On the Path to Financial Independence: November 2017

financial independence progress november 2017

Whooosh! Another month whizzed by at breakneck speed.

November started off at a sedate enough pace. We spent the early part of the month visiting our local library. Toddler BITA enjoyed exploring the new outdoor play area at the Children’s Discovery Museum (the membership to which was a birthday gift from her grandparents this year). We did a bit of hiking in the wide open spaces of the Bay Area.

Exploring some marshland

I continued my successful adulting and dragged myself to the dentist in November not once but twice. In other adulting news, we had one of our cars serviced this month – it was due for a regular service and one tire had a slow leak that needed to be patched. As for our second car, remember my car accident from October? The other driver was found to be 100% at fault and their insurance company paid for everything, including giving us a rental for 3 days.


On the blog front I did a guest post on the Physician on FIRE blog that subsequently got featured by Rockstar Finance. If you are at all interested in the subject of estate planning, you should check it out.
The BITA family flew to Amsterdam for 11 days this month, and spent Thanksgiving with my sister and brother-in-law there. We vacationed in Europe (Lisbon, Split and Amsterdam) in September, so what were we doing back there again less than two months later? In May of this year we scored an irresistible deal on tickets there: $1,234 for three round trip tickets from San Francisco to Amsterdam. We heard of the deal via a service called Scott’s Cheap Flights (not an affiliate link). I highly recommend signing up (I use the free service; if you pay for the premium service you get access to more deals). They send you a couple of mails a week with cheap/mistake international fares and instructions on how to book them.

My sister and I cooked and we hosted Thanksgiving for some of her friends. It was my first time cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal. We have much to be grateful for.


Given that Amsterdam is at the top of the list as a candidate destination for us post-retirement, we think that it is important to seize every opportunity to experience the city. We’ve been there many times now, and don’t feel the need to do much touristy stuff anymore. We spent time walking the city and exploring different neighbourhoods. It was cold and rainy when we were there, but I was relieved to find that I still found the city as lovable as ever.

A walk through Ouderkerkerplas

Enough about life; on to the numbers.


Adding Cash to the Financial Independence Stash


This month we added $12,183.04 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 are still working on maxing out our HSA for the year, but other than that all our contributions now are to taxable accounts.
  • We had a microscopic infusion of capital from settlements from two class action suits that we didn’t even know we were part of. One settlement resulted in a $10 Amazon credit. The other was was a cheque for the princely sum of $29.86.
  • I participated in a lucky draw at work and won a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • Mr. BITA received a peer bonus at work, and I got a small bonus for a patent filing.

The markets mocked our feeble efforts at growing our Stash. They showed us how it should be done by bumping up the Stash by a very healthy $42,845.13. YTD we have contributed more to our Stash than the markets have, but this month they totally showed us up.

The Financial Independence Plan vs. Reality


YTD we have saved and invested: $276,792.28.
YTD market growth: $210,105.88.

Here is another way to look at these numbers: YTD our Net Worth has grown at the rate of $1.01 per minute!  

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

financial independence progress november 2017

397 days to go!

Financial independence status: On track!


6 thoughts on “On the Path to Financial Independence: November 2017”

  1. Woohoo! Congratulations on being so close to your FIRE date (and on the Rockstar Finance feature)! And I love the idea of having been enough times to a city that you no longer “need” to do touristy stuff. It’s so much fun and so much more relaxing to just “be” in a city or region and get a feel for what a normal life might be like there. I’m rooting for Amsterdam for your permanent spot–it’ll be exciting to hear the process of deciding that eventually!

  2. Wow, you guys are making awesome progress this year – almost half-a-million added to your net worth in 2017 alone and the year is not over yet! Congratulations!

  3. When you look at it from the perspective of saving 6-8 years of annual expenses in one year of saving/investing, it is rather mind blowing isn’t it??
    Congrats! Looking good this year barring some catastrophe in the markets.


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