Life Update: February 2022
It's been quite a while since I wrote a life update post. In fact, it was way back in December - for Octobers life update... Definitely slack of me not to keep up to date. But here we are, mid-March, writing a blog post for February's life update.
We've had a relatively busy period from November to February. It's the time of year when we wind down (or up?) for the holiday season, spend more time with family and friends, and just enjoy the summer time!
At the start of Feb is my birthday. I turned 33 this year - I know, getting old - and we celebrated at home with just the four of us. I was at work the whole day and much to Allanah's disgust, I didn't tell anyone at work that it was my birthday. It's not really a big deal to me, but she likes to celebrate these things.
We didn't have a cake, instead we had ice cream from a local gelato bar. Allanah placed a few candles in the ice cream to make it feel more birthday-ish.
Another big event for Feb is the kids starting the school year. This year, Addi had to move from grade 2 to grade 3 which meant she had to move to a different part of the school. Understandably scary for an 8 year old. Callum is now in year 6 and loving being the king of the kids!
Allanah is creative and has the kids make signs to hold up before their first day of school. I think these will be cool to look back on when they're older in life. I love it how Callum's goal for the year is to "have a good teacher". Totally out of his control but it's his goal nonetheless.
February is also the month that we arrived in Australia back in 2021. Hard to believe we've been back in the country for a full year already. Time flies when you're having fun!
We flew into the country on the 19th Feb for our 2-week isolation requirement back in 2021. Fast forward to Feb 2022 and now the kids have spent a year at school, made new friends, we've made our new town our home, and much more.
We're loving being back in Australia, and in particular our new home town. We've admittedly indulged in the lifestyle a bit, but who can blame us! The wine and food are fantastic.
The town also had a small fare, complete with rides and activities for the kids to enjoy. I don't go on any rides so I'm just the packhorse who carries things around for the day. I did have a bash at a bit of putt-putt golf though! That's my kind of activity. It doesn't involve fast turns or 5G forces. Callum thought it was the best activity of the day.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that Allanah and I have been together 18 years in February. That's pretty crazy to think of, given we're only in our early thirties. She calls this our "real anniversary", because without that date, we wouldn't be where we are today.
And we certainly wouldn't be where we are today if it hadn't of been for Allanah's grandmother! She was the start of the generation. She turned 70 in February and we zipped down to spend the weekend with her and the family to help celebrate the milestone occassion.
She lives on a bit of land, so we took the opportunity to hit some golf balls around the back paddock. Apparently the lighting was "too good not to get a photo", so the kids and I had to pose for an impromptu photo shoot.
We didn't save any extra cash in the month of February. In fact, we've stayed pretty steady in our savings total for a few months now. Ideally we'd be saving a fair chunk towards a house deposit, however we haven't fully committed to that goal just yet. That's just me being honest.
If we made saving a priority, I'm sure we'd achieve whatever target we set. Instead we've been a bit lax with the budget side of things since moving back to Aus. We haven't gone backwards, we've just stayed still.
Deliberate lifestyle inflation is definitely a contributing factor for us. Living in rural remote areas before now, we didn't have access to a plethora of food and entertainment options, so it was a bit easier not to do things.
Since moving to an area that has no shortage of things to see or do, we've found our variable expenses (such as eating out, entertainment, etc.) have increased quite a bit. I'm ok with a bit of lifestyle inflation if it brings value and happiness to our lives. I do feel that we're teetering on the edge of "too much" lifestyle inflation though.
To control this, I know what we need to do. We actually need to build a budget that's realistic to our lifestyle now, and hold ourselves accountable to achieving it. There's no shortcuts. That's the plain reality of what we need to do if we wish to save more money.
NET WORTH SNAPSHOT
This was the first month our net worth dipped under $300k for a long time. This is partly due to poor stock market performance, but mostly due to our spending with little to no saving.
It's definitely trending in the wrong direction right now, and we know what we need to do to start seeing month on month upticks in our net worth.
Like I've always said, the road to financial independence is never a straight line and there will be ups and downs along the way. The important part is to recognise what's causing the downs and take action to turn the downs into ups!
We're not perfect and I'll never claim to be. We're human. And sometimes our discipline wanes and our good behaviours lapse. We recognise this. So long as these times only stay for a brief period, we'll be ok.
Here's to a more positive financial outlook for the months to come!
FIRE with a family