How tf is it the end of September already!?
Man, I remember thinking about this once in a lifetime Euro trip (that we’re currently on) for years and now we only have a few more months here before we head back home… and that’s if we are even allowed back home 😅. The Aussies in London Facebook group is littered with stories of flights being cancelled at the last minute and there’s already a big backlog of ex-pats trying to return. I’m 🙏 that things open up a bit next year and we can make it back without too much hassle.
On a positive note, we managed to sneak in a late Summer trip to the Greek Islands/Italy in September.
We booked a one-way ticket to Kefalonia with a group of 6 mates for some sunshine, beers and bulk Gyros 😀
The Island was stunning with some of the clearest water I’ve ever swum in. And it was relatively cheap too which was a bonus. I’ve heard that If you go to the more touristy/popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos it’s a lot more expensive. But to be honest, anything that isn’t London is pretty cheap lol. The 6 of us would all go out for dinner ordering a small feast with drinks in a stunning beachfront restaurant and the bill would be ~ €80 👌.
We stayed in Kefalonia for 5 nights and then caught a 30-minute flight to another Greek Island called Corfu to explore that bad boy.
We loved Greece! Very friendly people, the weather was amazing (a lot hotter than I thought it would be for Septemeber) and the food/beer was phenom.
The other couples we were travelling with had to fly back to London but Mrs FB wasn’t ready to leave the sunshine just yet so we jumped on Sky Scanner to look at flights. I’m lucky that I can work from my Laptop in my current role which means we can do a bit of travelling whilst I work which is a big bonus.
We decided to head to Sicily for a few reasons.
- It was hot
- My Nonno/Nonna are from a small town in Sicily and it’s been on my bucket list for a while to see where my dad’s side of the family come from
It’s pretty insane to think about how many families uprooted their entire lives to migrate to Australia all those years ago. It’s something I find hard to relate to growing up in a country like Australia where opportunities are everywhere. But of course, this isn’t the case for most other counties as I’ve witnessed first hand over the last 2 years.
Can you imagine what they would have gone through? Leaving everything they’ve ever known to move to a foreign country that speaks another language, all the animals are trying to kill you and it’s upside down 😜
So when we landed in Trapani, I hired a Vespa and Mrs FB and I took off around the Sicilian countryside to my Italian grandparent’s home town of Calatafimi.
It was a bit anti-climatic when we did arrive at our destination because there’s really not much going on in the town… which is why I guess they decided to migrate in the first place right. But it was very cool to walk the same streets that my Nonno and Nonna did 70 odd years ago.
We spend the rest of the week in Trapani where I worked during the day and Mrs. FB hit the beach. We went out for dinner in the old town that had otherworldly Italian delicacies 😋.
Net Worth Update
Not much action going on here.
The markets had a little slump and we’re back to one income now that Mrs. FB furlough payments have stopped. She might try to find some work before we leave but has actually booked another girls trip with her mates to Cyprus for next week 🙄 so I think it will basically just be my contract up until the start of December and then we’ll both be unemployed 🎉. So I can’t see us saving too much over the next few months. Any gains will most likely have to come from the portfolio.
No changes in the properties this month.
Various data sources (RP data, Domain.com 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 bought ~$34K of VAS last month which might surprise some of you since we have been investing in A200 so heavily for our Australian weighted part of the portfolio. The reason we decided to go with VAS this time around and not A200 is to spread out our risk a little bit. The MER between both A200 and VAS is largely irrelevant for a modest portfolio. And it’s really a race to the bottom with fees anyway so the chances of them going even lower in the future are high. I also like the idea of investing in multiple companies. The A200 piece of the pie was starting to become very large so I just went with VAS this time around.
To be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind this decision. I think both A200 and VAS are suitable financial products for any Firebug to build their snowball with. I logged onto the computer the other week to do our monthly purchase of shares, seen that the Australian part of the portfolio was the most underweight, looked at the A200 piece of the pie and just thought “hmmm… I’m feeling VAS this time” 😂. I’m definitely not an investing genius (as you can probably tell) and our investment strategy is incredibly vanilla and boring.
Other than that, the markets took a bit of a tumble but nothing out of the ordinary (especially this year).