Monthly FIRE (Financial Independence) Report – January 2020

Welcome to another installment of the monthly FIRE (Financial Independence) report! This report details activities in my 16th month on my journey to Financial Independence.

FIRE (Financial Independence) Plan Update

In a previous post, I mentioned that I’m going to TRY to shoot for “Freedom 55” – i.e. Retirement in 2032. Currently, I’m not tracking towards that – I will need to increase my savings rate by a considerable amount, further reduce expenses, and possibly also increase income.  I need to “widen the gap” between expenses and income to the point where I have a few thousand a month to throw at retirement savings. Now that we are debt free (except for mortgage debt), increasing our savings will start to get easier!

We also need to make some decisions around where we will be housing-wise in 10-15 years. If it were up to Hubs, we’d stay in our current home forever. That said, there are more frugal options, even after the mortgage is paid. Property tax and utilities could be a lot less for a smaller home in a less fancy area. A big chunk of our net worth is currently tied up in our home, and that will likely need to change post-FI/RE.

Net worth chart - (Financial Independence) Report
Net Worth +26% since we began the FI journey.

Highlights

Saved: $628. This went to RRSPs, TFSA, RESP, and HISA (High Interest Savings Account) with EQ Bank. OMG, that’s a lot of acronyms.

Extra Income from Side Hustles: $180. The breakdown:

      • $25 from Userlytics (a new User testing site I’m trying out)
      • $75.48 from UserTesting
      • $80 from Facebook Sales

Debt Repayment:  Mortgage Principal: $580.   LOC: $1205 – LAST PAYMENT! Total of $1785.

Expenses:

Category $ Relevant Notes of Notey-ness
Mortgage Interest 480 This is depressing to see on a monthly basis. Might try to throw down some extra principal payments this year. Also need to go mortgage shopping…term is up next year!
Mortgage Principal 580
Interest Charges & Bank Fees 14 Getting rid of this soon! Interest payments are gone at least. It is a surprisingly large amount of work to switch primary checking accounts after several years…
Property Tax 250
Childcare 516
Parking 115
Auto Insurance 92
Life Insurance 156
Electric 0 We had a credit at the end of 2019, Hurray! Our power bill will be lower going forward. This is mainly due to heat pump efficiency gains and more wood burning.
Internet 349 Because of a mix-up with my large, annoying ISP, I had to pay for the last 3 months all at once. All caught up now!
Netflix 14
Mobile Phones 185 This includes 2 months with Koodo (missed a payment), PLUS a new activation on Public Mobile for Hubs! Bill will be much lower next month.
Water & Sewer 235
Groceries, Toiletries, Supplies 744 A great month for us! We tried to “pantry shop” as much as possible – eat what we have vs. buying food. It semi-worked. Also we tried out some free meal kit deliveries which saved some grocery money.
Fuel 343 A smidge high. We took a day trip or 2, which drives up the number. I so want an electric car…
Medical, Eye care, Prescriptions,Vitamins 10
Health & Fitness, Sports 83 I joined WW this month to shed a few lbs, + M’s swimming classes
Giving / Charitable Donations 50
Heat (Wood & Propane) 37 Kindling. We seem to be going through a large amount of wood this year. Probably because it’s freakin’ cold.
Vacations 203 An AirBnB Prepayment for Summertime. Use my Referral Link to get a credit on your first trip!
Auto Repair, Maintenance, Registration & License Renewals 1604 This made me rather murderous…I pray things will not break next month. Did I mention I started a new car sinking fund?
Home Improvement, Services, Supplies, Maintenance 2 I really have no idea what this was. I need to make better notes. 🙂
Clothing 46 This was not in the budget! Clothes for M. He’s growing apparently.
School Supplies 6 A trip to the local library. You’d think that was free, but when organized by the school? Nope.
Allowance – I 148 We collectively did well this month with our allowances 🙂
Allowance – T 143
Dining Out – Family 38 An EXCELLENT month!
Entertainment – Family 45 We bit the bullet and saw a matinee of “Rise of Skywalker.” Really should have bypassed the snack counter, but otherwise worth it 🙂 This also includes a ticket to a local university hockey game.
Lotto Tickets 19 Hub’s office pool has still produced no winnings. When do we bail?
Alcohol 21
Business Transactions -57 I was reimbursed for work expenses.
Total Expenses $6,471

Considering the ridiculous Auto budget this month, I’m pleasantly pleased with the total expenses. Stay tuned for February, when I blow this out of the water with vacation budget spending!

How are things going with lowering YOUR savings, debt repayment, and expenses, dear reader? Please let me know in the comments!

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