Q1 Update – We’re still here and still making progress!

The past three months have been earth-shatteringly busy, tiring and stressful. However, we’re settling into life as a new family. It’s been a test, but we’ve weathered some difficult moments, stuck together and kept making progress. Sounds a bit corny…but don’t care!

A representation of what this quarter has felt like at times…

Back in Q4
Net worth: $771,918 / Portfolio: $283,000
Markets have been pretty volatile, and we decided to increase our cash allocation. Previously we had been toying with the idea of keeping a lot of our cash reserve in the market, but unexpected health expenses for Jnr. made us re-evaluate that. We have been to some dark and difficult places over the past few months, and we have just kept chipping away and supported each other. Things have got easier every month. We think just about every day is a good day for Jnr. now. He smiles lots, gets held and cuddled for hours at a time and gets lots of stimulation from toys, his baby gym, playing with him etc. We think we might be okay parents.

Net Worth: $796,287 ($24,369)
– House: $426,000 ($0)
– Retirement Accounts: $44,761 ($2,844)
– Portfolio: $297,218 ($14,217)
– Cash: $30,000 ($9,000)

Wins this Quarter
We’re debt-free! Shortbread paid off the last of her student loan as a lump sum. We could have kept it going, but noticed that the interest rate was rising…sneaky student loan people! Given that we’re going to be on a single income for a while, we figured that just knocking the payments out so we didn’t have to think about it was probably for the best. On the subject of being single income…we have survived just fine on our budget, even though technically this is the last quarter we have dual income as a result of maternity pay.

This quarter also saw our largest ever dividend payout – $1,252.07! Given this is not a taxable event where we live, this feels great! Love that free money…for the few minutes it’s in the brokerage account before it gets reinvested.

As mentioned above, the quarter has been a bit torturous at times, but we have come through it stronger and in a great position. Health issues for Jnr. are a bit concerning, but our budgeting has hugely paid off. If Shortbread’s ability to ask for 18months of maternity leave was our first real taste of F-U money, being able to pay for some unexpected and large medical bills without having to worry about it was the second. Simply put, if we hadn’t been working on our approach to financial independence over the last few years we would not be in this position. I don’t even want to think about the alternative. It’s not about retiring early, it’s about having control over the stresses of life.

Goals going forward:
• Shortbread transitions to life away from work
In the same way that it’s common advice for a successful retirement to have something to retire to rather than retire from, we’re mindful of the important of Shortbread transitioning to being a mum during the daytime. It’s a bit of a change, but it’s important to do things like get out of the house and go to places with Jnr., even when it’s a challenge. I don’t want Shortbread to ever feel resentful of me going to work.

• Celebrating $800k of net worth!
We were here in 2021…but volatility (and slightly ambitious valuation of our property) sent us plunging below that number in 2022. With our contributions coming up, we’re sure it’s coming! We should hit $300,000 in the portfolio too, which means a new FIRE level!

• Being the best parents we can be
It’s a bit corny, but everything is about the baby now. Money is interesting and important, but it’s secondary to us building a great family environment. The good news is that now that the really stressful stuff has dissipated somewhat, we’re really enjoying being parents.

Here’s to Q2!