I have decided to sneak this post in before it gets to Sep. After all, this is a long journey to financial independence and it’s important to celebrate milestones to keep ourselves going. Our average monthly passive income for the year has finally crossed S$1,000 at the time of writing. FYI, it’s going to drop below S$1,000 once Sep comes around but oh well. A win is a win.
Just thinking about what that means is putting a smile on my face! Somehow, our investment and cash management strategies are starting to work out after plugging away at them for so many years. We have been slowly increasing our interest and dividend income earned but it’s hard to see the progress on a month to month basis.
It becomes significant when you make the comparison on a 2 year basis from the time we spent working in Melbourne, Sydney then Singapore. In 6 years, we have committed several errors, learnt many lessons and made much progress financially.
Which is why our advice has always been not to be afraid of taking risks and making mistakes. They come hand in hand with moving forward in your life because you can’t make progress otherwise. We should also try to encourage each other because financial freedom is a goal we can all achieve in our own way.
Anyway, May and August are our big dividend months due to us owning a lot more Singapore Exchange (SGX)-listed semi-annual dividend paying stocks. It results in spikes in our average monthly passive income thus allowing me to write self-congratulatory posts like this.
We have been trying to smooth out our dividend income by investing in some SGX-listed quarterly dividend paying stocks and London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed quarterly distribution index ETFs. We would prefer the dividend income to be more regular and it’s already starting to show with a small jump in passive income every alternate month.
I also realised our monthly interest income is starting to increase slightly. This makes sense as we have been building up our cash positions from consistently saving a portion of our monthly salary income. The Singapore and global equity markets have been quite flat recently and there aren’t many buying opportunities.
The same goes for the Singapore property market. Rents have fallen but prices are sticky downwards. Although the employment market is worsening in Singapore, there are still enough jobs around to provide people with holding power to support the prices for now.
This actually works out for us. With each month, the overexposure to real estate (real property and REITs) gets corrected slightly from the allocation of our savings to cash and ETFs. Our housing loan is tied to the 3-month SOR, which has fallen slightly and the payments continue to remain manageable.
By the way, we track our entire net worth (all of our assets, liabilities, income, expenses and associated website links to pull in relevant information) on Google Sheets. Essentially, we have one spreadsheet with many tabs full of data, charts and analysis that is maintained online. That’s how we track our overall financial progress in case you are wondering.
I just remembered I started a series on why you should use Google Sheets and how you should use Google Sheets for personal finance management. Really should get back to working on it. Anyway, it’s a fine balancing act now and we just have to wait for time to pass for rebalancing to happen. I hope everyone had a good weekend and is ready for the new work week!