April 2017 Plan Update

April 2017 Plan Update

It’s officially spring here in Alaska! Other than our two big snow piles on our lawn, all of the snow is gone! We’ve got seeds growing in our window (still risk of frost outside), the kids have been riding bikes outside after school every day, and they have less than a month left until summertime!

The Numbers:

Want to know how easy it is for us to write these every month? I literally just log into my Personal Capital and revel in all the numbers being in one place. Do you like checking numbers? Do you like graphics? Do you like playing with calculators like retirement calculators and how much your fees are costing you? Then, you should obviously use my affiliate link to Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! (I assumed bloggers pushed this because of the affiliate income until I started using it myself… worth the FREE pricetag! And Seriously Amazing.)

Can I just say how much I love being a month ahead in finances? It’s only the first month, but it simplifies things so much! I know where my money is going! As for the investments, this market insanity can’t continue, can it? I mean, we’re up to $149,600. So close to $150,000! We’re starting to ramp up extra payments toward the mortgage again. This month was smaller than we hope to do the next few months, but we did manage to get it down to $48,100.

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 – 46%. I’m still hoping this percentage gets a bit higher again in the next couple of months, but it’s also not a metric I love, so I’m not too worried about it.

2017 Financial Goal Update:

  • Earn $25,000 – ($8,136/$25,000) – I’m nearly exactly on track, which is very exciting considering last month’s travel!
  • Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – (Currently at $48,100! $18,000 to go!)
  • Max out Mr. T’s 401k – This is set up already and if nothing changes, he should automatically max it out this year for the first time! Yay for automatic payments!
  • Put $5500 into My Roth IRA – $0 progress so far.
  • $2500 in other investments – $0 progress so far.
  • $200,000 Investment Balance by the end of the year – This is looking possible. I’m not super committed to this goal because it’s market-based, but with these bonkers markets, maybe we’ll successfully get $50k by the end of the year!

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:

  • $164.12 – My medical costs this month.
  • $306.59 – Furnace parts – our furnace died this month (I know, we jinxed ourselves). We thought it was the fan motor, so we replaced that and it still didn’t work. Then we decided to replace the furnace control board. We had to wait a week because the part in town cost $100 more than on Amazon. Worth it. Now it works great again (knock on wood).
  • $28.99 – A box of drinking glasses. Ours have broken over the years and we were down to just 7 glasses out of 30. Luckily Bed, Bath, and Beyond still sells the same kind we’ve had since we got married 11 years ago, so we just bought another box. Just in time to have enough to host Easter dinner.
  • $63.10 – My parents came up to visit and we went to pizza.
  • $46 – Enough of my medicine to last about a month and a half I’m predicting.
  • $12.99 – Vacuum filter. It started smelling terrible!
  • $17 – The cost for Florin and I to go on a school field trip together to see a show downtown. Other than sitting in a smelly school bus crammed in a seat with 2 kids, it was really fun.
  • $15 – To help buy a gift for a lady at Church that has been teaching Piyo for free every week this past year. She’s moving at the end of the month.
  • $15 – More pizza – this time we took a friend out that has been going through a separation.

EXTRA INCOME (anything that doesn’t come from our jobs/my freelance work):

$0.60 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link – A real big blog income month! ?

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 just bought Dating over 50 for Dummies. This is stressful. Stay married.”
  • “I hope to have about $500,000 before I retire, but I’m not very close. So, my plan is to work until they let me go and then I’ll just refinance my house on a 30-year mortgage so my monthly payments will go way down.”
  • “I’ve been out of work since January. It’s actually the best thing that could have happened to me. I’m down 50 pounds and I’m actually happy.”


Northern Expressions: How Close is Money to Your Heart?


Your Spring Will Come


  1. Awww – the convo about the divorced person so sad! Great work on everything! I added add to my page and made $4.61 since the start of the year!! 😉 Eh, I consider it a bonus since money was never my intention but I’ll take in just the same!

  2. I love the random comments each month. And I can imagine being newly single. Well, with 5 little kids, let’s be real, I would be forever single! =) Better budget some more money for date night to keep this thing going strong. =)

  3. Hi Maggie! Good to read that everything is going well up in your neck of the woods.

    What are you growing? We (which means Mr. Smith, while I sat nearby because I’m hardly mobile right now during these last few weeks of the twin pregnancy) just tilled the garden and put down compost. Risk of frost goes until May 15, but then there will be lots of veggies being planted. I can’t wait for some cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      I can’t even imagine. I was dying in my third trimester with all 3 of mine… I can’t imagine how miserable you must be with twins! Our risk of frost is June 1, so we have tomatoes, arugula, and basil in the window. Along with some fuscia for our hanging basket.

  4. Chris @ Keep Thrifty

    I love the random comments you hear. They make me laugh and they make me cry. This one especially made me do both:

    “I hope to have about $500,000 before I retire, but I’m not very close. So, my plan is to work until they let me go and then I’ll just refinance my house on a 30-year mortgage so my monthly payments will go way down.”

    • MaggieBanks

      Oh I hear you. I realized I write them on the blog as an outlet of sorts. So now instead of trying not to yell: “THAT’S NOT A RETIREMENT PLAN!” I just log the quote in my mind so I can type it up as soon as I get home. 🙂

  5. OH MY GOD Look at your mortgage balance! I swoon.

    The things you overheard in April make me anxious! Even the one about being down 50 pounds! Does work do that to people? Each one of them says something about a toxic culture. I’m so glad to be a part of a community that knows there is a better way.

    • MaggieBanks

      I know! Getting that mortgage under 50k was very exciting. Now I’m sort of ready to jump all in and get it gone! And yes, toxic work culture.. tell Mr. T to quit already! 🙂 (he wasn’t the one that lost 50 pounds, to be clear!)

  6. Hey Maggie. Thanks for the update. Steady improvement on the financial front. Nice job. And I weeped a little when I saw your pizza expenses. I only have pizza on my birthday and I’m still five months away. Sigh.

    • MaggieBanks

      There’s a pretty famous pizza place here in Anchorage we pretty much always go to if there are guests or locals need to go out to eat. Moose’s Tooth. If you come up, you need to go!

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