Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

What a month February turned out to be!

The market had a big dip at the start of Feb which I included in my net worth update from last month because I didn’t get around to writing it until the 7th of Feb.

Now, what separates an astute investor from a novice? An astute investor has a plan and strategy they stick to and don’t let emotions get in the way. One of the worst things you can do if you follow the Bogglehead investment philosophies (which I mostly do), is to listen, read or watch too mubo jumbo market updates/predictions usually published by financial noobs who probably don’t invest at all and are living the consumer lifestyle.

The thing is, these media outlets, be it print, online or TV. All really exist for one reason.

To make money.

What do you think sells more. A headline that says “Markets ticking along fine with no need for concern”.

As opposed to “BIGGEST MARKET CRASH SINCE 1929 INCOMING*written by our intern who majored in finance

A lot of people can have predictions without any accountability. Where were all these experts in 2008? Or 2000 when the tech bubble crashed? I pay no attention to what 99.9% of people say about the markets and neither should you. Because at the end of the day, I subscribe to the philosophy of investing regularly no matter what the market is doing.

To quote John Bogle (the founder of Vanguard)


Our Lord and Saviour

Which is why we bought in the middle of Feb just after the dip. This turned out to be lucky because of the rebound that followed after. We were going to buy anyway, the timing was just lucky. And in the long run, it doesn’t even matter that much.


HUGE news for the entire FIRE community in Australia came in Feb when Pat The Shuffler was asked to write a story about financial independence by the ABC.


Pat out there repping the Aus FIRE community like a boss

When I first started blogging back in 2015, I could not find another financial independence retire early blog out there for Australians. There were plenty of money and finance blogs, but no specific FIRE ones (to my knowledge).

Fast forward just 3 years, and now we have one of our very own published in one of the major media outlets in the entire country!

If you’re after a good laugh, have a read of the Facebook comments from that article. People cannot wrap their brains around someone being able to live a great life by only spending $40K a year.

There was actually another dude who wrote a response piece to Pat’s article that was published by the ABC too. I can’t even begin to tell you how factually wrong it is but it’s another example that FIRE will never become mainstream because normal everyday people just don’t get it and won’t even entertain the notion of cutting down their spending habits.

I did an improv podcast with Pat about the whole article the other week to get his thoughts. I haven’t released it as a proper podcast yet (I just wanted to get it up quick).

The FIRE movement must really be making waves among the Aussie journalists because Aussie Firebug himself was actually contacted by one to contribute to a story that she was writing about the community. I actually had already responded to an online request from another media outlet looking for people involved in the movement but it was nice that one journo reached out.

Long story short, I made a few paragraphs in Sydney Morning Herald along with Ms Frugal Ears and Get Money Wise.

Pretty cool right!

I can now add that ‘As seen in’ cool little graphic on the front of my blog even though it was only a few paragraphs 🤣.


Net Worth Update

Back over the $400K mark 👊👊👊!

Decent bump this month mainly due to saving well and the markets bouncing back. We made a nice little gain by buying on the dip too.

We went a little over our budget for the month but nothing too major.



No changes in the properties this month.



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.


The ETFs bounced back after the first week and a bit of Feb!

The recovery was almost instant, but it made me wonder how I would go to see those sort of drops happen for an extended period of time.

I know the strategy that you shouldn’t sell in a bear market. But it will be interesting when push comes to shove to see how both Mrs FB and I respond mentally when we go through a proper crash.

Almost looking forward to it 😜



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Download my personal spreadsheet I use to calculate my net worth each month

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