How we Increased our Net Worth by $166,000 PLUS got Permanent Residency and new Qualifications, Jobs and Another Baby
A year ago, we started this site as a hobby. At the time, we had just applied for a residency visa for Mr Aspiring Millionaire, we had 4 kids (teens, a primary schooler and a 3 month old). Mr Aspiring Millionaire had not been working for 2 years as he was on a tourist visa and Ms Aspiring Millionaire had health issues through the pregnancy causing a drop in income.
We’d seen some extreme expenses including repatriation after getting lockdown in the Solomon Islands. For 2020 it felt like we were bleeding money, so once we did the residency visa and knew we’d be based in Australia for a while, we regrouped and focused on our finances.
So in April 2021, we sat down and worked out where we were at financially, our goals and what we wanted to do.
What did we Achieve in a Year?
With the visa approved, we were able to get clear on our goals and also fell pregnant with a daughter who was born in February. With our son turning 1 in January, this meant by February 2022 we had two teens, an 8-year-old, a 1-year-old and a newborn.
A baby, a residency visa, a $30K course, cleared some debt, 2 trips (a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne then a trip to Tasmania for 3 weeks), a new job and started another business.
For 1 year, and 1 sporadic income, that is a lot to achieve. Many aiming for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) would baulk at some of these expenses and choices. Our aim is to enjoy life, create great memories and do what we want while also working towards financial freedom.
A note on our income, Ms Aspiring Millionaire is the main income earner and due to health complications, her income dropped below 6 figures so we are not using a high income to achieve this either.
$30,000 Course: Commercial Diving
Our first goal was to save for a commercial diving course for Mr Aspiring Millionaire at a cost of $30,000 with 3 courses, flights, accommodation and some gear. In December 2021, he became an ADAS 3 Commercial Diver.
August to December, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was based in Tasmania while Ms Aspiring Millionaire was in Noosa with the kids. As the only income earner for the past few years, it was a little daunting to aim for $30,000 for the course.
Things fell into place in July, so we quickly booked him in the last spot available for the August course. If he didn’t do the course then, it couldn’t be done until early 2022, when Ms Aspiring Millionaire was due with a baby.
So for us, the only option was to find the money asap and we did. Getting the money as well as him getting qualified was a huge achievement.
The teenagers are just over a year apart, they are best friends and are from Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage. The 8-year-old is from Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage and she currently lives in the Solomon Islands. Together, we had our son in January 2021 and before we had him, we had decided to have another close in age, the same as the teenagers are.
In February 2022, our youngest daughter was born. Mr Aspiring Millionaire was doing work in another state so flew back for the birth and has visited twice in the 2 months since her birth.
Despite being experienced, her birth had complications and it was an extremely traumatic birth, requiring surgery and extra care for Ms Aspiring Millionaire after birth. Not at all what we planned or expected but 2 months on, things are going much better.
Our daughter is easygoing, much like our other kids and our older children simply adore her. All of the kids get along well and the teens love teaching their younger siblings everything.
In April 2021 we did a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne. For the most part, it wasn’t that expensive as we had a lot of free accommodation with family and friends. The purpose of the trip was to see friends and family as well as collect our belongings that had been stored in Melbourne since early 2019 when we went travelling.
In the September/October school holidays Ms Aspiring Millionaire flew with the teens and baby, while pregnant, down to Tassie while Mr Aspiring Millionaire studied. Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s uncle lent us one of his spare cars for the trip and we stayed with family in some places and paid for accommodation elsewhere.
The Tassie trip was a combination of seeing each other during the course, showing the kids and Mr Aspiring Millionaire where Ms Aspiring Millionaire grew up, seeing family and some travel writing work.
New Job and New Business
In January 2022, Mr Aspiring Millionaire started work as a commercial diver and loves it. His previous career was in diving as a guide and tec diver including doing the trip to find Amelia Earhart’s Plane with National Geographic. Commercial diving was a goal of his since he started diving but wasn’t achievable in the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu.
As for the new business, many of our businesses are small at the moment with room to grow. Focusing on the babies and studies meant we didn’t spend a lot of time on the businesses. However, we had the opportunity to get involved with one this month. Right now, it’s not worth a lot but there is huge potential for growth across the 3 countries we are based in.
Plus the new business requires minimal work (less than 1 day a month) from us as most of the work is done elsewhere.
How Our Net Worth Grew
We are ecstatic to look at what we have achieved in the past year, especially since we know the obstacles we faced that we aren’t sharing here. Doing all of that predominantly on one income was amazing so we know now that we are both working and have the capacity to expand the businesses that our net worth will grow faster.
Here is where we were and where we are now.
Our Assets April 2021
April 2021 I was only able to list out our properties from Vanuatu so below is more specifics from May 2021 after the little businesses were valued. Retirement funds aren’t listed fully but we also plan to retire well before we access them so won’t really include them. In April 2021, we were having issues getting the amounts from the islands so couldn’t list them.
Business 1: $70,000
Business 2: ?
Business 3: $3,000
Our Liabilities April 2021
Combined, our debt is not great. We have a few separate loans and are focusing on one at a time while maintaining minimum repayments on them all.
Custody debt $9,000
Visa debt $6,000
Personal loan $12,000
Cash debt $600
Cash debt $500
School debt $900
Net Worth $571,000 April 2021
Once we remove the liabilities from our assets, our net worth isn’t terrible. We have a positive net worth which is the main thing! Our net worth is roughly $571,000AUD. This will be different once the businesses and retirement are sorted.
Assets April 2022
Business 1: $120,000
Business 2: $20,000
Business 3: $5,000
Business 4: $10,000
Business 5: $0
Total Assets: $755,901
As you can see, we haven’t invested a lot anywhere but the businesses have increased in value due to marketing. The value of the businesses is based mainly on the annual income since most of them don’t have tangible assets.
We would have invested more in shares and crypto but the course was our main focus, along with clearing debt. This coming year, we will invest more.
Liabilities April 2022
Custody debt $5,000
Visa debt $5,000
Personal loan $8,434
Cash debt $0
Cash debt $0
School debt $0
We are quite happy with how much debt we’ve cleared here on top of everything else. Our assumption is this debt will be all gone within a few months.
Net Worth April 2022: $737,467
Considering our expenses, the health issues with pregnancy reducing income and working predominantly with 1 income, we are pretty happy with this.
Knowing how much we achieved is empowering and motivating for this coming year. With Mr Aspiring Millionaire now working on a good wage and the world opening up again so Ms Aspiring Millionaire can do more travel writing again, we anticipate the next year to be even better.
Plans for the Upcoming Year
Rather than sharing plans, we will continue to share what we have done, as it is done. Ms Aspiring Millionaire will continue with the $2 to $1,000,000 challenge. We will continue to grow our businesses and Mr Aspiring Millionaire will work full time as a commercial diver.
As for large expenses, this year we plan to buy a 7 seater car. Debt will be cleared soon and we have a few purchases to make for the home.