September has been quite a busy month for me. My new job (‘new’ in that I’ve had only it for about 4 months now) is going well and my workload has really taken off. I was lucky enough to receive an offer from a competing company wanting to headhunt me, but in the end I turned them down as it wasn’t worth the risk.
Winter has turned into spring and I’ve started jogging for the first time. I’ll be taking part in a 10km adventure race next year, but for the time being I’m simply following the Couch to 5km running plan. I’ve been quite busy working at my side job 2 nights a week and it’s tricky to find the time to fit everything in, but I’m managing OK. I’m meeting with my boss at my second job during the week to negotiate a substantial payrise as I realised I’ve been earning the same rate there since 2008. This should take some of the pain out of late nights and a lack of sleep!
Personal Finance Progress
This month our offset account grew by a total of $2,444 to a total of just over $24,000. While this figure is a few hundred dollars less than last month (which I also thought was a poor month) there have been a number of reasons for this result. This month incurred a lot of annual bills – council rates, mortgage annual fee (which also covers my credit card and everyday banking), car registration and most importantly an engagement ring!
After speaking with a number of jewelers, I ended up purchasing a ring from a small boutique who handcraft their rings. I handpicked a 0.7ct diamond and they are in the process of crafting the setting. This process will still take a few more weeks (it’s about a month turnaround) and I’ve paid a 25% deposit. This gives me a few more weeks to be putting money aside to cover the balance, however I’ll end up taking a few thousand from the offset account to avoid putting it on credit. This doesn’t worry me as it’s always been the plan. I’d rather have my ring savings offsetting my mortgage than in a savings account earning interest that I need to pay tax on. Hopefully next month I’ll have some good news for you all!
Due to the large hit to my savings from purchasing an engagement ring, I haven’t made any investments this month. I am still considering putting $1,000 per month into an index ETF as opposed to the mortgage – this will start building us a portfolio and a return higher than the 5% offset shouldn’t be hard to obtain. This plan isn’t likely to come into fruition for another month or two due to the large hit I’ll take from the ring purchase – I’ve got to restock the coffers first.
My goal for September was to write two posts every week. Unfortunately last week I slipped and only wrote a single post, but otherwise I’ve managed to keep up with my schedule. Finding time to write blog posts is tricky and deciding on a good topic is just as hard, but I really need to put together a ‘buffer’ of a few posts to cover me in the event that I miss a post. In some positive news, I’ve just reached 20,000 words of blog posts – enough to fill a small book!
Traffic to my blog has increased significantly during the month – 1,200 visitors compared to 772 last month. I’m starting to see some regular traffic from search engines – roughly 1/3rd of all visitors are currently coming from search engines. I attribute this to my older articles slowly climbing the google ranks and actually showing up on the first few pages of results. Thanks to everyone who linked to my articles this month:
- Bite The Bullet Investing for hosting the Carnival of Financial Independence on September 7
- Money Q&A for hosting the Yakezie carnival on September 8
- Barbara Friedberg for the inclusion in her list of what she is enjoying at the moment
- Savvy Scot for hosting the Carnival of Financial Independence on September 14
- Degrees and Debt for hosting the Financial Carnival for Young Adults on September 15
- Wealth Note for hosting the Yakezie carnival on September 22
- Planting our Pennies for hosting the Carnival of Financial Independence of September 22
Site revenue was only a few cents higher than last month – $8.72 from Adsense. While this is quite a bit short of my goal of $15, this really is a secondary factor. During the month I was asked if I really expected to be able to make significant money from blogging – I was actually quite surprised by this question because this has never been my goal. Making a few dollars per month to cover the costs of running the site is quite a bit different than making thousands. To make a full time income, I expect I’d need to put in a full time workload. This isn’t the goal of my site, instead I view it as a way to keep myself on track financially and maybe to help out a few people in the process – any profit is simply icing on the cake.