I've actually only found this website via GRS about a month ago. Since then, I've managed to devour most of the blog posts as well as most of the forum posts. All the journals are the most interesting posts to me and they seem to contain the most constructive advice. As such, I figured my first post would be my journal.
Some background, I'm 26 M, married, 1 child. Work in the auto industry as a financial analyst in Orange County, CA (Not ERE friendly).
Gross Income: $74,500 (1 income)
Cash: $43,500 ($30K for emergencies, $2.5K for property tax, $2.5K for upcoming windows purchase, $8K checking/building capital for taxable accounts)
Home: Equity $60K ($182K remaining balance on mortgage 5.25%)
No debt other than mortgage.
June's Monthly Stats:
Net Income $3,794
Cash ($ 80)
Auto ($ 56)
So for June, it looks like I managed to save $35. Not good. But to make me look not so terrible, the income for June (and every month) is post 401(k) savings at 14% of gross. So a little better there. Our son is 8 months old, so we're starting to get a hold on what he's costing us each month. (The first few months were expensive!). The $400 for medical above will be reimbursed in July via my FSA. We've been working on getting the food expenses and gas down, but it isn't easy. We also have to take turns taking care of my wife's mother who lives 50 miles away twice a month (this drives gas and food up). Generally, we save about $500 into the taxable account envelope with all the flux happening in the main checking account. Any suggestions for the above would be appreciated.
My goals going forward:
Cut data plans for cell phones in January (after contract expires). This will save $60/mo in utilities.
Start bicycling to work. Its only 3 miles 1 way, but I don't have a bike. I did ask on freecylce and craigslist, but nothing yet. Should save about $50/mo in gas.
We've cut back on eating out. It was only a few times a month, but was still eating up 40% of our food expenses (have to pay for mother-in-law frequently).
Would like to retire earlier than 50. I know this gives me time, and I'd like to think I have a decent start with my 401(k) and cash position. In addition to these, with my current employer, I'll retire with a pension (1 2/3% of highest salary per year of service up to 30 years).
I know another option would be to make more money. I do have an option for this outstanding. It would be for another $20K income, but would require about 10/hours a week extra plus my commute would go from 3 miles to 20 miles. Hourly it seems like a good move, but not sure how valuable the pension is/would be in an ERE scenario. Not to mention that I do value my time as it is.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. We're trying to do our best so my wife and I can maximize time home with our son. I'll do an update monthly and should have another set of numbers in a week or so.
Thanks in advance!