April was an insanely busy month, so much happened and we had so many events.
Finally, after over 6 months of consideration, and analyzing my infinite options for how I want to move forward, after losing my job in October 2021, I’ve figured out my plan for this next year.
I of course want to focus most of my energy on my health & relationships. Those always come first, then I want to focus my creativity and mental energy on this blog, my workbook, and probably the podcast with my friend.
I still need more balance in my life though, I want to be more physically active and connect with young people. So I have decided to delivery drive again part time like I did when I was 17/18 years old, at the same place my husband works. This job is perfect for me right now. I dont want to sit at a desk inside for 40 hours a week just as we are heading into Spring too. I want to be outside, on my feet, and by the young people I want to educate about finances. This way Brandon can go down to 30 hours a week too if he wants and my job doesn’t mentally drain me. I am also going to work a few random Saturdays over the Summer at an Indian food stand at our local farmer’s market, mainly just to help the owners, who I have befriended.
In my free time over the last month, I have been teaching myself German and reading & writing a lot. I also want to try to do Yoga & Meditation at least 5 days a week. I want to make all of these things a habit.
Ultimately, I want to feel balanced and at peace in life.
Also guess who left social media for the 5th time? 🙃 Lol, me. Brandon was supposed to quit with me, but then was back on it by the end of the week. So we’ll see how it goes. Again, I’m addicted to it. I can leave for a month or two, then I come back and binge, but one of these times I’ll break the addiction. I just can’t be responsible with it. It wastes way too much of my time and energy. I hate how it makes me feel and I know it’s so bad for everyone’s mental health & overall well-being, so it makes me feel horrible when I support it by posting or even viewing.
My friend Eric did make a fantastic point though. He said people will continue to scroll on social media whether I’m on it or not. At least I’m putting out content that is educational and helps others. As for my personal problem of not being able to get off of Instagram or TikTok once I’m on, I’m thinking I’ll just have 2 days a week I’ll post. Then the rest of the days I’m not allowed to even open the apps because I need to focus on growing my business in other ways, on those days.
This month, my uncle and his friend visited from Germany and it was SO much fun. It was so nice to see him and his friend again, after almost 3 years of not seeing them because of Covid.
Unfortunately 2 days later, Brandon got the stomach flu super bad so we both didn’t want to leave our house to possibly infect others. So I missed out on the last 36 hours they were in town and also didn’t go to a local River clean up I had signed up for, for Earth Day.
The following week, was when I went to my local University to harass students in the library 😉 (surveyed them) and tried to let them know I want to help them financially. (I was hella awkward sometimes, it’s very hard walking up to strangers and telling them about your business. I want to get out of my comfort zone though, and boy did I.) Then we went to go see The Minimalists in person, a Minnesota Wild game, and stayed with some of my family!
Before The Minimalist’s show, I bought 5 new books. I inherited my book addiction from my mother. Luckily, we always swap books, but mainly I just steal from her bookshelf.
The Minimalists were fantastic, and the event was more about loving people and relationships than it was about decluttering stuff. It was fantastic and helped me realize a few things. First of all, I am a hoarder, a small one, but a hoarder of sentimental items. Second, once you renounce something, you’re automatically tethering yourself to that thing or idea. This made me realize I did this with social media. Rather than saying I don’t go on social media, I am saying, and reframing it in my mind, as: I am prioritizing other things over spending time on it. And finally, I realized Brandon and I have a stronger bond than a lot of couples. The fact that we are on the same page when it comes to our morals and values, including when it comes to minimalism, is something a lot of people don’t have. People at the event mentioned how they had to “drag their partner here” or The Minimalists often asked, “Who dragged who here to this event?”. When a woman asking a question said her and her husband came together and discovered them at the same time, The Minimalists were surprised and said that that is something special that not a lot of couples have. Brandon and I looked at each other and fist bumped.
The Wild game was amazing! Brandon and I had never been to an NHL game before! And the Wild scored in the first 58 seconds, then a fight broke out. The energy was great and I loved how much they played music. It was also nice that it only took 2.5 hours. Oh, and The Wild won. We definitely want to go to more sporting events now. We also had dinner with Brandon’s brother who we hadn’t seen in almost 6 months, before the game.
It was a rollercoaster of a month, but honestly still a fantastic month overall. I spent SO much time around family! A lot of which I hadn’t seen in months or years. My social battery is beyond dead though after this month. I need to sit alone in my house for like 9 months to recharge lol. I still need to go see The Secrets of Dumbledore though!!
On to our finances for April 2022!
Most of you know, at least if you invest in stocks, that the stock market did not do great in April. So obviously our investments went way down. Every time this happens, I say it’s okay. The market constantly goes up and down for all sorts of reasons and it’s okay if some months our investment accounts dip. We aren’t planning on pulling out of them anytime soon haha, so we aren’t concerned about drops in the market right now.
Our Partial Financial Independence Goals:
- DEBT FREE (Fun fact: The Minimalists said this is the NEW American dream, and I couldn’t agree more.)
- 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 April 30th, 2022:
- Roth IRAs (Betterment -SRI Sustainable): $27,919 and $25,286
- My small Traditional IRA (From an old 401(k) rollover -Betterment): $1,654
- Tesla: $862
- AYRO (Free Crypto from signing up with Robinhood): $1.00
- Bitcoin: $1,056
- Total Invested: $56,778
- Savings: $5,106
- Debt: -$118,968 (Mortgage only) -On track to be paid off by end of 2034.
- Just Brandon is working full time.
I will start to have more income again in May, since I will be employed again. Our plan with that money is pay off the 2 medical bills from my migraine & Brandon’s stomach flu situation. This will be very easy to do and we could’ve pulled out of savings, but just decided to wait because there is no interest accruing on these bills.
Then once the medical bills are paid off, we really need to fix our fence in the backyard. If we don’t soon it may cause more damage by the strain it’s putting on the other parts of our fence. Again, being a property owner is far more complex and expensive than people realize.
Then we want to build up our savings account again, we are thinking we want to hit $20,000 in savings again.
Our Roth IRA contributions are maxed out for 2022 already and I don’t want to invest any more of our money in Crypto or Tesla, I’m fine with the amount I put in. So after we reach our savings goal, we would like to put all of the extra money on the mortgage OR we may have an HSA by then and we would like to max out the HSA contributions first.
Our financial plan overall:
- Pay off the medical bills
- Fix the fence
- Build up savings account again
- Max out HSA contributions (if we have one)
- Put all of our extra income, after our needs are covered, on the Mortgage.
- By the time we reach these goals, it will probably be 2023, so then we can choose if we want to max out our Roth IRA contributions for 2023.
When we had our financial situation analyzed by Millennial Revolution, they said us paying off our mortgage will get us to FIRE faster, rather than investing in our retirement accounts. I just hate the idea of missing out on those annual contributions though. So we’ll see where we are at once it’s 2023. I know it’s smarter for us to put money on the mortgage instead, so we’ll probably do that. We also have until April of 2024 to do any 2023 contributions, so we can always delay any 2023 contributions until then.
Okay, I think that’s all for this month! There was WAY more to write about this month than usual! As always, thank you for reading! I’m looking forward to continuing to help others!
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