snow_leopard's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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snow_leopard
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:12 pm

snow_leopard's journal

Post by snow_leopard » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:13 am

Hi all. I’m super glad to be posting my first entry. I’m inspired by all the journals and comments on here.

A little about myself - I'm 40, married, live in Texas, and work as a web developer. My hobbies are hiking/backpacking, reading, climbing, music. INF/TJ.

A while back I was in credit card debt and ERE blog and book as well as some other books/blogs helped me to dig myself out and get control of my finances and have a different perspective. I'm very grateful for that.

I’m still trying to figure out my goal(s) and what is possible in regards to my situation of when I can be FI. I'd like to stop being dependent on one source of income so I’m considering starting a side business. And I’m interested in reducing waste around the home so I’ve been reading up on that lately and making changes.
Last edited by snow_leopard on Tue May 08, 2018 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by Viktor K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:09 am

Totally off ERE-topic but how's climbing in Texas? I'm from there. My hometown had a "saw off all the bolts" policy several years back and has one measly gym that supports climbing/crossfit/ninja warrior (aka crap for climbing). Good job starting your journal. I've recently hatched an idea to self-teach myself web development. It is a high paying field, isn't it? Without too much spending, I think the path to a 4% SWR can't be too far in the future for you.

ira_kart
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by ira_kart » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:28 am

ironical user name, is n't it? some called "snow_leopard" from TX? :) welcome to the family.

wolf
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by wolf » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:48 pm

snow_leopard wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:13 am
A while back I was in credit card debt and ERE blog and book as well as some other books/blogs helped me to dig myself out and get control of my finances and have a different perspective. I'm very grateful for that.
Welcome snow_leopard! That sounds like a good start. Keep on.

snow_leopard
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:12 pm

Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by snow_leopard » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:03 pm

Thanks for the welcome!

@Viktor - It's flat as a pancake where I am but a massive indoor bouldering gym opened nearby. I'm pretty new to the sport but I love it. I think when I get a little better at it I'll make the drive to try an outdoor spot, maybe Enchanted Rock. Web dev is a great field! There's a ton of resources online to learn.

snow_leopard
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by snow_leopard » Tue May 08, 2018 9:22 am

I've been making some changes over the last few months including cutting some things out of my budget as well as changing some lifestyle habits. They've been good changes and have kind of simplified things for me.

I'm trying to get some spreadsheets started and want to work on some charts. But I'm having some trouble figuring out what method/calculation to use for the savings rate. I know everyone does it slightly differently (gross, net, pre-tax, post-tax). I'm open to suggestions. I've been looking at others' chart formats on here. :)

I rent. Car is paid off and a few years old. No debt.

401(k): 97,000
Roth IRA: 31,000
Taxable Accounts: 19,000
Checking: 22,600
Crypto: 1,600
HSA: 5,000

Total: 176,200

Monthly income (after taxes, 401(k), and benefits) is about 5,000.
I put 12% into 401(k) and company matches 6%. (There are other benefits, bonus and an additional match).

March expenses: 2,400
April expenses: 3,000 ($850 of this was federal tax payment, and a $200 skills course which is a great investment to me)

I think May will be better.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue May 08, 2018 9:35 am

Regarding Texas climbing, Hueco Tanks is a destination bouldering area that draws people nationwide, partially because you can climb there when the rest of the country is frozen.

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Viktor K
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by Viktor K » Tue May 08, 2018 10:08 am

I'd actually heard to that place when I was living there but I didn't start climbing until I lived in Colorado! Had no idea.

@snow_leopard Are you tracking expenses by category on a spreadsheet already? If not, that made the biggest difference for me starting out. Good job either way on cutting your spending by more than $650 March to April, if you exclude the federal tax payment and the course. That's just over a 25% reduction in spending.

snow_leopard
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Re: snow_leopard's journal

Post by snow_leopard » Thu May 31, 2018 11:13 am

@Gilberto I have heard of Hueco Tanks, it looks awesome!
@Viktor Thanks for the encouragement! I do track expenses, although, for a while it was very loosely. So trying to be more diligent and mindful now.

May Retro

I export my transactions from Mint, pull them into Excel, edit stuff out that doesn’t need to be there like transfers between accounts or business expenses, and clean up the categories. Then I do a pivot table with the categories and amounts to see the overall picture.

My SO and I split shared expenses pretty evenly. We split the rent. I pay the auto insurance, cell phone, internet, and utilities. SO pays for the groceries, restaurants the majority of the time, and a couple other things.

Auto & renters Ins (2 cars) 247
Hobby - 82
Books - 32
Clothing - 85
Food - 434
Gas - 109
Gifts - 41
Gyms - 116
Mobile Phones - 183
Internet - 138
Music - 11
Rent - 550
Shopping - 194
Utilities - 99
Vacation - 52
Grand Total 2373

Well, I was really trying to do significantly lower than March which was $2400 expenses, but I barely squeaked under that. It definitely tells me that even though I’m being more aware and thinking about my purchases, I may not be affecting the overall result.

I had to go on a business trip unexpectedly, so I bought a couple of things to wear (some of my work clothes are getting shabby anyway), some treats for colleagues, and did sightseeing ($160 for these).

‘Food’ includes food & drinks whether it be extra groceries, restaurants, alcohol, coffee, drinks, etc. I still spend a buttload on food, even though my SO covers most of it. Man, I am a pig! Haha. I used to go out to eat lunch at work regularly, but I’ve been bringing my lunch a lot more. I spent $75 on work lunches. That’s a lot better than before, but I guess I need to work on the rest that ends up in this. I may start splitting the category up to take a better look. Also, this kind of doubles as entertainment for me and keeps me in the social loop.

Net worth went up about $7800. Moved max $5500 from checking to Roth. Have not chosen the investment yet.

In non-finance news, I started a compost. Pretty stoked on that!

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