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Hello my droogs. How quickly things change in a day.
I started this post with such excellent news to report: big gains, strong performance, and hard work paying off. As I write this, I fear I’m about to go into battle with my HOA over repairs that haven’t been made for a month – right before my (nearly free) Cabo trip. So I’ll try to put myself back into my previous headspace and vent about the rest later. Because I need to vent.
The good news is a continuous upward trend. Though I fear coronavirus is about to give my stocks a hell of a beating, I’ll have to see it as an opportunity to buy more at a discount. Because it’ll pass and that’s what it is.
This month finds me almost done maxing out my 2019 Roth IRA. Then I can finish paying my credit cards and turn attention to the 2020 Roth IRA. All according to plan.
The HOA stuff might throw a wrench in my progress soon, and I hate that. But life, right?
Sigh – going back to previous headspace again. As it stands now, my overall net worth is up to $137,885 – 28% of the way toward my $500,000 goal. Baby steps feel so good.
In This Post
February 2020 Freedom update
I’ll keep this one brief. April 15th is creeping up which means:
- I have to file (and pay) my 2019 taxes
- The last day to max out 2019 IRAs is approaching
I wasn’t in a great place for a lot of 2019, and certainly didn’t max out my Roth IRA during the year. But I’m making up for it in a big way – and making tons of other progress, too.
Almost there for 2019 Roth IRA!
Of the $6,000 maximum, I’m $5,180 into the 2019 contribution limit.
I accomplished this by taking a break from paying down my credit cards. There’s no interest right now, but as soon as I’m done with the Roth IRA, I have to catch up in a hurry because my 0% promo rate expires in April 2020. That, or roll it over one last time with a new balance transfer offer. And my god, that’ll be the last one I ever do. (I swear!)
All this to say, I’m almost there. You know how they say, “Save till it hurts?” I’m officially hurting. Getting this far required every spare scrap I had. But almost there. And I don’t want to ease up.
It’s true that once you realize how far you can extend, you can always find a little more to squeeze (like an anaconda). That said, I don’t want to get so obsessed with saving that I forget to have fun – and this Mexico trip will put that back into focus. I have some things to say about that mentality too. (This is becoming a scratch pad for all the future things I want to write. Lord grant me more energy to pour into writing!) 📝
Credit cards are coming back into view
A thorn in my side, and a necessity to rid: credit card debt.
I actually made a tiny bit of progress. But as soon as I finish maxing out that Roth IRA, I’ve gotta get back to taking this out once and for all. Depending how much progress I can make, I might consider one final balance transfer offer (I get them constantly). It will buy me a little more time and be cheaper than carrying a balance for a few more months. But once it’s done, I can get back to maxing out my 2020 Roth IRA and actually building my emergency fund for the first time in my adult life.
And that’s gonna feel like such progress.
But March will be a tricky month.
I don’t wanna pay fees or interest by trying to save too aggressively. In the next week or so, I have to figure out how to:
- Finish putting all I can into the 2019 Roth IRA
- Save on credit card interest before the 0% rate expires
- Pay down my current (regular recurring) charges
- Navigate what will surely be unexpected charges – will have to just allude to this now and fill y’all in soon 😫
God, I don’t want to reverse my progress. But… we’ll see.
This was a good month
All in all, I’m up $10,565 compared to this time last month (!).
Here’s the full view:
|Roth IRA 2019||$5,180||$1,800||+$3,380||$6,000|
|Roth IRA 2020||$0||$0||xx||$6,000|
|401k||$6,673||$5,425||+$1,248||As much as possible|
|Overall investments||$88,151||$82,212||+$5,939||As much as possible|
|Net worth in Personal Capital||$137,885||$127,320||+$10,565||$500,000||Track your net worth with Personal Capital|
- Credit card progress stalled – as explained above
- My investments continued to rock n roll
- I’m so close to $100K invested I can taste it
- I can’t wait to max out my 2020 401k limit
- Savings are at a standstill – and I can’t wait to have an emergency fund
- The next big project on my list is to rid myself of credit card debt forever
And it all came out to this:
I don’t think I’ll ever shake the feeling that I’m “behind” or not making progress quickly enough. And then I check in and realize (over and over) how far I’ve really come. It’s incredibly humbling and an exercise in reminding myself to be more gentle, soothe the self-talk, stay kind and supportive of my own goals.
So while I know it might hurt to stall – or worse, reverse – progress, I’m the only one requesting a deadline or pressuring anything to happen at all. It’s time and waiting and plugging away. And also thrilling and empowering and again, humbling. I’m further along than a lot of peeps, and way behind others.
It burns a little to see people younger than me with more saved and declaring their own version of FI (financial independence) sooner. But I can’t compare my beginning to someone else’s mid- or end-point. Instead, I must be content with my own progress for what it is – or isn’t.
Learning the lesson is nearly as slow as accomplishing the goal. I wonder how it will feel once I’m at the end. Will I learn to be patient in time, or will it happen by default as a natural function of the process?
Did you smile knowingly when I said I’d be brief? Because you know I’m incapable of having a short wind? How silly of me.
But one more note! The power of goal setting. I put my birthday in 2024 as my FI goal in my Momentum dashboard. I will be 40 then and it will have been five years on this financial path.
That will be in 1,644 days. And to think there are 365 of them in a single year. It seems so manageable. But also stressy. Time is slipping and yet there’s still so much of it. What will I do with these 1,644 days I wonder. Will it be enough? And what happens if I don’t make it all the way?
The same answer as if I reach the goal early: nothing. Life will continue either way. And that… that really blows my mind.
So now the real bottom line? This is all one big mental experiment, and I’m both the actor and observer. It’s actually really amusing. Silly me. 🙃
That’s all I got for this month. Hope all is breezy in your world. 💌 #SWAK* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update! And thanks for using my links to apply for new card offers!
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