Net Worth Update (and FIRE NW)- November 2021

We calculate our Net Worth and FIRE Net Worth and track them monthly. If you would like to see all net worth posts use this link here.

FIRE Net worth November 2021 – $380,555 (up $10,443)

Total Net worth November 2021 – $1,144,561 (up $115,913)

Net Worth Calculator available here

Total Assets November 2021 – $1,698,119 (up $114,789)

Net Worth Calculator available here

Our overall assets (non-FIRE assets) increased substantially in November as we readjusted our house price in line with the updated and conservative realestate.com.au valuation. We believe our house value is still very conservative given our neighbours house sold last month for well above this price (100k).

In November we invested a total of 5k (outside of super/retirement) via Pearler’s auto investment feature (as per our regular investment strategy).

In 2021 we have invested 57k into ETFs and are aiming to have invested 60k of our income by the end of the year. We are also hoping to hit our super stretch goal of having 200k invested by the end of 2021. At the end of November, we are 7k away from this goal (We don’t count the debt recycling-related ETF purchases towards this goal).

Our retirement funds continued to grow thanks to generous employment benefits (My husband receives 17.5% employer superannuation contributions).

Total Liabilities November 2021 – $553,558 (decreased $1,124)

Our liabilities decreased this month which was a lovely change to the last few months. Our interest rate is 1.99% and we have a variable home loan.

Total Net Worth Increase in 2021 (to date) = $384,341

Net Worth Calculator available here

End of 2021 Goal 1 million dollar net worth: Completed August 2021

How do I track our regular net worth? (keep scrolling to see how we calculate our FIRE net worth)

I’ve tracked our net worth since mid-2019 and enjoy seeing it grow over time. I strongly believe that tracking can assist you in staying the course, because let’s face it this getting wealthy business takes time (and it’s easy to feel like you’re not making progress and lose interest).

Being a bit of a spreadsheet nerd I track our net worth in a custom-made spreadsheet which is available here for $5.50.

I also track it on a day-to-day basis on a free IOS app called ‘My Net Worth’ so I can see how I’m going over the month, and then I enter the details from the app into my spreadsheet.

How do you calculate net worth?

If you don’t want to download the free IOS app or use a spreadsheet you can calculate this manually.

  1. Writing down all of your assets and liabilities separately.
  2. Then add up all of your assets together to get a figure (write this down).
  3. Then add up all of your liabilities together to get a figure (write this down).
  4. Then take the sum of your assets and deduct the sum of your liabilities.
  5. This is your net worth.

Net Worth = (Sum of your Assets) – (Sum of your Liabilities)

How do I track my FIRE Net Worth?

Calculating your FIRE net worth is slightly different to calculating your regular net worth.

FIRE Net worth = FIRE Assets – FIRE Liabilities

FIRE assets for us are those that are invested, earning income, and accessible to you now. These assets and liabilities don’t include our home, car, furniture, collectibles, jewelry, and retirement accounts that we are unable to access until traditional retirement age (e.g. Superannuation for us Australians isn’t accessible until 60 years old).

Note: You may wish to include Super/Retirement if you plan on retiring at an age where you can access these, or you may want to look at Aussie Firebugs calculator here which allows you to incorporate your super/retirement into your FIRE plan. We have opted not to do this as superannuation rules around access are controlled by the Australian Government, and therefore could change at any time.

Happy Calculating !!!!! If you don’t want to do the calculations yourself the Net worth Tracker I use is available in my Etsy shop for $5.50 (click on the image below for the link). I’ve also just updated it recently to calculate your FIRE net worth as well. If you’ve already purchased this get in touch with me with proof of purchase and I will send you the updated version.

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Side Hustle Income – November 2021

Following our side hustle series detailing the side hustles we participate in we have decided to track and detail the income we generate each month. If you want to read all the previous linked posts you can find them all here.

At the end of October, we were just $700 shy of our goal of hitting 10k in side hustle income in 2021. I can now officially share with you that we crossed that goal in November just in time for Christmas.

Year to Date – Month by Month Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

November 2021 – Side Income Breakdown

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Side Hustle Income – November 2021 = $830.27

Total Side Income 2021 (to date) = $10,162.52

Please note that the numbers below and above don’t include tax/expenses so these are less spectacular when you take this into consideration (these are pre-tax figures).

Gardening = $666.45 (approximately 20 hours work)

Hubby had a pretty average month of gardening. He prioritized getting our Airbnb renovations completed, and we made some great progress. It should be complete by December which will mean we can list it in January (I’m super excited to have another income stream coming in). If you want to find out more on doing Gardening as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Etsy = $10.27

It was a quiet month on Etsy because it seems I forgot to renew my listings and so I haven’t had my items available for most of the month. Apologies to anyone impacted by this. If something is out of stock feel free to message me. I’ve had a few people ask me to do a post on my tips for getting started selling printables and digital products on Etsy. I’m hopeful that I will find some time to share what I’ve learnt from this side hustle. I’m currently working on 3 new templates (including my AirBnB host guide), which I’m hoping to have ready for the store in December 2021 (so stay tuned). If you would like 10% off any of my Etsy items click here to view my store.

Affiliate Income = $200.00

I like to be 100% honest and transparent so feel free to read more about this income stream here on why we are using affiliate marketing, what affiliate marketing is, and what we are using the income for.

Other Side Hustles

Although we didn’t earn any income in these side hustles this month you may be interested in reading more about them as we often participate in them from time to time including:

Next Month

I’m just looking forward to winding down and celebrating the new year.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here.

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Airbnb Update – November 2021

Just a quick update on how our Airbnb renovations are going since our last post in October, how much progress we’ve made, and when we estimate we’ll be live on Airbnb for bookings. For all our Airbnb related posts click here.

Eventually, the aim is to turn these posts into more detailed monthly posts around the ups and downs of being an Airbnb host (if we ever get there).

So what’s happened since our last post in October?

Bathroom/Toilet

Since our last post, we have finally installed that pesky towel rack that I didn’t know where to put. Ultimately that decision was made for me as I quickly realised there was only one space it could fit.

We were hoping to have the exhaust fan installed by the electrician in November, however my husband underestimated how busy our electrician would be this time of the year. So by the time he called to lock a date in there was no availability in November. We have a date in early December for this to be completed.

If you would like to see the inspiration behind our Bathroom renovations check out our Pinterest board here.

The Laundry

In November we started installing the laundry cabinets. Putting the IKEA cabinets together was pretty easy, but getting them attached to the wall was a little more difficult. We are installing our cabinets onto a tiled double brick internal wall so getting the fixings right for this was important. We didn’t want to crack the tiles, get the holes in the wrong place, or have issues with the fittings coming out of the wall. My husband purchased a special wet drill bit for the job, and we had a couple of practice runs before doing the real thing. It was very nervewracking but I can happily say we’ve completed the bottom cabinets without any issues.

We still have two overhead cabinets, front kickers, an appliance divider, and side panels to install but we are waiting until the benchtop is installed in December to complete these tasks.

Speaking of benchtops we locked in the benchtop in November, and have paid for this in full ($1800). We settled on white engineered stone with little sparkly flecks in it. Photos below from the display centre.

I believe that we should have the laundry complete by the middle of December (all things going to plan of course), and I can’t wait to do my first laundry load inside the house.

My current laundry situation

Other Renovation Activities

We installed IKEA curtains in the bedroom, and I’m over the moon at how they ended up looking especially given the cost ($100 total). The hardest part about installing the curtains was hemming them which I proudly did myself (and they don’t look horrible). It took us a good 4 hours to complete the hemming and installation.

Our new IKEA curtains

We installed the two remaining grass areas with new grass, and my husband has been carefully tending to them twice a day to ensure they survive the sudden burst of hot weather we’ve had.

I have ordered new cushion covers for our outdoor couches. Our couches and cushions are over 10 years old, and although the hardwood is in good condition the cushions are really weathered and need replacement. I had a lot of issues finding replacement sizes as it turns out our cushions weren’t standard sized. I also had some outrageous quotes for replacement custom covers from a few online companies ($1000+). So in the end I went with a product that is waterproof and stretches to suit most sizes ($160 purchased via eBay see below). I’ve yet to receive these so I can’t comment on if I’ve made a good choice yet (my fingers are crossed).

Whilst shopping at Bunnings in November we stumbled upon a great deal on a cantilevered umbrella for the pool area for $69.95. So we nabbed that, and have ordered a cover for it online via Kogan ($25) to protect it from fading.

The pool area is ready for summer (and hopefully guests)

Lastly, we finished the painting of the outdoor veranda area, and it’s ready for the corner edging strip and lights in December.

Hubby finishing off the veranda painting

What Airbnb related renovations are still to be done?

  • Install Laundry (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Install exhaust fan (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Get plumber to install laundry taps and sink (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Install benchtop (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Repaint the outdoor pavers (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Finish off outdoor veranda (cornice and lights) (ETA Dec 2021)
  • Order in 2 plantation shutters (Can live without these at the moment so will order in early 2022)

How much have we spent to date?

$21,734 (Spent up to the end of October 2021)

This amount includes everything from new flooring throughout all of our downstairs area, new bathroom/laundry/toilet, new doors, new furniture, curtains/plantation shutters, painting, and any outdoor updates required.

If you would like to see a bit more detail around our monthly expenses use the link here. We have a category called renovations.

When are we aiming to start listing our Airbnb?

Originally our plan was to start listing for guests by Spring 2021 (September 2021). However, as you can tell we are not ready for guests. We are tentatively aiming to list on Airbnb in early January 2022.

What does it look like now?

Here are a few current photos of the space.

If you would like to follow our renovations on Instagram feel free to follow via @TheBoathouseStirling

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Why we continue to use Buy Now Pay Later companies like Afterpay

I have been meaning to write and publish this article for a while now, and have deleted it many times over. As a personal finance blogger on a journey to financial independence, I’ve been hesitant to talk about my use of ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ (BNPL) companies like Afterpay. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of well-justified hate from most finance gurus around BNPL, and I’ve felt unable to share my use of it with you until now.

I first used Afterpay in 2016 very early in the BNPL days and have been a customer ever since. Prior to Afterpay I grew up watching my mum use layby programs to purchase our Christmas presents. It was a weekly tradition in our house travelling to the local shopping centre each week, lining up at the back of the store and watching her make the payment. When I became an adult and eventually mother I also used Layby programs to spread the cost of Christmas out.

So when I was first introduced to Afterpay it was pretty revolutionary for me especially given there were no pesky fees (unlike the layby programs I used), and it was so much more convenient. Since my first purchase in 2016 I’ve continued to use Afterpay and other BNPL companies infrequently for large purchases, and even more controversially I plan to continue to use them.

What is Buy Now Pay Later?

At the time of writing this, there are over 10 companies offering BNPL payment services in Australia (with the major players being Afterpay, Zip, Humm, Klarna, and Latitude Pay). Similar to layby these services allow you to purchase a product, and pay it back in interest-free installments. The big difference between BNPL and layby is that you get to enjoy your purchase without paying for it in full.

So why do I use them?

We have a tight budget and we pay ourselves aka our investment accounts first which sometimes leaves us very little room in our weekly budget if a large purchase is suddenly required.

We try to foresee large purchases and put aside money for items in advance in sinking funds (for example our renovations). But sometimes things happen earlier than expected, are costlier than our sinking funds, or are something we didn’t foresee ourselves needing to pay for at all.

We know we could wait and divide the total cost of it up and then save the amount each week for it instead of using BNPL. But I’ll be honest it’s not always convenient to wait, and I will do pretty much anything to avoid using my emergency fund or temporarily stop investing.

A recent example of us using BNPL was for our Airbnb renovations.

The circumstances leading to this decision were that we didn’t have the funds to purchase a vanity upfront. This lack of funds was due to our renovations being more expensive than expected and we subsequently ran out of funds to pay for this from our renovations sinking fund (we’ve since been rebuilding them).

Our bathroom contractor negotiated a trade discount on the vanity we needed, and they offered BNPL. We didn’t want to use our emergency funds because it wasn’t an emergency. We also didn’t want to divert investing funds temporarily so we chose to split the cost across 8 weeks with BNPL. This enabled us to continue to invest our regular amount, get the vanity, not touch our emergency fund, and pay for it within our weekly budget.

For us, utilising BNPL for this purchase suited us and our risk appetite. We were also careful to ensure that this purchase fell within a set of rules we created for ourselves. These rules aim to mitigate the risks that BNPL carries and ensure we don’t fall into the common BNPL traps.

Our 10 Rules of Using Buy Now Pay Later

These are the rules and boundaries we’ve set for ourselves around BNPL. If you choose to use BNPL you may wish to set your own rules that work for you (and keep your BNPL use in check).

  1. We don’t use BNPL for bills.
  2. We don’t use BNPL for gift cards.
  3. We don’t use BNPL for food/drink.
  4. We don’t use BNPL for entertainment.
  5. We don’t use BNPL for holidays.
  6. Only one BNPL purchase at a time.
  7. We use BNPL for large purchases that we were going to make anyway (all purchases are thought out, no spontaneous purchases).
  8. We don’t choose to buy items based on if BNPL is offered. We make sure we are getting the best price on an item regardless of BNPL.
  9. We must have a fully funded emergency fund that can cover any purchases in full.
  10. We only use BNPL companies where there are zero fees and charges (as long as we pay on time). So we avoid Zip, and others that charge you a monthly fee to use the service.

Why am I sharing my own experience on this subject?

When I started this blog I knew I wanted to be transparent with how we spend, save and use our money. So I wanted to come clean on our use of BNPL and why we use it.

I also want to be clear that I don’t encourage the use of BNPL. You can’t escape the fact that BNPL takes advantage of those who can least afford it and it causes significant pain:

One in five customers are late to make repayments and miss out on paying other bills — or have to cut back on essentials — an ASIC survey has found.

It’s a terrible statistic, and there are so many others.

Ultimately personal finance is personal and no-ones journey is the same. Do what works for you and avoid what doesn’t (and if that’s BNPL then never ever use it).

Keen to hear your views in the comments below. All opinions welcome.

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Expense Review – October 2021

I hope everyone had a lovely October and Halloween !!!! I love Halloween so October is always a month I look forward to. This month I’m happy to share with you that renovations weren’t our biggest expense for the month, and they were pipped at the post for the first time in what seems like forever.

Instead, our biggest expense this month was our mortgage, and I’m not even upset. It was nice not to have to spend large amounts of money this month on our renovations (although there is still a little more to spend).

To view all previous expense review tagged posts click here.

Top 5 Expenses – October 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.
  1. Mortgage= $2,059.64

Notes: Our loan was recently refinanced and we have a variable rate of 1.99%.

  1. Utilities = $1,515.14

Notes: This month was well above our monthly average and that was because of a larger than usual electricity bill (thanks to working from home and super cold winter). Our utilities include our mobile phones (4 phones @ $104.95 per month), Internet (MyRepublic @ $59 per month), Water, Gas, and Electricity (We use Reamped – link here for $50 referral code).

  1. Car Rego, Servicing, Maintainence, Petrol and Insurance = $1,311.88

Notes: Higher than usual thanks to both cars being due for servicing. Fortunately, neither car required any additional repairs, and overall are in good condition. We will need to purchase tyres next month.

  1. Food and Alcohol = $1012.66

Notes: Our food bill increased in October thanks to Halloween and entertaining friends. We have over a hundred trick or treaters and love being generous with the sweets, and buy them in bulk at Costco. We do our main shop at Aldi and shop at other places depending on the specials available. We shop online at BWS to make use of cashback rewards (If you want to sign up use this affiliate link – You’ll get a $10 bonus once you make your first transaction).

ShopAmount
Aldi$606.62
BWS$132.00
Costco$105.92
Woolworths$60.84
Bakers Delight (Bakery)$40.90
Fancy Bottle Shop $18.99
Coles$13.00
Foodland$26.75
IGA$7.64
Total$1012.66
Breakdown of Food and Alcohol spending
  1. Renovations = $906.82

Notes: This month’s renovation expenses included new lawn and laundry-related purchases from IKEA.

Year to Date Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

We spent $9,280.82 in October and $7,877.11 the previous month which is an increase of $1,403.71. We spent $299.38 per day in October which is up from last month’s $262.57 per day.

Other Expenses (% of total expenses) – October 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

New Expenses (October)

No new expenses.

Changes we’ve made this month (October)

No changes made.

Changes to expect next month (November)

We have another large renovation-related expense in November ($1700).

Year to Date Expense Overview ($)

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Spend 2021 (To Date) = $86,913.64 or an average of $8691.36 a month for 2 Adults and 2 Children (Aged 13 and 10).

Investment Rate 2021 (To Date) = 41% (includes wages and side hustles)

Our goal investment rate at the start of the year was 60%, but we created this goal before I took a 30k (after-tax) pay cut in March. Given the massive pay cut and the renovations, we are doing this year I’m happy with where we are at. More importantly, we are still tracking to our current goal of hitting financial independence by January 2029.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here.

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Net Worth Update (and FIRE NW)- October 2021

We calculate our Net Worth and FIRE Net Worth and track it monthly. If you would like to see all net worth posts use this link here.

Total Net worth October 2021 – $1,028,762 (up $5,886)

FIRE Net worth October 2021 – $370,112 (up $82,247)

Net Worth Calculator available here
Net Worth Calculator available here

Total Assets October 2021 – $1,583,330 (up $83,539)

Our assets increased again substantially in October, and this was from our continued purchases of ETFs from funds we freed up as a result of our debt recycling strategy (and recent home equity refinance). As a result of borrowing to invest, we have also increased our liabilities so this increase to assets hasn’t resulted in the same increase to our total net worth.

So what did we do right?

In addition to the additional ETF’s we purchased via debt recycling we continued to invest our income into ETFs. In October we invested a total of 3k (outside of super/retirement) via Pearler’s auto investment feature (as per our regular investment strategy). October was a really expensive month with renovations so we didn’t invest as much as we had aimed for (the goal for October was 4k).

That said we have invested 52k this year to date and we are pretty chuffed with the achievement. We are still hoping to hit our super stretch goal of having 200k invested by the end of 2021 (we are 19k away from this goal, and we don’t count the debt recycling-related ETF purchases towards this goal).

Our retirement funds continued to grow thanks to our generous employment benefits (My husband receives 17.5% employer superannuation contributions, and I receive 10% but also have deferred tax benefits for any super contributions that are made to my account).

So what did we change?

We didn’t change anything this month and have continued to invest regularly and live below our means.

Total Liabilities October 2021 – $554,682 (increased $77,653)

Our liabilities increased this month as part of our debt recycling plans. Our interest rate is 1.99% and is a variable loan. Next month our liabilities will stabilise and hopefully from here on in there will only be decreases to report here.

Total Net Worth Increase in 2021 (to date) = $268,428

Net Worth Calculator available here

End of 2021 Goal 1 million dollar net worth: Completed August 2021

How do I track our regular net worth? (keep scrolling to see how we calculate our FIRE net worth)

I’ve tracked our net worth since mid-2019 and enjoy seeing it grow over time. I strongly believe that tracking can assist you in staying the course, because lets face it this getting wealthy business takes time (and it’s easy to feel like you’re not making progress and lose interest).

Being a bit of a spreadsheet nerd I track our net worth in a custom-made spreadsheet which is available here for $5.50.

I also track it on a day to day basis on a free IOS app called ‘My Net Worth’ so I can see how I’m going over the month, and then I enter the details from the app into my spreadsheet.

How do you calculate net worth?

If you don’t want to download the free IOS app or use a spreadsheet you can calculate this manually.

  1. Writing down all of your assets and liabilities separately.
  2. Then add up all of your assets together to get a figure (write this down).
  3. Then add up all of your liabilities together to get a figure (write this down).
  4. Then take the sum of your assets and deduct the sum of your liabilities.
  5. This is your net worth.

Net Worth = (Sum of your Assets) – (Sum of your Liabilities)

How do I track my FIRE Net Worth?

Calculating your FIRE net worth is slightly different to calculating your regular net worth.

FIRE Net worth = FIRE Assets – FIRE Liabilities

FIRE assets for us are those that are invested, earning income, and accessible to you now. These assets and liabilities don’t include our home, car, furniture, collectibles, jewelry, and retirement accounts that we are unable to access until traditional retirement age (e.g. Superannuation for us Australians isn’t accessible until 60 years old).

Note: You may wish to include Super/Retirement if you plan on retiring at an age where you can access these, or you may want to look at Aussie Firebugs calculator here which allows you to incorporate your super/retirement into your FIRE plan. We have opted not to do this as superannuation rules around access are controlled by the Australian Government, and therefore could change at any time.

Happy Calculating !!!!! If you don’t want to do the calculations yourself the Net worth Tracker I use is available in my Etsy shop for $5.50 (click on the image below for the link). I’ve also just updated it this month to calculate your FIRE net worth as well. If you’ve already purchased this get in touch with me with proof of purchase and I will send you the updated version.

If you would like to have articles like this delivered to your inbox subscribe below.

Side Hustle Income – October 2021

Following our side hustle series detailing the side hustles we participate in we have decided to track and detail the income we generate each month. If you want to read all the previous linked posts you can find them all here.

With the close of October are just under $700 away from hitting our 2021 goal of 10k in side hustle income.

Year to Date – Month by Month Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

October 2021 – Side Income Breakdown

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Side Hustle Income – October 2021 = $907.95

Total Side Income 2021 (to date) = $9,332.25

Please note that the numbers below and above don’t include tax/expenses so these are less spectacular when you take this into consideration (these are pre-tax figures).

Gardening = $666.45 (approximately 20 hours work)

Hmmm October is the month of Halloween so it’s fitting that my husband made $666 gardening this month. Another good month of gardening money this month, however this may change in the new year. My husband and I have discussed the idea of stopping gardening in 2022 in order to prioritise some more renovations in the new year (namely our upstairs kitchen/living room renovations).

At the moment we don’t have time to do a kitchen and living room renovation, and we’ve learnt this the hard way through our Airbnb renovations this year which have taken double the time we initially estimated. If hubby stopped his gardening we would be able to do the kitchen and living room renovations ourselves (and in a reasonable timeframe). The money we would save from hubby doing the work as opposed to a contractor is huge (far more than what we would earn from his gardening side hustle). We haven’t made a final decision on this but it’s looking more and more likely…. watch this space. If you want to find out more on doing Gardening as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Etsy = $41.50

I’ve had a few people ask me to do a post on my tips for getting started selling printables and digital products on Etsy. I’m hopeful that I will find some time to share what I’ve learnt from this side hustle. I’m currently working on 3 new templates (including my AirBnB host guide), which I’m hoping to have ready for the store in December 2021 (so stay tuned). If you would like 10% off any of my Etsy items click here to view my store.

Affiliate Income = $200.00

I like to be 100% honest and transparent so feel free to read more about this income stream here on why we are using affiliate marketing, what affiliate marketing is, and what we are using the income for.

Other Side Hustles

Although we didn’t earn any income in these side hustles this month you may be interested in reading more about them as we often participate in them from time to time including:

Next Month

I’m hoping to reach our goal of 10k in side hustles for 2021 in November!!!!

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here.

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Airbnb Update – October 2021

Just a quick update on how our Airbnb renovations are going since our last post in September, how much progress we’ve made, and when we estimate we’ll be live on Airbnb for bookings. For all our Airbnb related posts click here.

Eventually, the aim is to turn these posts into more detailed monthly posts around the ups and downs of being an Airbnb host (if we ever get there).

So what’s happened since our last post in September?

Bathroom/Toilet

Since our last post, our bathroom grouting, and silicone have been completed by our bathroom contractors. We also had our LED mirror and frameless shower screen installed.

As always with renovations, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing and we had some issues with the LED mirror we received in October. The button to turn the mirror on ended up being misaligned so when it was hung it was off centre (and looked crooked). We returned it and were pleasantly surprised to receive an upgraded model at no extra cost. The new LED mirror has a built-in Bluetooth speaker (and is anti fog) so you can listen to music etc during your shower. It’s awesome.

My husband completed the plastering and painting of the bathroom ceiling and toilet along with the installation of the toilet roll holder. We still have the towel rack to install but are not 100% decided on the location.

The only items remaining for bathroom completion are the towel rack install (DIY) and the exhaust fan install (which has to be done by an electrician).

If you would like to see the inspiration behind our Bathroom renovations check out our Pinterest board here.

Kitchenette (Mini Kitchen)

The mini kitchen was finished in October !!!!! and we love it !!!!!!!

We even gave it a test run the other day when we had friends over playing in the pool. It was so awesome to do some food prep and keep the drinks cool without having to run up and down stairs all afternoon.

In October to finish it off my husband put in a shelf for the microwave and some other items. The shelf was a lot more work than it looked as the microwave is quite heavy and the stud work in the wall wasn’t really best to support my idea of a floating shelf. As a result to our guests, it appears to be a floating shelf but in reality, it’s not. I’m still really happy with it, and my husband managed to colour match the wood to the benchtop pretty well.

I also finished buying the plates, odds, and ends for the mini kitchen. The items came from KMART and IKEA, and shopping for these items was my favourite activity this month.

If you would like to see the inspiration behind our Mini Kitchen renovations check out our Pinterest board here.

The Laundry

In October we started working on the laundry side of the bathroom. Our bathroom is laid out with the shower and vanity on one side and the laundry cabinetry and appliances on the other.

Initially, we were going to get a custom-made laundry and we were going to outsource a lot of the work to contractors to save time. But as time went on we realised that this simply wasn’t financially feasible for us so we decided to look at IKEA as an option.

After playing with their kitchen/laundry designer online and coming up with a design (see image below) we decided to go ahead and order.

Our laundry design came to the cost of $1500 which was far better than the quotes we had received from contractors (6k-9k).

Fortunately for us, the majority of the laundry was in stock at IKEA and was delivered to our home the next day. The remaining items arrived at the end of October.

My husband and I are slowly chipped away at building the laundry, but we are still yet to have it all installed (ETA Nov at this stage). Our downstairs currently looks like a storeroom for IKEA.

Our living room nook aka an IKEA storeroom

In November we hope to have the laundry cabinets installed, and have a benchtop picked out. I’m super keen to be able to do my laundry indoors after over 6 months of doing my laundry outside (see photo below).

My current laundry situation

Other Renovation Activities

We completed the installation of the exterior door (the last door), and it’s been painted black on one side and has a clear coat on the wood grain on the other side. It sounds a bit odd, but honestly looks great and allows the door to stay in the colour scheme of both areas (see photos below).

October’s weather was lovely so we also managed to get stuck into the outdoor areas which included oiling the deck and furniture, and pulling up the old lawn (ready for the new lawn in November).

What Airbnb related renovations are still to be done?

This list seems to get bigger and bigger:

  • Install Laundry
  • Install exhaust fan
  • Install towel rack
  • Get plumber to install laundry taps and sink
  • Measure up the laundry benchtop and install
  • Put in 2 plantation shutters
  • Put in a new curtain
  • Repaint the outdoor pavers
  • Replace the outdoor cushions
  • Replace lawn
  • Finish off outdoor veranda (painting, cornice and lights)
  • Buy a new outdoor umbrella

How much have we spent to date?

$20,828 (Spent up to the end of September 2021)

This amount includes everything from new flooring throughout, new bathroom/laundry/toilet, new doors, new furniture, curtains/plantation shutters, painting, and any outdoor updates required.

If you would like to see a bit more detail around our monthly expenses use the link here. We have a category called renovations.

When are we aiming to start listing our Airbnb?

Originally our plan was to start listing for guests by Spring 2021 (September 2021). However, as you can tell we are not ready for guests. We are tentatively aiming to list on Airbnb in early January.

What does it look like now?

Here are a few current photos of the space.

If you would like to follow our renovations on Instagram feel free to follow via @TheBoathouseStirling

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Expense Review – September 2021

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this year is just flying by. At the time of writing this post it’s already mid October, and I’m well behind in my blog posts. September was a good month for us and we managed to get a tonne of things done on the renovations.

Our renovations continue to be our biggest expense and to date we have spent over 20k this year on completely renovating the ground floor of our house. September renovation expenses came to just over 4k, and we a few more thousand to go.

To view all previous expense review tagged posts click here.

Top 5 Expenses – September 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.
  1. Renovations = $4,239.35

Notes: The majority of this month’s renovation expenses were a shower screen ($1672), plumbing ($800), and a vanity ($1400). The other purchases were small items from Bunnings or from the paint shop. Our bathroom is now completed, and we are now finishing off the laundry. We are currently awaiting some items from IKEA which are on back order. We have hit a bit of a problem with our renovation savings in that we have run out of savings. We are now trying to finish the last bits within our current income, and are trying desperately not to reduce our investing. Something may have to give, but at this stage we haven’t had to reduce our investing. We are now hoping to be finished our renovations by mid November (and might have our downstairs area listed on Airbnb in December).

  1. Mortgage = $1,544.73

Notes: In September we finally completed our home loan refinance, and have set up our loans to enable us to start debt recycling. We managed to get a great variable rate of 1.99%.

  1. Utilities= $779.95

Notes: Our utilities include our mobile phones (4 phones @ $104.95 per month), Internet (MyRepublic @ $59 per month), Water, Gas and Electricity (We use Reamped – link here for $50 referral code).

  1. Food and Alcohol = $626.35

Notes: We had a good month with our grocery bill. We do our main shop at Aldi and shop at other places depending on the specials available. We shop online at BWS to make use of cashback rewards (If you want to sign up use this affiliate link – You’ll get a $10 bonus once you make your first transaction).

ShopAmount
Aldi$453.95
BWS$89.00
Woolworths$25.30
Bakers Delight (Bakery)$21.90
Fancy Bottle Shop $20.69
Foodland$12.05
IGA$3.46
Total$626.35
Breakdown of Food and Alcohol spending
  1. Health and Medical Items = $453.95

Notes: Our Health and Medical expenses were quite low compared to previous months as we only had one visit to the doctor. This category is also made up of our Private Health Insurance (Silver Family Cover for Hospital and Extras), which costs $156.85 per fortnight. Health and medical costs are a non negotiable in this medically challenged family.

Year to Date Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

We spent $7,877.11 in September and $11,612.73 in August which is an decrease of $3,735.62 on last month. We spent $262.57 per day in September which is down from last month’s $374.60 per day.

Other Expenses (% of total expenses) – September 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

New Expenses (September)

No new expenses.

Changes we’ve made this month (September)

No changes made.

Changes to expect next month (September)

Next month I will be starting a new job and I’m in desperate need of some new clothes so I expect our clothing expenses to increase in October.

Year to Date Expense Overview ($)

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Spend 2021 (To Date) = $77,632.82 or an average of $8625.87 a month for 2 Adults and 2 Children (Aged 13 and 10).

Investment Rate 2021 (To Date) = 43.68% (includes wages and side hustles)

Our goal investment rate at the start of the year was 60%, however we created this goal before I took a 30k (after tax) pay cut in March. Given the massive pay cut and the renovations we are doing this year I’m happy with where we are at. More importantly we are still tracking to our current goal of hitting financial independence by January 2029.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Net Worth Update (and FIRE NW)- September 2021

Last month our net worth hit 7 figures, and so I thought it was time to start tracking and sharing our FIRE net worth as well.

If you would like to see all net worth posts use this link here.

Firstly here’s a quick explanation of the difference between calculating your your total net worth and your FIRE net worth.

Calculating your total net worth is:

Total Net worth = Total Assets – Total Liabilities

Calculating your FIRE net worth is slightly different:

FIRE Net worth = FIRE Assets – FIRE Liabilities

FIRE assets are those that are invested, earning income and accessible to you now. These assets and liabilities don’t include your home, car, furniture, collectables, jewellery, and retirement accounts that you are unable to access until traditional retirement age (e.g. Superannuation for us Australians isn’t accessible until 60 years old).

Total Net worth September 2021 – $1,022,200 (up $2,200)

FIRE Net worth September 2021 – $287,865 (up $111,811)

Net Worth Calculator available here
Net Worth Calculator available here

Total Assets September 2021 – $1,499,791 (up $112,803)

Our assets increased substantially in September, and this was from a large purchase of ETF’s from funds we freed up as a result of our home refinance (we have started using debt recycling as part of our investment strategy to reach financial independence a little quicker than planned). We still have more to invest in the market, but are waiting to see how things go in October (which just so happens to be the most volatile months of the year). Obviously as a result of borrowing to invest we have also increased our liabilities so this increase to assets hasn’t resulted in the same increase to our total net worth.

So what did we do right?

In addition to the additional ETF’s we purchased via debt recycling we continued to invest our income into ETF’s. In September we invested a total of 5k (outside of super/retirement) via Pearler’s auto investment feature (we normally invest 2k a fortnight as per our investment strategy). We missed our goal of investing 6k as we had a few extra renovating expenses. We are still hoping to hit our super stretch goal of having 200k invested by the end of 2021 (we are 23k away from this goal, and we don’t count the debt recycling related ETF purchases towards this goal).

Our retirement funds continued to grow thanks to our generous employment benefits (My husband receives 17.5% employer superannuation contributions, and I receive 10% but also have deferred tax benefits for any super contributions that are made to my account).

So what did we change?

We started debt recycling. We have refinanced our home loan, and split our loan into two loans, and tapped into the equity of the house for the sole purpose of investing. This is not a strategy I feel educated enough to provide details on so I encourage you to seek out professional financial advice.

Total Liabilities September 2021 – $477,029 (increased $110,603)

Our liabilities increased this month as part of our debt recycling plans. Our interest rate is 1.99% and is a variable loan. We expect our liabilities to increase further in October as we continue to purchase more ETF’s via our investment loan to a total of 550k.

Total Net Worth Increase in 2021 (to date) = $262,542

Net Worth Calculator available here

End of 2021 Goal 1 million dollar net worth: Completed August 2021

How do I track our net worth?

I’ve tracked our net worth since mid 2019 and enjoy seeing it grow over time. I strongly believe that tracking can assist you on staying the course, because lets face it this getting wealthy business takes time (and it’s easy to feel like you’re not making progress and lose interest).

Being a bit of a spreadsheet nerd I track our net worth in a custom made spreadsheet which is available here for $5.50.

I also track it on a day to day basis on a free IOS app called ‘My Net Worth’ so I can see how I’m going over the month, and then I enter the details from the app into my spreadsheet.

How do you calculate net worth?

If you don’t want to download the free IOS app or use a spreadsheet you can calculate this manually.

  1. Writing down all of your assets and liabilities separately.
  2. Then add up all of your assets together to get a figure (write this down).
  3. Then add up all of your liabilities together to get a figure (write this down).
  4. Then take the sum of your assets and deduct the sum of your liabilities.
  5. This is your net worth.

Net Worth = (Sum of your Assets) – (Sum of your Liabilities)

Happy Calculating !!!!! If you don’t want to do the calculations yourself the Net worth Tracker I use is available in my Etsy shop for $5.50 (click on the image below for the link). I’ve also just updated it this month to calculate your FIRE net worth as well. If you’ve already purchased this get in touch with me with proof of purchase and I will send you the updated version.

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