Hello, dear readers! Welcome back to our regularly scheduled blogging program!

This summer has been glorious. And August was no exception. We started the month in Disneyland with the family and then headed to the Seattle area for a week where we spent 3 entire days swimming, kayaking, and paddle-boarding in lakes. It was amazing. The month ended with all 3 kids in school.

This was a particularly expensive month for us with some plane tickets being purchased, but I’m super excited about all things ahead!

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! (Also feel free to read my more in-depth review of Personal Capital.)

Our mortgage is below $40,000 ($39,920 to be exact)! Woo hoo! Only 3 more of those milestones and then IT’S DEAD! With the expensive flights we purchased this month, we probably won’t be contributing much extra next month to save up a bit again, but I’m still super happy about the direction this is headed! We’ve been able to pay this down just over $50,000 in just over 2 years. I feel pretty great about that.

Investments are now at $166,190. Markets took a few dives, but ended up slightly higher. It’s not looking like we’ll crack $200,000 this year but it’s great to see these climb consistently while we live our lives.

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 August – 51%. This is why I don’t think this is a great metric. We didn’t actually save any more… but we earned less, so our percentage looks good.

2017 Financial Goal Update:

  • Earn $25,000 – ($19,853/$25,000) –  This is mainly my main job as they have delayed paychecks. I was gone for a lot of the month, so these are last month’s paychecks. No freelancing this month. Next month’s income will be lower.
  • Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – (Currently at $39,920 – less than $10k to go! WOO HOO!)
  • 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 – Seems like it would take a market miracle to get us another $34k by the end of the year. Again, I wasn’t ever really tied to this one because it’s entirely market based.

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:

  • $2,479.48 – This covers all 5 of us from the UK to Anchorage via Norway and Iceland next summer.
  • $285 – Another 20 Cambodian lessons.
  • $254.40 – The eye doctor for Florin. She’s graduated from glasses and is loving her glasses-free life.
  • $451.39 – Food at DisneyLand.
  • $65.55 – Shuttle from Disney to the airport.
  • $103.86 – School supplies and clothes and shoes for the kids.
  • $85 – Lui’s preschool tuition for the ENTIRE YEAR. It was amazing we got him into this special preschool program. Our wallets thank us.

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

  • $1.05 – Bookscouter Affiliate Link
  • $100 – Reader sign-ups through my Personal Capital links. Thank you!
  • $39.07 – Selling shirts online. Most of this was a delayed check from Mr. T selling a shirt on Woot for a week.
  • $8.32 – Affiliate payments from myFinance (those links at the bottom of the posts).

Financial Phrases:

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

  • “Preschool is costing our kid $270/month?! I don’t remember agreeing to this!”
  • “She said the kayaks at her house kept multiplying. She told her husband she was okay with him buying a kayak, but then every week another one appeared.”
  • “She said: ‘Just use my guy. He only costs $50/hour.’ That’s less than I make. My time is literally worth less than that. I’m free!”