Happy Friday – 401K in our 401K!

I’m not usually one to celebrate arbitrary milestones, but for whatever reason this one has captured my sense of numerical whimsy* and for the last 6 months Mr PoP has had to listen to me providing updates on how close we were and pondering whether or not we would reach it in 2017.

I don’t typically check our balances mid-month, but when we were only a couple of thousand dollars away at our last monthly balance sheet update, I knew I would want to check after the 401K deposits from our first bi-monthly paychecks cleared (since those alone, with flat market movement would have put them over the top!).

You can only imagine my joy when I added up our 401K balances in Mint and saw that we were at $408K!
401K 20170718 Continue reading Happy Friday – 401K in our 401K!

Happy Friday – Bunny Not Mouse

Today is a happy Friday.  Yesterday was a fretful Thursday, in which I spent most of the day worried that we might have a mouse in the house after seeing some tiny droppings in the corner while emptying Kitty PoP’s litter box that morning.   But at 4:45 this morning, when Kitty PoP and I got up and walked out to the living room and I turned the light on, we both saw the furry culprit at the same time, fleeing as fast as it could across the living room floor.

Bunny, not mouse!

Quick!  Pick up the cat that is now starting to sprint across the room!  Lock him in another bedroom!  Follow the baby bunny and find him underneath one of the big pieces of furniture in the construction zone that is currently in our bedroom.  *Sigh*

Baby bunny!  Everybody saw awwwwww!  (Okay, so the internet says technically it’s an adolescent cottontail, probably about a month old.)

See fluff and whiskers on the left side - that's a baby bunny...

See fluff and whiskers on the left side – that’s a baby bunny…

Continue reading Happy Friday – Bunny Not Mouse

PoP Balance Sheet – June 2017 – Happy Anniversary!

Welcome to our June 2017 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

The balance sheet didn’t see a crazy amount of action this month.  The stock market was up just slightly, we put a little bit more money into our various savings/investing outlets, and paid down a little more debt.  Slow and steady.

Perhaps because it was so boring, I figure I’d mention that today is our 8th wedding anniversary.  (See Mr PoP – I didn’t forget!)  It’s been eight years since that fateful 7-6-09 when we took a lovely boat ride and eloped.  And it’s been quite a ride ever since – but luckily one with no regrets.  Scratch that, I have one regret – that we didn’t postpone getting married for 2 days s we could end up with a wedding date that is a punchline to a joke I have loved for way too long.

“Why was six afraid of seven?”  “Because seven-eight-nine!”  =)

With eight years under our belt, baby – here’s to eighty more!  And hoping that I still love that joke (and you love my weirdness for loving it) when we’re 114-years-old.

But on to the numbers for June:

  • Our total assets up $15.3K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $1.4K 
  • Net worth went up by $16.7K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of June is $1,425.8K, which represents a 1.19% increase for the month

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – June 2017 – Happy Anniversary!

PoP Income Statement – June 2017

Piano! If you look closely, you can see where it sat in the corner of Mama and Papa PoP's living room at their old house in this picture...


Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

It’s like Christmas in July right now in the PoP household, in more ways than one. First, our spending was definitely high this month – a problem most people have right around Christmas. But secondly, and more importantly, it sounding a lot like Christmas because I have gotten as far as Jingle Bells in the Alfred’s Self Teaching Adult Piano Course book I took out from the library after the piano that we inherited as part of Mama and Papa PoP’s downsizing arrived at our house a couple of weeks ago!  Have a listen for yourself… or don’t and save your ears.  =)

Please don’t mock my beginner piano skills too badly. I’ve had nowhere near 10,000 hours with this thing yet!   =P

The piano was actually our biggest expense, too (well, second to the mortgage). It hadn’t been played in quite some time, so we paid for an overhaul to be done on it and that cost came in to the tune (haha, get it?) of ~$960. But now we have a lovely piano that’s a century+ old for me to learn on. (No pressure, right?) That cost, plus a wedding gift for a family member (another $200) had the shopping budget significantly higher than we typically like to see, but these kinds of things are the reason we try and be frugal – so we can do stuff like this when we want to.

Another sizable expense this month was prepaying for a year of car insurance, to which we also added umbrella coverage for the first time. This was another ~$870 for the two of them together.

The pool also cost us a little over $300 this month as we had a leak specialist out to check and see if our little repairs had caught what we thought was a big leak. As it turned out, the leak was small and our repairs did catch it, but we had so little rain this winter (less than half the usual winter rainfall) that we thought the problem was worse than it was. Between the fix and the serious rains since then, the pool’s water level is high and holding.

We also had some non-trivial NSX expenses as Mr PoP continues to make sure the NSX is a solid, dependable, supercar for our 1-car family. This month, it was mostly in A/C parts. The A/C in the car works, but hasn’t been the strongest, so Mr PoP is planning on some preventative repairs to the system before it has any sort of catastrophic failure. He’ll be fiddling with that over some time off in the next couple of weeks – wish him luck!

Putting it all together, it was definitely not a cheap month, but hopefully we’re spending in ways that will continue to improve our lives for years to come.

Here’s all the rest of the numbers…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,902.  

And the details… Continue reading PoP Income Statement – June 2017

Adventures in Downsizing

This post isn’t really about OUR adventures in downsizing – we’ve only had bit roles in these grand adventures.  Instead, I’ve made an attempt to interview Mama PoP about everything that she and Papa PoP (remember, these are Mr PoP’s parents) have been undertaking over the last year (yes, a year!) in downsizing from their big family property up north to their home down here in FL, where they have become permanent residents in our same town.

So please welcome Mama PoP as she tells us about all the work they have done in the last year downsizing to become full-time Floridians!  =)


Mrs PoP: So give us a little bit of background here.  What led you to making the permanent move to FL and downsizing?  

Mama PoP: In 2008, we purchased a house in Florida while keeping our primary residence in PA, and both homes were fully furnished and decorated and each house had all of the necessary accouterments such as Internet, TV service, phones, and vehicles. We divided our time between the properties based on work schedules, weather, and hobbies.  

After retirement in January 2015, I have worked on the big goal of “simplifying our lives.” This included streamlining everything that I could such as finances, passwords, communications, legal paperwork, and eliminating unnecessary duplication/complication of “whatever.” An obvious complication was having two homes and it was about that time that I realized that it was becoming increasingly harder to keep up with the big property up north. The “downsizing” idea grew to make sense as we spent more time in Florida.


Mrs: Can you tell the readers a little bit about your home and property up north.  What is it like and how big is it?  How does that compare to your home down here in Florida?  

Mama: The house up north is the “homestead” that we designed and built in 1984 and where we raised our family. We didn’t hire a contractor and Papa Pop and the big boys nailed every nail so it was truly ours from start to finish. Note: Although the five boys range in age from 48 to 32, they will always be boys to us. Mr. PoP is known as one of the little boys as he was born next to the last. His job in building the house was to pick up Pepsi bottles throughout the construction site since he was 2 years old at the time.

The barn - the wood that become our countertop lived in here for 30 years!

The barn – the wood that become our countertop lived in here for 30 years!

The house has 5,500 square feet under roof and there is also a bank barn that is 60 x 40 as well as a 10 x 12 two room “playhouse” with an attic, running water, septic access, and electricity that someone could use as their tiny house. Papa PoP builds big when he builds. The house has four bedrooms, three baths, two fireplaces, an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, and is a solar and earth bermed design with redundant heating systems as well as air conditioning. The garage and workroom are oversized (28 x 28 and 28 x 14) and the house features barn beams, barn siding, and fieldstone.  There are three attics – one you can simply walk into from ground level (very convenient!) and no basement.

The property covers 10 acres of rolling hills and includes the stream that we needed for the horses as well as woods and a swampy area where the boys played. Papa Pop has a huge garden for vegetables and there are many perennial flowerbeds scattered around.

The Florida house is in a HOA community with 65 houses and a pool. Built in 1990, it has 1,600 square feet under air and has a small two-car garage, three bedrooms, two baths, vaulted ceilings and a large lanai that overlooks a small lake.

Continue reading Adventures in Downsizing