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: