And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed).
– Dr Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go
The first month of the year proved to be more exciting than we expected. I had to have emergency surgery because my umbilical hernia (thanks Toddler BITA for that wonderful remnant of my pregnancy) decided that it could no longer abide my intestines and murderously attempted to strangulate a section. I had to dial 911 to get to the hospital (boo though, not a single one of my paramedics qualified as cute), and was scheduled for surgery a couple of hours later. I couldn’t have timed my emergency better though. My mother is visiting us and it was wonderful not having to worry about Toddler BITA during the whole ordeal. Also, my mother is a kick-ass cook, and ensured that our medical mishap did not result in a budget mishap. We had yummy home-cooked meals on the table every day. My mum is a champ.
Financially January was a really good month for us and we hit record highs with the amount we saved this month (though the medical bills from my little adventure will eventually make an appearance and make some other month of this year most unhappy). We had set big goals for 2017, and it feels good to have started strong right out of the gate.
Adding cash to the financial independence stash
We kicked some savings butt in January by adding $54,859.55 to the stash.
- The biggest contributor by far to our savings in January was Mr. BITA’s annual bonus (the awesome Mr. BITA, I mean. He reviews my posts and wanted his awesomeness to be noted). We maxed out Mr. BITA’s 401k for the year and funded both our backdoor roth IRAs for 2016 (no that isn’t a typo. We’ll get to our 2017 backdoor roths later this year).
- Mr. BITA’s company did their part by putting in the full $9000 match. I love the fact that they don’t dribble in their contributions paycheck by paycheck the whole year through. If we front load, so do they, and that is pretty awesome.
- My company stock paid out a small dividend of $293.93.
- Mr. BITA had some RSUs vest.
- My 401k got some love too, but we aren’t front loading it.
- We had a couple of unexpected income infusions this month. Firstly, we received a $735 refund from the IRS. A while ago I wrote about how we had to hire a tax consultant to fix the mess resulting from the taxes we owed due to investments overseas. As part of that effort our tax consultant had to amend some of our previous returns and discovered that we had overpaid in the past. Secondly, we got $500 from PG&E because we lease an electric vehicle. They recently launched a clean fuel rebate program. There was a simple online form to fill (took about 5 minutes) and a couple of weeks later we got the cheque in the mail.
The markets continued to cooperate with us and the growth of our stash was satisfying to watch. Growth resulted in a $21094 increase in our net worth. Last month, for the first (and only) time, our investment growth outpaced our new investments. This month we’re back to being the major contributors towards our own retirements.
The financial independence plan vs. reality
Our plan for 2017 calls for us to save a total of $160,000 this year. We put a big dent in that this January leaving us with a target of $105140.45 for the next 11 months. That works out to $8762 per month. That is a lot of money, but I think we can pull this off. Here then, is the updated monthly installment of our stairway to heaven.
Financial independence status: Ahead of the plan.