May, May, May…. When we were going through this month and getting the numbers together for an update, I was thinking it was going to be a blown month for budgeting, savings, the whole sha-bang, but actually it didn’t turn out too bad. Spoiler alert – next month will be rough as I need new tires, we had some home repairs done, and are on the verge of adopting a greyhound, but as slow as they’re going, it could get kicked into July… Overall though, over the 1st 5 months of the year, we’re on track at ~$50k for our yearly spend FIRE estimator number. It’s been bouncing around $50-$52k these past months, but it looks like Mrs. SSC nailed it by estimating $56k/year. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
May highlights for the SSC family: We were on vacation for a week. That was excellent, and for the first time since we had kids, I can say I came back from this vacation NOT feeling like I needed a vacation! Awesome!! But, the vacation did show up in other places, mainly more gas spend, more toll spend, groceries stayed on track, as we just cooked in our condo, and enjoyed being somewhere different. Daycare was down because we got to not pay for the week of vacation, Woohoo! A cool perk of our daycare is that after a year of being enrolled, you get a free week, essentially, for when you go on vacation. It’s better than paying for the week when they’re not there, and always better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I’ll take it!
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Beyond the vacation spending and it affecting the travel related items, everything else seemed to be fairly stable. Pet cost was up due to a yearly exam for Quinn. Maids were less, as we cancelled for their scheduled day (Memorial Day), so we got to relax all day and save some coin! It all seemed to balance out looking at the monthly spend comparison to the previous 4 months though, so way to go SSC family!
Looking at these numbers and our first quarter spend, 2 things jump out that I’m impressed by, and they lead to a third thing that makes me happy. First, I’m impressed we are on track with our savings goal for the year. I thought Mrs. SSC was loopy when she suggested it, I believe it was $150k, but we’re on track to get there, and are at 52% savings rate currently. That’s amazing to me! Second, is that we’re pretty spot on with our yearly spend estimate for our FIRE number. That led to back calculating how much we would need to keep this spend up until we can access our 401k’s and getting our ER number, and subsequent date. Just a reminder, that if you’re adding up our monthly totals and thinking those add up to closer to $84k/year, not $50k – $52k, you’re right. It does. BUT, we won’t have the mortgage, or daycare which are a HUGE portion of our cost. Just look at that pie chart. Yikes! Like I said before, way to go Mrs. SSC! We got our $56k number through a quick look. Having tracked things in detail over the last 7-8 months, it is reassuring that we are pretty dang close, which implies our ER number and date are still valid. Whew!!
The thing that makes me happy. That is this: I don’t feel like I’m having to watch every penny, and that our lifestyle is still really comfortable. I fought about the number being so low in the beginning, because I didn’t want to feel strapped, or broke, or like we have to be money nazi’s, and it isn’t like that at all. So that makes me really happy, because it makes me feel like this is a pretty sustainable budget and lifestyle for our family.
That’s our May update, hopefully yours is similar with your savings up, spending stable, and investments growing!