Denali Northern Expenditure

Q3 2019 Plan Update: Where’d Maggie Go? Edition

Hello friends! It’s me, Maggie! Remember me?! Well, here’s where I tell you ALL about how 2019 is going and what is happening around here. In short: I’ve been spending money like crazy and hustling hard to make up for it. 😉

Summer Update:

We spent a lovely summer being crazy travelers as per usual. We went dipnetting (post coming tomorrow because we’re either feast or famine around here!), took several Alaska ferries including one down the Aleutian Chain, and went to Oregon and Washington to be with family. Mr. T and I finished off the summer with an expensive weekend in San Francisco with just the two of us (and seeing Hamilton!). We also got to meet up with Revanche, who is one of my favorite humans.

I started the year with big savings goal (after paying off the mortgage), but then bought a whole bunch of tickets to all the ferries! I do not regret my decision. One of the ferries we rode has been dry-docked thanks to budget cuts and several other routes have been reduced dramatically with no guarantee they will remain at all in the future.

One of the great things about paying attention to money is the ability to SAY YES to opportunities. We really enjoyed the freedom we had to do that with the cash flow we’ve enjoyed since paying off the house.

Life Update:

At the end of August, Lui went to kindergarten and I retired from being a full-time stay-at-home Mom! (Until the summer I suppose…) This kicked off a big transition for me. I started working 32-hour weeks at my job and am trying to negotiate a full-time offer (sounds like it might be in the works! – I’ll do a post with a bit more info if and when that goes through). I also hired my designer full-time (at less than $450/month) to help grow my e-commerce business. She hated her job, asked to go full time, and I was able to say yes because at this point, we’re just risking profits (not loss). She helped me make a hilarious cat coloring book (affiliate link). So, between getting the kids off to school, throwing myself into my real job and trying to build up my e-commerce business, I’ve been busy, but I’m really enjoying all the things that are happening.

E-Commerce update:

Since you asked (or wanted to), we’ve done pretty well so far this year. In June, we made $999.55 in sales (before expenses, but those are under $500/month with my designer) and that was the only month this year we’ve fallen below $1000 in sales (and missed it by less than a dollar!). January and March had sales right around $2000. With the heavy shopping months coming up November-December, we’ve been working all extra hours we’ve got to get as much up as possible. We’re working on a new line of coloring books I’m pretty excited about that are pixel art color by number books. We got our first one up this month: Pixel Museum World Famous Art (also an affiliate link).

Alaska Update:

We’ve moved almost entirely into cash hoarding at this point because we would like to have $80-100k saved for a possible down payment on a house ASAP. We do love our house and we’ll keep it and try to rent it out (which is why we need a new down payment), but things might get really cheap here soon. The economy in Alaska isn’t doing well thanks to state budget cuts and BP announcing it is leaving the state. We are a one-industry state, so BP leaving will make a BIG impact. Employees will find out their fates in December and there will be a mass exodus from the state. There are already an influx of houses on the market, but prices are remaining pretty steady. We will only buy a house if prices drop dramatically and we find a house we actually like (most houses up here make no sense at all). But we’re in a hurry to save the cash to be prepared!

The Numbers:

Full disclosure: I stopped using Personal Capital (affiliate link) because they stopped working for Mr. T’s retirement funds. But I really did enjoy them before they stopped working entirely for me. (Also feel free to read my more in-depth review of Personal Capital.) Also, once I checked this month to update the numbers, I went into each account separately and discovered it hadn’t updated MY Roth IRA for like six months. So we’re richer than I thought! Win! (also maybe another reason why you shouldn’t use Personal Capital…)

Mortgage is still at $ZERO!

As of October 1, we had $275,400 in investments. Not bad. (With such up and down in the market, a quarterly update on this number rather than a monthly update is probably a good idea.)

2019 Financial Goals (REWORKED):

  • Max Out My 2018 Roth IRA ($5,500/$5,500) – Thanks to the totaling of the car, WE DID IT!
  • Max Out My 2019 Roth IRA (0/$6,000) â€“ Not yet.
  • Max Out Mr.T’s 2019 Roth IRA (0/$6,000) â€“ Not yet.
  • Replenish Emergency Fund ($1,200/$1,200) â€“ Because our emergency fund is in a Capitol360 account so we can use it for free ATMs while traveling (but the account only earns 1%), we lowered our emergency account goal from $5000 to $1200. Then we changed this goal:
  • Extra Investments ($12,700/$45,000) â€“ Thanks to the PFD, we were able to get over 25% of this knocked out this quarter. Unless we have some $10k sales months in November-December, we probably won’t get close to this, but I’m thinking I can at least get up to $25k. We’ll see.

So that’s where we’re at. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Dipnetting update and fingers crossed for a full-time job update soon! Thanks for sticking it out with us in our crazy journey! We’re grateful for all of you.


June 2019 Plan Update


Dipnetting 2019: I got a Triple!


  1. I love the ability to say yes to things! I imagine your life is far richer with those experiences than it would be if you still had the dollars in your accounts.

  2. Since I don’t have the energy to keep up with y’all, I’m loving living vicariously through your adventures and am also ever so grateful you made a stop that included us. PiC and JB really enjoyed meeting both of you. What a treat!

    I’m also cheerleading your e-commerce from here. I had to slow down, and really stop, my own efforts because of the demands of the full time gig but I have it in the back of my mind as a thing to come back to.

    • MaggieBanks

      I loved hanging with your family! Thanks again for hosting us. And I get the pressure from the full time thing with the more fun thing in the back of your mind… that’s where I’m at most of these days. I look forward to the weekend so I can work on the fun stuff more! 🙂

  3. Good luck with the house down payment savings. With BP leaving, that could open up a lot, especially when they (BP) buy a lot of employees out of their houses (due to loss/relocation) and then have to resell them. Be patient. 🙂

    I’ve been thinking more about e-commerce, or rather an e-store. I need to get some inventory up first I guess. Oh, maybe just in time for Christmas shopping. To etsy to create a storefront!! lol

  4. Matt D

    Firstly, THANK YOU for this resource. As a married couple in the sub-$100k income bracket, it is SO encouraging to be able to read your story, updates & progress over the last few years. Congratulations.

    We are late to start but early in the “getting serious” stage of our FIRE journey, and have similar goals of early mortgage payoff along with index fund investing, with an early retirement goal but nothing crazy extreme. I wanted to ask if there was any specific reason you have leaned toward maxing out your 401k rather than getting the employer match & then maxing out the Roth IRAs first??

    Thank you!

    • MaggieBanks

      Great question: honestly, it’s because it was easier to do. We could have that deducted from our paycheck automatically and never see the money. It made saving it a lot easier. I haven’t figured out an easy hack for RothIRA yet. If it drops into our account first, even if there’s automatic withdrawals from our account, I fear the money may not be there when it goes out. The more we can trick ourselves into saving, the better. 😉

  5. goneonfire

    Hey, I keep my emergency fund over at CapitalOne as well. I know it’s not much more, but you could open a CapitalOne Performance Savings account and earn 1.8% interest. It’s limited to 6 transfers a month, but you could easily do one transfer into the checking account if you know you’re going to be using the money.

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