time march(es) on – feb update

Happy March!

Even though we are getting closer to spring, it has snowed every day the past 3 days in Jersey, as if to prove a point (never get too comfortable). It’s going to snow tomorrow, too.

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I had a pretty good start to my birthday month in terms of money; I’m getting a promotion at work, but it won’t take effect until June or so. I am getting a bump in salary now, and then I’ll get another bump midyear. I also received my annual bonus, (this is not necessarily a given as it is based on my company’s performance. It was more than I anticipated so I was really happy) which allowed me to pay off all my remaining debt with plenty left over. That’s right – I now have zero debt! Paying it off felt euphoric.

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Now, I just have to keep it that way. I use my Capital One card for all purchases because I get rewards, but the key is making sure I pay it back right away.

I use Personal Capital to track my net worth, and it shows me lots of data on my savings and investments, including this nifty graph that I just noticed today.

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Up almost 20k in the past 90 days! I am sure that’s not the best out there, but I think it’s not a bad way to start my nearly-38th year, if I do say so myself.

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I also filed my taxes and wasn’t as upset as the majority of other people seem to be (I read that tax returns on average are down 17%, but claiming my son of course helps). I should hopefully have that deposited before the end of the month, and I’m currently trying to figure out how I want to split the money; I’m thinking equal parts college fund, Roth IRA, and for my house downpayment fund. My EF is only a little over 3k, but because my expenses are low and that’s going to be a continual thing (I want to build to $20k eventually) I am opting to fund other goals in the meantime. College is something that has me sweating on the regular lately – I am not as prepared as I should be at this point and it adds to the overwhelm around money.

My February No Spend Challenge was successful! I had 16 no spend days, which exceeded my goal of 15 🙂 Here are my February stats:

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March is a 3 pay period month, so I am going to see if I can put one entire paycheck to savings. TBD.

Otherwise, I’ve been busy on a few freelance projects, so hoping to take that and funnel into my EF fund. I’ve also been reading Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need by Grant Sabatier. I’m not done yet, but liking it so far. I’m really curious if it can give me any more information re: passive income, so will report back at a later date. I do think the book’s target audience is someone in their early twenties, though Sabatier’s advice can definitely be applied otherwise.

Current guilty pleasure – Once Upon a Time. I started watching the series back in 2013 or so, but because I am bad at keeping up with shows while they’re running in real time, it fell by the wayside. I have made up for lost time and am in the midst of season 4. I love the way they weave all the fairytales into each other and to depict them in modern day. Plus, Killian, aka Captain Hook, aka Colin O’Donoghue, is really easy on the eyes.

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Ahh – the lure of “happily ever after” – if it was just that easy 😉

Here are the links I loved this week:

The power of the habit snowball

I really liked this, because I feel I’m somewhat putting this into practice. I have started going to the gym in the morning and doing yoga at night, drinking lots of water (and way less soda), and even last year, I started taking my lunch to work every single day. These habits are definitely compounding and giving me the motivation to keep going and improve my life more.

These next two are based on the same article – the NYT did a piece on job satisfaction, which focused heavily on a man who currently makes over a million dollars a year at his job (and he’s miserable). It really gives you a good look inside whether more money is the real answer to your problems.

When a Paycut to $600k Per Year Seems Impossible

I liked this one so much because it really reminds you that perspective is key.

A Sense of Urgency: Money Can’t Buy You More Time

What stood out to me, as I am days away from my 38th birthday:

  • male, age 30 has a 1 in 20 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 50).
  • male, age 40 has a 1 in 10 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 60).
  • male, age 50 has a 1 in 5 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 70).
  • female, age 30 has a 1 in 35 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 50).
  • female, age 40 has a 1 in 15 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 60).
  • female, age 50 has a 1 in 7 chance of dying in the next 20 years (age 70)

Woof! And, piggybacking on the whole morbid mortality thing, I liked this as well.

Post-Retirement Calculator: Will My Money Survive Early Retirement? Visualizing Longevity Risk

For some reason, I found it amusing that parts of the graph were detailed as “dead” when I plugged in my numbers…

How are you doing on your goals? What are your intentions for March?

I challenge you to review your current subscriptions (Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, StitchFix, etc.) and cut out one unnecessary recurring payment for this month; then, add that to your emergency fund (or investment account, or whatever).

See you soon!

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