Here we are at the beginning of February. It is hard to believe that one month ago this blog was only a small idea in my head mixed with a large amount of fear. Fear that I could never produce a blog as polished or well written as all the others. I came across a blog, Cash Flow Kat a few days ago that made me laugh. Kat outlined all the fears and insecurities that I feel as a new blogger. I acknowledge that I am sharing a piece of my heart and mind with the world and that makes me vulnerable.
The Smart Fi blog flickered to life on January 12th, 2018. Inspired by a desire to help others progress down the road to financial independence. In early January, I found the blog Count Down to Tranquility. This blog really inspired me to move forward with the idea of creating my blog for two reasons. The first reason, the Count Down to Tranquility blog was a brand new blog, only a couple of months old. If someone else could take that giant step and be vulnerable then so could I. The second reason, people had commented on the blog. This blew my mind. You see, that was my biggest fear. Take the time and money to start a blog and no one would read it. But this blog already had good traffic and great actionable content. It had been up and running for a couple of months and people were reading the blog. So I dove in head first. I had no idea what I was doing. I set up two free blogs the first couple of days. I didn’t like the functionality of the free sites. So I dove deeper and paid for one year of web hosting, and installed Word Press and got to work with the blog layout. This techie stuff took some trial and error. Keep in mind I am a Registered Nurse not a computer programmer. I still have some kinks to work out but I will keep working at the blog design until I get it right. So with one year of web hosting paid for, the good news or bad news, depending on how you look at it, is that this blog will be here for at least on year.
Now lets get into the numbers from January.
In my post, 2018 Goals, I outlined my intent to save more money this year. My audacious goal for The Smart Fi family was:
- to max out the family’s two 401k’s
- Max out the family’s two Roth IRA’s (click this link to learn why you need a Roth IRA today)
- max out a HSA (click the link to learn about the HSA)
- save $10,000 in a taxable brokerage account invested in VTSAX
- pay down $20,000 in mortgage debt
For a grand total savings goal of $84,950 for 2018.
It blows my mind that our family could save such a large sum of much money in one year. It will take the aggregation of many small savings and some side hustle income that will get our family to that goal.
Side Hustle income
While I only have one job at this point, I have the ability to pick up extra shifts at work. I am a Pediatric Registered Nurse. In the winter, children get sick, and that means a demand for more nurses. We are having an extremely busy year at work due to a rather awnry flu season . I have picked up extra hours at work like a crazy person. These extra shifts will go away as flu and cold season ends in a couple of months. At that point, I will have to seriously consider a side hustle job to reach my lofty 2018 financial goals. The good news is, this extra income is helping me to reach my goals. The saying goes, “make hay while the sun shines.”
This is what we saved in January
- Roth IRA-$840
- Mortgage- $2150 ($1300 principle from the mortgage payment plus an extra $950)
- Taxable brokerage account-$1050 invested in VTSAX
Blog income report
The blog income report is included more as a joke. This blog has earned $0 dollars. It cost $20 for one year of web hosting which so far was money well spent. I am in the hole $20. I better keep my real job.
Spend Nothing Challenge Savings
The 2018 Spend Nothing Challenge was my 6th post. I’m not sure which blog to give credit for the original idea but I saw the challenge posted on the Count Down to Tranquility blog. I jumped onboard the challenge. I am always looking for ways to save more, spend less and invest the difference.
In January I managed to avoid spending.
- Hair clippers $40 (my old clippers, although getting dull, will do)
- Amazon IPhone 10 foot charging cord $15 (do I really need a 10 foot charging cord)
- Apple airpods $150 (my corded apple earbuds will work for a while longer)
$40 + $15 + $150 = $205. Not bad for one month.
What can you do in February to spend less, save more and invest the difference?
I want to give a shout out to another great blog out there on the interwebs, Life Zemplified. This blog explores the fusion of personal finance, fitness, food and fun. What is there not to like about those topics? When I wrote my first post and published it to the internet, I was filled with trepidation. Amy was the first to introduce her self and say hi. She was also my first twitter follower. @thesmartfi. Amy is a frequent blog poster with tons of great content. Be sure to check out her site.
There it is, my January Roundup. My first month of blogging. A totally new experience for me since I am generally more on the quiet, introverted side of the spectrum. I have enjoyed meeting new people, albeit through the magic of the internet. I hope that through this medium I can inspire and educate. If you would like these posts delivered to your email, sign up for the email distribution list on the right side of the home page. No SPAM. I promise.