May was a tranquil month at the BITA household. For once our possessions did not demand repairs or replacements, nor did our dependents require medical attention to body, mind or tooth. There were no birthdays or anniversaries. A month of financial bliss!
This month we did nearly all our vegetable and fruit shopping at our local farmer’s market. They set up shop in the neighborhood every Wednesday from May to September. Toddler BITA delights in the samples, while we delight in the sun and the music that accompanies our shopping (every week they have local musicians doing their thing. The quality is extremely variable, but overall more good than not). Toddler BITA tried her first shaved ice this month and declared it to be good.
Toddler BITA received a membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum as a birthday present from her grandparents. We’ve made good use of the gift so far – she visited three times in May! Other May family outings included getting take out burgers from In-n-Out and having a picnic dinner at our local park. We also discovered a new park not too far away complete with a lake, ducks and geese.
We spent plenty of time with friends too – a visit to a beach, a hike, a picnic at a park, hosting dinner encasa twice, being invited out for dinner a couple of times and meeting friends for lunch out at a restaurant once. For one of the dinners we hosted I cooked squid ink paella with prawns. It was yum, even if I do say so myself.
The blog had a good month too. I wrote guest posts for 1500days and for budgetsaresexy. The post on budgetsaresexy got picked up and featured by Business Insider, CNBC and MSN. I’m practically famous now. If the comments on the MSN feature were any indication, I am famous for being an idiot. To quote one of the many gems on there: “If you have no idea what you spent them on, your a blithering idiot,”. Oh the irony of that ‘your’.
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And on that happy note, on to the numbers.
Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash
This month we added $32,731.99 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.
- As is usual, we shoveled more cash into the Stash through Mr. BITA’s mega backdoor Roth.
- I got a small bonus in one of my May paychecks because I had two invention reports approved by my company for submission to the U.S. patent office. We get a small bonus when that happens, a larger one when the patent is actually filed, and another large one when the patent is granted. The entire process takes years though.
- May was a big month for company stock. Mr. BITA had RSUs vest and I received stock via the ESPP program. For the curious, I’ve written before about how my ESPP works. The ESPP grant happened on the last day of May. On the 1st of June I sold my company stock, and when the payout hits our account, it will be distributed into our various Vanguard holdings.
In an attempt not to be outdone, the market grew our Stash by an amazing $22,546.14.
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: $133,780.68
YTD market growth: $101,577.60
To meet our goals for this year we have to save another $26,220 before the end of the year. That gives us a target of $3,745 a month for the rest of the year. In Dec 2016, when I revised our savings goal for 2017 and upped the ante from $120,000 to $160,000, the boldness of our new target terrified me. Now, as it turns out, I wasn’t nearly bold enough. We’ve received larger bonuses and grants than we expected. Our company stock has done better that I predicted. We’ve spent less than I had guessed. Overall, I have to say that I’m glad that I don’t make my money by foretelling the future. If I did, I would be a pauper. I’m now secretly hoping we hit $200,000 in savings in 2017. I’m not going to call it a goal though. If I do, I’ll just end up being wrong again.
As usual, I’ll end this monthly update with the Stairway to Heaven. In a moment of crazy artistic inspiration, this month I gave myself some hair:
1310 days to go!
Financial independence status: Ahead of the plan.