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.
On the blog this past month, we hosted Mr. Groovy and Taylor from the Freedom from Money for the Roth IRA Challenge, we explored research on the brand name deception and entrepreneurs, and gave an update on the simpler life we’ve created. I wrote a dramatic commencement address, talked about relativity in finances, admitted my gazingus pin, and reminded you all that this path to financial independence is not a marathon or a sprint (which was featured on Rockstar Finance!).
We leave the country at the beginning of next week! If you’re not aware (you must be new around here!), Mr. T and I are headed to the UK and Paris for a big tenth anniversary trip sans children. And it all kicks off next week! We have super exciting stuff happening on the usual MWF schedule here on the blog while we’re away, we may just get a bit behind on answering comments (but we’ll catch up, we promise!).
We’ve been using Personal Capital to get a snapshot of our monthly finances. It really is a geeked-out dream for someone like me that loves to see graphs and make spreadsheets. If you don’t like doing that, it’s also really user-friendly and does all the work for you. Best part? It’s free! Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! It has cut down my end-of-the month reckoning significantly since I can see all my accounts together (with graphs!).
Our investments sit at $97,390! If the markets keep rising, we may actually be able to break 6 digits next month (less than $3000 away!). I’m not counting on any market anything, but that would be really fun to see that first big number! And the mortgage is down to $71,200. With the upcoming trip, we didn’t put very much extra toward the mortgage this month to ensure we have some cash on hand for next month.
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 May: 36.9% – Without a large extra mortgage payment, our savings percentage decreased. I don’t expect it to go back up until after the summertime. We’ll be out of the country for nearly the entire month of June, so that will probably be the most expensive month of the year. I will also not be working for the month of June, which means our monthly income will decrease by $1000-2000 (my usual monthly wage).
2016 Financial Goal Update:
I’m actually starting to feel a bit down about our progress on these goals. We’re halfway through the year, just about ready to jet-set for nearly a month in an expensive country, and we still need $11,900 (over our usual mortgage payments) to bring the mortgage below $5500 and we still need $11,000 to max out our Roth IRAs. Unless we get another $10,000 overnight from the PFD (which isn’t looking likely), I’m not entirely sure we can hit these goals! But that just means it’s time to try harder and get creative!
- $125,000 in investments by the end of the year (need some market help on this one, so I’m not going to focus on it, but if they continue, it might be possible! Currently $97,390/$125,000)
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2015 by April ($5500/$5500) – Done!
- Max out Mr. T’s Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500)
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500)
- Mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of December ($71,200 – $16,200 left to go!)
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:
$12.50 – More wheatgrass juice shots.
$356.20 – Flights from Edinburgh to Paris. We were going to take the train, but the cost ended up being the same to just fly.
$3 – Mr. T and I used gifted Costco Regal Cinemas tickets to see the new Captain America movie. Apparently it costs $1.50 each to use these. We saw it on a Monday afternoon in a theater with recliners.
$3.98 – Two pieces of Costco pizza the kids and I shared one day for lunch. Some days, it’s worth the cost to give the kids a special lunch!
$0.90 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link – Oh no! My “passive income” is going down! 🙂
$15.19 – A few kind readers have shopped through my Amazon link over the past year. This is the first deposit I’ve gotten. Thank you, dear readers. You melt my heart.
$158.77 – We finally got around to selling a pile of things from our big home purge on eBay. It feels good!
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “Well we bought our house, but we don’t own it. The bank owns it and we live in it.”
- “Our will would just involve who would have to pay our debts when we die. With the mortgage and medical school loans, there won’t be any money left!”
- “We have so many plans for our finances after we buy our house!”
- “We’re picky about dumpy houses. What does that say about us?”