Q2 Update – Light at the end of the tunnel

This quarter seemed like an absolute slog at times, but in retrospect it seems like it has whizzed by. I don’t think work helped my mindset much – I’m not sure I’ve written many posts picking out the specifics of what grinds me down about my job before. Shortbread Jnr. is doing really well now and leaving him in the morning is getting harder and harder. In some ways the wins this quarter are making it easier though – this accumulation thing is working.

Could it be…an investment account balance not in the red? It’s been a while…

Back in Q1
Net worth: $796,979 / Portfolio: $297,218
This quarterly update is likely to rank as one of the biggest new worth changes ever (certainly in a positive direction). This is partly because we decided to revalue our property. We use zoopla, a site a bit like zillow in the US, to help work out how much it is worth. We are generally quite conservative in our estimates and used the lower of the value range suggested, but things have still appreciated. However, this doesn’t explain all of the changes – the market looks like it’s back! Our portfolio ticked over into net profitability for the first time since early 2022 marking an end to a bearish almost 18 months. We have written in previous updates about not panicking and the extent to which we were down at one point. Perhaps the distraction of Shortbread Jr. has made it easier to ignore all the volatility.

Net Worth: $889,998 ($92,019)
– House: $460,000 ($34,000)
– Retirement Accounts: $49,429 ($4,668)
– Portfolio: $350,569 ($53,351)
– Cash: $30,000 ($0)

Wins this Quarter
Biggest quarterly dividend payout ever! This is a set of goalposts that just keeps moving…and that’s fine with me. We bloody love dividend day, especially without having to worry about taxes. Despite us reinvesting every cent, seeing $1574 hit our account was nice.

Shortbread has managed to find some really cheap playgroups to take Shortbread Jnr to twice a week. She has met lots of different people as a result and is feeling less isolated…it’s hard to be on the other side of the world to your family with a newborn. We’ve been giggling at the slightly nutty things we’ve seen on the expat Whatsapp groups we have both joined – some people have more money than sense. There might be an article in it if we can ensure the tone isn’t too cruel.

Finally, a win has been flying business back home to the UK. Shortbread is currently there as I write this, having flown a couple of weeks early. It’s been a tough few weeks on my own, but a break with Jnr’s grandparents helping has helped Shortbread. We decided a couple of years ago in our money rules that anything over a 6 flight would be business class. This means that Jnr has flown business class before his dad…but by all accounts it was worth it. We started saving for this last year, so the money is pretty immaterial at this point. Tickets were super expensive, but this is an intentional purchase. Besides, the flight is longer than the last time we went back due to war in Ukraine. For us, FIRE is all about being able to use your money to optimise your happiness.

Goals going forward:
• $900k?
A couple of months ago we would have laughed that this milestone might be coming up soon, but we’re currently about $10k away. Who knows what the markets might do over the next few months, but if things stay roughly stable we might hit $900k in Q3. Given how volatile our net worth figure has been over the past couple of years though…I’m not betting on it. If it happens, it happens.

• A room for Shortbread Jnr.?
We’re not sure about when, but Jnr is going to need his own bedroom at some point in the next two quarters. While his waking up in the middle of the night can be a bit disruptive to sleep, I don’t mind it. I quite like him in the room with us. They’re not babies forever, so I’m trying to enjoy all the little things while I can.

• Summer holiday
Work has just finished for me for summer. As I suggested last year…are the holidays the best thing about being a teacher? They are certainly not the worst!

Here’s to Q3.