FIRE Month Savings Progress Report for March 2023

Another rollercoaster month

What happened this last month?

After a down month, this one is mostly up. This year has definitely been a rollercoaster when it comes to tracking our numbers. On the bright side, our investments are the highest number they’ve ever been. Of course, compared to the last time they’ve been this high, we’ve put a lot of additional money in. That means that we hopefully have a lot of extra upside ahead of us as the markets eventually recover to where they were in December 2022.

This month was a true-up month for employer 401k contributions. That means that if you hit the max you could contribute to your 401k before the end of the year, you wouldn’t have gotten all the potential match the employer would provide. Fortunately, my employer makes a “true-up” contribution the next year so that you get the full match you would have gotten if you were able to perfectly distribute your personal 401k contributions through the entire year. That sounds really confusing. The most important thing is that employer contributions were up a tad bit this month.

This month was our first time going to a horse show and dance competition, so the costs for hotel expenses, competition fees, costumes, etc. were all included this month. We also paid for the rest of our spring break vacation lodging. More on that next month.

Where did we spend the most?

Our monthly expenses were up compared to last month. They were also up about the same amount compared to last March. Much of this was related to a horse show weekend and dance competition weekend.

  • $950 Spring Break Lodging
  • $733 Horse Show Weekend
  • $708 Dance Competition Expenses
  • $344 Orthodontics
Current and future value against Minimum FIRE Goal and 25x Expenses Goal

59.96% to target number (previously 58.07%)

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.

64 months (previously 65)

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

28.67 months (previously 30.22)

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

11.35 times annual spending (previously 11.14)

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.

45.39% to minimum FIRE (previously 44.57%)

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

18.92 times annual spending at goal number (previously 19.19)

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

15.35% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously -30.79%)

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.

23.41% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously -30.91%)

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

0.11% Month to Month Change in 12 Month Savings Average (previously -0.58%)

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.

0.51% of 12 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously -0.48%)

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

How we track the numbers

If you’re wondering what I use to track our numbers monthly, we use both Mint and Personal Capital. I use Mint to grab the numbers each month because they do a great job of consistently pulling them and then I put them into a spreadsheet that calculates the numbers you see above. I use Empower (formerly Personal Capital) for their planning and forecasting tools.

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