Last month Mrs. R2A went back to work last month following 12 months of maternity leave. Her maternity leave impacted our finances during the past month in two big ways:

  1. She hasn’t been contributing to her KiwiSaver. Putting at least $1043 each year is a no-brainer so we needed to get onto remedying this before the end of the KiwiSaver year on June 30th. As it happens, we received a small windfall during the month in the way of rent for our house in the Philippines, and we put most of this towards her KiwiSaver, just over $600 in total. So we still need to contribute a bit more to get the full Government Contribution, but not much.
  2. For the past 5 months (since Mrs. R2A’s paid parental leave ended) our outgoings have exceeded our incomings. We’ve budgeted carefully but a couple of weeks ago withdrew $600 from Sharesies just to make sure we don’t go broke before her first pay comes in following her return to work. This is less than the amount we thought we may have to withdraw so it’s a win, but obviously still a dent in our savings. Thankfully we haven’t had to spend all of it, but rather than put any extra back into Sharesies, we’ll probably put it towards her KiwiSaver as the Government Contribution will make the returns there unbeatable.

This again highlights the benefits of the liquidity available through investing in Sharesies. This was the second time in just over 12 months that we’ve had to withdraw from Sharesies. It’s not something we really want to be doing or that we think we should be doing. The first time was for a spontaneous overseas trip that resulted from the death of Mrs. R2A’s dad and the second, as mentioned above, was more planned but still not ideal. Still, bar any further unexpected emergencies, we should finally be able to start building up an emergency fund!

Here’s how our situation looks this month:

KiwiSaver – Mr R2A$17,511.31
KiwiSaver – Mrs R2A$10,550.49
House Equity$73,796.33
Sharesies$1,233.00
P2P Lending$70.90
Bonus Bonds$20.00
TOTAL$103,182.03

This is an increase of $2.425.57 or 2.41% over last month. Mortgage repayments are still the prime factor behind the increase, although KiwiSaver definitely gets an honourable mention this month for aforementioned reasons.

Some notes for context:

  • For more info on why our house is included in our net worth for retirement purposes (and why our Philippines house isn’t), see our retirement plan.
  • Next month’s update will be the first where we’re back to being a dual-income family so it will be interesting to see whether that makes a difference.

Overall there’s not much change in the trajectory of where we’re headed. But as we’re still in the early days of saving for retirement we can enjoy crazy month-on-month increases in savings of over 2%, which no doubt won’t last forever.

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