Is Netflix Worth the Expense? Plus My January 2017 Financial Update with Net Worth

My January 2017 Financial Update with Net WorthHappy February and welcome to my January financial update!

So far February isn’t treating me very well.  I seem to have caught the bug that is going around at work.  It’s early yet, but I really hope I don’t need to miss work because of it.  I hate calling in sick!

January would have been an impressive month as far as low expenses go, however, my car and renter’s insurance were due last month and I always pay in full.  So that added an extra $385 to my expenses.  Doh!

Oh well.  I still had a pretty good month!

Should I cut Netflix from my life?

One expense that I’ve been thinking about getting rid of is Netflix.  I have the one-disc-out-at-a-time plan.  I really like Netflix and I think it’s a good way to go if you watch and return the movie in a reasonable amount of time.  However, if you’re like Mr. Frugal Turtle and I, sometimes it’s a few weeks or a month before we get around to watching the movie together.

Basically, sometimes it feels like we’re paying $8.54 to rent one movie. Which is way too much.

Most of the time we are pretty good at watching the movie and getting it in the mail pretty quickly.  But the weekends where one or both of us is working, it doesn’t get watched.

We work a lot of weekends, especially in the spring, summer and fall months.  Plus, I work on the day-shift and Mr. Frugal Turtle works the night-shift.

Yes, we could watch the movie separately, but we enjoy watching them together.

And Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for the streaming plan, which, let’s be honest, doesn’t always have the best movies to pick from.  That’s why we still have a disc plan.

I need to ponder this more.  It might be time for me to cut this monthly expense and visit the library’s DVD section more often.

on to the numbers!

January Net Worth

I ended January with a net worth of $109,976.97.  Would it be reasonable to have hopes of achieving $150k by the end of this year?  That’s the number that would really make me happy on December 31st.

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account. Continue reading “Is Netflix Worth the Expense? Plus My January 2017 Financial Update with Net Worth”

5 Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

Five Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine's Day!Valentine’s day is approaching!  I hope this post can give you some ideas for a frugal Valentine’s day.

Can you believe that last year people spent an estimated $19.7 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day!  Whoa.  That is a lot of jewelry and dinners out.

While Mr. Frugal Turtle and I don’t partake in the holiday like most people do, we still tend to recognize the holiday in our own way.  We’ll be extra lovey dovey with each other and probably do something from the list below.

1. Stay in and watch a movie.

Mr. Frugal Turtle and I do this all the time, not just on Valentine’s Day.  We enjoy making some deliciously salty popcorn on the stove and cuddling up under some blankets on the couch.

Watching a movie this way definitely beats paying an arm and a leg for movie tickets and refreshments, sitting in a freezing movie theater and having to put up with annoying people talking during the movie or having the people behind you put their feet up on your chair.

2.  Make a homemade dinner.

What better way to show someone you love them than by making them their favorite meal.  It can be anything from a homemade pizza with their favorite toppings to pasta with buttery, garlic bread, or a cheesy, comforting casserole.

I really love it when Mr. Frugal Turtle helps out with making dinner.  It’s a way to keep connected, have fun joking around, and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Being it is Valentine’s Day and not just another weeknight, open a bottle of wine!  Make that dinner extra special.  Turn the lights off and light a candle at the dinner table.  Super romantic! Continue reading “5 Great Ideas for a Frugal Valentine’s Day”

A (Mostly Financial) Look Back at 2016

I can’t believe how fast January is going!  Time really needs to slow down.  I feel like every time I look in the mirror there’s another grey hair.  Ha!

A (Mostly Financial) Look back at 20162016 overview

But seriously, I want to take some time and reflect on the past year.  2016 was a pretty good year for me.  One of the best things that happened was I went from being a night shifter to a day shifter.  Working during normal daylight hours makes me so much happier!

Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went on our favorite type of vacation.  Camping! We had a blast hiking and checking out the caves at a State Park. Hopefully we can go on a couple of camping trips this summer.  Even if they’re short, it’s still incredibly relaxing to sit by a campfire, listening to the sounds of nature.

In November I hit my net worth goal for 2016.  I finally hit $100k net worth!  I’m not going to lie, it feels really good to finally cross over that amount.  It took a long time!  I had some debt that I had to take care of before I could really focus on saving for early retirement.

2016 by the numbers

Net Worth

I started 2016 with a net worth of $68,842.88.  I ended the year with a net worth of $105,741.88.  A difference of $36,899.  Wow!  That’s pretty good.

Looking back through my records, the amount that I put in my IRA, savings account and 401k was $28,358.48.  Investing (mostly) in the stock market boosted my net worth by $8,540.52. Continue reading “A (Mostly Financial) Look Back at 2016”

December Financial Update with Net Worth

As I write this net worth update, January is almost over.

That means our Minnesota winter is about half over with.

I can’t wait for spring!

I’m not a fan of winter, or the short days, or the bad, slippery snow-covered roads, or the dreariness that seems to accompany our winters in the north.

It’s not all bad, though.  I love curling up on the couch with a blanket and a hot cup of tea.  Where our fur-baby will inevitable come and cuddle on me and warm me even more.  That’s my happy zone.

Here is my net worth update for December! Read all about my finances in this blog post. Find out how much I spent, earned and saved in December.Where Did December Go?

December came and went way to fast.  Usually my employer gives everyone about a week and a half off around Christmas and New Year’s.  I look forward to that time off all year.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year.  Due to increased demand, we only got the weekend holidays off in 2016.

Luckily I had vacation time that had to be used by the end of the year, so I did sneak in a few days off the last week.  It’s just nice to relax with all the holiday festivities and gatherings that occur.

Back in the beginning of the month, Mr. Frugal Turtle and I and a couple of our friends went to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  What an awesome concert!  This was the second time that I’ve seen them and it was just as great this time around.  I highly encourage everyone to see them if they get the chance!  They put on an amazing show!

I paid for Mr. Frugal Turtle’s ticket.  If I remember correctly he picked up a dinner tab and bought groceries to make up for it.  We don’t keep exact records of who owes who what.  It all evens out in the end.

As far as Christmas gifts go, I spent close to $200.  That amount is slightly more than normal, but not enough to break the bank.  I bought gifts for my little niece, my parents and the person whose name I drew for our name exchange.  Mr. Frugal Turtle and I don’t exchange gifts for Christmas.

I also bought myself a new pair of boots and some leggings in December. I’ve been wanting a pair of black riding boots for some time, and when I finally found a pair I liked for a decent price, I scooped them up.

On to the numbers!

December net worth

I ended the year with a net worth of $105,741.88.  It still feels amazing to be over $100k net worth.  This frugality stuff actually works!  It feels pretty good to see that number go up and up.  Unfortunately, it’s a slow process.  No one ever said my goal of early retirement was going to be easy to achieve.

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account. Continue reading “December Financial Update with Net Worth”

When Can I Retire?

When can I retire?

The all important question for people seeking early retirement.

How do you know if you’re financially independent?  How do you know if you have enough savings to retire?  When will you be able to call it quits at work?  What’s your retirement number?

 

When can I retire? The all important question for everyone who wants to retire early. Find out how to calculate when you can retire with this blog post.The 4% Rule

For me, I will be financially independent when 4% of my retirement and savings accounts can consistently cover my expenses for a period of time (probably 6 months).

This is why I keep track of my expenses and net worth every month.  It’s important to me to see what ground I’ve gained (or lost) in the past month, and how much more work I have left to do.

On the spreadsheet where I keep track of my income, expenses and net worth, there is also a column where I calculate 4% of my net worth.  So, once I calculate my net worth for that month, I then multiply that by 4% to calculate what my annual income would be and then I divide that number by 12 to see how much of my monthly expenses I could cover.

So for instance, on January 1st, my net worth was $68,826.50.  4% of $68,826.50 is $2753.06.  Divide that number by 12 and you get $229.42.  So right now my retirement and savings accounts could consistently cover around $230 of my monthly expenses.   Continue reading “When Can I Retire?”