FIRE Progress Report for October 2020 (Halloween Edition)

light landscape sky sunset

Nothing is more spooky that a month without a ton of surprises. We had to replace a wheel bearing on the Prius (286k miles and counting). Our neighbor also cut down a tree for us that may have fallen over on it’s own with the right weather and wind. It was a nice shade tree between our house and our neighbors. We wanted to do something for them since they cut it down and got a lot of the brush cleared away for us, even though they weren’t expecting anything in return.

Oh, did I mention there’s a new chart in the details. Now you can follow along visually to see how the numbers trend over time instead of just comparing the current month to the previous month. Not all the numbers are included, but the important ones are.

How did this affect us?

Just like last month, our expenses this month were almost identical to what they were the year before. This is excellent news as we’re starting to see our monthly expenses level off a bit.

  • Wheel Bearing – $450
  • Tree cut down – $300
  • Life Insurance – $200

The Money Related Numbers

Current and future value against Minimum FIRE Goal and 25x Expenses Goal

43.93% to target number (previously 43.36%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

93 months (previously 94)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

65.39 months (previously 66.43)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

12.83 times annual spending (previously 12.63)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

51.32% to minimum FIRE (previously 50.51%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

29.21 times annual spending at goal number (previously 29.13)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

26.98% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously -16.15%)

This number shows the change in what we saved this month compared to the prior month in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program.

29.82% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously -16.15%)

Same as the prior number, but with employer contributions counted.

0.63% Month to Month Change in 6 Month Savings Average (previously -2.32%)

This number show the change in what we saved this month compared to the prior month, but on a 6 month rolling average. This helps to smooth out months over time and shows a more general trend.

-0.62% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously -3.65%)

Same as the prior number, but with employer contributions counted.

FIRE Progress Report for September 2020 (Garage Door Edition)

Garage Door

This month saw the start of the school year, and another broken garage door. A few months ago our other garage door spring had broke, so it seemed ironic that this month the other one did. We also had a series of expenses related to our dog that we hadn’t anticipated, and of course there were school fees. As for the one larger expense we had partially planned for, that was our daughter’s cell phone bill. While we use Verizon prepaid for our service, financially, it makes more sense for her to use Mint Mobile (use the link and we both get $15 towards in credit at Mint Mobile). We use their cheapest plan and pay it annually to get the best price.

As for our numbers this month. Many of them held steady from the previous month due to market fluctuations. I’ve decided this month to change everything under How Much We Invested because it was all based on my salary and doesn’t take into account money I make through my side business, or money that Julie is making now. That means we could have eventually reported a number over 100%, which wouldn’t have made any sense. I’m now going to report the percent of increase or decrease in the amount we save. There will be two sets of numbers, one for our month to month, and one for the month to month change in our 6 month average. A more detailed explanation is with the numbers.

I’ve also decided to color code the numbers to indicate a positive or negative direction. This should help when scanning to see the overall trend for a month.

How did this affect us?

Below is a breakdown of some of the larger, out of the ordinary expenses this month. Despite these, our spending for this month was almost the same as it was for September 2019.

  • Mint Mobile – $200
  • Garage Spring – $189
  • Dog Expense – $395
  • School Fees – $160

The Money Related Numbers

43.36% to target number (previously 43.75%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

94 months (previously 95)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

66.43 months (previously 65.29)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

12.63 times annual spending (previously 12.76)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

50.51% to minimum FIRE (previously 51.06%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

29.13 times annual spending at goal number (previously 29.18)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

-16.15% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously -31.73%)

This number shows the change in what we saved this month compared to the prior month in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program.

-16.15% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously -34.27%)

Same as the prior number, but with employer contributions counted.

-2.32% Month to Month Change in 6 Month Savings Average (previously -9.54%)

This number show the change in what we saved this month compared to the prior month, but on a 6 month rolling average. This helps to smooth out months over time and shows a more general trend.

-3.65% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously -10.17%)

Same as the prior number, but with employer contributions counted.

FIRE Progress Report through August 2020

Cell phone on table

FIRE Progress Report through August 2020 (Cell Phone Edition)

What Happened and What Is Happening

This month saw a significant boost to most of the numbers. This was partially related to the huge market run that we saw towards the end of August. In addition, I was awarded more restricted stock units. Technically, they are not mine to spend yet. Every year, I’ll receive a quarter of them until they’re gone. Obviously, that’s a huge benefit that I’m getting at work. It’s kind of like a delayed bonus. If the stock price goes up, the bonus goes up. If it goes down, the bonus goes down. Also, if I leave, I stop receiving them and forfeit what is left.

Since an amount of our portfolio is attached to a single stock, this means we may see our valuation swing more wildly. Every year when I’m awarded a portion of the RSUs, I’m converting it to mutual funds. This lowers my risk and also stabilizes our portfolio. The more that are converted, the more stable the portfolio will become.

One expense we had this month was the purchase of Verizon prepaid cards. I’ve found that I can get them at a discount at Target and sometimes even find them on sale. This decreases our phone bill even more. Plus, when paying by gift card, they don’t charge you all the taxes and fees, saving an an extra $5.82 a month. We’re using Verizon’s prepaid service. I’m not sure if you could do the same on their postpaid service.

How did this affect us?

In addition to the phone cards mentioned above, we replaced a ceiling fan this month. It was broken by our youngest during a sleepover.

Finally, we bought Julie a new phone this month after the screen broke on her old one. We’ll be focusing on replenishing the savings account this month. and then on to saving to remodel the kitchen.

  • Phone service – $268.37
  • Ceiling Fan – $100
  • Julie’s New Phone – $455

The Money Related Numbers

43.75% to target number (previously 38.39%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

95 months (previously 96)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

65.29 months (previously 71.20)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

12.76 times annual spending (previously 10.84)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

51.06% to minimum FIRE (previously 43.35%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

29.18 times annual spending at goal number (previously 28.23)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

38.87% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested (previously 42.98%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

48.37% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested (previously 53.52%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

41.64% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions (previously 46.35%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

51.81% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 57.73%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through July 2020

FIRE Progress Report through July 2020 (Vacation or Birthday Edition)

What Happened and What Is Happening

Before the pandemic, we had a vacation planned to Myrtle Beach. Not exactly the best place to go at the moment, but we figured we could easily turn around and come home if we didn’t feel like we could keep ourselves safe while we were there. We ended up staying the whole week.

We wore masks when we weren’t in the car, hotel room, or on the beach. We avoided busy areas and always got food to-go or through the drive thru. We also found that the beach was must less busy at around 4-4:30PM. Not only that, but the sand was a lot cooler around that time and the water was probably at it’s warmest.

We’re not sure that we’ll go back to Myrtle Beach, but it was a nice break from being at home all summer long, especially with the kids doing their last quarter of school at home.

In addition to vacation spending, we had some planned expenses like property taxes and the remainder of dining room table. We also had some unexpected items such as pest treatment around the house and garage door repair when the spring broke.

Finally, it’s important that with July marks another birthday, and another year closer to our FI date. You’ll see below that we have 96 months left or 8 years!

How did this affect us?

  • Property taxes – $1097
  • Vacation – $642
  • Dining Room Table – $500
  • Pest Treatment – $268
  • Garage Door Repair – $190
  • New Drill (for my birthday) – $105
  • Our youngest’s birthday – priceless

The Money Related Numbers

38.39% to target number (previously 36.46%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

96 months (previously 97)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

71.20 months (previously 74.86)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

10.84 times annual spending (previously 10.63)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

43.35% to minimum FIRE (previously 42.52%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

28.23 times annual spending at goal number (previously 29.16)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

42.98% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested (previously 42.11%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

53.52% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested (previously 52.48%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

46.35% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions (previously 46.10%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

57.73% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 57.45%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through June 2020

Toyota Sienna

Progress Report through June 2020 (Auto Repair Edition)

What Happened and What Is Happening

Even though our investments grew this month, so did our expenses. We had several one-time and annual expenses due this month. One of those was a repair to our 2011 Toyota Sienna.

Some time in the winter, we noticed that the AC system would reset back to 75 degrees after we would turned it on. We waited until we needed an oil change before we had it checked out. Turns out that it was the Air Mix Damper Control Motor Circuit (or something like that) and was going to cost about $2000 to fix it. A lot of the cost was the labor because the dash would have be taken apart. At the time we didn’t think spending about 20% of the value of the vehicle to do a repair like this was worth it. Everything seemed to work fine other than the inconvenience of setting the temperature each time.

Then the 90+ degree summer days came along. We ended up realizing that the broken part controlled the cold air to the passenger side of the car. What was an inconvenience quickly became more of desirable thing. Besides, we thought it would be hard to sell the van in the future knowing that it would need $2000 in repairs to make everything right.

After thinking about our options, I ended up calling Toyota North America and telling them our story. I told them that we’ve owned several Toyotas and due to the way they helped us when our Prius battery died several years ago, we ended up buying the Sienna. In the end, with their assistance and the 15% off Costco Auto coupon (check it out if you’re a Costco member), the repair cost about half what it originally would have.

One other thing you’ll see has changed is in the “How Much We Invested” numbers. These numbers can swing wildly from month to month, so I’ve decided to change them to a 6 month average to help smooth them out and better see how we’re trending.

How did this affect us?

Because our expenses were higher this month, you’ll see the Expense Related numbers moving up less than our Money Related numbers. Below are some details related to our expenses. I don’t think we’ll see expense numbers this large until we replace the Prius later this year.

  • Internet (paid annually to save money) – $549
  • Homeowner’s Insurance – $829
  • Auto Insurance – $562
  • Pest Inspection – $155
  • Materials for a new Dining Room Table – $650
  • Marmon Valley Trail Ride – $297 (most of which we got back when family paid us back in July)
  • Toyota Sienna Repair – $1017

The Money Related Numbers

36.46% to target number (previously 34.80%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

97 months (previously 98)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

74.86 months (previously 78.07)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

10.63 times annual spending (previously 10.54)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

42.52% to minimum FIRE (previously 42.16%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

29.16 times annual spending at goal number (previously 30.29)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

42.11% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested (previously 41.44%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

52.48% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested (previously 51.59%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

46.10% of 6 Month Average Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions (previously 45.43%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

57.45% of 6 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 56.56%)

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through May 2020

Progress Report (Pandemic Edition, Part 3 and hopefully the last)

What Happened and What Is Happening

As the economy and markets have been improving, you’ll see an significant increase in our numbers. Our expenses in May were down 4.39% from 2019. During this month, we still had a few expenses that we normally wouldn’t have. this included tires for the Prius (which has over 275k miles on it now) and some other maintenance, outdoor flowers, and graduation gifts.

Our numbers were affected positively by the inclusion of some stock awards I was given at work that weren’t previously being pulled in by software I use. It finally started pulling them in when they fixed another issue for me. The stock awards are essentially given to you one time, but you can only get a quarter of them every year for 4 years. If I leave, I forfeit what hasn’t converted.

Every 6 months, the employee stock purchase program does it’s stock purchase. That also happened this month. That combined with some good income from Adro Solutions and you’ll the investment numbers be unusually high this month.

How did this affect us?

March to April was a significant improvement in the numbers, but April to May saw an even larger boost. The markets continue to boost the numbers, and the addition of the stock awards made a huge boost to our numbers.

As for the expenses we had this month:

  • Flowers – $160
  • Tires, Alignment, Oil Change – $600
  • Graduation Gifts – $240

The Money Related Numbers

34.80% to target number (previously 29.83%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

98 months (previously 99)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

78.07 months (previously 89.43)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

10.54 times annual spending (previously 9.01)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

42.16% to minimum FIRE (previously 36.03%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

30.29 times annual spending at goal number (previously 30.20)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

60.28% of Gross Income Invested

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

74.91% of Net Income Invested

The amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

64.27% of Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

79.87% of Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions

The amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through April 2020

Progress Report (Pandemic Edition, Part 2)

What’s Happened and What’s Happening

We decided to become DoorDash drivers in our spare time. We’ve got a lot of that lately and needed something to do. We’ve been using the extra money we’re making from that to put towards a new car. I’d honestly suggest it if you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash and get out and see new places. We figure we’re making about $15 to $25 an hour as long as you decide to deliver during reasonably busy times. If you’re interested in checking it out, feel free to use my referral link: https://drd.sh/5rVLhP/ (I haven’t seen that I get anything if you were to use it.)

Our expenses continue to level off or decrease slightly. A lot of that can be attributed to not being able to really do anything.

This past month we ended up having to do a major car repair to our 2006 Prius. Turns out it needed some fixes to the brakes and the rear struts needed replaced after we went over a small bump and one corner of the car looked like it just gave up.

We also purchased a new lawn mower after our mower of 10+ years rusted through. We decided that will never happen again, so we went with a Toro with an aluminum deck.

Finally, we got our daughter a new phone for her birthday. When you can’t go anywhere, there aren’t really a lot of options. We figured that she’s using it a lot to stay connected, so it made sense. It wasn’t a fancy iPhone or anything.

Finally, my life insurance came due this month, so that got paid.

How did this affect us?

If things changed quickly in March, they changed just as quickly in April. You’ll see that most numbers have rebounded back to where they were a couple of months ago. Some have even improved from where they were a couple of months ago and the markets haven’t even fully recovered. Some of that may have to do with the fact that we kept investing as things were declining, so we got an extra boost when they went back up.

As for the expenses we had this month:

  • Daughter’s Phone – $250
  • Life Insurance – $440
  • Car Repairs – $800
  • Lawn Mower – $532

The Money Related Numbers

29.83% to target number (previously 26.10%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

99 months (previously 100)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

89.43 months (previously 97.44)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

9.01 times annual spending (previously 7.88)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

36.03% to minimum FIRE (previously 31.52%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

30.20 times annual spending at goal number (previously 30.19)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

35.95% of Gross Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

44.67% of Net Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

39.94% of Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

49.63% of Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through March 2020

Progress Report (Pandemic Edition)

What’s Happened and What’s Happening

Wow, what a month it has been! If I had 10 guesses, a pandemic or stay-at-home orders would not have been on that list. I know this is a scary time for a lot of people and many people have lost their jobs. I’m fortunate to work for a company that will be impacted, but will weather this storm without any job loss.

If you’re struggling right now, I know it’s easy to think “if I would have done this or that, this would be easier”. Unfortunately, I think it’s our nature to go back to business-as-usual once things recover. If you’re stressed right now from a financial perspective, you may want to consider writing down how you feel. Then write down what you’re going to do when everything starts to return to normal. One example may be to build an emergency fund large enough to get through something like this. Put that note somewhere you won’t forget about it. Look at it in 6-12 months and start to do those items when you’re able.

How did this affect us?

This past month, we’ve pretty much done everything as we normally have. Some larger expenses this month include taxes, building a custom closet (which was cheaper doing it ourselves), and I paid for a year’s worth of haircuts ahead of time. I had learned about doing this through the ChooseFI podcast. Essentially, find those things that you’re going to use when you’re no longer stuck at home. Then offer to pay for those products and services in advance to support those businesses or individuals through difficult times.

You’ll notice that all of the numbers this month except one went in a negative direction. That number was “X times annual spending at goal number”. This month saw our largest drop in expenses year over year! A lot of that has to do with the fact that we didn’t do a spring break trip and our tax bill was lower this year. Overall this is a positive thing as our expenses continue to be tracked more accurately. Now that we have a full year of tracking our expenses more accurately, our year over year monthly numbers are accurate. However, our rolling 12 month averages still have another 9 months to become fully accurate.

If you’re able to save and invest right now, you have a great opportunity to really springboard ahead. This is not the time to shy away from saving because you see the markets drop. The stock market is on sale!

All that sounds great if you’re able, but if you’re not, that’s okay! The most important thing is to stay safe and healthy!

The Money Related Numbers

26.10% to target number (previously 29.79%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

100 months (previously 101)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

97.44 months (previously 88.28)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

7.88 times annual spending (previously 8.51)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

31.52% to minimum FIRE (previously 34.03%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

30.19 times annual spending at goal number (previously 28.55)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

35.40% of Gross Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

43.99% of Net Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

39.39% of Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

48.95% of Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

FIRE Progress Report through February 2020

It’s been quite a month and the markets have been on a wild ride. Let’s see how that impact things.

The Money Related Numbers

29.79% (previously 30.78%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

101 months (previously 102)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

88.28 months (previously 88.97)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

8.51 times annual spending (previously 8.81)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

34.03% to minimum FIRE (previously 35.25%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

28.55 times annual spending at goal number (previously 28.63)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

61.87% of Gross Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

76.88% of Net Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

65.86% of Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

81.84% of Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

What’s Happened and What’s Happening

This month’s contribution numbers look really high, but that’s only because I invested some extra income from the business. You’ll notice that most numbers are relatively flat or down a little. Towards the end of February, we saw the markets drop pretty dramatically because of the coronavirus. I know it has impacted a lot of people. However, I think the markets are overreacting to something they probably don’t fully understand.

This is definitely a buying opportunity for people who are looking to retire in the future. Imagine you walk into a store and your favorite jeans are 10-20% off. Normally, they would never be on sale. Do you think “I shouldn’t buy those, but I should probably sell all my jeans at home?” Of course not. Instead of thinking “I’m losing money”, think “stocks are on sale.”

Nothing too unusual this month from an expense standpoint. Our monthly expenses only increased about 6% from last year. February is our lowest expense month. March was our second highest expense month last year, so we’ll see how we do in next month’s reports.

FIRE Progress Report through January 2020

Hopefully you had a Merry Christmas and are off to a great start in 2020.

The Money Related Numbers

30.78% (previously 29.32%)

This is our invested assets/target number. Our invested assets span across a variety of investment vehicles such as 401k, HSA, IRA, Roth IRA, ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Program) and standard taxable mutual funds.

102 months (previously 103)

The number of months until my 45th birthday and our finish date.

88.97 months (previously 93.88)

The number of expected months until we reach our target number based on our current expected monthly contributions, assuming a 10% annual return.

The Expense Related Numbers

8.81 times annual spending (previously 8.17)

This is how many multiples of our annual spending we have saved up towards our goal. For example, if this value was 9.1 and we spent $10,000 annually, we would have $91,000 saved up.

35.25% to minimum FIRE (previously 32.68%)

The minimum number to achieve FIRE is 25 times our annual spending. This number shows how close we are to the absolute minimum.

28.63 times annual spending at goal number (previously 27.87)

We have a goal amount that we’d like to reach. Given our current annual spending, this is how many times our annual spending we’ll have saved when we reach our goal number.

How Much We Invested

30.63% of Gross Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

38.55% of Net Income Invested

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

34.62% of Gross Income Invested with Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment.

43.58% of Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions

This is the amount we invested in things like 401k including employer contributions, Roth IRA, taxable accounts, and Employee Stock Purchase Program divided by income from our main employment, but with taxes subtracted.

What’s Happened and What’s Happening

I realized this month that I wasn’t counting money saved in our HSA towards How Much We Invested. That is a change that I will start taking into account this month. Nothing is perfect, all I can do is tweak it over time. For what it’s worth, when I make money on other side projects, I include them in the amount we invest for the month, but don’t change the “amount earned” that I divide that number by. I always keep the “amount earned” based on my W2 income. Again, not a perfect way of calculating the number, but it’s purely an indicator for us to know how we’re doing.

For what it’s worth, this was a 3 paycheck month. We also had to pay property taxes, which is a normal January expense. We’re now paying our auto insurance once a year, which would have normally been in January. On the plus side our expenses for January were a little over $1400 less than January of 2019.