Midyear goal transparency and up $10K – June 2024 Freedom update

Now that the dust has settled on the house sale, I can more fully take “stock” of my financial situation. I’ve been stressed about it for a few weeks, but ready to lay it out in gleaming detail.

Turns out, months of two housing payments, moving a house full of stuff across two states, and the birth of a child will really put a dent in your short-term financial goals.

a man wearing a hat and smiling at the camera

The beach in Arkansas was so nice

I put a lot of expenses onto two 0% APR credit cards, figuring I’d use the money from the sale to pay them down. Well, I barely touched them before the money was gone from other things (which I detailed in the last two updates).

But it’s good! I have a few months to figure out how I want to approach everything and in the meanwhile, I’ve completely retooled my midyear goals now that we’re halfway through 2024.

June 2024 Freedom update

I am transparent about my financial journey, and these past few months have been clear as mud. Both are true.

There were a lot of expenses flying around from the hospitals and insurance company, and getting the house ready to sell came with extra expenses like removing trees and little repairs.

I wasn’t sure what was going on with my HSA either. I depleted it to pay bills, but didn’t know when the expenses would stop. Now that the baby is five months old, I’m fairly sure I’m done paying everything? I was also waiting to receive my escrow funds from the old mortgage company (which I have now received).

a river with trees and rocks

A bucolic park with a paved walking path

Daily life expenses have been outrageous. I can’t believe how much we spend on groceries and at Costco each month.

a room with a large machine and a door


I also missed a step coming down the stairs last week and landed hard on my left foot and ankle. I heard a pop and sat there in shock for a few moments before sharp pain flooded in. Nothing was broken, but it really, really hurt (and still does).

So I went to a doctor and got a boot and pain medicines that have been making me super woozy. I haven’t been able to do as much with the kids or around the house, but it’s given me the luxury of time to think. I can either:

  • Find a side hustle to pay things down faster
  • Get another 0% APR card and give myself wiggle room
  • Pause my 401k for a while to get caught up
  • Do one, two, or all of these and really triple down

This month’s progress

To recap this month, I:

  • Paid down my credit cards as much as I could
  • Continued investing in my 401k and HSA
  • Took a vacation that cost ~$1,000 and realize now it was a poor financial decision
  • Spent an insane amount on groceries
  • Used time and energy to rehabilitate my sprained ankle and foot
  • Reflected on how I want to move forward and what my financial future might look like

Also check out my boot:

a man wearing a brace and a knee brace

lol ow

Want to touch on that $1,000 vacation real quick. I took my dad stepdad, and our family of five to Hot Springs Village in Arkansas for a weekend. There aren’t any points hotels there, so I paid cash for the rooms, figuring it would be fine. And then we did it. I got the bill.

I didn’t anticipate this month would be so tight, or that I’d come back and sprain my foot. I’m not exactly regretting the trip, mostly just wishing I had more funds to travel (and that travel was easier right now). But it’s just the season and there will be many more travels for all of us. I just wanted to expand on that line item in case you were like uhhhh what was that?

By the numbers

So by now, we all agree that I will not meet my $500,000 goal by August 2024, yes?

It was an audacious goal that originally didn’t involve kids in the mix. It was also before the pandemic, the current political unrest, and interest rates and home prices going through the roof, if you’ll excuse the pun. All that to say: a lifetime ago.

You’ll notice I’ve added my HSA as a new asset. I don’t intend on spending much more out of it this year (though of course anything could happen). There’s $1,000 in cash and the rest is invested in broad-market index funds.

I also added my car loan and two 0% APR credit cards. The rate on #1 expires in September and #2’s expires in October. I will figure out what I want to do about those in a couple of months.

CurrentLast MonthChange2024 Goal
Overall investments$295,867$283,058+$12,809As much as possible
Roth IRA total$72,677$70,780+$1,897
Roth IRA 2024$2,700$2,700xx$7,000 (in new contributions)
Taxable brokerage + UTMAs$3,776$3,674+$102$25,000 (total invested)
Raw land$40,400$40,400xxNo goal, just including for completeness 🙂
Car loan $25,014xxxx?
Credit card #1 (0% APR)$8,838xxxx$0
Credit card #2 (0% APR)$12,055xxxxAs much as possible
Net worth in Empower Personal Dashboard$320,018$310,416+$9,602$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

I don’t intend to pay off my car loan quickly – just adding for completeness.

At this point, my income is devoted to paying credit cards and rent for the foreseeable future. After that, I’d like to build my savings up and get to a place where I’m investing everything else.

June 2024 Freedom update

Let’s goooo

Also, did you see I have nearly $300,000 invested? I should cross that milestone in July and am super excited about that, even with everything else happening.

Short- and long-term goals include:

  • Pay off credit cards
  • Build my savings account again in 2024
  • Work up to 15% in 401k contributions
  • Put more money into Beck’s UTMA 
  • Contribute to new baby’s UTMA
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2024

June 2024 Freedom update bottom line

It feels like I have two options. I can either increase income or slash spending (or both, for a third option). But as the primary support for our family, expenses are literally unpredictable. Someone is always sick, or needs something, or things break, or a zillion other things.

I’ve been feeling like I can’t get ahead of it lately. It’s been hard to stay positive about it. I know I have several options.

I need to figure out a plan and be honest with myself about how much I can actually handle. My extra energy appears so limited these days, like I don’t have time to try things out or experiment. Like I need all my shots to be sure and stick.

I know it’ll be alright, but as I type this with a throbbing foot, I’m decidedly grumpy about the forecast and performance for this month.

That said, I hope the addition of literally every single line item of my finances will promote transparency—even when things aren’t totally amazing. I’ll set my mind to thinking these things over and update y’all on the plan next month.

As always, thank you for reading and following my journey. Hope everyone is doing well!

Stay safe and scrappy out there! ✨


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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. How did you decide on 500k as the FIRE goal? Once you hit 500k will you be able to live off the interest income indefinitely?

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