Home > Archive: June, 2024

Archive for June, 2024

Mid-Year accounting

July 1st, 2024 at 01:15 am

Total Assets are staying north of a million (first reached 2 months ago).  Up 8.2% YTD.

Total Debts are down 13.4% YTD.

Total Net Worth is just over 950k, up 10.1% YTD.


Not quite to the point where I feel "financially independent" (that is, free to live off of my assets rather than off of my income) but getting there!

We hade a short but severe windstorm mid-week that took out power for two days; I had to toss about $100 worth of food.  Temps have been in the 90s and it's been so humid that my glasses fog up as soon as I step outside.

I did go kayaking for the first time this year yesterday.  It was pretty windy out there still!

Last chance $10/month Planet Fitness = Joined (again)

June 21st, 2024 at 07:52 pm

I've been meaning to get my strength training going again, so I had been looking at Planet Fitness (which I belonged to for 6 months of 2022, as a "Black Card" ($25/month) member.  Then yesterday I happened to catch an online discussion that suggested that PF was about to raise their prices.  I did my own research and confirmed it.  

Fortunately the deal that was offered to me yesterday was better than the last one I had seen (no commitment, only a $1 joining fee rather than the usual $49 joining fee), so I rejoined yesterday for $1 down.  The first $10 monthly fee will hit on 7/17, and then there IS a $49 annual fee that will hit in September.  The $10 price remains as long as I don't let the membership lapse.

But still for $120 ($10 * 12) (+ tax) + $49, I consider this a $169/year "health insurance policy."  The gym is only 6 minutes from home, it's clean, the equipment is maintained, and I've never gotten sick after working out there (which is something I cannot say about the many other more expensive gyms I have belonged to over the past few years.

The downside is that they currently do not have a personal trainer on staff (which they typically do).  I would like to learn proper form for doing deadlifts with barbells, using the squat machine and the cable machine...but in the interim, there are all the other machines I have been using for years to start with.  I know intellectually how important it is to maintain strength, but for the past year, I've focused on walking and running and haven't done much strength training at all, so I hope to change that.

mid-June update

June 14th, 2024 at 12:07 pm

It's been an eventful month, but more of an inflection point than a sea change.

Probably the biggest thing that happened, but one that doesn't affect me personally, is that my cousin's wife, who has been part of our family for over 30 years, had a heart transplant.  When we got together last month, she told me she was on the transplant list and had been for a while, but we were all surprised that the right match came for her just two weeks later!  She was in the hospital for about 10 days, was up walking within 24 hours of the surgery, and is doing well, with a much healthier heart than before!  (She is a cancer survivor, and drugs from that previous medicl event damaged her heart.)  So that is a great blessing.

Personally, there are some changes happening at work.  My job has been remarkably stable for the past 6 years, and this is the first time since 2018 that there will be some changes.  Now change can be good or change can be bad, and I pray that this is all to the good, but it does make me more eager to reach "financial independence," (FI) the point at which I have the ability to support myself from my savings rather than my income, and when I work because I WANT to rather than because I HAVE to.  We are at the point where the changes have been announced but not yet implemented--that really comes starting in mid-August.

And of course, it's a basic principle of psychology that we get more motivated and strive harder the closer we are to achieving a goal.

The speed with which I reach my goal depends on the market, of course, but I am making progress.  We aren't quite to the halfway point of the year yet, but to date, I have reduced my total debt by about 12k and my assets have increased by about 75k.  (I put 2k a month into retirement savings, and I get one big annual "profit-sharing" contribution early each year from my employer, so about 1/3 of the increase is from funds added and 2/3 is from capital appreciation.)

All things taken together, I figure I am 2-4 years from FI.

I also have a home repair issue that I have been dealing with.  I live in a 1915 house with a half-bath that was added on much later.  When we have bad storms, it has been literally raining inside my house in the doorway in between the original home and the addition.  I have four buckets that fill that doorway.  I'm pretty sure that the problem has finally been correctly diagnosed and I have signed a contract for a repair, but the earliest the work will commence is the 20th, so I'm a bit nervous about the storm forecast for tonight, and I hope that is the only one before the repair.

The drywall in the ceiling of the half-bath has also been damaged and will need to be replaced (and probably mold remediation done), and my neighbor and I have agreed to replace our shared front steps next year--all of this will be quite pricey.

For the moment, I am holding off on acquiring new cats, as much as I want new companions.  I am able to make greater progress on the debt reduction without having that commitment.  Pets and books are my biggest spending indulgences--and the cost for pets far outweighs whatever I spend on books.  

Other than that, I have been struggling for a couple of months with fatigue.  The first quarter of the year is so busy and the worst of it is that the scheduling is out of my control, as I am a "sub-advisor," not a lead.  I pushed pretty hard through Q1 and hit a wall sometime in April, at which point I've been spending more time going to bed early than working out.  I did manage to run a 5k last Saturday, though (with a short walking interval after every mile), so I haven't totally lost my conditioning.

In any case, I went ahead and scheduled my PTO time for the rest of the year.  Every Friday off starting next Friday, through the end of August.  Then another two days (for a 4-day weekend) in early October and a final two days at the end of the year before the pressure starts all over again.  (And there's also a 4-day weekend for Thanksgiving and a 3-day for Labor Day, so at least one long weekend every remaining month.) I am hoping that by having 11 3-day weekends in a row, I will regain some energy and also be able to make some progress on decluttering.

Also, my best friend turned 80 this week.  Three of us from our congregation took her out to lunch yesterday, and we agreed to meet for lunch the second Thursday of every month.  One thing that has happened during the past several years is that all of my close friends locally have retired, and I have been left out of much of the socializing, which has moved to mid-day.  But they agreed to meet every month near my work (which fortuitously is on our local "restaurant row"), so it will be nice to add that regular socializing back to my schedule.