August 2019 Financial Update

Is anyone else happy the month of August is over? I for one am happy to be moving into another month as August was a roller coaster both professionally and financially.

I started off the month by committing to moving on in my career. This required me to make plans to take a state exam so I could get a certification. It also required me to have a difficult discussion with my employer. I am excited to report that not only did I pass my exam, I aced it! Ok, I missed one question, but I got a much better score than I ever thought I would. As for my current employment status, it has been more of the same. The good news is that every time I start second guessing my decision to move on and go in my own direction something happens at work to remind me that I am making the right decision. Continue reading “August 2019 Financial Update”

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Life Update

School is about to begin. This will be the final year of school for our son. It is a day we spent years thinking about and it’s a surreal moment as well as a milestone of sorts. Even more surreal is the fact that he has begun applying for admittance at colleges. But in reality, only one College matters to him. The others are back up plans that he has no intention of pursuing unless absolutely necessary.

While we prepare ourselves for this next year we are also trying to prepare and plan for the next steps after this school year. Over the past few years we have downsized our lives in many ways, like selling our 3000+ square foot home and moving into a small townhouse. However, we have also taken on a lot of extras in place of what we have given up. Some of these decisions, like purchasing a large and costly new RV, have been expensive up front but were done with an eye to the future. Other decisions have been made in the moment which isn’t usually the best way to make sound financial decisions. We are prime examples of impulse buyers and that has cost us quite a bit of money. One thing is for sure, we need to find a way to further cut back our monthly expenses and increase our savings rate which is currently topped out at 22%. Continue reading “Life Update”

Winds of Change

Times, they are a changing.

In a previous blog I gave some insight into my current working environment and expressed the possibility of going out on my own. Since that blog post I have been working and getting in position to do just that.

In the last week I have taken a state exam to get a required certification. I am responsibly confident that I did well enough to pass (fingers crossed). Also, because I have an amazing relationship with my direct manager, I have given an unofficial heads up notice to my employer that I will be moving on soon. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have gone out on that limb with my employer. However, my manager and I have a very close relationship and I’m trying to give him as much time as possible to get prepared and find a viable replacement. In addition to these steps I have also spoken with my tax accountant to get some guidance on proper business structure to make sure I don’t get a massive tax bill when tax season comes around. Continue reading “Winds of Change”

So, How’s The Ride Going For You?

We are not even half way through the month of August and market madness is in full effect! In just over a week I have lost $30k in the down market only to regain most of it in over a couple of days and then lose some of it again before the weekend.

Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy watching this madness. The overreactions followed by panic selling is a great study in human emotions. As I have said before, it really doesn’t matter if you are in it for the long term. These are paper losses unless you sell, which I personally will not do. I also wouldn’t advise watching closely if you don’t have the stomach to see your savings plummeting before your eyes. Continue reading “So, How’s The Ride Going For You?”

July 2019 Financial Update

Greetings everyone!

We have closed the book on another month and it’s time to take a look back and see how we performed in July.

Personally, July was a wonderful month. We had a blast on our trip, with the exception of a minor problem with our RV. If you have not visited Yellowstone National Park I highly encourage you to put it on your bucket list. It is one of the most pristine and beautiful places on earth to visit and you will no doubt enjoy your time there. Continue reading “July 2019 Financial Update”

Decisions Decisions!!

It’s been a whirlwind since returning from our road trip. So much so that I haven’t been able to take any time to reflect on our journey as I would have liked. I was hoping to put something together to sum it all up in one nice blog package. I was also hoping to do some comparisons to our previous road trips and see if we did in fact cut back on our overall spending.

But coming home to our lives has been hard, as least for me. I’ll be very honest here, I hate my job. And it’s not so much the job, but more the company and the people we are forced to deal with. When I took this job a few years ago, myself and a couple of other people were hired and tasked with saving a sinking ship. We put a tremendous amount of our time, effort and resources into building relationships with our clients and most of all with our employees who were neglected and mistreated. Continue reading “Decisions Decisions!!”

The Life Insurance Dilemma

Aside from trying to cut back on everyday expenditures like dining out and our expensive Starbucks habit, we also started combing through our fixed expenses to try and find ways to save money. We have already dropped our all-inclusive, and ridiculously expensive, cable television service in favor of a low cost streaming service and an HD antenna. This move saves us about $150 a month, and just as important, it saves use from having to see 200 worthless channels on our guide. Continue reading “The Life Insurance Dilemma”

June 2019 Financial Update

Now that we are home from our summer road trip I was able to take some time and put together our long past due financial update for June 2019.

You have to love watching the stock market. In my May update, you can it read here, I discussed the old adage of “sell in May and go away” which appeared to have been holding true and even compounded by all of the uncertainty regarding trade wars and tariffs in addition to historical trends. If there is one thing the market hates is uncertainty and it can lead to strong down moves very quickly. Continue reading “June 2019 Financial Update”

Checking In From The Road – Part 2

Hello again!

Sadly, we are winding down our road trip and will be heading home soon. At the end of a vacation many people say it’s good to be home. We are not those people. While this is a vacation and not exactly what life will be like once we are able to travel full time, it does offer a small glimpse into the future for us.

We have had many great experiences over the last couple of weeks. We have seen an amazing amount of wildlife. We have fished several lakes, streams and rivers. We have hiked on trails and driven our Jeep on others. We have also spent valuable time with family, most importantly with our son. Continue reading “Checking In From The Road – Part 2”

Summer Road Trip Final Preparations

We are now just a couple of days away from departing on our Summer road trip. The hard work, for the most part, is done. We spent this past weekend stocking up on food and shopping for the last remaining items on our need-to-buy list. Additionally, we spent a day at our RV going over our pre-trip checklist to make sure everything is in good working order and ready to roll. Continue reading “Summer Road Trip Final Preparations”