Progress to Freedom 35: 2015 Q3 Update

WilderRanchStateParkIn the spirit of better late then never, here’s an update on how we are doing relative to our financial goals (numbers as of October 1st.).



Quite the spendy quarter we had.

We averaged ~$3,800/month in spending during the third quarter of the year. Broken down by category, that money went to:

  • Home – 50%
  • Travel – 15%
  • Food & Dining – 10%
  • Kids – 9%
  • Auto & Transport – 6%
  • Bills & Utilities – 4%
  • Pets – 3%
  • Other – 3%

We’ve been tracking our monthly expenses separately and won’t go into more detail here. There was an increase in expenses this quarter largely due to childcare and pet care. We also had some future travel expenses – this area continues to a weakness, but we sure do have a lot a fun with it!


Q3 2015 Average Monthly Income: ~$20,300

The majority of our income is the boring kind that comes from performing services in exchange for currency. In the third quarter we were back to being a two income household and had some bonuses at work, both of which help to boost income.

We sold some stuff on Craigslist as part of ongoing purging of clutter. This accounted for about $300 for the whole quarter. The amount received looks like a rounding error compared to our ordinary income, but it sure feels rewarding to clean stuff out, pass it on to someone who has a use for it, and get paid at the same time.

We also didn’t pass up on bank account opening bonuses, credit card promotions, and other offers that sound rewarding and take minimal time and effort. During this quarter, we received about $500 in cash bonuses for opening bank accounts and taking advantage again of American Express’ generosity. Again, not a large amount, but hey, everybody needs a hobby

Net Worth

At the end of the second quarter:

  • Total Net Worth: ~$793,000
  • Net Investable Assets (excluding home equity): ~$671,000

Our net-worth decreased ~$9,000 since our last quarterly update; our first ever quarterly decrease in networth! Based on the numbers above, this means we saved ~$50,000 during the past quarter and suffered $59,000 in market losses, and I thought our investments were relatively conservative…  On the plus side, it was a good opportunity for tax loss harvesting.

Accounting for those steep losses, our net worth has increased ~$83,000 (+12%) year-to-date.

Progress To Freedom 35

YTD Savings Rate: 76%

We aim to maintain a >75% savings rate. Our stretch goal is to achieve >80% by the end of the year – we can do that if count mortgage principle payments as savings.. accounting tricks FTW!

Financial Independence Target: Q1 2018

The DJ is conservative and considers a 3% withdrawal rate safe, which means we’d have to wait over five years before retiring. The MC is ok with as aggressive a withdrawal rate as 5%, which would put us ahead of target to retire by 35! If we split the difference and go with the popular 4% rule, we are less than three years away.

Projected retirement date at 3%: May 2020
Projected retirement date at 4%: Jan. 2018
Projected retirement date at 5%: Oct. 2016

These projections are based on a lot of assumptions, some conservative, some optimistic, for the first time we’re riding the waves of market ups and downs more then the difference between our income and spending. May you live in interesting times

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2 Responses

  1. Nice to hear from you, DJ! Is that photo from Mendocino? Beautiful…

    I’m assuming that, a month into Q4, your numbers are looking better again… I know ours are. We didn’t end up doing any tax loss harvesting while things were down, so now are just happy to be back on track for hitting our year’s goals, which continue to be pretty aggressive.

    On the SWR percent, I’ll root for 4%, just because that retirement date matches ours. 🙂

    Hope the three of you are doing well!

    • The DJ says:

      Hi onl!! We are doing excellent, thanks for asking. Always a pleasure to hear from you 🙂 Hope all is well over in your neck of the woods as well! The picture is from Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz – it was beautiful!

      Yes, a month into Q4 and things are looking quite different (good different) from a networth perspective. Although, if we didn’t track so frequently, I don’t think we would have noticed it much.

      I am getting more and more comfortable with the 4% target 😉

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