Farewell October! This was a very exciting month because we got our PFD money! YAY money! But then immediately, a whole bunch of bills came in and we bought plane tickets. BOO money! I am choosing to be grateful that we were able to put the majority of the PFD money toward the mortgage. YAY paying off debt!
As for the Stock household updates… the girls took swimming lessons and Penny graduated! We got our first snowfall, which has now entirely melted (boo!). We dressed up as Harry Potter characters for Halloween, with Lui being Hagrid (he wins), Mr. T being Harry Potter, I was Prof. McGonagall, Penny was Hermione (my 80s crimper to the rescue for Hermione hair!) and Florin was Moaning Myrtle (though she did not want to wear a toilet seat around her neck as we suggested!).
You guys… if you haven’t signed up for Personal Capital, I think you’re nuts! It’s free! I look forward each month to logging in and seeing all of my accounts in one place. It shows all of my credit card accounts, my mortgage, my investment accounts, analyzes my fees, and is very visually compelling. I mean, it’s a geeked-out way to see it all in one glance without spending too much time. Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! It has cut down my end-of-the month reckoning significantly since I can see all my accounts together (with graphs!).
Markets have slid a bit and our investments edged up slightly (thanks to our own savings contributions) to $116,585. All that PFD money pouring into our mortgage principle brought our mortgage down to $59,600 – that’s right, UNDER $60,000! Just 5 more of those milestones to hit and WE’RE DONE!
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 October: 44.6%. That’s pretty good considering it was a high earnings month, but also a high spending month. And if we didn’t include extra mortgage principle in this calculation, it would be much, much lower, but since paying off our mortgage is one of our main savings goals, it makes sense for us to include it.
2016 Financial Goal Update:
With just $15,600, we could realize all of our goals for the year!
It felt really good to throw a huge chunk of the PFD money toward our mortgage. Bringing our mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of the year seems very attainable now! The Roth IRAs are a different story… but I’m determined to try to max out at least one before the end of the year! Here’s where we currently stand here:
- $125,000 in investments by the end of the year ($116,585/$125,000) – We’re only $8,415 away! I am really not tied to this goal emotionally since it is tied to market performance. If the markets tank, so be it.
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2015 by April ($5500/$5500) – Done!
- Max out my Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – I was hoping to put PFD money toward this, but then I didn’t. I don’t regret the plane tickets, but the medical and car expenses weren’t great.
- Max out Mr. T’s Roth IRA for 2016 by December ($0/$5500) – Haven’t started… This one may have to wait until next year. But I haven’t entirely given up yet.
- Mortgage balance below $55,000 by the end of December ($59,600 – $4,600 left to go!)
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:
- $285 – 20 Cambodian Skype lessons. I’ve had 4 hour-long lessons and I was able to say “I can’t ride on this train, it’s too small!” in Cambodian last night because I stepped on Thomas the train while setting up the call!
- $1000 – I may or may not have gotten in a minor car accident.
- $1430.86 – Our summer plane tickets to see our parents/extended family. When airplane tickets you plan to purchase go on sale, you buy them! Now the only trip in 2017 we haven’t booked is #FinCon17!
- $8.71 – The cost of our Harry Potter family costumes. (This entire expense was for fabric for our 2-year-old Lui to be Hagrid. WORTH IT! – picture coming in the newsletter this Saturday!)
- $681.40 – What I’m hoping are my FINAL bills for my anemic iron infusions this summer. Man, healthcare is expensive even with awesome health insurance!
- $27 – Punch card for 10 water aerobics classes.
$0.70 from my Bookscouter Affiliate Link
$5,110 – The PFD!
These are things said by actual people that were either talking to me or near me enough that I could hear them:
- “I didn’t know he was divorced. I was wondering how he was managing all that with his crazy travel schedule for work. I guess he wasn’t.”
- “I’ve always worked full time and one time, my son’s Kindergarten teacher handed me a giant envelope of pictures at the end of the year and said: ‘Hey, I thought you’d like to make me a scrapbook with all these pictures.’ Hello? Have you met Earth? On what planet did you think I’d want to do that? Upload your pictures to Snapfish, design it yourself, and pay for the book like everyone else would!”
- “We can’t get rid of stuff. We do so many things. What we really need is a bigger bedroom with more storage.”
- “It’s not like there is one major in college that allows you to be successful. Otherwise, colleges would only have two majors: ‘Guys Who Want to be Successful’ and ‘Guys Who Want to Complain About the Guys Who Are Successful.'”
- If you’re wanting more, check out Monday’s post on the scariest things to say to a personal finance geek!