By: Revanche

A smattering of numbers

January 10, 2018

Like Military Dollar, sometimes I have a collection of thoughts that aren’t full-post worthy.

I scored 10 out of 15 on J. Money’s 15 things to do to be above average. That’s a failing grade by normal standards, but I don’t feel bad about it.

  • Build a starter emergency fund of $1,000: 1 point.
  • Organize your important financial information in a binder or eFile: 0.5 point, this is mostly done but needs more organization.
  • Develop a monthly budget habit: 0 point, we track spending but stopped budgeting traditionally.
  • Pay off all of your debts: negative points! well, 0. Damn you, new mortgage!
  • Build a mid-level emergency fund of $10,000: 1 point. I require at least a year of liquid reserves.
  • Be aware of your credit score: 1 point, I don’t check this regularly but we just applied for a mortgage so we’re in the 800s.
  • Earn extra income: 1 point, I do a bit extra but I don’t necessarily agree this should be on the list. Sometimes your primary incomes are just fine.
  • Read the top personal finance books: 0, I don’t read PF books, I read blogs.
  • Automate your savings: 1 point, YES! I DO THIS.
  • Automate your bills: 1/2 point, I automate the ones that make sense.
  • Automate investing: 1 point, retirement and 529 investing is automated, brokerage investing takes more work.
  • Write a 5 year financial plan: 0 point right now, I used to do 5 year plans but I need a new financial plan with details!
  • Start maxing out your retirement account every year: 1 point, I finally got this together.
  • Complete your emergency fund so you have at least 6 months’ expenses saved: 1 point, yes, as above, we need a year for me not to grow Baby Ulcer.

I’ve made it to 35! There was an incredibly low bar set for this age so this is a big deal. My 20s were unbelievably productive but (and because) 15 years ago, I had exactly two expectations for this age: crippled or dead. My pain was through the roof and all signs pointed to it getting much worse. Doctors didn’t even know what was wrong with me. Now, the pain still sucks but it’s slightly manageable and my tolerance is bolstered by having amazing support.

2017. This year was mentally and emotionally tumultuous and painful between the (long term) breakdown in my family of origin and the (short term) housing situation.

8 lbs and 4 years ago. My doctor said: you’ve put on weight, it’s perfect. This may sound weird but don’t lose any weight.

Now I’ve got some weight lingering (one assumes) from childbearing and I wonder if these pounds are a problem. Are they why my knees and hips ache relentlessly? Seems they did that before too but are those pounds on this frame the reason?

3 things I’ve lost in the move.
– eyeglasses (lost for 12 weeks, I bought a replacement pair since my prescription’s changed a little, and I just found it.)
– Banana Republic trench coat
– grey corduroy pants

9 years. I made some good decisions with our mortgage and we were able to put down some whopping big prepayments. If my amortization spreadsheet is accurate, we’ve taken 9 years off the life of the loan, but that’s assuming we’re still making the same size monthly payment which is not true. I need a more nuanced spreadsheet.

Increasing our giving. Done by Forty and Stacking Pennies both talked about how they don’t give enough in proportion to what they have, and I feel the same. Even while I’ve scrambled to build a more solid financial foundation, I have also thought it could make sense to share our numbers for accountability and transparency. It may come across as bragging to some but I think my readers are sensible enough to know that’s absolutely not true even as they realize my number is so low that it’s nothing to brag about. SP found that it was helpful: “Hearing other bloggers talk about it helps to normalize it – it did for me. As someone who watches spending closely, even this very modest amount was not easy to wrap my mind around. Still, seeing where charity falls in relation to other spending categories, it is a step in the right direction.

:: Would it be helpful to know charitable giving numbers? What numbers are on your mind?

12 Responses to “A smattering of numbers”

  1. Congrats on not being dead and developing pain management tolerance and support networks! Also happy (belated?) birthday! πŸ™‚

    For years I was dealing with some chronically waxing and waning painful, wobbly knees and lower back weirdness. I have flat feet so I put Superfeet insoles in all my shoes, which helped. Between that, getting a foam topper for my mattress, and engaging in a lot of core work, the problem seems that it’s pretty much been solved. Which is not to be a regimen for you, obviously, but is to say that it might be the baby carrying weight but it also might be things like whole-body alignment and muscle strength.
    Yet Another PF Blog recently posted…Tax Optimization and Charitable GivingMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, I didn’t think I’d be glad to still be here at 35, but I am! πŸ™‚

      I think it’s a combination of things, so working on whole body alignment isn’t a bad idea.

  2. I think you should get two points for no longer needing a budget (because your spending is enough less than your income + savings). That’s advanced frugality.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Little kitty was overgrooming because she had dual ear infectionsMy Profile

  3. SP says:

    Thanks for the link and support in talking about charity, even if we aren’t giving what we feel like we “should” be able to give. Like I said, I find it helpful, but if that is uncomfortable, just talking about giving is also good.
    SP recently posted…2017 Financial ReviewMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      You’re welcome! I think talking about it makes it more top of mind and keeps us accountable so it’s a good idea.

  4. eemusings says:

    Go you good thing!9 years off a loan, woo. Yay for making it to 35 in good shape πŸ™‚ Agree w Nicole and Maggie on the advanced frugality. And another point for being an amazingly empathetic person about money to boot.
    eemusings recently posted…A short, sweet, 2017 highlights reelMy Profile

  5. I don’t think that budgets are necessary for certain people – and you would be one of them. I will likely always be someone who benefits from a budget – simply because of my history of bad money management. I have to be very intentional about “being good” with money. For you, I believe being good with money is an automatic default. I’m so glad that you are better able to manage your pain. I hope that you’ll find a wellness trend continuing to develop in the years ahead.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Commuting Blues = Early Retirement GoalMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I agree that some people don’t need budgets but I did benefit GREATLY from them in the past, and maybe the fact that I was well trained is the real reason why I don’t strongly need one now! I’d rather think of it that way because that means it’s a skill that anyone can acquire. Thanks for the good wishes, and likewise!

  6. Jeannie says:

    Happy belated Birthday! I personally struggle with giving. I totally have scarcity mindset when it comes to this, but I’m working on giving a certain percentage of net income. Baby steps.

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you!

      I don’t think giving comes naturally to all of us, it’s as much a learned behavior as anything else so being mindful of it, and talking about doing it for transparency, may be more valuable than we realize.

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