FIRE Month Savings Progress Report for March 2022

Beware the Ides of March… or not

What happened this last month?

Overall, March was a great month. The markets have improved from where they were the month prior and we continue to put away a significant amount of money each month. Last year, we had decided to go to Universal Studios Orlando, which bumped our monthly expenses quite a bit. This year, we’ve been able to spread out our Spring Break lodging expenses over a couple of months. Even though we did have some random irregular expenses this month, none of them were outrageous.

I decided to reevaluate some our expense numbers when it comes to income taxes. I had previously been including them in our expenses for the month we had to pay them. (We haven’t gotten a refund in a while.) However, I realized later that it didn’t make sense to do this because if we had the proper amount withheld from our paychecks we wouldn’t have this “expense”. I went back and reevaluated the previous months we paid taxes in and removed them. You may see some slight difference in expense numbers this month and going forward, but it shouldn’t be significant.

That being said, our month-to-month savings numbers have been down the last couple of months because we’ve been setting aside money we would have normally been investing in order to pay income taxes this year. We knew we’d likely get hit hard this year because of some withholding mistakes on our part. Once our taxes our paid, those numbers should start to rebound a bit.

If you’re wondering what I use to track our numbers monthly, it’s Personal Capital. You can start using them too and we both get $20:

Where did we spend the most?

Our monthly expenses increased compared to last month, but that’s not unusual going from February to March. Fortunately, they were lower than last March though. We should see our expenses drop considerably compared to last year since we’re no longer remodeling the kitchen over the next several months. It’s already improving our expense related numbers below.

  • $873 – Remaining spring break lodging
  • $302 – Various things for the musical
  • $246 – Daughter’s new phone/birthday present
  • $175 – Stir Trek conference
  • $150 – Urgent care
  • $123 – Van battery
Current and future value against Minimum FIRE Goal and 25x Expenses Goal

55.41% to target number (previously 53.60%)

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.

76 months (previously 77)

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

41.75 months (previously 44.10)

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

9.31 times annual spending (previously 8.80)

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.

37.23% to minimum FIRE (previously 35.48%)

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

16.80 times annual spending at goal number (previously 16.55)

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

-4.10% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously -18.30%)

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.

-2.19% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously 15.85%)

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

1.69% Month to Month Change in 12 Month Savings Average (previously 1.98%)

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.

2.52% of 12 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 2.76%)

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

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