Life Update: October 2021
Look, it's the 15th of December and I'm only just getting around to writing this post. I've thought about it several times but just haven't put the proverbial pen to paper. Now I have to reflect back to remember what the hell actually happened all the way back in October.
My memory is a short one so I use my trusty iPhone to help remind me. It has photos (captured mainly by the wife - thank god for her!) that spark memories for the things we did throughout the month. Truth be told it wasn't a very adventurous month for us, but alas I'm writing about it anyway.
We're now pretty settled into the routine of life in our new hometown of Orange. The kids have both started a team sport, with Addi in gymnastics and Cal in a touch football team. I don't think we could ever be those "hockey parents" that live and breathe sporting activities every day of the week. One day is enough for our schedules.
The kids are enjoying the normality of life and are now starting to hang out with some of their friends on weekends. I'm glad we're all fitting in comfortably and are so close to family and friends if we're ever in need of a catch up.
Addison's new thing is collecting snails because she desperately wants a pet. For now, the snails meet that need. It started off as 2 or 3 snails but quickly progressed to 20+ of the little buggers. All of them are named either Billy or Amy. No individuality here. Just Billy and Amy. You can see how fascinated she is by them in their first temporary home of a plastic container.
October also marks the month of our wedding anniversary. On the 21st October in 2017, we tied the knot officially. This year puts us at the 4 year point, however we've actually been together for 17 years so 4 years doesn't feel like a long time compared to that.
We zipped down to a local cocktail bar before heading out to a nice dinner to commemorate the annual milestone. Should we have bought each other gifts as well? That hasn't been something we've done for anniversaries in the past. Maybe when the gold or diamond years come up it will be a topic of conversation...
A momentous occasion for our son was deciding to get a haircut for the first time in a long while. It had grown into a semi-mullet looking thing that he was quite proud of, but he decided it was time to go. I think he had a bit of pressure from his mother for this decision.
It's fair to say he's happy with the shorter trim. Much easier to maintain and less obvious bed hair in the morning.
Since we lived over in Canada for the last 4 years of our lives, we celebrate some of the North American traditions and holidays, such as thanksgiving and Halloween. The kids really enjoyed trick-or-treating on the other side of the world so we thought we should aim to keep up the tradition, even though it's not really celebrated in Australia as much.
Personally, I think they jut love the plethora of candy that comes with Halloween celebrations, but coming from a child's perspective I can completely understand this allure.
Addi decided she wanted to go as a "robot" during this year's trick-or-treating session. I said she looks like Buzz Lightyear, but Allanah warned me not to mention that to Addi because our darling daughter was certain it was a robot outfit.
Cal didn't want a fancy costume this year and decided to go with a serial killer hockey mask attire instead. He has since informed me he wants to dress up as a giant Cheeto next year. Not a cheetah. A Cheeto. That's right, the orange chip thing. I'll never understand the thought process of a 10 year old.
It was a great end to the month with two of our good friends coming to visit for the first time since we arrived in Australia. We had planned a time before but the circumstances didn't work out for us.
They have two kids as well, a bit younger than ours, so the kids were entertaining each other. It was good to catch up and enjoy a beer or two. The girls even enjoyed a wine and paint night, with the finished product being an artistic Australian bird!
Trying to rack my brain and update my excel budget file for October proved to be a difficult task but I got there in the end! It's a good reminder for myself to stay on top of this each month so it's easier to pull together.
After some calculation I figured out we saved 21% of our net income for month. This was helped by me receiving a small annual bonus that was pro-rated for the time I've actually spent working for the company in FY21, which was effectively 3.5 months.
If I were to exclude the bonus payment we would have save $0 for the month. Our big spend areas other than rent are eating out, groceries, and gift buying for Christmas.
The fact that we haven't been setting a budget each month is a contributing factor - in my opinion - of why we've spent so much in certain categories and haven't saved a whole heap. This is something I plan to address in the New Year once Christmas is out of the way.
NET WORTH SNAPSHOT
Our net worth grew by $12k in October which was nice to see. Our savings rate saw us having more cash in the bank at the end of the month.
It was also a stellar month for the crypto portfolio which rose from $2,200 to over $3,100. This can't be relied on though, and crypto tends to jump around quite vigorously from month to month.
We've also stopped contributing to our SelfWealth investing account in order to double-down on saving for a house deposit. Even though we didn't contribute anything in October, it still grew by $1,200.
My Canadian RRSP value grew by over $3k in October, while my Superannuation account grew by over $9k. The markets have been kind to us!
Overall our net worth position is currently at $318k, driven up $12k for the month for the reasons that I've mentioned above. A pretty good month for our finances with all things considered.
FIRE with a family