Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon May 08, 2017 8:46 am

April 2017

$334 in car parts and $341 in expenses from last month's vacation caused April to be less than ideal with only a 48% savings rate.

Note that I updated the third chart below to now include both the existing "Theoretical Investment Income" line (total amount invested * 4% SWR) as well as a line representing the total of both my theoretical investment income and my actual internet income for the month. With the investment income included I'm at about $1000 per month in passive income. I don't want to start counting chickens before they've hatched but it's fun to think I'm only $500 away from FI in a month with low spending and high internet income (they both bounce around). It's just something I was curious about, not a change in plans.

I've been thinking about putting some money in a CD or similar. Right now I have about $11,000 in savings that is not producing interest. It's part of about $31,000 I have saved for a downpayment on a house (someday). I'm planning to increase that $31,000 to $40,000 and then stop saving cash. $20,000 of my downpayment savings earns 2% interest in checking but I'd like to make sure the other $11,000 to $20,000 is being at least a little productive without risking it in the market. Any recommendations?

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 10.22
Auto & Transport 335.43 (car parts)
Business Services 43.14
Gift 12.4
Groceries 234.64
Gym 51.7
Home Improvement 5.53
Internet 28.56
Laundry 20
Mortgage & Rent 1020
Pharmacy 6.32
Restaurants 15.26
Travel 341 (expenses from March vacation that came due in April)
Total -FI 2124.2

Income
Paycheck 2454.96
Amazon 82.11
Google 151.17
CafePress 31.15
Checking 18.81
457b 1384.6
Total +FI 4122.8

Savings 1998.6
% Spent 52%
% Saved 48%

SWR 13%
SWR with Internet Income 12%

Years Remaining 20.6
Years Remaining with Interest 9


You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.
Alan Alda

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Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Mon May 08, 2017 7:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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El Duderino
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by El Duderino » Mon May 08, 2017 5:48 pm

what all did you fix on the hoopty, Gilberto? Did you post it in the drive it forever thread and I missed it?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon May 08, 2017 7:46 pm

what all did you fix on the hoopty, Gilberto?
One of the rear wheel bearings was making noise so I replaced them both. I could have used a cheaper part and only replaced the bad one to save money but I don't want to have to do the job again or wonder when the other one will go out. At least the job wasn't bad (car isn't rusty) and I saved $300 compared to the price from a shop. The cost I listed also includes tie rod ends but I haven't done that work yet.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:51 am

May 2017

It wasn't as bad as the last couple of months but spending was too high again this month. I'd like it to be below $1800 and ideally more like $1500.

Unfortunately I had to do some more work on the car (rear brakes, oil change). It looks like there will be some more car maintenance expenses in June as well. In addition, I had to drive to something which meant I had to spend a lot of money on gas.

I did receive $300 to put an ad on one my sites for a year so that helped to offset some of the expenses.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 23.93
Auto & Transport 138.64 (car parts again)
Auto Insurance 219.31 (every six months)
Business Services 166.34 (some sites renewed - I probably should have cancelled some of them but missed it)
Fast Food 15.91 (travelling)
Gas & Fuel 165.84 (had to travel to a thing)
Groceries 145.12 (cheap!)
Gym 51.7
Internet 28.56
Mobile Phone 24.52 (Republic didn't charge me last month but charged twice this month)
Mortgage & Rent 970
Total -FI $1949.87

Income
Paycheck 2454.96
Amazon 94.83
Internet Ads 300
Checking 19.41
Gift 33.95
457b 1384.6
Total +FI $4287.75

Savings $2337.88
% Spent 45.5%
% Saved 54.5%
SWR 12%
SWR with Internet Income 9.6%
Years Remaining 16
Years Remaining with Interest 8


I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.
- John Muir

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:47 am

Another car rant (I need to do this about once per year):

Over the last couple of months I've spent over $500 on maintenance for the car. I've done all the work myself but the parts still add up. Thankfully the car is not rusty and I have a great place to work on it but it's still a hassle and the costs are dragging down my finances. Sometimes it would be nice not to know how to work on the car so that I could just pay someone else to fix it (or to not have a car or to have a car that didn't need work).

That said, the most recent work I did (ball joints/LCAs, plugging punctured tire) would have cost $600 to $800 at a shop. Since it took about four hours to do I paid myself something like $100 per hour to do it myself. It's hard to turn that down.

It's not a bad car, it's just at the 80,000 mile mark where it needs some maintenance. The amount of money I have in it is still below blue book so I could make money on it if I sold it. I have one more car expense coming up (tires) and it should be good for awhile (I hope).

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cmonkey
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:00 am

Any chance of taking public transit?

Your rent/mortage is really high as well, constituting 50% of your lowest spending. Maybe a move to a more public transit friendly area?

FWIW I agree on the expenses. We plugged 1500 into our truck last month, taking some LT capital gains to pay it, so thankfully it had no impact on my forward income. I really hate vehicles!

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El Duderino
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diy mechanic

Post by El Duderino » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:32 am

Nice work on the suspension components Gilberto! Replacing things like ball joints and bushings in the suspension arms can be daunting because often you need special tools like presses and pickle forks (not the cocktail pickle kind) that can be rented for free from auto shops but most people don't take advantage.

I must be one of the select few who looks forward to doing regular maintenance on their cars. Perhaps you'll learn to love it too as your experience and ability increases.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:46 am

Any chance of taking public transit?

Your rent/mortage is really high as well, constituting 50% of your lowest spending. Maybe a move to a more public transit friendly area?
I use a bike for almost all local transportation. I have that part covered as my location is very bike/walk friendly. If I didn't do a couple of driving vacations per year and travel a lot on the weekends the car would be gone.

I thought about selling the car and using rental/taxi/shared car but the costs come out about the same and it's much less convenient since the rentals/shared cars are not nearby and not always available. I'm hoping that once the maintenance is done on this car I can put limited miles on it and it won't need much more work. If not maybe I'll get something Japanese with very low miles (expensive) in hopes that it will be low maintenance.
Nice work on the suspension components Gilberto! Replacing things like ball joints and bushings in the suspension arms can be daunting because often you need special tools like presses and pickle forks (not the cocktail pickle kind) that can be rented for free from auto shops but most people don't take advantage.

I must be one of the select few who looks forward to doing regular maintenance on their cars. Perhaps you'll learn to love it too as your experience and ability increases.
Thanks! This work was (thankfully) easy with no special tools required. There's no need to extract or press anything. The ball joint and bushings are built into the control arms so you just unbolt the old unit and bolt in the new one.

I've changed from liking to work on cars to disliking it as I got more experience. I used to really like working on cars and get a feeling of accomplishment from it but the thrill is gone. I've experienced all the fun stuff (build motor, swap motor, swap trans, bodywork, paint) and, true to INTJ form, I'm no longer interested. I'm in it purely for the savings now.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:04 pm

June 2017

My spending is still up but improving. $250 for car maintenance.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 24
Auto & Transport 256.39 (control arms/ball joints/bushings and alignment)
Business Services 17.98
Cash & ATM 40 (farmers market mostly)
Charity 89.94
Clothing 24.7
Doctor 15
Gas & Fuel 10.16
Groceries 205.71
Gym 51.7
Internet 48.56
Laundry 20
Mobile Phone 12.26
Mortgage & Rent 970
Sports 50.54 (bike parts for commuter bike, etc.)
Travel 56 (campsites for upcoming trip)
Total -FI 1892.94

Income

Paycheck 2454.96
Amazon 114.27
Google 134.19
Checking 18.81
457b 1384.6
Total +FI 4106.83

Savings 2213.89
% Spent 46%
% Saved 54%
SWR 11%
SWR with Internet Income 10%
Years Remaining 14.6
Years Remaining with Interest 7


There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F Kennedy

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:03 pm

I reached a net worth of $200,000! It took almost two years to go from 100 to 150 but only a year to go from 150 to 200.

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cmonkey
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:57 pm

Congrats, great milestone!

wolf
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by wolf » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:51 am

Great! Keep on going for the next milestone!

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:52 am

Thanks!

Jason
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Jason » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:20 pm

Congrats on 200K, Gilberto de Piento.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:55 pm

Thanks Jason!

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Allagash
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Allagash » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:41 am

Your rent has stayed about the same since you started this journal about 4 years ago. You are lucky. A rent of $970 4 years ago in say CA, Portland, Seattle...would now be about $1,400+ with the huge annual rent raises that go on here on the west coast. Shit man, I would be thrilled if I could find $970/mo rent (which appears to include water/sewer/garbage too). What area of the US do you live?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:29 am

Your rent has stayed about the same...
I live in the upper midwest. According to the only article I could find rent is up about 10% over the last three years in my location. My rent does include electric/heat/water/sewer/garbage. I am lucky that my rent is relatively cheap and has increased very slowly.

I don't like paying rent since it is by far my biggest expense but it definitely is a good deal compared to the crazy markets in Seattle, etc. On the other hand, the locations you mentioned have benefits and my apartment definitely has some issues.

I am tired of renting and landlords. Houses are expensive and only getting worse. I'd like to buy a house and I have a downpayment saved but I also have a dream of moving somewhere else. I've been in this position for years and can't seem to break free.

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Allagash
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Location: WA State

Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Allagash » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:28 pm

Rent is a tough nut to crack in the budget. Reading through a lot of these journals, the folks who have got their rent down WAY low generally either split it with their SO or have roommates. I don't have a SO and roommates are a non starter for me, so rent is a BIG challenge to the ERE budget in my area. In my area it does not make sense to buy vs. rent.

I'm looking at possibly relocating to a area with lower rent. I may eventually sell a rental property in another state and use the proceeds from that sale to pay all cash for a modest home somewhere in the U.S. with reasonable house prices.

Have you thought about where you might want to move if you did move?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:10 am

Have you thought about where you might want to move if you did move?
I had some specific plans but I don't want to get into the details here. Unfortunately the locations I am interested in have the same or higher housing costs.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Gilberto de Piento's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:29 am

July 2017

July was another bad month for spending. I bought car tires ($450) and had to care for someone who was ill (I had to travel and buy restaurant food a lot. The person is doing much better now.).

As I mentioned in an earlier post I now have $200,000 in assets. I've included a chart below showing how this is allocated. Note that the pension line starts abruptly because I wasn't tracking it before the middle of 2016 and can't go back and add it because I don't have the numbers.

Expenses
Alcohol & Bars 33.74
Auto & Transport 463.99 (car tires)
Business Services 17.98
Coffee Shops 8.98 (July vacation expense)
Fast Food 63.83 (caregiving and July vacation expenses)
Gas & Fuel 262.88 (caregiving and July vacation expenses)
Groceries 213.47
Gym 51.7
Internet 28.56
Laundry 20
Mobile Phone 12.25
Mortgage & Rent 970
Restaurants 56.05 (caregiving and July vacation expenses)
Travel 100 (campsites for August vacation)
Total -FI 2303.43

Income
Paycheck 2454.95
Amazon 143.75
Checking 19.46
457b 1384.6
Total +FI 4002.76

Savings 1699.33
% Spent 58%
% Saved 42%

SWR 14%
SWR with Internet Income 13%

Years Remaining 25.6
Years Remaining with Interest 10


Stress is the bag of bricks you can pick up in the morning and let it weigh you down or you can just not pick it up. A lot of it's in your mind.
- Robert O’Neill

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