FIRE Month Savings Progress Report for May 2023

Another new high, a month of adjustments

What happened this last month?

For two months in a row, our investment total has reached new heights. However, due to some adjustments to our minimum FIRE goal number, many of the recorded numbers actually look as though they’ve gotten worse.

Since the beginning of this journey, I had been using one number as our minimum FIRE goal. It’s served us well. However, after thinking about it a bit, I decided to increase that number by 33%. It will ensure that we are able to meet our long term goals and have funds to support us. That is why you’ll see the first group of numbers below vary largely from the previous month. However, our new minimum FIRE goal is still below our expected value at our FIRE date.

Our expenses increased again this month because of the siding project. While we had paid a deposit back in January, 50% of the remaining amount was due when the project started. In addition, there were certain items we purchased for my wife and daughter’s trip to Europe, including carry-on luggage that would fit on Air Canada.

Several insurances also came due this month. We decided to switch insurance providers this month because our previous insurance company increased our rates considerably from the previous year. If you don’t at least shop your insurance around every couple of years, you may be paying a lot more than you need to be.

There weren’t any special income items this month. The side business has continued to do well, which has helped to provide a boost to our income each month this year.

Where did we spend the most?

Our monthly expenses were up considerably again compared to last month. Annually, they’re up considerably compared to last May.

  • $13386 Siding project
  • $1029 Homeowner’s insurance
  • $567 Europe trip expenses
  • $440 Life insurance
  • $415 Car insurance
  • $396 Vehicle maintenance
  • $153 Umbrella insurance
Current and future value against Minimum FIRE Goal and 25x Expenses Goal

46.30% to target number (previously 60.98%)

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.

62 months (previously 63)

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

48.94 months (previously 27.38)

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

9.39 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.

37.56% to minimum FIRE (previously 43.37%)

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

20.28 times annual spending at goal number (previously 17.78)

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

-49.47% Month to Month Change In How Much Saved (previously 96.84%)

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.

-46.69% Month to Month Change in How Much Saved With Employer Contributions (previously 73.82%)

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

-11.75% Month to Month Change in 12 Month Savings Average (previously 3.19%)

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.

-10.58% of 12 Month Average Net Income Invested With Employer Contributions (previously 3.07%)

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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