Updating Thriftygal’s Charts – May-Aug 2016

By | September 1, 2016

This calendar event popped up for me recently: “Yo, still on track, my love?” This was my gentle reminder to go pet my financial avatar, update my charts and hopefully mutter reassuringly to myself.

Here’s where I stood at the end of April 2016.

First third of 2016

The red line represents my expenses each month. I derive the green line from a formula regarding withdrawal rates and based on my net worth that theoretically represents my projected passive income. As long as the green line is higher than the red line, I can take off my worry pants.

I figured out my average expenses for May through August 2016 and plotted that point against my projected passive income on my sanity chart. Behold!

2nd third of 2016

In the past four months, I’ve wandered around New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Montreal, Iceland, Oslo, Amsterdam, Germany, Romania, Sofia, Vienna and I feel like I’m missing one.

Even with all this traveling, my expenses line was still pretty tame.

The only income I earned from my labor in the past four months was when I bent down to pick up a quarter I found on the ground. I just checked my investment accounts to update this chart and the market is happy! My net worth increased by a healthy amount. I’m not going to tell you by how much, but look at the noticeable uptick in that green line! So fun!

So in answer to my past self – yes, my love, we’re still on track. This is me muttering reassuringly to you. I check my credit and my credit card statements regularly trying to ward off evil, but otherwise, I don’t think about money. At all. I buy whatever I want whenever I want. Am I emphasizing that point enough?

Honestly, I just don’t want that much. There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.” Here’s a list of things I hope to never own again.

List of things to avoid owning again*

  1. Real Property. I know you can make money that way and I know you can nest that way. It’s not for me.
  2. A motor vehicle. I’m really hoping driverless cars happen soon.
  3. A winter coat.
  4. Useless crap.


And now for my favorite piece of muttering reassurance. The deeper I’m wading into early retirement, the more I believe that I would have to actively try to not make money in the future if that’s the path I decide looks prettiest.

The author of my gospel, Joe Dominguez, retired at 31 to “never again accept money for any of his work.” I really love the idea of living on my version of enough because I think that’s a pretty powerful statement. I also love telling myself that. I have enough. Slow your roll. I have enough.

But! I also really love the idea of donating billions to charity upon my demise. Society conflates money, rightly or wrongly, to the idea of success and I am most certainly not immune to that association. Plus, if I had billions, I might splurge on a private jet. I hate airports.

Picking my family up at the Denver airport with a misspelled last name sign. Oh! Colorado was the other place I've been in the last four months.

Picking my family up at the Denver airport with a misspelled last name sign. I know. I’m hilarious.
Oh! Colorado was the other place I’ve been in the last four months.

I suspect that work on the life bucket list will yield some additional cushion. Maybe the business I start will make some money. Or the books I write will sell some copies. Or the job at the factory assembling faucets pays me. I definitely want to get paid for that last one.

So, my love, my heart, my soul, I know you’re not anxious about this. You got this.

I’m talking only about the money stuff, of course. With everything else in life, you should probably still be panicking.

*Actually, I just realized that entire list is inaccurate. The title implies I’ve owned this stuff before. I’ve never owned Real Property. I have zero interest in the idea of Real Property. I know that means you can’t take me seriously. That’s okay. You probably can’t.

I’ve never technically owned a car either. During my teenage driving years, I used my parents’ cars. When I graduated college and worked in insurance, I used a car that my father put the down payment on, my mother and sister held the title on (for building credit purposes) and I made the payments on. It was my faithful friend for six years, but when I graduated law school, I abandoned that beauty in my parent’s driveway and never looked back.

I imagine I will need a winter coat again as “try skiing” and “see the northern lights” are on the life bucket list and those seem like winter jacket weather activity.

That last point I’m not qualifying. We can all agree that the undefined term “useless crap” goes unequivocally on the “avoid” list.

17 thoughts on “Updating Thriftygal’s Charts – May-Aug 2016

  1. Scott

    If you want to see the Northern Lights without a coat see them in Canada anytime during summer and fall. They’re usually on display in the late evening around 10/11pm and it’s usually 55-80 degrees (no need for a winter coat). Plus northern Canada is awesome to travel in (driving or motorcycling).

    Awesome Blog (found you from MMM) and working on getting to not punching a clock (3800 some days to go…)

  2. Sri

    I just love your blog. It has really motivated me to start doing what I always wanted to do but didn’t try hard enough. You are a real inspiration! All the best wishes and luck to you so that you keep doing what you love.

  3. Mike

    Outstanding. The anxiety of hoping the green line is over the expenditure line pales in comparison (I would assume) with the pressures and suffocating feeling associated with a steady income from some form of labor or services. I have lived in 8 places in the last 8 years. I love traveling and exploring new places but not superficially. That is, I want to be ingratiated and ingrained into the culture of a place for an extended amount of time. I like the in-depth sweat equity, hands in the dirt, being part of the local society rather than the 10,000 feet fly-by of a few weeks, days, or even hours that most “travelers” seem to partake in. It is the same with relationships. In-depth, long term meaningful relationships reveal so much more than a quick fly over. Superficial v. deep. Deep is vastly more rewarding. I admire you. My 8 moves in 8 years (and obtaining “normal” streams of income) allowed my to enjoy the locale on a deeper level without worry of income and the camaraderie of the local economics, social norms and a sharing of the labor created a bond that otherwise would have been…well, more superficial. My theory could be 100% wrong. Or wrong for someone else, but my work-in-a-new-city-every-year experiment has been vastly rewarding on every level. As judged as I am for my particular path of enjoyment, yours is exciting and on a whole other level and gives me the opportunity to analysis my own path. So thank you for that 🙂 My own personal concern is that if I should endeavor to evolve to your higher level how would that affect my desire to have deeper long-term relationships with the people that I visit in the new locales? This is my current contemplation and I was wondering if “deep” v “superficial” is a subjective determination on my part or if you feel content with the shorter relationships (however wonderful) with frequent travel? I’m not sure this is even the right venue to ask this….apparently my mind wanders as much as I do. 🙂

  4. Marty

    I will be taking the plunge in 10 days–retiring. (Not very early; 63 years old, but still) I have these mixed feelings– joy at release from shackles of responsibility, but worry that all my money will be gone in a year and my wife and I will starve on the street.

    I have to build my own chart and get peaceful zen of a green line higher than the red line.

  5. Paul Kemp

    Oh No ! I’m currently owning real property, a motor vehicle ánd a winter coat! I’m beyond redemption!

    Luckily, I’m more successful clearing out the useless crap in my life.

  6. Vince

    Need a winter coat. Get one at Good Will, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, or other thrift stores that use their “profit” from selling donated goods to help the poor. Then, when the winter season is over, if the coat is not worn out, donate it back to them.

  7. walter

    do we ever really ‘own’ anything? perhaps long term borrowing, based on our limited lifespans, may be more accurate? the MMM post about “Making Space for Badassity”, may also be necessary to bridge the gap between friends and close friends. our limited lifespans should allow a sort of ‘speed close friending’, but i suspect that it doesn’t work that way for most of us. like most things worth having, close friendships take time. your charts make me green with envy.

  8. Finance Solver

    Wow looks like you’re living the life, traveling around and your passive income surpassing your expenses! I think that’s a life that a lot of people would want to have so that is fantastic, keep up the great work 🙂

  9. Mylky

    Sprint on little greenie, you can do it!

    I love reading your posts, it feels like I’m reading my own thoughts back to myself. Eerie but motivating seeing that you’re doing everything I dream of eventually doing.

  10. Permian Buyer

    I’m 34 and a little behind you (maybe 10-15 years from retiring as I having fully assessed what is enough). I’ve also got three kiddos and a stay at home wife to keep me in my law job for a while. I know you don’t like to give financial details but I have a very big chunk of my investments in retirement accounts I can’t access for a while. Since you retired so early, was the vast majority of your investments in non-retirement accounts? Thanks!

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Yes, I would say 70% plus is in non-retirement accounts.

      Also, don’t think of yourself as “behind.” Everyone’s path is different. Compete against you from a year ago, not someone else. It helps keep your sanity in check. 🙂 I might consider myself behind you as I’m single with no progeny.

  11. Vicki Robin

    Thanks for the shout out about Your Money or Your Life and so glad you are tracking and on track. Inspiring! I’m updating the book for the next generations. Want to do an interview or podcast or your own youtube story I can post on my site.

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      I just about fainted when I saw this comment. Yes! I will do anything to help the co-author of YMOYL. I’ve sent you an email.

  12. taemoo

    Just want to say I love your blog. I first came across your story on Mr Money Mustache’s interview but didn’t get to see this site, I think it was down and forgot to check back. Came across again in Zero To Travel podcast, great interview.

    YMOYL is like the bible to FIRE community, lol, getting interviewed by a co-author sounds like a bucket list item. Kudos.

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Thanks for that insight into traffic! I have to bump into people in a bunch of different places around the web.

      Emailing Vicki has been surreal to say the least!


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