FIRE Month Savings Progress Report for Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas!

What happened this last month?

We’re closing out the year on a down month unfortunately. This might be the first time where every number (except how many month remaining) are red. At the end of 2022, we did a great job controlling expenses and getting them more in line with reality after the kitchen remodel.

A few highlights to report:

  • Our 12 months of expenses are down 17.40% from last year.
  • Our investment balance is down 8.84% (including our contributions through the year)
  • Our average monthly contributions to investments are approximately 83.50% higher than this time last year

I think it it’s important to note that stock markets were at an all time high last December when we closed out last year. The Dow is down over 6% compared to last year at this time, and the Nasdaq is down over 28%. The S&P 500 is down somewhere in between those two. As I’ve said before, that just means things are on sale.

On a personal note, I always struggle to think of a good Christmas gift for my wife. I think we’re at the age now that when we need or want something, we can usually afford to buy it. As a special gift, I decided to send my wife on the same trip through Europe with our oldest daughter. She loves to travel and see new places, so I thought this would be something she’ll remember forever, rather than something that will wear out over time.

As for what’s ahead in 2023… We’re planning on siding our house. It was probably done approximately 40 or more years ago and is showing it’s age. This will increase our expenses significantly for the year. At the same time, I expect that we’ll be continuing to contribute a significant amount to our investments. I can’t predict what the markets will do, but I expect that barring any new pandemics or other major crises, our investments will end higher than they’re at right now, even if it’s only because of our contributions.

If you’re wondering what I use to track our numbers monthly, we use both Mint and Personal Capital. Personal Capital has a lot of cool planning tools that I haven’t seen anywhere else. You can check them out and we both get $20:

Where did we spend the most?

Our monthly expenses increase from compared to last month. However, they were flat compared to last December. Gift expenses increased, but the number of things we spent on were lower overall.

  • $1396 Europe Trip
  • $1349 Gifts
  • $139 Dance Shoes
  • $125 Dentist
Current and future value against Minimum FIRE Goal and 25x Expenses Goal

54.00% to target number (previously 56.62%)

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.

67 months (previously 68)

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

33.50 months (previously 30.57)

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

11.33 times annual spending (previously 11.88)

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.

45.30% to minimum FIRE (previously 47.51%)

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

20.97 times annual spending at goal number (previously 20.98)

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

-11.25% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously -40.57%)

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.

-11.72% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously -40.16%)

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

-4.41% Month to Month Change in 12 Month Savings Average (previously 0.17%)

This number show the change in what we saved this month compared to the prior month, but on a 12 month rolling average. This helps to smooth out months over time and shows a more general trend.

-4.15% of 12 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 0.16%)

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

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