Budgeting Early Retirement Journey Investing Summer 2018 Updates and Reports

Financial Update | June 2018 Savings and Investment

Hey there! Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you’re just joining us, here’s a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making around $40/hr. I started my professional life in 2015 at the ripe ole age of 31 after a few false starts. I spent 2016 paying off about $10,000 worth of credit card debt. I spent 2017 paying off about $20,000 in private student loans; I still have about $300,000 in federal student loans for which I am currently on an income-based repayment plan for the next 25 years, give or take.  I started really getting into savings and investing late 2017 when I stumbled upon the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community.  In 2018, I made the decision to try to save for a sabbatical and maybe if all goes well continue the journey to early retirement.  Along this journey, I give all sorts of updates, just like this one.

This is the June 2018 Update of my savings and investments balances, i.e. my personal capital. I don’t call it net worth because my massive student loan debt keeps me at a negative net worth and frankly that’s discouraging.

I tried my hand at Excel to make a simple bar graph. It took a few hours to remember all the words. I kept getting so many error messages. So if it’s been awhile since you tried Excel, don’t give up after the first error message! Once you figure out what they’re asking for, it only takes about 15 minutes to format.

Let’s quickly recall some budget items:

2018 Savings goal: $37,000/yr (2017: no goal)
Monthly savings contributions: $3115/mon



When you add in my Safety Net Fund + Regular Savings and Checking, the amount is a little more.



💜 Yay! I’ve sort of reached that enviable $100,000 hump.💜 I’m not celebrating yet. I don’t really count my checking and savings amount yet. I see that as my safety net fund. Experts recommend 6 months. I went ahead and saved for about 1 year of expenses ($30,000) for a couple reasons. First, it was a default choice because I had that first 6 months in CDs and I didn’t want to cash them out when I first started investing in Dec 2017.  Secondly, I have this fantasy of just quitting my job and in case I do, I’d like to have 6 months readily accessible. I mean I probably won’t, but sometimes humans do crazy things. Also, both my brokerage account and 401k are using my traditional retirement age of 65 to allocate my funds at a risky 90% in stocks. I keep going back and forth (future scheduled posts), but in short, it makes me feel better to have 1 year’s expenses on hand. I know the compound interest lost is causing investment aficionados to gasp in horror, but again, I’ve only been investing “actively” for about 6 months now.  That’s all folks!

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  1. Investing is about doing what feels right to you. 12 months might be a lot to have in cash as your safety net but you're single, you don't have another person to fall back on AND you have the odd fantasy about running away 🙂 12 months seems right to me and sod the accepted norm.

    Our net worth isn't huge but most of our FIRE income come 55/60 will be final salary pensions so it's difficult to put a lump sum figure on those. I don't think 25x the pension amount really makes sense as they are government pensions so gold plated.

  2. You're fortunate to have a pension option. Is it a portion of what you make now factored in years of service? 25x the pension amount? What would you do that for?

    You've expressed my sentiments about the safety net exactly! I'm way too new to put all my money in something I'm just learning about. Anything can happen!

    So other people don't dream about running away from their life…hmmm…curious 😉

  3. Those numbers are building up pretty quick! Looks like you're on a great trajectory to me. I honestly thought this was going to be a Personal Capital review. I thought every personal finance blogger was signed up. If you're not and want my affiliate link here it is http://personalcapital.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=4&aff_id=2459

    I keep a pretty hefty emergency fund myself. Also about 30k (less than a year currently, but if it was an emergency, I could cut back on a lot).

    I just started spreadsheet tracking two months ago. I've found it pretty fun to get reacquainted with spreadsheets again.

    What kind of work is it in telehealth? My big goal would be to find something pharmacist related that is telehealth work from home, but not just like graveyard order entry remote from a hospital.

  4. oh for pharmacists…search things like pharmacovigilance, drug safety specialist, or medical information/communication …where i work, you can work from home…and even remotely on some projects…no verifying drugs… just mostly data entry to put it in its lowest common denominator. If you lived on the east coast you might have better luck.. NC and NJ have the bigger name companies.

    not quite ready for all the personal capital app has to offer…too many data hacks in general… yeah the name is a bit of a misnomer but it's a work in progress. I'm glad you stopped by!!

  5. I applaud your planning. You are investing and saving. Good! And I applaud your planning. Instead of just drifting along, you have considered your wants, and are working toward them. Excellent!

    Re: you comment on my blog, for which I thank you! On this post, about re-doing my "blog look," you asked if I had coded it myself? I don't know anything about coding. ,-)

    I simply use what I have learned to do, with Blogger. Changing widths and layouts and the like. Having used Blogger for a long time, I have learned to do things…. With trial and error. 🙂 And I don't mind _trying_. Fear is what stops many bloggers, from changing.

    But if I (at 81) can manage changes, anyone can!!!!

  6. Thanks for stopping by wisps of words and for your kind words! I can't believe you are 81 and running your own blog. I was challenged a lot by the technical side and I'm in my 30s. Kudos!

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