a normal sleep schedule.

I have also got my computer setup finally so I can get back to releasing content on a more consistent basis.

That’s all the major things that have happened for us over the last month. Time to take it a bit easier now and see if we can start sending some £££ back home to continue our investment goals! The next overseas trip is a few more months away, but we have plenty to explore here in England first that’s for sure.

Net Worth Update

It wasn’t a lot, but we escape March in the black up $3K!

The sources of income that saved us from an incredibly expensive month were my long service leave still generating $1,600 a fortnight, share returns (including some nice dividends 🤑), money made through the blog via affiliates and Mrs. FB getting paid for her teaching gig in London.

We spent a lot last month though. It’s amazing how much it cost when you move into a new place. London has Gumtree thankfully but there are still so many things you need and it all adds up. Combine that with all the costs of traveling around (buses, trains, Ubers) and it’s actually a miracle we came out ahead for March.

Most of the big stuff is out of the way now and hopefully, I can start to get the big consultant checks for the next 3 months which will help immensely. I’ve signed up with Transferwise and plan to send surplus £££ over to my Aussie account so we can continue to invest in shares whilst overseas. I’ll report on how that goes in next months update.


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.


We added $16.5K worth of A200 shares last month to the portfolio. MLT and AFI were at a discount if I remember correctly but I’m starting to become hesitant about the shifting laws in franking credits and just felt more comfortable going with the vanilla ETF index this month. I still haven’t made up my mind about what will happen if the franking credit refund gets axed.

All positives from last month expect for AFI. VAS had some juicy dividends for us while A200 wasn’t too shabby either.

I have seen a lot of talk online about A200’s dividends being lower than VAS and some investor have used this as a reason not to invest in A200 vs VAS. There is a perfectly good reason for A200 to have lower dividends initially vs VAS and that reason is that it’s a new fund! But it doesn’t mean that it will have lower returns. It will just have higher CG vs dividends in its first couple of years which if you ask me is perfect for people in the accumulation phase. After the fund grows to a decent size you will see the dividend yield be almost identical to VAS (slightly different because of A200 vs A300).



FEB19 Net Worth $638,607 (+$16,652)

FEB19 Net Worth $638,607 (+$16,652)

Our travels continued in February stopping by Cambodia and spending the majority of our time in Vietnam.

I know I said this is not turning into a travel blog but some photos are too good not to share, so please bear with me 😅

Temple at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Paradise cave, Vietnam

Hải Vân Pass, Vietnam

It’s sometimes hard to truly appreciate how good we have it here in Australia until you spend some time in a third world country. Just little things that we all take for granted like clean drinking water, maintained roads, social safety nets etc. these are all little things that you don’t really ever marvel at back home. They are just there and for my lifetime anyway, have always been there.

I had a suit tailor made in Hội An which cost me $220 AUD. This was a little bit more pricey then I was expecting but after reading a lot of reviews it seems like there are a lot of dodgy tailors there and it’s better to get one made from a reputable tailor. I mainly needed it for job interviews in London but, like, where else would I have got a perfect fitting suit for $220 AUD. Crazy good value if you ask me!

One other thing I have to mention is our experience in a 5-star resort for two nights. It’s a funny thing to say on a blog like this, but yes, we booked a 5-star resort during our motorbike trip up the east coast of Vietnam.


Because it only cost us $45 AUD a night.

I mean… $45 AUD for 5-stars? C’mon now, we’re getting silly Vietnam. That’s too good to pass up!

The place was called the Vinpearl and we actually stayed one night at their hotel in Ha Tinh, and one night in Thanh Hoa.

These places are sort of in the middle of nowhere but we passed through them on our motorbike journey so it was perfect. Let me tell you, the included breakfast alone was worth the $45 bucks. They have a kick-ass infinity pool that overlooks the city and a spa that you’re allowed to use which includes jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The rooms themselves are huge and it was just so nice to relax in a place like that for a few nights. Yes, we could have stayed in a hostel for like $7 bucks but it was well worth it IMO.

SE Asia has been a blast for the last month and a half and now it’s time to have a quick stopover in Dubai before we touch down in England.

I’ve been looking for jobs but haven’t had much luck yet. A lot of recruiters/companies want to meet me first, but being in SE Asia makes it impossible. Hopefully, once I land I’ll be able to have a few interviews and meetings and get my foot in the door.

Does anyone out there have any experience working in IT in London or have a contact? I’d love to hear from you if you do. Just drop a comment with your email and I’ll follow you up. Happy to chat about anything else while we’re at it too 🙂

Oh, and the Facebook page hit its 1000th like sometime over the last few days

There’s something really satisfying about that little 1K!

Net Worth Update

The sharemarket bounced back last month with Super and shares contributing to the $16K bump for Feb.

Our spendings and income pretty much cancelled each other out which was great. So while we weren’t able to add anything to the net worth in cash, we didn’t go down in that department either.

I’ve been really happy with our spendings over the last month. We’re down to one wage atm because Mrs. FB last paycheck was in January since she’s a teacher and even though we are travelling around and eating out every night. We actually spent less last month than we usually do when at home 😱

I know SE Asia is cheap, but with all the things we’ve been up to, eating out every night, drinks etc. not to mention booking in a few flights for later this year, I did wonder what it would come to for the month of Feb (since I’m not able to check pocketbook every few days like I’m used to).

And I say this with 100% honesty, we have not restricted ourselves in the slightest. If anything, we have been overly indulgent (it’s a holiday after all 😄🌴).

There have been a few activities we’ve seen others do that can blow out the budget which didn’t really appeal to us anyway. Stuff like parasailing, jet skis, theme parks etc. wasn’t the reason we travelled to SE Asia.


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.






We added around $15K to Milton last month as it was trading at the highest discount compared to AFI.

Everything was in the black except AFI which went down overall but had a very nice dividend payout, so thank you very much 🙌

Ended the month with around $1,300 in dividends which is really nice too.




JAN19 Net Worth $621,955 (+$21,341)

JAN19 Net Worth $621,955 (+$21,341)

If you don’t already know by now, we jetted off on our overseas adventure in mid-Jan to begin a new chapter of our lives working and living in the UK.

You can read about the decision and ‘why’ in last months post ‘You Only Live Once’.

I’ve had so many people reach out to me with amazing stories about their travels when they were younger and how it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done. We left in the middle of Jan and have been trecking through South East Asia for the last 3 weeks stopping by Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

And before you ask, no this is not becoming a travel blog 😂 I just couldn’t resist showing off some of our photos.

A cat cafe in Thailand

There are a few things that stick out like a sore thumb when you visit SE Asia. With the exception of Singapore, everywhere has been so incredibly cheap! It’s mostly a reflection of how much taxes we pay in Australia, but drinks and smokes (some of our most taxed items and for good reason) are literally 10% of the price in SE Asia. I mean, even at a swim-up bar where you’d probably be paying $10 for a stubbie in Oz, you could get an ice cold long neck for around $2.

Food and accommodation are also insanely cheap and most of the time it’s really healthy and fresh. Half the reason we went to SE Asia was because of the food. Our favourite place has been Thailand for food (legit have ordered a Pad Thai every meal for around $2.5).

Everything here combined was around $10 AUD

We have been mostly staying at backpackers for around $20-$30 a night (which was cheaper than our rent back home lol) but occasionally we splash out for a ‘luxurious’ night in a fancy place for around $100!

Hostels are such great places to meet people from all over the world. Whenever we say we’re from Australia, one of the most common themes from other travellers is how expensive Australia is to them. It is one of the most expensive places to live in the world! But the advantage that we as Australians have is that we can move and travel to cheaper countries if we chose to do so. Someone growing up and earning a normal wage in Malaysia would almost find it impossible to have a holiday in Australia because of the difference in purchasing power.

We off to Cambodia and Vietnam during Feb and then a stopover in Dubai before starting work in the UK mid-March.

As a result of this travelling, I haven’t had the time to respond to all your emails. So if you’re waiting for your question to be answered, please be patient. I will get around to every last one eventually!


Net Worth Update

Great start to 2019 with a big bump of over $20k!

The sharemarket bounced back from what was a turbulent December. This looks good in theory, but during the accumulation phase of FIRE. We actually want the sharemarket to not go up at all, in fact, it would be better for it to head south whilst we are gathering units are of favourite ETFs and LICs.

Nevertheless, shares and Super (ours are mainly in shares anyway) really beefed up the gains for January and added around $14K into the portfolio.

The other bump from cash was a nice surprise. I’m currently using my annual leave which benefits from leave loading. In a nutshell, I’ll be earning more each fortnight until the start of March which is when my annual leave runs out and I’ll switch over to long service leave at half pay until July. It’s pretty insane that I have long service leave already built up when I’m not even 30 yet. I don’t feel old enough to have it but I’ll sure as hell take it 😁

Mrs. FB got her last paycheck last week (teacher) and won’t get paid again until she finds a job in the UK.

Just because we’re on holidays doesn’t mean we aren’t tracking our expenses too. And would you believe that travelling around SE Asia has, in fact, cost us roughly the same as living back home for the last 3 weeks 😲

And we have been living our best life too, even doing a few expensive things (night safari in Singapore, river tour etc). I met a dude who was from Amsterdam (a student) and he had been living on this tropical island in Malaysia for the last month without dipping into his savings at all! He works at a local coffee house as a barista and gets a free bed plus a bit of money which he can stretch to live on! He only works like 5 hours a day too.



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.






We have a new addition to the portfolio this month…

Australian Foundation Investment Company (ticker AFI) has joined the fold. It’s a LIC that forms part of our strategy 3.

It was trading at a discount so we pulled the trigger. I have to say though, I have been thinking more and more about Labor’s franking credit refund plan as of late and it’s hard to not factor that into the equation when we are buying LICs.

Also, the FI Explorer wrote an extremely well written and researched article about A Skeptical View of Listed Investment Company Investing which I encourage anyone who is considering investing in LICs to read. It’s important to hear both sides of the story and have a well-balanced view on an investment before you put down your hard earnt dollars.

I’m not going to refute the article in this post (I pretty much agree with everything that was written) but will say for anyone wondering, my view is and has always been as part of strategy 3, I’m willing to accept a lower return and diversification in exchange for a more dividend focussed portfolio.

LICs have a ‘focus’ on dividends which I like. I don’t feel easy that there is a human making the investment decisions which is why I split my management risk over two LICs and only buy when on discount. I have also modified my strategy to ensure that I’m never weighted too heavily in LICs with a good portion of the portfolio being in ETFs (currently a 17% to 83% split).

At the end of the day, no one knows if LICs will outperform ETFs or the other way around. I dabble in both and think they are both suited for anyone looking to reach FIRE in Australia.

One thing I think we can all agree on though is the quality of content within the Australian FIRE scene continues to reach new highs. FI Explorer’s article, whether you agree with it or not, was one of the most thoroughly researched with sources to back up his claims articles I’ve read! This only strengthens the movement and welcomes healthy discussion.




DEC18 Net Worth $600,614 (+$34,175)

DEC18 Net Worth $600,614 (+$34,175)

I cannot believe 2018 has come and gone. What an incredible year it’s been!

We spent Christmas locally and thankfully Mrs.AF is from the same town as me along with all her fam so there was no traveling 🙏. We used to travel to Melb a lot on Christmas day to see my sisters and driving around can be a drag.

Christmas time is always awesome because a lot of my old mates that are living in Melbourne come down to be with their families which means I usually see them out and about. It’s great to catch up as everyone has such busy lives these days.

I remember last year that me and a few mates kept saying we should do a trip together and we just need to organise something. Well, Mrs.FB and I booked a trip for NYE in January 2018 because nothing ever happens unless someone pulls their wallet out and organizes shit.

I’d almost forgot that we had that trip coming up so it was nice to be reminded about it at the start of Dec and the whole group was pretty pumped.

We bought in NYE in Mornington Peninsula which was awesome!

So incredibly busy though. You’d hate to be a local when the tourist come and invade your town haha.

Big, big plans for 2019 which I’ll write about in another post but can’t really complain about the last 12 months.

The net worth has risen to heights that I didn’t think was possible at the start of the year and it’s only getting better.


Net Worth Update

Finished off 2018 at $600K 😁😁😁

The properties were the real heavy lifter this year and I was very lucky with IP1 and the re-vals for IP2 and 3 (more on that below).

I couldn’t be any more stoked to finish the year at this number. We’re getting into some serious territory now. I always thought that once we hit around $700K. The last $300K will come really quick because of dat compound interest baby.

We still have a lot of our net worth in cash. But I’m super pump to slowing drip feed it into the markets and see our passive income rise accordingly!



Property was the real MVP this month. I have mentioned in previous posts, but we have swapped lenders (from CBA to Macquarie) to get a better rate and to switch to P&I since the gap between I/O is at a comedic level now. It’s almost… cheaper (payment wise per month) to go P&I.


Because of the switch, Macquarie revalued the two properties and they came back higher than what Commbank thought they were… Which was no surprise to me really, I had suspected that CBA had put a halt on higher valuations for a while whilst they dealt with the whole royal commission thing.

This valuation saved what would have been a very red 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.





Put your hand up if at some point, you thought we were heading for another GFC during December?


The shares portfolio got rocked in December, some weeks we were down $10K+ grand and it looked like it wasn’t slowing down.

This might scare the n00b investor, but we understand that whilst you’re in the accumulation phase (still working and building our snowball). We welcome a GFC like event! It helps us collect more units than you otherwise would each time we buy, and it’s all about the amount you own,
not how much it’s worth.

More units = more income
More income = closer to FIRE

Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to have a quick gander every once in a while and see you’ve made more money in the markets than you might have at your full-time job. But this boost of dopamine that makes you feel good is a false win. Because if the prices rise, next time you go to buy your favorite
ETF/LIC, your money will net you a smaller piece of the pie and ultimately, a smaller income stream in the long run.

I was getting really excited at the thought of a huge crash because as some of you may have read, we are currently cashed up from the sale of IP1. Not only are we still in the accumulation phase, but we also have a big chunk of capital to invest over the next 18 months. I was starting to get itchy with all the prices dropping and at one point was considering investing half our cash holdings.

But as I type this today (mid-Jan), the markets have recovered somewhat so we shall continue with DCA over the next 18 months.



NOV18 Net Worth $566,439 (+$7,080)

NOV18 Net Worth $566,439 (+$7,080)

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about starting a new job because my old one went through a ‘restructure’ back in 2016 and essentially screwed over the team I was apart of.

You can read about that here.

Long story short, I took a $12k pay cut back in 2017 to get out of that environment and move closer to home.

Fast forward 18 months and four out of the six original team members have left that employer (myself being the second to get out of dodge). But more importantly, I managed to climbs the ranks during the last 18 months and have just accepted a new job that pays around $15k more than my old job!

So not only have I managed to get back the loss in pay, but I’m in a better position (income wise) then I was 18 months ago plus it’s only a 10-minute drive from home!


Everything’s coming up Milhouse right… not quite

Yes, it’s more money.

Yes, it’s the job I’ve wanted for a while.

Yes, I feel more important with the added responsibilities… but I can’t help but feel it’s not worth it.

Let me explain.

The new position is in management. It’s something I’ve wanted from a career standpoint for a while. I don’t know about you, but when I discovered FIRE, building a long career as a corporate drone sort of went out the windows and I stopped giving AF about climbing the corporate ladder.

But I have a competitive streak in me that won’t quit. Even though I know I’m not going to be at this job for many more years I just can’t sit back and not give it a crack. Part of me wanted to prove something to my other employer like

‘Hey, check it out. I left you guys 18 months ago and now I’m the manager here getting paid more 🖕’.

So I’ve been acting in the job for around 3 months now (officially got it last month) and it’s so bizarre what I’m willing to give up just for some extra cash and an ego-boosting title. My old job was basically stress-free and I left on time nearly every day. That has now significantly changed. So much more stress and a lot of unpaid hours after work to get stuff done.

I don’t think I’m the only manager with these issues. It seems to be the norm for all the managers and above. The big wigs at the top of the food chain routinely stay back until 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm and might even come in on weekends.

Fuck. That.

I supposed I could have knocked back the job, but I wanted the challenge, extra $$$ and the self-satisfaction knowing that I at least reached this level before I hang up the tie in the corporate world.

I’ve lost on average around 1.5 hours of free time each work day I reckon. This just strengthens my desire to reach financial independence so I can get back more hours in the week. If you’re forever increasing your consumption, you’re going to be chasing more income at the expensive of your life. What do you want? Your money, or your life?

I actually really enjoy the job but it’s a lot more stressful and time-consuming (and now I know why managers get paid more). It should get better as I become more efficient in it.


Net Worth Update

Shares had another bad month. I keep waiting for this GFC 2.0 every keeps talking about. Still sticking to the plan of putting in $15k into ETFs/LICs each month.

We had a decent month in terms of savings which was surprising considering Chrismas is just around the corner and we have been buying presents.


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.



And the onslaught continues… which is actually fantastic am I right? Everything on sale!!!

Because we have so much cash at the moment from the sale of IP1, we are praying for a big crash so we can swoop in.

We bought $15k worth of A200 even though Milton was trading at a discount. This would seem like I’m deviating from Strategy 3.

BUT! After some more research, it would appear that A200 had dropped even further (in percentage terms) than both MLT and AFI. There’s a whole debate on why ETFs can drop more than LICs in a correction but long story short, I decided that A200 was on a bigger sale than MLT and AFI so I went with that 😁



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