Financial Status: December Update

December Update

Progress to Early Retirement: 44%
Progress to Financial Independence: 89%
Progress to Great Start: 100% {Feb 2015}
Percent Home Ownership: 43.79% (home value rose a bit)
Net Worth Breakdown: Home Equity 15% Non Retirement: 28% Retirement:60%

November 2018 – ER: 46% FI: 90% HO: 43%
October 2018 – ER: 45% FI: 90% HO: 42%
September 2018 – ER: 42% FI: 90% HO: 41%
August 2018 – ER: 44% FI: 89% HO: 41.9%

This Month’s Story:

This passed month has been interesting.  We spent more money due to a furniture purchase, lost some money due to the market woes, and our house has gone up a bit in value. 

I was a week late in posting this, work and the holiday season really does eat up my time.  I have to add a fair bit of sleep deprivation to my story as well.  There’s been a few bugs running around my home, and we’ve all had colds.  It’s hard to be motivated to write when you are wiped out.  I guess as I spend more time on this site, and this hobby of mine, that it will get easier.  Time will tell.  

Overall, I have to say that I am a bit bummed with the trend in the market.  This is to be expected for certain, but its still a bummer. I do not think this is the end of the pain that is to come, and I expect lots of volatility in the weeks and months to come.  So, I have to get used to it, and remind myself that I have a good strategy, and that dips in the market are just buying opportunities. After all, I do not plan on retiring for more than 10 years.  And after all, we are only talking about a 10% drop.  More will likely come.

From the beginning of July, we have not had couches in our main room.  We went big, and got leather reclining couches.  This does make me happy, and I really do enjoy that room.  I talk about the details of this in my post on Black Friday sales if you are curious.  Sufficed to say, I am happy even if we did spend a lot of money.  

Aside from that, though the last month had my wife traveling three of the four weeks of the month, returning on the day before Thanksgiving.  There was something to be grateful for, even if she came home sick and tired!  

aI think I have the last of the leaves blown off my yard.  That leaf blower of mine really did do the job.  We’ve had a lot of rain and cold lately, so I’ve not had the chance to do the final blow of the season.  Today, I finally was able to make some time for that chore.  I really am happy with it, and you can read more about my unit in these two articles: Yard Work: Saving by Spending and Yard Work: Saving by Spending Update.   I think I will do a final season update on the subject, but not yet.  I will like to take some pictures tomorrow before I do it, and it’s too dark now as I type this. That being said, we’ve had a few inches of snow, which is very, very rare in my area in November. That was followed by a warming and a hard freeze recently.  This has made the remaining leaves rather stuck to the ground, but I got enough of them up I think.  For some reason, Oak leaves are a beast to remove; they just don’t capture the wind well which no doubt is a great evolutionary adaptation for the tree. Anyway, it was easier to use my walk behind leaf blower, and I did not hate the task as I have in previous years.  This saved me the need to pay someone to do it, and that is a huge savings in and of itself.

A co-worker let me take a test drive in his new Tesla model 3.  I will have a post on that coming soon, and I have to tell you that it was a great experience.  Putting math and finance aside for a minute, the pure joy of driving the vehicle was off the charts.  I am not a car guy, but my father and many uncles are.  I think I have some of their enthusiasm, even if I do not share most of it.  Still, I do love driving, and keeping my car neat and clean.  Anyway, this Tesla was amazing.  It was designed differently than other cars.  They really have a different approach to how to design and build a car, and while I had read about them before, that was nothing compared to actually driving one.  I love driving, and that was hands down my favorite car to drive; sorry Dad, but your 65 El Camino with a 1994 Corvette engine in it was no comparison.  (Dad and his brother built and drag raced it for a few years in the late 90s, but now it’s just dad’s show car.) I will admit a love of American Muscle cars, and the deep throaty sounds of a well tuned V8 engine, but damn that Tesla was fun to drive.  All electrics cars benefit from a very low center of gravity due to that battery, and max torque at all speeds thanks to the electric motor.  Those two facts make them a lot of fun to drive, but it was the software and the other systems that make Tesla’s very different than other cars.  I’ll explain that all in my next post on the subject.  All of that, does not mean a Tesla is a great buy.  That too will be part of my post.

One thing that has become more clear over the last month is how much I love YouTube videos.  There really is a shocking amount of entertaining and engaging content available for free.  Many content creators want you to pay them via Patreon, but that point aside, a lot of entertainment can be found for free or whatever you choose to pay.  For me, it’s great to listen to while I am doing other things.

I was looking at my tire pressure with all the cold air, and we are down about 4lbs, or about 10-12% on average for our cars.  That is normal when the tires were filled in the summer, and it’s now of course winter.  While I know technically it’s not winter yet, as far as I’m concerned, if it’s snowed, it’s winter.  Well, one thing I have tested on every car I have owned is the impact of lower tire pressure on fuel economy.  Put simply, you get better gas mileage when the pressure is correct.  So, I need to head out to the local gas station and refresh my tire pressure.  I should add that neither car’s tire pressure warning has gone off.  This is safe, and does provide better traction in snow and the like.  Still, when it’s that snowy, I’m generally not driving.  

I’ll be having a DIY post soon about oil changes and winterizing my equipment soon as well.  This is another area of how to save some bucks.  

Well, that’s about all that’s on my mind today.  

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