March 2015 Monthly Review

March Monthly Review

As you can see, I have finally finished the redesign that I have been working on for just about a year, and it seems to be going well. I started writing anonymously when I started, because I was afraid (or something) of sharing all my personal financial details online. It wasnt 100% anonymous, but it was close. I mainly did this out of fear, and I’ve been slowly loosening the reins on that since 2011 or so. I will say though, that nothing is more awkward/uncomfortable when people find your site and you’re in the room as they go through your financials. I will say that I dont regret my decision (then or now), as back at that time many bloggers were anonymous, and like me, many have started to put a bit more personality into their sites. I’m hoping that more people can relate to our situation now because they see a real person behind it.

We are continuing to move forward, but due to poor meal planning we spent a whole boat-load of money on food last month, and will be focusing on reducing those costs as the year progresses. It seems to be a never ending battle, with the hinge point being the meal planning. When we do it, we are much less stressed during the week, eat better and spend less on food. When we dont, the dam breaks and calling it a disaster is an understatement.

In case you didnt catch the last post, we are focusing our financial energy and goal setting now on the FI/RE movement, or retiring early. Both my wife and I want nothing more than to have our time back, and spend it with family and friends doing things we enjoy. The easiest ticket out of that will be to lower our expenses and build up enough savings to meet our needs for the foreseeable future. We live fairly lean already (when we can control our food spending), and figure that it will take about 10 years to reach our goal.

Debt

Mortgage $ 100,971 (-$1966) There is a huge drop off here from last month, and it’s because this took a while to write and I didnt get it up before the april payment happened. It looks like we will be under 6 figures by early may, after our extra payments this month.

Total Debt: $ 100,971

It’s nice only have 1 source of debt (and even then, we know we can sell our house for more than what we owe on it. Now that this number is solidly in control, it’s time to ramp up our savings.

Savings

Goals in this area are pretty straight forward – Max out traditional IRAs for both of us, contribute to my wife’s 457 plan (Im not eligible for a retirement plan yet at my new job) and put the rest into our savings accounts, listed below.

Vacation fund $1,000 – We will be transferring what was going to our emergency fund into this account, and once we reach a goal here we’ll be investing in taxable accounts.

Emergency Fund $9,950 – We are almost back at the 10,000 that we wanted to keep in here, but there is still some confusion between us and the insurance company about the hospital stay we had last month. The insurance company has told us that they both have and have not paid the entire bill, so we are not sure what’s going on.

How are you doing so far in 2o15?

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3 thoughts on “March 2015 Monthly Review

  1. First off, I really like the updated site. It has a nice feel to it. I too will be designing a new site for us as I’m learning to code. For right now, we’re just using a WordPress template.

    It looks like you’re on the same timeline as us to FIRE – 10 years. It’s nice knowing someone has a bit of a journey ahead of them too.

    As for the food, I found that what helps save there is having fall back staples when we don’t meal plan. Eating rice, beans, tomato and some lettuce is easy, cheap and filling. Obviously, if you don’t like those things, you’ll have to figure a different fall back but it works great for us and since we buy those things (well not the produce) in bulk, it’s [I]really[/I] cheap.

    P.S. I’m a bit jealous of your mortgage falling under $100,000. Ours just went under $175,000, so we’ve got a ways to go!

    • Thanks mr FI –
      We bought a pretty crappy house in a nice neighborhood in our town, and were able to put 20% down. Other than that, it’s been 3 years of payments and starting late last year, a bit extra as well.

      As for the theme, this is a wordpress template too (genesis) let me know if you’d like to have a look at it. I could get you a copy.

      Jeff

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