September Update

September 2016 Plan Update

September has come and gone. Instead of attending FinCon, I headed to the Midwest for work and then to celebrate a birthday weekend with my sister! It was great fun (and, as a bonus, I even found a pair of skinny jeans that don’t make me look like a chicken!).

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!).

Our investments climbed to $116,150! I do feel like we’re clawing our way to $500,000 and the market has been extremely good to us, so I am not sure what my confidence level will be when market conditions change. For my own sake, I ran numbers on how simple it is to save $1,000,000 as well as an aggregated chart of people who have done it much faster. I’m thinking of changing my official goal to $1,000,000 by 2022 and do this whole “Retire Early” thing all the way. Right now that plan, even with high market returns, seems impossible. But goals should be impossible, right?

The mortgage balance is now $63,550. It was the first month paying less than $200 for interest! Yay for progress! Next month is a big month with the PFD coming ($5,110 for our family of 5), so I think we can get this below $60,000 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 September – 46%. With my trip to the office, it was a high income month for me. Yay!

2016 Financial Goal Update:

With just $19,550, we could realize all of our goals for the year!

I’ve prioritized the mortgage goal because the markets are high and not a great deal right now. Ideally, we pay off the mortgage when the market is high, and then when it goes down, we have lots of extra money from not having a mortgage to put in the market at a discount! But even if that doesn’t happen, I’m SICK of the mortgage. I don’t like how tied down it makes me feel. Also, it happens to be at a big evil bank. So, I’d like to end that relationship as well.

  • $125,000 in investments by the end of the year ($116,150/$125,000) – We’re only $8,850 away! Even if the markets stay flat, I think we can hit this one… but if they go down at all, it won’t happen.
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2015 by April ($5500/$5500) – Done!
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – I think we’ll be able to add $3000 next month and hopefully max out by December.
  • 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 ($63,550 – $8,550 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:

  • $9.99 – Thrift store non-chicken skinny jeans (this was very exciting because the thrift stores in Alaska are TERRIBLE! I had to go in the Midwest).
  • $358 – Super early bird tickets to FinCon17 for Mr. T and I (I still have to talk him into coming… but I have 13 months).
  • $6.00 – Airplane internet when I realized I forgot my phone.
  • $11.50 – BLT bagel in the Seattle airport. As Seinfeld would say: “Bagels are rare here.”


$0.90 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link

$675 from SEO work – my most lucrative side hustle that you can do too!

$100 – Birthday money from my Grandma. Thanks Grandma!

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 had all of my Magic Cards in my car and it got broken into. They went through everything and didn’t take anything, so I don’t know what they’re looking for!” Ten minutes later he said: “I literally had all of my little decks in all their boxes and everything. Nothing!”
  • “It was fun being young and dumb.”
  • “My role has shifted now. They say people change companies five times in their career, and this might be my time to do that. I’m keeping my eye open for other opportunities, but for now, I’m interested to see where this goes.”
  • “90% of the people at his funeral were wearing sneakers. Tells you a lot.”


Roth IRA Challenge: On Getting Started


If I had… & How to Spend My Life Insurance


  1. Emily Jividen

    Congrats on a great month (and finding good jeans. the struggle is real.)

    As a short woman, I was super happy to find jeans that fit that I don’t walk on last month at Old Navy’s jean sale. of course, they marketed them as capris but they were the perfect length for me, lol.

    • MaggieBanks

      Ha ha ha. I love it. HIlariously, I was in the thrift store explaining to my sister that I couldn’t pull off skinny jeans. She didn’t believe me, so I picked a random pair off the rack and tried them on to show her. And they looked awesome!

  2. Well, I learned something new about your fine state while reading this. Who knew thrift stores would be so scarce!?

    You are killing that mortgage balance. That number dropping towards $50k is simply spiffing.

    I also got a discounted FinCon 17 ticket (Mrs. PIE is manning the small pies at home) so really looking forward to running into the family Northern Expenditure in Dallas next year!!

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m so excited to meet you!

      And yes, the thrift stores up here are terrible and rare. People don’t have fashionn up here at all (which I feel great about – I fit right in), but that means they use things up as well. So, the thrift stores we do have are full of really used crap and they charge a ton! I can buy cheaper clothes on clearance at Target or Old Navy than I can at the thrift stores!

  3. Kim from Philadelphia

    Maggie, great work!!
    I think it’s an incredibly smart move to throw more money at your mortgage while the markets are high. I’m sure you won’t regret that move!

    Finding good thrift jeans are a rarity for me- so glad you found them AND a delicious bagel!!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks Kim… I feel good about the mortgage decision as well. I’d really like to kick that fast! (and, for the record, it WAS a delicious bagel!)

  4. Pretty solid month Maggie. Putting more money toward mortgage is a great idea, you won’t regret it.

    Woohoo on FinCon! I’m looking forward to meet you and the rest of the bloggers that I stalk…errr talk to regularly. 🙂 Didn’t get a ticket for Mrs. T as she needs to look after the kids. Unclear whether they’re coming with me or not. If they do they might be spending the time in Houston with a family friend.

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m so excited to meet you as well! (And I get that. I read WAY MORE than I comment!) Also, I haven’t figured out what to do with the kiddos yet… 🙂 Oh well. That will happen.

  5. Wohoooooooo! Congrats on an awesome month! And on the jeans. But mostly for coming to FinCon next year… I might possibly be more excited that you’re coming than you are yourself. Hahaha. 😉 Now we just have to figure out how to talk the husbands into joining!

    • MaggieBanks

      Oh I think Mr. T will not argue too hard. He’s SUPER introverted. I am not, but big crowds make me nervous, but the more of my friends that I hear are going, the more excited I get! Also, I just keep taunting Mr. T with: “You said you want to be an entrepreneur… here’s your chance to check out amazing ones…” It might sell. 🙂

  6. Awesome update Maggie. Being able to say you’re (soon) debt free must be a very empowering thought. And it’ll be a huge weight off your shoulders.

    What a nice Grandma you have. 🙂

    I hope you have a really awesome trip to Fincon17, I wish we could go, but it is way too far away 🙁


    • MaggieBanks

      I can’t WAIT to be debt free… but even going at this rate, it will take around 2 more years. Ugh. And yes, I do have a nice Grandma! I’m sorry about FinCon. I wish you could come too!

  7. Putting more money towards my mortgage was the best thing that I ever did.

    In the beginning I was apathetic about having the mortgage but towards the end I openly despised watching what seemed like half my paycheck go towards the house.

    Now that the mortgage is gone I feel like I am freer at work to share my ideas and take on projects that interest me instead of taking projects that will allow me to climb the corporate ladder.

    Funny enough, I have gotten two promotions in four years since I’ve gotten rid of my mortgage. So in my opinion it’s worked out even better than I imagined.

    • MaggieBanks

      This is the greatest comment ever. THANK YOU for this perspective. I look forward greatly to feeling this way when it’s GONE!

  8. Yo’ll be knocking out that mortgage in no time. I’m glad to see the SEO side hustle is working for you. An unexpected source of income and you helped a friend test her new course – double bonus.

    • MaggieBanks

      I can’t WAIT to get rid of that mortgage! And the SEO thing has been a completely unexpected win. I guess it’s a great indicator of the quality of Claudia’s course so I had NO IDEA about SEO before and now I make money from it!

  9. seeing your investments go up and your mortgage down sure is a good sign. even if you dont hit 125,000 this tyear keep plugging at it.

    • MaggieBanks

      I’m not too worried about that goal since it’s market-based. I really hoped to max out both IRAs, but that looks like the goal that won’t happen… but maybe I can still get one done before Dec! (And I really have until April before I lose my 2016 opportunity.)

  10. Nice job on the numbers for the month,a dnt he year so far, excellent progress!

    I love the quote about sneakers at a funeral. It says a lot indeed, but I’d be happy that more people wore sneakers to my funeral since I’d want to put the “FUN” back into funeral when my time comes, lol.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén