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Friday, 1 December 2017

The Year of Investing - November 2017


November is the real start of summer! And it has been the start of businesses ramping up for Christmas, and my investments have all performed admirably. I've been completely disengaged from this blog dealing with professional turmoils at work, but I'm cautiously optimistic this shake up will lead to some career leaps, more money and more responsibility if I can play my cards right - and not lose my temper at the guy who seems determined to snatch the same opportunity.

Friday, 3 November 2017

The Year of Investing - October 2017


What a month! It was crazy expensive, I saved a tonne of money and I went out, with people! I'm not a huge social butterfly but I'm always up for a good costume party. There was a hint for summer for a day or two, and then winter laughed and laughed and took over again. At least the finances went well.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Budget Reboot Challenge: Good Ol' Fashion H20

Hello Budget Reboot, have you tried turning it off and on again?

Money saving posts are always the same - stop doing this, stop buying that, stop having any fun and live a sad deprived life while watching the numbers in your bank account tick up and up. Of course, they don't frame it that way, but when someone asks you to give up something you love in the name of money, we get pretty defensive.

Instead of 'giving up' let's try something new. Hit the refresh button on your spending habits with this Budget Reboot Challenge.

This month's challenge: Replacing all your bad habits with a glass of water

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Miniature Homesteading: I got worms!

I dream of a home in the country, with sprawling green meadows filled with cows. A dog or two sprawled at my feet and hens clucking in the distance while I drink fresh coffee with a dash of today's milk. I picture an orchard with every kind of fruit tree, with my hens running and digging under the trees. I dream of a wide open space where I can walk the dogs for an hour without leaving my own land. In my mind we have our own pond for fishing, and a creek full of frogs that dries up in summer leaving behind a bed of washed pebbles.

But right now I live in the suburbs on a teeny tiny 140m2 block. This doesn't mean I've put my homesteading dreams on hold.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

DRP drip your way to riches

Investing can be tricky, daunting and just plain hard. In many cases the struggle doesn't end when you finally buy an investment, because then you need to manage it. You watch the value of stocks, make sure rentals have a good tenant and deal with the constantly changing value and cashflow.

One way to get the most out of your investments with minimal effort is with a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP)

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Year of Investing - September 2017

September went so well I set myself an investing stretch goal! It may have been a quiet month on the blogging from, but the weather has turned wonderful, my accounts are trending steadily upwards and life feels good.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Focus on your day job

A popular idea in the personal finance sphere is to start a side hustle. An online business, babysitting, or even a blog like this one can bring in a couple of hundred a week if done right. Of course it can also bring in next to nothing if you don't do it right (ask me about my blog profits ;) ). However we (almost) all have day jobs that are where we make most of our money.

Given a little love and attention these day jobs can make us a lot more money than any side hustle - for the same number of hours a week.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Budget Reboot Challenge: Fast fashion

Hello Budget Reboot, have you tried turning it off and on again?

Money saving posts are always the same - stop doing this, stop buying that, stop having any fun and live a sad deprived life while watching the numbers in your bank account tick up and up. Of course, they don't frame it that way, but when someone asks you to give up something you love in the name of money, we get pretty defensive.

Instead of 'giving up' let's try something new. Hit the refresh button on your spending habits with this Budget Reboot Challenge.

This month's challenge: Clothes Shopping

Friday, 15 September 2017

You should be buying cheap shit

Just last week I said that you should stop wasting your money on shit. A big part of that is not spending money on cheap shit that falls apart after a couple of uses and you have to constantly replace.

I'm not changing my mind, but sometimes you really should buy cheap, second-hand, knock off shit before you buy the expensive top of the range good stuff.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Acorns - 12 month wrap up

Acorns are offering double sign up bonuses for September, which has drawn eyes there way and lead to them being crucified in the media with sensationalist headlines. But after a almost a year I feel like I've got the right to say, they ain't that bad. In fact, the returns are decent, the apps easy to use and the mindless investing structure is a great starting point that everyone should get behind.

If you need convincing, here's an almost 12 month wrap up.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Stop buying shit

Shit, slang something inferior or worthless.

This is where the frugality movement and the minimalism movement come together and truly shine. Because you can be a minimalist with only a few things, but they can be crappy things you have to replace every two weeks. Or you can be frugal and buy something on super special, but maybe you didn't really need it.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

The Year of Investing - August 2017

Smashed my savings goals and smashed my investing goals. A month of low bills and upward trending markets worked out wonderfully!

Friday, 1 September 2017

The oft forgotten value of doing absolutely nothing

The average adult makes 35,000 decisions a day. Ranging from breakfast, to business deals, to whether to bother to find matching socks, to how to politely tell your annoying coworker to chew with their mouth shut, we do a lot of thinking.

I'm going to bluntly and honestly say I'm tired of thinking! Instead I challenge you to embrace the oft forgotten value of doing absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The sky isn't falling, and you should be investing

I generally avoid mainstream media. I realised very young that most news shows are interested in showing you all the horrible things happening in the world. They devote 90% of an hour news block to tell you about all the bad things that will never affect you (Do we really care that a flock of chickens escaped and are running amok in a caravan park?) and the other 10% to sports.

Unfortunately this obsession with the worst news has burrowed into the minds of most people, and turned us all into hopeless pessimists. Investors are convinced the next market crash is right around the corner, and sitting on their piles of gold, waiting for the best time to invest.

That time is now.

Friday, 25 August 2017

The Holy Trinity of Financial Success

For most people three primary expenses dominate their expenses - housing, transport and food. 

In my case they take up 37.5%, 0% and 6% of my expenses - in that order. Lower expenses are a key path to Financial Independence, which is why finance bloggers spend so much time talking about food.

By keeping my expenses lower, I'm fast-tracking my path to Financial Independence, and I'm doing it on a pretty cushy lifestyle.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Budget Reboot Challenge: Eating Meat

Hello Budget Reboot, have you tried turning it off and on again?

Money saving posts are always the same - stop doing this, stop buying that, stop having any fun and live a sad deprived life while watching the numbers in your bank account tick up and up. Of course, they don't frame it that way, but when someone asks you to give up something you love in the name of money, we get pretty defensive.

Instead of 'giving up' let's try something new. Hit the refresh button on your spending habits with this Budget Reboot Challenge.

This month's challenge: Eating Meat.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Can you retire yet?

Financial independence is a wonderful dream. At the start it's overwhelmingly exciting to realise that you don't have to work until you're old and grey. You start cutting costs left right and centre and see your bank balance sky rocket. You dabble in investing and start to understand annual returns, dividend reinvestments and rental statements. You automate your finances and confirm you're on track to freedom! 

And then the waiting begins...

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Five things you wont find in a finance bloggers budget

There are a lot of things in the world worth paying for. Good food, warm blankets, a roof over your head and comfy bed to snooze in every night. There are also a lot of things that you should never waste money on. Some are ridiculously overpriced, some are unfair, and some have free alternatives lying around.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Save money, the environment and your vagina

As a female, I statistically spend 25% of my time walking around with my knees clenched together because it's That Time of the Month. I always resented that not only is it uncomfortable and inconvenient to have a period, but it was expensive as well. I used to spend $10 a month on tampons.

A couple of years ago I made the switch to using a cup, and I have never looked back.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Let's talk about finances and taboos

Despite our lives being ruled by the things we do to get money and the places we spend that money, getting people to talk about their income and outgoings seems impossible. Discussing investment strategies is either considered really boring, or some hush-hush back room conversation that can only be had with your closest confidants. I was in a 5 year relationship where bringing up money was met with avoidance, hostility, and a pretty derisive attitude that made me feel worse than Scrooge McDuck because I was thinking past next weeks pay.

Friday, 4 August 2017

The Year of Investing - July 2017

One month down on the year of investing! I'm pleased to say I'm ever so slightly ahead of my investing goal, but it was an uphill slog with the markets fighting against me!

I haven't quite hit my savings goal, but I think we're off to a good start for the year.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Triple Income, No Kids: Is Polyamory the Trick to Getting Rich?

We've all seen the acronym 'DINK' (Double Income, No Kids) but the other day I saw someone post 'TINK"s - now they meant Two Incomes, No Kids, but it got me thinking - how great would it be to have Triple Incomes pushing towards your financial independence goal!

This thought lasted about five minutes before something else caught my attention, but then a couple of weeks later I was watching "You Can't Ask That" on ABC iView and they had a segment devoted to Polyamorous people and their partners.

Which got me thinking again, and the idea has been bubbling in the back of my brain: Is Polyamory the trick to retiring early?

Friday, 28 July 2017

Epic Food Week: Perpetual Food Plan

Food. For many Australians it accounts for the second or third biggest chunk out of their budget, after housing and/or transport. Poor food choices are also leading to an increase of “lifestyle” diseases, such as Type II diabetes and heart disease. Four Australian personal finance bloggers (Adventures with Poopsie, All About Balance, Enough Time To... and yours truly) decided to get together and offer an in-depth look at how we all “do” food in our households. It doesn’t matter whether you like to plan or just wing it, whether you have gourmet tastes or enjoy simple food, or whether you love or hate cooking; we’re sure you’ll find some tips and tricks to eat healthier and find ways to save.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Free books with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Do you like books? I like books. Do you like paying for books? No, me neither. I re-read books time and time again to keep my book intake up without thinning my wallet.

Normally this is where you'd get a recommendation for a magical place called a 'library'. Except to get to a library you have to go outside where there are people, or wait weeks to borrow an e-book.

Thankfully, there's another option!

Friday, 21 July 2017

July Highlights - Best Posts in the Blogosphere

Happy Friday! It's been a crazy hectic week in the FIRE household, which means it's time for another blog appreciation post!

I've been swamped with freelance work, joined the board for my Roller Derby league, and my 9-5 job has picked up. Unfortunately, I haven't had any time for writing posts, but I've read some great ones, let me tell you some of my favourites.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Frugal date nights: Board Games

With winter well and truly set in frugal dates like fishing, picnics and hikes are few and far between. Mr. FIRE and I are still looking for ways to spend quality time together and while they largely involving building a nest on the couch, enjoying the wine and cheese and projecting a movie straight onto a wall sometimes we like something a little more intensive.

We play board games. Somehow we're still together....

Friday, 14 July 2017

Can you get filthy rich by spending more money every year?

I want to retire early and take back my free time. I'm willing to forgo expensive luxuries to get there earlier, but I don't want to retire to a life of poverty and pauperism.

However, if I have a couple of years of ridiculously lean living at the start of my journey, it could supercharge my retirement accounts.

So I feel like I'm presented with two choices. I could live the life I want now - knowing it will take longer to get to FIRE, or I could live like a monk for a couple of years to supercharge my investment accounts, then ease into a slightly spendier, but still frugal existence that I could maintain for many years of retired bliss.
 
Let's investigate this idea with our case study participants, John and Cindy.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Pay less tax in Australia - the legal way

Happy financial new year everyone! It's time to do your tax return - which for most of us means getting some money back in our pockets.

The average person pays almost $17,000 a year in tax - how great would it be to pay less? Here's some simple, legal tricks to pay less tax.

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Year of Investing

The time has come to set new goals for the new financial year! After spending the last seven months building up a hefty $15,000 emergency fund, it's time to move on.

It's time to start the Year of Investing!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Goals Finale'! June 2017

It's time for the final wrap up! After seven months of intensive savings to build an emergency fund, time is up.

I saved a lot, spend comfortably, and invested a little along the way.

Read on for details!

Friday, 30 June 2017

I want to ride my bicycle: For health and wealth

The biggest change to my life since moving house three years ago is that I can ride my bike to work every day. Apart from saving a bucket load of money I feel so much better. And hungrier. And a lot more likely to die. And I sing a lot of Queen.

Before I became a bike rider, I was pretty terrified about the concept of riding on roads with cars, who are obviously jerks according to most of the comments on news articles. My route to work takes me down the main road of the CBD, which is also where the majority of the busses are picking up and setting down. The bike lane is almost permanently blocked down that road, which means easing around the busses and out into traffic.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What's up with this 'Vanguard' thing

Have you heard of this 'Vanguard' thing? And you've maybe heard of index funds? If you've been around the early retirement sphere for a while you've probably stumbled across them. Unfortunately most bloggers seem to assume you know what that means.

I'm not going to pretend to be a tax expert, or a genius investor, but I'm going to give you a whirlwind tour of why I invest in index funds, and why I use Vanguard.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Frugal Fooding

Have you ever tried being an adult? It's a truly terrible idea and I recommend that you stay a teenager for as long as possible. It's great to know everything!

But one horrible day you'll realise that you sort of need to adult. Generally when you realise that if you don't organise dinner, no one else will do it for you.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bake yourself rich

There's currently a list on my whiteboard that reads like a dieters bad dream. White choc blueberry, Triple choc, Apple cinnamon, Banana Coffee, White choc passionfruit... These are all the muffins I am making or have made with my fancy new silicon bakeware.

Oh, and I'm getting rich doing it.

Friday, 16 June 2017

For the love of mortgages

“Word nerds will notice an eerie root word in ‘mortgage’ — ‘mort,’ or ‘death ... The term comes from Old French, and Latin before that, to literally mean ‘death pledge.'” ref and yet, despite this roughly 70% of Australians are living with a mortgage.ref

In the personal finance sphere destroying debt is a common goal. Bloggers celebrate living debt free, and lament every dollar lost to paying back loans. Every dollar in interest repayments is a dollar out of your pocket.

There's more to it than that though, which is why I'm not actively paying down my mortgage.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

unF*ck your budget

I am guilty of the same crime as every other personal finance blogger - a crazy over complicated budget with too many categories and auto-calculations and future projections. It can be pretty overwhelming even to me.

Thankfully you only need to do one teeny tiny thing to move your budget from panic stations to responsible adult.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Invest in the Movies!! (Yes, Really!)

Movies have giant budgets and giant earnings, not just from theaters but from spin-off books, kids toys, terrible terrible video games, and less-terrible, sometimes-good mobile apps. When I was contacted to have a look at reviewing a crowd-funded movie investment, I assumed it was a spam message because investing in movies is for multi-millionaires in Hollywood. But it's not a scam, it's open to the little guy and now you can now invest in a movie. How cool is that!


Lights, Camera, Investing!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Date night: Gon' Fishin'

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach him to fish and he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day. Teach a FIREy Lady to fish and she'll inside on dragging you out to the beach on a sunny afternoon to catch a million tiny fish, throw them all back and call it a brilliant date.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Goals Update: May 2017

What a month. Record income, low expenses and bonus mortgage payments all came together to mean the dial didn't shift much. We also had a trip to the emergency room resulting in surgery, and I flew out to Queensland for a couple of days.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Yes, you should travel in your 20's... just not very far

Australian millennials are currently inundated with advice on how to save for a new house. It boils down to 'stop having smashed avocado brunches' and 'who said you can travel to Europe when you should be saving for a house?!'. This advice completely ignores the fact that the average house is now seven times the average wage, where it used to be only four times. Sure our interest rates are a lot lower now, but saving for a deposit is harder.

Added to that is the question of 'If I save now, when can I start living?' and the extra bit that baffles older generations, some millennials don't want to buy a house.

Friday, 26 May 2017

May Highlights - Best Posts in the Blogosphere

Morning Everyone! It's been a hectic week and as you read this Mr. FIRE and I are sitting in a hospital waiting for him to go in for knee surgery. This will be our third winter in a row with one of us hobbling around on crutches so we really hope it's the last.

Unfortunately this also means I haven't had the chance to write anything for today's update. I tapped this out on my phone in the waiting room, please forgive the formatting and lack of pictures. Instead of my thoughts, here are my favourite personal finance posts from May.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Spend you dollars, on more dollars!

Let's do some maths, baby! I'm going to talk about money, using your money to 'buy' more money, and investing. Plus I get to play with charts and graphs.

We're going to talk about interest, starting with the normal boring kind, then the compounding kind. Most people encounter interest in two ways - banks will pay you for leaving your money in an account. They will also charge you interest on loans.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A new way to invest: Dollar Value Averaging

Investing seems like a big scary monster when you haven't done it before. The idea of throwing in your hard earned cash and then crossing your fingers and toes that the next market crash isn't around the corner is enough to give anyone goosebumps. But there are a few tried and true methods to mitigate some of that risk.

I've just learned about a variant on an old favourite, Dollar Value Averaging is here to challenge Dollar Cost Averaging for the easiest way to plan your investment buying.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Missing the trees for the FIRE forest

In the Financial Independence world we are chasing such big goals and such big amounts of money we can forget the small things. I've been on this journey for a couple of years, even if the blog only started back in December and I have to say that it's full of big boring plateaus. Long stretches of time where it feels like you're running in place like a Looney Tune, nothing is changing and that great life you are chasing is stupidly far away.

Occasionally I need to remember to stop and take stock of what I have, what I have achieved and remind myself why I'm running down this crazy path and not sticking to the road more traveled.

Friday, 12 May 2017

What is your rubbish worth?

Thursday night is bins night in my neighborhood, but for the third or fourth time in a row, we aren't putting our bins out. Mostly we're forgetful and lazy, but more importantly we can get away with it because we generate minimal trash.

I'd love to say that we are super conscious of the rubbish we generate, but in reality we're just really good at turning trash into things we need.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

3 ways to shorten your mortgage right now

Buying a house is exciting. Moving in is exhausting and exciting. Decorating is frustrating and exciting. Renovating is terrifying and exciting. Realising you can walk naked around your house is liberating and exci-.. let's leave that one.

You know what's not exciting, staring down that 30 year ball and chain of your mortgage and the insane amount of interest your are going to pay. Here's three ways to knock years and tens of thousands off your mortgage.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Brickx: The Real Estate Investment Trap

So you're scared that you'll never buy a home? According to domain.com 20% of people will retire with a mortgage debt, and many millennials have 'given up' on ever owning a home.

To fill this void, a new company called 'Brickx' has started up. For less than $100 you can buy a single share of a rental property (known as a Brick) and get your first step on the property ladder.

I have so many problems with this product, I have decided to devote a whole post to it.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Goals Update: April 2017

Happy May! Just two months left to hit my goal. Where did the time go, seriously, can someone check behind the couch?

Friday, 28 April 2017

Adventures in shared finances: The case of the missing rewards points

I should open by saying the Mr. FIRE and I keep our finances separate. This is pretty important to household harmony, because it means when I come home and find packages on the doorstep I can shrug my shoulders and think "when I'm retired and he heads into work on a Monday morning, I'm going to remind him of this." I'm a wonderful girlfriend aren't I?

One thing we do share is a FlyBuys account. Enter the case of the missing rewards points.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Money quotes you missed in pop culture

Did you know that popular culture is full of inspirational quotes about finances? They're hidden in plain sight. From Shakespeare, to Monty Python and back again, the world is full of pearls of wisdom, and I've collated some of the best, just for you. Have a read, your eyes will be opened, your horizons expanded. You will never view the world the same way again.

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