Life Update: June 2021
We've now been living back in Australia for almost four months now, and boy hasn't time flown by. We flew back to our homeland on February 19 and it's been fast paced ever since.
June was a month full of family time, with a few of the fam coming to visit us and we made a trip back to my hometown Cobar for a couple of days as well.
The first weekend of June I zipped across to Western Australia for a week of work. The company I work for owns two mines in Australia; one where I permanently work and another in WA. If you're familiar with Australian geography you may of heard of an area called "The Pilbara". That's where this mine is located. Literally in the middle of the outback in Western Australia. Complete with red dirt as far as the eye can see and a 2 hour flight to the nearest city, Perth.
I was over there for a week and had the chance to meet and network with colleagues across the business. Since it's a fly in fly out (FIFO) operation, the accommodation is a mining camp, which is basically portable buildings fitted out with a bedroom and bathroom. It's no 5-star resort but it was comfortable for the week.
Here's a few happy snaps to give you an idea of what it looks like:
While I was away Allanah sent me a video and few photos of it snowing back in Orange. It was a pretty large dump of the white stuff for this time of year and it reminded the kids of when we lived in Canada. They even got out and built a snowman! It didn't last long though and disappeared over the next two days.
The kids were super stoked because grandma - aka my mother - popped down to see the family for an impromptu visit as well.
It was a short visit though and mum had to head back to Cobar to be with the rest of the family as we received news that our grandfather (mum's father) had passed away at 93 years old. It was a sad time for the family and the funeral was planned for two weeks time.
After a week in the Pilbara I flew back into Sydney and caught a train to meet up with Allanah and the kids not too far from Gosford. It was the long weekend and we'd decided to head to the central coast of Australia to spend some time with Allanah's brother and his girlfriend (now fiancé!!) at their newly purchased home.
It's a beautiful area where they live, with a fantastic café just next door and only a hundred metre walk down to the water. We spent the weekend seeing some of the sites, threw a line in for a bit of fishing (Allanah caught the smallest fish ever!), and took a ferry to one of the pubs in a nearby suburb for lunch. Addi thinks she went on a "cruise" when we took the ferry. So cute!
It was a great long weekend and even better to catch up with two of our favs.
A week after the central coast visit we headed back home, packed up and went to Cobar for my grandfathers funeral. It was good to see some of the family we hadn't seen in a number of years, I just wish it was under better circumstances. We spent a few days there before making the drive back home on the Sunday.
As I'd planned, we didn't formally save any money in the month of June. Even though we didn't increase our savings, we did still shuttle $2,000 post tax dollars into our brokerage and crypto accounts as planned.
Even though we have been spending quite a bit of cash, we still maintain at least a 3 month emergency fund. I believe this is a must for everyone, although the amount stashed for an emergency will vary depending on your circumstances and comfort level. We find 3 months worth of expenses is enough for our peace of mind.
I have thought about calculating our savings rate using pre tax dollars, because I do prioritize contributing extra into my Superannuation account, so that would paint a slightly better picture for how much we're actually saving and investing.
NET WORH SNAPSHOT
June was the first month of 2021 where our net worth actually went up. This was mainly due to investment growth and contributions. Like I mentioned above, I throw extra pre tax dollars in my Superannuation retirement account.
In Australia, it's compulsory for your employer to pay 9.5% (which will ultimately rise to 12% in a few years) of your gross salary into a Superannuation account of your choosing. The concessional cap (pre tax dollars) from July 1 is $27,500 and I'm aiming to max this out in FY22 (July 2021 to June 2022).
Adding extra to your Super - and taxed advantaged accounts like the 401(k) if you're in the US - lowers your taxable income as well which is an added bonus. At tax time this can mean you get more of a refund, which you could then throw into your brokerage account for more investing. Win win.
The majority of my investment growth this month came from my Superannuation fund and my RRSP in Canada. Super went up $5k (some of that was contributions) and $3k in the RRSP. It's worth noting that I don't contribute anything to my RRSP account in Canada anymore and it can continues to grow. That's the beauty of investing.
I expect our net worth to continue to rise for the remainder of the year, and it will likely be more than $1k each month. We have a few more larger expenses coming up in August but overall I don't think we should dip below where we're currently at.
You'll notice in the snapshot above that our net worth is currently at the same value as it was this time last year. That's okay, if planned. We hit our peak in January this year and the big move back to Australia is the main reason we've seen it decrease as we set up our new life back here.
The important message here is that we had built up a large enough buffer that we didn't have to take on any debt to purchase two cars and fit out our house with furniture, bedding, and appliances. We got out of consumer debt in 2020 and there is no plan to borrow again unless it's for a mortgage.
All in all, a good month for our finances and it's nice to see the net worth back on the rise. We'll check back in with another life update at the end of July.
Blake - FIRE with a family