2016 Financial Year In Review

2016 has come to a close…almost.  As I write I am sipping a daiquiri from a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  No, I am not yet retired, but after a boost in income via a bit of hard work I am quite a bit closer than the start of the year…over 100k to closer!!!  What?!  Yes, I said it…I am $100,000 richer than the start of this year.  It is incredible.  But what is more incredible is how full my heart is…

This blog is new since June of this year.  Without it I would never have been able to accomplish half of what I have.  I credit this community and the people in it (everyone who has commented!!) for giving me the support and courage to speak my truth whether it is bad, good, or indifferent.  Coming from being in a ton of debt it is hard to put yourself out there again – especially among a bunch of 30 year olds (plus the Groovy’s!!) who have already retired!!  So so happy for everyone who has learned their financial lessons in life much earlier than I and I can’t wait to stand right there next to them…but until then I will continue to read, learn, and enjoy the ride along the way.  🙂

So back to the numbers… How the heck did that happen??  How did my net worth jump 100k in one year!!?  Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

You can read all about my half-year review HERE but in an effort to sum things up, see the numbers posted below.  At the start of 2016, I had $162,842 in total assets (remember I don’t include my house or car in my assets)…

This years goal was to max out all of my retirement accounts (including the IRA I started this April) and work 100 hours a month…I accomplished both…kind of.  The financial goals were met with no problem.  Working 100 hours a month didn’t happen precisely how I wanted but averaging my hours over the year made up for a few months I fell short….ahem, October I’m talking to you!  No worries, spending two weeks in Thailand was well worth it!!

Now back to the second half of the year – here are the numbers for all you voyeurs…

Continue reading “2016 Financial Year In Review”

Why My Savings Rate is So High…

In recent posts, people have commented and some have been amazed by my above average savings rate…I would like to take this opportunity to confront the elephant in the room…

In case you haven’t read this post or this one, I’ll save you the suspense by saying that this year my monthly savings rate has fluctuated between a low of 57% in September to a high of 94% in June, currently averaging 75% for the year.  I’m pretty sure when people read that they think one of three things:

  1. My income is REALLY high,
  2. I have a sugar daddy or someone else footing the bill, OR
  3. I must be holed up in my house between long stints at work trying my damnedest to not spend a cent.

Image result for sugar daddy

Pretty far from the truth…unless I am reading a book in which case you can find me curled up on the couch.  The truth is, 75% is a high savings rate – but it is also completely relative to MY lifestyle… Continue reading “Why My Savings Rate is So High…”

Getting Financially Naked – 3rd Quarter Financial Update

Well, I’m home from my vacation to Chiang Mai via Hong Kong.  I was a bit nervous for this trip having never been to Asia before…oh, and due to my trip revolving around a week volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park and the possible chance of a stampede (which I am happy to say didn’t happen).  So nervous, in fact, that my last post was written in honor of the will I wrote to leave behind in the event of my demise.  I am quite grateful that no one in my fam had to read it!!

Anywho, I am back and still suffering the effects of jet lag which has left me wide awake even though it’s 11pm…2 hours after my normal bedtime.  🙂

We just finished wathcing game 2 of the NLDS where our Cubbies took a shit…no worries, many more games to come!  In an effort to lick my wounds from watching said game, I decided there is no time like the present to dive into my 3rd quarter numbers.  Like the game, there were some highs and there were some lows…unlike the Cubs, I still came out on top…

Obviously not me – I would NEVER accept singles!!  😉    via

My last (and first) financial update posted in July of this year.  I was terrified to be so transparent with my money, but I also realized that it is blogs like this one that helped me get on the right track financially.  Tracking my net worth (and specifically my spending!!) helped me see all the comings and goings of my money.  It was a big eye opener to see the holes in my FI goals and slowly fill them in, for example, starting an IRA in April!  Now, a few months later, I am happy to let it all hang out (minus my identity!) and blow in the wind.  It feels freeing to say this is who I am (financially) and I am open to  hearing any thoughts or ideas about where I can go from here.  I also love to help people get on track so feel free to reach out at any time!!  🙂

So, back to my first post…I called it The Million Dollar Club and My 2016 Half Year Financial Update…catchy.  😉  Fell free to read it in full, but here are the cliff notes: Continue reading “Getting Financially Naked – 3rd Quarter Financial Update”

Savings Rate Showdown…It’s a biggie!

Did you know that as of December 2015, the average personal savings rate of Americans is 5.5%??!!  Research says that number is on the rise, however, it is still much lower than the long term average of 8.34%.  That’s seriously nutty!  So, if the average American takes home 50K a year after taxes, they only save $2750 a year?!

 OUCH!  Ouch

Now let me preface the following with a few key points:

In terms of debt – I have none.  We’ve already discussed my lack of mortgage but, to add to that, I have never held a credit card balance, I missed out on student loans by skipping college minus a few semesters at a CC, my car is old but paid off and, thankfully, I have been healthy enough to have no past medical expenses…oh, and having no kids helps with keeping my costs down.

Though my debt (or lack of it) looks pretty rockin’, I am not without my financial failures and FICO score fuck ups…but for now, that’s a story for another day.

Ok…back to the showdown…

Let’s look at my savings rate for June:

Total net income: $5,964.81 (includes my work take home pay, 401K + company match, a few Craigslist sales, and a small side hustle).

Total savings: $5,615.28 (includes 401K + company match, Employee Stock Purchase Plan, bank savings, index fund and stock purchases, and HSA).

5615.28 / 5964.81 x 100 = 94.14% which includes my 401K pretax contributions…94.14%!!! 

That’s awesome!  But, unfortunately, not totally typical.  My actual savings rates varies greatly month to month depending on a lot of different factors including yearly and semi yearly bills, Dr visits, vet bills, and car issues.  June happened to be a good month.  My actual half yearly savings rate for 2016 is currently 81.47% including 401K and 76.8% not including it…more on that HERE.  
via

As I posted last week, according to Mr Money Mustache, if I can keep this savings rate of 70%+ up, I will be able to retire in appx 6-7 years.  Unfortunately, many things can happen in the next 6 months to 6 years that could make my current bare bones cost of living spike with expenses.  But, dont worry,  I’m not going to worry about the what ifs just yet.  I’m am still going to take a leap of faith and declare that I will be Financially Independent within the next 7 years – this will give me some wiggle room in my calculations (including lots of travel!) and extra time to snowball my savings into the most abominable snowman ever known to man!

Folks, remember – as Paula Pant of Afford Anything recently pointed out – it isn’t always a matter of making more or spending less.  What you really need to keep an eye out for is the difference between the income and the spending.  Mind the gap, which is equal to your savings rate, and the rest will all fall into place!

So… ** Where are you at?  Have you  calculated your savings rate?  How are things looking?  What are you striving for? Feel free to add a comment about your savings rate and any problem areas you might have.  We’re all in this together! **