What a month! October whizzed past and left me breathless in its wake.
I kicked off October with a trip to Orlando for a work-related conference: the Grace Hopper conference for women in technology. This beast of a conference was attended by 18,000 women and had Big Names as keynote speakers (Melinda Gates for example). The conference was simultaneously inspiring and depressing. On the one hand it was fantastic to be surrounded by all these women who have accomplished so much and to be uplifted by those stories. On the other hand it felt like a constant reminder of how little I have to show for my existence thus far.
While I was at the conference our house guests arrived: two of my aunts and one uncle visiting from India. Mr. BITA and Toddler BITA welcomed them to our home, and I red-eyed it home a day after they arrived. I had prepped for our guests by breaking out our trusty house guest spreadsheet. We had a plan for every meal, and the visit went swimmingly.
Do you folks remember my hernia-related drama from January of this year? Well I have a granuloma that resulted from that surgery and this month I had that seen by a surgeon. As part of his examination he felt that I might have another (seriously? What the fuck?) small hernia in the region. So off I went for an MRI. The results did show a small “defect”, one that my surgeon thinks that I should just live with. Deja vu much? I also visited the dentist this month, after an embarrassingly long time. All-in-all a good month for self-care, but all of this just served to make what was already a busy month just that much crazier.
October also brought with it my first car accident since I moved to this country in 2008. I was rear ended by a BMW driver while I was stopped at a red light. We pulled over and the driver behaved like an absolute, total, complete asshole: rude and entitled. I have a few small scratches on the bumper of our old Honda and nobody was hurt. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have bothered with making a claim, but the other driver had to call her insurance company at the scene (she didn’t have her insurance card on her, so had to call to give me her insurance information), and chose to open a case with them. Given how much she pissed me off we are going to make a claim for the sheer pleasure of causing her rate to jump up. Karma is real.
We hosted dinner a couple of times for a friend from India visiting the Bay Area this month, and were invited out to dinner at another friend’s place. Toddler BITA visited the pumpkin patch and bouncy houses and was invited to two birthday parties.
October wasn’t quite done with me yet. Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, was in October, and we had a potluck party at a friend’s house. My contribution was Chicken 65, and if you have never tasted this dish, your life is sad and incomplete. On the heels of Diwali we had Halloween. Toddler BITA was at first determined to be Moana for Halloween, but halfway through the month changed her mind and decided that being a dragon was about a 100 times cooler. I made her costume, because clearly I didn’t already have enough going on this month.
And October brought with it Fincon. Ah Fincon. I flew to Dallas for the conference where nobody sleeps and you do things to your liver that are probably illegal under the Geneva Convention.
Amongst all the chaos of October we did still find the time to save some money. So, without further ado, on to the numbers.
Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash
This month we added $15,788.58 to our Stash.
- The pre-tax portion of Mr. BITA’s 401k was maxed out in January, and I hit my contribution limit in July. Both of our companies have given us our full match as well.
- Last month we maxed out Mr. BITA’s mega backdoor Roth via paycheck deductions. In 2017 we put $27,000 after-tax dollars in there.
- We are still working on maxing out our HSA for the year, but other than that all our contributions now are in taxable accounts.
Market growth in October was a thing of beauty, bringing in a very handsome $26,964.59.
The Financial Independence Plan vs. Reality
YTD we have saved and invested: $264,609.24 (we rounded the quarter million mark this month, wheeeee!).
YTD market growth: $167,260.75.
I recently announced that I was pulling in my FIRE date to Jan 2019, and it is with great pleasure that I present to you the updated Stairway to Heaven:
423 days to go!
Financial independence status: On track!