February Wrap-up

February Wrap-Up

February is done and gone. That can mean only one thing. Time to look back at February and see how The Smart Fi Website numbers stacked up.

In February I worked far more hours than I would in a normal month. This was due to the increased demand for nurses at work during cold and flu season. The extra shifts worked allowed me to aggressively add to my 403b and taxable savings. All things considered, it was a very good month financially. I finished one fitness challenge and started another financial challenge. The Smart Fi traffic increased month over month and The Smart Fi made some money. Whoot Whoot!

Current Twitter followers. 360. Follow me on twitter here. 

 

The Smart Fi Traffic

This website flickered to life on January 13th. February was the first full month of traffic statistics. February will give us a better baseline to compare future months against.

  • The Smart Fi website had 1124 page views for the shortened month of February. This is 40.14 pageviews per day average.
  • Monday, February 26th, was the busiest day of the month with 114 page views, breaking the century barrier for the first time.
  • The three most popular posts in February were, (in order)

How To Spend Your Tax Return

40 Day Frugal Lent Challenge

2017 Investing Lessons From Warren Buffet.

Yay! 100 page views in one day.  I like to celebrate the small victories. Maybe in March, we can cross 200 page views in one day?

Income Report

Last month, I included the income section in the wrap-up report as a joke. In January I earned $0 from this website. That was the joke, there was no income. That has all changed though. I am pleased to announce that in February I made, drum roll please, $0.11. Yes, 11 cents.

When I started The Smart Fi, I had no plans for trying to earn money from this site. Well, at least for the first year. But after reading a blog post from Pete at Do You Even Blog, (I apologize, I can’t find the exact blog post) I have changed my mind.

Pete advises placing ads on a blog from the inception of the blog.  Pete’s theory is that ads help you get used to the mechanics of running a blog with ads and also helps readers to get accustomed to advertisements being on the website.

Advertisements on a website can clutter a website but I have not found the google ads to be overly obnoxious, yet.  I don’t use any pop-up ads either. If I feel the ads subtract from the aesthetics or value, I will remove them. Thus far I don’t feel like it has detracted from the value of The Smart Fi.

Hopefully, in the future, any income the site produces will help defer the cost of operating and maintaining The Smart Fi. Next year my blog expenses will increase substantially as the introductory pricing on web hosting expires.

Challenges

  • The February Plank Challenge came to an end. I will miss this challenge. The positive message and continuous motivation that was shared on Twitter was awesome. You can follow The Smart Fi on Twitter by clicking @thesmartfi. You can read my Plank Challenge Wrap Up here.

 

  • 40 Day Frugal Lent Challenge. Tina and Max at 99to1percent started a 40-day financial challenge in homage to the 40 days of Lent. I happily joined the challenge. My wife and I decided to sacrifice wine and iTunes song purchases for 40 days. This will save about $100 dollars from the budget and those $100 dollars will be sent to the mortgage company as an extra principal payment in March. You can read about it here.

2018 Goals Reviewed

January first I set down and laid out my 2018 financial goals. Here they are.

  1. Max out both Mrs. Smartfi’s  and my  401 k’s = $37,000*
  2. Max out both Mrs. Smartfi’s and my Roth IRA = $11,000**
  3. Max out family HSA = $6900
  4. Contribute $10,000 to taxable brokerage account at Vanguard for my hybrid mortgage payoff plan.
  5. Add $300 dollars per month to the mortgage payment. This gets me to $20,000 of mortgage principle pay down per year.

* 401k and 403b contribution limit increased $500 to $18,500 in 2018.

** HSA limit increased $150 to $6900 for a family for 2018.

Let’s add this up

37,000 + 11,000 + 6,900 + 10,000 + 3,600 = $68,500 savings/investments in 2018

In February this is where I allocated our capital

  • $5804 to 403b
  • $846.12 to Roth IRA
  • $440 to HSA
  • $1710 to Vanguard taxable account
  • $600 to mortgage principal
 March ContributionRunning 2018 Total Contribution2018 Goal
403b's$4,704.03$22,551$37,000
Roth IRA's
$846.12$3,384.48$11,000
HSA$440$1,760$6,850
Vanguard Taxable account
$2,000$7,606$10,000
Mortgage principal$1,873$7,402.13$20,000

The Roth IRA and HSA contributions are automatic deposits, fixed at a set monthly amount and will not change from month to month. The 403b deposit is deducted from our paychecks as a percentage of income. I have set my 403b contribution rate at 30% during the winter months while I am working extra shifts at work. I hope to be able to max out my 403b early and then focus on my wife’s 403b. The amount of money I am able to contribute to my 403b will drastically decrease when the extra shifts at work dry up.

Featured blog

Before I created The Smart Fi, I could only list 3 or 4 blogs that I knew of.  After spending a couple of months creating and promoting my own blog, I realize there are hundreds of bloggers that all have a very unique and interesting story to tell. In this section of the wrap-up, I plan to feature a blog or blogs that I have found that may be of interest to my audience.

This month, we meet Kait at Not Your Average Millenials. Kait is a fellow Registered Nurse, who chronicles her journey to financial independence by age 40.

A 90’s girl with an old lady’s soul, documenting my journey to financial independence. @NYA_Millennials (follow on twitter)

Kait is currently saving for a down payment on a house while also trying to max out her Roth IRA and 403b. If you have a minute hop on over to her blog a take a look.

Well, that wraps up our look back at February. Please leave feedback for me in the comments. Do you like reading the wrap-up posts? Have you noticed the google ads are getting in the way of enjoying The Smart Fi content?

6 thoughts on “February Wrap-up

    1. Thank you, Angela. The biggest unintended benefit of blogging has been meeting so many smart and inspiring people in these last two months. And I need to do my burpees today too:)

  1. I love that you made a little income in your second month (you gotta start somewhere)!! And thanks again for the feature. I love being a part of such a supportive community!

  2. Looks like a good month there, well done on your 11 cents ad revenue!

    And you have inspired me, I think I might start a plank challenge, or maybe a burpee challenge (but they are hard!)

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