Sunday, 30 August 2015

The MoH financial fitness challenge … Day 0

The MoH financial fitness challenge … Day 0

As the MoH’s financial balance has grown, so has her waistline and hips.  Since 2010, I’ve gained around a kilo a year … at least … The reality really hit home when I was visiting my family last year and had a photo taken with my sisters.  My older sister, who has taken up distance running, looked a fraction of my size!

I thought the excess weight would shift when I had a holiday between jobs and got lots more exercise, but most of it steadfastly refused to budge.  The situation became dire this week, as busy nights at work tempted me to buy takeaway multiple times.  I’ve been too afraid to step on the scales lately, but I finally took the plunge this morning to confirm the exact damage.  I won’t publish the figures, but a change is clearly in order!  Basically, I need to lose six kilos to get back to my 2010 weight.

Friday, 31 July 2015

July 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – July 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – July 2015 Update

July was a low spending month for the MoH, similar to last July.  Officially, there was no expenditure from the goals bucket.  However, there should have been, as I took the opportunity to book flights for my training course in the US later this year.  But for some reason, Qantas hasn’t charged me yet.  I will need to look into it if a charge doesn’t appear soon.  I don’t want to be at the airport checking in only to find out I don’t have a ticket!

Shares were worryingly down again – my equity is now 19% lower than its February high.  My super balance rose a fair bit due to the inclusion of my June quarter contributions.  I contributed the full $30k allowed at concessional tax rates this year for the first time ever … I’m pretty proud of myself.  I have to say it’s a lot easier paying it yourself than when working for a large company, where umpteen forms and the like are required.  My cash balance also rose a bit.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – June 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – June 2015 Update

In June, the fall in the share market really started to take its toll on the MoH.  The Millionaire by 2020 2019 plan tracker fell for the first time this calendar year to 42.6%.  This was a 0.3% drop from May, but not unrecoverable.  And it’s still way up on my target of 26.3%.  

My shares sank again; they’re now 14% lower than their February high.  Super and cash were both up by a fraction.

As predicted, credit card payments fell due, along with my annual margin loan interest payment, which both impacted my cash balance.

My goals bucket expenditure was quite minor – some small appliances and professional membership fees, which you could argue shouldn’t have come from the bucket in the first place.  But it’s not like I’ve used it for anything else recently!

Sunday, 31 May 2015

May 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – May 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – May 2015 Update

May was not a good month for the MoH in terms of overall expenditure, with council rates and home and contents insurance both due.  I suspect I will see the impact of this next month when my credit card payment comes out of my bank account.  The one good piece of news is that my food expenditure finally decreased by $100 – yay!

Shares were down for the third month in a row.  In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t buy more like I was considering last month.  However, I’m starting to wonder if I missed the top of the market and should have sold off a few in February.

My super balance continued to rise in spite of the share market decline.  However, I do suspect it went down earlier in the month, but was later rescued by my super guarantee contribution later in the month.  Now that I have my own company, I only have to make super guarantee contributions quarterly.  In theory, this should give me an opportunity to time the market a bit better and tip in more when unit prices drop.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

April 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – April 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – April 2015 Update

Well, the crazy craziness the MoH anticipated for my day job came to fruition in spades in April.  Looking back at my expense tracker, I didn’t have time to spend a cent on non-essential items.  April was my lowest spending month since last July!  

It bears unfortunate similarities to last year when I must have worked every weekend preparing for a big system go-live in my last job.  In my current role, I don’t get paid for public holidays or other leave, but I did get an extra day of overtime after working all those weekends.

Looking back over the month, my super balance rose again slightly, but shares slid again.  My cash balance went up a lot … due to the lack of spending on just about anything, I guess.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – March 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – March 2015 Update

If February was like an explosive new relationship, all passion and excitement, with lots of unexpected nice surprises, March was more like an old married couple, slow and steady and dare I say boring.

The MOH’s super balance went up … a bit.  Shares went down … a bit.  Cash went up … a bit.  In all, the total balance went up … a bit.

I spent absolutely zilch on my goals, the downside of that being that no progress would have been made either!  I didn’t even manage to focus on my February plan to decrease food expenditure.  I spent nearly $100 less than in January, but actually $30-odd more than in February.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

February 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2019 Plan – February 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – February 2015 Update

February came back from the January doldrums with a roar.  The share market rebounded, and demonstrating the positive power of gearing, the equity in the MoH’s share portfolio grew by more than 20% in one month!  My super balance also grew, aided by a final (quite late …) payment from my previous employer.  And my cash balance grew solidly, as I didn’t have any major bills and didn’t have time to spend much money due to bricks-and-mortar commitments!

The good news was a bit too good to believe, so I’ve actually squirrelled away some additional cash into the goals bucket.  If the share market goes pear shaped again, I can redirect it back to savings.  And if things continue to go well, then I can have an extra well-earned holiday!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Confidence, hope, and regeneration … aka the lizard dream

Millionaire on Heels - The Lizard Dream
The Lizard
Source: http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/tripwow/ta-00c9-26ee-e3e2

Do you ever have dreams that you just wake up from and can’t stop thinking about?

I usually forget about my dreams straight away, so when I remember them, I can’t help thinking there’s a really significant message in there for me.

Yesterday afternoon I fell asleep on the sofa and ever since I woke up, I haven’t be able to stop thinking about the dream I had.

I was on a beach with someone (obviously wiser than myself) and a strange lizard-like thing.  It was a shapeless creature that lived in a protective shell.  This particular one had just grown a new shell, a process that took it three years.  The wise person showed me how by organising its amorphous self into a particular pattern, the lizard enabled the new shell to grow.  When I asked to see an example (typical me …), the lizard went off to try to find its mother, who it hadn’t seen in years, but remained ever hopeful of seeing again, once she had completed the regrowth process herself.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Paper millionaire … or homeless millionaire

Millionaire on Heels - Paper millionaire … or homeless millionaire
How many bundles of these does it take to become a paper millionaire?

Those of you who are close followers of the MoH will know that the Millionaire by 2020 Plan is based on investible assets – i.e., excluding the house, Lamborghini, etc.  In December 2012, I had an initial stash of super, shares, and cash accumulated over 15 years, and each month since, I’ve been adding to the total, with the aim of reaching $1 million in investible assets by the end of 2020 (now 2019!).

In addition to my progress against the Millionaire by 2020 Plan, I also like to periodically track my net worth.  Net worth includes all of your assets, less all of your liabilities.  I tend to ignore depreciating assets like my Lamborghini-masquerading-as-a-VW, home contents, etc.  My main assets are my house, super, cash, and shares.  And my liabilities are my mortgage and margin loan.  I don’t have credit card debt, personal loans, etc.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

January 2015 in review

Millionaire by 2019 Plan – January 2015 Update
Millionaire by 2020 2019 Plan – January 2015 Update

To the MoH, January in Sydney means hot sticky days, followed by hot sticky nights, interspersed with a few glasses of strawberry and lime cider (thank you Aldi) and a dip in the saltwater pool.  That’s on the weekends, of course, for those of us who took their holidays in October and November and are working through the summer holiday period!  At least the traffic is quieter in January, and the office buildings are air-conditioned.

I took the opportunity this month to take a hard look at my financial circumstances and reforecast each investment category based on my current earning status.  The good news is that my forecasting ability is so conservative, I well exceeded last year’s “aggressive” forecast.  So, barring economic catastrophe, I’m fairly confident that with a few sacrifices in the goals bucket, I could reach millionaire status by the end of 2018.  I don’t want to overpromise, though, so I will keep my conservative hat on, and commit to 2019.  So the Millionaire by 2020 plan is now officially the Millionaire by 2020 2019 plan!