On the path to financial independence: April 2017

Life threw us a curveball or two but on the whole April was a happy month at the BITA household.
The weather was fantastic for most of the month and we picnicked outdoors twice. Both times we went to one of our favourite picnic spots, complete with vast green fields, hills, easy hiking trails and a stream to splash in. One of those two times we got to see some deer frolicking on the hillside.

financial independence progress apr 2017

Our dog, a.k.a. Fuzzy BITA went for his annual checkup and vaccinations and we discovered that he had a tooth infection. Further investigations into his mouth yielded the diagnosis of a congenital condition that causes his jaw bone to recede, which in turn causes the root of his teeth to be exposed, causing an infection. Luckily this time he did not lose his tooth. They performed a dental flap surgery and put him on antibiotics. He thoroughly enjoyed the fact that he got to eat boiled rice and chicken instead of his usual kibble for two weeks post surgery. All told his treatment this month cost us $1,061. And thanks to the fact that it is congenital and unpreventable, this won’t be the last time either.

financial independence progress apr 2017

Toddler BITA also went in for her annual doctor visit, and thankfully, there were no surprises in store for us there. She is in the 50th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight. In my completely unbiased opinion she is in the 99th percentile for awesomeness.

Toddler BITA turned three this month. I was super pleased that we managed to score some great birthday gifts for her without spending a dime. We also spent a very reasonable amount on her extremely messy birthday party.

My father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece visited us this month, and stayed for about a week. I used the planning for houseguests spreadsheet I have written about before to plan our outings and meals and ensure that we did not end up eating out extra for lack of planning.

Other activities this month included a birthday party of the child of a friend, a multi-home garage sale in our neighbourhood and Easter egg hunting. We spent $22 at the garage sale and scored:

  • Two sleeping bags. One of them is nearly brand new and stuffed with goose down, a brand called Trailwise out of Berkeley. These are no longer made, but the internet raves about the brand, so we are thrilled to have scored one so cheap.
  • 6 coffee mugs
  • 4 wine glasses
  • Mathilda, by Roald Dahl
  • A pair of pajamas for Toddler BITA
  • An oven-safe pan


Toddler BITA started a summer Daddy and Me soccer class at our community center. We are only two classes in, but thus far she loves it.

We also unlocked a major parenting achievement this month. Toddler BITA, who has been daytime potty trained for over a year now finally stopped wearing diapers at night too. We are officially #diaperfree.


Enough about life, on to the numbers.


Adding cash to the financial independence stash


This month we added $15,212.18 to our Stash.

  • Mr. BITA’s 401k was maxed out in January, so that is why you only see contributions to my 401k and my company match.
  • Mr. BITA, as is usual, enjoyed some mega backdoor Roth action.
  • We added $4000 to our taxable investments, $2000 of which went to Fundrise. We’re investing a modest amount in the heartland eREIT offering.
  • We ended up owing the IRS a little over $12k in taxes. It was not unexpected, and we had savings put aside to pay the taxman, but it stung a little nonetheless.

The market rally towards the end of April gave us substantial growth. Our Stash is up $20,993.49 this month.


The financial independence plan vs. reality


Our plan for 2017 calls for us to add a total of $160,000 to our stash this year. How are we doing so far?

YTD we have saved and invested: $101,048.69
YTD market growth: $79,049.46

To meet our goals for this year we have to save another $58,951 before the end of the year. That gives us a target of $7,369 a month. As long as Life does not decide to fuck with us majorly, we are certainly going to hit our savings target for the year.

Here I am, grinning from year to year, humming as I climb the stairway to heaven:

1343 days to go!

Financial independence status: Slightly ahead of the plan.


17 thoughts on “On the path to financial independence: April 2017”

  1. You guys are raking it in! Keep that up and probably beat the remaining 1343 days by a mile. Seems like you got the hang of this whole frugal thing 😋

    1. Thanks CF! By the way, our Croatia dates are now fixed, so I will email you about the actual days we’re going to be in Amsterdam. I hope we get to meet up.

  2. Woohoo! Congrats on growing that net worth and on the FIRE progress. 🙂 Sorry to hear about the unexpected expenses. I hate those, but I guess that’s what this whole FIRE thing is all about. Grumble grumble.

    1. Thanks PP! Unexpected expenses are ugh. And the worst part is that you must absolutely expect to have unexpected expenses. Such is life.

    1. Thank you! And to think that when I updated our 2017 plan in December from $120k a year to $160k a year, I was terrified that I had set the bar too high. Having said that, the month of January is skewing the results a bit. We won’t have another January-like savings month because that was bonus month at work and that only happens once a year.

  3. Happy to hear the pooch is better! Those pet expenses are one of the reasons I’m not ready to take on a pet right now. That plus the 4 kids I’ve already got sorta keep me busy enough already.

    Congrats on the financial success. Keep up the good work and I’d bet you’ll beat your projections.

    also, your picnic spot sounds amazing!

    1. Thanks Ty.

      Dogs are pretty cheap right up until the moment they get sick. We tried having pet insurance when we first got him. What a sham! Think 10x worse than pre-Obamacare human insurance. They denied practically everything.

      I hear you on the 4 kids. I have the one and when I try to imagine what 4x that would look like, I have to go have a bit of a lie down.

  4. Oh my god, only 1343 days to go!! That’s like, tomorrow.

    Except it’s not tomorrow. Remember that when you head into work Monday morning and the coffee machine is broken :p

    1. Thanks Vicki! I am super proud of that graphic, it stretched my artistic abilities to near breaking point. My ability to draw is surpassed only by my ability to sing.

  5. Yay, I love seeing everyone’s monthly progress!

    Fuzzy BITA is unspeakably cute. And he’s right, it takes a lot of energy to be that cute. Also Toddler BITA’s grill is adorable too.

    We’ve been lucky that we’ve had houseguests GALORE in the past few years but don’t see much of a change in our spending, and it’s not because we’re starving them! It’s because if they’re older or “more senior” (older cousins, etc), they insist on treating for some of the meals out, and then I cook in large quantities for the meals in between.

    It’s much more expensive when we travel to see family, or even vacation. Though it’s been eons since our last vacation so what’s that again?

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