January 2018 Plan Update

January 2018 Plan Update

January was a crazy month for the Banks family. The kids started swim after school twice a week which has been quite an adjustment for all of us. On top of that, we’ve had some big responsibilities at Church. We’ve also been trying to get our Merch shirts organized so it’s easier to relist them if they don’t sell and Amazon takes them down. So lots of awesome, productive things going on, but really busy.

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 now at $27,800. Okay. I’m starting to get nervous. That’s still a lot to kill in 11 months. Can we do this?

Investments are now at $201,165. We broke $200,000! (This was at market close on January 31. So we’re definitely below $200,000 again but it sure was fun to hit it!)

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 January – 47%. 

2018 Financial Goals Update:

  • 27-Day Europe Trip –   -$1,564.60 – Earned: $9,919.80, Spent: $11,484.40 (with “earned” meaning the money we’ve made from selling shirts on Amazon and “spent” meaning all of the costs for the trip as well as any extra payments toward our mortgage)
  • Max out Mr. T’s 401k – Automatic – however, limits rose to $18,500/year which makes it messy if you get 24 paychecks a year. We’ll probably make a contribution toward the end of the year to top it off.
  • Stretch Goal: Put $5500 into My Roth IRA – 
  • Market-Based Goal: $250,000 in investments by the end of 2018 

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:

  • $17 – Ice Skating at the mall with all of us. The ice still wasn’t safe enough outside and we wanted to go together one last time before school started back up in January.
  • $125 – Anchorage museum membership – we also use this to get reciprocity at science museums and art museums across the nation.
  • $533 – Tickets for all 5 of us to go on a whale watching cruise out of Seward, Alaska next summer when my sister comes up to visit.
  • $41 – A real haircut at a salon – The first time in 3 years I’ve paid for a haircut (Mr. T usually does it) – I only gave in so it would grow out nicely and our January was NUTS.
  • $103.49 – The materials for Mr. T to build Lui a murphy bed so he can move out of the toddler bed but we can still use his room as a guest room.

Financial Phrases:

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

(Failed this month. Will keep track next month again.)


Following the Money: In Practice


Mosaic Thoughts After a School Shooting


  1. Sounds like a whirlwind! Your mortgage number is making me SO jealous. I’m cheering you guys on so hard! It is a lot in 11 months but you can do it! Woohoo!

    • MaggieBanks

      Fingers crossed. Things need to pick up a bit in the earnings department for it to happen!

  2. Nice January! Lot of spend, but you guys are rocking it on the merch shirts! Be confident in getting the mortgage gone. Just think about where you are from maybe 3 yrs ago and whether 3 years ago you would have thought this was possible or not? Just keeping perspective. ?

    • MaggieBanks

      Agreed. We’ve come quite far in 3 years. As for Merch… January and February look terrible! Turns out people hate shopping after they’re in debt from the holidays.

  3. You are SO CLOSE to killing off the mortgage! Go y’all!

    I’m glad the 401K limit was raised but I’m really jonesing for the IRA limits to be raised too.

    • MaggieBanks

      It’s starting to feel so close and yet so far! KILL THE MORTGAGE!

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