On the path to financial independence: February 2017

February started out slow and mellow. I was still recovering from the abdominal surgery that I had in January and I was on sick leave till the 4th of February. I went back to work on the 6th, barely caught up on what I had missed, and then we set off on our previously planned vacation to New Orleans.

I had not flown out of the San Jose airport for a while. It turns out that while I wasn’t looking the future had arrived and robots now run amok.

We got to use our priority pass membership (yay churning!) for the first time and very much enjoyed the experience. It was a great way to start the vacation.

New Orleans was charming and we were treated to weather that ranged between 72 and 78 degrees. This made for a very pleasant change from the near incessant rains back home. We stayed at an Airbnb apartment in the French Quarter. Our routine was unvarying. Start the day with a home cooked breakfast, then spend the morning walking around a particular area of the city. Eat lunch out and then head home for a nap. Post nap, pick another area to explore. Eat dinner out and get back in time for the bedtime routine. Since my mother was with us on this trip Mr. BITA and I got to sneak out for some late night music and drinks while Grandma BITA babysat. We had three days replete with sunshine, lots of walking, po-boys, and no dearth of good music. We ate altogether too many beignets (I’m kidding. There is no such thing as too many beignets). One evening we even got to witness a Mardi Gras parade.

Apart from vacation-related expenses we incurred a couple of other non-monthly expenses this February:

  • We use a tax consultant to help us file and we paid half their fee this month.
  • I finally bit the bullet and filed for my U.S. citizenship. The good news was that the USCIS accepts credit card payment at no extra cost, so more ultimate reward points for me.

The medical bills from my January procedure have started to trickle in, but some have not yet been through the requisite insurance adjustment and we haven’t paid any yet. That is going to be a whole other post.

Adding cash to the financial independence stash

This month we added $12,774.12 to our stash.

  • Mr. BITA’s 401k was maxed out in January, so we only had contributions to my 401k and my company match.
  • Mr. BITA enjoyed some mega backdoor Roth action and had some RSUs vest.
  • We also added a modest amount to our taxable brokerage account.

The markets continue to surge, and our investments grow more rotund by the day. Our investment growth in February totalled $33,120.81.

The financial independence plan vs. reality

Our plan for 2017 calls for us to add a total of $160,000 to our stash this year. If we add together what we accomplished in January and this month, we need to salt away $9236.63 each month for the rest of the year to stay on track. Our medical bills next month might make this a bit of an uphill battle, but I remain optimistic. Here then is optimistic me climbing towards financial independence and early retirement:

Financial independence status: Slightly ahead of the plan.



24 thoughts on “On the path to financial independence: February 2017”

  1. Glad to hear you’re recovered from the surgery. Those medical bills can be a nightmare – hopefully you don’t run into any issues! And I love RSU vesting time -it’s this week and I have three different batches vesting at different times. And next week is bonus week, but we don’t find out the amounts until…next week. Probably not going to be as good as last year, but I don’t count on it for anything, so I don’t actually care if it’s bigger or smaller than last year. My co-workers sure do though, so I’m sure I’m going to hear a lot of complaining next week.

    1. 3 batches of RSUs all fully baked and vested. Mmmmm. Yummy! Yeah productivity loss from speculating (before) and then bitching (after) bonus and review time is a real thing. I wonder if anyone has ever done the math to find out how much this annual process costs a company in productivity.

  2. Hope you are feeling better post surgery. New Orleans is on our travel bucket list. We’ve never been and only heard good things. Love the FI graphic. Baby steps and your on your way!

    1. Thanks Brian. I hope you make your way to NOLA. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
      I’m glad you liked the graphic as it represents the upper limits of my artistic skills (or lack thereof).

  3. The best food I’ve EVER had in my life was in New Orleans. I’d really like to get back there soon – NOLA is such an interesting and fun city.

    Congrats on rocking your finances!

    1. Thanks GRQ.
      Yeah, the food there was yum, and given the prices I am used to here in the Bay Area, also so cheap!

  4. Hope your recovery is going well, Mrs. BITA. Your trip looks like a great time – and the food! The food may just be worth the trip!? Glad you had a good time and got in a date night with your husband. And congrats on the FI progress!!! 🙂

    1. Absolutely the food is worth the trip, especially if you like seafood.
      My recovery is pretty much done, thanks for asking!

  5. Kicking butt in the retirement saving! Glad you had a great trip, and of course you could never eat too many beignets!

    1. Toddler BITA found the beignets hilarious. You can’t help but get powdered sugar all over your face when you’re scarfing them down and she thought that this was the FUNNIEST THING EVER.

  6. Impressive stash building this month!!
    Your picture of the raw oysters made me chuckle. I’ve only had them once–with a friend who LOVES them. I was glad to say I’d tried them once. But I don’t think it will become a habit!

    1. I try to apply that rule too – I try not to say no to something without trying it at least once. The worst part about those oysters was that it wasn’t my first time. I’ve tried them before and I know that I am not a fan, but it just felt wrong to be in NOLA and not eat a single oyster.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I hope you are well on the mend! Sounds like you had a wonderful and delicious vacation. Great work on the finances. It’s so nice when you can see the market working for you (although you are doing the real work by putting funds into your investments).

    1. I am, thank you. I love months where the market helps with the heavy lifting, and we feel like there are more than two earning adults in our household. Very awesome pants.

  8. You all are killing it when it comes to saving for retirement!!!

    I have never been to New Orleans but it’s definitely somewhere that I’d love to visit. Especially if I could get the type of weather that you got.

    Keep up the awesome work and I can’t wait to read March’s update!!!

    1. Thanks MSM. I highly recommend NOLA. Definitely put it on your list, and if it is low down, bump it up a few spots.

  9. That is some fantastic savings and growth!

    Back in the dot-com bubble days I attended a Microsoft conference in New Orleans. What a blown opportunity! I was such a nerd and didn’t venture out at all… didn’t even see Bourbon Street. What the old Mr. Need2Save would tell the young Mr. Need2Save

    1. I am very familiar with the feeling of now-me wanting to reach back in time and give then-me a swift kick in the backside. Then-me should be eternally grateful that now-me has no access to a time machine.

      I hope life presents you with another opportunity to visit NOLA and now-you can do what then-you left undone.

  10. Congratulations on your additions. I might be late to the party, but I don’t see anywhere, where you list your total net worth. I think your readers might enjoy tracking this, or at least I would.

    Hope you enjoyed New Orleans, it’s a fun place to visit.

    1. Thank you! You don’t see my NW because I don’t publicize it. The diligent reader can probably make an intelligent guess from my various posts, but I’m not quite comfortable sharing the actual number. I might one day, I’m not there yet.

      I loved NOLA, and would love to go back again some day.

  11. That are impressive numbers that you can save away each month! Well done.

    I on the other hand, I really love raw oysters. Once I had 12 at 11am near an oyster farm in France. BEST BREAKFAST EVER!

    1. Thanks. And ewwww. The thought of being forced to down a dozen of those cold slug like creatures. Ugh.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *