Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Crypto Christmas, Passive Income Increase!

Quick, everyone grab your pickax, there's gold in them thar hills!  Part of the purpose of this blog is to track our efforts to increase our passive income.  Every month I release a passive income update that covers how we are working to grow income streams to surpass our monthly spending.  One stream of passive income that we have been playing with is Cryptocurrency mining.  I have mined Bitcoin and other alternative coins at a small scale off and on since 2011.  With the recent surge in Bitcoin, I have used some of the profits to build myself a slightly more high tech mining rig, so far the results have been excellent!

Passive income from Cryptocurrency mining was $40.25 per month in November 2017.  After tweaking the settings of my new dedicated mining rig our income from mining is now averaging over $24.21 per day and rising.  This is a monthly income of ~ $736. The rig itself is currently operating at 3/4 capacity and should be complete early January 2018 when the special power supply adapters I need come in the mail.  I am hoping when all is said and done that daily profit will sit above $30.00.  I will make a future post detailing the hardware and software needed to make this happen once my build is finalized.

Disclaimer:  I consider Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency to be a high risk investment.  While I strongly believe in these investments in the long term, we will continue to see significant volatility in the near term.  Friends and family have been interested in my mining operation/history with Cryptocurrency due to the recent spike in prices.  While I love the technology I can not in good faith tell them to invest unless they are already in a very good financial situation.  I have lived through more crashes in Crypto value than I can remember and it has only been a 6 year relationship.  My own friends and family have talked to me about investing on margin or using leverage.  To me this is like playing Russian Roulette where 5 of the six chambers of your revolver are loaded with bullets. When you put that gun to your head and pull the trigger, if you survive you make many thousands of dollars. 

TLDR - At this time only invest what you can afford to lose and if you are using debt to fund this venture you are absolutely bonkers.  

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dumbest Ways I've Spent Money

Ms. DebtFree here with some honest confessions.  We have individual Mint accounts to track our spending and tonight I decided to use this fun feature to trend my spending for the last 12 months by merchant.  Yeah, it's bad enough that I had to look at my per-store spending!

Friday, December 8, 2017

November 2017 Spending Report

The numbers are in for our November spending update!  I am hoping these posts provide transparency on how we are approaching spending, which will set up our strategy for attacking debt.  Monthly updates force us to constantly audit and review our financial situation, and from this information we can target areas where we want to improve our performance and meet our goals.  When confronted with the reality of spending and debt it can be easy to take the ostrich approach and just bury your head in the sand.  Monthly accountability and honesty forces us to come up for air, and face our problems head on.  So without further ado, here are our November 2017 spending numbers in fun graphical format!

21 Frugal-ish Christmas Gifts for the Littles

*Full Disclosure: every item in this post includes affiliate links.  However, these are not items we are being paid to promote.  Each item is something we actually purchased and were given the thumbs up by the recipient.  Following these links supports us and does not cost you any additional money should you choose to make a purchase.*

Christmas Time Is Here!

Ms. DebtFree here to confess that I LOVE Christmas.  It was the biggest holiday in my home and I have many fond memories of making peanut brittle and English toffee with my dad, helping my mom decorate the house and arrange our Christmas village, and going to dinners at the homes of our closest friends

We never went overboard with gifts -in fact, we often filled tins with a variety of homemade goodies for our friends.  As a child, I remember carefully crafting my wishlist to include the perfect balance of cheap and pricier items.  My strategy was to give my parents and siblings plenty of options while ensuring I would get that one big ticket item I had been eyeing for months.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Passive Income Streams November 2017

It's my favorite time of the month again, time for another passive income update!  Our passive income streams saw healthy growth in November 2017.  While total investment passive income continued to rise, the main culprit for our increasing stream is the incredible growth of our cryptocurrency mining operation.  Let's break it down:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

You can get out of debt and save money, I promise

I remember when I graduated from college 4.5 years ago.  I had just enough money saved up to move from Montana to the Pacific Northwest and rent a house close to my work.  After the first and last month's payments and security deposit I looked at my bank account and realized I had absolutely nothing left.  At the time I was worth about -$13,000 dollars.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  We wanted to take a quick break from spreadsheets and number crunching to deliver a feel-good post to you all.  Mr. DebtFree and I are currently hiding out at home thanks to a nasty virus that wiped us out this week.  I had to call out sick from work and miss my first opportunity for time-and-a-half pay and left me feeling quite guilty over losing the pay.  After a brief period of feeling sorry for myself, I realized it's much better for me to hide at home and feel miserable than get everyone seriously sick (extra big no-no in the oncology unit!).

Last week I read an excellent post from The Minimalist Files and it inspired me to take another look at my "I need this" attitude.  With the season of thanks upon us, both Mr. DebtFree and I decided to work on our ungratefulness and realized we spend a ridiculous amount of time comparing our situation with our friends.  "Look, they just bought a brand new __" -insert car, house, phone, boat, etc.  With social media becoming a "happy moments only" filter on our lives, it's easy to get caught up in feelings of inadequacy -especially if debt is delaying things you want in life like travel, having some space from neighbors, or having more than fur-babies.

We realized our attitudes have been circling the drain for sometime and decided to join the masses in making a list of things we are most thankful for:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Portfolio Update: November 2017 pt. 2

It's time for the second and final November update to my financial independence portfolio.  This paycheck Mr. DebtFree made purchases of the following:

8 VDC @ 140.49 Yay for vanguard consumer staples.  I consider this a more defensive investment than other ETFs.  Recently it has seen a downturn due to poor performance by Walgreens and CVS.
10 VDE @ 92.03  Oil has been and still is in the gutter, I like to buy a sector when it under-performs.
1 VTI @ 132.99  My go to benchmark ETF fund.  This one contains all the good stuff with a low expense ratio.
4 VNQ @ 84.43  I keep this in my Roth IRA, this real estate ETF is so much easier to own than physical property.  I love collecting these dividends tax free.

For a total invested amount of $2514.93

This brings the total portfolio value up to $159,047.  

$2,000 of this money was my own investment after my paycheck and $514.93 came from dividends that were sitting idle in accounts waiting to be deployed.  This is why I love stock market investing so much.  These stocks are working overtime, shedding money into my accounts.  Not once have they called me in the middle of the night with a broken toilet.  I don't have to go through a lengthy eviction process when they fail to perform, just 30 seconds and a few clicks of a mouse and they are out of my life.  

According to my spreadsheet this new investment sets my time to financial independence at 7.29 years, just 2661 days left to go!

This post shows you how to calculate your time to financial independence and provides you with a free calculator to use.
Check out our previous November update!
Our Portfolio page has been updated accordingly.  Check it out to see previous portfolio updates and track Mr. DebtFree's progress to FI.

I sincerely hope you have found financial success this month.  Thank you so much for reading.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Goals: December 2017

Just a quick post today with an infographic for our December 2017 goals.  As each task is completed I will color in the black graphic to track our progress.  Each money bag represents $1,000 for our last goal.  I had a ton of fun making this one and I hope it keeps us honest and on track next month.  Thank you so much for tuning in!

What are some of your goals for December?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Frugal Trip 2017

Beach Life

Alrighty folks, you've got both of us here to tell you all about our super fun and super frugal vacation we took at the start of November.

For those of you asking yourselves, "Isn't November a cold time of year to be vacationing in the Pacific Northwest?" we can now confirm it was a very cold time of year for our trip!  Nevertheless, we had an amazing opportunity to spend two nights at the Pacific Ocean for a grand total of $22.  That's right, $11 per night!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Portfolio Update: November 2017 pt. 1

Mr. DebtFree stopping in for a quick portfolio update.  I have decided to include all of my holdings in the portfolio page to provide full transparency on where  I am at on my journey to financial independence.  After all, this blog covers two separate stories, one of debt repayment and how Ms. DebtFree is working towards paying off her $95,000 in student loans and another of how I plan on being financially independent by the age of 40 (7.5 years to go). So without further ado, here is Mr. DebtFree's portfolio! 

While the market has fallen the last few days, pushing me below the $150,000 mark, I was able to make a purchase this month of 11 shares of VTI.  I am always happy to add more VTI to the portfolio and I consider it the baseline that I compare all other investments to.  With the recent market movements I am now closely considering adding to my VZ(Verizon) position, or buying into T (At&t) when I am able to add funds to my Roth IRA shortly.  I like to hold these high yield dividend stocks in my Roth IRA while I hold most of the low dividend etfs in my taxable vanguard account. 

That's it for the first purchase of this month, I look forward to purchase number two, coming soon!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Loan Payments and the Struggle of Positive Thinking

Ms. DebtFree here with an exciting life/financial update!

If you haven't already figured it out, I bear some pretty hefty student loan debt.  Mr. DebtFree came up with an awesome plan for me to crush my debt starting with building my emergency fund.  Well, I recently fully funded my E-fund and decided to go after the first loan on my list.

This loan was $2,650ish with a 6.8% interest rate.  My first payment in October was $400 and I was all pumped up thinking I'd made some big hit on my loans.  Hahaha, not so much!  My overall balance increased by $200.  Yeah, you read that right.  *insert my dramatic eye-rolling here*

Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to Calculate Your Early Retirement Date

Mr. DebtFree here, today I am going to show you how to simply calculate the number of years you have left before retirement or financial independence in google sheets. With just a few simple button clicks you will know exactly when you can expect to be done working forever. I will also include myself as a case study for a real world example.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Passive Income Streams October 2017

Passive income has increased by over 5% for the month of October.  We are now bringing in $561.61 per month passively of our $3,300 goal!  Over 17% of the way to the end!  Thank you for reading, I hope your passive streams are growing as well!

October 2017 Spending Report

Mr. DebtFree here!  Welcome to our second ever monthly spending update.  I am hoping these posts provide transparency on how we are approaching spending, which will set up our strategy for attacking debt.  Monthly updates force us to constantly audit and review our financial situation, and from this information we can target areas where we want to improve our performance and meet our goals.  When confronted with the reality of spending and debt it can be easy to take the ostrich approach and just bury your head in the sand as deeply as possible.  Monthly accountability and honesty forces us to come up for air, and face our problems head on.  So without further ado, here are our October 2017 spending numbers!

Let's see how October stacked up:

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Our First Month of Blogging!

Our first month of blogging comes to an end tomorrow, here are some of the highlights, lessons learned and goals for month number two!  The purpose of this post is transparency, I want everyone to see how we are growing/succeeding or failing at this venture while in the meantime enjoying every second.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The True Cost of Monthly Spending

Hello everyone, Mr. DebtFree here.  In this post I will show you how your unnecessary monthly spending could be delaying your retirement for years and costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We will use my imaginary friend Frank's spending to illustrate this idea.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stock Purchases End of October Update!

The debt portfolio has grown for a second time this month with a few vanguard fund additions.  These purchases are as follows:

VDC 7 shares @ $138.25
VDE 5 shares @ $92.21
VT    1 share  @ $72.00

The new total portfolio value is $27,307, up $3,139 this month.  I currently predict the value of this portfolio to be equal to or greater than our mortgage in 3.1 years.  Check out the updated portfolio here.

Step 1 Complete!

Ms. DebtFree checking in on an exciting-to-me financial update!  If you aren't up to speed on my personal debt disaster, check out my first post or Mr. DebtFree's battle plan to tackle my finances.

Today marks the end of my first three months of work as a registered nurse.  I'm feeling pretty good about the goals I've met at work so far and now I'm finally hitting some of my finance goals!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Personal Finance Battle Plan: Ms. DebtFree

Mr. DebtFree here, in this post I will be laying down the framework for how we are approaching Ms. DebtFree's financial situation.  This is a real life case study of Ms. DebtFree and how we are setting her up for financial success.

Case Study:

Name: Ms. DebtFree
Age: 26
Status:  Graduated Nursing School August 2017 and begins full time work as an RN.
Starting Salary: between $50,000 and $60,000 per year (dependent on shift work and overtime)
Starting Debt: $94,688 with interest rates ranging from 3.4% to 7.9%
Starting Cash: ~$200
Starting Invested: $130
Average Monthly Spending: ~$1,600 (does not include loan payments)
Average Free Cash Flow:  $1,700 (Income - Spending)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Anti-Frugal Spending

From my favorite show: Parks & Rec

Ms. DebtFree here with some transparency about my spending this month.  If I haven't mentioned this already, I really like shopping and a lot of my blogging is for personal accountability about my spending.  Well, this month I definitely had some frivolous purchases and figured I better fess up before we review our end of the month spending.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Debt Portfolio Project: October Update 1

Mr. DebtFree here, I have made my first stock purchases for the Debt Portfolio Project in October.  I shoved ~$1,500 more into the portfolio with purchases of :

5 shares VDC @ $138.29 per share
10 shares VNQ @ $83.76 per share
1 share VT @ $71.55 per share

So far this month the portfolio has increased from $24,168.00 to $26,053.00 a gain of $1885.  Using the 4% rule this new investment will increase our monthly passive income by $6.28 forever.  Gotta love putting your dollars to work for you!  Check out the progress of the portfolio below.

Monday, October 16, 2017

E-Fund Update

After 2 months of work, I (Ms. DebtFree) am very excited to announce that I have almost reached my emergency fund savings goal and have almost hit the $1,000 investment mark.

That may not sound like much, but for me it is a huge personal accomplishment.  Frugality is a new concept for me and I'm happy to say so far I'm doing great at following Mr. DebtFree's financial plan for me!

Who Needs Car Insurance Anyways?

Photo Credit

Ms. DebtFree here with a quick update on one of my "new job savings goals": car insurance premium discounts!

For the past 11 years I've been insured with the same company.  If some of you are paying close attention to our ages, that means I started driving at 15 with a driver's ed learner's permit.  So, after 11 years of being insured with State Farm I figured it was time to get additional discounts.  I should warn you, this post is partially about my attempt to save money but mostly a rant about the b.s. I went through trying to be more frugal!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Passive Income Project

Mr. DebtFree here, today I want to talk about a new project I am working on.  From our September Spending Update you can see that we were on the hook for about $3,300 in monthly spending.  While I believe that we can lower our monthly spending with some simple frugal tactics I will use $3,300 as a baseline for this new project.  Simply put, I propose to grow multiple different passive income streams until they are equal to our baseline $3,300 spending.  Let's lay down the groundwork for how we can get there!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Emergency Fund Roadmap

Ms. Debt-Free again!

My last post was probably extremely boring for a lot of you, unless you also understand the pull of Target and Sephora!  Today I want to get a little more serious and practical and talk about building an emergency fund.

This was a totally new concept for me when I met Mr. DebtFree.  I was skeptical at first.  I mean, how the eff can I build an emergency fund when I have almost $100,000 in student loans I need to pay off?  Eventually I stopped whining long enough to ditch the bad attitude and listen.  Here's what I learned.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Week of Unsubscribing

Hey there, Ms. DebtFree checking in for the week! 

Alrighty, so I promised I would be totally honest on here, yeah?  Well, I love shopping.  More specifically, I love discount shopping.  And in order to get great discounts what have I done?  Subscribed to emails from all of my favorite stores.  Apparently every store I’ve ever been to in my life became a favorite in just one trip! 

My personal challenge for the week was to find ways to cut back on shopping, or at the very least find ways to decrease the temptation to go shopping.  My work schedule has been absolutely bananas (politically correct way of saying “complete sh*t”) the last week or so and I didn’t have it in me to spend a lot of time or energy on saving money.  So, I came up with a completely free and relatively easy way to change how often I think about shopping: unsubscribe to any email from a store.  Sounds simple, right?  I discovered that’s not always the case.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Debt Portfolio Project

Mr. DebtFree here!  Ms. DebtFree wrote about her current situation with ~$95,000 in student loans previously in this post.  Now it's my turn to share my personal debt status!

While she is just taking her first steps towards tackling student loans, I am already five years down the road in my personal journey to financial freedom.  While good ol' Uncle Sam paid most of my school bills I still graduated with ~$13,000 in debt and almost nothing in the bank.  While slowly paying down these low interest rate loans, I also purchased a well-priced starter home on a short sale in 2014 for $143,000 at 4% interest.  This was done with $0.00 down --once again due to the generosity of Uncle Sam.  Quite the deal for serving just four years in the military!

My current debt situation is a remaining mortgage balance of $127,761.  While Ms. DebtFree is furiously eliminating student loan debt I plan on applying the same level of effort to the annihilation of my mortgage debt.  The goal is for us to be completely debt free within 5 years.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Save for Tomorrow While You Live for Today

Courtesy of Pinterest

“You have to financially plan for your future, but you better enjoy today because you just never know.”  These words from a nurse of 30+ years as she addressed my residency cohort last week have been on my mind a lot.  Especially today.  The day after one of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S history seems like an odd day to write about happiness, but I think it proves our instructor’s point: you just never know. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Spending Update: September 2017


Mr. DebtFree here!  This post is the first in a long line of monthly spending updates.  I am hoping these posts provide transparency on how we are approaching spending, which will set up our strategy for attacking debt.  Monthly updates force us to constantly audit and review our financial situation, and from this information we can target areas where we want to improve our performance and meet our goals.  When confronted with the reality of spending and debt it can be easy to take the ostrich approach and just bury your head in the sand as deeply as possible.  Monthly accountability and honesty forces us to come up for air, and face our problems head on.  So without further ado, here are our September 2017 spending numbers!

Current Status: HELP!


What Happened?

Hey everyone, Ms. DebtFree here!

My debt journey began with an impatient young adult (me) who delayed starting college for a few years because of unexpected health issues.  I could have made smarter decisions back then.  I could have managed living at home for another year or two, although it was not an ideal environment.  I could have continued working my part-time job, continued saving and planning for a big move, and simply continued waiting on college.  But, I didn’t do any of those things.  Instead, I was so impatient to get started that I signed my life away in the form of both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.