My First $100k Was Definitely The Hardest

Hello everyone!

I Made My $100k Net Worth Goal!

I made my goal of reaching $100k net worth by the end of 2016. This post details how I started on my journey to early retirement.So I made my goal of having a $100k net worth by the end of 2016.

I’m so happy!

Most of the year I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to hit my goal, but then November came and the markets have been going up and up ever since.

I felt like I had my foot trapped in a hole in the ground and I couldn’t go anywhere.  I was just struggling to break free and then suddenly I was able to yank my foot out and now I’m just running and running.

Lately I was just feeling like I was clawing and fighting to get ahead financially.  Now that I’ve reached the magical $100k I can calm down. Maybe.

In my spare time I read a lot of financial blogs and they always say if you save a lot of money, consistently, retirement will happen in 10, 15 years.  They always make it seem like those years will fly by.  Retirement will happen before I know it.

It’s not like that at all.

It’s slow.  It’s frustrating.  It seems like I’m never going to get there. Huge gains are followed by large expenses.  My net worth is increasing at the slowest rate ever!

At the age of 17 I got my first job.  I’ve worked consistently since then.  It’s taken me 19 years to reach a net worth of $100k.  I feel like I should have been here a long time ago.

The Day My Life Changed

It was about 9 years ago that I added up all my debt-all the credit cards, car loans and school loans that were in my name.  The total stunned me.  $50k.  How in the hell did I get that far in debt?? Continue reading “My First $100k Was Definitely The Hardest”

November Financial Update with Net Worth

November Financial Update Hello!

I’m here with November’s financial update.  November was a pretty good month!  I spent a large part of it in the kitchen.

You see, Mr. Frugal Turtle loves pumpkin.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in pie, bread, muffins, bars, or cake.  If pumpkin is in a dessert.  He’s going to love it.

I love pumpkin also.  Maybe not quite as much as Mr. Frugal Turtle, but pumpkin pie is one of my favorite desserts.

My brother, knowing our love for pumpkins, decided to gift us around 30 pie pumpkins from his garden.  That’s a lot of pumpkin!

I don’t know how many hours I spent in the kitchen roasting, pureeing, draining, measuring, and scooping into freezer bags said pumpkin.  It was a lot!  I told Mr. Frugal Turtle that 2017 will be known as the Year of the Pumpkin in our household!  We’ll be baking and eating pumpkin desserts a couple of times a month if we want to use up all the pumpkin by the end of the year.

Spending so much time in the kitchen must have helped keep my expenses down, because I didn’t spend a whole lot!

The only unusual expenses for that month include an oil change for my car and a badly needed hair cut for me.  I still haven’t jumped on the cut your own hair bandwagon.  I’m scared! So, until I get over my fear, I’ll happily pay to get my hair cut a couple of times a year.

On to the numbers!

November net worth

By the end of November I had a net worth of $101,538.45.  I made my goal of $100k by the end of the year!!  I kept that little number to myself for a couple of days while I soaked it in.  Eventually I told Mr. Frugal Turtle.  He was pretty happy for me.

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

October Financial Update with Net Worth

Hello everyone!

I’m back with another financial update!

The blog has had some bugs that needed to be worked out, but hopefully everything is running smoothly again!

I need to catch up on a couple Financial Updates.  I’ll get to November’s numbers another day.  I’m going to focus on October’s.  Hopefully I can remember everything that happened!

My best friend from high school lives about an hour and a half away from me.  We usually hang out about once a year.  In 2015 Mr. Frugal Turtle and I got a hotel room in her neighborhood and we all hung out for the night. In 2016, due to there being a fancy new football stadium in the area, that same hotel was almost double the price!  No thank you!  Other hotels were similarly priced so instead of us driving to visit her, she came up to visit us.

We enjoyed the day by going bowling and eating some delicious Mexican food at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We got to the bowling alley at the perfect time.  Unbeknownst to us, they had $0.25 games at that time.  Score!

Later on that month I brought my car in to get serviced.  I didn’t have heat in my car and living in Minnesota with winter coming, well, that would have been miserable.  Mr. Frugal Turtle tried to DIY the heat himself, but it just didn’t work out.  We don’t have the right set-up in our garage.  So, I happily paid a mechanic $254 and now my car is nice and toasty when I need it to be.  Some things are worth spending money on!

On to the Numbers!

October Net Worth

I ended October with a net worth of $96,814.07.  Not a huge increase from September’s net worth, but an increase none the less.  

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

My Site Was Shut Down!

Does anyone else longingly plan vacations that they won’t take for several years?  I just found myself on the AAA website looking at cruises to the Caribbean.  A girl can dream, right?

Anyways…

So I’ve been scared to blog for a little while now because my site got shut down due to malware last month.  When it got shut down I received an e-mail that said it was shut down due to performance problems and I needed to call them right away.

I’m a procrastinator, so I called a couple of weeks later.

After waiting to talk to someone for half an hour I finally got through to a technician.  It turns out one of my files had malware.  She couldn’t tell me which file.  She told me I could go through each file and delete the malware if I knew what I was looking for.

I didn’t.

She then asked me if I knew anyone who could look at my blog and fix the malware issue.

I don’t.

She then said I could either buy some super expensive SiteLock thing and that would fix the malware problem or I could basically start a new blog.

WTF.

I think she could hear the desperation in my voice when I pleaded with her that there had to be something else that could be done.

She eventually just deleted my plugins and reset my blog.  A couple of images got deleted, and I had to reinstall my plugins, but I think the site is back to what it was.

I’ve since downloaded a couple of anti-malware plugins and haven’t had any issues.  However, I also haven’t blogged at all since the site got shut down.

I really hope that’s the last time that happens to me.  I’ve been reading other blogs and it seems that Bluehost is starting to be known for shutting down sites and bullying people into buying that crazy expensive SiteLock.  Not cool Bluehost, not cool.

For someone with a tiny blog and absolutely no techie experience, that was a scary situation.

Has your site ever been shut down due to malware?  How do you protect your site?

 

10 Things That Don’t Make Sense to Frugal People

Happy November everyone!

Who’s ready for winter??

Not me.  I know I could move from the wonderfully freezing cold state of Minnesota, but my family is here.  So here I stay.

I wanted to take a break from my usual Net Worth posts and focus on something a little more fun.

I consider myself a fairly frugal person.  I have a pretty ambitious goal of retiring in 10-15 years and this frugal lifestyle of mine is slowly getting me there.  With that being said, I know there are things that I could cut out of my life to reach my goal that much faster.  Alcohol, driving to work, traveling, and organic foods come to mind.  However, I really like all of those things and am willing to work a little longer so I can enjoy my life now.

The following list includes things that don’t really make sense to me. While I don’t see the value in these things, other people might value them greatly.  To each their own.

So, in no particular order…

  1. Buying Cars With a Car Loan.

    According to the article “How Long Should My Car Loan Be” by  of Edmunds.com, most car loans today have terms of 60 months. 20% of car loans are even longer than that.  That is crazy!  Even when I was young and dumb and had car loans, they were not that long!  Plus, every car that I had a car loan on was paid off way earlier.

    Which brings me to the next item that doesn’t make sense to me…

  2. Not Paying Off Loans.

    A little anecdote for you- I work with a younger gentleman in his mid-twenties who has around $40,000 of school loans.  They’re in his name and he refuses to pay them.  Why?  Because according to him, his parents pretty much made him go to college, so they should be the ones to pay the loans off.  I have a feeling his school loans are going to be attached to him for a looong time.

    Another dear, close friend of mine has about the same amount of school loans to her name, but had deferred them because of her income.  Yet, she somehow found the money to fly around the U.S. to see concerts performed by her favorite band.  Doh!

  3. Paying For Books, Movies, and CDs.

    When I was a younger, every time my parents and I went to the mall I bought a book.  Sometimes two.  While I’m extremely grateful to my parents for letting me indulge in my love of books, I now understand how much money they spent on me.  Especially when they could have just as easily brought me to the public library.  I love the public library!

    I get a happy feeling, a peaceful feeling whenever I’m browsing the rows and rows of books looking for the perfect title to check out.  It’s my happy place.

    Between the library and Netflix, I will probably never buy a movie again. Netflix is the one monthly service that I subscribe to and I’m pretty happy with it.  I pay for the DVD subscription and Mr. Frugal Turtle pays for the streaming service.  While I’ve thought about canceling Netflix and just checking out movies from the library, there is this thing called waiting lists.  Sometimes I just don’t want to wait weeks and weeks to see a desired movie.

    As far as music goes, Pandora fits me perfectly.  Free music any time I want it with barely any commercials?  Heck yeah!  And I don’t have to buy cd cases or racks?  Awesome!

  4. Paying For Cable or Satellite

    What a waste!  I remember when I first started dating Mr. Frugal Turtle he had Direct TV.  He said he never watched it, but yet he kept paying something like $75 a month for the service.  Eventually he did cancel it. Now we mainly catch shows that air on Netflix.  I don’t think either one of us misses network tv.

    Whenever I’m at my parents and they have the tv on, I’m always super annoyed by all the commercials.  Especially with it being an election year! I really don’t miss those commercials.

  5. Buying Junk Food

    Okay, okay.  I don’t eat clean food for every single meal and snack throughout the day.  But I try!  I am definitely not someone who wastes money and only buys microwave meals, chips, candy, and pop.  I love cooking!  I honestly can’t remember the last time I took a microwaveable meal to work for lunch.  They’re so bland!  Seriously, I need to add at least two salt packets to it to make it taste good.  And that is really not healthy! I’ve worked at my current employer for almost six years, and I proudly tell people I have never bought anything from the vending machines there.  I see other people buy their entire lunch from those machines and then on a later break, go buy from the vending machines again.  That is so much money tossed away.  It makes me sad.

  6. Buying Drinks at a Bar

    This should really be titled “Buying (most of your) drinks at a bar.”

    Drinking at bars has become really expensive.  If I feel like I want to live it up downtown I prefer the pregame method.  Get a good buzz going at home beforehand!  This is way cheaper than spending $$$ at a bar trying to get drunk.

    I’ll admit, those days are pretty much over.  Nowadays I prefer to drink at home and avoid bars completely.  My favorite weekends are spent around a fire pit with Mr. Frugal Turtle enjoying a relaxing evening together.

  7. Eating Out More Than Once a Week

    Looking at my Net Worth reports and taking a peek at my expenses shows how little I eat out.  I count getting fast food eating out because it rarely happens!  I probably eat out on average once a month.  Our favorite restaurant is a cute little Indian place that serves the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.  The servings are huge and the prices are very reasonable.

    Eating at a restaurant more than once a week would lose its appeal very quickly for me.  For one, it’s really expensive!  Two, by the end of the meal I’m usually thinking that I could have just as easily made the same meal at home for a lot cheaper.  The exception being that Indian restaurant. For the life of me I can’t make food like they can. Believe me I’ve tried.

  8. Keeping a Credit Card Balance

    Looking back at who I used to be, I realize that I was not very frugal. It pains me to think about how much money I wasted when I was younger.

    Up until about eight years ago I had credit card debt. Right around $7,000 to be exact. My parents borrowed me the money to pay everything off, and I can proudly say that since then, I have not paid a single cent in interest. I didn’t touch credit cards for a year or two because I was so scared I was going to go back in credit card debt.

    Once I felt comfortable I slowly started to use them again. At first it was for very small amounts that I could easily pay off. Now, I use my credit cards for almost everything. Every payday, I sit down and pay off the balance on my two credit cards.

  9. Not Using Things Up ( Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without)

    I love that saying. One of my favorite sweatshirts is 25 years old. My parents bought it for me when they went on a trip to Washington D.C. It has thumb holes that weren’t originally there. I love it!

    I wear a lot of my clothes until I can’t wear them anymore. It’s almost a game to see exactly how full of holes an item of clothing can get before I make it in to a rag. Those clothes are strictly for wearing around the house or camping. I do have nice clothes for wearing in public!

    Cars are another example of things that I wear out. Most of the cars I’ve owned I’ve needed a tow to the car dealership for a trade-in. I don’t think I’ve ever received more than $500 for a trade-in. Usually the repair is way more than I’m willing to spend when the car is pretty old with a ton of miles. I currently own a 2001 Grand Prix with over 188,000 miles on it. I’m hoping to go a couple more years before I need a new car.

  10. Not Saving Money Where You Can.

Comparison shopping!  I hate it, but I do it.  I research the crap out of everything before I buy it.  I hem and haw and take hours to make a decision and only after sleeping on it will I usually purchase a higher priced item.  A higher priced item to me is anything over $100.  For example, take the pair of shoes that I bought for work back in September. If my memory is correct I looked for the best pair of shoes for the cheapest price for a couple of nights in a row.  It probably totaled about 5 hours.  I then slept on it and ordered them the next night.  For shoes!

At the grocery store I’m constantly looking at the price per unit.  For most items I don’t care if I buy generic.  If it’s cheaper than the brand name, in the cart it goes!  For stores that don’t have the price per unit on the shelving label I turn to Mr. Frugal Turtle.  He’s my calculator!  Poor guy.

So there you have it!  These are the top ten things that don’t make sense to a frugal person like me.

Did I miss anything?  As a frugal person, what does not make sense to you?