Progress to Financial Independence- October 2017

Everything changed for us since last month. We were planning to take the entire month of December off to spend time at home and then head to Arizona in January, but we had a very good offer pop up out of nowhere a few weeks ago. Now instead of taking the whole month of December off, we will only be taking two weeks off. Starting December 4th, we will be working back in eastern NC for the winter, through the middle of March, except for the time off around the holidays. This was completely unexpected, but our old jobs popped back up, and we really enjoyed eastern NC so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go back. We finish our current contracts on December 1st, so we will only have the weekend to make the 7 hour drive across the state. We still plan to have repairs done on our camper at the end of November prior to picking the camper up and heading east.

As for October, we did a lot of hiking on the weekends at the beginning of the month until I started having some nagging knee pain. The knee pain along with some colder weather ended our hiking season in the middle of October this year. (I know, many people still hike in cold weather, but we’re not huge fans of the cold, and there was a little bit of laziness attributing to not going hiking as much as well, ha). The good news is that the knee pain didn’t stop me from continuing to lift 5 days per week along with taking long walks at lunch to help with my weight loss goals. The hikes we took in October included: Mt LeConte, Shining Rock, Graveyard fields, and Devil’s Courthouse. We also went to Gatlinburg, Hendersonville, and Asheville exploring, eating, and going to several wineries, breweries, and cideries. Those were mostly for Whitney since I rarely drink, but they are usually still pretty fun, and there are certainly no shortage of them around here.

On October 20th I turned 29 years old, which I still can’t believe. It really seems like my twenties have flown by, but I don’t have any regrets. Being only one year away from 30 does make me a little nervous though, I must admit. I found an old list of goals where I wrote down things that I wanted to achieve by the age of 30. I made the list on my 27th birthday and had forgotten about it. Some of the goals were based on my net worth, living in a certain number of different states, and traveling to a certain number of different countries for free using credit card reward points. I have either achieved or will achieve all of them by next year which is pretty cool.

Financially, I continue to make quick progress toward FI with the estimated date now being May 2019. That’s only a year and a half away and would be exactly 4 years after graduating from grad school. Living in western NC with cheaper cost of living and higher pay, combined with the continued bull market, have done wonders for my net worth. I feel a bit foolish having missed out on some of the bull market returns since only about 50% of my net worth is currently in equities, but I still feel that the risk is not worth the reward having a high equity allocation with current valuations. I’ve been planning to use the money I have in cash for a rental property down payment, or possibly buy a rental property in cash depending on the price, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to take time off of work to make that happen.

November may end up putting me behind a little financially due to the camper repairs which will likely be between $2,500-$4,000. Luckily Whitney and I will split this expense so it shouldn’t hurt my progress too much.

I continue to be behind on my Monthly Updates, but we really haven’t been as busy on the weekends here lately, so I should start catching up soon. Can’t believe it’s almost December now! Stay tuned. I hope my readers are doing well and enjoying the Holiday Season.

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