Mid-Year Savings Update

The SFF household has been busy so this post is slightly delayed but we finally had a chance to sit down and review our total income/expense numbers for the first half of the year.  I have been anxiously awaiting this info as we keep our individual income and expense money separate so I was a little in the dark as to how we were doing as a couple.  But I am happy to report that we have increased our savings rate from last year!

In 2015 we saved 28% of our joint net income.  This was a little lower than I had wanted but we have both made an effort to decrease our spending even more and Mr. SFF has been transferring money to our joint accounts more consistently resulting in a higher savings rate.  Based on my calculations we have saved approximately 46% of our net income so far this year.  Woohoo!  I am pretty psyched about this as it is a drastic increase from last year and we both still have buffers of extra money in our individual accounts which is not included in this number. Continue reading “Mid-Year Savings Update”

Monthly Food Update – #6

I know, another food update.  I promise I am working on some other topics but I just gotten distracted lately.  So this past month was a little brutal.  Our grocery store food costs were actually OK but a long weekend to CT completely blew our food budget with four meals eaten out.  We spent more money dining out in just those four days than we have probably spent all year.  Ouch!  Did we have a great time visiting friends?  Yes without a doubt.  But it certainly hurt the wallet.  The funny thing is that we used to dine out all the time but now it is just painful when I look at the numbers.

On a positive note, this past month I made a mini chalkboard to list our weekly meals.  I keep our weekly meal plan on a google spreadsheet but now we have a nice little visual right in the kitchen.  I already had the supplies to make the chalkboard, including the chalkboard paint, so this little project didn’t cost anything.  It’s not perfect but it seems to work pretty well.

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Last weeks menu as set on Sunday.

Continue reading “Monthly Food Update – #6”

How Our Rental Property Has Accelerated Our FI Date

Rental properties are certainly not stress free but man, do can they provide income!  Our new duplex has had a little bit of stress and work associated with it but really nothing substantial.  We continue to have good communication with the tenant who was paying rent late and this past month he was on time so there was improvement.

But one of the best things about a rental is the cash flow.   Continue reading “How Our Rental Property Has Accelerated Our FI Date”

Growing Up in a Hoity-Toity Town

I was recently thinking about how the town I grew up in might have shaped the way I feel about money.  Both Mr. SFF and I had similar backgrounds even though we grew up in different states.   Our home towns were both upper middle class and great places to raise children but as we both watched as our families struggled through difficult times and I can’t help but wonder if this shaped the way we manage our money today.  (And to be clear, neither of us have even been given or inherited any money from our families. All of our wealth we have created on our own.) Continue reading “Growing Up in a Hoity-Toity Town”

How Our Journey to FIRE Has Strengthened Our Marriage

The divorce rate in the US has statistically been high in over the past few decades.  For a while it was believed to be around a rate of about 50% although new data (thankfully) shows this number has actually declined.  Now there are many reasons for divorce but a couple of the consistently top reasons are money and communication.  For the SFF household though, this is certainly not the case. Continue reading “How Our Journey to FIRE Has Strengthened Our Marriage”

Tax Time is Here

Are you the type of person that absolutely loves this time of year?  I mean, the whole processing of the tax return can be a pain but many people get money back so it can be pretty great.  Or do you dread the April 15th (or 18th this year) deadline as you know this means you have to write a big check to the good old US of A?  For us I don’t look forward to tax time but I also don’t really dread it. Continue reading “Tax Time is Here”

Our First Investment Property Hiccup

When you own an investment property you know in the back of your head that nothing is guaranteed and that something will come up.  Well it turns out that for our new property, it only took a couple of months before we had our first hiccup.

As we sort of inherited the tenants when we closed on the property in January we actually know very little about them.  We have their names, email addresses and phone numbers and that is basically all we know.  We are kind of stuck with them until their leases are up this summer. Continue reading “Our First Investment Property Hiccup”

Are You Playing Offense or Defense with Your Finances?

The way to win a any game is to have a good combination of both offensive and defensive plays.  If your quarterback can’t make a single successful pass then it doesn’t matter how good your linebackers are at intercepting passes or tackling running backs.  Or if the quarterback is the best on the league but the defense gets trampled every time the ball changes over then you have only a slim chance of winning.  The best teams out there have a really good balance of both offensive and defensive players. Continue reading “Are You Playing Offense or Defense with Your Finances?”