A Movie Date! and The March Financial Update with Net Worth

March was the second month in a row where I kept my expenses under $1k. In this update I also talk about my net worth, income and how much I saved.Welcome to my March Financial Update!

I can’t believe it’s April already!  I love it!  The sun is setting later and later every day.  It’s slowly warming up.  Migrating birds are flying in from the south.  Summer is just around the corner!

March was a pretty good month for me, financially.  I had my second month in a row with expenses under $1,000.  You can read last month’s financial update here.  Income was also strong due to a three paycheck month.  Don’t you love those?

Mr. Frugal Turtle and I had a rare date night in March.  We went out to dinner (he paid) and then we went to a movie.  He paid for the movie as well (what a guy!).  I paid for the drink and snack.  It’s always a shock to the wallet when I have to pay close to $15 for one tub of popcorn and one soda.  Oh well, we had a great night and really enjoyed the movie (Logan).

Taxes are done!

I spent one joyous night early in March filling out my taxes and was refunded a total of $602 from federal and state.  I qualify for the free e-file so I took advantage of that.  I’ve used TaxAct the past couple of years and they seem to make doing taxes a little easier than most tax programs I’ve tried.  I’m not an affiliate for them, I just use and like their program enough to recommend it!

As soon as both the federal and state tax refunds were deposited into my checking account they were transferred to my IRA.  It was such a great feeling to transfer $602 to my retirement account!

On to the numbers!

March net worth

I ended March with a net worth of $118,030.34.  My goal for this year is to end the year with a net worth of $150k.  If I can reach $125k by the end of June I think I have a good shot of reaching that goal.

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

I use Personal Capital (affiliate link) 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 “A Movie Date! and The March Financial Update with Net Worth”

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.”

A Birthday Meal and My February Financial Update with Net Worth

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One of my best financial updates yet! I managed to keep my expenses super low in February. Also check out the post to see my income, savings and net worth!I’ve been looking forward to writing this February financial update ever since the month ended!  February ended up being a month where I had very low expenses.  It helped that the month was shorter than normal.  If only I could have low expenses like this every month!

Mr. Frugal Turtle Turns a Year Older

February was Mr. Frugal Turtle’s birthday month!  He took the day off from work and we spent the day together on his birthday.  I didn’t get him anything for his birthday.  We usually don’t do gifts for any occasion, so this is normal.

I did, however, take him to a Mexican Restaurant that gives free meals on birthdays.  Several of his siblings and their significant others were able to join us for the grand occasion.  There’s no better way to spend your birthday than surrounded by loved ones!

What Else Happened In February?

I ended up getting a nasty cold in the beginning of the month and it took a couple of weeks before I was feeling better.  I’m just happy Mr. Frugal Turtle never ended up getting it.  It had me completely down for the count for an entire weekend!

A new grocery store opened up in the area!  Fresh Thyme opened up late in January and I finally got to go there in February.  For someone who actually enjoys grocery shopping this was a big deal!  There was so much hype about this store that I couldn’t wait to see what the big deal was.

The verdict: it’s cheaper than other grocery stores on some items.  Other items they are more expensive.  Just like every other store.  It just goes to show you that you have to pay attention to prices no matter where you are.

On to the numbers!

February Net Worth

I ended February with a net worth of $115,121.53.  My goal for this year is to end the year with a net worth of $150k.  If I can reach $125k by the end of June I think I have a good shot of reaching that goal.

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

I use Personal Capital (affiliate link) 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 “A Birthday Meal and My February Financial Update with Net Worth”

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”

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”