October Plan Update

October 2016 Plan Update

Farewell October! This was a very exciting month because we got our PFD money! YAY money! But then immediately, a whole bunch of bills came in and we bought plane tickets. BOO money! I am choosing to be grateful that we were able to put the majority of the PFD money toward the mortgage. YAY paying off debt!

As for the Stock household updates… the girls took swimming lessons and Penny graduated! We got our first snowfall, which has now entirely melted (boo!). We dressed up as Harry Potter characters for Halloween, with Lui being Hagrid (he wins), Mr. T being Harry Potter, I was Prof. McGonagall, Penny was Hermione (my 80s crimper to the rescue for Hermione hair!) and Florin was Moaning Myrtle (though she did not want to wear a toilet seat around her neck as we suggested!).

The Numbers:

You guys… if you haven’t signed up for Personal Capital, I think you’re nuts! It’s free! I look forward each month to logging in and seeing all of my accounts in one place. It shows all of my credit card accounts, my mortgage, my investment accounts, analyzes my fees, and is very visually compelling. I mean, it’s a geeked-out way to see it all in one glance without spending too much time. 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!).

Markets have slid a bit and our investments edged up slightly (thanks to our own savings contributions) to $116,585. All that PFD money pouring into our mortgage principle brought our mortgage down to $59,600 – that’s right, UNDER $60,000! Just 5 more of those milestones to hit and WE’RE DONE!

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 October: 44.6%. That’s pretty good considering it was a high earnings month, but also a high spending month. And if we didn’t include extra mortgage principle in this calculation, it would be much, much lower, but since paying off our mortgage is one of our main savings goals, it makes sense for us to include it.

2016 Financial Goal Update:

With just $15,600, we could realize all of our goals for the year!

It felt really good to throw a huge chunk of the PFD money toward our mortgage. Bringing our mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of the year seems very attainable now! The Roth IRAs are a different story… but I’m determined to try to max out at least one before the end of the year! Here’s where we currently stand here:

  • $125,000 in investments by the end of the year ($116,585/$125,000) – We’re only $8,415 away! I am really not tied to this goal emotionally since it is tied to market performance. If the markets tank, so be it.
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2015 by April ($5500/$5500) – Done!
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – I was hoping to put PFD money toward this, but then I didn’t. I don’t regret the plane tickets, but the medical and car expenses weren’t great.
  • Max out Mr. T’s Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – Haven’t started… This one may have to wait until next year. But I haven’t entirely given up yet.
  • Mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of December ($59,600 – $4,600 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:

  • $285 – 20 Cambodian Skype lessons. I’ve had 4 hour-long lessons and I was able to say “I can’t ride on this train, it’s too small!” in Cambodian last night because I stepped on Thomas the train while setting up the call!
  • $1000 – I may or may not have gotten in a minor car accident.
  • $1430.86 – Our summer plane tickets to see our parents/extended family. When airplane tickets you plan to purchase go on sale, you buy them! Now the only trip in 2017 we haven’t booked is #FinCon17!
  • $8.71 – The cost of our Harry Potter family costumes. (This entire expense was for fabric for our 2-year-old Lui to be Hagrid. WORTH IT! – picture coming in the newsletter this Saturday!)
  • $681.40 – What I’m hoping are my FINAL bills for my anemic iron infusions this summer. Man, healthcare is expensive even with awesome health insurance!
  • $27 – Punch card for 10 water aerobics classes.


$0.70 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link

$5,110 – The PFD!

Financial Phrases:

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

  • “I didn’t know he was divorced. I was wondering how he was managing all that with his crazy travel schedule for work. I guess he wasn’t.”
  • “I’ve always worked full time and one time, my son’s Kindergarten teacher handed me a giant envelope of pictures at the end of the year and said: ‘Hey, I thought you’d like to make me a scrapbook with all these pictures.’ Hello? Have you met Earth? On what planet did you think I’d want to do that? Upload your pictures to Snapfish, design it yourself, and pay for the book like everyone else would!”
  • “We can’t get rid of stuff. We do so many things. What we really need is a bigger bedroom with more storage.”
  • “It’s not like there is one major in college that allows you to be successful. Otherwise, colleges would only have two majors: ‘Guys Who Want to be Successful’ and ‘Guys Who Want to Complain About the Guys Who Are Successful.'”
  • If you’re wanting more, check out Monday’s post on the scariest things to say to a personal finance geek!


Scariest Things to Say to a Personal Finance Geek


The Roth IRA… I mean TFSA Challenge


  1. You guys are just killing that mortgage. I know the PFD is down, but any insight to where it will go next year? I just find it so interesting that the state pays you to live there 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      The governor capped it at $1000 permanently. So, unless that gets undone, we’ll be getting $1000 PFDs until the market crashes and they dip below that line.

  2. Matt @ Optimize Your Life

    “We can’t get rid of stuff. We do so many things. What we really need is a bigger bedroom with more storage.” It’s really upsetting how common a mindset this is…

    Nice work on the goals so far!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks Matt… I’m trying not to be frustrated with the other goals not playing out. Glad we’re very content in our little house! 🙂

  3. Congrats on getting the mortgage down, and crushing your other goals too – mostly. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the full fam Halloween pic!

    To echo Matt’s storage comment- so many people in our neighborhood have close to $100k worth of vehicles in the driveway in the elements and ahve their garage packed full of junk… Common complaints about tailgate theft (yep that’s a thing around here) “I can’t park it in the garage, there’s not enough room.” These are 3 car garages…

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks guys! It probably will only be a picture of Hagrid coming at you… but he’s the cutest anyway! 🙂

  4. Emily Jividen

    Little Bit was Harriet Potter. She could fit in her Hermione costume from 2 years ago (it was WAY too big then) so we only had to spend $1 on a pair of readers (popped the lenses for the frame) and $3 for facepaint (for the scar, and other dress up opportunities later.)

    The market fluctuations are one reason we track quarterly instead of monthly…congrats on the mortgage!

    • MaggieBanks

      I like the idea of quarterly tracking… but I’m too obsessive to only get to write these posts quarterly. They’re basically my favorites! 🙂 Love Harriet Potter!

  5. Oh the college comment was awesome! And congrats on getting so close to crushing your mortgage. That will be a happy day!

  6. Oh yay – I can’t wait to see the Halloween picture 🙂

    Congrats on the continued success. It’s really amazing to watch how your numbers keep increasing, and decreasing. You’re really moving along!!!

    I have a pack-rat Aunt who asked me to store her stuff at our rental property . . . because her two storage units were overflowing.

    • MaggieBanks

      Oh no no no no dear aunt. The time has come! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

      • LOL – she hinted about it at first: “you have a lot of storage space with two houses, don’t you?” We immediately knew what she was thinking and told her that there was no way it was going to happen. I think she’s still mad at us, but I know we would never ever be able to get rid of her stuff.

  7. I am especially loving seeing that mortgage balance getting smaller! Wohoo! (Do you think it’s because I’m so anxious to pay off our mortgage already, and so I’m transferring some of that anxiety and excitement to you?!) And that quote about divorce and travel — I hear that ALL THE TIME from biz travelers. And from friends who travel a lot. Our marriage is always the toughest we’re apart most of the time, but we try super hard to stay connected even in those times — but without that, travel takes a toll that’s too tough for many. What a great reminder given my post today about how people think biz travel is glamorous (and how the upgrades are nice — totally admit that). But what I really should say is (a la Mean Girls):

    Don’t travel for work. Because you’ll get divorced. And you will die.

    • MaggieBanks

      Ba ha ha ha. Thank you for the reminder. I’ve already told Mr. T it’s not allowed and he has to quit his job so I can smother him full time. His eyes got wide and he went to work… Oh boy. 🙂

      • Ha! I realized after writing that that I shouldn’t joke about it. It’s seriously a thing, and that makes me sad. But for real, frequent travel is bad for marriages! I know biz travel makes me selfish, so when I’m home I want to take care of ME instead of trying to tend to my marriage. Stupid travel (… she says, from her first class seat, with sad brown banana). 😉

  8. I didn’t think about business travel making you more selfish, but I bet that’s because I don’t do an excessive amount of it and PiC rarely does either. There is something about solo travel planning that leaves your partner out of it but we do our best to think about how to shore up the home front while we’re absent. When PiC traveled during my pregnancy, he’d prep food bowls for my extra-nauseated self so that I wouldn’t have to look at food AND eat it too. When I abandoned them for FinCon, I made sure that all of Seamus’s needs were tended to ahead of time so that he wouldn’t have that on his plate as well as JuggerBaby.

    I missed the why of the Cambodian lessons – what brought that on?

    • MaggieBanks

      Mr. T speaks Cambodian and we’ve been there together twice. I’ve been trying to learn it (unsuccessfully) for ten years. So it was worth it to actually pay a tutor to learn it! We love Cambodia and I would love to be able to converse when we take the kids there in 2ish years.

  9. We spent $8 of Halloween costumes too. I spent $4 at the kids’ consignment store on a Spongebob outfit for the toddler and $4 for ruby slippers for the kindergartener. The boy wore the same Star Wars costume for the past 3 years and the girl wore a hand me down Dorothy costume for the 2nd year in a row. I wore a witch hat and matching apron I bought on clearance two years ago, and the mister had an Anonymous mask from last year’s Halloween contest at work.

    The mister has his Roth funds, now that we know we won’t have to spend them on a roof,and I am at $3400. So close!

    • MaggieBanks

      Well done on all fronts! I’m focusing on getting that mortgage below $55,000 and maxing out one Roth… if I get both of those goals accomplished, I’ll be pretty darn happy!

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