Vitality – An Amazing Program!

For the past few years my employer has offered an amazing wellness program through Vitality.  Unfortunately in February my employer announced that they will no longer be offering this program after 3/31/17 because participation has been too low.  First of all, I am incredibly bummed that they are no longer going to be offering this benefit, and secondly, why were people not enrolled?!  This program was AMAZING! Continue reading “Vitality – An Amazing Program!”

Where Will Our Retirement Income Come From?

The journey towards Financial Independence is all about saving money but what about once you hit your FI goal?  That is when things change and you go from savings mode into spend down mode.  When in the car the other day both Mr. SFF and I admitted that the thought of actually spending our hard earned money was a little terrifying.  Yup, terrifying is the word we both used.  When you are a natural saver, like both of us have been our whole lives even well before starting this journey to FI, the thought of not only stopping saving but spending that hard earned money is a completely foreign and scary prospect.  I think this is part of the reason I am overestimating how much money we will need.  But in addition to overestimating our needs we are also trying to create other income streams so that we don’t actually have to rely on just our investments.

Now I think the term “spend down” might be slightly misleading for us as ideally we don’t want the value of our investments to go down over time.  Once we hit FI we need our investments to not only keep up with inflation but also cover any unexpected costs that could come up over the decades that we will be spending in our retirement.  This is even more important for those of us who will be spending so many years out of the full time workforce.  If you retire well into you 60’s and you haven’t been diligently saving over the years then you will likely be drawing down your money but as we likely have 40 or more years in our retirement we need to make sure our investments are still growing and ensure our needs are covered.  This means either making sure we have more than enough saved in our investment accounts or create other income streams.
Continue reading “Where Will Our Retirement Income Come From?”

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”

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?”

We’re “Real” Landlords!

We’re “real” landlord!  I know that sounds funny but our primary house is a duplex and although we technically have been landlords for more than 4 years renting out the other half of our property I feel like buying a completely separate investment property somehow makes us “real” landlords.  Even since we bought our current home the plan was to buy another investment property and low and behold, we have done it!  We just closed on a duplex yesterday. Continue reading “We’re “Real” Landlords!”

Monthly Savings Update – July

Summer is in full swing, and apparently so is my spending.  OK, to be fair I had one really large expense that threw everything off plus we had a vacation in there but I was unfortunately not able to meet my 40% savings goal (again) this month.

The large expense I had was one of my life insurance policies annual premium was due.  As this is an annual premium I have yet to figure out how to budget for it and account for it here.  I ended up moving some money over from my savings to help cover the cost of it but I did not log this transfer on my budget spreadsheet.  So I am actually showing a negative net number on my balance sheet Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – July”

My Thoughts on Gambling

Almost every year when we head down to our annual beach vacation in Rhode Island, I will take a little trip over to one of the nearby casinos.  Sometimes there is a small group of us (never Mr. SFF) and sometimes it is just two of us.  I realize that doing a blog post on a personal finance blog about gambling is a little risky as this is certainly not an activity that I recommend but after briefly mentioning my luck during our vacation, I wanted to summarize my thoughts.  Please note that these are only my views and beliefs and what I have found works for me but no way would I ever recommend you go gamble unless this is an entertainment activity you enjoy and are OK paying for it.

Last week while on vacation I was debating if I even wanted to take my annual excursion as every dollar saved helps to get me a little closer to my Continue reading “My Thoughts on Gambling”

Monthly Savings Update – June

As expected, June was also a difficult month when it came to my savings goal.  I kept things in check where possible but there were some larger expected expenses that added up and affected my total savings.  After looking at my target budget numbers again I think that it may be hard to keep my savings rate around 40%.  I am still going to keep this as my goal but am coming to realize that it might be a stretch.

Many of my regular expenses actually came in under my target budget but there were a few larger expenses that threw things off.  As mentioned in my previous post we attended a wedding at the end of the month.  Although Mr. SFF paid for part of these expenses it did affect my numbers as well.  We also attended a baby shower so the total we spent on gifts for the month was much higher than my target numbers.

I also booked lodging for my August Spartan Race in Ottawa through AirBNB Continue reading “Monthly Savings Update – June”