Welcome to the first quarterly update for 2019. I write these quarterly updates to keep track of our journey to FIRE and to reflect and realign goals, directions and strategies throughout the year.
Our average income increased this quarter as a result of having the opportunity for us both to work. We were able to direct a larger portion of income to our savings goals, which will hopefully enable us to meet these a lot sooner than anticipated (and get back to throwing our savings into index funds).
Our quarterly expenses were still higher than we were aiming for coming in at just over $6000 a month. We did front-load our health insurance and haven’t claimed some reimbursements from our employer as yet for some larger purchases. This will bring down the annual cost later in the year. Removing the reimbursable costs would reduce our spending to just over $5500 a month.
Our top 10 expenses for this quarter were:
- Food – $3709
- Work – $3202 (largest cost is reimbursable)
- Transport Costs – $2939 (a sizeable car repair was needed)
- Health – $2701 (front loaded Private Health Insurance for the year
- Savings – $1292 (paid deposit for wedding)
- Travel Expenses – $1000
- Giving – $814
- Personal 1 – $806
- Personal 2 – $750
- House – $485
There were no new purchases into our portfolio in the Jan-Mar quarter of 2019. This was due to focussing on a particular savings goal for our sabbatical next year. Our portfolio at the end of March is pictured below. It remains relatively similarly sized to its position at the end of 2018.
We saw positive returns for all of our holdings in the past three months – with all but AFIC having capital gains. Certainly a 10.44% return for the quarter is better than the interest being reduced by our offset and any money we had previously in a HISA. I’m not 100% sold on the LICs we hold, though. While I have no intention of selling either AFI or MLT, the next Australian ETF purchase is much more likely to be VAS over AFI, MLT or another LIC.
As for our other holdings, our tiny holdings in XRP and XLM (cryptocurrency) did very little across the past three months. While we haven’t lost any money from these (very small) investment, we haven’t gained a great deal. I’ll continue to hold this for the time being, but won’t be purchasing any more cryptocurrency.
Despite not purchasing any additional ETFs this month, and having a very expensive January, our networth (outside of super) grew by just under $16,000 from January to March. Including my super, our quarterly networth grew by just under $30,000 – quite an impressive result in my mind.
All going to plan, we should have met our two big savings goals for the year (purchase of a caravan for our Big Lap sabbatical and our wedding fund complete) by the end of the next quarter.