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 🔥


Not a lot to report for the month of May.

I’ve been working nonstop on my business and preparing for a big conference at the end of June.

It’s amazing how fun work is when you’re in control and have a personal goal to work towards. What’s equally amazing is how many different hats you have to wear to get other businesses to buy your product.

In the month of May, I’ve been a:

  • Marketer
  • Developer
  • CIO
  • CEO
  • Graphics designer
  • Data Engineer

You’d think that building a product that’s better than anything else in the market would be enough.

But it’s not.

So much of what drives business is relationships. I remember when adults use to tell me that networking was one of life’s most important skills.

“Get out there. Meet people. Get to know them”.

It’s hard for a teenager to fully grasp what this means.

But as I’ve gotten older, it’s become crystal clear that developing relationships is paramount if you want to do business.

Another slightly annoying thing is how much authority LinkedIn has.

I’ve never posted on LinkedIn before. I had a profile years ago but it’s been sitting dormant because I just didn’t see the point. The whole website seemed like a showoff extravaganza.

But it has a level of authority in the niche that I’m selling to (government). Potential clients were telling me it was a red flag that my company didn’t have a LinkedIn presence 🙄.

So I had to put some effort into building a company page and posting some content.

This social media peacocking is part of the game you have to play when you’re new. It just is what it is. And if I want to reach my goals, I can either play the game or give up and try something else.

Wearing these different hats for the company and learning different skills is fun. It’s not what I want to be doing all the time but I absolutely love learning about the human behavioural science of commerce.

I’d wager that 90% of the deal comes from marketing and your reputation/relations in the industry. If you have a good rep and are known to produce exemplary work, half the battle is won. When you’re the new guy on the block, you have to establish authority by building brand awareness and offering a competitive advantage.

This is something I’ve always wanted to have a go at and it’s been a lot of fun so far. I’m hoping that I can land a big contract or two after the conference and hire someone.

My dream of the co-working space is on pause until early next year.

Net Worth Update

Everything went done this month with Super being the only asset class in the black.

A lot of cold hard cash went out of our accounts in May too.

The two big reasons for this were a big tax bill for the company and the cost of the June conference.




*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


I don’t include company expenses in the above graph because we don’t rely on them to maintain our lifestyles. I’ll probably remove company assets (cash) from these updates eventually to make things clearer too.



The above graph is created by Sharesight

I’ve added our Bitcoin holdings to our Sharesight portfolio!

This was really cool because I’ve never worked out the total return we’ve made since 2017. As I type this out today, we’ve had a total return of 4.44%. A lot of that has to do with buying the bulk of our Bitcoin last year and the price of BTC going down a fair chunk since then.

I’m still waiting for businesses to offer the lightning network so we can use our coins in day-to-day transactions. Maybe that day will never come but I’m hopeful for now.

No new purchases again for May. Most of our spare cash is going into the business.


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

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