At the beginning of the year, I posted about my new, exciting vision for the New Year and promised to update you. Here’s how we did at the Centsibly Rich household in May.
Random Acts of Kindness
I’ve been inspired by the generosity of the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF) since last December. The RCF has touched many lives and spread a ton of good (check out exactly how much has been given on the Rockstar totals page)!
In the spirit of spreading the kindness, I committed to doing at least one random act of kindness, or give one unexpected gift, each month this year. Here’s how it played out in May:
- We have been blessed to have some of the best teachers (one in particular) for our kids in a local, public Montessori school. The middle school was life changing for both kids, and really helped them to recognize and tap into their full potential (the assumption of the middle school teachers is that every child is brilliant!). We gifted the middle school some money to buy whatever they needed for the classrooms (and will continue to make these gifts when we can).
- Cait (daughter) and I went to the local ice cream shop with $20 in hand on Memorial Day and bought 4 random strangers ice cream. One man, initially, right out refused to accept our gift. When I told him we were on a mission to spread kindness, he reluctantly gave in and thanked us, but was clearly uncomfortable. Cait couldn’t understand the hesitation and was saddened by his reluctance to accept our gift. There could be any number of reasons to explain his hesitation (cultural, personal, etc). But I think the best response, when you’re offered a gift in kindness, is to accept (no guilt necessary!). And remember the giver is getting a gift in return.
- Each month, I contribute to the RCF. If you’re interested in spreading the good, check it out here!
With a rental property (hopefully) and summer’s arrival, posting may slow down at times. It’s my last summer before my son graduates and heads off to Air Force basic training (next June!) and I want to make the most of it with my family.
My plan is to have one main post on Mondays this summer, and probably, maybe, hopefully a second post on Thursday or Friday, if I have time (I will have some guest posts on these days, if you’re interested, fellow bloggers). Friday’s Finest may or may not make an appearance, but will be back up and running every two weeks in September.
Last month, I was so excited to tell you about the rental property we had an offer accepted on. Well, we were scheduled to close on May 31, but now it’s been pushed to June 12 or 13th. The house we’re buying has been a rental for 30+ years…with the same tenant for 30+ years (and 30+ years of stuff!).
In the purchase agreement, the property was to be vacated. The rent was too low for us to keep the tenant and the house is in need of repairs and updates. The tenant did not vacate by the closing date and has some legal (?) document stating he has until June 12 to move (I’m a little fuzzy on the details there).
Anyway, we had the option to close with the tenant still living there (with a written guarantee he’d be out by June 12) or we could push closing back. This was a no-brainer for us. Our fear is we would have to start our journey into real estate investing with an eviction – which would mean extra expenses and headaches. We’re keeping our fingers crossed the next date works out.
(Side note: It’s hard to separate the personal feelings from the business side here – I feel bad for making the tenant move, but can’t make it work, financially and otherwise, if he doesn’t).
From the Mad Fientist Laboratory, here is how long we have until FI, if we stay the current course:
One month less than last month, but still progress! Like I said last month, I’m pretty conservative with these numbers. I figure our expenses a little high and our savings a little low. If we can actually get started with the real estate investments, that will speed the timeline even more.
We didn’t save as much extra cash in May due to appraisal fees, other house and medical expenses. But the beauty of automated savings and investing means we are still saving quite a bit.
Last year, our savings rate was 46%. My goal is to get it to 51% in 2017. Our savings rate for the year so far is 63%! The tax return skewed the numbers in our favor so it will continue to drop as the year goes on. (For full disclosure, I am including the company match for the 401k as part of savings.)
They’re growing up too fast! Jake is now officially a senior and Cait is a freshman in high school. And, though they’ve gradually broken us in, we see less and less of them as they spend more time on their own activities and with their friends. So the time we do get with them is always a priority. Because if the past is any indication, time isn’t going to slow down.
I’m still recovering from surgery, but getting better each day. I’m having a few complications from the nerve tumors that are still there, which have led to SI joint dysfunction. Thankfully, it’s getting better with therapy and I’m learning to manage it. Martial arts is still out (I can still teach!), but I can bike without pain, so that’s my exercise of choice for now. I’m grateful to finally get some good exercise! 🙂
Sadly, the rhubarb harvest is over (but I have some frozen for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp – yum!). On the bright side, we’re harvesting strawberries, lettuce and kale now! We haven’t been able to devote as much time and energy to the garden this year, but it’s still doing well. There are more weeds growing between the boxes than usual, but the plants are doing well (for the most part, those poor peppers are struggling, but I think they’ll make it!).