Monthly Update, January 2016
January was definitely the worst month since we began our accumulation phase. However, if you read between the lines we are continuing our trend of normal expenses. Remodel expenses were very high because we purchased nearly everything we need to complete the bathroom in the basement (vanity, tiling, toilet, plumbing, etc...) but then decided to hold off on it until we got the two large rooms done. So then we had expenses for finishing those two rooms too. I'm thinking February won't be quite as brutal, but we'll see. The way we are chugging through all the work we might get to starting the hallway by March.
I have also started putting away a set amount of money each month under 'remodel' so we can have some really nice carpet installed later in the year, most likely in late summer when we are done with almost everything. Estimates for our house are around 4K-5K for having carpet installed.
However, we will never need new carpet again and we want something nice so it's worth it for us. By far it will be the most expense thing we do this year.
I called our home insurance company about getting our premium reduced and they came through for us. We had been billed $987 for March and now we are at $638. That effectively reduces the amount I need to save for FI by about 10K bucks!
We also had our semi-annual car insurance payment in January which pushed up our normal expenses by nearly 20%.
Also, my 401K contrinutions are now lower due to lower company contributions. My paycheck is also slightly smaller due to higher HSA contributions starting this year.
On a positive note, our grocery expenses were quite low and I attribute it to cooking more rice/bean meals and eating more stored garden produce. We are also both adhering very well to a WD style schedule and so I think we are eating less food actually.
So overall our savings rate hit a new low for the past 9 months or so, but I still count it as a great month.
Normal Spend - $974.29
Remodel Spend - $2322.76
Total Spend - $3297.05
Total Savings - $2190.10 ; 40%
FAI - $1529.75 (+$35.86)
SWR - 72.65% (+0.03%)
NAR - 14.24% (-0.30%)
Total Charge Offs - 6 (+2)
FAI - $679.36 (+$27)
Dividends Received - $8.74
FAI - $717 (+$0)
Our income declined slightly this month due to having 2 charge off with LC and only having received one small dividend from GPS. The 401K effectively didn't change at all, the balanced ended about 15 dollars less than January 1 due to massive declines and lower contributions. This month I added a small position of JNJ
to our portfolio.
Total FAI - $2926.11 (+62.86)
Time to Bills Covered - 19 Months (-2)
Time to TTM Expenses Covered - 31 Months (-3)
Time to 3% LC - 49 Months (-11)
TTM Expenses - $13745.68 (+$321.80)
Our FAI timeline decreased this month substantially. I changed how I calculate our projected dividends by using our actual yield which is currently 4.76% instead of using a default value of 3.5%. It more will more accurately display where we sit currently and most certainly will change as our yield drops when I invest in lower yield stocks. But still seeing the time to 3% LC drop by nearly a year is nice! Now I just hope I don't target high yield stocks...simply because!
I also changed this year's projections to include expected renovation expenses so you can sort of see the line increases by a smaller amount this year before taking off after we are done with the renovation. I like this as it's much more accurate and I can hope to overshoot this.
TTM increased a little in accordance with an increase in the number of months I'm calculating on. This is settling into ~14K/year.
I'll give a small month on month summary here since I am doing regular updates on this now. A month ago we had just gotten back from holiday travels and we had a TON of work ahead of us to get our basement finished. As of today the guest bedroom is complete and the DW's craftroom is nearly there. I have the floor leveled and we started putting down the floor last night. We will continue this tonight and probably finish tomorrow with this weekend seeing me finishing the DW's shelving (she painted it a bright blue/green color) and putting on all the trim and reinstalling the doors.
February will be the month of the bathroom! I am pretty confident I can get it nearly done by March given how much work we've gotten done so far (and I don't have 2 weeks of drywall fixing to do!). Since January 7th, I have only taken 3 days off of working on this project and each day I have put in between 2-3 hours (on workdays) and 6-8 (on weekends). I'd have to say our coffee budget has about doubled.
70 eggs in January! The only chickens that are laying right now are the easter egger chickens and the blue andalusians (surprisingly because they are warm climate birds). The cuckoo marans, which are the most cold hardy, haven't laid an egg since before holiday! The slackers.
We also just finally ran out of the chicken feed I bought back in June and so our chicken costs will go up again. I am thinking I'm going to just go with cheaper crumble feed and supplement with scratch feed each day as this will be a bit cheaper.