Previous update here.
Hello again! It’s been a bit quiet on my part around here, as I’ve squirrelled myself away in a squirrel hole working on my thesis. Summer is definitely behind us in the southern hemisphere, with April bringing cold winds from the south and wet weather – starting with race day for the Triathlon I took part in! In the end it was a great day and I even managed a solid personal best 🙂
Finishing my Masters though has been somewhat tough – I’m intending to submit next month. Indeed, if someone bothered to collect the data and run an analysis, there is probably a decent correlation between ($ spent eating out) and my workload/stress level. Fortunately I’ll be teaching less this month, so it should be a good opportunity to focus on my own work and strike a balance.
Finance-wise, April was a decent month. I was underpaid at work (circa $950) due to a contracting mix-up so I’m looking forward to the correction in May albeit, with a good dose of taxation.
One of my goals for 2016 is to reduce how much I spend eating out each month, and whilst I managed to come in 20% below my 2015 monthly average in April, I was still over my target by about $80 for the month. I’m working with some different strategies to get sub $250/month, which is still a fair amount by any yardstick.
Quick Summary: Cash decreased slightly for the month, whilst my Superannuation (equivalent to a 401k) and investments were up slightly, thanks to the slight market recovery and deposit to the managed fund I’m Dollar Cost Averaging into. It’s actually the first time since July 2015 when I purchased units in the fund that it has made a net positive return. I don’t mind the volatility, as the fund is something that I’ll hold for many years unless I consistently outperform it. Yet it’s interesting that if I’d sold (in fear) I’d have lost around $200+ on a modest $4000 investment which highlights the importance that if you need your ‘invested’ money soon (say 1-3 years) you’re often better off holding it in less volatile assets, like bonds, fixed interest or cash accounts. I’m sure in 5-10 years the underlying assets of the fund will be worth a good deal more, and am happy to hold.
Credit debt (which I only recently got out of, and now find myself back in up to my ankles) is down by over a third. Other long terms debts reduced slightly. Overall net worth increased by around $900, which I’m pretty happy about given my salary this month.
Cash: $7,508 decreased 2.72%
Superannuation: $31,555 increasing 1.06%
Investments: $4,021 up 5.86% (net deposits $200).
Other Assets: $12,578 down 1.20%
Total Assets: $55,662 up 0.34%
Credit Cards : ($320) reduced 36.45%
Student Loans: ($30,790) steady
Other Liabilities: ($22,367) down 2.61%
Total Liabilities: ($53,477) decreased 1.44%
Net Worth: $2,185 up 80.47%
Image credit: Peter Trimming
- Cash consists of online savings accounts. I moved away from carrying cash in Q1 2015 and make 95% of my transactions electronically, for more accurate and up to date record keeping. I have a small transaction account holding around a tenth of my cash funds with the balance held in an ’emergency fund’ and a smaller account for rent savings/payments, both in modest interest bearing accounts (2-3%p.a.).
- Superannuation is the Government mandated retirement savings system in Australia
- Other Assets consists of one car at market value, depreciating monthly.
- Student Loans consist of the HECS/HELP debt provided by the Australian Government, indexed to inflation. The loan repayments are based on taxable income, with repayments required from taxable incomes of $54,126p.a. or more in 2015.
- Other Liabilities consist of two loans which are interest free and don’t require repayment until I finish my Masters degree.