Monthly Status: September 2017
It’s that time again… time to status up and look at how we are doing against our plan.
Thanks to Mint, everything is pretty much automated and captured for us, which makes tracking our spending, income and savings pretty easy.
Let’s look at our spending first.
We like looking at expenses in a 12 month rolling view as it helps us to stay on track and it really highlights the peaks and valley’s of our spending habits.
Looks like we spent a little over our target of $39,000 in the last 12 month rolling wave but I think we’re still in pretty good shape. FI Girl had some unplanned medical bills that put us over our expenditure target but overall we are still on track.
Tracking our spending, helps us more easily control our spending and maintain a high savings rate. We’ve been working hard to optimize our spending and it’s been so much easier to do since we started tracking what comes in…and what goes out.
We could probably chop off another $10K of spending and still live very comfortably if we tightened the purse strings just a bit more. We’ve found that it helps to translate our optional spending in to time we must spend working. For example, if we were to cut our budget down to $29,000 annually, we would save ourselves from working 1 additional month. We are close to our goal, so that doesn’t really seem worth it at this point. We’d still like to take 1 more vacation before we retire and FI Girl wants to keep her hobbies going. We fully expect our annual spending rate to grow to $55,000 when we start our world tour victory lap.
Now that we are in the home stretch, the plan is mostly on auto-pilot. We continue to work, save and invest the same way we have been for many years. While we fell short of our target last month, we weren’t too worried because it’s all about averages.
This month we more than made up for it as we netted more than double our target. Check it out:
This actually shaved off an entire month from our projected retirement date!
So how did we do it?
We did nothing! Nothing different that is. While we didn’t do anything different, this past month we do have a few key factors to thank for the added boost:
- September is a rare 3 paycheck month, so we netted some extra earned income that way.
- September is also a quarterly dividend month so we got money deposited into our investment accounts.
- The indexes we invest in have gone up over the course of the month and have increased the principal of our investments.
So the math says we now have less than 18 month until we can call it quits! Wow!
Not only that, but by factoring in the value we would net on the sale of our home plus the value of our investment accounts, we are able to calculate our “theoretical” dividend income per day and… we just hit $131 per day!!! Which just so happens to be what we calculated we would need to take our Southern Europe (Italy) tour!
As for the next milestone, we anticipate we will hit it in about 6 – 9 months (e.g. The Australia tour which we estimate will cost us a cool $137 per day).
We are so close I can taste that chicken parmigiana and shrimp on the barbie!
Are you tracking your expenditures, savings and/or financial goals? What tools / software do you use? How close are you to reaching the goals you have set for yourself?
See you next month!