2 Months of FIRE – Status Report

Hello 2 blog readers!

Sorry for the very long delay between blog posts. The holiday season has really taken over all of my free time…funny enough many of my free blocks of time are disappearing without things being crossed off the list. Not SURE what’s going on there. Anyhoo, I want to continue with FIRE status reports, since that is the reason I’m doing this blog…to keep myself in check!

November was less Fire-y than October. I think the hubbub of getting ready for Christmas and work being busy (and mentally challenging) has stolen some of my time and mojo. December is similar so far. Regardless we are still more mindful of our spending and we are thinking more about the future, which is great! YNAB has also gotten us on track with budgeting – I haven’t (for 3 months) had to say to Hubs “Don’t spend money out of the bank account, use the credit card until payday!!!”, which I consider a true win.

One area I really wanted to improve was our savings rate. In October we saved 6.82%. I was disheartened to see this number when I did the calculations. Then I got the idea from Paula Pant to try to tackle it one % at a time. So for the month of November we bumped it up to 8.32%! I’ll try to make at least 9% for December, although I will say we’re bleeding money here and I’m pretty sure we’ll exceed the planned Christmas budget by a couple hundred dollars.

My biggest barrier now to increasing the savings rate (besides “Holiday Hemorrhaging”) is the fact that I’m paying into an RRSP loan I took out a few years ago. After the loan is paid off I can put an extra $600 a month into RRSPs and/or TFSAs to get the savings rate much higher. There is still about $13k left to pay off so I hope to get that gone in the next 1-2 years. I’m still frequently debating with myself to either a) pay down loans more speedily or b) Invest extra cash to make better interest than what the loans are charging me.

Strictly from a dollars perspective, it makes more sense to invest the money instead of extra loan payments. However there is something very satisfying/motivating about paying off a longstanding debt. Food for thought.

Stats for November

Here are some fun stats!

Saved: $665.46. Up from last month!

Extra Income from Side Hustles: I’m gonna say zero. I got a Regal commission of about $25, but most of it was spent on catalogues and me buying stuff from Regal. haha.  Also in a hilarious turn of events, Regal decided to close up shop. Soooo time to brainstorm a new replacement side hustle! Down from last month.

Debt Repayment: We paid $1763 towards debt. Up from last month!

I also wanted to put in an expense report to this post. This would be to compare against pre-FIRE expenses published in November. However, it’s going to take some time for me to pull that together. SO, expect an expense report in the coming weeks, with a fancy table that compares one month to the next and our incredible awesomeness. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but at least the table will be fancy. Happy Holidays!

10 Replies to “2 Months of FIRE – Status Report”

  1. I understand the frustration between savings and debt. Mentally my student debt is stressful and I want to pay it off but I also understand that my money will “make” more if I invest it! Personally my goal is to “save” more by each year end, which I track on a spreadsheet and as long as that’s progressing I put any extras I have on debt! (Which also obviously also adds up to more each year) I track both every month or two to be sure I’m still on track! Good luck!

  2. It looks like you’re going to have a lot of money to put into investments once the debt is paid off! 🙂 How much longer do you predict it will take to pay off the debt? Not sure what the interest rate on it is, but it might make sense to focus solely on that until it’s gone?

    1. I think the interest rate is low-ish. It’s with National Bank and was set up through my adviser, so I can’t recall at the moment. At the current rate it’ll be almost 2 years to pay it off. I will think about putting some lump sums on there to speed things up so I can increase my savings rate more quickly and get rid of the yucky loan payment!

  3. Hi T,
    it’s nice to see your progress and I’m enjoying your blog. I just came over from ChooseFI Canada Facebook group so I’ll have to read up on more of your stuff.

    Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Sterling! I’m definitely a total FIRE newb, but I learn something every day to help propel me in the right direction. Writing about it keeps me motivated since I have a hard time staying on track in the long term. Best of luck on your FI journey!

  4. Progress is progress! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If 1% increases better work for you, you do you.

    That debt repayment amount looks hefty! Sounds like you’re doing a great job.

  5. One mental trick I find helpful is to think of this as a “purpose” rather than a “passion”. Passion is big and bright but can flame out – purpose isn’t flashy, but it’s slow and steady. In the end it goes farther than passion because purpose never relents.

    If you consider decreasing your expenses and pursuing FIRE to be your purpose (underpinned by the life goals FIRE can help you achieve) I think it’s more likely you can stick with it. Like you said, you don’t have to do this all at once.

    You know what the process is, and all you have to focus on is the next step of that process – how will things be done next week and the week after? Let the process take care of the rest. Before too long you’ll have built a roaring fire of financial and lifestyle benefits from your incremental improvements.

    Rooting for you and yours!

    1. I love this idea, CityFrugal. Having a purpose in life is most critical to longevity I believe, as well as motivation to continue to the end goal. Personal finance and achieving FIRE is definitely not my passion, but it could become my purpose!

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