Lemur Journal!

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:07 pm

Hey guys. Long-time lurker, every now and then poster.

Status: 27 years old, Married, One Son (2 years old), United States
Employment: I am a consultant / sub-contractor for government agencies
Skills: Government Budget, Finance, Some Construction, Amateur Python (learning now)
Salary: $58,500
Side Income: None yet
FIRE Progress: umm...7% or so.
Savings Rate: 25% last year. Haven't saved this year.
Assets: All Vanguard Passive-Index Funds ($85,000) + Old TSP Account ($3k)
Interests: Nutrition, Working-Out, Gardening, Python, Browsing the internet and wasting time

Most of my current savings were due to my 7 year stint in the military. A large chunk of that was saved when I was deployed. It was during my deployment, I got into saving/investing (mainly because I didn't know what to do with the money) and it was when I was getting tired of the military I was looking for "a way out." I stumbled upon investing books, eventually MMM, and than found myself here. I left the military in 2016 and have been figuring out how this career thing works since then.

I just came off a one month break between employers. Reduced my commute from 90 minutes to 30 minutes and have a slight bump in salary. My aim, like everyone else, is to retire early. I actually start my new job tomorrow so I am looking forward to the increased savings rate as my expenses will not be increasing.

I'll describe my expenses in a later post. Looking forward to random updates on my assets and also what is going on in my head.

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Lemur
Posts: 31
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:17 pm

Projected February Expenses: $2,200.
Current Assets: $88,000

I think the below is a good metric to update my journal with rather than use straight numbers:
Progress: 3.33x Expenses

Start my new job today. They do a 6% match towards the 401(k). I asked what the limit was ...they said there wasn't any. I'm thinking the amount I contribute is going to make them re-think that as the HR person told me that "unfortunately, not many utilize it."

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Fish
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Fish » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Lemur wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:17 pm
They do a 6% match towards the 401(k). I asked what the limit was ...they said there wasn't any.
In my experience this means they will match contributions up to the first 6% of income, and none above that. For example, if you put 6% in, company matches an equal amount for another 6%. If you put 20% in, the company match in absolute dollars is still as if your contribution were only 6%. Find the documentation (both your company and the IRS rules), read it and understand it. Also note that there is a limit of $55,000 from all sources (you and your employer combined). If you hit $55k before the end of the year, you might not get the full potential of the company match.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:17 pm

Fish wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:58 pm
Lemur wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:17 pm
They do a 6% match towards the 401(k). I asked what the limit was ...they said there wasn't any.
In my experience this means they will match contributions up to the first 6% of income, and none above that. For example, if you put 6% in, company matches an equal amount for another 6%. If you put 20% in, the company match in absolute dollars is still as if your contribution were only 6%. Find the documentation (both your company and the IRS rules), read it and understand it. Also note that there is a limit of $55,000 from all sources (you and your employer combined). If you hit $55k before the end of the year, you might not get the full potential of the company match.
Thanks Fish. I will look into it when I get the details!

suomalainen
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by suomalainen » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:04 pm

Agreed. 6% match is actually pretty good. My company does 100% match of first 3% and 50% match of next 3%, so total they add 4.5% so long as you do at least 6%. IRS max is $18,500 for 2018 iirc, so if you can manage that (tax free!), you’re doing pretty well (18.5 is ~30% of 58.5)!

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:01 am

Suomalainen,

Not sure if I can hit the IRS max with my current budget, but I can definitely get get close.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Started my first few days at my new job. I'm a contractor for one of the big 4 accounting firms. Very corporate(y)...I am actually doing my best to stay engaged the 8 hours each day. At my last job, I screwed around far too march on the internet. My personality...I won't ask for more work if I get bored; however, I will use this time to build skills or refine a process. I have learned already that getting work done fast just means more work.

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Astra
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Astra » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:59 am

Hello Lemur,

I see your interests/hobbies are already quite on the frugal side, with the potential to save (cooking, staying fit) or even generate money (fitness instruction, growing veggies or python - assuming you are learning the programming language and not holding giant tropical snakes as pets ;) ). Any plans yet how to develop your interests into something benefitting your path to FI?
Lemur wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:05 pm
My personality...I won't ask for more work if I get bored; however, I will use this time to build skills or refine a process.
I see nothing wrong with that! Serves you well that you are an efficient worker and can invest some time getting in a better position for a raise/promotion/new job.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:16 am

Astra wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:59 am
Hello Lemur,

I see your interests/hobbies are already quite on the frugal side, with the potential to save (cooking, staying fit) or even generate money (fitness instruction, growing veggies or python - assuming you are learning the programming language and not holding giant tropical snakes as pets ;) ). Any plans yet how to develop your interests into something benefitting your path to FI?
Lemur wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:05 pm
My personality...I won't ask for more work if I get bored; however, I will use this time to build skills or refine a process.
I see nothing wrong with that! Serves you well that you are an efficient worker and can invest some time getting in a better position for a raise/promotion/new job.
Yeah one of my goals this year is to effectively use my time at work. I used to be very cynical about work..and maybe still am just a little bit but I figure if I'm going to be stuck in the cubicle 8-9 hours a day, I might as well make it count!

Gardening is sort of sacred to me in a way so I have no intention of selling any fruit/veggies. If anything, I might give them out for free if I produce enough. Last year, I made meals for my grandparents out of them so that felt good. I treat it as my meditation after work :) and I can't wait till the winter is over! The whole garden is done by hand, very basic tools, no weed killers or anything like that. I'm not sure what the term is. I started gardening last year just trying random thing. I've successfully grown squash, garlic, and onion...and for some reason any attempts at growing greens have failed. This year I hope to change that.

The focus this year is using my time to build my career up some more and finish up my Master's Degree. As far as programming, I have no aims for that to turn into a side-income either; however, I am using it to spice up my resume.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:36 pm

I will have to look into the details but my employer has a profit-sharing plan with the 401(k). That is pretty neat. There is, however, a vesting schedule of 33% (1 year), 66% (2 years), and 100% (at least 3 years). Matching contributions are considered discretionary. It was 6% last year. I think that means 6% of your salary. I told my spouse my goal is to try to get closer to maxing this out because I do have a second source of income from going to school (Gi bill housing allowance) and I can use that for expenses (since I don't have to report that for IRS purposes). Thus I can shield a lot more money under tax haven.

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Lemur
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Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:43 pm

Got some money in today from the good old Gi Bill. $250. Transferred to my Roth for my first 2018 contribution.In other news...there is an office that is much closer to where I live. I bargained to work there at least 2 days a week. I think I got that pending some leadership approvals.

Lastly, I have been keeping 2 habits up since January 1 that I'm really starting to feel are paying off:

- I have woken up everyday at 5:30 to maintain a sleep schedule; even on weekends. I'm less fatigued and feeling better energy wise. I use to have trouble sleeping during the week which would equate to more stress (which would disturb my sleep in a vicious cycle)

-Green smoothie everyday for dinner. I keep frozen spinach/kale. Not sure why I did not do that a long time ago. I can grab them straight from the freezer and not worry about them going bad. My recipe: handful of spinach, handful of kale, 1 or 2 carrots, banana (option if I have it), and mix of frozen berries.

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