Strawberries!

It’s a week into June already! I’m a bit late, but here is our May 2021 FIRE Financial Update. We’re doing well. Mr. FD got his first checks as a freelancer and made his first contributions to his Solo 401k.

This month Mr. FD and I became fully vaccinated from COVID-19. With the pandemic restrictions slowly loosening up, and the NJ numbers moving in the right direction, we’re starting to venture out more. We went strawberry picking for the first time this month.  I haven’t cared for strawberries recently, but the ones we picked were amazingly delicious. We went mini-golfing for the first time with our kids. We also visited a few of the bigger local parks in our area. Life is good.

Monthly Spending and Income

May 2021

Primary Residence – Property Tax+Assoc. Fees $290
Rental – Property Tax+Assoc. Fees $215
Internet $352
Cell Phone $77
Gas + Electric $108
Water/Sewer $119
Food (Groceries/Household) $1,002
Food (Eating Out) $409
Transportation [Gas] $26
Car Insurance $0
Life/Home/Umbrella Insurance $90
Health/Dental Insurance $230
Misc/Buffer [Clothes, Entertainment, Gifts, Outings] $353
Total Monthly Spending $3,271

In terms of spending, May was low. Our biggest expense was food, which was expected. Our internet spending includes a new router. We had been renting up until now and decided it was time to just buy one. Our health insurance is higher than it should be because Horizon didn’t update their system until later to reflect our newly adjusted health insurance premium. We basically overpaid, and we’ll see that adjusted next month. Our Misc/Buffer section might have been a little higher than usual because we’ve been going on outings more. We had a few nieces and nephews get older. We also prepaid for a few things, like a visit to Turtle Back Zoo in June. We can’t wait for summer to come. 

Rent $1,400
Hobby Site $325
Mr. FD Salary $8,035
Total Monthly Income $9,760

Mr. FireDesired got paid for his freelance work, and it’s honestly the most he’s ever made in a single month. His contract is only for another month or so more, so we expect our income to drop after that. Still, it’s nice to get paid. Rent and hobby income round out the rest of the income for this month. 

Also, Mr. FD opened up a 401k with E*TRADE last month. He contributed to it for the first time in May. As a freelancer, he’s able to contribute $3,400 combined as both an employee and employer.

 

Solo 401k Contributions HSA Contributions
$3,400 $0
Overall, by subtracting our expenses from our income plus 401k contributions, we’ve definitely saved this month.

 

May Savings: $9,760$3,271 + $3,400 + $0 = $9,888

Spending and Savings Summary for the year

This is where I keep track of our spending and savings for this year.

  Spending Saving
January 2021 -$4,977 $6,259
February 2021 -$4,288 $3,632
March 2021 -$2,567 $11,802
April 2021 -$5,632 $1,591
May 2021 -$3,271 $9,888
TOTAL -$20,735 $33,172

I wish I could say that our expenses are lower than expected, but we might actually be spending a little more than our initial projections.

When we were planning for our FIRE expenses this year, we estimated that we’d spend about $3,777 per month.  $3,777 x 5 = $18,885, which is about $2k less than the $20,735 we’ve spent so far. Bummer. Still, I’m okay with this. This is our first year as a FIRE family. I expect to spend some time at the end of the year reflecting and adjusting our expectations, and our spending plan, going forward.

Net Worth for the year

For net worth, here’s how we’ve been doing. I calculate net worth near the end of the month, but not always on the final day of the month. Most of our net worth increases/decreases are heavily dependent on the stock market. I’m also including our total FIRE assets, which is arguably more important.

Out net worth went up about $30k this month. FIRE assets went up about the same.

  Net Worth FIRE Assets
January 2021 $2.15 M $1.55 M
February 2021 $2.18 M $1.59 M
March 2021 $2.23 M $1.63 M
April 2021 $2.29 M $1.69 M
May 2021 $2.32 M $1.72 M

FIRE Failure Indicators

We’re not failing at FIRE yet. Here’s our quick sanity check.

  1. This month, we spent $3,271 and saved $9,888. We’re good here.
  2. For the past 5 months, our spending is about $2k more than what we projected for 5 months. We’ll need to keep tabs on this and see if this keeps growing.  Right now, $2k over our expected annual expenses isn’t a deal breaker. But, we may need to adjust our plan for next year depending on how we spend this year. 
  3. We’re still good for a 3% withdrawal rate. So, we’re not failing here either.

Happiness Indicators

On a scale of 1-10, how would we rate our happiness?

From Mr. FireDesired:

“An 8.  Same as before. Pretty happy.”

From Mrs. FireDesired:

“8!”

We have health insurance!!! Mr. FD and I are fully vaccinated!!! We’re finally getting out of the house and doing things!! I started exercising again this month and that makes me feel good about myself. My summer grad school course is kicking my butt a bit, but my foreign language course is winding down. I’ll soon have more time to devote to grad school. All things considered, I feel like an 8 this month compared to last month’s 7.

Thanks for reading!

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