February was a wild month, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, especially on the global level. This is a finance blog, so I usually don’t get political on here, but I obviously can’t ignore Russia invading Ukraine. I know this is the work of Putin and a few higher up Russian government officials. I know most Russians do not want this and have been protesting, but getting arrested. I have no military or government experience, so I’m not going to pretend I know what the best next step is for NATO or the United States. I know this is a delicate and messy situation and we are trying to avoid WWIII or nuclear war.
I have tons of Europeans who read my blog and some friends & family not far from Ukraine. I trust your judgement on if or when you want to flee if needed. I know there is not much we can do as individuals, just hope that our elected officials and our leader’s advisors make the best choice that results in the least amount of lost lives, supporting those we know over there, & donating if we can. If you feel strongly about your country needing to take a specific action, you can always protest too.
I was really hoping we as humans were now evolved enough to stop invading other countries for seemingly no reason, apparently not. Honestly, all of this made me appreciate living in the United States a lot more, and appreciate having the strongest military in the world. I think I take that and peace for granted every day.
Now I’m going to attempt to transition back to talking about our finances.
The Wednesday before the attack, I had a fantastic day. It was sunny, had lunch with my mom, and found out I got enough grants to almost fully cover my tuition for my Summer sessions at University! Which is very exciting, I get to go to school for almost FREE.
My Summer Courses Costs:
- $4,286.40 Tuition
- $485 Laptop
- $42.09 Campus Fees
- $450 Estimate for Books & Supplies (High)
- Total: $5,263.49
My Grants I received:
- Pell Grant: $373
- Minnesota State Grant: $3,793
- Total: $4,166
Which means I need to pay $1,097.49 in cash for 16 credits, or 5 classes. Which is far better than paying the full $5,263.49. I am already planning on selling a few things from around the house and we have some money saved. I will also try to save money where I can on expenses, like seeing if I can get a used laptop or used books.
My Estimated Costs for Fall 2022:
- $4,050.09 Tuition
- $485 Laptop
- $556.75 Campus Fees
- $450 for Books & Supplies
- Total: $5,541.84
Estimated Grants & Scholarships:
- Pell Grant: $373
- MN State Grant: $3,793
- Transfer Student Scholarship: $500
- Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship: $500
- Other Scholarships: $?,??? -I don’t know yet.
- Total: $5,166+
Which means I will have to pay $375.84 or less for school in the Fall. It should be exactly the same for Spring 2023 as well.
I made some changes to our finances in February, I decided to max out our Roth IRA contributions for 2022. It didn’t make sense to let that much money just sit in a savings account, now I’m kind of wishing I had put it on the mortgage instead. I just don’t like the idea of missing out on any opportunity to max out a retirement account contribution though.
Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:
- $0 Debt.
- Brandon works part time at his job.
- I am self-employed. I can choose how much or how little I want to work & when.
- We need $2,000+/month in income, whether that comes from investments, Brandon’s part time job, my blog, my workbook, etc. it doesn’t matter.
Our Current Numbers as of February 28th, 2022:
- Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $30,061.88 and $27,190.67
- My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,739.62
- Tesla: $797.16
- AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.12
- Bitcoin: $1,077.91
- Total Invested: $60,868.42
- Savings: $6,004.79
- Debt: -$120,313.36 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by 2034.
- Just Brandon is working full time.
For me, investing in Crypto & Tesla is gambling. I invested that money knowing full well that I could lose it all and be okay with that. I also don’t include the value of our house & car in our updates, any random cash we are saving up for house projects, or how much we have saved up in credit card rewards.
As always, thanks for reading!
- My Financial Planning Workbook!
- ThriftBooks -I LOVE them as a company & order all of my books from them now! They ship super fast, great service, books always show up as described, super cheap, & good for the planet because they’re second-hand, but you get to choose the quality!
- BetterHelp -A week of Therapy for FREE!
- Betterment -Invest your first $5,000 for FREE!
- Back Market -My referral code: 6888f588d6f85083 -$10 off your order! Refurbished Tech! My sister & I both got “new” phones from there. They’re awesome, great quality, so much cheaper than buying new (by up to 70%), came super fast, was super easy to buy, AND we saved 123 pounds of carbon emissions, each!