Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

MAY22 Net Worth $1,035,887 (+$5,144)

MAY22 Net Worth $1,035,887 (+$5,144)

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 to be able to retire 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 🔥


Super late update for May.

I’ve had a lot of family commitments lately and work has been surprisingly busy. As a result, AFB content has been on hiatus.

I’ve still been recording podcasts though and I have some really good ones coming up in the next few weeks (the first one hopefully drops this Friday).

I got the spicy flu (COVID) in May which knocked me out for a few days. I felt tired AF for 2 weeks and still can’t shake this annoying cough. Not bad though all things considered.

The timing was pretty bad because I had another BJJ (Brazil Jiu-Jitsu) tournament I was meant to be training for. I lost so much fitness from COVID and only had 2 weeks to get back in shape.

I wasn’t at my best but I still had a great time competing.

Trying my best to secure an arm drag

BJJ tournaments with mates you’ve been training with are the best!

Net Worth Update

All investments were down around -$20K for May with the only saving grace being 2 big invoices that were paid for my freelance gig. That, along with our other income sources miraculously saw the NW grow by $5K this month. I have a hefty tax bill coming up though so the cash reserves will be taking a beating soon 😅.

 

Our cash holdings continue to climb in preparation for a few big-ticket items in the not so distance future.

*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


 

One of our most inexpensive months so far since becoming homeowners!

Shares

The above graph is created by Sharesight

Oooft!

Down $15K ain’t pretty but as all accumulators should know, a bear market is precisely what we look forward to!

We bought $5K of VTS in May as this was the holding most underweight in our portfolio at the time.

 

Networth

MAY22 Net Worth $1,035,887 (+$5,144)

APR22 Net Worth $1,030,743 (-$9,748)

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 to be able to retire 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 🔥


It’s been a while since I logged into AFB/recorded any podcasts.

The whole ASIC fiasco got me down a little honestly. It feels like the whole community that has helped so many people are being vilified because of a few bad apples.

I also felt the need to lay low and watch what others were doing in the FIRE/personal finance space. I’ll be dropping a podcast very soon that will cover my thoughts on ASIC’s new interpretations and how that’s going to affect AFB content moving forward.

In other news.

My freelance business is really starting to take off. I’m getting more business than I want (first world problem) and I’m starting to create a data product that I’m really excited about. This influx of work has been the other reason I’ve taken my foot off the AFB creator pedal last month.

It’s usually a juggling act between AFB content, my business and travelling. Some months I’ll record 5 podcasts and write 3 articles and other months I’ll be lucky to produce 2 pieces of content.

Freelancing has been a blast but I’m slowly getting pulled back into the ‘normal’ everyday office politics and BS. There are always going to be boring/pointless parts of the job regardless of what you’re doing but I’m trying to minimise that stuff as much as possible.

I find the greatest joy in building something that creates value with colleagues who are just as passionate. I’ve spoken about it before but I really like the idea of having a small team that can help me build data products/services and foster a kick-ass work environment! I fell in love with the culture when I worked at a few different startups in London during our overseas trip. Trying to replicate that is high on my goals list for the next decade ahead.

Net Worth Update

Not a whole lot to report with the old NW. It was a down month for shares and Super which saw us slide backwards around $10K.

 

We’re continuing to build up our cash reserve for a new car in the not so distance future. I’m still having a really hard time choosing between a traditional ICE vehicle or a new EV. The longer we wait, the more attractive EVs become. But can we wait another 2-4 years? Probably not 😅

*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


 

Our expenses were up a lot in April. The reason for the big jump was us pre-paying for a trip to Bali. We fly out in late June for 8 days of holidaying 🏝🍻

Shares

The above graph is created by Sharesight

No purchases in April but I’m publishing this article in mid-May and I just can’t resist the current sale atm so we’ll most likely be putting through a buy order soon.

 

Networth

MAY22 Net Worth $1,035,887 (+$5,144)

MAR22 Net Worth $1,040,491 (+$31,701)

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 to be able to retire 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 🔥


A very quiet March for us this year.

We had one of our best friends tie the knot and I’d almost forgotten how much fun big weddings are 🥳 . The wedding was originally scheduled for 2020 which was when we were overseas, so one of the small benefits (for us 😜) of Covid was that the date was pushed back due to the restrictions. We were incredibly lucky to pull off our destination wedding last year but so many of our friends had to delay/push theirs back. I’ve heard that some of the more popular venues have a backlog of more than 2 years 😱. It’s pretty incredible how Covid has affected so many different industries in different ways.

Another thing that’s been on my mind this year is buying a new car. I know I’ve spoken about it but I’m in a real dilemma of choosing a cheap reliable petrol car that will get the job done or waiting a tad longer to splash out a bit on a new EV (electric vehicle).

This decision is partly financial and partly wanting to join the EV revolution that I think is just beginning.

I’m just guessing here but I reckon fossil fuel cars will be dead by 2030. Petrolhead enthusiasts might still be buying them but just look at the trend of renewable technologies. Solar, wind, thermal, storage etc. are all getting better and cheaper and it’s only a matter of time before it makes sense financially to make the switch. It’s already happened with solar panels and with the amount of new EVs being produced each year, batteries will surely be joining the party soon.

There’s a premium to pay at the moment but I just love the self-sufficient concept of electrifying as many things in your life as possible and harnessing the energy of the sun.

Some car manufacturers are also talking about a Bi-directional charging capability for new EVs. So in theory you could charge your EV at home during the day from your solar panels and use some of the battery at night to power your house. Your car could double as a home battery when you’re not using it. I think this could have enormous potential for old degraded batteries that aren’t suitable for cars anymore. Imagine if you could recycle old degraded car batteries into a home storage solution! But I’m no electrical engineer and there might be technical reasons why this is hard to do/impossible so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Regardless, the potential of EVs is exciting to think about and maybe there will be some kick-ass rebates in the not so distant future.

I’d love to know if you’re stuck in the same predicament and what your thought process is in the comments below 🙂

 

 

Net Worth Update

The share market bounced back which was the main contributor to our gains this month.

But the big news from March was our purchase of Bitcoin.

You can read about our decision in this detailed article here, but in a nutshell, we bought Bitcoin for three reasons:

  1. I’m personally interested in this technology and get joy from seeing how it works and participating
  2. Speculative play. The value proposition of Bitcoin is favourable IMO
  3. It’s a vote for a more democratic financial system

There was some talk about the energy consumption concerns of Bitcoin that I didn’t address in my article. And that’s a fair point which is ironic considering how pro-renewables I am.

I posted the below on Facebook which basically sums up how I feel about it:

Bitcoin uses a lot of energy, no getting around that. But what about the energy the current system uses?

Here is a study that suggests that the banking industry uses twice as much.

We still need to address how crypto is powered but most people gloss over the inefficiencies of the current system it could one day replace.

Maybe the energy concerns will be the downfall of Bitcoin, who knows?

But when was the last time a new technology that offers a better solution to a current system was not adopted because it used a lot of energy? And if the report is accurate, it actually uses less than half of the energy it takes for the current system to run anyway! I understand that you can’t really compare the current financial system to Bitcoin just yet but surely you have to acknowledge that the modern-day banking industry uses a shit load of energy to keep the lights on.

Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) could offer a superior solution in the future for less overall energy and I think it’s important that the naysayers keep an open mind with regard to this point.

Also, for the pro-Bitcoin/crypto people out there in the FIRE community. For the love of God, can we stop being so bloody aggressive in the comment section when people have valid concerns about this new technology?

It pains me to see how cult-like some of the responses have been. Especially when someone is clearly just trying to learn a bit more.

Dismissing questions and concerns with “WRONG” or “You just don’t get it, HFSP lol” doesn’t help anyone. In fact, if you can’t explain the reason why you bought Bitcoin or another crypto, odds are you’re only buying it in hopes that you can sell it for a profit later.

One of the FIRE community’s greatest strengths is explaining financial concepts in an easy to digest manner.

 

$12K of Bitcoin has joined the fold.

*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 high month for the blue line.

Shares

The above graph is created by Sharesight

No new shares in March.

 

Networth

Podcast – Semi-retirement with Mrs Firebug

Podcast – Semi-retirement with Mrs Firebug


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Summary

I have a really fun podcast for you guys today.

It’s been 5 years since she was on, but I’ve finally managed to get Mrs Firebug back on the podcast. Sometimes it’s nice just to stop, turn around and look back at how far you’ve come. I thought it would be cool to get a life update from her perspective and just a general chit chat about her experience dropping down to working only 4 days a week.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • Knowing what we know now, what would we have done differently if we could go back in time? (04:08)
  • How has moving to 4 day working weeks impacted Mrs Firebug’s life? (12:26)
  • Lifestyle creep – how has our lifestyle changed? (26:33)
  • How have I changed over the years if at all when it comes to money? (31:06)
  • How we have managed our finances as a couple (37:12)
  • Will Mrs Firebug ever go back to full-time work? (41:17)
  • Mrs Firebug’s tips for anyone with a partner pursuing financial independence (45:33)

Links

Podcast – John Pidgeon – Investing in Property and Tips for First Home Buyers

Podcast – John Pidgeon – Investing in Property and Tips for First Home Buyers


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Summary

My guest today is John Pidgeon. John is probably known best as the co-host of the very popular podcast, ‘My Millennial Property’ and has been investing in real estate for over 20 years. I had so much fun with this episode because John and I bounce around all different topics and we even get some footy chit chat in there as well.

Some of the topics we cover are:

  • How John got involved with property investing (12:27)
  • Bringing up children in a money-conscious household (15:00)
  • Private vs public schools (22:37)
  • John’s first property investment (27:28)
  • His current real estate strategy and what his portfolio looks like (32:34)
  • Are first home buyers currently locked out of the market? (50:57)
  • Tips for first home buyers (55:55)

 

Links

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