Net Wealth report – March 2019
We come to another net wealth report. My first month of being “unemployed” and what a month it has been. I feel like I have been busier than ever, even with no paid work to do. Between kids and actually looking for a job, there is a lot to do.
This is also my favorite time of year, weather-wise. Not too hot, not too cold. The ocean is still warm enough to enjoy swimming and yet the nights are cool enough that you don’t need the air conditioner.
This month we also traveled to a triathlon. Don’t ask about the result – not happy at all. It was a great weekend away and Mrs Smith was able to catch up with friends who lived in the area.
March 2019 flows
Income this month was WAAAYYYYY up but mostly consisted of my redundancy payment. In some ways I am lucky. The company I work for had as a pretty generous Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with the unionised part of the workforce. Even though I am not covered by that, the company still applies it to all workers, from the CEO down. So I received over 9 months salary, all concessionally taxed. I also received my full bonus and STI, which added another few months onto the final payout. Even without scrimping and saving we can still get through the next 12 months ok.
In terms of other, non work income, we did ok again. Investment income was up because of dividends received and from interest on the redundancy payment. Capital gains was up from returns on our retirement fund.
In the “Other Other” category, we made some money selling old things around the house. We sold the old baby cot for $200 and the clarinet for $120. We also got $70 in bonuses on opening a Brickx account and I made $35 from answering a few surveys. Not huge amounts, but given we’re not getting any other income in, it all helps!
I should note that in the other category there are also some reimbursements received from ex-wife #1. These could be offset against various child costs, but I don’t show it that way.
Our expenses were up a bit from February. There were a number of “one-off” costs that were unavoidable and some expenses that related back to Feb that we paid in March.
|Top 10 expenses||$|
The biggest changes from February was health, children and car. Health was up a lot, as we had two lots of payments for cost center #1’s braces, a medical bill for myself held over from Feb and a couple of doctor’s visits for cost centers # 3 and 4 who got colds (and subsequently passed onto me!).
Child costs were up a lot, as we had to purchase a new car seat for cost center #4. She’s growing up so fast! The good news is that we shouldn’t need to purchase another one, as she can move up into cost center #3’s seat in a few years time. We also had music lessons and Scout camps for cost center #2.
The car costs were up, as we had CTP insurance due on one of the cars.
On the saving’s side, mortgage interest came down as did travel expenses.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on our food bills. This month was up compared to February, due to dining out when we were away. Our actual grocery bill (food costs for eating at home), was only up slightly, so that’s a good sign.
Dollar per day measurement
I track a lot of our expenses on a “dollar per day” basis. I find that this gives a much better view of our costs over time and better comparison. Below, I have graphed our dollars per day for the mortgage and our utilities. The big leap in the mortgage was a 10 basis point rise in mortgage costs last year. We have probably the lowest mortgage interest rate possible – I keep a very close eye on it. I also expect interest rates to be cut some time this year, which will save a lot.
Our utilities are seasonal (as you’d expect), with heating driving up costs during winter. Interestingly, our electricity costs are higher over the summer in 2018-2019 than they were in 2017 – 2018. I know power costs have gone up a bit, but having looked at it further, it appears its our usage is up. Not sure why yet. Could be because Mrs Smith has been home all summer with cost center #4.
I will post the rest of our net wealth report over the next week or so. This includes my monthly Kiva update and more detail in our investments and net wealth.