Wow, it’s August already. The month has flown past again. I’ve been sitting on the side watching all the fun that has been happening at FinCon, and have been quite envious. Maybe next year!
This month I wanted to get to the bottom of why people want to retire early. I started by thinking about what my motivations were to retire early. Then I started to look around the internet to see what others were saying.
I’ve come to think that it mostly comes down to having the free time to pursue the things we love. Be it spending time with family, travelling, or learning, helping others, or having the ability to run your own schedule. A large chunk of my motivations also revolves around lowering the stress in our lives.
To this end, I am more motivated than ever to make this work. I have started doing a bit of anecdotal research on the returns vs fees for some local index fund. I have also re-balance my investments, getting rid of the ones with high fees, and opting to invest more in low fee index funds.
Looking around, and to my own experiences, I think it is so hard for people to save because access to credit is so easy. Society is drowning in mortgage and consumer debt. I wrote a post to remind myself that I should never buy anything on impulse, with or without debt. Rather focus on getting rid of it.
The last piece of debt I have is our mortgage. We have paid off the student loans. Haven’t acquired any consumer debt. So we are in a fortunate place. But there are mistakes that can be made with mortgage debt. And there are tips and trick on paying it down as fast as possible.
I think that we have employed most of the tips and tricks, but if you have one, I would love to hear about it.
Spending in August
August has been a quiet month in terms of spending. That is a good thing on the one hand but on the other hand. We haven’t spent much because work has kept us both super busy.
I have managed to get my garden growing. Lettuces, tomatoes, capsicum, beans, peas, and leaks are all starting to grow. Tending to a garden seems to be a good way to unwind after a long day at work.
And since daylight savings has come around for New Zealand, we will have more light hours in the evenings to pursue these types of hobbies. And we might even manage to get time to go for a walk after work again.
So our spending for August:
- Groceries $553.25
- House expenses: $171.62
- Utilities $378.24
- Mortgage $4000
- Investments $3000
- Petrol $351.06
Everything seems to be on track. Our petrol expenses are going up, fuel is becoming more expensive. I really need to get the bike out of the shed, not that spring is here and summer is on its way.
Portfolio in August
Here is how my portfolio looks for September
Despite there being warnings of a downturn occurring soon by the media, my funds seem to be performing well. I think it might be a different story by the end of the year. Either way, everything is staying put at this stage.
I managed to invest another $3000 this month, not as much as last month. But it is still progress.
I’ve been looking at other investment options. Mostly real estate. I really like the idea of using leverage, but I just don’t think it is a good time to buy at this stage. If there is a downturn, I think more opportunities will present themselves.
Then again, I don’t know if the rule, “it’s not about timing the market, but time in the market”, holds for real estate.
Goals for 2018
Total portfolio >$50,000
I smashed the goal of getting to 50K in August!
Total Portfolio >100K by December 2019
I am still finalizing the details on my $100k invested by August 2019. So far 12 months to go and 50k to invest. Excluding returns, I need to invest $4166 every month. So for October, I will be aiming for that! I’m already $500 down.
Hopefully, I will get some time to work some numbers this month to make a better plan. I also have to incorporate some saving money for a trip we are planning for the end of 2019.
That’s it for September. Remember, I write these reports to keep myself focused and on track. Everyone’s situation is different and I am not here to gloat. I would suggest that if you want to improve your situation then maybe take some time every month to go through your own finances.