Merry Christmas from the Banks

We’re spending the Christmas holiday in Hawaii, so we will be taking a virtual break until the New Year when we will return on Monday, January 4 with a December plan update. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and spend time on what is the most important. Also, I had another post planned about some little-known facts about reindeer, but Mental Floss beat me to it, so I recommend checking that out. Also, we were interviewed over at Even Steven Money so go check us out there! 

As we prepared to send out our annual Christmas card and letter this year, I realized how much we are leaving out. Our letter includes only event updates of the year (don’t worry, I let my kids write it, so it’s not boring). But to you, who are part of our financial journey, I will write a real letter of all the things that really happened this year.

Dear friends,

Happy Holidays! This year has been very exciting for the Banks family. During the summer, we had a job scare for Mr. T. Don’t worry, he kept his job, but the scare led to real conversations about what we wanted to do in life. It turns out, Mr. T wants to do his own thing. So, we’ve outlined a path to financial independence and early retirement and we started this blog to document our journey. In 2022, we hope to be mortgage-free with $500,000 in investments to allow us to walk away from work to something else. We’re super excited about our new path and the possibilities that are now in our future. I want to be able to say: “okay guys, next summer, we’re going to move to another country. Which one should it be?” and let the kids decide. We’ve made some great progress on our way there. We’ve finished up the Alaska Energy Rebate Program (with $7,700 coming our way in 2016), we got over $10,000 on this year’s PFD, and I got a 33% raise!

Alaska is still fabulous and we love being here. We caught 35 salmon this year which Mr. T cooks up weekly. We also got to see the belugas as they migrated through, climb on a glacier, take a hand-tram across a river, do some ice skating, and enjoy the occasional moose out our window.

This year has been amazing, and you are part of that. So, thank you. We’re grateful for this space we’ve created here at Northern Expenditure and we’re grateful that you choose to share it with us. It has grown more than I could have imagined in six months. This blogging journey has already been life-changing already and we look forward to 2016. It will be cool to see how much we can accomplish in one full calendar year of being on this new path!

We hope your path is as exciting to you as ours is to us. We hope you’ve solidified your dreams and have exciting plans for 2016. We want to hear all about them!

Love, The Banks (Mr. T, Maggie, Penny, Florin, and Lui)

Banks family christmas 2015

Penny and Florin say: “Have a SUPER Christmas!”


My Dad Retired Yesterday


December 2015 Plan Update


  1. Merry Christmas & Mele Kalikimaka! Nice to get to know you this year on WordPress!

    • MaggieBanks

      You as well! Your journey had been great to follow! I hope you and your family had a great holiday!

  2. Merry Christmas! Hope 2016 is just as good to you.

  3. Merry Christmas to you and the whole family, Maggie! So glad to have connected and to count you as a blog friend. Can’t wait to see you guys up in Alaska in a few years (or maybe sooner at FinCon?). 😉

    • Agreed. We hope to meet all of you at FinCon this year! Happy New Year to everyone. I’m so glad we’ve all met (online) and are on this journey together!

      • MaggieBanks

        You as well Claudia! I don’t think Fincon will be happening for us this year as awesome as it sounds! But you never know… Do let us know if you make your way this far north!

        • I must tell you that we saw a documentary about Glacier NP and its disappearing glaciers, possibly by 2020. I think we’ll be heading your way sooner than our 2019 FI date–we really don’t want to miss out!

          • MaggieBanks

            Yes, as you hike up to Exit Glacier, you see dates the whole hike telling you where the glacier was in each of those years. We don’t live all that close to Glacier NP, but I do hope you make it up to Anchorage if you make it to Alaska at all. 🙂

          • Our plan is to spend at least a month exploring Alaska, so Anchorage is most certainly on the list! 🙂

          • MaggieBanks

            Excellent! Just let me know when you’re coming and you’re invited to dinner. 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m so glad we’ve connected as well! And maybe one day we’ll go visit your awesome mountain town!

  4. Super cute. Loved the letter!

  5. Merry Christmas to the Banks family! I hope Hawaii is treating you so well. 🙂

    P.S. Belugas?! I am now singing the song ‘Baby Beluga’ in my head lol! I just had an idea to add to the book collection with If You Give a Moose a Muffin….”If You Give a Beluga a Bagel”…probably not the best food item for a whale, but it would be a great addition!

    • MaggieBanks

      Shall we co-author a few Children’s books? That might be in our future! 🙂

  6. Marry Christmas to you! I was especially struck by the talk of job scares… both me and the soon-to-be-Mrs. have had job scares in the past few years, and that’s a big motivating factor for us. My work is in demand enough that finding more work shouldn’t ever be too hard, but my fiancé lives with a fair amount of anxiety all the time about her work. To me, FIRE is the best gift we can give her– the gift of complete peace of mind.

    • MaggieBanks

      FIRE is a wonderful gift and offers the most freedom. Here’s to 2016 and one step closer to it!

  7. Christmas in Hawaii! So jealous. Happy New Year.

  8. Mrs. FI

    Love this letter idea! Happy New Year to the coolest Alaskans we know! 😉

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