August 2016 Progress

We’re Packing Five Months of Finance…

Into a single post.  I’ll probably switch to doing these quarterly now for reasons that I’ll get to in a bit.  Let’s just say it’ll be fine.

There’s been a lot of financial goodness since the March update.  At the end of March, we were down to three outstanding debts:  mortgage, car loan, and personal loan (credit card balance transfer).

As of today, we only have the mortgage!  Hooray!  Of course, this has had a couple of mental side effects.  First, the Debt Paydown Projection spreadsheet is getting a little boring.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s no longer occupying a constantly opened browser tab.

Second, I’ve been in debt payoff mode for the past two years and that has been my main focus.  Now I think it’s time to shift gears into asset building and figuring out what my actual Financial Independence numbers are and the timeline to reach them.  New goal!

Notable Events

April, May, June, and July were pretty much business as usual.  I made the regular payments on outstanding balances.  Nothing to see here.  The real magic happened in August.

ESPP – My ESPP shares were purchased on July 31 and I sold them on August 1.  This was a great period for ESPP.  There was an approximate $34 difference between the purchase price and my sale price which resulted in an 85% gain on the six month period.  I took home around $14k which went straight towards payments.

Bonus – Due to some extra effort (read super long hours and extra travel) at the end of 2015, I was awarded 110% of my bonus for the period.  This yielded around $10k after taxes.

I used the additional income to make an $8k payment to the car loan (Gone!) and a $5800 payment to the personal loan (Gone!).  The rest went into savings, investments, and a new puppy (I know, I know).

All that being said, here’s where we are now.

Current Goal Status:
Financial goals:
  • Reduce overall outstanding debt (including mortgage) by 15%.
    1. Debt reduction for the period went from 7.56%  to 16.08% which puts us on track for a 16.84% overall reduction for the year.  Beautifully sitting above the 15% target.
  • Make contributions to investments (taxable and retirement) of 15% of salary.
    1. We have contributed 12.06% of our income to investment accounts including 401k, 529, ESPP, and Brokerage.
    2. This number dropped a bit from last month due to the large influx from the ESPP sale and bonus.
    3. I’m currently working on analyzing the additional free cash flow to decide where I want to allocate it.
  • Eliminate outstanding credit card debt.
    1. Outstanding balances eliminated in Feb.
    2. No interest accrued on revolving balance this period.
  • Eliminate remaining student loan debt.
    1. We were able to eliminate this balance with our income tax refund.  No more student debt!
  • Make a contribution to an IRA.
    1. No progress here… yet!
  • Generate revenue from a new income stream.
    1. No progress here… yet!
Expense Goals

Expense goals in Feb were not much better than January.  Still, it was a little better:

  • Meet the $800 per month grocery budget
    1. The only month this worked was June.  The rest of the months have been over $1000 which is where I’m now setting the budget.  It’s just more realistic (due to a number of factors).
  • Reduce dining out to $400 per month (2015 – $600)
    1. April was actually mostly on track with $433 for the month.  The other months have averaged around $900.  I’ve updated the budget on this one to $800/month.  A little depressing, but also realistic given the current situation.
  • Reduce entertainment/alcohol to $250 per month (2015 – $435)
    1. Ummm… Also not happening.  Budget adjusted to $600/month.  This includes babysitting expenses.
Personal Goals:
  • Meditate at least three days a week
    1. I fell off the wagon after our Appalachian Trail hike in June.  Goal for September is to get back to a routine.  Summer totally blew up my routine.
  • Take walks at least three days a week
    1. The only time this has happened have been on the travel weeks for work.  Also on the list of things to get back to now that the weather is getting nicer (Really, nobody wants to go out walking around Atlanta in the middle of summer).
  • Spend at least seven days camping
    1. Done!  Spent a week on trail in June as well as the annual camp Alumni weekend.  Looking forward to more this Fall.
  • Go kayaking at least one time
    1. Almost!  We rented a ducky and went down the Nantahala river the day after we got finished with the AT section.  It was a close second and I got to hear the voice of the river so I’m content until I can convince one of my old paddling buddies to buy another boat.
  • Take one family vacation
    1. St. Augustine was amazing, but April seems so long ago.  I may need to add ‘take one personal vacation’ as a goal too.
Net Worth Update Q2

net worth Q2


  • Up 2.98% in Q2
  • Up 3.92% since Q2
  • Up 10.58% year-to-date


  • Down 1.36% in Q2
  • Down 8.38% since Q2
  • Down 1.36% year-to-date

Total Net Worth

  • Change of +7.31% for Q2
  • Change of +15.21% since Q2
  • Change of +44.70% year-to-date!
  • Since Jan 1. 2015, Net Worth has more than doubled at 106.82% increase (counting the assumed value of the house)!

net worth graph

August Summary

August was a great month for financial progress.  There have been a few domestic challenges over the course of the summer, so I’m glad for school to be back in session and for getting back into the routine for a bit.

I’ve got a few upcoming home repair challenges where I need to figure out a good plan so that we don’t undo the progress that we’ve made.  I have a few ideas that I’ll be running by the community in the near future.

Over the next month I plan to keep the blog moving with more personal posts as opposed to mostly finance oriented.  I’ve got a few ideas that I hope will be well received.  Until then, everyone take care and #getoutside.



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