F.I.R.E.,  Monthly Update

California Livin’ [October & November Update]

I keep having to remind myself not to judge or shame myself for things not going exactly according to plan. I’ve been dealing with a few setbacks that have had notable impacts, but I’ve also allowed myself to fall into the trap of using them as crutches, and blaming them for my lack of progress. Ultimately, the important thing is how good it will feel to finally reach that finish line, not how bad it feels to face any individual obstacle. I just need to keep the ball rolling.

The past few months have involved a very notable lack of data again. Sadly, I’m currently in the process of finding a new expense tracking application. While I really do love the user experience and features for analyzing expenses, I’ve been dealing with very crippling bugs and errors with the Wallet by BudgetBakers. I’ve opened several tickets with the support team, but they’ve been slow to respond, and have yet been able to actually resolve any of the issues. At this point, I simply need to cut my losses, try to recuperate my subscription fee, and just find an alternative.

I’ve also been facing a few regulatory obstacles with opening a business investment account. Turns out, moving back to the US has complicated things significantly and now I need to get creative with how to make those funds available to invest.

Noteworthy Thoughts

Fight Through Obstacles

There have been a few things I haven’t been disciplined about. I’ve failed to remain proactive in opening an investment account for the business, and I’ve failed to remain proactive in resolving my expense tracking application woes. In both cases, what should have been a small hang up and taken a mere hour or two of work and focus to resolve, I’ve instead let prolong for an absolutely unnecessary length of time. As a result, I still lack the ability to invest any of the funds I have within the business, and I no longer have usable expense information for my own understanding and for the purpose of this blog post.

Part of this lack of proactivity has been shame in having taken so long to make the next step of progress, and part of it has been fear and unfamiliarity with investing. I have all the information and preparation one could want to start this journey, and so much to gain once I do, but this is the first REAL step, so that fear and anxiety are present. I need to fight through these feelings and just make progress. If I can repeatedly do that, things will fall into place.

Getting Back On Track

I haven’t made any new investments for a few months if you count cryptocurrency (with which I’ve remained even at best), or a few years if you don’t (which would be my previous 401K allocations). My first biweekly paycheck in November will have a 40% contribution to my 401K with my current employer. Unfortunately, I don’t have the benefit of employer matches for my contributions, but it does provide me with the ability to lower my taxable income by up to $19,500 for the 2021 tax year. This could save me up to $6,500 in taxes come tax season. Plus, all of the contributions are set to automatically purchase a specific index fund that most closely mirrors the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX). The fund I chose is the Fidelity 500 Index Fund (FXAIX).

The next step to take is to resolve the issues that are tying up the funds in the business, and find a way to get those invested. That is over 50% of our Current Net Worth that is unable to be used to reach our F.I.R.E. goals.


I’ve decided I’m going to modify the order in which I go through the categories for this post. I’ve decided to do this primarily because I lack any kind of consistent insight into current expenses. Assets and debts are things I can reasonably easily collect data for. As this post includes data for two months, I’ve created a table with the status of the accounts as of the 1st of each month.

October (as of Oct 1, 2021)
DescriptionCurrencyAmountUSD Value
Business Account, CashUSD$40,071.56$40,071.56
Business Account, CashCAD$29,416.10$23,254.31
Bank Account, CashUSD$5,221.94$5,221.94
Bank Account, CashUSD$6,771.47$6,771.47
Bank Account, CashCAD$153.64$121.37
Rental DepositUSD$2,990.00$2,990.00
401K, VTSAXShares30.239$3,268.23
Credit Card PointsPTS0$0.00
  • Note that Credit Card Points Current USD Value is based on a redemption rate of 100PTS to USD$1.00

Total Assets (USD): $83,459.22

November (as of Nov 1, 2021)
DescriptionCurrencyAmountUSD Value
Business Account, CashUSD$40,066.56$40,066.56
Business Account, CashCAD$18,727.55$15,138.04
Bank Account, CashUSD$11,543.72$11,543.72
Bank Account, CashUSD$6,942.16$6,942.16
Bank Account, CashCAD$153.64$124.19
Rental DepositUSD$2,990.00$2,990.00
401K, VTSAXShares30.239$3,557.66
Credit Card PointsPTS10,449$104.49
  • Note that Credit Card Points Current USD Value is based on a redemption rate of 100PTS to USD$1.00

Total Assets (USD): $82,686.05


Once again, I’ve split the data so that the information is listed as of the first of each month. The only major thing of notice is that the Corporate Tax Liabilities have been paid, and while the business accounts have decreased accordingly, that portion of the debts has been erased. The Visa card bill is getting on the larger side, but it is out primary means of making purchases, and we had some really large expenses in October (travelling home), so the increase is not necessarily unexpected.

October (as of Oct 1, 2021)
DescriptionCurrencyAmountCurrent USD Value
Corporate Tax LiabilityCAD$10,537.01$8,323.92
Visa CardUSD$1,822.72$1,822.72

Total Debts (USD): $10,146.64

November (as of Nov 1, 2021)
DescriptionCurrencyAmountCurrent USD Value
Visa CardUSD$7,639.21$7,639.21

Total Debts (USD): $7,639.21

Net Worth

I think it’s valuable to begin tracking change in Net Worth. As such, I’ll be including the Net Worth listed on the previous post, the Net Worth on the 1st of each month, and the total change in Net Worth of that time.

On that note, we can see that our Net Worth has increased about ~$3,000, over the course of 2 months, averaging about ~$1,500 per month. Hopefully, the contributions to my 401K for the new job will help increase this over time with the tax breaks and investment gains.

Net Worth – Sept 1st, 2021 (USD): $72,028.94

Net Worth – Oct 1st, 2021 (USD): $73,312.58

Net Worth – Nov 1st, 2021 (USD): $75,046.84

Net Worth Change (USD): $3,017.90


Here’s a breakdown of all the income we’ve had over the course of the last 2 months. For my own personal income, these amounts are after income tax withholdings. Starting this upcoming month, a portion of that employment income will be getting diverted to a 401K account for investments.

Fatima’s Part-Time Contract IncomeSeptemberUSD$49.00
Patrick’s Employment IncomeSeptemberUSD$11,416.71
Fatima’s Part-Time Contract IncomeOctoberUSD$1,010.00
Patrick’s Employment IncomeOctoberUSD$10,142.38

Total Income – September (USD): $11,465.71

Total Income – October (USD): $11,152.38

Total Income (USD): $22,618.09


While a lack of categorization means I won’t be able to analyze much in the way of day to day expenses, I will analyze the large expenditures. First, let’s look at September.

SkydivingLife & Entertainment$1,405.72
Pet DepositHousing$500.00

It was an expensive month when it comes to furnishing the house. While I don’t have an exact breakdown, simply looking at expenses for locations that are for home furnishings, and specifically remembering certain purchases, I can estimate at least ~$3,300 in furniture and other things for the house. This includes a TV, a new mattress, some desks, a dishwasher, dining room furniture, and everything in between. September also included a lot of expenses for Skydiving, as I had some certifications, gear, and jumps that I purchased. Some rough math tells me that once I account for the reduction in debt for the Visa card that my numbers are close enough to be satisfied.

One of the very important things to note is that Fatima and I adopted a dog on October 30th. Her name is Kalista, and she is an absolute angel and pleasure to have around the house. As would be expected though, along with her love, she also brings some expenses as well. The expenses here are for her adoption fees and a handful of items to prepare for her arrival.

So let’s examine large expenses for October.

Various Travel & ActivitiesTravel$1,577.37
Car MaintenanceVehicle$125.81

Aside from the expenses for Kalista, the standout expenses are for our trip to Canada ($1,577.37) and for Fatima’s school tuition ($2,088.00). I also upgraded my Skydiving camera and purchased the new GoPro as I’ve been using a 7 year old model. Accounting for the longer list of small expenses for the month, and the increase in Net Worth, some rough math confirms again that this is a close estimation.

To those of you reading these posts, thank you very much, and I appreciate your time. I hope your financial goals are coming closer to being a reality in your life! As always, if you have any questions about the topics discussed above, or about my own personal finance situation, please post a comment or send me an email.

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