Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Today we’re wrapping up our second week back in the swing of things after what (for us) was a fairly epic vacation to Hawaii. And though work has been fairly hectic for both of us since returning, it’s also been pretty darned good as well. It’s that fact (even more than the brand new farmer’s market that has started a short walk from our house or the three otters – two pups and a mother – that crossed my path on a jog a couple of mornings ago*) that is truly making this a Happy Friday for me.

Like I was telling Mama and Papa PoP the other day, this vacation was different than any other vacation that I feel like I’ve been able to take in pretty much my entire career. At 2.5 weeks, it was officially the longest vacation** I’ve ever taken in my 33 years of life on this planet, unless returning to my parents’ house over the Christmas holidays in college counts as a vacation. On that count, my sister would heartily agree with me that it does not. =P

Continue reading Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

PoP Balance Sheet – March 2016

Welcome to our March 2016 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!

So despite March being a particularly high spend month, the come-back in the stock market brought our net worth to a new high water mark and a pretty big milestone.  That’s right.  As of this writing, we are officially members of the double-comma club.  Crazy, huh?  Well, I think it’s kindof nuts.  We’re hoping to can convince Mr 1500 to show us the double-comma secret handshake when we get together in Omaha at the end of April.

While this milestone is definitely not the end of our journey to financial independence, hitting it while we’re vacationing in Hawaii does add a bit more meaning to it.  The last time we were in these beautiful islands, we decided that we wanted to start a personal finance blog to stay on top of our finances and record our path.  We’re pretty confident about two things.  1 – We had no idea that four years later we’d be back on the islands with two commas to our names.  2 – We’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have had quite the same run of success were it not for the blog and being a part of the online personal finance community.

That said, we’re also pretty confident that this won’t be the last time we cross into the double comma club.  We’re increasingly subject to the whims of the market, and a small drop in the S&P500 can easily kick us out again.  And that’s okay, too.

Anyhow, here are our numbers for March!

  • Our total assets went up by $47.5
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.1K 
  • Net worth went up by $47.4K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of March is $1,003.9K, which represents a 4.96% increase this month.

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – March 2016

PoP Income Statement – March 2016

Welcome to our March 2016 Income Statement!

Grainy picture of the Kilauea volcano at sunset. iPhone not the best at night... =(

Grainy picture of the Kilauea volcano at sunset. iPhone not the best at night… =(

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.

We’re still in Hawaii for another week, but I took a few minutes this morning to compile our monthly financial statements.  (Once you get a system it really doesn’t take much time at  all to summarize every month, I swear!)  And it’s good for us to check in on our monthly totals, even on vacation.  =P

March was an expensive month, and the overwhelming theme of much of it is “travel”.  That’s pretty okay for us since we knew we wanted this year to be a year when we traveled more after not getting to travel much while working on the kitchen last year.

Shopping was high as I spent nearly $350 in the two days before departing on our trip trying to replace my old hiking boots with ones that wouldn’t aggravate my foot injury.  The good news is that I found some Keens that fit the bill – and they have gotten a TON of use on our trip so far!  But I still have a good $200+ in other shoes that need to be returned when we get home since I had just started buying the “best shoe” I found at every store we went to.  Yay for return policies.  =)

We also paid Mr PoP’s traffic ticket and online traffic school. Ugh… a solid $217 for a U-turn.  Violating the law is expensive, yo.

Travel was the big one, though.  $2,874 in non-reimbursable travel expenses.  About $1K of this went to tickets for Mr PoP and his best friend to attend Burning Man later this year.  At $390/ticket + a vehicle pass, it’s not cheap.  But this is a trip Mr PoP has been wanting to take since before we even started dating and it’s finally happening.  He and his friend are having a blast planning for it so far, too!  The remainder of the travel spending this month was for our Hawaii trip.  12 nights with AirBnB hosts at ~$110/night.  12 days of rental cars at ~$30/day, and ~6 days of incidentals, which we try and keep at $100/day or less when we’re traveling.

April travel will also be on the high end as we will have the remainder of our Hawaii spending, spending for our trip to Omaha for the BRK meeting, and we’ll have another payment for my trip to Ecuador later this year.  That won’t be the end of the travel spending for the year, but these two months will definitely have the bulk of it.

The shining bright spot on this income statement is the negative $402 in kitchen renovation expenses (ie $402 in income in this category).  We’re still not done with the kitchen, but we’re starting to sell some of the tools we bought that we are done with and won’t be using again and are counting these sales against our previous (and future) kitchen expenses.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,707.  

And the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – March 2016

Happy Friday – We’re Moving To Hawaii!

Na Pali Coast Hike

Na Pali Coast Hike

We’re a week into our Hawaiian adventure and have fallen hard for these islands.  So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided we’re going to pack up all of our stuff in Florida and move to Hawaii.  Yes, we know that we have long advocated for friends, family, and other sane individuals to move to Florida and join us in that sunshine-y state.  But Hawaii has managed to win us over.

Why? Continue reading Happy Friday – We’re Moving To Hawaii!

Returning to the Scene of the Crime…

Hawaii, here we come!

Hawaii, here we come!

Next week, I’ll join Mr PoP on a trip that he’s taking for work. Getting all of the details arranged for this upcoming trip also has me thinking about a similar trip we took to the same destination back in 2012 and one of the biggest things that came of it. That is, this blog – our own little home on the internet where we write about money, happiness, and kittens.

You see, it was nearly four years ago while on a similar trip to Hawaii that Mr PoP had the inspiration for us to start a personal finance blog. He envisioned it as a way for us to add a little easy passive income (fellow bloggers, don’t laugh) to our portfolio, and I agreed to participate, envisioning it as a project that we would really be working on together. But we had a compromise. To do it the way Mr PoP wanted – with full financial transparency into our income, spending, and net worth – I required us to be anonymous.

It Hasn’t Really Worked Out Exactly As We Thought

Continue reading Returning to the Scene of the Crime…