January 2019 Journey to Financial Freedom update

Welcome to Passive Income NZ, my Journey to Financial Independence. Every month I share how I am tracking towards financial freedom by providing you with an update of where my portfolio is at and how far I am from financial freedom, and how my spending is tracking. My definition of financial freedom is not really the same as everyone definition. It’s not to just stop working, it is much more than that. It’s about living a more intentional life.

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It’s February 2019 already! I’ve been a bit slack. I mist posting my December update. The months of December and January go so fast here in NZ. There are many summer BBQs, weddings, and days at the beach to attend to. But I did manage to write an end of year wrap-up, so check that out.

I did manage to do some calculations using historical data from the NZX50 and S&P500. Trying to see how likely the concepts laid out in Mr MMM famous posts the shockingly simple maths of early retirement. He introduced me to the financial Independence movement, and I wanted to see if the savings rate and 4% withdrawal rule would work.

Spending in November

I keep making excuses for why certain months are more expensive than others. Such as the excuse that November is the month leading up to the Christmas holidays and that is why it is expensive. And then in December, its the month of Christmas- that’s why it’s expensive.

I’ve come to realize that these are not really my excuses at all. What I am doing each month is justifying my expenses being high. And I was tempted to do it for the month of January too. But in reality- I have overspend again and need to take some accountability in my actions. To try and do better next month.

  • Groceries $823.96
  • Entertainment $48.79
  • Mortgage $1500
  • Investments $2800
  • Eating out $140.86
  • Petrol $676.67
  • Power $568.82

With two power bills coming, the excess amount spent on petrol from the holiday travelling, and excessive spending on consumables (gifts, an electric bicycle kit, and other luxuries), our spending has gone way up. To the point where we have spent more than we earn. This is a first for us in a long time. And it doesn’t feel good.

We’ve cut back the mortgage expense by half so that we can save up for our travel. This is only temporary for the year 2019. Once we get back we will again increase it back to where it was.

Portfolio in November

My portfolio has recovered from the recent down turn and I’m now back in the green. I am still pulling money out of P2P lending as there are too many lenders and not enough borrowers, making it hard to fund loans. A lot of money just ends up sitting idle in my P2P accounts.

For the month of Jan I’ve made a gain of $2771- which includes returns and deposits. This is lower than previous months and I aim to surpass the $3500 for February


As mentioned earlier our goal is to go do some slow travel around South America towards the end of this year. There is still a lot of research to be done. Budgets to be estimated, and leave approved from work. At this stage it’s looks like it will be towards the end of next year. I can’t wait!

Saving money for the sole purpose of saving money is stupid. And I have always believed that traveling while your younger is more enjoyable than when you are older. This trip might affect my goal of reaching 100k by December 2019- but I am determined to do both.

Total Portfolio >100K by December 2019

I’m now 62% towards my stretch goal of investing 100k by December 2019. As I mentioned earlier the month of January saw an increase of investment of $2771. I have 11 months left to achieve mys goal. That means I need to invest at least $3375 per month. I’m going to get February off to a good start and invest $1000 right now.

I hope you enjoyed my financial update. I’m considering including my net worth in a future one. Let me know if you would be interested in that. I still suffer from the stigma of sharing financials with total strangers, it kind of feels like bragging- but in reality I want to help you out by showing how I’m doing, what I’m doing right, and what’s not working.

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