February 2017 Plan Update

February 2017 Plan Update

February was a beautiful, snowy month here in Anchorage. On the home front, it was a crazy month, but good. I got some health answers and am working on finding a good management program (testing which foods impact me and which don’t).

It was also a good, but busy month at work. After quitting my job, things have improved greatly and at least I’m back to loving the work.

My totally awesome survey is up to 367 responses… not close to the 1000+ I’d like to see in order for this to turn in to an actual study… If you have any ideas on how to get more visibility/more responses, I’d love to hear them. (Non-spammy places to share it? A database of thousands of people waiting to take surveys perhaps?) Help a sister out!

We also had the awesome privilege of getting one of this month’s Rockstar Finance Giving Cards. Full story coming Monday!

The Numbers:

Want to know how easy it is for us to write these every month? I literally just log into my Personal Capital and revel in all the numbers being in one place. Do you like checking numbers? Do you like graphics? Do you like playing with calculators like retirement calculators and how much your fees are costing you? Then, you should obviously use my affiliate link to Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! (I assumed bloggers pushed this because of the affiliate income until I started using it myself… worth the FREE pricetag! And Seriously Amazing.)

GOOD NEWS! We don’t actually owe taxes! And we’re getting a couple hundred back! If I’m within $1000 of owing or receiving, I feel like I’m a winner… so this year, we’re winners!

We’re ALMOST to being an entire month ahead in our bank account. Then we’ll start throwing money back at our mortgage and investments. I can’t WAIT. If we weren’t going on vacation (and thus, earning less…) we may have made it by the end of March. It may still be possible. We shall see.

Despite trying to build up some cash reserves, our net worth continues to climb! Investments are currently at $142,570. The mortgage is now at $51,025. Again, we haven’t paid a whole lot extra on it for three months now, but we’ll start kicking it down soon!

For our savings percentage, we track the percentage of our pre-tax (or gross) income and the extra payments put toward the mortgage are included in the amount saved. Savings percentage for February – 42%. (January’s savings percentage was 37% if you’re wondering). I’m hoping this percentage gets a bit higher again once we get a month ahead, but it’s also not a metric I love, so I’m not too worried about it.

2017 Financial Goal Update:

  • Earn $25,000 – ($3,652/$25,000) – I’m behind a bit… but I did basically try to implode this goal entirely by quitting, so now that things are better, I think this will improve.
  • Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – (Currently at $51,025 – $21,025 to go!)
  • Max out Mr. T’s 401k – This is set up already and if nothing changes, he should automatically max it out this year for the first time! Yay for automatic payments!
  • Put $5500 into My Roth IRA – $0 progress so far.
  • $2500 in other investments – $0 progress so far.
  • $200,000 Investment Balance by the end of the year 

Notable Expenses This Month: The Story Our Money Tells:

These are expenses that tell an interesting story. A peek into our lives through our pocketbook:

  • $0 – The amount of money we spent in our “experiences” category this month! Not okay. That will change in March! Phew.
  • $19.74 – Mr.T’s birthday present. He’s been eyeing an embroidered Dalek polo for months. He tried to buy it three times, but something always went wrong (wrong shirt, out of stock, big sun spot stain on the whole front, etc.). So, I had to find a blank black polo shirt at Gap and learn to design an embroidery file and find someone that had an embroidery machine… I think it turned out fabulously if you ask me (and it cost $11 less than the shirt he kept trying to order!).
  • $13 – The amount we spent on Jello this month. I had to do a 3-day prep for a colonoscopy, so Mr. T tried to find every flavor of Jello that was colonoscopy approved (couldn’t be red, orange, blue, purple, or green). The kids enjoyed the “Star Wars” and “Frozen” flavored Jellos.
  • $220.35 – Dental charges for my new mouth guard and the filling of a little ridge in my tooth.

EXTRA INCOME (anything that doesn’t come from our jobs/my freelance work):

$0.20 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link

Financial Phrases:

These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:

  • “You think internet costs a lot? It costs double in Alaska!”
  • “My wife just quit her job recently. Right now she’s staying home with our 3 kids. She’s trying to figure out what she’s able to balance while staying home.”
  • “It’s a miracle that I’m getting a bachelor’s degree. I think the formal structure of school is what really hurts me. I struggle to focus on tasks that I don’t find interesting.”
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, at no cost to you, helps support Northern Expenditure and keeps our heat on in the winter. Thanks!

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9 Comments

  1. TheRetirementManifesto

    Maggie, love your monthly updates, great way to hold yourself accountable, and keep all of your voyeuristic readers happy!

    I found myself thinking about jello colors….you must have eaten a ton of green jello! Glad you’re getting some answers on the health things, would hate to eat $13 of green jello without anything good coming as a result!! Time to go spend some “experience money”!!

  2. 10

    Cheap survey responses: fiverr.com/gregling

  3. I love your inclusion of the “overheard” financial phrases. It’s amazing what you can learn (about life and other people) by listening to frank comments from people who don’t even know you are listening in.

  4. That last comment! Good luck with a 40 year carrer!
    As to the survey, could you tweet it once a week, so you awesome blogger friends will remember to keep sharing? 🙂 (And tag me so I don’t miss it!)

  5. congrats on the climbing investments and shrinking mortgage!! How clever of you to do the embroidery yourself! Love your blog!! Those progress bars on the side of your blog are so cool. Is that a widget? if so, any idea what it’s called?

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