Category: Plan Updates (Page 2 of 4)

non-financial goals

An Update on 2016 Goals

Usually people catch up with a mid-year review in June or July… you know, mid-year!? But here we are, mid-August, and I think it’s time for a check-in. School started Monday for the kiddos, so it feels like a good time to re-evaluate and figure out what needs to happen in the next 4 months.

As I’ve mentioned in the past two plan updates, the financial goals may come up a bit shy. I talk extensively about that monthly, so today’s focus is on the non-financial goals I set in January:

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First 100,000

Saving The First $100,000. The Hardest?

The First $100,000

In our May update, we mentioned the possibility of breaking $100,000 in June. It seemed surreal, but definitely possible. Cheers to Amber Tree Leaves for this comment:

Would it not be great to reach 100K while enjoying a holiday. I hope you reach that milestone

This comment blew my mind.

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Fireworks over the beach

June 2016 Plan Update

June was AMAZING. We just got back from our big adventures last night and I’m excited to catch up on all the comments today! We flew to Seattle on June 2nd, spent five days with Mr. T’s family on the Puget Sound, and then Mr. T and I ditched the kids with them and headed to the United Kingdom. We flew into London where we spent a week, then we drove through Stonehenge, Avebury, Stourhead, Bath, and over to Cardiff for a few days. From there, we zig-zagged up through Wales to the Lake District, drove over through Yorkshire, over to Whitby on the coast, up to Northumberland, and finished up in Edinburgh. From there we flew to Paris for the last 3 days and then back to Portland (my family) where we met up with our children and enjoyed a family reunion on the coast.

There will be more on the trip coming up in a few lessons we learned on the UK and London on a budget, but for those who care, I’ll mention a few things here.

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May Update

May 2016 Plan Update

May was filled with end-of school projects, trip preparations, and playing outside! May is the month we move into full summer here in Anchorage and it’s glorious! I’ve spent my Saturdays in the hospital infusion center getting pumped full of iron to help the anemia before we leave (those bills haven’t yet arrived!) reading Harry Potter and wrapped in a warm blanket. Things have improved, which is fabulous! We also had an adorable moose family move into our yard for the holiday weekend. They were very fun to watch (from a distance). We had a few close calls with the mom, but no one got charged and we got some great pictures of the twin babies.

Moose family

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A Simpler Life

A Simpler Life

Since the beginning of the year, Mr. T and I have been focusing on simplifying. 2015 was a year of crazy home improvements as we checked off all the items on the Alaska Energy Rebate Program. Every free evening was spent in the crawlspace or garage painting, insulating, piping, etc. (I should emphasize that I was somewhat involved after the kids were in bed, but most of this was done by Mr. T.) We were spending lots of money (most of which we got back as a rebate), plotting our next move, and under a strict deadline to finish all the things on the list. When we finally finished it all last December, we were tired. We didn’t want to plan anything specific for 2016 because we just wanted to calm down.

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April 2016 Plan Update

April 2016 Plan Update

Is there ever a dull month? This month involved a broken water pipe and a flooded crawlspace, entertaining both sets of parents for a week, and finding out I’m severely anemic (explains the chronic fatigue for the past several months – Me to doctor: “Not everyone blacks out every time they stand up? I assumed that was normal”). As April wraps up, we have only 5 weeks to go until our big UK/Paris adventure. To say I’m excited would be a tremendous understatement. But at least the trip is forcing us to get some estate planning done (finally! right?). Don’t worry, there’s a whole post coming up on the process and how to save money (you were worried, I know).

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March 2016 Plan Update

We did it! We just came into $1.4 million dollars and we’re done! See ya world! April Fools! (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself. Ahem… moving on…)

March! A thrilling month in the Banks house. I took a business trip to my office in the Midwest and met some interesting people on the plane. Also, we got new carpet in our whole house which we’ve been working up to for awhile. We wanted to get all of the energy updates done as well as everything decluttered before adding new, fluffy clean carpet to the home. The carpet we had was over ten years old, stained all over, very hard, and had all sorts of pet hair and dander from previous owners (which were not good for Mr. T’s dust allergies). Now, we feel like we’re walking on clouds! And I know all of the hidden pet hair has been vacuumed up!* I’m sitting on the floor as I type this because it’s just so wonderful…

Here on the blog, we celebrated a week of numbers! We looked at how much we spend, the percentages to know for retirement calculations, and then formulated a few new potential plans! If you haven’t weighed in on those, please do! We love to hear the feedback! We had some awesome guest bloggers continue the Roth IRA Challenge Series: Creating my Kaleidoscope and She Picks Up Pennies both took the challenge. I love seeing the many different ways people get an extra $5500! We would love to see more people take the challenge! A few more people shared their Fill-the-Bucket Lists on their blogs this month: FI Big SkyTawcan and Dream Beyond Debt – All of them are epic. I’ve also added all the current Fill-the-Bucket List Participants to the original Fill-the-Bucket List post. Go read all of them if you missed any!

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Recalculating: A New Financial Plan

Welcome to the culmination of a week of numbers! On Monday, we took a look at the historic spending of the Banks family and emerged with an ideal early retirement budget of $51,300 with an after-kids budget of $47,000. Remember that these numbers are all based on maintaining our current lifestyle in our current home in Alaska. Moving will most likely decrease those needs, but since we have data about what we currently spend, we’ll build projections based on the life we currently live.

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how much we spend

How Much We Spend

This week, we’re doing an in-depth look at numbers and we’re kicking it off by taking a good, hard look at how much we spend. Annual expenditures are really the magical number needed to retire. We’re getting real (with charts!) and taking a look at 2013, 2014, and 2015. First up, 2013:

2013 Expenses

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February 2016 Plan Update

I love the beginning of the month. It’s the time to sit down, figure out where we stand on the plan, and track the numbers! Overall, this was a great month at the Banks’ house. The most exciting news? Our post about putting your kids to work was featured on Rockstar Finance! Dreams do come true! February was spent touching everything in our house and getting rid of tons of stuff. We started with organizing our clothes, moved on to purging books, tackled the bathroom and kitchen organization (and found a million bag clips and hairbands!), and then worked our way through the rest of the house.

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