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”

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”