Welcome back, friends!
PLEASE – If you haven’t taken my SUPER IMPORTANT AND AWESOME SURVEY, please do it now. Share it with your family. Make your friends take it at your house. Post it on social media. Okay… you get it. Thanks. Seriously and honestly: Thank you.
Welcome to 2017 – the year where people stop dying and the world becomes a wonderful, hopeful, kind place. Too much hope? I love a new year. A clean slate. And while I can’t entirely control the world, I can move myself forward. So, the next few posts will be introducing the 2017 Stock household goals (yay goals!).
Our holidays were lovely. We spent Christmas as home with friends and then headed to Sacramento to visit Mr. T’s sister after Christmas (those bills will show up on next month’s update). The kids had a lovely time being crazy with cousins and we got to visit SF and the kids got to see the Golden Gate bridge for the first time (“it’s not entirely made of gold, like we thought…” Inside Out reference. You’re welcome).
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Our investments ended the year at $133,270. And our mortgage balance currently sits at $52,975 – almost to another milestone to celebrate (under $50,000!). I feel great about the progress we made in 2017. I’m dang sick of our mortgage, but it’s dropping nicely and the markets have been kind. Not going to lie about how it feels good to see our investment number consistently rise each 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 December: 37%. We didn’t save a whole lot this month, considering. We sent money out into the world for good instead. 🙂 But the new year is beginning and we’re so full of goals!
2016 Financial Goal Update:
A final look at how we did!
Overall, I’m pretty happy with where we stand. As I said, we totally failed on the Roth IRA goals, but we redirected those funds into upping Mr. T’s contributions to his 401k. This year, he contributed $15,250 and he’s set to max out next year! YAY! We beat our mortgage goal (and our crazy market-based goal. Crazy markets!), so we had a pretty great financial year:
- $125,000 in investments by the end of the year ($116,585/$125,000) – Done!
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2015 by April ($5500/$5500) – Done!
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – Fail
- Max out Mr. T’s Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – Fail
- Mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of December ($52,975) – Done!
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:
- $34 – Date night! We had a gift card to a restaurant and ticket vouchers to the theatre Mr. T had bought me (literally years ago!). We heard the guy next to us in the restaurant saying he bought a Groupon right before coming to the restaurant… so we fired up our phones, downloaded the app, bought the Groupon, and saved ten bucks! Then, when we realized we didn’t use our gift card entirely (because we spent money at Groupon instead), we came back after the play and ordered 3 desserts! Best date ever.
- $111 – We chose a UNICEF “Inspired Gift” to put under the tree for each child for Christmas this year (ie: mosquito nets, books for a classroom, etc.). I loved the idea of giving gifts to kids from my kids. And it provided my kids a great reminder about how lucky they are and that they can do good in the world. (Mr. T and I also made our own various donations to several causes as well including the White Helmets doing amazing work in Syria.)
- $125 – Anchorage museum membership renewal.
- $5.03 – 2 cans of frosting for Florin’s class gingerbread house party (Lui ate much more than this in candy…).
$0.20 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link
$100 – Personal Capital Affiliate Link – Honestly, I feel like readers are reaching through and giving me a big “high five” when you use my affiliate links. Well, friends: *high five*! You’re the best.
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
12-year-old girl: Mom, I took one of those online quizzes where it tells you where you’ll be in ten years.
Mom: Where are you going to be?
12-year-old girl: Bermuda
Mom: And how do you plan to pay for that.
12-year-old girl: By marrying someone rich.
Between 2 parents outside the elementary school:
1 dad: How was your day?
1 mom: Great! I quit my job today.
1 dad: Oh wow! Congrats! Is your plan to find something else after the holidays?
1 mom: Nope. I’m staying home with my kids. I’m really excited about it. I feel like I’ve been missing everything!
“Christmas was our downfall. Growing up, I had 6 siblings, so Christmas morning was complete chaos of presents and wrapping and I felt obligated to recreate that for my children. I started when I only had one. Then it was hard to back off later.”