Progress to Financial Independence- March 2018

End of Q1

We’re already at the end of the Q1 for 2018 and time seems to really be flying by lately. I think part of the reason for that is the fact that we have been working quite a bit on planning our upcoming international trip and also working on the blog in the evenings. Whitney and I decided to start doing Facebook Live Videos on the FifthWheelPT Facebook page, and they have been well received so far. Videos are something that I’ve been scared of doing for quite some time, but I get more comfortable with each one, and I think this will be a good way to promote the blog and face my fear. The busier I am, the faster time seems to move and things have been busy lately.

Work and Life Update

At the beginning of March we started our contract extensions that I talked about last month and made the move to our new campground. The move did not go smoothly despite only being about 45 minutes down the road. This time we found out that there was a short in the switch that controls the living room slide, which led to a couple of hours of troubleshooting to get it to retract. We eventually made it to the new campground, although several hours later than we expected, and it took me a few tries to back into our site but I got it!

Whitney started at her new clinic which has been alright, and I’ve been enjoying the shorter drive to work and to the gym. Unfortunately there was a problem with staffing at the end of March at our facilities, which meant that I had to go to Whitney’s new clinic with her for two weeks, which was a bit of a hassle due to seeing a full schedule of all new patients. Some patients, both at my clinic and at Whitney’s, were upset about the changes which made things harder. We made it through and it should be smooth sailing from here on out, or so we hope.

We got a membership at a new gym closer to our new campground and have really enjoyed it so far. It’s very affordable ($50 for 3 months) and has everything we need. We have been working hard toward our weight loss challenge goals and are both approaching the finish line. We have both lost a significant amount of weight and are feeling more energetic. That combined with the thousands of dollars we will make off of this challenge has really motivated us recently. I can’t wait for the challenge to be over to compare the before and after pictures and write a post about the whole experience. So far I’m down almost 40 lbs from where I was in August 2017!

We have had some pretty nice weather in Eastern NC throughout March and we took advantage of that as much as we could. We went to a festival for St. Patrick’s Day one weekend, went on a boating trip with some friends another weekend, and spent the day hiking at a nearby state park on the last weekend of the month. It’s been great to get out and enjoy the weather as well as get some additional exercise to help with the weight loss.

Finances

Financially I did very well saving this month and surpassed my goal by a large amount which was in part due to five Friday’s in March, meaning five paychecks, as well as receiving a few hundred in bank account sign up bonuses. My expenses are even lower at this new campground as we’re currently paying $425/month with all utilities included, and we even have cable and good WiFi for the first time in a long time! We’ve also been spending less on groceries and almost nothing on eating out since we’re focusing on our weight loss goals.

Even with saving a large amount in March, I fell slightly behind on my projection due to another month of decreased equity prices. In my update last month I mentioned that I anticipated a rebound in March, but that didn’t happen. Instead the market dropped a little further. I’ve been considering investing some extra cash in equities to take advantage of the lower prices, but so far I haven’t. I did make an investment in Fundriseย after a lot of research on the company and crowd funded real estate in general. I’ve been watching Fundrise for a couple of years now but until recently was too scared to actually invest with them. Everything seems solid with the company and they have been returning a solid amount of dividends to investors each year so I took the leap. This is only a small percentage of my portfolio, but if things go well then I may add to the position. I think that crowd funded real estate could provide a hedge if equities continue to fall while still providing a good return and without the personal hassle involved with investing in individual properties. I’ve been planning to buy an investment property for some time now but have not done it due to Whitney and I moving often for work.

Looking Forward

I’m optimistic that April will be a very good month financially. Even if equities continue to fall, I’m planning to continue to spend very little over the next couple of months. I should also be receiving the prize from my weight loss bet and my tax return either at the end of April or beginning of May, and both of those combined will be a big boost to my net worth. This blog turns two years old in April as well which is awesome!

If you haven’t followed the blog on here or on Facebook then please do so as I’m planning a lot of good content in the coming months! Thanks for reading!

 

 

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