Life Update: April 2021
I'm a bit late to the table with the April life update. Heck, I only just published the HUUUUGE life update posts. It's fair to say I've been slacking with the blog of late, but we have moved across the world and all... Still, no excuses! We're back for another life update.
The start of April marked two weeks for us in our new temporary accommodation. It was an older style house that had been renovated recently, for the purpose of becoming an Airbnb for a short while. It was fully furnished as well, so we didn't have to rush to kit out a house with the essential furniture items.
We've made a plan to be much more deliberate with what furniture, appliances, décor and such that we buy for a home this time around, and having temporary accommodation for two months meant we could take our time with selection.
Allanah has made a "mood board" where we can dump images and inspiration for what we want each room to look like. So far the theme that suits our desired style is known as "Scandinavian". If you look that up you'll see images of crisp neutral colours and light woods. It's probably not the cheapest style out there but we don't really care. We know what we like and we're prepared to shell out a bit more cash for quality, stylish pieces.
Given that I'm writing this in May (actually it's June 1st... Shhhh) I can reflect and realise that we probably should have started purchasing furniture while we were still in temporary accommodation, because the whole country seems to be on a shortage of absolutely everything! We've had to wait a few weeks to what's said to be upwards of a few months for some pieces to arrive, like our couch for instance. Lesson learned I guess.
Looking back on April it was pretty jam-packed, much like March was. This time though, we had a number of visitors come and stay with us instead of us zipping around the countryside to see other people. Our first guests were Allanah's brother Alec, his girlfriend Brydie and Allanah's father, Darryl.
They were with us for close to a week and we took the opportunity to visit a few local wineries. We made a day of it and visited 3 in total and they didn't disappoint. Allanah had arranged a vehicle to chauffeur us around for the afternoon and our driver, Liz, was an absolute gem. Liz chilled out and read a book as we toured the grounds and sipped fine wine. It made for a very relaxed day indeed.
All of the wineries were fantastic but our favourite was the first one we visited; Heifer's Station. The kids came with us for the day and they had a blast there with all the animals, including pigs, cows, goats, and more.
They wandered around and took selfie's with all the animals, then played a bit of handball with a few other kids they'd never met before. Definitely a relaxing atmosphere when everyone is having a good time. We also bought way too much wine by the end of the day.
Here's a few happy snaps of the day!
That weekend wasn't the last of our wine adventures though. We backed it up again in two weeks time with another friend who came to visit us. Our friend Matt (known as "Chew" to us) stayed with us for 4 days from Friday to Monday and we made sure we saw the sites of Orange during those 96 hours.
Friday was a night out followed by a few wineries (again) on the Saturday and finished up with a chill Sunday session meeting a few of Chew's old university friends from years ago.
Safe to say it was a super fun weekend where we got to meet some great people and have a few too many drinks! It took about a week to recover and catch up on sleep after that weekend but it was well worth it.
Lastly we had one of my best mates pop in all the way from Perth. For those of you who don't know too much about Australian geography, Perth is on the western side of the country while we are all the way over on the east. It's a touch over 3000km's distance, and he drove the whole way!
It'd been 2 years since I last saw him so it was good to catch up for a few days. Unfortunately it wasn't over the weekend so we couldn't get out and about as much as we would have liked but it was still a good time nonetheless.
Been a while since our last savings update... and to be honest there isn't much of an update. If anything, it would be a spending update and not a savings update.
As I've already mentioned, we've been dipping into our savings to set ourselves up in our new town and soon to be new house. Where I'd like to boast an impressive savings rate of greater than 30%, sadly this won't be the case for April and it will likely be the same for May and June as well.
NET WORTH SNAPSHOT
Even though we haven't saved a cent I still track our net worth each and every month. It's an important metric that you should keep an eye on to see how your wealth building journey is trending. Another important note is that it doesn't always have to trend up.
Wait?! What?! It's okay if your net worth drops? In the short term, yes, but only if you've planned for it. While it's not nice to see our net worth declining month on month, it doesn't stress me out like you think it would. Why? Because we've planned for it.
Since prepping for our move back to Australia in January this year, our net worth has decreased by over $76k. Yes, that's a lot. Here's the rise and falls:
Paid out by my previous employer
Canadian home was appraised at a higher value
Sold our Canadian home
Handed our leased car back - $56k (we shouldn't have counted this value in our net worth in the first place)
Mazda CX-5 (Allanah's car) - $21k (technically not a fall because it's an asset too)
Hyundai I-30 (my car) - $6K (same with this)
Furniture & appliances - somewhere close to $30k
We knew all of those falls would occur as part of our moving process, and that's exactly what our savings has been used for. We haven't taken on any debt and still have a solid $30k+ emergency fund. To me, that's the most important part - no more debt. If we didn't have the savings set aside for this purpose we'd have to lower the amount and/or the quality of what we've purchased so far.
Another good news story is that I opened a brokerage account with SelfWealth and have shuttled $12k into diversified Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that track broad market indexes across the globe. I'll dedicate a blog post to my experience at some point this year so be sure to keep your eye out for that post when it comes.
As you can see it's been another busy month for us as we settle into our new life but we're loving it. I really need to pull my finger out and write a blog posts or two about something other than a damn life update! But for now that's all you get. Hit me up with any questions. I love talking about this stuff.
Blake - FIRE with a family