As 2013 comes to a close, I wanted to start a blog so I could keep tabs on my progress towards Financial Independence and Early Retirement. In September 2013 I stumbled upon a blog called Mr. Money Mustache and it changed my views on money. I have been saving money since March 2012, I set up my checking account to transfer $50 each pay period to my savings account. I felt really proud of myself because I’ve never really had a savings account before.
But I still kept my anti-mustachian ways. I used to spend $25 every other week (when the paycheck hits my checking account) buying makeup from Sephora rationalizing that I get free shipping and samples! My savings slowly built up and I felt accomplished. I felt like I was ready for whatever. But then I quit my job August 2012 and my savings was only good to cover a month’s worth of expenses. It took me four months to get a new job.
This job paid a bit more and it also offered commission. I signed up for a 401k for 3% which the company matched. My commission was good enough to make it seem like I was getting 3 paychecks a month, life was good. I learned my lesson and have stopped ordering non essentials online. I stopped my monthly box subscriptions for makeup and perfume samples. I stopped clipping coupons so I could buy things for cheap that I would never use. I increased my transfers to my savings account to $100/check. After a couple of months, I doubled that. I kept increasing until I was putting away 50%-60% of my paycheck.
Then in November 2013 I increased my 401k to 4.5%, the full company match. I enrolled in ESPP 5%. I started a Vanguard account and bought VTSMX funds.
I believe I ended 2013 in mustachian style but there’s still a lot of fat to cut. This is why I started this blog so I can keep up and be accountable come 2014.
My 2014 Financial Goals so far are:
- Double my networth by starting a Traditional IRA account (my Christmas present to myself is the $1000 start up for this), buy stocks often, and keep contributing to my 401k.
- Create a food budget. Our monthly food expense is probably ginormous. I say probably because we have never tracked it. I plan to create a spreadsheet where we track our food purchases and when we purchased it. This way I can gauge how long a gallon of milk or a bag of coffee lasts.
- Decrease food waste. Cook enough food so we don’t have a lot of leftovers that take up space in the fridge, are eventually forgotten and have things growing on them only to be thrown away.
- Have an income generating hobby like jewelry-making. But I have to stop buying beads. Ugh. I have suddenly gotten into jewelry making. So far I’ve sold a set for $20 but I can’t keep buying beads. I have to use what I have bought.
This is an ever growing list which I will continue to modify. Here’s to a more Mustachian 2014.