Operation Save Half: January Check-In

Posted on the 06 February 2014 by Kathleen O'Malley @frugalportland

In order to save half our income, we need to be saving big chunks every month, otherwise we’ll get to the end of the year and we’ll have missed our goal.

So we’re keeping a spreadsheet.

Each month is 8% of the year, so to be on track, we’ll need to see at least 8% in the chart.

Here’s what we saved, without raw numbers:

January Check-in: Save Half

Awesome! We’re a month ahead of pace to meet our goal.

Here’s how our savings breaks down:

Where the Saving Goes

Only the interest-bearing checking account and the non-retirement index fund are things we can use in the short term. The rest is mortgage (which we’ll see have a positive impact when we want to sell), HSA (which we’ll save until one of us is sick), and retirement, which is something we’d like to do before we die.

Retirement Non-Retirement Index Fund Mortgage Principal Interest-Bearing Checking Account HSA Total

% Complete 37% 1% 8% 16% 8% 17%

As you can see, we’re really ahead in the retirement bucket. This is because, plain and simple, Brent is a cheater. By that I mean, he puts all of his IRA money in, for the year, in one month. See? Totally cheating.

I understand the mechanics, but I don’t have the same philosophy, so I’m slowly funneling my money toward retirement. After we max out the things we’re going to max out in our retirement funds, we’ll focus on the other index fund. The checking account is mine, and I’ll hit 100% by June. The rest are on autopilot.

We will get there, but it will be challenging. Recently a few of what I assumed to be fixed expenses increased by 50%, which has made me anxious and upset. They deserve their own post, but for now, just live in a place with low property taxes and no HOA.

It’s fun to track, and if you want to join, let me know. I’ll show you our spreadsheet. I think it’s better to show percentages in this example because your total number might be different (half is so relative) and I don’t want to get caught up in the raw number.

Although, it is a little weird to say we’re 18% of the way to 50%. Somehow I can’t grasp that mental picture.

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