What a long strange trip it has been. 2017 seemed to just fly by (a true sign I’m getting older). 2017 brought many things in our household. A new baby, a new side project (this site), plenty of goals, and major financial milestones. If you want to read more about them take a look at Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 updates. Otherwise, let me tell you about this last quarter.
Quite a busy month. We blew through a lot of our goals during October. I got my yearly raise and was able to up my 401k contributions to 11% plus reboot adding a little every month to my Roth IRA.
It feels really good contributing to the Roth again. Now we are both putting away post-tax money and I’m putting away pre-tax. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to lock down what we are going to do with Ms. Blue Ribbon and a pre-tax account.
We didn’t have to worry quite yet about pulling from savings to supplement my leave (As you may remember my employer pays a few weeks for men).
Not everything was financially driven in October. Ms. Blue Ribbon went down to 3 days a week at work so she could spend more time with the kiddos. It was nice for me too since I was on paternity leave so it was the whole family Saturday through Tuesday. We went to the Mall Of America a few times for Toddler Tuesday. Mini Donut loved going on the rides and we loved how cheap the unlimited ride wristband was! Plus we “splurged” and would go to one of the eateries that had free kids meals (with purchase of an adult meal).
Apparently, we were boring in November (other than becoming ¼ of a million..aires). Nothing major to note other than our net worth started to stall out because of drawing money out of savings to compensate for my paycheck. Wow did it feel weird to not get a paycheck. I’ve “missed” paychecks in the past but only when switching jobs and I don’t really count that since I knew the other job would be paying me soon.
This is around the time that I started to fully become pseudo-retired. I was all about our routine:
- Mini Donut wakes me up
- Get him ready for the day
- Him and I eat breakfast
- Watch Chuggington until 7:30
- Mini Donut and Ms. Blue Ribbon head off to school and work
- Babe and I chill all day long
- 3:30/4 pm pick up Mini Donut from school
I had to create a list on Google keep to help me remember what day it was and what I needed to get done for the day (According to my father-in-law his retired friends never remember what day it is).
Enough about me, big news from Ms. Blue Ribbon! In November she started the process to work for VIPKids (teaching kids in China English). She had been toying with it off and on for a long time and finally it was decided that may as well try it. AND….
She got the job…duh…she is a teacher at her day job. She has mainly been doing trails so far (these are those classes for kids to see if they want to buy into the program). Thankfully she still gets paid for these trial classes. With enough encouragement perhaps we can get her to come on and tell you more about this cool side hustle. You don’t need to be a teacher to do this.
For me December was tough. I had to go back to the grind. After 12 weeks of baby bonding time, we had to get back to reality. Well, my reality. Babe had to experience a new norm of going to daycare. I know he is having a lot of fun at daycare because there are lots of kids and toys which helps me be a little more at ease. Work is work and I picked up right where I had left off on a garbage project like I had never left. I’ll just need to find a way to channel these feelings towards speeding up the FIRE date.
We took trips, had a baby, went crazy on our retirement and savings accounts, and did a little work on the house. Everything was a success…oh no don’t look at that red item! NOOOO!!!
We failed to plan anything with our bath renovation. I did give us some partial credit because we got 3 different quotes…and only did a spit take on one of them. To renovate a small ¾ bathroom with similar fixtures we were quoted: $16k, $20k, and $30k. Which is the point when we started looking at new houses with a realtor (not kidding). I’m going to dive into that journey later but for now the spoiler is we aren’t buying a new house. We are starting to set aside money to do our own remodel and starting to make more plans to make this house exactly how we want it.
All’s Well That Ends Well
A low key quarter for a busy year. I hope you had a great quarter and year. We accomplished so much in 2017 but it isn’t stopping now. There are lots of goals for our checklist in 2018. Be sure to check that out next week!
How was your Q4 or 2017? Did you get everything done that you wanted to do? Are you looking forward to 2018?