We started the new financial year with a bang, thanks to the crazy bull. January was our biggest month ever financially, but before we get to the juicy numbers, let’s talk about life at the BITA household.
The big news from January is that my oath ceremony was in this month and I am now a U.S. citizen! I moved to this country in 2008, so this has been a journey close to ten years in the making. I have much to say on the subject, and have feelings and numbers to share in equal measure, so I will dedicate an entire post to the subject in the near future.
My parents’ visit with us continued into the first two weeks of January. In this time we took them out to an Ethiopian meal. Progeny BITA had her first taste of this cuisine and licked her plate clean. We also visited the San Francisco zoo for the first time. If you live in the area, I would recommend it. We invited a couple of my father’s classmates from medical school who live in the area over for dinner one night, and my mother cooked up a storm – butter chicken, pork vindaloo, beans, cauliflower – just piles of extreme yumminess all around.
MLK day was a big holiday for us. Why? It was one of those rare and special holidays when Mr. BITA and I are off, but Progeny BITA’s daycare is open. We did a happy dance, bundled her off to school and went on a 10 mile hike that day.
The next weekend we hiked as a family, and discovered a trail that is my new favourite. We chanced upon two earthworms on the trail and I had to “rescue” them while Progeny BITA cheered me on enthusiastically from the sidelines.
January wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The Fuzzy BITA was struck down by a particularly virulent strain of dog flu. This flu season was so bad for dogs in the Bay Area that every dog daycare in the area closed for multiple weeks. I am pleased to report that after a total of $512 in vet bills (including antibiotics, one subcutaneous injection to stave off dehydration, the flu vaccine) and $250 on professional carpet cleaning (Sick dog = upset tummy evacuating on carpets in the wee hours of the night), His Fuzziness is cured and back to being a crazy ball of energy. I also got the flu and took a couple of sick days. I am pleased to report that my medical bill was $0 because all I did was curl up, hydrate and whimper a lot.
Work kept me very busy this month. I have had to work nights and a little bit on the weekends too – something that hasn’t been true for me for a long while now. The work in question is interesting, but I wasn’t thrilled to have it encroach into my evenings and I look forward to a time (coming soon!) when this will no longer be the story of my life.
Expenses were higher than average this month because aside from the vet bills we booked airfare for 3 trips that we plan to take this year and an Airbnb for one of those three trips. We also paid for the acquisition of my new U.S. passport and visa fees for an upcoming trip to India (the irony is not lost on me).
And now, without further ado, on to the promised record-breaking numbers.
Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash
This month we added $66,797.27 to our Stash. This is the most we have saved in a single month since I started tracking our numbers.
- We maxed out Mr. BITA’s 401k, and his company gave him his full match. We also contributed a little to my 401k, and my company threw in a few $$s too.
- We got our mega-backdoor Roth off to a solid start.
- We maxed our two backdoor Roths ($5,500 each).
- Mr. BITA’s company (through whom we get our health insurance) contributed $2,000 to our HSA for the year.
- We also had some RSUs vest.
We were so proud of ourselves for having pulled off a stellar month of savings, and strutted around with our chests all puffed out. Then along came Mr. Stash and single handedly put both BITAs to shame. Mr. Stash brought in a whopping $74,266.92 for the month of January.
This, right here, is why we save and invest. The feeling that your money is working harder than you are is nothing short of awesome.
How did we fare this January compared to January 2017?
While we did a little bit better on the savings side, Mr. Stash did a whole lot better this year than at the same time last year.
The Financial Independence Plan vs. Reality
YTD we have saved and invested: $66,797.27.
YTD market growth: $74,266.92.
Here is another way to look at these numbers: YTD our Net Worth has grown at the rate of $3.16 per minute!
As usual, I’ll end this monthly update with the Stairway to Heaven.
334 days to go!
Financial independence status: On track!