It’s been over a year since our previous financial progress report. My goal was to get these financial updates up on the blog quarterly. I failed miserably. So here’s a quick update on our financial savings progress.
In 2018, we were able to make the maximum contributions to each of our employer sponsored retirement plans for a total of $37,000. We each contributed $5,500, the maximum allowable amount. $5,000 was deposited into our Health Savings Account (HSA) by my employer and we topped it off by contributing $1,900 to reach the 2018 contribution limit. Total contributions for 2018 tax advantage accounts: $54,900
We increased our savings account balance as well as our taxable brokerage accounts. 2018 was a good year for meeting our savings goals! We had minor setbacks that lead us to tap into our emergency fund, including an over $4,000 tax bill this year, $500 in medical expenses that we choose to pay out of pocket rather than withdrawing the funds from the Health Savings Account. But overall it’s been a good year.
Although the stock market, particularly the S&P 500, was down for 2018 we are still are on track to reach our financial goals in 2026. The overall balance of our accounts has increased by over $100,000 in 14 months. However, this is largely in part to our contributions and stock market performance in the first six months of 2019.
There’s no question that being a dual income family with no kids (DINK) has been a financial advantage to us. We live in a high cost of living area but keep our expenses low. Our housing expense is a third of the average rent price in Manhattan. Our grocery bill is less than $350 a month and we choose free or low-cost ways to have fun. We enjoy going hiking and occasional trips to Governors Island. Recently we saw Hamilton on Broadway and paid $20 for two tickets after we won the the Hamilton Lottery! It took entering the lottery several times a month for nearly two years.
At the beginning of this financial independence journey I had to shift my mindset about money. I realized that I was living with a scarcity mindset. This was serious paradigm shift for me.
I wrote a post for Clever Girl Finance almost a year ago where I share one of my biggest financial regrets. I have made many mistakes but it’s not where we start from, it’s where we are walking to. Where are you headed?