On the Path to Financial Independence: February 2018

financial independence progress February 2018

In contrast with the tumult in the markets, February was a quiet month at the BITA household.

In the aftermath of my newly acquired citizenship I continued my dealings with consulates and other government agencies. In February I

  • Applied for the renunciation of my Indian passport ($232.88)
  • Applied for an Indian visa – more on that later in this post ($97.17)
  • Visited my local Global Entry office to associate my membership with my new passport (free)


Work remained as busy as ever. The project I am currently working on has teams working on it that are based in two offices on the east coast of the U.S., in India and in Israel. This meant that in February I spent a lot of time in conference calls both late at night and early in the morning. The one saving grace is that at this stage of the project the vast majority of these calls are with developers to help design and shape the product, and most of the calls are productive. Despite the odd hours I far prefer these sorts of calls to the read-out-loud-to-upper-management kinds.


We managed one good hike in February – nearly five miles long and Progeny BITA only rode on her father’s shoulders for about half a mile. My tips to keep a three-going-on-four year old walking sans whining:

  • Pick up sticks and pretend to be elephants. The sticks acts as trunks.
  • Discuss what life would be like if you had a magic skateboard that allowed you to skate up to the top of trees.
  • Pretend that you can fly. You will need outstretched arms and the ability to flap them with a passion.
  • Pick up various stones and discuss their merits and demerits.
  • As an added bonus I highly recommend that you chance upon a neon green caterpillar during your rambles.


And now that we have been lulled by the peaceful imagery of that beautiful hike, let’s leap into the tumult of the numbers from February.


Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash

This month we added $15,609.62 to our Stash.

  • Mr. BITA’s 401k was maxed out in January, and we continued to contribute to mine.
  • We continued our contributions to the mega-backdoor Roth.
  • We also had some RSUs vest.

Mr. Stash spent February in Vegas pissing away his savings and is skulking ashamed where none can find him. We lost $58,238.78 in the market correction in February.

To keep things in perspective though – the amount we lost in February to the market, though massive, is less than what we gained in January. I am pleased to report that no BITA wavered during the correction. We continued to invest as we have every month since we started down this path.


How did we fare this February compared to February 2017?

I am pleased to see that while Mr. Stash shat the bed this February, we still did better than we did last year with respect to saving.


The Financial Independence Plan vs. Reality

YTD we have saved and invested: $82,406.90.
YTD market growth: $16,028.14.

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

financial independence progress February 2018

306 days to go!

Financial independence status: On track!


10 thoughts on “On the Path to Financial Independence: February 2018”

  1. i like that: the merits and demerits of various stones. it’s funny, i’ve seen little kids on the trails in the adirondack mountain wilderness area in NY and it seems the more they do it they tend to get good at it very quickly.

    1. I think the thing that little kids like most of all is spending time with their parents and feeling that attention is being paid to them. If that means hiking a few miles, they will do it most happily.

    1. I hope so – if Mr. Stash continues to misbehave I might have to tack on a few months. At this point though, I am still on track.

  2. Holy cow, January 2019 is so soon! How can you handle the anticipation?!

    Love the hiking tips. It’s funny how young ones can slow us down and whine from time to time, yet they make hikes so much more adventurous as they see things with such wonder. We are attempting to make the most of our large yard by getting the boys outside as much as possible to dig in the dirt, hide plastic lizards, and knock down bamboo in the woods. They also enjoy going a few feet into the woods, then running out making monkey noises and chasing the rest of us!

    1. I am handling it by trying very hard not to think too hard about it, given the current behaviour of the market. If negative returns continue to negate the effects of our contributions, I might have to tack on a few months to my FIRE date.

      You have woods adjoining your back yard. Colour me 50 shades of green!


Leave a Reply

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