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 April.
Random Acts of Kindness
As I’ve mentioned before, I committed to doing at least one random act of kindness, or give one unexpected gift, each month this year. My inspiration came from the generosity of the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF). 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!
I didn’t get out much in April due to surgery early in the month, so the opportunity for random acts was limited. But, at the very end of the month, I took a road trip to Minneapolis (more on that below). While at one of the local pubs, I anonymously paid a stranger’s tab for the evening. (I also contributed to the RCF – if you’d like to spread some good too, go here!)
One thing I have discovered is I prefer to give anonymously (at least when I give money). While I love seeing people’s reaction, there’s just something about anonymity that adds a little intrigue. Any way you slice it, kindness is contagious.
Last month, I wrote about my conundrum with focusing on the blogging stats (income/traffic). While I’m not really into the stats right now, I do love blogging! One of the best things about blogging is becoming a part of the amazing, supportive personal finance community. I’ve been fortunate to make some fantastic friends over the last year.
It was a little more real this past weekend when I had the opportunity to spend a day with an amazing group of bloggers (and others pursuing FI). Gwen (from Fiery Millennials) and I took a road trip to Minneapolis to meet up for an evening of fun. The weather didn’t cooperate for our grilling and park plans. But we had a great time hitting up some of the local establishments, chatting it up with our new friends, and tasting some local craft beer. As Bill from Wealth Well Done says, these new friends are extraordinary and I’m super grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know them better.
Standing (from the left): Budget On A Stick, The Grounded Engineer, me, No Nonsense Landlord, Physician On Fire, RedHoodedSweatShirt (no blog), Bible Money Matters, Apathy Ends, and Amanda of Wealth Well Done. Seated is Bill of Wealth Well Done and Fiery Millennials.
Oooooh…big news here, friends!!! We had an offer accepted on a property! It will deserve a few posts of it’s own later, but I’ll share the basics here.
It’s a 3 bedroom, 1450 square foot single family home on a large lot in a desirable neighborhood. That’s all the good stuff (except maybe the larger lot – not sure if that’s good or bad yet).
The bad? Well, we don’t consider this bad, but it needs work. That’s okay! We were looking for something below market value so we could build some instant sweat equity – this one fit the bill.
We are fully expecting some surprises after we take possession (around May 31). The things we know we will have to do include: flooring, painting (in and out), new tub and surround, counter top in kitchen, vanity in bathroom, plaster repair (on one wall in particular), and yard clean up (including removing some small trees and that huge stump). There will definitely be more to do, but we have to get in there before we know for sure. If there’s room in the budget, we will get new kitchen cabinets and new drywall. DIY is a passion of ours, so we’re excited to get our hands dirty. We will hire contractors for some of the work when it makes sense (electrical/plumbing). Oh! And the seller is putting on a new roof.
The Habitat for Humanity Restore may become our second home. We got an excellent deal on some amazing tile for the kitchen back splash already – it’s the perfect place to save money on our projects (the tile was $.05/each!).
This whole thing is a bit of an experiment. It’s a way for us to get our feet wet in real estate investing and decide if we ever want to buy a fixer upper again. Stay tuned…
From the Mad Fientist Laboratory, here is how long we have until FI, if we stay the current course:
Only one month less than last month, but still progress! I have to confess, I am very conservative when figuring our FI date – I take a little off the top and don’t include any of our savings accounts (only investments).
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 67%! It looks like a great savings rate at this point but, like I said last month, it will continue to drop as the year goes on. The tax return skewed the numbers in our favor for the time being.
As I mentioned in last month’s update, I was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder. I have hundreds of (benign!) nerve tumors in my leg. My initial diagnosis was Schwannomatosis, but that changed after I had surgery to remove some tumors. When the pathology report came back I found out I actually have a rare form of Neurofibromatosis (type 5). I’m pretty lucky to only have it in my leg. There is a possibility that it is hereditary, but my kids show no signs of it (and they probably would by now). We’re debating on genetic counseling to see if they’re carriers.
On April 7, I had surgery to remove some of the tumors in my calf – the ones I thought were causing some of my worst pain. Surgery went well and I’m healing up. 🙂 I’m left with some residual nerve pain, which I guess makes sense when you have tumors cut out of your nerves!? It’s gradually improving with time. But I admit, I’m a little impatient and can’t wait to get back to exercising and being more active!!!
Rhubarb is being harvested, cooked, and frozen! This is one of the best rhubarb harvests I’ve had. The strawberries are blooming. Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, peas and beets are all coming along nicely. Alan planted the potatoes for me and we’ll plant the pepper and tomato seedlings, squash and green beans very soon! Can’t wait to start sharing more harvest pictures.