May 2018 Progress Update

In May 2018, our nest egg finished at 35% of goal. Our goal is a conservative 33x our current expenses, less a 0% interest car loan that will be paid off in January 2019. This goal anticipates a 3% withdrawal rate, as opposed the 4% rate cited in the Trinity Study. Our mortgage is currently scheduled for payoff in 2029 and we don’t expect to do so before reaching financial independence. Of course, this is subject to change, but the payment and interest rate are quite low. We plan to keep travel and other discretionary spending low if decide to retire early while we owe a balance on the mortgage.

Are we looking at fatFIRE based on our expenses? Maybe. We live a pretty great lifestyle currently and have resisted efforts to scale back. So, we’ve decided to set our goal to accommodate our present spending levels. If we’re able to reduce expenses, we will update our timeline and progress to goal accordingly. Are we even technically considered “RE” if we are both well into our 40s by the time we reach the FI portion of the equation?

How did we do on our May goals?

  • No restaurant bills until a planned vacation at the end of the month
    • B We didn’t meet the goal of $0, but had our lowest restaurant spend of the year
  • Packed or provided workday lunches all month
    • A I only bought workday lunches twice
  • Run a 25k race in 2:30 or faster
    • B I didn’t quite make the goal time, but I was in the 2:30s (official time was 2:33). I’m giving myself a B on this goal because I smashed my old best at this distance by over 10 minutes and felt fantastic after the race. 
  • Grocery bill under $250
    • B Total for the month was over the goal amount, but at $315, still under our regular budget of $400.
  • Find a primary care physician
    • F I still need to do this! Why is such a simple task so hard?
  • Be car free
    • A We used both cars just three times during the month. Every other day I carpooled, walked, or took the bus. I’m pretty proud of this one!

This June is very busy for us. I have several day job obligations, as does Mr. Vine. We’ve already hosted our teenage nephews for a visit this month and spent some time visiting with family. As a result, many of our goals are similar to last month. May was a spendy month. In June, we’re trying to rein that in.

June Goals

  • Total spending within budget
  • Schedule a primary care appointment (Ms. Vine)
  • Finalize holiday travel plans for 2018
  • Develop a plan for timeshare use in remaining 2018 and for 2019
  • Finish reading current book (Ms. Vine–I’ve been working on this one for way too long!)

The information on this chart dates back to September 2016 (the far left side of the chart). Big spikes in expenses involved items like a major bathroom renovation that we completed last summer, new appliances, and some tax-related expenses. Most of this has leveled out, as you can see from the right side of the chart. Investments include our pre-tax contributions to 401k plans and HSAs.

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