Author Topic: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!  (Read 10770 times)

20957

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Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« on: April 09, 2018, 02:51:40 PM »
Background:

Me-37
Husband-35
3 kids – 4, 23m, 23m
Dog – 13
Cat - 8

Thank you in advance for your responses! I have learned a lot from this forum already. Our goal is FI within 20 years.

Commentary removed for TL;DR

Income (monthly):

$3640 take-home paycheck (after $830 to 403B, $500 to health, disability, life insurance)
$1450 net rental income (2 properties, $3100 gross)
$380 net average freelance work ($500 average gross)
$270 net property management business ($330 gross)

Total $5740 take-home

Expenses (monthly) not including rental, business expenses already accounted for above:

$1267 mortgage P&I
$528 mortgage T&I
$450 groceries/household
$420 preschool (saving for next year to pay lump sum in August)
$350 utilities (gas, electric, internet, water)
$300 transportation (gas, insurance, parking, train, bike membership, tolls, car repairs)
$280 vacation
$200 charity
$100 pets (food, vet, annual cat shaving for summer)
$100 saving for Christmas
$100 medical/dental copays
$30 clothes/shoes
$30 my life insurance
$16 netflix and prime

$200 Husband misc
$100 date night
$50 Me misc
$50 kids misc

IRA (mine) $340
Saving for house repairs $550
529s $225

Total $5686

Assets:
Primary residence (3b/1.5ba, 2100 sqft) $263,000
2 rental properties (2b/2ba, 1000 sqft and 3b/2ba, 1200 sqft) $340,000 combined
2007 Honda Odyssey $5000
2003 Honda Shadow $3000
1966 Bridgestone $1000

403b (his) $87,500
IRA (mine) $3,300
529s (kids) $30,000
Emergency Fund $12,200 (money market acct)
Cash (personal) $18,000
Cash (business) $9,400

Total (excluding vehicles) $763,400

Liabilities:

Primary mortgage $242,800 at 4.125%
Rental mortgage $79,600 at 4.625%
Credit card $200 (paid off every fortnight)

Total $322,600

Net worth $440,800

OK, bring on the face-punches!

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 09:58:35 PM by 20957 »

dmac680chi

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 07:09:40 PM »
Can you break down what you pay on each mortgage each month?


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20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 07:31:10 PM »
The mortgage on our residence is in expenses - $1267 P&I and $528 T&I. The rental mortgage is $428 P&I only but that is accounted for in the rental expenses (the gap between gross and net rental income, also included in there is property and income taxes, insurance, fees, water, pest control, and savings for repairs.)

dmac680chi

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 08:22:21 PM »
Quick thought on the rental, could you turn it into an Airbnb and make more then your current payments on it?


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COEE

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 08:48:46 PM »
Did you have a question?

You don't say how much longer you have to pay off your houses.
Is your husband currently contributing to his 403b?  If so how much?  I.E. What is your saving rate?

Overall it looks like your in good shape on expenses.  Transportation, utilities, and vacation all seem a tad high at first glance, but not crazy.

Just quick observations
I'm not a fan of 529's or any other child savings plans until after my retirement is fully funded.  YMMV
Do you really need $550/mo for home repairs or is that a short term transient sort of thing?  1% of your primary residence is $220/mo
I'd be shifting the money from the 529($225) and $330 of the home repairs to saving for FIRE.

If I take your monthly expenses and subtract out your savings (minus $220/mo for home repair) and net rental income.  That comes out to about $40k/yr in expenses, or you need $1M to FIRE.  If you also pay off your properties before FIRE then you only need $0.5M.  If you keep with the freelance/PM work you need even less.

Have you considered selling your rental properties, paying off the house, and accelerating retirement savings?  Equities typically have better returns over the long-haul, although rental properties provide more stable income (but much more headache).  Doing that would put you at ~50% savings rate (assuming your DH isn't contributing to his 403b) and you'd be on track to retire in 17 years.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 10:35:57 PM »
Sorry, I wrote 401K where I should have written 403B, it's fixed now (in the income section as it is pre-tax). At the moment $830 is going to that every month (actually $415/paycheck), it will increase with a raise soon unless I increase the IRA instead. Neither is maxed at the moment, and the IRA is with Vanguard while 403B is Fidelity.

29 years left on primary mortgage and 27 on rental. Both rentals have appreciated a lot since purchase and may keep going as neighborhood continues to gentrify. Neither has ever been vacant and rents will probably go up too. Selling doesn't appeal to me but the point that we could pay off both mortgages is well taken. Honestly I think I'd rather sell the residence! Airbnb is an interesting idea I will investigate, it would have to wait until leases were up obviously. But I will also look into the possibility for the residence.

House repairs- lots to be done short-term that is not too expensive (porch ceiling required by insurance, yard), some big expensive things in the medium term that will add value (mini-split, 2nd bathroom), new boiler and roof in the longer term. This traditionally has been a big spending area for us, our new agreement is that in any one month no more can be spent on projects than was earned by freelancing. Plus I'm always putting $150 in savings for the eventual boiler. Much of the work is DIY.  When will it get lower- maybe in 2 years? We have only been here 8 months, it was/is in disrepair, and was built in 1906 to start with.

I hope that utilities will get lower soon, I agree $350 is terrible and am working on it. Do you think $300 is a lot for transportation given that repairs are included?  Only $100 is gas, but the $83 for insurance even after shopping around is painful, it was lower at the old zip code.

I will consider the 529 question too. We get state tax breaks for it at least! But if we added it to retirement savings it would bring us to $1395/month saving, out of $7700 income minus taxes. 18% savings rate.

Thanks for your responses.

Laura33

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 06:27:28 AM »
IMO the value in the rentals is less in the appreciation and more in the cash flow.  From your numbers, it looks like you have to date focused on rentals instead of maxing out investments.  That is fine, and a lot of people have FIRE'd by using that path.  You just need to know your numbers and find what works for you.  So say your living expenses are @$5K/mo.  With $1450 net rental income, that drops your income needs down from $5K to closer to $3500.  You can fill that gap in any number of ways -- you can invest until your 'stache gets to about $1M; you can buy more rental properties until you get your net monthly rental income up to that total $5K/mo; or you can split the difference.  Just on the surface, it sounds like you have a couple of decent rentals, so I wouldn't rush to change approaches if that is working for you and you don't mind the work.

The real problem seems to me that you are relying on that rental income to live on, rather than to build more assets.  You're spending around $5K/mo, but your paychecks are netting you only about $4K.  The best way to get rich from rentals is if you can live on your paychecks, and then take all of the net income from those rentals and throw it at other rentals -- IOW, your investments are literally buying you more investments.  This is how people make money in the stock market, too:  when your investments give you dividends or capital gains, you reinvest them into more shares of stock.  If you take that money out and spend it instead, you will have a lot less over time.

So I would challenge you to maintain your current savings, but to try to live on your paychecks, and dedicate your rental income to additional investments (either more properties or cash into the market).  You have a lot going on right now, and a reasonable-but-not-huge paycheck, and you just can't do it all at the same time -- you can't do major home repair projects AND spend $4500 on vacations/gifts AND cover preschool AND spend $400/mo on fun/miscellaneous stuff AND save for the kids' colleges, etc.  At first blush, none of your individual categories are unreasonable in and of themselves; it looks to me like you're actually doing well keeping control of things, especially with three young kids.  It's just that you have so many of them put together all at once.

On a brighter note, you are in the middle of the suck -- multiple very young/needy kids, major necessary home repairs, starting preschool, etc.  This is likely to be the tightest your finances will ever be.  So it will get better -- there will come a time when you, for ex., get over the hump on the house and can afford to take a nice vacation, or when the kidcare expenses go down and you are freed up to work more and bring in more cash.  So this isn't forever.  But right now, if you want to stay on track to FIRE, you do need to make some choices to defer some of those spending categories.

COEE

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 07:20:31 AM »
Laura33 with another solid post.

To further her point of having the rentals pay for rentals.  That's not what your doing right now, and it's costing you about 5 years...

So adjusting your income and expenses to include your 401k and medical and remove savings
Currently:
Income $5740 + $830(403b) + $500(medical)= $7070
Expenses $5686 - $340(IRA) - $225(ESA) + $500(medical) = $5621
Monthly savings: $1449
Needed in retirement: (5621-1450)*12*25=$1.25M + $320k in property = $1.6M
FIRE: ~21 years

Sell Houses
Income $5740 + $830(403b) + $500(medical) - $1450(rental income)= $5620
Expenses $5686 - $340(IRA) - $225(ESA) + $500(medical) - $1795 (house payments) = $3826
Monthly Savings: $1794
Needed in Retirement: $3826*12*25 = $1.15M
FIRE: ~17 years

The problem with rentals is that even with the additional income, you still have to pay for the home.  This is a monumental task and will cost you 5 years or so - right now you have to come up with an additional $300k to pay for the houses.  And because you have the other houses it's limiting your ability to save - although each payment has a small portion that your 'saving' in principle.

You're on track to FIRE in ~20 years either way.  You'll just get there faster because you have less to save for without the rental properties.  Increasing your income, and therefore, your savings, will go a long way towards getting you FIRE'd sooner right now also.

FWIW - I continue to struggle with making our current home a rental... But the math continues to tell me that I'd have to work ~5 more years also.  I just can't justify having rental property as badly as I want the stable income.

jlcnuke

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 07:28:07 AM »
You have ~$121k investment/available for investing (403b (his) $87,500, IRA (mine) $3,300, Emergency Fund $12,200 (money market acct), Cash (personal) $18,000). You are putting ~$14,040 ($830 403b + $340 IRA=$1,170/month) away per year towards retirement. In 20 years, at an average 7% return, you'll have right at $1 million investment portfolio based on those numbers (that's total, not adjusted for inflation).  Your current spending (minus investments/college savings) level is at $5,121/month. What still needs to be covered after your net rental income is thus $3,671/month, or $44,052/year. That's a little under what your stache would produce in 20 years at a 4% WR. That number, however, doesn't include medical/dental/vision insurance which is likely to be a significant additional cost (potentially much higher than your current $500/month). Thus I'd say you're not currently on track to be FI in 20 years.

Running the numbers through FIRECalc (including adding in ~$21k/year in SS around age 67), I get a ~73% chance of success FYI.

Stay in the same house and pay it off between now and then and the reduction in expenses from dropping the mortgage payment would probably make it work just fine however.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 07:41:52 AM by jlcnuke »

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 08:11:04 AM »
I keep finding things I should have added to the numbers that were deleted when I got rid of my huge wall o'words in the first post, because I think it would add useful info. So, H's work gives him $250/paycheck in his 403B, that's on top of our $415.  We will pay for 2 more years of preschool after this (3 more years to go but we are paying next year now).  I plan to go back to work part-time when the kids are in school and want the entire paycheck to go to savings and charity.

I appreciate the points made here, especially the one to live on paycheck and not rental income!  My plan so far for that: look again for cheaper internet and insurance, buy a modem (renting currently, that is stupid), put up a clothesline as soon as backyard is not a muddy pit, turn down heat and a/c (just did it this instant!), do some more insulation.  Continue to gently encourage selling of the Shadow (has moved from maybe to probably recently).  Cut vacation savings after my sister's wedding in October (although we cut it a few months ago, that will be a hard sell).  Cut medical expenses - they are only that high because I tore my calf muscle in the summer and then got tennis elbow in the fall (thanks kids), and each physical therapy appt was $40 copay - I stopped going as soon as the money pain > limb pain.  I was going to see a neurologist for migraines but it can wait a while, I have some rx from a friend.  Look into the childcare exchange I heard about.  Sign up for a different kid thing than planned this summer - H found a free one for July, we are going away in August, I just need something free or almost for June. Ask for memberships for our birthdays so more activities are free.

Maybe move some of the house/vacation savings to taxable investment accounts?  To make us less likely to use them for those purposes, but still more accessible than retirement accounts.  Increase emergency funds to $15000 as it makes me nervous now that we have the big mortgage.  Increase income - Husband is getting a raise soon, there is the possibility of a promotion, I can do a few hours of freelance work.  Get estimates for the house work we want to do soon-ish, stop saving once that is reached.  Consider pausing 529 contributions for a while.  Raise the rent when the leases renew.

Gotta run, thanks again for the replies.

Laura33

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 08:02:10 PM »
Sounds like a bunch of good ideas!  I would encourage you to use at least some of that extra savings to max out your tax-advantaged retirement accounts - that allows you to sock more away with a lower overall hit to your budget. 

Awesomeness

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 09:16:37 PM »
Just going to politely and kindly scold you.....”woman don’t put off seeing the doc about those migraines!”

There.....

Seriously though find another place to cut back. I get it I’m a mom too but if you wouldn’t put it off for the kids or the husband, take care of yourself. 

:)

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 10:21:09 AM »
What I've been up to:

-increased emergency fund to $13,200, on the way to $15,000 (the $200 is just there from interest, might as well leave it?)

-increased general savings fund to $3,000 - going to stop adding to it for the moment, just replenish it when we draw down. This fund is used for vet bills, car repair, and any big unexpected expenses.

-this will decrease the pet budget by $50 and the transport budget by $100, which can get added to retirement savings.

-in process of getting estimates for the house work we want to get done this spring/summer. The house fund is at $5,264 right now, and when we hit the estimate then I will stop putting money in there from regular income.

-that also will go to the IRA and 403b.  I feel sure I can max out the IRA at least this year.

-got info that our mortgage escrow payment is decreasing by $75 a month. I am tempted to put that on principle (get rid of PMI faster! It is $84/month, scheduled to go away by 2025) but I know that the general advice is not to prepay a mortgage at lower interest.

-thinking about opening a Roth IRA for Husband to put savings from freelance in, so he can withdraw contributions if he wants but we can still get some tax advantage eventually.

-calling Husband's general practitioner today to see if I can get an appointment to discuss several things, including migraines, and avoid the specialist $40 co-pay

-because I also need to call a dermatologist. I am worried that a spot on my arm may be skin cancer.

-will recalculate tax withholding and 403b contributions very soon as small raise has been given.

-asked for zoo membership for birthdays, and a friend wants to give the oldest $ for swim lessons, someone else I know was thinking about starting a nature school one day a week, I think we can avoid camp in June, and with free camp and $25 VBS (already paid) in July, it should be a cheap summer!

-Vacations as usual will be primarily visiting family though there are more than usual.  2 of us to CA in May (maybe, just a weekend), me to TN in early June for sister's bachelorette (weekend), 1 or all of us to wedding reception in MN in late June (weekend probably), all to NH for a week in August.  And then a weekend in NH for sister's wedding in October. I know our vacation budget seems like it should pay for that and more, especially since I am trying to travel hack some flights and much of it is staying in guest rooms, but in fact 64% of our vacation savings goes to a club membership that I cannot drop without serious serious family repercussions.  I think that all of this travel will have to be under $1750 total.

-Husband needs new clothes, all of his are getting holes at the same time, he's a thrift shop guy but this will be an expense regardless.  Kids are ok on clothes except we need more diaper covers and swim diapers, my clothes are iffy but I have a pile of old gift cards that need using when I have some free time (hahahaha)

-we are actually saving $830+$340+$225+$150 = $1545 without the mortgage change or any changes from home improvement savings or raise, so already saving the entirety of rental income - rental expenses.  And I should mention that rental expenses includes saving for rental repairs, that's why the expenses are so large. 

-college savings is not going anywhere, we had a talk about it and decided it's too important to us.

-heat is off now

-entertainment expenses have been kept low - $40 this weekend for Holi buffet and color run, $27 last week for babysitting during parent conference, we haven't been on a date since mid-February (ok, that's pretty sad).

-too many birthdays in April but none in May I think

Net worth according to Mint:
4/1/18: $436,077

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 04:23:41 PM »
April numbers!

Income (not including taxes): $8552
Expenses: $5143
Charity: $787
Retirement savings: $1340
College savings: $225
General savings (for vacation, repairs, vet): $1644

Total: -$587

Long-term savings rate: 18.3%

We had a surplus of $632 in March, so the cash flow works.  And the negative is (coincidentally) exactly how much over we are from our usual charity budget.  Our church is doing a big project that will be increasing our operating income, so we have decided to front-load our donations for the year, but I think that is mostly done. The raise started halfway through the month, so the retirement savings will be higher next month.  The general savings will be lower because now that the vet-and-car-repairs account is at $3000, we are going to prioritize pre-tax retirement savings.  Other than that, general savings mostly corresponds with husband's freelance income, which was high this month.

Expenses were higher than budgeted in:
-transportation
-utilities
-date night
-clothing
-misc
for a total of $275

Expenses were lower than budgeted in:
-groceries
-pets
-house and garden
for a total of ($173)

I also paid for airfare and housing for my sister's bachelorette weekend out of vacation savings, total $470.

I have set the house and garden budget at $200/month for now.

Net worth according to Mint:
4/1/18:$436,077
5/1/18:$442,470
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 04:48:54 PM by 20957 »

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 04:36:42 PM »
March numbers for reference

Income (not including taxes): $8555
Expenses: $4873
Charity: $403
Retirement savings: $1172
College savings: $225
General savings: $250

Total: $1632 - $1000 moved to emergency fund = $632

Long-term savings rate: 16.3%

Higher than budgeted:
-utilities
-date night
-clothing
$175

Lower than budgeted:
-groceries
-transportation
-medical
-house and garden
-misc
($226)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 04:49:48 PM by 20957 »

calimom

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2018, 08:25:55 PM »
Honestly, it sounds like you guys are doing great. 3 little kids including a set of twins? You're awesome. You're working hard, you're saving and planning for expected expenses like house improvements/repairs and preschool tuition. Kudos.

I have a couple of rentals too. I know people here scrutinize the actual expenses and ROI - as well they should -but I have always felt rental investment, done right of course, can be part of a healthy portfolio. @Laura33 brings up a good point, and if one is going to keep investing in rentals those monies should be plowed back into the LLC, but if you're stopping at the two, using the proceeds for savings into your 529 and taxable accounts seems pretty solid to me.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2018, 01:50:38 PM »
May numbers!

Income: $8134
Expenses: $5641
Charity: $627
Retirement savings: $1616
College savings: $225
General savings: $550

Total: -$525 Blech

Long-term savings rate: 22.6%

I suck, basically.  Higher than budgeted:
-Groceries. super high.
-Car (paid registration. Also insurance, but that came out of a sinking fund so not included)
-Charity
-Medical (co-pays for dr visits)
-Date night (actually family dinner out)
-Kid shoes
-Pets
-Home and garden
-All general spending. Am amazed that I spent $107 on myself and $78 on kids. Lunch with my cousin, shaving equipment (starting safety razor, has start-up costs but should be cheap from now on), sunscreen, mosquito repellant, a beer, a latte, a preschool gift, preschool photos, a theater ticket, starbucks visit. I need to get over the fact that DH spends more than me or I will never stick to my budget.  He was also over - $246 of $200 budget.  On the other hand, he had an interview for a promotion (fingers crossed!) and worked 3 jobs, so I do not ride him too hard.

-Also paid an annual fee for a credit card to get bonus miles, also paid for an air-bnb for my sister's wedding, but that came straight out of the vacation fund (thus not included in expenses). I have a line on a used bridesmaid dress, and will not be drinking at the bachelorette weekend, and still have hopes that we can cover the plane tickets and rental car via points, so maybe the wedding won't be too painful.  On the other hand, family weddings are basically what savings are meant for!

Lower than budgeted:
-utilities. Nothing else.

Must do better next month, which will be hard between bachelorette weekend and twins' birthday and father's day and must-finish household projects (porch ceiling required by 6/13 to renew home insurance, window and door stripping to remove lead paint before only decent stripper is outlawed). June is 3 paycheck month, I am going to try to put as much of the third paycheck as possible towards savings.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2018, 09:26:38 PM »
I am still sucking. We still suck. June was rough.

-About $650 on the bachelorette weekend. Most of that was the flight, but still. I took the bus while in Nashville but caved and got a taxi home from the airport because I am a pussy about late-night public transit and didn't want the kids to have to be woken to pick me up.

-More plane tickets for husband and one kid to a wedding in MN ($242) and we still owe $242 to MIL for the second one (don't know where the $ will come from)

-No general savings money made, instead spent on next season tickets to the theater and a home-brew class.  Why can't I just tell my husband no - because he works so damn hard. Promotion didn't happen but they will be giving him a raise apparently because boss feel guilty (they should, it was a bad decision)

-Spent out of savings for a vet visit, at least that was planned, but now it needs to be replaced.

-Barely keeping up with budget for groceries, I was $12 over. 

-Fixed the porch ceiling, it was more than expected (and doesn't look that great and we still need to paint it), and our home insurance dropped us anyway with no notice, good people.  Found a new company, luckily it was even cheaper than the old one, but had a 6 day gap in coverage which will cost us.

-Total of $652 spent on the house and garden in June.  We are getting estimates on air conditioning but if we can't pay in cash it is not happening this year.  So far we have $7119 set aside.

-Utilities were low at $156 but that won't continue as we caved and put in the window units as the temp got over 90 degrees. I hate this house.

-Used bridesmaid dress won't work, I had to spend $355.  Still to come: alterations, undergarments, 3 flower girl dresses, bridal shower, etc etc.

-The third paycheck did happen but somehow we are really tight on cashflow right now.  I think that is why I feel so depressed about money, along with taking from and not adding to savings.  Along with potty training twins, which will suck the joy out of anyone.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2018, 10:15:20 PM »
Income: $11,078
Expenses: $6,442
Charity: -$52
Retirement savings: $2435
College savings: $225
General savings: $0

Total: $2028

Long-term savings rate: 24%

-Charity: we got reimbursed for some stuff and are now right about where we want to be at the middle of the year at $200/month, so we can go back to our regularly scheduled donations.

-Cash flow.  This positive number is not showing up in my bank account.  I suspect it is from running a negative for the last few months which is catching up with me.  I am having to wait to pay off the last of the credit cards, which I am not used to.  We won't pay interest, but I like to bring the balance to $0 twice a month and it bothers me to leave it.  On the other hand overdraft fees would bother me more.

-Also there is too much happening in cash, and I can't track it.  We need to stop that.  (it's not we, it's he). 

-We will be canceling netflix as our new phone plan gives us hulu for free and we do have amazon prime (worth it for the rentals and the business - actually they should pay for it). Also the library.  Now that I have seen the entirety of Queer Eye I am willing to say goodbye to netflix for the first time in many years.

-We don't have enough money in the budget to go out for our anniversary this month, which is sad.  We have already spent 1/3 of our grocery budget for the month of July and it is the 3rd, sad too.  Beans and rice? I will have to be the grocery shopper again, this is not working and I am getting resentful of the proportion of groceries that is just beer.

-The city screwed up our property tax stuff for this year and last and I won't be surprised if that gives us another $1500 bill without a corresponding credit.  Not looking forward to that phone call.

-Some good news?  Finally put up the clothesline, am enjoying it.  Free stuff with kids has been fun.  I will be prepared to pay the 2018-19 preschool bill in full in a few weeks.  Found some swim lessons for bigger kid that my friend offered to pay for.  Made a list of free or almost activities for the rest of the summer.  Our neighbor is really nice and helped me out in a clutch way today. 

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2018, 10:39:39 AM »
I am still sucking. We still suck. June was rough.

-About $650 on the bachelorette weekend. Most of that was the flight, but still. I took the bus while in Nashville but caved and got a taxi home from the airport because I am a pussy about late-night public transit and didn't want the kids to have to be woken to pick me up.

-More plane tickets for husband and one kid to a wedding in MN ($242) and we still owe $242 to MIL for the second one (don't know where the $ will come from)

-No general savings money made, instead spent on next season tickets to the theater and a home-brew class.  Why can't I just tell my husband no - because he works so damn hard. Promotion didn't happen but they will be giving him a raise apparently because boss feel guilty (they should, it was a bad decision)

-Spent out of savings for a vet visit, at least that was planned, but now it needs to be replaced.

-Barely keeping up with budget for groceries, I was $12 over. 

-Fixed the porch ceiling, it was more than expected (and doesn't look that great and we still need to paint it), and our home insurance dropped us anyway with no notice, good people.  Found a new company, luckily it was even cheaper than the old one, but had a 6 day gap in coverage which will cost us.

-Total of $652 spent on the house and garden in June.  We are getting estimates on air conditioning but if we can't pay in cash it is not happening this year.  So far we have $7119 set aside.

-Utilities were low at $156 but that won't continue as we caved and put in the window units as the temp got over 90 degrees. I hate this house.

-Used bridesmaid dress won't work, I had to spend $355.  Still to come: alterations, undergarments, 3 flower girl dresses, bridal shower, etc etc.

-The third paycheck did happen but somehow we are really tight on cashflow right now.  I think that is why I feel so depressed about money, along with taking from and not adding to savings.  Along with potty training twins, which will suck the joy out of anyone.

You're in good shape and moving the right direction.  I'm going to add one comment here, based upon our experience, and because it strikes me as large, low-hanging fruit:

We had to make hard choices regarding when we would go to out-of-town weddings.  I have friends all over the country, as does my wife, and we finally made a rule that we're not traveling for weddings unless it's an immediate family member or can come out of that month's fun money. 

We also realized that we could either spend all our vacation money on weddings, or we could quit going on vacation-weddings, as that was preventing us from ever taking a break. 

Otherwise, we would be poor trying to go peoples' weddings.  We chose to live away from some friends and family, which means we aren't as able to be a part of those celebrations. 

I wish I had back a lot of the money I spent going to all those fancy out-of-town things in my 20s...I'd be a lot farther towards retirement now. 

These are among the most difficult things, because sometimes you have to have hard conversations: I'm sorry, but I don't have the budget to spend $500 on your wedding this weekend/renting a suit/buying a fancy dress, etc.  I had to have other awkward conversations about not spending $1k on a bachelor-party weekend here and there.  And I missed a couple of those things along the way because we just didn't have the money. 

We classified wedding trips as vacation spending since that's basically what it is.  We quickly found we were spending it all and had to make some adjustments. 

For our own wedding, we kept to this frugal line; my wife bought the dresses for her bridesmaids and we did something simple with the guys that they all already had without having to buy anything.

I am all for having a huge party at a wedding - ours was great - but it's crazy how expensive it gets, how quickly, and how many (unreasonable) expectations people have re: spending surrounding weddings.  (Not saying this about you; it's a cultural thing.)  It's tough because people often have unstated expectations about having everyone spend a lot. 

It might help to compare it with something comparable: how many quality trips/day trips/events (making fun memories) could you do with your immediate family with the same amount of money you'd spend at this wedding? 

With all of that said, I think you got my point: I would reevaluate how you're deciding to engage in all the wedding-related spending.  That's a potential huge savings area.  Realize what you're giving up to go do all these fun, unbudgeted things now...

ginjaninja

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2018, 11:06:42 AM »
I love how you are keeping us updated with your monthly progress.  I think that is huge towards making small changes that will result in reaching your goals.

As someone else mentioned, you are in the most financially stressful time with 3 little ones at home.  But you are making progress, and with the frugal muscles building now, there will be no stopping you in 3-5 years. 

If cash is non negotiable to remove from your life, I would maybe start with an "allowance" for you and your husband.  If it is $50/week or $200/month don't worry about it.  Pull it out in cash and both of you will have some freedom, if he wants to spend and you want to save it either is fine.  I think it is smart for you to not dictate everything your husband spends money on, and this could be one way to go about letting him have freedom but not over spending.  If you choose to take this path I would transfer all beer/alcohol purchases onto this allowance spending and only use groceries for family meals. 

The best thing that you seem to be doing is setting the spending example for your husband.  Finding fun and free things to do with the kids is awesome, maybe you can do something for your anniversary?  Or at least try to find lower cost date nights?  Are there friends that you can trade of babysitting once a month nearby?  Are there any outdoor activities nearby that you would want to do together?  Can you pack a picnic and go to a local park?  Making a fancy home cooked candle lit dinner with the kids gone?  To me the point of a date is to have some fun alone time with my boyfriend, and there are plenty of ways to achieve that goal without an expensive date.

You mention that you will need to be the grocery shopper again, who was doing it before?  Is there any way that you can look in your house and try to eat up all of the leftover food?  My first step in slashing my grocery bill was resolving to not throw away any food.  I was amazed at how big of a difference that made. 

Keep up the awesome work, I am excited to follow you though this!

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2018, 07:01:05 AM »
Hi @Finances_With_Purpose,

You make a really good point about out-of-town weddings, so we looked at what our history has been with them, and discovered: 3 travel weddings and 1 bachelor party 2011-2017, probably about $5-600 each, either 2 plane tickets+no hotel or 1 plane ticket+hotel.  The $484 on 2 plane tickets for husband and daughter last month (they stayed with family) would fall into that category.  That seems pretty reasonable to me - comes out to $31.25 a month since 2011 - what do you think?

Now, the rest of it is all for my sister's wedding, and, yes, that is a much much bigger expense.  So far, $650 bachelorette, $355 dress, $639 airbnb.  The plane tickets and rental car should all be on points, but there will be some more spending for it for sure.  And here comes my face-punch-y excuse: family.  This is the stuff money is for, the lifelong damage to my family relationships if I don't participate would really be extraordinary, plus, I want to.  I have been a drag on my parents/sisters for most of my adult life, and I see being joyfully fully present for this big event as the least I can do for my little sister. 

Oh, and frankly, immediate family vacations are pretty unpleasant right now with 3 kids under 5, so there's no incentive to save for them.  We will be doing our annual beach trip in August, but with only the gas to get there, maybe a hotel night on each of the drives, pet-sitting, and some extra groceries as thanks for parents renting the house, that will not be much of a cost.  I think we will be able to airbnb our house while we are gone, too.  Other than the beach and the wedding we will be sticking around home this year. I really don't know how people travel with small children!

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2018, 09:17:53 AM »
Hi @ginjaninja,

So we do each have allowances: $200 husband, and I've increased mine and the kids' to $100 each, so total of $400 for the family, plus $100 date night.  This certainly seems like it should be enough and I'm so frustrated that it hasn't been, lately!  We have agreed that the cash has to be kept track of better.  We usually don't use it much but this month we were paying the handyman in cash installments and also paid another neighborhood guy to do some work so he could buy medication, plus we got some cash as a reimbursement and spent it instead of depositing it :( So there was a lot floating around and it wasn't accounted for as it should have been.  No more!

I think what is killing the entertainment/misc budget (the part under my control at least) is the babysitting.  At $15-20 an hour, it adds up fast.  If both of us want to go to the vestry meeting (and he's the junior warden and I'm the treasurer, so we do both need to go) that's $45 right there.  We had two in June. Add in one theater performance (we have season tickets to a cheap local troupe) and that's another $80 in babysitting before we've had a single glass of wine.  So I guess I have just convinced myself to investigate the babysitting co-op I heard about ages ago.

You make a very good point about free date nights - we will be at my parents' during our anniversary so they will watch the kids and I will take it as a challenge to find something fun and free to do that night.  Unfortunately romantic dinner in has lost its appeal these days as I make 17/21 meals in the week and actually hate cooking.  Before kids we went out a lot and ate leftovers a lot and often skipped lunch so I cooked a lot less. 

Grocery shopping is just to say that husband has made the last few trips and he is not as careful as I am, usually I make one weekly trip to Aldi at around $80 plus some farmer's market spending and a household purchase or two so we stay right at $450 for the month.  We will be eating out of the pantry as much as possible for the next two weeks, for sure.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2018, 09:22:22 AM »
Oh, some other stupid stuff I did lately:
-$200 on facility fee for an outpatient procedure I had because I took the first available appointment when I had childcare and it was at the hospital office instead of the local office.
-$30 ticket for expired tags because I put the new sticker on the wrong Honda (motorcycle instead of minivan). Fixed now.
-left the car so close to empty that husband ran out of gas on his way to the gas station and missed his and daughter's dentist appointments, they will probably charge us something.
-let our free aquarium tickets expire so instead of having a great free morning with the fish we went to a sweltering playground and then I bought the kids ice cream to apologize.

The good news is that the new house tax credit is in place, and while I got the old house tax credit taken off they can't be bothered to go back to last year and charge us the extra $1400. It was their fault and I asked about it twice so I'm just going to let it go at this point.  We are prepared for this year's bill but last year's would have been more challenging.

We got a good quote for our a/c, and we can pay in cash, so I think that will happen soon.  I don't see many other home projects on the horizon right now, certainly this is the only one over $1000 until next summer.

We are moving our $15k emergency fund (just got it fully funded with some unexpected business income a few days ago!) to VYM, $5.5k in a Roth and the rest in a taxable account.  It was in CapOne's money market before, but husband was unhappy about losing ground to inflation.  You all have a few days to warn us if you think this is a terrible idea!

The rest of the cash savings (around $13k, mostly sinking funds for the next year) will probably go to the money market account if I can commit to keeping the books straight without the CapOne subaccounts.

Net worth according to Mint:
4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431

ginjaninja

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2018, 09:50:04 AM »
That steady monthly Net Worth increase is nothing to sneeze at!  That is awesome progress.

I also have a capitalOne Money market (1.6% is better than anything I have seen).  I think as long as you have enough money there to feel comfortable (the $13k seems like it should be enough) I don't see a problem with your plan. 

The nice thing about a RothIRA is that if you need to pull out the money you have put in (only money you have contributed, no gains or earnings can be withdrawn penalty or tax free) you can still access it.  Obviously this is not recommended, but I like to have a small safety net. 


Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2018, 08:36:39 PM »
Hi @Finances_With_Purpose,

You make a really good point about out-of-town weddings, so we looked at what our history has been with them, and discovered: 3 travel weddings and 1 bachelor party 2011-2017, probably about $5-600 each, either 2 plane tickets+no hotel or 1 plane ticket+hotel.  The $484 on 2 plane tickets for husband and daughter last month (they stayed with family) would fall into that category.  That seems pretty reasonable to me - comes out to $31.25 a month since 2011 - what do you think?

Now, the rest of it is all for my sister's wedding, and, yes, that is a much much bigger expense.  So far, $650 bachelorette, $355 dress, $639 airbnb.  The plane tickets and rental car should all be on points, but there will be some more spending for it for sure.  And here comes my face-punch-y excuse: family.  This is the stuff money is for, the lifelong damage to my family relationships if I don't participate would really be extraordinary, plus, I want to.  I have been a drag on my parents/sisters for most of my adult life, and I see being joyfully fully present for this big event as the least I can do for my little sister. 

Oh, and frankly, immediate family vacations are pretty unpleasant right now with 3 kids under 5, so there's no incentive to save for them.  We will be doing our annual beach trip in August, but with only the gas to get there, maybe a hotel night on each of the drives, pet-sitting, and some extra groceries as thanks for parents renting the house, that will not be much of a cost.  I think we will be able to airbnb our house while we are gone, too.  Other than the beach and the wedding we will be sticking around home this year. I really don't know how people travel with small children!

I think that's great, and all relative to your budget/income/etc.  Sounds reasonable.

Yeah, sisters are different.  And family is the hardest when it comes to boundaries, whether it's family or sharing personal details on social media (an issue we've faced) or etc.  Sounds like this one is mostly done, but I now look at those as an opportunity to have conversations about money, even if a little awkward.  It helps, too, if your family knows you as generous in general on things.  I totally agree with you re: prioritizing family re: funds/expenses - we do too.  And I can't say what's right for your family.  What I can say is that we've had great fortune by learning how to have those potentially awkward conversations in ways that haven't led to deteriorating relationships when the family opts for something that's just too expensive for us (without some sort of compromise or not participating).  I've been able to participate in things a few times in a more limited way without incurring the crazy expenses by having conversations up front. 

You're already doing the one thing I would strongly recommend: if you do choose those things, first, count the cost.  See what you're trading off.  It's best to do so up front, and ask questions up front.  $2-3k in the bank goes a long ways when saved, but it may be entirely reasonable within the context of your own budget/expenses.  Plus, you've found a way to offset things w/ vacation spending, so, again, it's all about context/priorities.  Sounds like you have a handle on it. 

zoe2dot

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2018, 12:59:32 PM »
Two things jump out at me:

...64% of our vacation savings goes to a club membership that I cannot drop without serious serious family repercussions...

...while I got the old house tax credit taken off they can't be bothered to go back to last year and charge us the extra $1400...

-----

I bring up the club membership since vacation spending has been a big focus in your last few points.  What is this membership for?  how much does it cost? 

As for the $1400 -- that is a lot of money to let go after only two queries.  Write a letter.  Email your town council rep.  It's $1400 bucks!

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2018, 01:00:32 PM »
What club membership, that you're required to pay for, would cause "serious family repercussions" if you cancelled. Like, what if something happened to your situation and you were no longer able to pay it, would there still be repercussions? Is this your immediate household or your relatives?

Just seems strange that you have a "required" part of your vacation spending, really. For most people, vacation spending is options and the last part of a person's budget.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2018, 09:32:01 PM »
No, no, letting the $1400 go is a good thing!  It's $1400 that I would otherwise _owe_.  We moved last year, right around the time that the city's fiscal year turns over.  When the old house turned into a rental, we lost a property tax credit for homeowners, or, we should have, but when I looked this year, we were still getting it.  So when I called, they fixed the problem for this year, which is fine because we had planned to pay the full amount, but they didn't want to fix last year.  Because it wasn't a rental right at the turn of the year, I guess it could be argued either way, and I would pay it if they asked.  Last year I paid early (before we moved, maybe before we bought?) and didn't think about it again until a week ago.  So now that I have brought it to their attention, if it's not worth their time, I will happily keep my $1400!  The new house has a property tax credit on it, that part was all fine, I worked hard on that application last year and I'm glad it went through.  Is that all clear as mud? ;)

Yeah, the Club, sigh.  *facepunch* It's "only" 2kish a year, we do use it every day when we go there (at least once a year for a few weeks), getting back in takes 15 years if you're on the priority list, much longer if you're not, and the parental generation had some severe fallings-out because not all of them were in but all wanted to use it.  My mother paid for all of her kids to transfer to adult memberships when they aged out because she wanted us to avoid the relationship problems.  I suspect if we said we would let it go she would offer to pay it for us, which seems like a nasty trick when we can in fact afford it. She already buys me clothing because I am too cheap to buy anything decent for myself (am still wearing some of the clothes I wore in middle school, 25 years and 25 lbs later! Luckily the '90s aesthetic was baggy).  And, you know, honestly I really like the Club, I don't really want to give it up, we have talked many times about moving up there someday.  *facepunch* Feel free to join in the beat-down.

Vacation spending outside of the Club, by the way, was $1594 last year, and we had saved $1950.  I guess I'm focusing on the vacation spending right now because the bachelorette weekend was just for me and I'm feeling guilty about it, plus I'm so nervous about My First Travel Hack and praying it will really work for real.  Thanks for pointing it out, though!

So in the "I'm an idiot" annals, I left the car unlocked and both of our brand-new phones and husband's wallet were stolen while we were at the pool. It has been a long few days with little communication, renewed attention to real life, and many hours cancelling cards etc.  I am going to go back to my old phone (new $3 sim card needed), and husband bought a cheap-ish new one for $200.  I do feel very lucky that we can cash-flow this unlike that article a few years ago that said many middle-class people would have to go into debt for $400. $400!  Anyway, I'm an idiot.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2018, 09:03:53 AM »
I understand now. Feel free to budget for the Club if that how you like to spend your money. But, since it was issues with the parental generation, don't feel obligated to keep it if you get tired of it or if your values change.

And...stuff happens with the car break in. Glad you got everything worked out.

Swish

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2018, 03:24:04 PM »
Posting to follow, have similar life situation :) good luck!

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2018, 05:12:54 PM »
July numbers:

Income: $7584
Expenses: $6723
Charity: $116
Retirement Savings: $1682
College Savings: $235
General Savings: -$961

Total: -$161, even after pulling almost a thousand dollars from the life happens fund to cover $452 worth of replacing cell phones, $341 vet visit, and $120 cat grooming.  Boo.  On the other hand:

Long-term savings rate: 25.28%

Low this month:
Utilities, clothes, house stuff, husband, wife, and kid allowances, charity.

High this month:
Cell phone replacements, medical bills, vehicle registrations, replacement driver's license, ticket for expired tags, pet stuff (also includes microchip renewal and supplement restock), 2 years of hyper-local property tax that we somehow missed last year for a fine of $50, groceries (2 parties), internet (promotional period expired), date night (one theater night, one anniversary).

There shouldn't be too many months like this!  Our phones and husband's wallet were stolen, both animals needed annual care, the property tax snafu, and on top of it all I had a miscarriage, for a total of about $1600 of one-off expenses.

I am grateful that we can weather this kind of thing.  I have also realized why the cash flow feels so strapped every month - around $5-600 of the income (the freelance stuff) is going right into the a/c fund, rather than into the bank account for general expenses.  The a/c should finally be installed sometime in the beginning of September. We ended up with a very good price around $10,000, which is how much it will raise the house value.  We have almost $7700 in cash to put down and the rest will be a small personal loan from our bank, which we will pay off in 6 months. Between that and some other changes that are happening as the new school year starts, I will be making a whole new budget.  I love new budgets!

Net worth according to Mint:
4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431
8/1/18: $477,819

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2018, 07:38:31 PM »
Terribly sorry to hear the news. I can’t even imagine.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2018, 07:35:09 AM »
Thanks, I appreciate the thought.

We have been on vacation and it has made me curious how others track vacation spending. I think I will split it between regular and "vacation" - since we are staying at a rental paid by my parents and mostly eating in and hanging out at the club/beach, the costs are mostly groceries. It seems weird to have v low "grocery" spending and then high "vacation" when we need to eat wherever we are. We did have one family day out at an amusement park. And I bought a bathing suit for myself (totally forgot to bring) and shoes for the twins (lost their sneakers at a playground). I expect my accounting will show around $600 additional on the vacation, we have most of it in a travel savings acct.

I have been working on a new series of budgets looking at this next year and then what we will cut to pay for the increase in preschool the year after that. I am happy to say that we will be maxing out both a traditional and a roth ira for 2018, and in 2019 we will also max out the 403b if all goes as planned. We don't have an hsa because I'm not ready to get a hdhp for the family yet. The biggest challenge with this budget will be I suspect keeping the utilities low this winter. I hope the new hvac will help.

About that, we will not be getting a loan, Husband will liquidate an old mutual fund with high er instead (I had forgotten it existed). And we are working on a tax credit application that may net us $2200 but also means we are pushing the installation back a few weeks at least.

My sister's wedding is coming up apace, so there will be more expenditures, but once it is over then I can have a frugal time rest of the fall.

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2018, 07:29:42 AM »
August Numbers - so late!

Income (not including taxes): $7557
Expenses: $6532
Charity: $223
Retirement savings: $1832
College savings: $225
General savings (for vacation, repairs, vet): $0

Total: -$1255

Long-term savings rate: 27.2%

Net worth according to Mint:

4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431
8/1/18: $477,819
9/1/18: $489,332

Well the new retirement savings numbers are great!  But our new preschool amount kicked in (we save every month for next year's tuition, next year now means 2019-20 which year will cost more because of the twins) and the biggest thing was the vacation. 

$600 in groceries, $350 in petsitting, $250 eating out, $300 in gas and tolls, $75 in donations to our church up there, $100 at the amusement park, $57 in babysitting, some more in miscellaneous too.  Given that the obscenely expensive rental house is paid for by my parents, it's not so bad, and we also got an extra $292 in income from the airbnb.  And some of the gas and groceries came home with us too, and of course one can't forget that some of it replaced regular budgeted spending. 

The thing that was a killer in August that continued into September was that we came home to 2 injured pets.  The petsitting was some money ill-spent, and I will tell you that we are not using that person ever again.  The dog had peed everywhere and despite attempts to clean it still smelled really awful (fun to come home to after midnight!) and we had to go to the vet the next morning to the tune of $400.  The cat was fine but the dog needed antibiotics and two follow-up visits...and now they've found another problem that will likely add to her costs going forward (but that's not August spending).

How lucky we are to have the life-happens savings to draw on!  Things I am waiting to finish before writing out a new budget:
-learning the exact numbers of the raise
-replenishing the life-happens fund
-maxing my IRA for 2018
-getting the a/c installed
-getting testing on the dog
-wedding finished
-roof fix estimates on the rentals
-learning about costs of new rental licensing requirements

There will be some savings happening by the end of the year, I am determined!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 05:48:49 AM by 20957 »

20957

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Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2018, 02:16:43 PM »
Sept Numbers

Income (not including taxes): $8322
Expenses: $6815
Charity: $401
Retirement savings: $2023
College savings: $225
General savings (for vacation, repairs, vet): $0

Total: -$1142

Long-term savings rate: 27.0%

Net worth according to Mint:

4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431
8/1/18: $477,819
9/1/18: $489,332
10/1/18: $506,581

Over half a mil net worth, yay! Of course most of it is real estate, which hardly counts, and much of the rest is retirement accounts. The spending continues to be a problem. BUT the wedding is over (still am going to buy a present) which is huge. It was a really lovely wedding. My kids were okay but minding them was v stressful. The a/c installation is being finished as we speak, just in time for the first cold snap of fall. In case I didn't say, we did get approved for a tax credit on the a/c, which will bring the cost right in line with the increase in home value.

Things I am doing to control costs for the rest of the year:
-making Halloween costumes from stuff we already have
-starting to plan holidays now
-eating down the pantry (haven't been properly grocery shopping in Oct yet)
-returned all the shoes that needed returning
-really going to call to try to get internet cost down!
-walking and taking the bus more
-husband is going to change the brake pads on the car himself

20957

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 44
Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2018, 02:26:09 PM »
Oct Numbers, earlier!

Income (not including taxes): $8519
Expenses: $5672
Charity: $55
Retirement savings: $2023
College savings: $225
General savings: $0

Total: $544

Long-term savings rate: 26.4%

Net worth according to Mint:

4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431
8/1/18: $477,819
9/1/18: $489,332
10/1/18: $506,581
11/1/18: $525,403

Looks good! However, still having cash flow problems. Debt hangover from previous months. And we may end up having to end one tenant's lease, blech. I should mention that $500 of the income was our semi-annual draw from the business, that makes the numbers less good.

Oh, and also this doesn't include the a/c we paid for this month - $12,813.39 total. Of which $3624 came from the liquidation of an old stock acct, $7685 we saved for over time, and the other $1504...well, having written it out, that would explain the cash flow issues. $1300 of that $1504 was from an unexpected 3rd day of work, we're not totally unable to do math. But it was stupid to expect the estimate to be completely on target.

I am still working hard to keep from buying anything. Unfortunately I had a ticket and a kid had an emergency dentist visit, building our savings back up is going to take a while at this rate. Aaaaand, the dog still hasn't had her issues investigated, aaand, there's still the wedding present to buy.

But I think we can get the credit card back to zero soon with a little more work. Currently paying the "normal" way, aka the statement balance at the end of the next period. It sucks, do people really do that all the time? I hate having debt. If we can keep Christmas spending low, (incl short vacation in early Dec) then I can use the Christmas savings to catch up.

More later!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 03:22:25 PM by 20957 »

20957

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Case Study - Numbers don't lie!
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2018, 07:21:51 PM »
Nov numbers:

Income (not inc taxes): $10,475 (3 paycheck month)
Expenses: $5798
Charity: $353
Retirement savings: $2561
College savings: $225
General savings: $0

Total: $1538

Long-term savings rate: 26.6%

Net worth according to Mint:

4/1/18: $436,077
5/1/18: $442,470
6/1/18: $445,812
7/1/18: $460,431
8/1/18: $477,819
9/1/18: $489,332
10/1/18: $506,581
11/1/18: $525,403
12/1/18: $536,082

This spending includes $563 on Christmas, which will be reimbursed from our Christmas savings, so I am pretty pleased with our spending. I wish it hadn't included a traffic ticket, but live and learn. It still doesn't feel like we have this much extra as it is all being used to get ahead on the credit card and the general account - I hate having less than $100 padding. Hoping to have credit card close to zero this month - where have we heard that before?

High this month:
Groceries (but low by an equivalent amount in Oct)
Pets (dog continues not v well and we needed some refills)
Car and gas (am not sure my budget is realistic)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 07:44:50 PM by 20957 »