Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

I publish these net worth updates to keep us accountable, have others critique our strategy, and show that reaching financial independence in Australia is very doable without winning the lotto, having a high-paying job, or inheriting a wad of cash. The formula for retiring early is simple, the hard part is being consistent and sticking to a plan for many years. The table at the bottom details our entire journey from being $36K in debt all the way until we reach 🔥


I found out one of my mates was diagnosed with cancer this month.

He originally beat it two years ago, but it’s just returned during a trip with his family.

He’s married to his beautiful wife and they have a young daughter.

Fucking brutal.

“A healthy person has a thousand wishes, a sick person has only one.”

– Unknown

Mortality is a great reminder that most of the things we worry about don’t really matter.

And conversely, the simple stuff we take for granted is really goddamn important.

I consume a lot of self-empowering content from very successful and happy people. An emphasis on gratitude always pops up somewhere in the book/podcast.

It only takes 5 minutes and is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

It’s basically a life buff that’s really easy to unlock yet so few people do it.

Kinda like a good night’s sleep. Everyone knows you should prioritise it, but somehow we end up scrolling on the couch for another 45 minutes 🤷‍♂️.

When I heard about my mate’s bad news I had the usual reaction of sadness and empathy for his family.

Life’s really unfair sometimes.

But I also started to think about how bloody blessed my family was. How much of my personal worries and annoyances paled in comparison to life and death.

The art of perspective and gratitude is a gateway to happiness.

What are you grateful for in your life?

Here are my top 5 in no particular order

  • Loving partner with aligned goals.
    I have the best teammate for the game of life and I’m 10 times better as a person with her than by myself
  • My health and fitness.
    Life’s easier/better/more fun when I’m in shape. I get more out of life when I’m fit and it’s a privilege to be able to move my body. Some people are born without ever getting the chance to push themselves physically.
  • My parents.
    I appreciate them more every year I grow older. They gave me a head start in life and showed me the blueprint to succeed. Something I hope to emulate when I become a dad one day.
  • Being born in Australia.
    One of the best countries on earth. More opportunities have been opened just from being born down under than I’ll ever properly appreciate.
  • Our home.
    I spend a lot of time in our home. I wake up every day with an appreciation of where we live and the lifestyle we have. Crashing on our huge couch to watch some shows on our 70-inch TV after a busy weekend never gets old. I have my own office. A veggie garden. A nice patch of lawn. Double garage. Central heating. The list goes on. This is such an enormous luxury that 90% of the world’s population will never get to enjoy.

Whenever I’m feeling down I try to concentrate on what I have rather than what I don’t. It works about 95% of the time.

Net Worth Update

Slight dip in shares with BTC and Super having small bumps.

Our cash reserves continue to take a hit as we keep booking overseas trips 💸

We’re really embracing that ‘Die with Zero’ mentality😂



*Expenses include everything we spend money on to maintain our lifestyle. We do not include paying down our PPoR loan as an expense, only the interest
*Investment income is simply 4% of our FIRE portfolio divided by 12


Another super expensive month after we booked more activities for Japan.



The above graph is created by Sharesight

Diversification is important!

Aussie shares have a tumble but the rest of the world was up.

We didn’t buy any shares in February.


Question: Why do we have A200 & VAS?
We started buying A200 in August 2018 after Vanguard didn’t lower their MER to match A200. Practically speaking, A200 and VAS are almost identical so it makes sense to go with the lower MER. As an added benefit, I like the fund diversification between Vanguard and Betashares. We decided to hold both after making the switch since it doesn’t have any other impact other than some extra accounting work once a year. 


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