As 2018 begins, it’s time for an obligatory look back on another great year of financial and personal accomplishments. One small request Mr. Stock Market – can we get 20% gains every year?
OUR FINANCIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2017
- We both maxed out 401(k) contributions to the tune of $18,000 each. We are ineligible for Roth IRA or deductible Traditional IRA contributions due to our high earnings and neither employer allows post-tax contributions.
- In terms of company match on those 401(k) contributions, Mr. Need2Save received $10,495 in company match and profit sharing in 2017. Mrs. Need2Save received $3,260 in company match. Mrs. Need2Save’s employer match is dramatically lower than 2016 and she now gets the $ in twice a year deposits in July and January.
- We maxed out our Health Savings Account (HSA) with $6,750 in total deposits. $1,500 was provided by Mrs. Need2Saves’ employer (thank you!) and another $1,000 was provided by Mr. Need2Saves’ employer (thank you, too!). This year we split up the family unit to receive the most in employer contributions as possible and maxed out the $4,250 in additional pre-tax contributions.
- No major medical issues over the year, so we only spent a few hundred dollars from our HSA account.
- We used an additional $1,000 in Limited Purpose FSA funds for dental and vision expenses only.
- We received 2.5% and 4.5% merit increases in April.
- We added $52,000 to our after-tax investments.
- We paid down our mortgage from $271,600 to $202,500 (balance after December 1 payment made). We are on track to pay off the mortgage by
April, 2021by November, 2020! Less than 3 years to go – yippee! So close to getting under the $200k mark.
- We saved
$18,960$6,200 for college. Our savings were much lower this year because our oldest son has decided to forego college for now. Thus, we have adjusted and lowered our contributions significantly.
- We incurred no new debt – paying credit card balances off in full every month. Our mortgage remains our only outstanding loan.
- We saved $9,600 for future car and house maintenance/replacement costs.
- We deposited $600 in Roth IRA contributions for son #1 (he’s contributing $100/month). Click here for why we are helping our sons established Roth IRAs.
- We paid for laser eye surgery for our oldest son (required for his desired career path).
- We maintained a healthy emergency fund with at least six months of living expenses. We no longer add to this account, but thankfully we didn’t need to tap it in 2017 either. We recently moved some of our EF to a bond fund.
- We opened and funded a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) for future charitable giving. We will take a big tax deduction in 2017 for the initial contribution and have invested the fund in hopes that with market gains, we may be able to continue to help others even after our income stream has slowed to a trickle. We ultimately accelerated some of our additional DAF contribution plans due to the uncertainty that we’ll be able to deduct the contributions in the next few years.
- We canceled a redundant life insurance policy on Mrs. N2S and took out a new Umbrella Policy. While we were at it, we had our home-owners policy reevaluated and lowered the annual premium by close to $1,000. Win!
- After the Equifax data breaches, we felt compelled to put a freeze on our credit so no new accounts can be opened.
OUR PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2017
- Mr. Need2Save sold his starter motorcycle and bought a new Triumph.
- Mr. Need2Save completed his 4th marathon in October. He logged countless training miles to prepare including a couple of 1/2 marathons earlier in the year.
- We took an awesome two-week family trip to Ireland and England in June.
- We took a couple shorter, long-weekend trips as well.
- Mrs. Need2Saves’ mom joined her for a work trip to San Diego.
- We moved our oldest son out of college (much earlier than expected) and moved the youngest one into his first year at college! Cost for the first semester at our state university was about $11,000 for tuition and room & board, which we paid for with our 529 savings. No Student Loans!
- We continued to purge unneeded items from our home. Some items were sold on Craig’s List or eBay for cash. We also held a fall yard sale where we raised $100 for our local food bank. This is an ongoing project and we have seen great progress in decluttering our possessions. We are also trying to tackle certain maintenance projects that we’ve been slacking on like touch-up painting, and small repairs. See our earlier post on Want Something New, Sell Something Old.
- We finally tackled our long-awaited master bathroom remodel project.
- Our blogging schedule started off well in 2017, averaging about one post a week. The past few months have been busy and we’ve only been posting every two to three weeks. We are continuing to learn from other bloggers/friends and shared tips, tricks, and inspiration to reach Financial Independence!
Yep, another great year and we are even closer to our Early Retirement goals than we thought we would be! Our early retirement date is coming closer and closer in to focus. The waiting can sometimes be hard – but if we focus on having fun and enjoying ourselves when we can, it’s going to be here before you know it.
Tell us your accomplishments for 2017 and let us celebrate with you!