Author Topic: Rate my budget: Long time lurker first time poster  (Read 1738 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Rate my budget: Long time lurker first time poster
« on: November 24, 2014, 06:33:00 PM »
I have been reading mmm site for a few years. I have been frugal for a while now. It is my dream to retire early because I believe there is more to life then to be stuck in a rat race and work your whole life. Please rate my budget and investments and let me know which areas I should improve/change.

Age: 31.
Income: about $45000/year. At my main job I earn $41500 before taxes and I got a side gig that I probably earn about $3000-5000/year before taxes.

Not including my side gig I get $2400 a month after taxes. Side gig can vary anywhere from $200-$500/month.

Budget: Expenses total about $1000/month.
Mortgage: $500 at 3.25%, 20% down on a $83k home in midwest. House is a little small, about 1067 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a decent size deck and fenced in. I like it and for being single it is plenty of space for me. Was built in 1997 and in great shape. Got a new layer of shingles paid by the seller ($3100 value) installed this summer.
Gas: $100
Utilities (water, gas, electric) $100
Restaurants: $50, but there are months I don't hit that limit
Liquor Store: $50, but I often go over.
Groceries: $50
AutoInsurance: $45 for full coverage with couple of tickets. I drive a 2001 VW Jetta with 235k miles.
Internet: $40 Comcast
Cell phone: $10-20. I got airvoice wireless, and sometimes their $10/month plan is not enough.
Pets: $10 (Turtles and fish)

I contribute 10% to 401K and employer matches 50% of the first 5% (I think), that comes out to $320/month on my part.

My assets:

Cash: $32560
American Express savings account at 0.75% : $24600
5/3rd Checking account: $4747
Huntington Savings: $2700
Huntington Checking: $450

Investments: $44600
401k: $19450
Betterment: $11621
Bitcoins: maybe $2000 tops, lost some money on those
Vanguard Roth IRA: $7750
Vanguard VTSMX: $3746
Lending Club: $360

Mortgage, $66000 left at 3.25 fixed for 5 years.

Is it possible for me to retire in 10-15 years? I'm trying to build a portfolio so that I can live off dividends/positive market changes. Which areas should I improve in? What would you do different? Thank you for reading.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 04:24:27 AM by ayasinsk »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Madison, wi
Re: Rate my budget: Long time lurker first time poster
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 07:55:03 PM »
What do you eat? 50$ / month for food seems very low.

Your mortgage is awesome.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Rate my budget: Long time lurker first time poster
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 08:13:26 PM »
ayasinsk, welcome to the forums.

Taking the income and expenses verbatim (or as best I could figure, e.g. I don't know if the $500 for mortgage is P+I, or PITI, or P+I+extra P, or...?) from the OP, it appears you get to FI in ~13 years. 

You could make your own entries in the spreadsheet referenced here:'case-study'-topic/msg274228/#msg274228, and see what result you get.

Having less in cash and <1% savings and more in equities is worth considering....

Good luck!