Here is our monthly progress on our path to financial independence. I have updated our spreadsheets and reviewed our accounts to determine our net worth and how we are doing on meeting our goals. In most areas we are doing pretty good, but spending is the one area we are working hard to still try and reduce.
Currently our Net Worth is: $644,524 a $41,570 increase since the start of the project. This month we benefited from pretty good returns in the market, especially in our retirement accounts, and were able to save a little bit more than I had anticipated due to a lower than expected tax bill. April is not going to look as spectacular, at least in the amount we save, since our business income will be low for the month. So here is where we currently stand:
ASSETS Prior Month March 31st, 2016 % CHANGE
$9,065 $5,141.34 -43%
$6,541.07 $3,123 -52%
$62,620.35 $68,393.19 9.22%
Florida Retirement Plan
Solo 401k Accounts $1,500 $5,517.76 368%
College Savings (ESA & 529)
Taxable Brokerage Account
Real Estate Assets $352,000 $359,500 2.13%
Primary Home Value
Here is how we did on our goals for March 2016:
Our goal is to save $60,000 (or more) this year and I am now confident we will meet our goal (barring any catastrophic event). We saved $6,252.90 this month bring our yearly total to $24,636.96. As with last month the majority of the amount we saved went into our retirement accounts with $4,000 being sent to our Solo 401k accounts and a little under $2,000 going into my 403(b) at work. I actually moved a little bit more into the retirement accounts from our savings and taxable brokerage account, but since I already account for that as previous savings, it was simply considered a transfer.
Our spending goal for the year is to spend $5,000 or less each month and just like the prior months we have been unable to bring our spending down or below this level (Although we are pretty close). The reality is it is just taking longer to get to that level and we may have to adjust our spending goal to be higher during this year. We spent $5,243.58 in March which may not seem like a large amount over our goal, but in reality it means we spent almost 5% more then we intended. This month several expenses stand out including a $265 car repair that was not expected and $600 in child care. Child care will be less this coming month which is nice, and while we budget for car repairs hopefully we will go a few more months before the next one is needed.
We actually made huge progress in this area over the last several days. I plan to write an update on this later this week, and I will link it back here once it is published. Essentially we started a modified process from a book we both read titled The Magical Arts of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Right now we are moving through our clothing and my wife just finished bagging up 16 bags that are ready to be donated this week. Pictures and an update to follow soon…
I am working on a change in my primary job that I am hoping to post about soon once all of the details are completed. The one thing I can share is that I am only going to stay in my current position for one more year. I have a few things in motion that if everything works out should at a minimum help me reach our goal of financial independence in five years and possibly speed up the process by one year.
My wife’s business is still going well, but we are making some adjustments to her workload and trying to optimize her time mostly by having our other full-time employee pick up a lot of the lower level development work.
I continue to enjoy maintain this blog and updating our progress. I really fell behind in the number of updates I wanted to write about during the month of March, but hopefully should make up for it in April. The reality is that I did a tremendous amount of writing this past month for grants, research, and other job related activities leaving me little energy or time to write blog entries. My list of topics I want to talk about is growing so I will just need to set aside the time to write!
That wraps up the third month of our financial independence project. Calculations based on our current income, savings rate, and planned expenses, if everything remains the same, indicate a FI date of September 2022 (two months earlier than last month). This is still past the goal we set for this project, but I have some things I am working on to align it with our original projections. Now I am off to read some blogs on the Rockstar Finance Net Worth Tracker to see how others did this month.