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”

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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”

Portfolio History & Projection

As someone who works with numbers for a living, I tend to enjoy using and creating spreadsheets. Years ago I created several spreadsheets to track and project our portfolio. At that time the FIRE movement didn’t exist, at least to us, and we didn’t have a firm number in place as a goal to work towards. All we knew was we were saving for a retirement that was based more on age than anything else. Remember our so called “advisor” had us pegged for a late 60’s or early 70’s for retirement.

I have kept track of our year end tally for every year since 2001. When I look back, I am amazed at how far we have come in 17 years. Especially because while we have always been pretty good at saving, it has never really been a high priority for us until now. The fact that we are close to passing into 7 figure territory on our portfolio goes to show that time is just important of a factor as the amount you save. Continue reading “Portfolio History & Projection”

May 2019 Financial Update

The old adage in the investing world is “sell in May and go away”.

In the beginning of the month I posted a blog titled “The Stock Market Ride“. In this blog, I noted that I felt we were entering a period where people are looking for a reason to sell. I also noted that this feeling was based on the markets entering what is historically the worst time of the year as well as the knee jerk reactions the markets were having anytime tariffs were mentioned one way or the other. This observation proved to be true as the markets racked up losses in what was a roller coaster of a month.

Was this a stroke of genius on my part? Um….No! Just knowing historical trends and watching daily reactions to news is all it took to know where the markets were heading in the short term. Although I did choose a roller coaster as my image for that blog as well. So maybe there is more to this genius thing? Continue reading “May 2019 Financial Update”

Champagne Plans On A Beer Budget

As camping season begins, we are contemplating how we are going to manage our budget and still not short change ourselves on the experiences we have planned. Up to this point, we never really took budgets into consideration. When it came to vacations, our attitude was always “we are on vacation, what does finances have to do with it?”

To say I’m a little nervous about the upcoming adventures would be an understatement. We did well on our first test when we went on one of our regular Vegas trips, which you can read about here and here. The real question now is how do we maintain that momentum throughout an entire summer? A summer in which we will have numerous small trips planned to go along with a two week, six state journey. Continue reading “Champagne Plans On A Beer Budget”