Hristo's FI Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
EdithKeeler
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by EdithKeeler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:57 am

I'm really glad you're OK, and glad you apparently received good health care. Prayers for a continued swift recovery!

suomalainen
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by suomalainen » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:13 pm

Yowza. Yet another thing we have in common. I can relate to many of your sentiments. Best wishes for the recovery.

Clarice
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:45 pm
Location: California

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Clarice » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:11 pm

Ouch! :o I am happy that you are OK - still good sentences and good spelling. ;) My husband had a very similar accident in 2014 - it was an ordeal. Best wishes and speedy recovery!

jennypenny
Posts: 5940
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by jennypenny » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:52 pm

That's so awful. I'm glad you're ok.

No one wants to go through that stuff, but it is heartening when something does happen and you find out how supportive friends and family can be. I'm glad you have a good support network.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:23 pm

Wow, I am so glad you are alive and here to tell the story. Wishing you a speedy recovery and full health back.

I am cringing at your 3rd to last bullet, as I just started having to pay $38 for a round trip daily peak time train ticket (1h 20m each way)

wolf
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by wolf » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:43 am

As a fellow biker, I am glad that you are ok, hristo!
Wow, it reminds me, that anytime something bad can happen.
I hope that you recover from this accident well.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:00 am

Thank you all for the kind words. The recovery continues to progress nicely; I'm very fortunate.

On to the numbers, or at least the net worth numbers; hopefully I'll get to the savings rate and expense numbers this weekend.

August 2018 net worth numbers

Net worth w/o house: $300,649.77 (past the $300K milestone!)
Net worth w/ house: $476,641.10 (approaching being half-millionaires)
% of [adjusted] $1.8m target net worth: 27%
Net worth change from last month: $15,418.17
Monthly PPI from total net worth: $1,588.80
"True" PPI (excluding house, 529 from net worth): $940.50

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:49 am

Here are the family's savings rate numbers for August. Obviously, August was an odd month given my 10-day hospital stay. So not surprisingly my poor wife had a lot of hospital cafeteria and parking charges that wouldn't have been there otherwise. And on the flipside, we received a lot of free meals from generous friends/neighbors who were looking for ways to help out the family during our ordeal. Nevertheless, looking hard at the numbers we likely would have ended up in the same ballpark with respect to expenses had the accident not happened, as truthfully, DW and I did a pretty good job of sticking to the budget we'd set out for ourselves at the beginning of the month.

In the end, August was by far the best month we've EVER had for savings rate. Part of that is due to more than normal income for August, but without question the biggest difference was in getting our family expenses well below where they've been historically. For September, I think our expenses might be even a little lower, though I suspect the savings rate will be lower as well because our income will be back to baseline for September.

August 2018 savings rate numbers

Total after-tax income: $23,699.61
Total expenses: $6,544.04 (down from $10,019.45 in July)
Surplus/profit: $17,155.57 (up from $4,068.24 in July)
Savings rate: 72.39% (up from 28.88% in July; this is by far the best month we've had since January 2016)
NW needed to cover expenses: $1,963,212 (nice to actually get this number below our rough back-of-the-envelope target FI number of $2 million)
[S]WR based on total NW: 16.48% (down from 26.07% in July)
[S]WR based on total NW, excluding home and 529 accts: 20.89% (down from 44.85% in July)

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:33 am

August 2018 expenses
  • mortgage, insurance, property taxes: $1,925.30
  • less mortgage principle: ($331.68)
  • health/dental/vision insurance (and wife's workplace gym membership, which she cancelled beginning in September!; BTW, feeling pretty good about our health insurance right now given that the bill for my accident that the insurance company will be paying is looking like it will be in the ballpark of $225K): $431.18
  • HOA (water, trash, landscape, insurance, etc.): $200
  • electric: $124 (need to work on consistently getting this below $100 during the summer)
  • gas: $33.40
  • my cell: $73.35 (have a plan to get this down to $0 with Xfinity Mobile)
  • wife cell: $51.23
  • kids' tuition: $1,517.60
  • dog: $0
  • grocery/home consumables: $495.14 (down from $1,572.66 in July; ha!; still have some room for improvement)
  • restaurant: $167.35 (down from $1,106.14 in July; would have been even cheaper had my poor wife not had to eat at the hospital cafeteria for 10 days; this probably will be more expensive in September because we are now in the phase of my recovery where we are treating the people who helped us out so much during my time in the hospital, and who want to see me to make sure I'm recovering)
  • car: $88 (mostly hospital parking; this number is usually closer to $30 or less, because I rarely drive and my wife drives a Leaf and doesn't normally have to pay for parking)
  • clothing: $0 (down from $935.85 in July, which included the kids' school and soccer uniforms for the year)
  • entertainment: $951.82 (up from $697.05; this number includes kid1's birthday party and various related activities, paying for next season's season tickets for our professional soccer team (we typically sell about half of our games at double or close to double face value, which almost covers our cost to be season ticket holders, so this is almost a wash), credit card annual fee, and some after school activity fees for the kids)
  • gifts: $216.72 (kids' birthdays and nieces and nephews' birthdays, and funeral flowers for a friend's mom)
  • cleaning lady: $130.00 (as I noted previously, this expense will be gone in September!)
  • internet: $19.99
  • term life insurance premium: $59.15
  • ATM: $227.50 (no idea what this money was for, but likely tied to my accident in some way, and babysitters)
  • travel: $25 (bus passes so I can get to/from work while I wait for my bones to heal and am able to get back on my bike)
  • wife gym: $109
  • me gym: $29.99 (would have cancelled it in August but it's one of those places that you have to set aside 30 minutes to go into the place and listen to them tell you 20 different reasons why you shouldn't cancel; and because of the accident I just haven't had time to endure that agony)
  • Total: $6,544.04 (down from $10.019.45 in July)

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Aristotle

Post by Hristo Botev » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:47 am

Existing for pleasure alone is a vulgar state befitting animals. A man can achieve pure happiness only by reaching the height of his potential, and that means not just thinking virtuously but behaving virtuously too.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

A September Resolutions List

Post by Hristo Botev » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:22 am

  • Read good books (literature and quality non-fiction)
  • Limit TV
  • Limit cell phone time
  • Limit web surfing; get news exclusively from NPR, because as compared to every other news outlet I've tried, NPR seems to be relatively balanced and focused on the truth, and because it covers local as well as national news
  • Bike and walk for transport, run and lift weights for exercise (once I've healed from the accident)
  • Use car for transportation as last resort
  • Spend money as a last resort
  • Tackle honey-do items around the house
  • Eat healthy and don't overeat or eat out of boredom, limit alcohol intake
  • Family dinner every night
  • Limit restaurant trips; eating at home as a family is always more enjoyable
  • Work when at work; focus on efficiency
  • Schedule work tasks for the day at the beginning of the day
  • Hike more with family
  • Pray the Examen every evening
  • Invest more time and energy in family and friendships
  • Send handwritten correspondence

Augustus
Posts: 520
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Augustus » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:15 pm

Belated well wishes after the accident!

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:48 am

Thanks Augustus.

I realize that for the people on this forum this is probably old news, but I’m reading Charles Montgomery’s excellent book Happy City and it’s amazing how spot on he explains how we ended up with urban design in city centers like the one I live in that are dangerous for bikers and pedestrians and certain to result in accidents like the one I sustained. Definitely recommend the book if you haven’t already discovered it.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:43 pm

It's a little premature to celebrate yet, but 3 days in and I'm getting a lot of joy from checking my Xfinity Mobile app and seeing that the amount of money I currently owe for this month's cell phone bill is $0. It's also been a good exercise in detaching myself from overuse of my cell phone, as I've removed all games and other distraction apps from my cell phone, so that I really only am using my cell phone to make and receive calls, text, check work email, and to occasionally look things up on Google. I've also noticed that switching from the larger iphone 7 to the smaller iphone SE (i.e., iphone 5) has caused me to be less interested in pulling out and checking my cell phone. It's as dumb of a cell phone as I'm going to be able to do for the time being.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

St. Therese of Lisieux

Post by Hristo Botev » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:43 am

"Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them."

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

St. Augustine (and Springsteen)

Post by Hristo Botev » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:00 am

"You move us to delight in praising You;
For you have formed us for yourself,
And our hearts are restless till they find rest in you."

"Everybody's got a hungry heart."

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Luke 3:11

Post by Hristo Botev » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:09 am

"He said to them in reply, 'Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.'"

This one definitely eats at your conscience.

EdithKeeler
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:55 am

The one that gets me is this one:

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

I think of this one every time I see a homeless person. Would I give Jesus money? Of course. Would I give that guy/gal money? Hmm.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:57 am

Regarding the bike I was riding when the accident happened, it's a Surly Cross-Check I bought about 5 years ago for about $1,200, to which I subsequently added fenders, a dynamo lighting system, probably too-expensive (but nevertheless awesome) Compass tires, and a rear rack. I picked it up from the police department a few weeks ago expecting it to be a mangled mess (I have no memory of the accident and so had no idea what sort of damage the bike had sustained). Fortunately, the only noticeable damage I saw was that my front wheel was almost bent over in half, from what must have been a straight on collision with the street curb (as I was trying to avoid a collision with a car?) that sent me over my handlebars and into the hospital trauma unit for 10 days. Of course, that's the wheel that has a dynamo hub, which means to replace it means having someone (perhaps in another life that someone would be me) build a new wheel around the hub.

I finally got around to taking the bike to the mechanic yesterday, who confirmed that there was no other damage to the bike (including the frame, well done Surly!--and consider this an endorsement for steel frames). Fortunately, the cost for building the wheel ($150; labor and parts) isn't going to be as bad as I thought it might be (~$300). And I'm looking forward to having my "go fast" bike back in working order, as my self-imposed (or, perhaps, wife-imposed) bike-riding timeout expires at the end of this month, and I've got a fall, weekend bikepacking trip planned with a friend, as well as a recreational ride planned with my old boss who, it turns out, had a rather bad bike accident the day after mine and is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get back in the saddle.

More importantly, the past few weeks being forced to drive a car for my (1 mile) commute has been miserable (the days I've taken the bus or walked have been good, but those aren't options on days I have to drop off or pick up kids from school). We chose the location of our home, work, and kids' school in part based on relative proximity and the ability to be able to ride bikes or walk for pretty much every trip; and I can't wait to start bike commuting again, and the kids can't wait to start riding their bikes to school again. However, I won't be riding my "go fast" bike for that commute; instead, I'll be riding my old 80s Schwinn which I've converted into an upright "townie," because I think that bike (a) makes me more visible to cars in an urban riding environment, (b) is slower, and (c) is designed to make you want to take your time and enjoy the ride. So I'll save the Surly for longer, non-commute rides.

Also, it pains me to say it (because I hate that it's even necessary in a purportedly bike-friendly community like the one I live in), but I will be wearing a helmet for every bike ride, no matter how short. Perhaps I've seen too many videos of smiling Dutch cyclists riding around in their work clothes without a helmet. And I believe in the conspiracy theory that the whole bike helmet campaign in the U.S. was one thought up and paid for by the automotive industry in order to keep people in cars. Nevertheless, having now actually sustained a traumatic head injury when not wearing a helmet (though my neurologist said the injury may have been worse had I been wearing a helmet, because of how my head hit the sidewalk), you will never see me not wearing a helmet, even on the 1-mile trip to/from work. That said, you will also never see me shaming other cyclists for choosing not to wear a helmet, which in my opinion happens way too often. Truth be told, the real reason I will wear a helmet going forward has nothing to do with my safety, because I'm not convinced helmets really help (in fact, there's a study out there that says it's more dangerous to wear a helmet because cars treat cyclists not wearing helmets more cautiously than those wearing helmets). The real reason is because over the past month I've gotten really annoyed (though I know it comes from a good place) of people asking me (often before they even realized I had sustained a head injury) whether I'd been wearing a helmet. I.e., Them: OMG, what injuries did you sustain; Me: Well, 7 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and they had to put my should back together; Them: Well, at least you were wearing a helmet, right?

Hristo Botev
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Hristo's FI Journal

Post by Hristo Botev » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:03 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:55 am
The one that gets me is this one:

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

I think of this one every time I see a homeless person. Would I give Jesus money? Of course. Would I give that guy/gal money? Hmm.
So, so true. There are so many ways that I try and justify for myself why it's OK for me to not get that person money; and truthfully, those justifications are probably all wrong. If I'm remembering this correctly, in response to an objection that the homeless person would just go and spend the money on alcohol, Pope Francis said something like "So what; if that alcohol brings him some joy in what is otherwise a rather joyless existence for him, then isn't that a good thing?" I'm paraphrasing of course, and probably totally mis-remembering the interaction. But I liked that response.

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