Author Topic: Aussie, 40's, good net worth, high costs, not happy in job...the options  (Read 1680 times)

sivalinga

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Long time reader, first time poster.  Some stats about me and the family:

Married, aged 43 and wife 41. 
3 kids under 10.
Live in Australia (HCOL city)
Income me: $250k
Income wife: $65k (pro rata as she work 3 days a week)

We both work in a fairly demanding and high stress industry.  Iíve recently been looking at options to do something else as Iím over it and donít see myself doing this for another 20 years!  (More on that later)  My worry is that our outgoings are so high, Iím locked and extricating myself out would be difficult, but not impossible.
The main reason for posting is to get other perspectives on our situation - itís all too easy to have a myopic view of your own financial situation and Iíve found reading replies to other case studies very interesting.  Iíd love to be able to FIRE by the time Iím 55.

Breakdown of finances (rounded AUD and all foreign holdings converted to AUD):

INCOME
Income 1 - $250k
Income 2 - $65k
Rental Income - $49k
Total yearly income - $364k
Discretionary bonus Ė Not included in any numbers but could range from $5-$25k
Monthly take home - $18,750 (after tax and super contributions of $2,083 each)

ASSETS
Residence - $1.9m value ($985k mortgage) - $915k equity
Investment property 1 - $360k value ($166k mortgage) - $194k equity (property in Europe)
Investment property 2 - $918k value ($258k mortgage) - $659k equity (property in Europe)
Shares - $40k
Car (paid off) - $35k
Kids Shares - $26k
Kids Cash - $14k
Cash - $10k
Total - $3.303m

PENSIONS
Pension 1 - $230k (or $7k from age 65 for life - pension abroad)
Pension 2 - $32k (pension abroad)
Pension 3 - $150k (or $10,500 from age 65 for life - pension abroad)
Super 1 - $175k
Super 2 - $26k
Total - $613k

We are also eligible for state pensions from our previous country of residence:
State pension 1 Ė $8,500 (from age 65 for life Ė pension abroad)
State pension 2 - $8,000 (from age 65 for life - pension abroad)

LIABILITIES
Mortgage - $985k
Investment mortgage 1 - $166k
Investment mortgage 2 - $258k
Total - $1.409m

Net worth - $2.507m


OUTGOINGS
      
   Monthly   Yearly
Mortgage                  $4,884       $58,608
Overseas property
costs (mtg, ins etc)   $2,458   $29,500
Groceries                 $1,300   $15,600
Allowance fund 2      $950           $11,400
Allowance fund 1      $750           $9,000
Childcare                 $688           $8,256
Health Insurance      $455           $5,460
Kids savings         $375           $4,500
Kids things (clothes) $300           $3,600
Cleaner                 $240           $2,880
Council Tax         $208           $2,500
Cable, Internet         $205           $2,460
Wine                         $200           $2,400
Household items      $200           $2,400
School Fees         $192           $2,300
Train (work travel)   $180       $2,160
After school care      $170           $2,040
Kids Birthdays         $167           $2,000
Gas                         $158           $1,900
Electricity                 $158           $1,900
Petrol                 $150           $1,800
Home Insurance         $144           $1,728
Water                 $142           $1,700
Swimming                 $133           $1,600
Kinder                 $133           $1,600
Excursions, camps   $125           $1,500
Gym                         $104           $1,248
Babysitter                 $100           $1,200
Eating out                 $100           $1,200
Life Insurance         $78           $936
Car Tax                 $67           $800
Car Insurance         $58           $700
Kids Athletics         $58         $700
Netball                 $50           $600
Car Service         $42           $500
Kids Soccer, Auskick $25           $300
Netflix                 $15           $180
Google play         $12           $144
      
Total                        $15,775   $189,300
            
Monthly Surplus - $18750-$15,675 = $3,075

Some of these are one off yearly costs, some quarterly, some monthly.  In Jan next year, we will have approx. an additional $2,000 when the youngest goes to school and my wife does an extra day at work per week.

In terms of monthly wealth accrual, this breaks down as:
Superannuation 1 - $2,083
Superannuation 2 - $2,083
Mortgage principal - $1,800
Investment property 2 principal - $1,600
Kids savings - $375
Total = $7,941


We will save whatever is left this generally goes into a few different categories:
1.   Holidays (visiting country of origin with a family of 5 from Aus is expensive!)
2.   House repairs
3.   One off expenses (house, dental, rental properties etc.)
4.   Cash savings for house renovation
5.   Tax on investment properties

These funds will be built up over time then depleted whenever necessary.  We tend to be savers rather than borrowers where possible, i.e. saved to purchase car)  The funds are currently low due to a big trip to Europe and some house expenses here and abroad.
The allowance funds are something weíve done since weíve been together.  All finances are pooled and we each get a fixed amount per month to spend on whatever we want Ė mine tends to be on computer and photography/videography stuff, buying lunch at work, going out etc., my wifeís will be going out, hair etc.  We both tend to save a decent chunk and then make more sizable purchases a few times a year (camera etc.)   Works really well as a system and highly recommend it!

Other info:
-   No debt other than mortgages
-   Mortgage rates low on investment properties (1.5%)
-   Aus mortgage 3.75% variable
-   Super in high growth stocks and contributions at max for both of us
-   No plans to send kids to private schools
-   1 car family Ė facing pressure to get a 2nd with all 3 kids doing activities, often overlapping.  Resisting and will look at getting ubers instead.
-   Mobiles paid by work
-   Investment properties were houses we lived in and didnít sell when we moved on
-       Wife went back to work last year after 10 years bringing kids up

Scenarios Iíve been thinking about and interested in views on:
1.   Areas to cut back on spending Ė have my own views but interested in what other people think
2.   Overall distribution of portfolio
3.   Options for changing savings/investments strategies
4.   Sensitivity of financial position to the following scenarios:
     a.   Increase in interest rates (likely within the next 18 months Ė current mortgage rate is 3,75% and mortgage is variable)
     b.   I lose my job (not on the cards but could conceivably happen Ė would be paid out about 4 months salary)
5.   Looking to renovate, extending the house and putting in a pool.  Expected cost about $400k.  Looking at financing options Ė borrowing would add about $1,950 per month to mortgage repayments.  This would be offset in 6 months time when childcare costs would be eliminated and my wife works an extra day.  Would likely add more to the value of the property than the $400k invested but is it a wise move given our financial position, my lack of enjoyment at work, FIRE aspiration etc? 
6.   Iíve been thinking about all sorts of alternative careers, mainly related to things Iím much more passionate about than my job.  As most people have probably found, they donít pay half as well!  How have people transitioned from a well-paid career into something less well paid but much more fulfilling?
7.   If we continue as we are to age 60, we should be in a very comfortable situation.  Thatís another 16 years and I feel it would be a significant chunk of my life wasted doing something Iím just grinding out and donít really enjoy anymore.  Should I suck it up and stop whining or should I narrow down exactly what I want to do and go for it (havenít discussed exactly what the other options are but they are only ideas at this stage)? 

Realise there is a lot of information there and whilst it all makes sense to me as I know it inside out, it may not to others reading it cold.  Happy to clarify any points necessary.

Thanks to those that take the time to read and respond!

gpyros85

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Your stuff and lifestyle is owning you!!

   Monthly   Yearly
Mortgage                  $4,884       $58,608         
Overseas property
costs (mtg, ins etc)   $2,458   $29,500           
Groceries                 $1,300   $15,600          (WOW, this will be one of the items everybody will beat you up on)
Allowance fund 2      $950           $11,400     (What is an allowance #1 & #2?)
Allowance fund 1      $750           $9,000
Childcare                 $688           $8,256       (This expense will go away when?)
Health Insurance      $455           $5,460
Kids savings         $375           $4,500           (What are the kids saving for?)
Kids things (clothes) $300           $3,600       (I have 3 kids also and I spend less than $50/month and they all look beautiful)
Cleaner                 $240           $2,880         (WOW, to clean your house?)
Council Tax         $208           $2,500
Cable, Internet         $205           $2,460      (Don't know aussie rates but this is a lot also not including netflix)
Wine                         $200           $2,400     (You drink a lot!)
Household items      $200           $2,400       (??)
School Fees         $192           $2,300     
Train (work travel)   $180       $2,160
After school care      $170           $2,040       (This will also go away when?)
Kids Birthdays         $167           $2,000       (Really? per month?? It's not what you buy them it's how you spend your time)
Gas                         $158           $1,900
Electricity                 $158           $1,900
Petrol                 $150           $1,800
Home Insurance         $144           $1,728
Water                 $142           $1,700
Swimming                 $133           $1,600    ($133 a month for swimming?? You live in Australia!)
Kinder                 $133           $1,600         (Also, when will this go away)
Excursions, camps   $125           $1,500     
Gym                         $104           $1,248
Babysitter                 $100           $1,200
Eating out                 $100           $1,200    (Considering all your other expenses this seems really low)
Life Insurance         $78           $936           (Goal is to have your stache support you not some insurance fund)
Car Tax                 $67           $800
Car Insurance         $58           $700           (Very good)
Kids Athletics         $58         $700             (To kick a ball??)
Netball                 $50           $600            (To kick a ball??)
Car Service         $42           $500
Kids Soccer, Auskick $25           $300         (To kick MORE balls??)
Netflix                 $15           $180             (On top of cable?)
Google play         $12           $144             (On top of cable?)



This is around $28,400/year is child care expenses  or $710,000 necessary net worth to support these items...


You can FI now if you can control your spending and seek value in your spending instead of outrageous items..... It's all about the value and bang for the buck.

gpyros85

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PENSIONS
Pension 1 - $230k (or $7k from age 65 for life - pension abroad)
Pension 2 - $32k (pension abroad)
Pension 3 - $150k (or $10,500 from age 65 for life - pension abroad)
Super 1 - $175k
Super 2 - $26k
Total - $613k



How much are these pensions worth if you were to cash out and not receive them at 65?

gpyros85

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Your stuff and lifestyle is owning you!!

   Monthly   Yearly
Mortgage                  $4,884       $58,608         
Overseas property
costs (mtg, ins etc)   $2,458   $29,500           
Groceries                 $1,300   $15,600          (WOW, this will be one of the items everybody will beat you up on)
Allowance fund 2      $950           $11,400     (What is an allowance #1 & #2?)
Allowance fund 1      $750           $9,000
Childcare                 $688           $8,256       (This expense will go away when?)
Health Insurance      $455           $5,460
Kids savings         $375           $4,500           (What are the kids saving for?)
Kids things (clothes) $300           $3,600       (I have 3 kids also and I spend less than $50/month and they all look beautiful)
Cleaner                 $240           $2,880         (WOW, to clean your house?)
Council Tax         $208           $2,500
Cable, Internet         $205           $2,460      (Don't know aussie rates but this is a lot also not including netflix)
Wine                         $200           $2,400     (You drink a lot!)
Household items      $200           $2,400       (??)
School Fees         $192           $2,300     
Train (work travel)   $180       $2,160
After school care      $170           $2,040       (This will also go away when?)
Kids Birthdays         $167           $2,000       (Really? per month?? It's not what you buy them it's how you spend your time)
Gas                         $158           $1,900
Electricity                 $158           $1,900
Petrol                 $150           $1,800
Home Insurance         $144           $1,728
Water                 $142           $1,700
Swimming                 $133           $1,600    ($133 a month for swimming?? You live in Australia!)
Kinder                 $133           $1,600         (Also, when will this go away)
Excursions, camps   $125           $1,500     
Gym                         $104           $1,248
Babysitter                 $100           $1,200
Eating out                 $100           $1,200    (Considering all your other expenses this seems really low)
Life Insurance         $78           $936           (Goal is to have your stache support you not some insurance fund)
Car Tax                 $67           $800
Car Insurance         $58           $700           (Very good)
Kids Athletics         $58         $700             (To kick a ball??)
Netball                 $50           $600            (To kick a ball??)
Car Service         $42           $500
Kids Soccer, Auskick $25           $300         (To kick MORE balls??)
Netflix                 $15           $180             (On top of cable?)
Google play         $12           $144             (On top of cable?)



This is around $28,400/year is child care expenses  or $710,000 necessary net worth to support these items...


You can FI now if you can control your spending, find a way to make money with the equity in your house, right now it is a boat anchor. also when it comes to spending seek value in your spending instead of outrageous items..... It's all about the value and bang for the buck.

Hirondelle

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I agree with all the things Gpyros85 mentioned and wanted to add that you don't need a $400k pool and renovations. You don't like your job. A pool with get you stuck even longer. If you live in a HCOL area in Australia you're pretty much guaranteed close to a beach. Go to the beach. You don't need a pool. Repeat: you don't need a pool.

ETA: You mention expensive trips back to your homecountry in Europe, but I don't see these listed in the budget. Does that mean that your monthly surplus is even lower than what you're presenting us now with?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 02:50:13 AM by Hirondelle »

kei te pai

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I'm still gasping for air. If you are a long time reader you will know whats coming from the forum. Im not even going to look at your numbers.
Are you going to cut those golden handcuffs or not? What is it that really matters to you and your wife?

Zamboni

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Americans, before you comment on expenses remember than one Aussie dollar is about 75 cents USD.

My main comment would be to free up some of your capital and definitely not take on any revolving debt (I'll second that the pool loan idea is crazy).

Personally I would run the numbers on the rentals because it looks like you are no where near meeting the 1% rule for a minimally profitable real estate investment. Go on bigger pockets and educate yourself to determine if those really are good investments or if they break even or perhaps even negative cash glow. You could give yourself a lot more flexibility right now by selling the higher value rental property that you have more equity in. Are you keeping it because you are thinking of moving back there? Or just inertia?

gpyros85

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ETA: You mention expensive trips back to your homecountry in Europe, but I don't see these listed in the budget. Does that mean that your monthly surplus is even lower than what you're presenting us now with?

Sounds like he is an expat and most likely these are included as benefits.

alsoknownasDean

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As far as groceries go, I'm sure there's room to save there. Maybe check out Aldi?

Cable/Internet...do you really need Foxtel when you also have Netflix? An internet connection with unlimited data is maybe $80 a month.

Wine belongs in the 'allowance' fund. Maybe that can be trimmed down?

Are solar panels worth spending on to reduce electricity cost? That's a large gas bill if it's over a year, surely it's far less outside of winter months.

How much happier would the pool make you? Happier enough to work for a couple more years to pay for it?

Also, if your net worth really is $2.5m, plenty of people here would consider that heaps to retire on. If you were prepared to move to a cheaper house and make a few more savings, you could FIRE a lot sooner.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 03:41:51 AM by alsoknownasDean »

marty998

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As far as groceries go, I'm sure there's room to save there. Maybe check out Aldi?

Cable/Internet...do you really need Foxtel when you also have Netflix? An internet connection with unlimited data is maybe $80 a month.

Wine belongs in the 'allowance' fund. Maybe that can be trimmed down?

Are solar panels worth spending on to reduce electricity cost? That's a large gas bill if it's over a year, surely it's far less outside of winter months.

How much happier would the pool make you? Happier enough to work for a couple more years to pay for it?

Also, if your net worth really is $2.5m, plenty of people here would consider that heaps to retire on. If you were prepared to move to a cheaper house and make a few more savings, you could FIRE a lot sooner.

I was reading through this thread thinking the housing costs are going to blow the minds of all Americans. The Aussie perspective on housing is quite a bit different, but I guess that just magnifies the problem.

I suspect you are either in the Eastern Suburbs or the North Shore of Sydney, in which case there is probably little wiggle room to "downsize" and stay in the local area.

The pool is a bad idea. A granny flat might be a better idea if your land is big enough? You wouldn't have to rent it out, but it would be a way to add a bit of value in a falling Sydney market.

I am surprised your home insurance costs are so low for a $2 mill property.


Personally I would run the numbers on the rentals because it looks like you are no where near meeting the 1% rule for a minimally profitable real estate investment. Go on bigger pockets and educate yourself to determine if those really are good investments or if they break even or perhaps even negative cash glow. You could give yourself a lot more flexibility right now by selling the higher value rental property that you have more equity in. Are you keeping it because you are thinking of moving back there? Or just inertia?

I'll bet they have been good investments - us folk down under would rather make a million in capital gains than grind out a small amount of rental income :)

But alas you can't eat bricks, and if you want to have enough passive income, property is never going to give you that. You'll need income producing shares.

Your Health Insurance looks high. Maybe you are still covered for obstetrics? Perhaps if you and wifey are done making babies you can cancel that option and downgrade your cover.

I will not criticise the kids sports (never taken anyone to task on these boards about that). Spend as much as you need to, so long as they continue to enjoy it.

Bee21

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It all depends what you want. Do you want to stay in Australia? Are you moving back to Europe at some point? Is this really luxurious lifestyle really important for you and your wife?

I would personally sell all the properties and move to a small town on the coast.

Hirondelle

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ETA: You mention expensive trips back to your homecountry in Europe, but I don't see these listed in the budget. Does that mean that your monthly surplus is even lower than what you're presenting us now with?

Sounds like he is an expat and most likely these are included as benefits.

He specifically mentions this:
Holidays (visiting country of origin with a family of 5 from Aus is expensive!)

And this:
The funds are currently low due to a big trip to Europe and some house expenses here and abroad.

That's why I assume it's not included. E.g. he mentions this surplus as savings but then follow up by saying it goes into one of those 5 buckets:
We will save whatever is left this generally goes into a few different categories:
1.   Holidays (visiting country of origin with a family of 5 from Aus is expensive!)
2.   House repairs
3.   One off expenses (house, dental, rental properties etc.)
4.   Cash savings for house renovation
5.   Tax on investment properties

To me all those should be included in the regular budget. So that's how it makes it sound to me that there's actually not that much savings going on beside the principal payment on the properties and the pension savings.

Also just notice you have a $35k car. That's A LOT OF CAR. Why do you need a car that's worth $35k?

Bee21

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Well, he can't park a 3k vehicle in front of the 1.9 mill property.

I don't think the paid off car is his major problem. I think it is all that equity tied up in the properties and the fact that his biggest income producing asset is himself. Plus the spending...i totally understand he feels trapped.

Ps. Please don't give him hard time for spending $$$ on visiting family. We expats can tell horror stories about the financial costs of maintaining family ties.

mrmoonymartian

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Your kids are holding 35% cash. Seems like market timing, which is generally frowned on in these parts. Do they come home from school talking about dinosaurs and shorting the nasdaq? Might be time for the talk.

P Diddy from Madison

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I empathize with your situation.

I sometimes feel that FI is a young person's game. It's not impossible to start this at an older age, but there are some challenges younger, single folks, without kids face. There are more agreements that have been made (spoken and otherwise), and commitments (again spoken and otherwise) that would need to be renegotiated. And starting a conversation by saying "You need to make some cut backs so I can retire early" isn't the way to do it!

Edit: Of course we do have a leg up on the young folks in that we have both already amassed some serious capital and have strong incomes. That's the plus side, and it is a big plus.

Not sure I can do much more than empathize!
« Last Edit: July 23, 2018, 06:03:20 AM by P Diddy from Madison »

Little Aussie Battler

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I'm with Marty - reduce the exposure to property and diversify more into other asset classes. Take a proper look at your expenses and cut some of the discretionary spend. For example $20k between you on 'allowances' might cost you an extra 5-6 years at work. Is it worth it?

The insurance doesn't look unreasonably low to me. Remember that this is just the replacement cost of the building, and most of the value would be unimproved land.

Hirondelle

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Well, he can't park a 3k vehicle in front of the 1.9 mill property.

I don't think the paid off car is his major problem. I think it is all that equity tied up in the properties and the fact that his biggest income producing asset is himself. Plus the spending...i totally understand he feels trapped.

Ps. Please don't give him hard time for spending $$$ on visiting family. We expats can tell horror stories about the financial costs of maintaining family ties.

Why not, exactly?

Btw I wasn't trying to give him a hard time on that, just mentioning that it wasn't included in his budget so that the 3k/month surplus would probably largely end up there. I've lived abroad before and done long-distance relationships so yes, I know visiting family and friends (or having them visit you) is very, very important. I just meant to say that now it seems like he's still having quite a bit of money left at the end of the month while it's probably less. That's a cost I'd definitely not judge anyone on :)

MrThatsDifferent

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I am nowhere as smart as most of the folks here when it comes to finances. What worked for me was simplicity. You have, a lot going on and youíre deeply unhappy. Just based on what you wrote Iíd probably sell those two investment properties and pay off the mortgage on the main place. Thatíll save you a ton. Then you can find a job that pays less but makes you happier. You can also bring down some of that lifestyle creep and stop living like youíre mega rich and stop spoiling the shit out of the kids. Otherwise youíve got things set up well. You donít have to suffer at a job you hate but youíve definitely set your life up to be dependent on the job. Whatís motivating that? Thereís no one you need to impress. Make a decision to control your life instead of it controlling you.

Shelley

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I think a huge thing to consider right now with young kids is how you want them to be as adults. While our income is not at your level, we are a little more than half your monthly with one stay at home parent, we have made a point to not give them everything. They receive half their age in pocket money per week till they are 17. From that they must pay for any extras such as gifts for family, extra clothes that we donít consider essentials ie you have five pairs of shorts already for summer, you want those blinged out ones theyíre on you... they get $10 a term for tuckshop. Any extra is from pocket money and that goes fast on chips and drinks!
There is a huge upside to this for their future adult selves, with them having a saving habit from the start, rather than a spending habit. My eldest is 17 now and has had a part time job for 2.5 years. She has $10,000 saved up to buy a car in a few months. My youngest is 13 and still in the speedy stage and blew all her $400 saved up pocket money on nothing much last month, then this month wanted to buy a concert ticket to go with all her friends but bad luck, thereís nothing left in her account. This sort of accountability will in the future have your kids thanking you so much.
On the flip side, one of my daughters friends had $50 a week pocket money, money put into a savings account for when she leaves home, her university education paid for her by her parents. Sheís been working for 3 years part time, more hours per week than my daughter and has $200 in the bank and no knowledge of the cost of things. She wanted to move away for university and found a house that said $250, so she thought that was $250 a year for rent. No concept of money what so ever!

I live in Brisbane, so I understand the cost of things in Aus...

OUTGOINGS
     
   Monthly   Yearly
Mortgage                  $4,884       $58,608
Overseas property
costs (mtg, ins etc)   $2,458   $29,500
Groceries                 $1,300   $15,600 - this could be cut some, but we struggle to get it below $1000 even with careful meal planning, budget meals. I assume this includes toiletries, cleaning supplies etc. This is not ridiculous seeing as your eating out is only $100.
Allowance fund 2      $950           $11,400 - I do think this is a license to spend money. I used to have a $220 allowance, but Iíve asked hubby to delete that from the budget, and Iíll just spend what I have to on necessity. And mine includes kids and hubbys clothes and essentials as well. Basically whatever I have to buy at the shops. If either of us wants something, for example the current want on his side is an Xbox one as all our Xbox 360 remotes are dying and canít get new ones. So we are talking about that, and will put a bit aside each month so we can get one in the future. We buy lunch once a month. He buys coffee twice a week, and thatís his only thing, no gym, no pub...
Allowance fund 1      $750           $9,000 - again, permission to spend Willy nilly.
Childcare                 $688           $8,256 - pretty low by aus standards.
Health Insurance      $455           $5,460 - low by aus standards.
Kids savings         $375           $4,500 - saving for? Uni assistance?
Kids things (clothes) $300           $3,600 - not sure what you spend $300 a month on, I might have spent $300 summer, $300 winter back when I was buying both kids clothes. My 17 year old buys her own now.
Cleaner                 $240           $2,880 - cheap by aus standards, and I donít begrudge this with both parents working.
Council Tax         $208           $2,500
Cable, Internet         $205           $2,460 - this is a question mark for me, Iím assuming there is a full every channel foxtel package in here? Our internet is $90 a month unlimited, nbn fiber to the node with optus. We have Netflix, plus a logon to foxtel go free from a friend. We never get around to watching the foxtel. Do you get the benefit from it, especially with working full time, kids in after care and weekend activities? I think foxtel/cable is always low hanging fruit now with Netflix available.
Wine                         $200           $2,400 - other than myself, I have yet to meet an Aussie mum that doesnít have a glass of wine at the end of every day! Itís a thing people. Wine oíclock. Not a bad number considering...
Household items      $200           $2,400 - Whats in this? I assumed groceries wasnít just food but cleaning stuff, loo paper etc as well?
School Fees         $192           $2,300 - well done! We went the private school route to get all girls. Ours was $100 a week per child.
Train (work travel)   $180       $2,160 - on par
After school care      $170           $2,040 - cheap. $40 each for morning and afternoon if youíre lucky.
Kids Birthdays         $167           $2,000 - $668 per child per year for birthday? I spend $200 per child on gifts, this gets them a nice amount, not over the top. They get cash and gifts from family members to add to it. Do you spend a ton on parties? Ours get a party every second year only, and the party has to cost less than $100 all up. Pizza sleepovers, I bought some black lights so we did fluoro discos one year, Ďpoolí party where I bought cheap blow up pools to put in the yard, stuck a sprinkler on a pole and set up a slip n slide.
Gas                         $158           $1,900 - normal
Electricity                 $158           $1,900 - lower than ours
Petrol                 $150           $1,800 - normal
Home Insurance         $144           $1,728 - good price considering your house
Water                 $142           $1,700 - good
Swimming                 $133           $1,600 - is this lessons? If so good on you. If just using the local pool, do you have a beach nearby?
Kinder                 $133           $1,600 - normal
Excursions, camps   $125           $1,500 - if theyíre all in school this is about right.
Gym                         $104           $1,248 - I donít do gyms, so I canít comment on the necessity of this, but cheap.
Babysitter                 $100           $1,200 - seems reasonable. Decent babysitters are $20 an hour plus here.
Eating out                 $100           $1,200 - well done
Life Insurance         $78           $936 - cheaper than ours
Car Tax                 $67           $800 - normal
Car Insurance         $58           $700 - normal for that price car
Kids Athletics         $58         $700 - very worth doing. I regret not putting mine in little aths.
Netball                 $50           $600 - horrible horrible sport for injuries. Every girl my kids knows does it or did it and they all have terrible knee injuries, wrist and finger injuries!
Car Service         $42           $500 - super cheap.
Kids Soccer, Auskick $25           $300 - cheap
Netflix                 $15           $180 - dump foxtel!
Google play         $12           $144 - movies? Or music?
     
There are three main things in my opinion to look at. Spending on kids such as clothes and Ďsavingsí, the spending allowance for each of you, which if you both are interested in FIRE should be super easy to just wipe out altogether. Also whoever goes to the gym should be including that in their allowance anyway I think. Lastly the internet/cable thing. With the whole family out of the house all week I really canít see how you have time to watch and get value from both Netflix and Foxtel. I hope this is helpful.

There are other ways to cut if you are super keen, like all the kids activities, ours were only allowed to do one activity per term. So they did swimming lessons till they were 6, then had to choose. One did tennis for a while, the other girl Guides. Then theyíd swap and do some dance for a year or so, scouts etc. They really valued their time on those activities as it was more special, and we had more family time at home rather than racing around all weekend.

Good luck!