Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri May 01, 2015 12:48 pm

April 2015

Boom! Best savings rate ever at 67% (mostly due to it being a three paycheck month).

And I'm still not drinking coffee during the week. :)

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 11.59
Auto & Transport 331.56 (six months car insurance)
Business Services 37.9
Cash & ATM 100
Gas & Fuel 82.52 (it's "doing stuff outdoors and driving to get there" season)
Groceries 301.04 (one grocery trip was by bike)
Health & Fitness 46.31
Mobile Phone 12.07
Mortgage & Rent 950
Restaurants 60.28
Shopping 19.76
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Travel 158.84 (not sure what this is, on credit card, need to look into it)
Total -FI $2179.16

Income
Paycheck 251.62
Amazon 102.03
Google 170.12
Checking 3.97
Gift 26.74
457b 6000 (three paycheck month)
Total +FI $6554.48
Savings $4375.32

Spent 33%
Saved 67%
"S"WR 22%


Image

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri May 15, 2015 12:52 pm

Reminder: if it was easy everyone would do it.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 8948
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by jacob » Fri May 15, 2015 12:55 pm

Actually, I think it's the other way around. If everybody was doing it, it would be considered easy. There's nothing inherently difficult about it.

mxlr650
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by mxlr650 » Sat May 16, 2015 5:04 pm

Actually, I think it's the other way around. If everybody was doing it, it would be considered easy. There's nothing inherently difficult about it.
Parenting is hard, but lots of people do it
Saving is easy but lots of people do not do it. There is nothing difficult about saving – if environment factors are adjusted. It is not like sugar or fat that have evolutionary roots to it.

I don’t see a pattern enough to generalize.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:26 am

May 2015

457b Filled
This was the first month in a while without a contribution to the 457b (I reached the limit for the year) so my savings rate is down since I had to pay taxes on all of my income.

New Minor Goal
Expenses of $2041 aren't bad but I'm going to start trying to keep it under $2000 per month from now on [edit: see below - goal is now $1800 per month]. When it gets close in Mint I'm going to stop spending money (if possible).

Decisions
I feel like I had to make a few choices this month where I had to choose between ERE and something more expensive and unfortunately didn't go ERE each time. For example, I bought a new muffler for the car even though I probably could have ignored the noise or cobbled together a patch for the existing one. In another example, I found out my canoe now leaks just before needing it for a weekend-long canoe trip. Instead of bailing the canoe all weekend (risking sinking it) or using my not-at-all-appropriate whitewater kayak I rented a canoe for $132.

Mint Categories
Sometimes I'm not so sure about categorizing things. Are canoe-related expenses entertainment or health and fitness? Mint also has a sporting goods category that seems appropriate but I already have too many categories in my spreadsheet. It's an ongoing problem that I'm not too worried about.

Nearing SWR and Expenses Saved Milestones
I'm excited about next month because the "S"WR is getting very close to 20% and my years of simple (not including interest) expenses saved is very close to five years.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 54.85 (beer for river trip, didn't need this much and it could have been cheaper beer)
Auto & Transport 110.49 (new muffler for car, will get $50 rebate in the future)
Bills & Utilities 91.94 (meetup fee, group hopefully will pay this back)
Business Services 156.34 (websites renewed)
Entertainment 132.77 (rented a canoe for weekend river trip)
Gas & Fuel 68.93
Groceries 191.89 (not bad)
Health & Fitness 142.57 (doctor, epoxy to seal canoe)
Mobile Phone 12.07
Mortgage & Rent 950
Restaurants 38.21
Shopping 24.4 (new bike chain)
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI $2041.75

Income
Paycheck 3281.55
Amazon 142.85
Google 173.66
Checking 3.37
Total +FI 3601.43

Savings $1559.68
% Spent 56.69%
% Saved 43.31%
"S"WR 20.17%


Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

Image

Image
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:48 pm

Thinking About Fixed Costs - A New Goal

I've been doing some thinking today about fixed costs. In my current situation, without making any crazy changes, what do I really have to spend and what are extras?

Fixed costs each month:
$950 rent
$200 food
$63.29 internet (really only $23.29 since I have two people paying $20 each to share)
$50 car insurance
$10 renter's insurance
$19.98 hosting for websites
$4 fee for 457b account

That's $1200.27 in costs that are hard to decrease. Everything else I spend is really optional. The lowest monthly expenses I've ever had was $1809.23 so even in that record month I spent about $600 that could have been avoided.

I read some of C40's journal this morning and realized that he hardly has any unexpected costs. His costs are really stable from month to month. I'm not sure what to attribute this to but part of it is willpower. What have I been buying? I feel like I'm pretty frugal but I don't think I've been pushing hard enough.

I'm going to set $1800 as an upper limit on my spending this month. I don't want to be a cheap bastard or live like a monk but this should leave me with about $600 to spend above the $1200 in fixed costs.

If I spend $1800 a month that would put me at a savings rate of 53% instead of 43% and cut SWR to about 18%. Doing this consistently would mean a major improvement in time to FI, something that has been bothering me lately. It's still not good enough but maybe it would create a new normal. Something has to give here because right now by the time I become FI I'll barely be ER let alone ERE.

Ydobon
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:15 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Ydobon » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:19 am

At least you know where the costs are creeping in.

Because I've failed to keep a spending diary up to this point, I could only say what my fixed expenses were (mortgage, insurance etc.)

I did start a diary and look to be in your shoes of knowing where and what to cut in the near future :)

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:45 pm

June 2015

June was a very good month! I put a piece of paper in my wallet and started writing down every transaction. This simple method let me know when I was getting close to spending $1800 (new goal - see June 1st entry). I wrote fixed monthly costs on the paper before they actually occurred so they wouldn't surprise me at the end of the month. I went over my goal of spending $1800 by only $46.

I achieved two milestones this month:
1. My "safe" withdrawal rate is now below 20%.
2. I have five years of expenses saved, not including interest.

Expenses
Auto & Transport 42.71 (license renewal)
Business Services 17.98
Cash & ATM 180 (vacation money - spent on park entrance fees, camping, other fun)
Charity 35
Gas & Fuel 98.85 (drove while on vacation)
Groceries 181.8
Gym 90 (15 passes to gym - good for about 6 months since I only lift occasionally)
Health & Fitness 3.97
Mobile Phone 12.07
Mortgage & Rent 950
Restaurants 166.06 (most of this was taking out the whole family for dinner on Father's Day)
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI 1845.73

Income
Paycheck 3281.55
Amazon 139.01
Google 164.67
CafePress 27.37
Checking 6.02
Gift 29.48 (actually a return of some tools I bought last month but didn't need)
Total +FI 3648.1

Savings $1802.37
% Spent 51%
% Saved 49%
"S"WR 18%


Image

Image

“Our lives improve only when we take chances- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”
Walter Anderson

Ydobon
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:15 am
Location: Scotland

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Ydobon » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:36 am

5 years of expenses is excellent, well done you :)

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:30 am

@Ydobon: Thanks!

Barlotti
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Barlotti » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:07 pm

Hi Gilberto,
Congratulations! As someone who is at 30% SWR right now, it's really nice to see the progress you've made. I hope to be under 20% SWR in 6 months to a year. We'll see!

With regard to containing spending by logging expenses, using an envelope budgeting iPhone app worked pretty well for me last month. I also went on cash with selective use of credit cards. It's true what they say, it's more difficult to hand over cash than to swipe a card.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:35 am

@Barlotti: Thanks! As the numbers improve it just makes me more motivated. I'll look into getting a budgeting app.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:06 am

July 2015

A new monthly spending record at only $1746! I feel like I'm making progress. Tracking spending on paper has really helped as has not having any big unexpected expenses in the last two months. I don't really feel like I'm holding back much either.

According to my spreadsheet I'm still 15 years out. This number is based on a simple calculation of (Savings Needed - Current Savings) / Projected Savings Per Year. This doesn't include appreciation in stock values (a big part of having them) so it's very conservative. It also swings wildly with small variations in spending but I think I'll start reporting it anyway. I'm optimistic that I will continue to find ways to keep it moving downward.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 48.36 (half of a vacation, friend in town)
Auto & Transport 40.62 (needed a new hood latch)
Business Services 17.98
Cash & ATM 20 (whoa!)
Gas & Fuel 106.96 (vacation)
Groceries 254.37
Home Insurance 115 (6 months renter's insurance)
Mobile Phone 12.07
Mortgage & Rent 950
Restaurants 113.61 (half of a vacation, friend in town)
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI $1746.26

Income
Paycheck 3281.55
Amazon 128
Google 148.29
Checking 9.13
Total +FI $3566.97

Savings $1820.71
% Spent 49%
% Saved 51% (not bad for a two paycheck, non 457b month)
"SWR" 17%
Years Remaining 15


"F%&$ the G-ride, I want the machines that are makin' em!"
- Rage Against the Machine (Would they approve of ERE? Probably not with stocks.)

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:40 am

August 2015

Lowest spending, best savings rate ever (in a normal earnings month)! I mostly got lucky and no unexpected expenses showed up.

My net worth dropped due to the market downturn but SWR is still down to 16%. Even better, years to FI is down to 11.7. Still not good enough but close to single digits (where I will start to feel like there is a point to all of this).

I think this is realistically near the upper limit for savings rate given the current financial structure of my life. I could probably cut another $100 of spending.

I see two avenues to further progress:
1. Cut housing expenses. I almost have enough for a solid down payment on a duplex in a nice neighborhood in my city. If I can find something where the numbers allow me to live for free with someone else paying the mortgage that would be best.
2. Earn more. This hasn't happened yet but I remain optimistic.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 26.75
Auto & Transport 37.93
Business Services 17.98
Cash & ATM 140
Clothing 24.79
Entertainment 6
Gas & Fuel 82.53
Groceries 184.23
Mobile Phone 12.2
Mortgage & Rent 960
Office Supplies 3.15
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI 1562.85

Income
Paycheck 3282.62
Amazon 95.51
Google 174.7
Checking 12.8
Total +FI 3565.63

Savings $2002.78
% Spent 44%
% Saved 56%
"S"WR 16%
Years Remaining 11.9


“You become what you think about all day long.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:53 am

September 2015

Not a bad month. The market continues to be down so the numbers don't look as good as they otherwise would.

I had to buy about $200 in car parts this month. It's time to buy a different car but I haven't found the right deal yet.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 6.28
Auto & Transport 235.53 (Mostly car parts, some bike parts.)
Business Services 52.32
Cash & ATM 60
Gas & Fuel 58.13
Groceries 244.91
Health & Fitness 18.17
Mobile Phone 12.2
Mortgage & Rent 960
Pharmacy 8.43
Restaurants 52.15
Television 63.29
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI 1775.41

Income
Paycheck 3282.27
Amazon 115.42
Google 164.24
Checking 15.11
Gift 170 (Actually I helped someone sell something and this was my cut.)
Total +FI 3747.04

Savings 1971.63
Spent 47%
Saved 53%
"S"WR 18%
Years Remaining 15.9


"...wealth is a great deal more enjoyable if you've already taught yourself that you can have a good time without it."
Peter Barton in Not Fade Away

Image

Image

Image

Image

George the original one
Posts: 4202
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by George the original one » Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:29 am

Interesting that your savings rate is gradually climbing despite the peaks & valleys.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:48 am

George the original one wrote:Interesting that your savings rate is gradually climbing despite the peaks & valleys.
I think setting a goal for spending (no more than $1500) and adding it up on a piece of paper as I go has really helped. I write down all the fixed costs on the first day of the month so that they are accounted for right away. It does feel like it's trending down.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:15 am

October 2015

This month is my two year anniversary posting here at ERE! It was a good month too with a 66% savings rate due to three paychecks and spending little despite having to pay car insurance.

In honor of it being my two year anniversary I went a little chart crazy. See below for lots of charts and discussion!

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 14
Auto Insurance 317.33
Business Services 17.98
Cash & ATM 40 (Farmer's market)
Charity 20 (Feel the Bern! Ha!)
Gas & Fuel 32.03 (Lower than usual)
Groceries 142.41 (Lower than usual)
Internet 63.29 (Really 23.29 since two other people are each sharing for $20 per month. I should start tracking this properly.)
Laundry 20
Mobile Phone 12.16
Mortgage & Rent 960
Pharmacy 38.47 (Some supplements)
Restaurants 78.06 (Higher than I would like)
Shopping 18.98 (New trash can)
Trade Commissions 4
Total -FI $1778.71

Income
Paycheck 4951.16
Amazon 63.82
Google 138.47
CafePress 25.02
Checking 19.58
Total +FI $5198.05

Savings $3419.34
% Spent 34%
% Saved 66%
SWR 16%
Years Remaining 15.4
SWR with Internet Income 14%


There have been a lot of improvements over the last two years!

My savings rate has gone up by about 15%, from about 40% to about 55%:
Image

My net worth has doubled from about $65,000 to about $130,000 while the amount I need in retirement has dropped by about $75,000:
Image

The withdrawal rate that would cover my expenses has also fallen. Even though I don't really trust it I also calculated this with internet income:
Image

Here's what the internet income looks like over time:
Image

My expenses per month have decreased from about $2200 to about $1800:
Image

Projected years to FI has also decreased from about 25 to about 15:
Image

If I ever lose my job or want to take a break the number of months of expenses I have saved has more than doubled from about 30 to about 75:
Image

While financially I'm looking a lot better when I look back through my whole journal I'm disappointed:
* I wanted to move to another state, I haven't done that.
* I wanted to get a better job, I haven't done that.
* I wanted to buy a house, I haven't done that (though I do have 20% down on a reasonable house in my city now).
* I haven't improved my internet income.

Thanks to everyone on this website for all the help!

“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.”
Rachel Naomi Remen

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5186
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by jennypenny » Sun Nov 01, 2015 11:57 am

Journals like yours give me some serious chart envy. :P

Related to the Remen quote -- did you ever see this thread? You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1452
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:52 pm

Those are some great charts, I think I need to start adding some more to my journal.

Congratulations on making so much ground and happy 2 year anniversary!

heyhey
Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:17 pm
Location: Herts UK

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by heyhey » Sun Nov 01, 2015 8:18 pm

Thank you for some inspiring charts! You have come a long way :)

llorona
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:44 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by llorona » Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:49 am

Happy Anniversary! To echo others, your charts are amazing!

Ginger1
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:22 am

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Ginger1 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:09 am

Fantastic to see your progress since 2013. Looking forward to settling down with a nice cup of coffee and reading it from beginning to end. I'm sure there's a lot of relevant learning for me in here!

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 832
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:20 am

Related to the Remen quote -- did you ever see this thread? You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
I did see that thread. It only takes one bad apple to cause a lot of stress so it's best to surround yourself with positive people.
Looking forward to settling down with a nice cup of coffee and reading it from beginning to end.
Happy reading! I hope you find it helpful. When I first joined here I read all of C40 and m741's journals. You may want to try those too.

Thanks to everyone for the compliments on the charts. It comes from an adaptation of Akratic's spreadsheet. I could share it or I could walk you through adding them to your own google sheets doc, just let me know.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1559
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:55 pm

Seems like all your trends are good. The big change you should hopefully start to see is compounding of your savings (assuming you are getting some sort of return for it), which should start shaving years off. Keep up the good work!

Post Reply