Posted in Numbers

Net Worth Update – November 2017

The weather in Minnesota in November was AMAZING! We had above average temperatures for most of the month. I LOVED IT. I am sorry to sound negative but I really dread winter. I’m a wimp, I admit it. Have I mentioned I have a dog that needs to be walked every day? Yes, that means even in sub-zero weather. I consider each day we have mild weather and no snow a blessing.

I took the below picture of the sunrise on my way to work last week (I was at a stop light).  It was beautiful.

On to my Net Worth Update:

  • Stocks: My GoPro stock purchase continues to be painful. I’m contemplating Tax Loss Harvesting.
  • My Mortgage, Car Loan, and Credit Cards are going in the right direction.
  • I keep House Value and Life Insurance cash value amounts constant (and conservative).

Top 5 Spending Highlights 

  • Credit Cards: I was having a great month until Thanksgiving weekend. I started my Christmas shopping so I didn’t pay off as much credit card debt as the last few months.
  • HSA: I paid the medical bill at the Mayo Clinic. $1,582.
  • Food: Restaurants down a bit: $219. Groceries were up: $473. Taking my son to get groceries to take back to his apartment is a killer. I also made a nice Thanksgiving spread for the family.
  • Dog check-up and shots: $190
  • I’m helping my son with his rent while in college. $575
Posted in Restaurants

Make Reservations at The Copper Hen

We entered The Copper Hen in Minneapolis on a Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. The hostess asked, “Do you have reservations?” After we said we didn’t, she continued, “The first table is available at 1:00 p.m.”

Luckily there was space at the bar for us and the seats were just fine. We sat at an angle that worked well for three people. I’m so glad we decided to stay.

The Copper Hen

2515 Nicollet Ave — Minneapolis, MN — 612-872-2221

A family member was visiting from Iowa for the weekend. My guest and I had the Country Quiche. I think it was the best quiche I’ve ever eaten. My son had the Farmer’s Brunch. He enjoyed his meal and said the French Toast was phenomenal!

I look forward to going back to The Copper Hen – and, next time we’ll have reservations!

When looking at the website for this post I was surprised and excited to see The Copper Hen sells a cookbook. What a perfect Christmas gift for my guest from Iowa.

12/02/2017 Update: The Copper Hen Cookbook arrived today and it is beautiful. The pictures are fantastic and the recipes look scrumptious. I love it that the cookbook includes stories about the owners and their journey to open The Copper Hen. I hope to add a copy of the cookbook to my library at some point since this one is a gift!


Posted in Numbers

Joining the Million Dollar Club

Today was a big day. I accepted a new job at a new company. This means I also gave notice at my current company (yay!). I’ve been less than thrilled with my job for a while, which ultimately lead me to find the Financial Independence (FI) community (so it wasn’t all bad).

I don’t know the average age of FI members; however, I am fairly confident I’m older than most. I’m 48. I enjoyed my job for the first 20 years of my adult working life, so it didn’t cross my mind I wouldn’t want to work until the normal retirement age. Now I want the option to retire early.

The new job brings new focus. It seems to me to be the perfect time to join the “Million Dollar Club” that J. Money from Budgets are Sexy founded. I’m joining nearly 200 bloggers in the pursuit of a seven-figure net worth.

In order to join, I pledge to do the following in the pursuit of a MILLION DOLLARS:

  1. Track my net worth monthly
  2. Be mindful of expenses
  3. Pay off my car loan and credit card debt
  4. After #3 is complete, pay off credit cards each month
  5. After #3 is complete, increase my savings rate
  6. Roll my 401K into an IRA and invest in VTSAX
  7. After #6 is complete, continue to add to my IRA  (See 11/24/2017 update below.)
  8. Continue to educate myself on personal finance
  9. Improve my health, to minimize future health care costs
  10. Keep getting better!!

According to CNN Money’s Millionaire Calculator, at my current savings rate and 4% average return, it will take me until 2029 to hit a million. That’s too long!  My goal is to have a million by the time I’m 55 (in 6 1/2 years). It’s time to make this a reality!

Update: 11/24/2017: While walking my dog this morning I listened to a Stacking Benjamin’s podcast. They pointed out the accounting will be tricky to open an IRA with pre-tax dollars and then add to it with post-tax dollars. SO – changed my mind on #7!  Thanks for not teaching me anything on your podcast Joe and OG!


Posted in Numbers

My (emotional) 84.49% Unrealized Loss

Have you heard anyone say you shouldn’t invest based on emotion? Well, I heard it, ignored it, and then learned the hard way. As of November 10, 2017, my (emotional) stock purchase is at an 84.49% (unrealized) loss.

In August 2015, I used $4,000 of a severance package to invest in GoPro, Inc stock. It was a 100% emotional purchase. I didn’t do any research into the company. (To be honest, I wouldn’t have known what to research anyway.) You can probably see where this is going…. Yep, as soon as I made the purchase the stock started to tank.

Why GoPro? My son had a GoPro and loved it. He showed me his videos and pictures and I was really impressed. When I decided to invest, GoPro was the first stock that came to my mind.

Of course, I am MUCH wiser now that I’ve read many, many financial blog posts. If I had that $4k back, I’d definitely go with a Vanguard low cost index fund. See – I’m learning!

I’ve heard over and over, “Hold for the long-term.”  That is what I intend to do. Or shall I say, that is what I intended to do, until I read Tax-Loss Harvesting by the Mad Fientist.  Tax-Loss Harvesting sounds like a perfect solution, right? If I really want to have GoPro stock (it probably sounds silly, but I do), I can buy it back after 30 days without jeopardizing the tax benefit of the loss (if I understand the rules correctly).

I’m not excited about the (unrealized) loss, but I certainly am excited about what I’m learning from the Financial Independence Community. Thanks Mad Fientist!

Posted in Net Worth, Numbers

Net Worth Update – October 2017

Even though I moved off the farm many years go, I still love watching the seasons in the fields. Each year a farm family that lives close to a well traveled road in my suburb decorates bales for Halloween. This year I happened to be walking my dog when the family preparing the display. One of the family members said it’s a family tradition that each of the cousins gets to decorate a bale. I love that! We don’t decorate the bales on my parents’ farm but my kids and their cousins have played a lot of bale tag, jumping from bale to bale.

On to my Net Worth Update:

  • Reaching $500k in my retirement accounts stands out the most for me this month. Whew hoo!
  • My Mortgage, Car Loan, and Credit Cards are going in the right direction.
  • I keep House Value and Life Insurance cash value amounts constant (and conservative).

Top 5 Spending Highlights 

  • Yep, property tax time. $2030 for the second half of the year.
  • Food = $793. This includes groceries for my college-age son. For real, though, I need to work on this area. I just listened to a podcast this morning that said the ideal average cost per meal is $2 per person. Whah?!?!  That would be 30 days x 3 meals x $2 = $180. Wow.
  • Gas = $194.
  • I’m helping my son with his rent while in college. $575
  • I don’t feel great about my spending for the month. It wasn’t horrible-horrible, it just didn’t feel great. Now that the holidays are approaching I’ll have to really be mindful!