Is there ever a dull month? This month involved a broken water pipe and a flooded crawlspace, entertaining both sets of parents for a week, and finding out I’m severely anemic (explains the chronic fatigue for the past several months – Me to doctor: “Not everyone blacks out every time they stand up? I assumed that was normal”). As April wraps up, we have only 5 weeks to go until our big UK/Paris adventure. To say I’m excited would be a tremendous understatement. But at least the trip is forcing us to get some estate planning done (finally! right?). Don’t worry, there’s a whole post coming up on the process and how to save money (you were worried, I know).
Three new Fill-the-Bucket lists have been added to the interwebs (and our comprehensive list) this month from Hey, It’s Just Money, Creating My Kaleidoscope and All Around Better Me. The Roth IRA Challenge is picking up! This month, we had a really inspirational post about balance and side hustling and taking risks by Kara over at From Frugal to Free! Mr. T also jumped into the blog this month with his graphic design with our new series: Northern Expressions! I love that he’s involved in his own way (and I’m loving all these awesome and cool-looking quotes I can print off and put on my bathroom mirror… or wall… or fridge… or leave on random cars…).
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 $93,042! Less than $7,000 away from breaking 6 digits! That will be VERY exciting! And the mortgage is down to $71,990. I know the mortgage is going down at a pretty good and steady rate, but this month I’ve been frustrated with the progress here. I want to be DONE with the mortgage and nearly $72,000 is still a lot left! A lot of Googling “Creative ways to pay off mortgage early” leads to suggestions to refinance into a 15 year mortgage (done), pay extra each month (yup), and put windfalls towards the mortgage (uh huh). So, I guess I just need to be at peace with the slow progress. Slow and steady, right? (But secretly, how great would it be to end 2018 debt free?!… I’ll keep dreaming. No one can stop me!)
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 April: 52.7%! That’s pretty good considering it was a pretty high spending month… but thanks to maxing out Mr. T’s 401k contributions, our automated savings combined with our extra mortgage payments are now around 50% of our pay! Next goal: increase our pay! 🙂
2016 Financial Goal Update:
After June’s big UK trip, we’ll start focusing on our 2016 Roth IRAs.
- $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 $93,042/$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 ($71,990 – $16,990 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:
- $1305.50 – 5 Plane tickets to California to see Mr. T’s sister and her family during Christmas break!
- $19.96 – Celebratory frozen yogurt for the family for Penny’s birthday.
- $190.60 – Copay for doctor appointment and lab work for anemia diagnosis.
- $8.50 – 4 wheatgrass juice shots – recommended by my doctor
- $75.78 – a fancy pantsy iron formula my doctor prescribed. I call it “unicorn blood” because it has a weird name and costs a small fortune. I can only assume it makes me immortal.
$1.80 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link – A reader tipped me off after my Decluttering Books Post that they had an affiliate link, so I added it in after the fact. Who knew?! This is a few cents less than last month… but still awesome and hilarious to get my very first “passive income” every month.
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “There’s never enough time. That’s why I need to quit my job. But then there’s never enough money. It’s always a trade off between time and money.” (Hmm… I think I’ve seen that before.)
- “I’m going to keep looking for coins and then I’ll be RICH!” – This was Florin after she found a dime, lost it, and then found a nickel.
- “We were going to go to Hawaii for our tenth anniversary, but we bought a vinyl fence instead.”
- “If I work in public service for ten years, my law school loans disappear. I worked for 4 years before getting this job, so I would just have 6 years left. I make way more money now, but it’s tempting to get a government job so the loans go away.”