While December technically does not end for one more day, I decided to go ahead and complete our monthly update since we have no additional spending planned for the 31st, and the markets are closed. I also wanted to finish our monthly update so I could focus on writing up a yearly update in the next few days. To be honest I thought about just writing an update based on the whole year, but I wanted to be able to go back and look at it on a monthly basis in the future, so I decided to do both.
So in addition to this update, I expect in the next several days to post an update on our first year focused on our Financial Independence project, as well as our goals for 2017. With that in mind I will keep this post short and focused.
Here is how we did on our goals we set for 2016 for December:
Currently our Net Worth is $738,788 increasing by $7,832 this month, and up $135,834 for the year. Just looking at that number is pretty impressive, with slightly over half of that from gains in the market. It could have easily have gone the other way, but it is always motivating to see your money making money!
Here is how we did on our goals for December 2016:
Our goal was to save $60,000 (or more) this year and we did it! We saved $5,454 this month bring our yearly total to $60,680.19. It is not a coincidence how close our total is to our goal since I moved the exact amount of money needed to hit a certain MAGI to qualify for specific tax credits and deductions from our business into our retirement accounts. I could have moved more, but we want to retain some of the money for the business to help it grow, especially since this is my wife’s main source of income. I don’t typically include money we hold in the business in our assets until I move them into our retirement accounts or we distribute the money as dividends or pay.
Spending this month was $5,281 this month, which is above our target of $5,000 a month. To be honest I did a poor job of tracking spending this month (new house, move, holidays) until I added everything up today. We spent far more than we usually do eating out (take-out mostly) due to not being organized enough to have our kitchen set up quickly after the move. I guess it could have been far worse…
I feel like we should have made a lot more progress in this area, but seeing how much “stuff” we still had to box up and move I think we are going to have to think about and possibly extend this goal into 2017. We certainly made a lot of progress donating, selling, and throwing out items but we obviously still have work to do.
When we started thinking about FI I became obsessed with making more income and increasing our savings rate to try and get to the end as quickly as possible. This led to essentially working two full time jobs, partially running a business with my wife, and doing some consulting work on the side for six months out of the year. To say I am burned out is an understatement! If I kept this up we might make it to our goal earlier, but the stress and workload would probably kill me first. Luckily I do not plan to continue this into the new year so I will have to come to terms with a more reasonable amount of time to hit our FI goals which should allow me to enjoy life in the present. Additionally, I had to set aside many of the things I enjoy to be able to focus on work. I expect to write more about this in my yearly update and outlook for 2017.
I hope everyone has a great New Year!