Well November was uneventful for the Banks family until the very last day when we were hit with a 7.0 earthquake. We have lots of quakes here, but that was by far the biggest one we’ve felt as the epicenter was pretty close and it wasn’t very deep. It was a solid minute of shaking both side to side and up and down. We had tons of stuff fall down in our house, but miraculously, nothing broke. We’re all safe. The kids are just headed back to school today after a week off for the district to clean up the schools. Now, 10 days later, we are still having nearly 1-2 aftershocks of 4-5 magnitude every day and hundreds that are less than that. This interesting video shows all the aftershocks we experienced just in the first 48 hours. Needless to say, we did not sleep well for a couple nights.
So, now that the kids are back in school and we’ve gotten cleaned up here at home, we’re finally getting back in to the swing of things around here. Thank you to those that reached out to make sure we were safe. It felt good to be checked on.
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.)
First the exciting news: our mortgage is now at $5,500! This amount is killing me. Like, shouldn’t I be able to just come up with that and pay it off immediately?! So. Close.
Keep in mind this was at the beginning of the month, but at that point, our investments totaled $221,700. With so much focus on paying off the mortgage and living my life, I’ve hardly been paying attention to this number at all. (If it falls below $200k, I’ll certainly notice though!)
2018 Financial Goals Update:
- KILL THE MORTGAGE – $5,500 – We’re working our tails off to try to get this killed before the end of the year, but even if we fail this goal, we’ll be able to kill it in the first couple months of 2019, so I still feel okay about it. But, I haven’t given up total hope yet. It’s still possible! (okay, less possible, but a miracle could happen.)
- Merch Challenge Update (paying for our 27-night Europe trip and our extra mortgage payments with t-shirt sales) – -$996 – Earned (with just shirt sales online): $17,717.04, Spent: $10,412.86 (Europe Trip) + $8300 extra mortgage payments – Details can be found in the Merch Challenge Q3 Update with another one coming out in January.
- 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. But, we’ll hit $18,000 anyway, so pretty close.
- Stretch Goal: Put $5500 into My Roth IRA – Not yet.
- Market-Based Goal: $250,000 in investments by the end of 2018 – Markets down. Not looking possible this year. Oh 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:
- $32.50 – Tickets to Ralph Breaks the Internet with the family. We all enjoyed it!
- $93.05 – Black Friday at Fred Meyer. I head there around 2pm and buy my half-price socks and underwear for the family for the year. And I bought myself some leggings.
- $221 – Podiatrist payment for Mr. T.
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “Earthquake insurance is expensive and not even worth it because the deductible is like 10-20%.”
- “The house basically fell off the foundation. We helped them clean up a little bit, but they don’t have earthquake insurance, so what do you say? ‘Good luck’?”