May Wrap Up

Welcome to the June and Welcome to another release of The Smart Fi Wrap Up, May edition.

This is a chance to see what the site has accomplished in the past month and a chance for me to share with you, the progress our family is making as we march towards financial independence.

If this is your first time to thesmartfi.com and you are not familiar with our family’s story check out my About Page. 

Half Birthday

Mid-June will mark the half- birthday of thesmartfi.com. I can’t believe it has already been six months since this blog launched. I spent much of 2017 puzzling over whether to start a blog and in January of 2018, I took the plunge.

Here is the pattern I have maintained for the past couple of months as the blog begins to mature.  In my real job, as a Registered Nurse, I work 12-hour shifts. I work 6 out of 7 days one week and then have a week off. During my week of work, there is very little time for anything other than sleep, eat and work. In my week off, I write as much as I can, without neglecting my other duties, like being a loving husband and father.

There have been days where I contemplated throwing in the towel. Days where I thought, “this is too much work.” At times I question the sustainability of this schedule. But there are many more days where I feel very proud of what I have created. So far the good has outweighed the bad and that is enough to keep me going. Sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other, is all you need to do to keep going.

Let’s get to the nuts and bolts.

Most popular posts in April (in order)

  1. Healthy June Weight Loss Challenge
  2. Build Wealth With The Three Payday Month
  3. What To Expect From Your Financial Baby.

Twitter

  • Current Twitter followers 915. Follow me on twitter here. 
  • You can also follow me on Instagram here.

The Smart Fi Traffic

Thesmartfi.com had 1,190 page views in May. This was a month over month increase of, wait for it……….11 page views(+0.9%) from April.

I have anticipated that traffic will fluctuate up and down throughout the year. I am not sure how seasonality will blog traffic. It would seem, the summer months lend themselves to more outdoor activities and less internet use.  I plan to continue writing blog posts that I think will help solve financial problems for readers and worry about viewership later.

  • The Smart Fi website had 1190 page views for May. An increase of 11 pageviews over April. This is 38.4 pageviews per day on average. For May, the blog had 1 pageview per day less than April. Meh!
  • Saturday, May 12th, was the busiest page view day of the month with 108 page views. There were two days in May that broke the century mark. Yay!
  • Traffic is hit or miss. Some days it feels like The Smart FI is starting to take off and I will start building page views through the month and other days the site has very little traffic.

Here is the short version of the May traffic report. “May was the same as April.”

Income Report

Once again not too much to report here. I had $5.81 from Google Adsense. This currently is the only source of income for the blog. If you clicked on an advertisement in May, bless your heart, because that is how the $5 was earned.

Challenges

Buy nothing challenge

I was featured in an interview on the blog Count Down to Tranquility. I detailed my progress in the 2018 Buy Nothing Challenge. You can read my Count Down to Tranquility interview by clicking here.

I tend to be a very content with the material items in my life. I seldom buy gifts for myself. I can talk myself out of almost any purchase. One of my weak spots when it comes to personal spending is for camping equipment. So when R.E.I. had their big summer sale, we had to go. This trip, for the first time, was a real challenge for me.

In May my wife and I made our way, through congested traffic of Seattle, to the REI flagship store for the Sale. R.E.I has a beautiful building with an almost endless supply of outdoor gear.

If you are ever in Seattle you must visit this store. I browsed the whole store only to find an insulated stainless steel cup and a small backpacking stove. Both items were on sale at a steep discount. After an internal tug-of-war, remembering my 2018 Spend Nothing Challenge, I put back the two items.

I spent $0. Zilch. Nada.  I call that a frugal victory. But hold your applause, please. My wife spent $50. This was an improvement over last year where combined, we spent $375 on the May R.E.I. sale. I call that a frugal victory.

If you want to take a peek at the blogger who started this whole No Spend Year thing you should check out the Happy Philosopher and his May Update.

Also, check out Dr. McFrugal who published their Buy Nothing Update for May.  See how they are saving gobs of money while caring for a new baby.

5 million step challenge

I am a sucker for a challenge and while I take my finances seriously, I take my health more seriously. I joined the 5 million step challenge being hosted by the blog My Sons Father. There will be a monthly update on his blog as we step our way to 5 million. For the month of May, I racked up 446,907 steps. I believe I am still in second place behind Angela at Tread Lightly Retire Early blog. As of June 1st, I have 2,036,237 steps year to date. Look out 5,000,000 I’m coming for you!

2018 Goals Reviewed

January first, I laid out my lofty financial goals for  2018. 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. Current mortgage balance $235,000.

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

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

 

Let’s add this up

37,000 + 11,000 + 6,850 + 10,000 + 3,600 = $68,450 savings/investments in 2018

In May this is where I allocated our family’s capital:

  • $4704.03 to 403b’s
  • $846.12 to Roth IRA’s
  • $440 to HSA
  • $500 to Vanguard taxable account
  • $1519.29 added to mortgage principal payment
 May ContributionRunning 2018 Total Contribution2018 Goal
403b's2858.15$25,409$37,000
Roth IRA's
$846.12$4230.06$11,000
HSA$440$3,799$6,850
Vanguard Taxable account
$500$8,106$10,000
Mortgage principal$2,878.27$10,280.40$20,000

Featured Blog

Welcome to the Traveling Cents blog. 

Jeannie is a Wealth focused, Disney loving, Foodie, and Travel Addict. Um, I think I like her already.

Jeannie struggles daily with balancing spending on passions and saving for tomorrow’s freedom. She paid off $37000 student loan in 10 months and took  8 trips in 2017 while holding a regular full-time job. Both, amazing accomplishments.

I want to focus on living intentionally, spending my time and money with a purpose. — travelingcents.com

Show The Traveling Cents some love and check out her awesome blog by clicking here.

Thank you for checking out my May Wrap-up.

6 thoughts on “May Wrap Up

  1. I’m still not certain how I edged you out on step count in May, but it’s going to take serious effort to come out ahead this month again I think 🙂 And I saw a bigger dip in my views in May, partially I assume to the seasonality thing, but more because we were out of town for half the month (and preparing to go the other half) and I spent considerable less time on the blog.

    1. Well maybe I can be a step winner in June. I’m going to have to hustle to hit 500k in June. Your vacation looked like a ton of fun from the Instagram pics I saw. The break from the blog was well worth it I’m sure.

  2. Congrats on another stellar month! My six month blogiversary is coming up as well, pretty stoked. Definitely going to check your interview for the no spend challenge, I need some inspiration because I spend enough for a family sometimes haha

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