Halfway to My Year-End Goal! and My June Financial Update with Net Worth

2017 is half over! I'm on my way of reaching my financial goal for the year! This financial update also includes my financial update with net worth.Welcome to June’s Financial Update!

We are a little over halfway through 2017, and I am a little over halfway to my financial goal for 2017!  I have a lofty goal this year of reaching $150k net worth by the end of the year and I am on track to reach it.  Yay!!

I ended 2016 with a net worth of $105,741.88.  To reach my goal, I need to increase my net worth by $44,258 in one year.  Making a salary of around $45,000.  And I’m now halfway there!  Thanks to the incredible stock market ride we’re on, and being pretty darn frugal, I’m doing something I really didn’t think was possible!

I’m not gonna lie, it feels pretty awesome!

June Recap

The biggest (and best) thing that happened in June was the trip to Aruba that Mr. Frugal Turtle and I enjoyed.  We spent one glorious week there and it was way too short.  I did a full recap of the trip in the post The Pros and Cons to Staying at an All-Inclusive Resort.  Check it out!

Once we got back from our trip and we were back to the same old routine, I brought my car in to get my oil changed.  I’ve had my ABS light on my dash on for about a month and the worker there told me that there’s an issue with my wheel bearing.  It’s going to be a $300 fix.  Great.  My car’s only worth at most $1,000.  I haven’t gotten it fixed yet.  Mr. Frugal Turtle is going to look into it and see if he can fix it.

It was a spendy month for car expenses!  My auto insurance was due in July but I paid for it in June.  $322.20 for six months.  Ouch!  I prefer paying for the whole bill at once instead of monthly.  It saves me a couple of dollars every month, plus I don’t have to think about it every month.

Kohl’s is one of the stores I shop at on a regular basis, but only when they send me a 30% coupon!  Well, I got one in the mail last month and Mr. Frugal Turtle and I went on a little shopping spree.  This doesn’t happen too often, so I felt okay spending a little over $100 on this trip.  I paid for Mr. Frugal Turtle’s items and he bought groceries for the week.  We keep our finances separate since we aren’t married (yet!).  It works for us.

on to the numbers!

June Net Worth

I ended June with a net worth of $127,008.29.  Like I mentioned above, I’m over halfway to my year-end goal!

My net worth includes my retirement accounts and my regular savings account.

I use Personal Capital to keep track of my net worth.  Personal Capital is really easy to use and I have to admit, I’m kinda addicted.  You can link your credit cards, banks, and investment accounts to this site and it updates all the time.  I log in and check my net worth almost every single day.  It also has a pretty sweet retirement planner that tells you what you can work on to make your retirement even better. Continue reading “Halfway to My Year-End Goal! and My June Financial Update with Net Worth”

Financial Regrets That I Wish I Could Go Back and Change

I’m really happy with my life right now.  I have a home, a great boyfriend, an adorable kitty cat, a job that pays me well, friends, family.  I could go on and on.

But looking back at the choices I made 10-15 years ago just makes me cringe.  What was I thinking!  I wish I could go back and change a few things, but alas, I can’t.  I will have to life with my financial regrets forever.

How many of us would love to go back and make different choices?

Here is what I would do differently if I could go back and make some changes.

I would have gone to a Technical College instead of a four-year college.

It would have been cheaper.  I would have been done with school sooner.  I would have found a job quicker.

There are many choices to major in at a Technical College.  I wish I would have gone into the medical field.  Sonography is just one of the many interesting degrees that is offered.  Median salary for Sonographers- $79,000!  I’d be happy with that!

What I did instead was spend six and a half years at a four-year college accumulating more and more student loans because I kept changing my major!  For some reason I felt that I needed that Bachelor’s degree.  $26,000 of student loan debt later I received that Bachelor’s degree.  I’m not convinced it was worth it.  This financial regret would end up being the majority of my debt. Continue reading “Financial Regrets That I Wish I Could Go Back and Change”

How the Path to Early Retirement is Like Learning to Drive a Car.

If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed. – David Viscott

Want to take control of your finances and reach for early retirement, but you're confused with where you should start? Let me help you with the first step.

How many of you were scared to learn how to drive a car?  I know I was!  I was scared, nervous and excited.  And you know what?  Taking control of your money and fighting for financial independence and early retirement gives me those same feelings!

Scared that once I am retired something will happen and I’ll have to go back to work.

Nervous because I’m doing so well on this journey so far and I don’t want to mess it up!

Excited because the thought of freedom and financial independence is exhilarating!

This post has been stewing in my head for about a week now and when I finally was able to start writing, the thought hit me.  The road to FIRE is like the road to getting your driver’s license.

There are so many steps to achieve both.

The first step is learning.

Before you actually get your license you have to take a class and learn the rules of the road, right?  When is it safe to pass?  What does that sign mean?  Should you use your high beams or low beams in the fog?

While financial independence doesn’t require you to pass a test, it is a good idea to learn about 401k’s and IRA’s, fees, taxes, investments, withdrawal rates and so much more.  It’ll make the journey a lot less confusing.

Start reading books on financial independence.  Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin is great and one that I’ve read about five times now.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is also great for helping you get out of debt.  He also has a radio show that is pretty entertaining and I highly suggest checking out.  I listen to it on my drive home from work.

Then there are the hundreds of personal finance blogs with tons of tips and tricks to help you along your journey.  Mr. Money Mustache and jlcollinsnh are two of my favorites and provide a ton of information on the FIRE movement.

I started reading books and websites when I was deep in debt.  Like $50k in debt.  I knew I had a long way to go, but I wasn’t sure what I needed to do exactly.  After doing a bunch of reading I started doing Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. Continue reading “How the Path to Early Retirement is Like Learning to Drive a Car.”

If You Want to Retire Early, Start Doing These 12 Things Right Now

If you can implement some or all of the items on this list your journey to early retirement will be short and sweet. The hardest part is actually starting.“The thing to do is to make so much money that you don’t have to work after the age of twenty-seven. In case this is impracticable, stop work at the earliest possible moment, even if it is at a quarter past eleven on the morning of the day when you find you do have enough money.”-Robert Benchley

Dreaming of Early Retirement

While I won’t retire by the time I’m 27(I’m 36), I’m hoping to retire before I’m 45.  I’m getting more and more antsy at work.  I pretty much daydream about early retirement whenever there’s downtime.

Even though I’m not retired yet, the following list are things that I have done or currently do to help me reach early retirement as fast as possible.  If you follow this list, or do only some of the items on the list, it should help you reach early retirement as well!

Max Out Your 401k and IRA if Possible

Look, I know it’s really hard to save that much money.  Start small!  It was only 4 years ago that I was putting in 3% every paycheck.  3% was the amount I needed to contribute to get the match.  I wanted to pay down my debts before I really started investing.

Once I was debt free I slowly started contributing more and more until I was comfortable contributing the max amount.  I’m pretty sure I changed my contribution amount like four times in one year!

Pay Off Debt

Some people suggest paying off all debt before investing anything.  When I was in debt, I saved enough to get the 401k match and then focused on paying off my debts.  Making sure that my emergency fund was fully funded when I was paying off my debt was also a high priority for me.

I kept a fully funded emergency fund because I had been laid off before at a time when I wasn’t in a secure financial situation and IT SUCKED! Thanks to parental help, I made it through, but it’s a situation that I never wanted to be in again. Continue reading “If You Want to Retire Early, Start Doing These 12 Things Right Now”