On the Path to Financial Independence: December 2017

financial independence progress december 2017

And just like that, 2017 is in our rear view. A Happy New Year to all of you!


If all goes according to plan, we have now officially begun my last year of working a 9-5 corporate job. So very many wheeeees! There will be time enough in 2018 to dwell endlessly on my feelings on the subject, so I am going to tuck away my excitement, and focus on the topic of this post – a look back at the last month of 2017.

December brought with it a host of holiday parties. Mr. BITA’s company hosted a fancy shindig up in the city. My company had a more modest affair in-house. Work was slow as every day more folks peeled off for their winter vacations and the office started to look like a ghost town. The plus side was that my commute time was cut in half. I religiously played Christmas carols every day, much to Mr. BITA’s chagrin. Mr. BITA is the Grinch (Mr. BITA: I have taste).


My dental odyssey continued. I ever so bravely endured the removal of one of my wisdom teeth. Invading my mouth wasn’t quite enough, so I also allowed the medical community to invade my body. Remember my emergency hernia repair surgery in January? Well that surgery resulted in the formation of a granuloma and I had that removed under local anaesthesia this month.


My parents came to visit us for a month (they will be with us till mid-January). This means lots of delicious home-cooked food that costs me zero effort. Progeny BITA is thrilled to be around her grandparents, who are willing to play with her endlessly and never tell her to stop whinging. It was wonderful to have extended family around to help out in the aftermath of my assorted surgeries. It was even more wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas and to bring in the New Year together.

Toddler BITA helps to make a dessert for Christmas


This month we (our family, my parents and a couple of friends) went camping in stunning Yosemite. It was cold, but we stayed in heated tents and the beauty of the valley compensated us amply for any minor discomfort we endured. We explored waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, rivers and a lake. We espied two deer (awww) and no bears (thank heavens).

We rung in the new year in the company of friends, at the house of a friend. We did a potluck, played party games, did a white elephant gift exchange (gift limit of $15, unless you were regifting), and made an impressive amount of alcohol magically disappear.


Finally, on to the numbers and the summary of how we did in 2017.


Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash

This month we added $44,322.38 to our Stash.

  • Mr. BITA’s 401k was maxed out in January, and I hit my contribution limit in July. Both of our companies have given us our full match as well.
  • In September we maxed out Mr. BITA’s mega backdoor Roth via paycheck deductions. In 2017 we put $27,000 after-tax dollars in there.
  • We maxed out our HSA for the year in December.
  • The big event this month was that it contained my company’s bi-annual ESPP purchase date.  
  • This was also a three paycheck month for us, and Mr. BITA had some RSUs vest as well.

Mr. Stash pulled his weight by adding $15,830.35 to our investments in December.

The Financial Independence Plan vs. Reality


In 2017 we saved and invested: $317,965.74.
In 2017 the market grew our stash by: $229,085.15.


As usual, I’ll end this monthly update with the Stairway to Heaven.

financial independence progress december 2017


364 days to go!  ←————————– Less than a year!

Financial independence status: On track!


17 thoughts on “On the Path to Financial Independence: December 2017”

  1. Woman, you make this whole FIRE thing look easy! You guys made and pulled in more in one year than did in the last 8! There really is no (financial) reason why you won’t be able to come visit the Netherlands in 2018 and take us out for a beer (or two) 😉

    1. Thanks Team CF and I look forward to us sharing a beer the next time we are in your neck of the woods. Congratulations to you on your growing real estate empire – impressive stuff.

  2. Congrats on having less than a year to go! I think our date will be bumped back to 2020 due to changes in the plan with homebuilding vs buying and some underestimation on actual homebuilding costs. Oh well, that’s the way it goes right?

    You guys are killing it in savings! We’ll get an extra $1k per month to put towards saving after May when our youngest is out of pre-school and beginning kindergarten this fall. Woohoo!!!

    Sounds like a great December at your place, minus the wisdom tooth and medical issues. Hope your 2018 goes even better! Happy New Year’s!

    1. Thank you! Sorry to hear about your date moving, but 2020 is just around the corner. Yay for being so close to freeing up that extra $, we still have a couple of years to go.

  3. Dang I’m jealous of your net worth increase! Congrats! Sounds like you had a good holiday. I was in Yosemite in December as well! I hiked vernal fall, which made me want to re-hike Half Dome this summer! Hope you have a great year and again, jealous this is your last year of “work.”

    1. Re-hike half dome! Friends of ours invited us to hike half dome with them in the summer of 2017. We laughed ourselves silly that anyone could imagine that either of the adult BITAs is physically in the kind of shape that we could hike half dome without wishing that we were dead.

      A Happy New Year to you and may 2018 be your best year yet!

    1. Thanks Vicki! So far I am finding that the year is crawling by. That might have something to do with the fact that I calculate the number of days left about 4 times a day.

  4. Glad you had an awesome December. Camping in Yosemite looked incredible, and your net worth increase in 2017 was nothing short of spectacular. Never mind BITA, it’s more like BIAFFG: Bayalis Is A Freakin’ Financial God. Cheers.

    1. You are too kind. I just happen to work in an industry that pays a lot, there is nothing remotely deity like about me or my capabilities (more is the pity. I would love a hammer like Thor and I know more than a few people who could do with a good smiting).

  5. Mr. Groovy told me about your wonderful year. He’s been so impressed, I just had to come over and congratulate you. Well done!

    I also want to thank you for giving me possibly the best witty retort I can throw at Mr. G throughout 2018! Because today, he also told me about some incredibly expensive, whimsical idea that popped into his head. And I just raised my eyebrow (one) at him and said, “Cool your jets. You’re not Mrs. BITA!”

    And by that, I do not mean that you spend money on expensive, whimsical ideas; I was simply reminding him that WE did not increase our net worth by $500K+ in 2017.

    1. Hahahahahah. Oh this comment made my day! (As an aside: I have always been terribly jealous of folks able to raise just one eyebrow. My eyebrows refuse to comply, so I can only raise both and waggle them somewhat comically, but can never manage the arch eloquence of the single eyebrow raise).

  6. Congrats on the progress. I am sure you can’t wait until next year. Hope 2018 brings lots of savings and market happiness, as well as personal.

  7. That is some serious net worth growth in one year. I sure wish my RSUs were as valuable as the BITA’s.

    And that Sequoia tree base is HUGE! We definitely need to make it to Yosemite someday.

    1. Sequoias are amazing pants. Not only are they huge, they can also be very, very old. I hope you make to to Yosemite, it does not disappoint.


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