I started January all ready to kick this year out of the park! One month in and I’m waning. January was a weird month and I can’t say February is shaping up to be any less weird. We’re watching the daily policy deluge coming out of Washington and bracing for Mr. T’s job to be impacted. Since I’m in research, it’s hard not feeling completely worthless in a climate that ignores research. Neil deGrasse Tyson said it best:
I dream of a world where the truth is what shapes people's politics, rather than politics shaping what people think is true.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) January 24, 2017
Despite the weirdness, we’ll try to pick ourselves up a bit in February and see how much we can accomplish. I made very little progress on any of my non-financial goals this month. Let’s see how I did on the financial ones…
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.)
The next couple of months aren’t going to show a lot of progress because I’m changing things up drastically. I’m trying to build up a buffer in our account large enough that at the end of each month, all the bills are paid and we are left with all the money we’ve earned that month. Then we can officially live on the previous month’s earnings. I think it will help me with tracking better and also my variable income.
If we end up owing taxes (which seems highly probable right now… still waiting on some tax documents before I figure it all out…), it will take us a few more months to be a month ahead. I closed out a brokerage account (with almost exactly $2,000) that had been included in our investment calculations to help get us ahead in our bank account.
Despite trying to build up some cash reserves, our net worth continues to climb! Investments are currently at $135,525. The mortgage is now at $52,100. Again, we haven’t paid extra on it for two months now, but hopefully once we get through tax time and officially get a month ahead in liquid assets, we’ll start tackling this aggressively again.
Because this plan update is falling on the very first day of the month and I’m a bit behind… I don’t have a savings rate calculated for the month. I may include it in next month’s update as a comparison (no promises).
2017 Financial Goal Update:
- Earn $25,000 – ($2,158/$25,000) – This is an inflated month because work actually forgot to cut my last check of 2016, so I got it this month… oh well… helps me get closer to the goal!
- Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – (Currently at $52,100 – $22,100 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:
- $57 – The cost to park 2 cars in our San Francisco hotel right by Fisherman’s Wharf (I talked them down from $59 PER CAR!).
- $11.45 – Toll charged through our rental car company for us to drive over the Golden Gate bridge.
- $120 – The cost of brunch for all 10 of us at the Hollywood Cafe by Fisherman’s Wharf. The fruit was AMAZING!
- $82.28 – Our usual suitcase full of Trader Joe’s goods we bring back to Alaska every time we have a chance.
- $23.66 – Dinner at IKEA in California (if you go on a Tuesday, you get 2 free kids meals for every adult meal purchased!).
EXTRA INCOME (anything that doesn’t come from our jobs/my freelance work):
$1.10 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “We have so much stuff, the obvious answer would be to move to a bigger house.”
- “We paid off our mortgage on a grad student salary. It really is possible.”
- “I feel like frugality is my job.”