What a rollercoaster year 2020 has been.
It’s early November as I write this in my living room in Melbourne, Australia. The COVID restrictions have eased in the past week – no more curfew, retail shops, cafes and restaurants are back open, and soon an end to the 25km travel distance limit. There are barely any active cases in Australia and while we have some of our freedoms back, the economy is still hurting. Since March, we have been in and out of lockdowns, with Melbournians basically under house arrest since July until now.
Hopefully the dark days are now behind us, and the focus is now on rebuilding an economy and recovering from a financially devastating time for millions of Australians. We have been in a booming economy for the past couple of decades and the shock of a global pandemic has placed a spotlight on personal finance basics which had been taken for granted or largely ignored while money was flowing freely. Businesses are now trying to keep afloat, prices have increased the cost of living is creeping up to make up for the loss of revenue this year.
Despite the rollercoaster of the year, there have been numerous lessons learned and many things to be grateful for. A global pandemic, restricted movement, a dire economic situation and human suffering has helped me re-focus on what is important to me, what gives me value, and focusing on building good foundations for a stable future.
The rollercoaster ride has been wild however I doubt I would have had these valuable realisations if it had been a comfortable and cruisey year. Due to stressful conditions, I’ve had the opportunity to be able to hone in on my values and articulate my greater mission in life, and make steps towards creating a more purposeful life. I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoy a more natural, simple life without the big dinners, cocktails, and a show-and-tell lifestyle. Above all, I’ve started to build a life with someone who (without really knowing it) has taught me a lot about frugality because of his own habits. In other words, I’ve learned how to transform my intention to be more frugal into actions simply because of his lifestyle positively impacting mine. It is much easier achieving personal finance goals when the person you spend most of your time with also is sensible with money.
I’ve been lucky this year, and not only been able to increase my net worth but adjusted my lifestyle so that I’ve been enjoying a 40% savings rate for the past few months. Moving and home expenses increased in July and I splurged for my 30th birthday in August, but apart from that, have been enjoying a much simpler lifestyle which has the added benefit of being frugal at the same time. Small changes such as enjoying cooking and dining at home, using an app for workouts rather than a gym membership (due to COVID gym restrictions), doing my own nails rather than going to a salon, making coffee at home, switching from expensive skincare to affordable skincare have all been small adjustments which helped me go from a measly 18% savings rate in FY20 to 40% savings rate.
So… how much did I spend in October?
I spent $3,677 in October, an increase in spending compared to September due to my $530 vehicle registration being due. Mr. Piggybanks and I have a joint home expenses account, and with 2 big bills arriving our grocery and bills expenses blew up from $560 each in Sept to $806 each in October.
What is my net worth?
It has taken a long 4 years to go from -$20,000 net worth in November 2016 to $108,000 net worth in October 2020 with a hell of a lot of learnings, personal growth and changes along the way.
I’ve now reached over $128,000 in assets, however, this is countered by a my student loan which still haunts me 7 years since graduation. Since my last post in May, I have increased my share portfolio, achieved my $20k 6-month emergency fund goal, received a large refund from a cancelled Europe holiday which I put towards savings, and reduced my student loan at the end of the FY20 tax year in June.
My goals for the rest of the year is to increase my savings to $15,000 and invest another $3,000 into my share portfolio so the market value is around $40,000.
How has your month of October been? What have your frugal wins and fails been? Any financial stresses or successes? Comment below!
xx Miss Piggy