June 2019 Update
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As of June 2019, we are 57 months from our projected early retirement.

June turned out to be as busy as May, but for different reasons. One of our nephews somewhat unexpectedly came up for a week and stayed through the following weekend.  Having a teenager in the house definitely changes up our routine and disrupts whatever we might have had in mind, especially when it comes to “life management” stuff. We also tend to eat out or order takeout more when he’s visiting to accommodate his food preferences and just plain simplify our own lives. Notwithstanding our adjusting, it was a great visit and we were happy to have him.

Busier than normal months often lead to busted budgets. So we are pleased with how June turned out. We trimmed back some of our monthly investing to fully resolve the credit card balances from the spring. That’s okay. Our savings rate remained high and we gained ground in June even with this relatively slight reduction. The market rallied nicely on the last day of June and we finished the month with a new high net worth.

We’ve hit the midpoint of the year. This means taking a brief look at year to date numbers. We’ve seen some big improvements. We are on track to reduce our total spending this year by a whopping 30% compared with last year! About half of that reduction came from paying off our car loan, which means that the other half came from what we call “real” savings. Active savings is probably a better term than real savings. In any event, non-debt payoff savings is something we especially appreciate because of the extra effort involved. 

Life still feels full (sometimes too full!) and exciting even as we are more mindful about spending. We are currently engaged in this informal “how low can we go” challenge to see where the bottom is. If at any point we feel as though a cutback comes at too great a cost, we’ll adjust our numbers. Our nest egg goal is based on an annual spending amount 11% below what we are projected to spend in 2019. This means we still have work to do to reduce our expenses.

Here is our chart  from June. You can see the small dip in investments, but also the relatively low expense line. Projected passive income continues to creep up along with net worth. The goal for the second half of 2019 is to flatten out the expenses line in particular. With the new budget, we are expecting to see fewer expense spikes.

Here’s how we did on our June goals:

  • Implement month #2 of new budget A – Month #2 was even smoother than the first month and we were better at sticking to budgeted amounts. We had a couple of hiccups, including an incorrect estimate from our vet on the cost of a test for one of our cats; lots of entertaining leading to an extra grocery trip; and a hard drive failure that needed to be fixed immediately. But snaps to Mr. Vine, who fixed the hard drive for under $200 himself, rather than spending thousands on a new computer! 
  • Weekly blog posts A – Do we need to keep this item on the list or is it time to retire it for something new? 
  • Complete one half marathon and qualify for half fanatics (Ms. Vine) – A — I really enjoyed this half marathon on a stunning course. But in my derp of the year, I didn’t actually need this race to qualify for half fanatics. More on that in a future post.
  • Complete resolution of credit card balances A – Finally! Our credit cards are back under control and at normal levels. 

July goals

  • Write a journal entry 
  • Cross one item off the 101 tasks list
  • Declutter the garage
  • Make one estimated tax payment 
  • Catch up on dairy share usage

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