Author Topic: Minnesota Odd Couple, aspiring Mustachian from Minnesota & Chicago Gal -UPDATE  (Read 1049 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: St Louis Park Minnesota
Hello again gang!

I am back!  I enjoy reading my posts from years ago and seeing how everything has changed or perhaps stayed the same.  I am thinking of using the forum as a journal with opportunities for feedback from the community. 
Here is the original post from 9/2014
Here is an update to our current situation:

  • We were 28 and 30 back in 2014 now 31 and 34.
  • Moved from Minneapolis to Chicago.  Closer to wife's family, I am working remotely, wife is Spec Ed teacher in CPS
  • Wife's income has risen about 5% since 2014, mine has gone up about 43% since then (got that promotion!)
  • Sold our house for 1.5 times what we bought it for in 2012, good market in MPLS!  We refinanced in 2016 to a 15year so had decent equity
  • Now completely debt free, killed the Stu Loans in 2015.  No mortgage, both cars (09 Vibe, 15 Altima) are paid off owned.  Not driving much now ;)  I biked 11miles one way to commute in MPLS, going to miss that now that I work from home
  • Had been maxing my 401k as much as possible, hope to cross the 100K soon.  Not sure what my wife's retirement accounts look like, but I would guess around 50K.  I have a pension and was also given some stock for a work award 
  • Total net worth probably around 300K with savings and retirement accounts
  • Living with wife's sister in Chicago, somewhat looking for a place of our own.  I am giving her $1200 a month which is pretty cheap in my opinion.  I am thinking we try to ride this out as long as possible
  • No kids yet, one dog
  • My work is going great, now a data science manager.  Also about a 3rd through my second masters, this one in Data Science, paid for 100% by work
  • Still spending too much on food/dining and travel, but hey we love it!  We both like to cook at home as well, so always trying to maximize that
  • I have been using since 2010 so have some great data on spending habits, even though we have seen significant increase in income, no increase of note on spending.  My wife is saving a fair amount too, don't have too much data on her habits though
  • Cable free since 2015, I just got on my work mobile plan, so no spending there, no utilities for the time being at the wife's sisters.  I drive almost 0 miles, wife about 3 miles per day for work (trying to convince to walk...)
Some questions/thoughts/goals:

  • First main question is what do we do in Chicago for housing?  Prices seem high and from what we see $500K seems to be where the price will be...  We are in Old Irving Park and hoping to stay in the general area
  • What should we do short term with the cash from selling the house?  Have about 150K sitting in the bank...collecting dust
  • Everything is going pretty well at work, but now with working from home I think I may not have the same opportunities to move up in the Org
  • Although, now that I know I can work remotely pretty much anywhere it is making me think of the possibilities...especially now that we have a decent little nest egg
  • Basically keep the momentum going on school/work/life, maybe start thinking of having a kid soon...

Goals from the previous post.  Thoughts in bold

Short Term Goals (what should I prioritize):
-Pay off student loans asap  done
-Either max out 401K/Begin Investing/Pay down MortgageKind of did both, maxed 401K and did a 15 year, now the mortgage is gone!
-Pay off Wife’s cardone
-Get wife saving/tracking spending(is this the best way, what can I do?)I think this is ok, we may move to a hybrid joint checking.  Heard from a behavioral econ guy "best way to have a great marriage is to have separate checking accounts"

Long Term Goals
-Start making money on the side in some IT field..Current title is Pricing Analytics and Data Science manger, so in some IT, but no side huste.  Do have free education
-Get ready to have kids in a couple of years  Still thinking about it, but enjoying having no kids and the freedom
-Retire by at least 50 Getting there, have accelerated the pace I believe!  Figure I have been averaging about 35% savings rate, will be much higher with the house sale proceeds

So that is about it gang, let me know your thoughts and where we can improve!