March 2017 has been an awesome month! We traveled to Nebraska and Texas to see my sister and Mr. T’s brother and the kids got to play with cousins. We went to museums, parks, zoos, and just generally had a great time. A week after we got back from our trip, school was canceled here in Anchorage because we got nearly a foot of snow on top of all of the break-up ice (not even April Fooling you)!
We’re still discussing the best town to live in if you want to weigh in!
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.)
I think we’re officially a month ahead in finances between some major hustling in March and our tax return! (but then we went on vacation and so my April paydates will be much lower, so we’ll see if we can maintain it!)
The big news this month is that we got our mortgage under $50,000! The mortgage balance currently sits at $49,730. Our investments, despite any extra added (other than the automatic max contributions to Mr. T’s 401k), continue to climb and today sit at $145,600.
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 March – 35%. 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 – ($6,446/$25,000) – Back on track. Again, thanks to travel this month, it will probably be lower next month, but I’m feeling pretty good about it.
- Mortgage Balance below $30,000 – (Currently at $49,730! $19,730 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 – Do you think $55k by the end of the year is a possibility? This one is market-based, but we hit our crazy market-based goal last year… who’s to say we can’t this year as well!
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:
- $36 – Yay! Our “experiences” budget was higher this month! This was the price for all of us to get into the Durham museum in Omaha. It was great! We also went to the Omaha Children’s museum and the Perot Museum in Dallas, but we got in free thanks to the reciprocity of our Anchorage Museum Membership! And the Omaha zoo was free because my sister-in-law and her friend got us in on their guest passes.
- $128.47 – We ate out at Raising Cane’s, Chik-fil-a, and Pepperjax while on the trip. This also includes Ivar’s at the Seattle airport and meals on the flight home. We ate out a few times in Texas as well, but my darling sister covered the bill.
- $62.78 – Overnight parking for two cars in San Antonio. The hotel was paid for with points.
- $475 – The first orthodontist bill for Penny (with a 5% discount for paying up front). They gave me an estimate of $8,000 for braces in a few years. And the other two kids will be following close behind. There goes our retirement plans!
- $221.50 – Rental car for a week in Texas. We bummed a car off Mr. T’s brother whilst in Nebraska.
- $75.99 – We got Penny a 20″ bike for her 9th birthday. Last summer she was still riding a 12″ and it was really small!
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! 🙂
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “As soon as my husband finishes dental school and gets a job, we’ll be paying off my credit card debt. Not very exciting putting your first real paychecks toward your wife’s $20,000 of credit card debt.”
- “You’ve closed on a house and you haven’t graduated or found a job yet?”
- “We’ve got to start with high automatic savings taken out of the paycheck and then claw it back if it isn’t working. It’s much harder to build up.”
- “You know, I’d really like to be able to find an incinerator that will work for reindeer carcasses.”