Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

Forget the savings rates, forget which ETFs/LICs performed the best, forget the whole bloody net worth for a minute…

Whilst all very important in their own right, they PALE in comparison to what else happened in July…



I cannot even begin to try and describe the difference in my mental health now that things have started to open up. Human beings are social creatures! Even if you’re an introvert, we all have our little tribes and as much as Zoom calls try their best, they just ain’t the same as knocking back a few with your mates at a nice rooftop in Peckham.

The other massive plus this month has been the fact that my work has opened up the office again. I’m only a 20-minute bike ride in and with luxuries like dual 27-inch monitors, coffee machines and even free snack foods, it was an easy decision to start doing a few days in the city and a few from home.

A lot of my colleagues are coming in only once a week because it takes them an hour to commute in. I’d probably be doing the same thing too if I were them but since I’m so close, the change of scenery has been spectacular not to mention the water cooler convo’s in the office. There are only around 10-15 people in at once in the office which must be a tough pill to swallow for the company as they fork out over £200K a month to rent the office space (holds around 200 people).

It’s a bit surreal atm in London. We have been heading out to pubs and restaurants and the crowds and lines are nearly all but vanished! I’d love to see some data on how many tourists and ex-pats there usually are in London and what that number is currently. It’s actually the perfect time to knock out some of the touristy stuff because there’s hardly anyone doing it!

Net Worth Update

We had an expensive month and the share market/Super went down so we still haven’t hit our all-time high of $770,141 just yet.

We have officially booked our wedding for next year and a 2-week road trip around England/Scotland for August. I’d like to do an entire post about the wedding costs so that one will have to wait (not everything has been paid for just yet) and we thought it was too risky to try and travel internationally so decided we should explore the UK instead.

I’m actually writing this update on our August road trip which has been great so far (it will feature heavily in the August NW update).

Our discretionary spending shot up heaps in July because a lot of businesses started to open back up again. We spent sweet FA during lockdown but it wasn’t a strategic choice. As I’ve mentioned many times, the trip we’re on atm was never intended to make us money. We wanted to see and do as many things as possible.

And I know there’s some of you out there that go through these updates with laser-like precision who may have picked up on our cash reserves getting a big bump while out Super has gone down. You might have guessed what happened but Mrs. FB was eligible to withdraw $10K from her Super after losing her job during the last financial year. I spoke a bit about it in the early access to Super podcast but essentially, we’re building our financial independence snowball outside of Super for a bunch of reasons and withdrawing made sense for our situation. She is also going to take out another $10K for this financial year too so expect to see a further drop in that part of the pie in the next update.


Ok so this is an interesting topic that I’ve personally been seeing and I’d love to hear from you guys to see if it’s the same or if it’s different.

We would like to buy a house when kids come on the scene and I’ve been watching the local property market of our home town like a hawk since the start of the year. When COVID hit, I set up a bunch of alerts to take advantage of a situation that might have presented itself. I mean, one of the worst economic crisis to hit our economy ever, businesses going bankrupt, people losing jobs. You’d think that house prices would take a hit right…?


I can only speak for my home town because that’s what I’ve been paying attention to but house prices seem to actually be going up along with the demand for them.

I have never pretended to know wtf is going on with any market because as you all should know by now, it’s almost impossible to predict the future, but taking a stab at it, surely this is a result of government stimulus right?

Job-keeper, Job-seeker, $20K FHOG, $25K Home Builder grant, $20K early access to your Super…

These things can’t go on forever… can they?

I’m sure someone is going to point out the hypocrisy of me continuing to invest in the stock market when the same could be said about its recent recovery and trying to time the housing market is the same as trying to time the share market… and to that I say… yeah I agree lol.

But it’s still fun to talk about why we think these things are happening and just what would it take for housing in Australia to take a tumble. Because if COVID can’t shake it… will anything?

I’d love to know your thoughts in the comment section.


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.


The above graph is created by Sharesight

So I actually took this screenshot but didn’t record our net worth until later which has thrown off the numbers here a bit. The long story short is that we did make some money in the share market in July but because I didn’t get around to making this post straight after, the market went down and we ended up lower in this July update then we were in June.

Also, we didn’t make any trades this month because in one of the worst kept secret ever, I have switched to a new broker… more details on this to come.



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