Money Matters
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April/May monthly check-in.

April

What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?


May

What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?


Status of Ongoing Goals

What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?


GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)


GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

HeartlandHustle | Personal Finance and Betterment Blog  

Re: April/May monthly check-in.

  • cbee817cbee817
    Ancient Membership 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited May 1

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    Pay federal taxes, add $ to car payment, yearly raise and bonus. We're still waiting on state return, DH's 403b transfer.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?Add $1,000 to savings, keep to budget, get those outstanding April items complete.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    short: exterior reno starts in July, NYC trip this summer, get DH's 403b transfer to $900/paycheck for the 2017-18 school year, fully fund Roth IRA accounts.

    middle: cars paid off by EOY 2019, HELOC EOY 2020, mortgage EOY 2025 (or sooner).

    long: girls' college, retirement (55 for me, 55 min for DH to get his 30 years in)

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    NYC in August- hoping for more traveling next year when the exterior reno is complete.

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    Not really a side hustle, but it is extra income. DH gets paid hourly for after hours training (approx. $800/quarter), I get reimbursed for traveling to various offices (approx. $200/month). We use it for savings (DH's portion) and I am now using mine for extra payments on my car.


  • csuavecsuave
    500 Comments 250 Love Its Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    member

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    We wanted to increase savings.  We exceeded our target, it was a good month.  We had some AirBnB income, spent very little on dining out since we had mystery shops and gift cards and didn't have any unexpected expenses pop up.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    We want to increase savings but realistically we may change that to minimize any decrease.  Our computers purchases are on this month's credit card bill.  The plan is to use savings to buy them so if we don't increase it is in plan but I'm thinking with our AirBnB income we may be able to keep the month pretty neutral which will mean our savings goal could be ahead of schedule by the end of the month.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short is to increase savings to pay for large purchases this year and end the year with at least $5K in our car fund.  LT is early retirement.

    I also want to get our yard landscaped.  So far I haven't been able to get anyone to call me back so that goal is iffy right now.

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    We are going to visit the ILs in FL this month and we'll take two road trips to OH for my nephew's confirmation and then confirmation party the following weekend.

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    We rent our guest room to foreign visitors and on AirBnB. We use the money to feel more comfortable with making large purchases like a new (nice) grill the other year, adding to savings, and some splurges like possibly getting some hockey playoff tickets this week.

    We also Mystery shop.  That doesn't earn us money but it does keep our spending on dining out very low, which is an area we would be spending on any way.
  • April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    Successfully float during my maternity leave, including paying all medical bills. We are/will be successful on this. Medical bills are still trickling in but I have an idea about what to expect from my insurance website. I think one is way higher than it should be, but even if we have to pay it we'll be fine.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    House projects! Plant five trees and hire an electrician for some long-procrastinated work. We have the money set aside for this and are comfortable spending it now that we're back at work. We'll also resume saving, paying on my SL (it is paid ahead several years so we paused it during my leave), and set up contributions to Sam's 529.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short-Several housing projects

    Medium-Double emergency fund

    Long-Pay off student loans

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    We will spend a week on the Cape in August. It should be fun! We'll get back to major travel next year.

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    I teach scuba diving, but mainly just to finance my participation in the sport. I could never do it if everything was full price. It's staggeringly expensive, so the discounts are huge and I make enough to cover my gear maintenance. 
  • hoffsehoffse
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    member

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    I can't remember if I had any...  We stayed on budget.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    Stay on budget again.  Our bathroom remodel begins May 15, so we are just watching costs with that.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short - finish the house.  We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The bathroom is not the very end, but it's really close.  I think we will be able to finish everything else on our wish list within the next year, and then we will just be in maintenance mode until we sell - we figure we have at least 5 more years here.  The other short-term goal is starting a family, and we've begun medical testing, etc. for that.  It's $$$, but things are really different this month with drugs, and I'm hoping that's a good sign.

    Middle - I recently realized I'm up for equity partner in 2.5 years.  So yeah, let's do that.  Also, loan payoff is still on schedule.

    Long - Retirement/wealth building: our net worth finally crested $100K this month.  We were -$125,000 (not a typo) when I started tracking in Jan. 2015, so it's a massive swing in just over 2 years.  We have also hit our coast number such that if we never contributed another penny to retirement we would be able to retire on time with enough saved to maintain our current standard of living (which is very comfortable) without social security.  That was a great feeling.  We will obviously keep contributing, but the coast number builds in a significant safety net if we ever had to cut back due to a financial emergency.

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    Well I literally JUST cancelled a trip to Prague we had for next week - it was a bummer but really just too much with everything else we are doing right now (medical testing, bathroom remodel, etc.), and my points were refundable.  I'm more relieved than bummed, so I think it was the right choice.  Anyway our summer plans that haven't been cancelled yet include:

    June - California for H's grandma's 90th birthday

    July - H is in Seattle for a conference, and we are hosting 2 parties at our house.

    August - Quebec City or Montreal (still deciding) for H's 30'th birthday; H and I both have practice group retreats this month as well - mine is in Memphis, H's is at a lake near Huntsville.

    September - Wisconsin over Labor Day to visit my grandpa and H's brother; our niece turns 1 so we will have a party for her, then I am headed to Washington DC at the end of the month for a conference.

    Throwing Prague into the mix was just too much.  We might reschedule over Thanksgiving if our billable hour situation is still good.

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    No - at this point any extra time that H and I devote to work is billable.  We earn way more per hour doing this than anything else we have found.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    I believe pretty much my only goal was to put $5K toward 'cc debt.  I was able to do that.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    Put another $5K toward 'cc debt.  I accomplish this by throwing most of my monthly income, after paying bills, to it.  In addition to cash flowing the remainder of my Window World credit card, before the interest hits.


    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short:  Get my 'cc debt back below a 25% utilization.  Then complete a cash-out refi for a duplex I own outright.  Use that money to make a big dent on my HELOC.

    Medium:  Start paying down my HELOC again and pay my credit cards off.  I've been disappointed with my HELOC progress.  I've been making $2K-$3K monthly payments, but most of those big payments just "cash flowed" my property taxes, Window World bill (soon to pay), and an $1100 electrical bill.  So I've actually made no progress over the last few months :(.  But at least I didn't really add to the balance, despite all that totaling over $8K (strangle!).

    I also want to add 1 more rental property by the end of the year.  Maybe even try my first fix 'n flip.

    Long:  Ability to retire early (though I may not right away) with monthly cash flow from my rentals.  I need to add about 5 more "doors" to do that.  Through whatever combination of single and multi-family will get me to at least 5 more units.  My goal for that is the end of 2018.


    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    I want to go for a long weekend in Chicago in early June.  Maybe another long weekend to the FL gulf coast later in the summer.  But that is when their rates are highest.

    However I slice it, I need to take a lot of vacation days by the end of Sept. or my vacation time gets paid out to me for anything over 160.  I'd rather have the time than the money.  I started last October with 160 hours and will earn another 120 hours before September.  Good problem to have!

    Fridays are my half days and I'm planning to take a lot of Fridays off.  I already took last Friday off and I'm taking this Friday off also.


    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    In addition to my f/t job, I also have a p/t job and my rental income.  But I wouldn't categorize either one of those as side hustles.

    My true side-hustle is mystery shopping.  I don't make the kind of money with it anymore that I used to.  But that is by choice.  Nowadays, it's more to get things for free as opposed to doing a bunch of shops just to get the fees.  I also very occasionally do surveys, mock juries, and product/service testing.

  • April

    I'm pretty sure I was supposed to shop life insurance and set up the estate plan and the entire month got away from me. We did stay on budget and managed to add an extra $3,650 to the baby fund above and beyond our regular auto transfers. $2k of that was because we came in under budget AND took advantage of 0% financing for one of our house projects so we moved that amount from the house fund to the baby fund. The monthly payment will be about $65 instead and that will be easily cash-flowed so I'm glad to have money we budgeted for it stay in savings instead. 


    May

    Just keep staying under budget and prepping for baby. We're having a yard sale this month which will get a lot of crap out of our house and hopefully bring in some extra cash. I care more about getting rid of stuff though so anything that doesn't sell is being straight to donation after the sale.


    Status of Ongoing Goals

    Short - baby fund. My goal was to have this to $40k by my due date and we're currently on track to have it full funded 3 or 4 weeks early! This amount is so high because it takes into account our liquid emergency fund plus the amount we'll need to draw down during the unpaid portion of my maternity leave. We also are doing a few house projects and the outside stairs are complete (just waiting for the railing install), and the new carpet for the indoor stairs will be installed next month (happy to report that project came in $500 under what I budgeted!). 

    Middle - estate planning. No big plan I just need to prioritize it. Also saving up for a few bigger goals we want to accomplish in the next five years. We haven't prioritized WHICH goals will come first, but we're putting away money anyway so we can have options and decide as we go.

    Long - retirement. It's on autopilot and it's on track.


    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    We're going on a baby-moon Memorial Day weekend! Just me, hubs, and the pup in a little cabin in Vermont. No TV, no distractions, just us and the woods to enjoy some peace and quiet before the family is taken over by a demanding tiny human. :) 

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Kinda sorta? My husband resells a bunch of stuff online, but it isn't a set schedule or income. We also both have lots of OT opportunities at our jobs so we take those since it's a good return for the time invested. 

  • @LillibetteV, funny how something under 10lbs (usually) turns people lives completely topsy turvy! :)
  • @LillibetteV, funny how something under 10lbs (usually) turns people lives completely topsy turvy! :)
    Better be! hahaha. My husband was nearly 10 pounds at birth and I keep measuring a week ahead (and with IVF the conception date isn't a question so we know it's not a miscalculation) so I'm terrified of trying to deliver a big huge baby! 
  • vlagrl35vlagrl35
    500 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    @LillibetteV - don't worry about the size of your baby - it's all about the position - anterior/posterior/breach


  • vlagrl35vlagrl35
    500 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    April - I'm pretty sure we stayed on track.  living a bit tighter as DH builds up his studio clientele again.  I got 2 new students so now I have 10 which is great.  Gig season is getting busier and I think I booked 4 in the last week.  So things are really looking up.

    May - ok so I've been in the process of letting go - I've been going thru the basement and gathering items to sell on CL which I want to do this month.  I just had an inquiry on my maternity clothes.  So my goals aren't necessarily monetary as they are mentally for me :)  I want to plant flowers this month on Mother's day, I want to grow my business, more dates with DH, family fun during the summer, LOTS of yoga, hanging photos on our walls in the house, save money for our rock wall and get that built by end of summer/early fall, then save $$ for hardwood floors.  I'll be honest and say the last couple years have been harder and more stressful for DH and I - I just want to be happier now and I had all my fertility testing done and everything is "normal".  Found a new OB I like much better.  So I'm letting go of all that crap and enjoy the summer for what it is.  Worrying about it and stressing about it is NOT at all good for me.  I've been focusing on being mindful - not worry about the past/future and focus on what I have right now and really my life is pretty good!  I have so much to be grateful for.  If I keep plugging away in life and working hard everything else will fall into place.

    Seasonal   I would love to go to the beach or mountains but honestly it will probably be somewhere close to town.

    I have no side hustles 
  • cbee817cbee817
    Ancient Membership 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    @hoffse - how did you calculate the coast number? Would love to know when/if we hit that number solely for peace of mind. Thanks!
  • labrolabro
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    member

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them? 

    Mostly just cut back, still haven't been great about tracking in YNAB but I know we've both made some personal changes that improved our finances this past month.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    1. Sell the house. We're listing tomorrow, I'm hoping for enough equity to make a large lump-sum payment on our new place after our initial downpayment. I've calculated $30k will save us $61k in interest and 6 1/2 years in loan repayment.

    2. Continue to live as frugally as possible until we sell our house and reach closing on the new one.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short term - Sell our house and navigate our new budget with a bigger mortgage. It'll be tighter but I think we'll still be in a comfortable space and maintain our current plan of living on DH's income while saving mine.

    Middle - We're seriously discussing TTC later in the year so middle-term goals include working a child into the budget, saving for college, etc. Goal 2 is hit $200k in retirement savings this year. $200k in retirement will also help us stay in a positive net worth even with a bigger mortgage balance. It feels attainable at this point depending on the market so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Long-Term - As always, continue to contribute the max to our retirement for as long as we can, and pay off the mortgage early.

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    Our only planned vacation is to Norway in August FINALLY and taking an extra day to spend in NYC before we go back home to Atlanta. I can't wait!

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    Nope.

  • hoffsehoffse
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    cbee817 said:
    @hoffse - how did you calculate the coast number? Would love to know when/if we hit that number solely for peace of mind. Thanks!
    I multiplied our annual budget by 25 to get to our "safe" retirement number.  Then I just plugged what we already have saved into an investment calculator assuming a 6% annual return with no further contributions until the age of 65.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • hoffse said:
    cbee817 said:
    @hoffse - how did you calculate the coast number? Would love to know when/if we hit that number solely for peace of mind. Thanks!
    I multiplied our annual budget by 25 to get to our "safe" retirement number.  Then I just plugged what we already have saved into an investment calculator assuming a 6% annual return with no further contributions until the age of 65.  
    Woof - I just tried this and got depressed lol. Good thing we aren't planning on cutting back our contributions anytime soon! In fact DH just upped his a month or two ago. 

    I also threw up in my mouth a little bit when I looked up how much money we spent last year. Once upon a time we didn't even dream of making that much - let alone spending that much lol. 
    short+sassy
  • cbee817cbee817
    Ancient Membership 250 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    hoffse said:
    cbee817 said:
    @hoffse - how did you calculate the coast number? Would love to know when/if we hit that number solely for peace of mind. Thanks!
    I multiplied our annual budget by 25 to get to our "safe" retirement number.  Then I just plugged what we already have saved into an investment calculator assuming a 6% annual return with no further contributions until the age of 65.  

    Thanks! Looks like this year will be our year and that doesn't even include our pensions or social security. Trying not to use those in our retirement calculations- just in case.
  • nfp147nfp147
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    We wanted to cash flow our spending money in Paris, which we were able to do.  I prefer to use cash when we're on vacation so I can keep track of what we're spending.  I only had to use a cc twice to buy train tickets when the machines wouldn't take cash, so only came home to about $100 CDN to pay off.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?

    We're doing renovations and landscaping on the front of the house (extending and "pretty-ing up" the front step, new sod, etc), which we will cash-flow.  We'll also add money to our savings account and I'll add some to my savings account.

    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short: cash flow yard renovations and landscaping mentioned above, and a new washer and dryer this summer.

    Medium: Pay off the vehicle this winter and start making that "payment" to our travel account.  Japan is high on the list in the next couple years.  Most of our medium term goals are travel related.  I'd love a new kitchen, but not as much as I love to travel. 

    Long: Comfortable retirement, which our pensions will allow for.

    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    We took a few Fridays off to hang out, create our own long weekends, etc.  We've done this in past summers and took the opportunity to go out for lunch at places that are only open weekdays, or to museums that are busy on weekends, etc.  We try to stick to a "no errands" rule for our holiday Fridays. 

    I'll also travel out west in August for a family reunion, but I'll probably go without H.  Flights are so expensive within the country, plus I'm just going to hang out with my sister and nieces and I'll enjoy it much more than H would.  

    We have a friend who just moved to DC for a three-year contract, so we might go see her in Sept/Oct.  We'll watch flight prices. 

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    Nah.  I'm super selfish with my free time and I'm not willing to give it up for a little extra cash.

    Anniversary image

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    TTC Since January 2011 - We have bad sperm 
    February 2013: IUI #1 = BFN 
    October 2013: We made the decision to stop TTC and live without children.

    Nestie Besties with Xan921 
  • brij2006brij2006
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member

    April

    What were your financial goals for the month and were you able to accomplish them?

    Cash flow.  A lot. 
    We actually ended up right on without needing to pull from savings, but also didn't add to it either.

    May

    What are your financial goals for the month and how will you accomplish them?
    Cash flow more stuff.  We'll also only have half of my pay since I'm done the middle of the month.  So that makes our disposable income less.


    Status of Ongoing Goals

    What are your short, middle and/or long term goals, and what are you doing to accomplish them?

    Short: Have baby #2 and adjust to me staying home and our new, much tighter, budget.

    Middle: Continue retirement contributions on just H's income.  Also save for vehicle replacements since it will be a very slow savings process now.

    Long: Nothing really, besides our retirement contributions.


    GTKY Bonus:  Seasonal

    May is the official start of vacation season.  Do you have any plans for vacation this summer?  (Even a stay-cation counts!)

    We will do our annual family trip to the lake for a week.  We'll have a toddler and a 6 week old so it will be an interesting trip.  Don't think there's going to be as much time in the boat for me or the baby.  But oh well.  We'll still get away and relax.

    GTKY Bonus:  MM-related

    Do you have a side-hustle?  And if so, how do you use those extra dollars?

    I sell Tastefully Simple and have for 7 years now.  I'm not as active with it as I used to be, but that money pretty much sits in the account and I don't touch it.  Lame, I know.  But I'm good with pulling from it if/when we absolutely have to.

    TTC since 1/13  DX:PCOS 5/13 (long, anovulatory cycles)
    Clomid 50mg 9/13 = BFP! EDD 6/7/14 M/C 5w6d Found 11/4/13
    1/14 PCOS / Gluten Free Diet to hopefully regulate my system. 
    Chemical Pregnancy 03/14
    Surprise BFP 6/14, Beta #1: 126 Beta #2: 340  Stick baby, stick! EDD 2/17/15
    Riley Elaine born 2/16/15

    TTC 2.0   6/15 
    Chemical Pregnancy 9/15 
    Chemical Pregnancy 6/16
    BFP 9/16  EDD 6/3/17
    Beta #1: 145 Beta #2: 376 Beta #3: 2,225 Beta #4: 4,548
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