March 2022 Early Retirement Update

The first quarter of 2022 is in the history books, and spring is here! We’ve had a busy spring so far. We’re cranking up our summer travel planning. And we booked not one, not two, but three new cruises during March! It’s starting to feel a lot more normal-ish these days.

In the meantime, the mild springtime weather means more time outdoors relaxing and enjoying nature. Hopefully the nice weather hangs around before summer heat moves in! 

Financially, March was a great month for us. Our net worth shot up by $87,000 to end the month at $2,806,000. Income during the month totaled $9,124 while expenses were $5,356 during March.  

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

February 2022 Early Retirement Update – Early Spring Edition

Another month flew by! Here we are in March and spring is slowly making an appearance. I definitely like the warmer days but it’s almost too hot right now! 

The nicer weather means spending more time outdoors. We got out the hammock on one particularly nice day. And we enjoyed several hikes last month. Hopefully the temperate weather is here to stay for a while before the summertime heat sets in. 

Financially, February was a mixed month for us. Our net worth dropped by $40,000 to end the month at $2,719,000. Income during the month totaled $2,312 while expenses were a modest $2,535 during February. 

Read more

January 2022 Early Retirement Update – Snowy Winter Edition

Welcome to my first monthly update of 2022! It’s been a busy month for us. We had a nice snowy weekend during January which is rare for us here in Raleigh. The snow was just deep enough to offer some decent sledding. Then it melted the next day and it was bright and sunny and back to business as usual. 

During January and the first few days of February, we finalized our big two month summer trip through Croatia, Slovenia, and Hungary. Here’s to hoping that we are able to commence on this adventure successfully once the time comes!

Financially, January was a mixed month for us. Our net worth dropped by $71,000 to end the month at $2,759,000. Income during the month totaled $4,378 while expenses were a mere $1,193 during January. 

Read more

December 2021 Early Retirement Update – New Year’s Edition

Another year all wrapped up neatly with a bow on it! Where does the time go?

We had a great 2021, both financially and personally. We managed to squeeze in a bunch of travel in spite of global difficulties. And we were able to relax at home a ton as well. Another glorious year of early retirement! 

For those wondering, we were able to embark on our Christmas cruise successfully. After two years of being landlocked and skipping international travel, we finally got back to the crystal clear Caribbean waters and enjoyed a warm week floating around the islands.  

Financially, December was an incredibly bountiful month for us. Net worth jumped $115,000 to end the month at $2,830,000. Income during the month totaled $21,970 while expenses were a mere $3,312 during December.

Read more

A Week in Las Vegas, Nevada – Cross Country USA Road Trip (Part 7)

After a busy three weeks on the road, we enjoyed a leisurely one week stopover in Las Vegas, Nevada. While we were there, we visited a dozen casinos and watched many free shows and performances presented by the casinos. 

None of us gambled at the casinos, but we did spend a little cash at some of the shops in Las Vegas. We also visited several restaurants since we had plenty of downtime during our one week stay. 

And after over three thousand miles of driving, I needed to take the minivan van in for an oil change and tire rotation. 

Overall, our stay in Las Vegas was great. We relaxed, took in the glitzy experience of the Las Vegas Strip, and got some good food! 

Read more

November 2021 Early Retirement Update – Turkey Time Edition

Another fun and busy month of early retired life is in the books! During the past month, we hosted a big Thanksgiving celebration at our house. Since the weather was nice in November, we spent a lot of time outdoors. 

I really stretched my DIY muscles in November too. I got out the power tools and replaced some trim on the porch and the shed, then painted all the new trim along with repainting the crawl space door, mailbox, and bathroom ceiling. 

In less than two weeks, we are looking forward to escaping the ever-colder temperatures with a cruise to the Caribbean during Christmas. It’ll happen. I think. Fingers crossed.

Financially, last month was a “rebuilding month” for us. Net worth dropped by $49,000 to end the month at $2,715,000. Income during the month totaled $2,822 while expenses were $4,361 during November.

Read more

Utah: Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park – Cross Country USA Road Trip (Part 5)

Our family of five visited Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park in Utah in the summer of 2021. The most impressive part of Bryce Canyon was the strange looking hoodoos, or stone pillars that protrude from the hillsides and valley floors throughout the park. The vibrant orange coloring added to the amazingly unique scenery. 

Once we got to Zion National Park, we continued to be amazed at the sheer stone cliff faces and smooth rock inclines. The most popular section of the park in the center proved to be very crowded, so our experience wasn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. Overall, it’s a very pretty scenic National Park, but one best visited off season once the crowds and high heat dissipate.

Read more

October 2021 Early Retirement Update – Spooky Time Edition

Fall is in full swing here and I’m loving it! We enjoyed a fun October and look forward to more of the same in November as Thanksgiving approaches. Throughout the month we spent lots of time lounging outside, going on long bike rides, and plugging away at our travel planning for 2022. 

We ended the month with some trick-or-treating. It’s nice to see all the old holiday traditions coming back to life after a rough 2020! 

Financially, last month was a great month. Net worth spiked upwards by $77,000 to end the month at $2,764,000. Income during the month totaled $3,049, which was only $2 more than the $3,047 we spent during October. 

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

September 2021 Early Retirement Update – Back to Traveling Edition

Welcome back to a slightly belated monthly update post! Fall is in full swing here in North Carolina and I’m loving it. It’s the best time of year here. I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying the cooler mornings by sitting on the back porch drinking coffee and reading while watching the backyard wildlife. 

Between the porch-sitting, the occasional bike ride in the woods, and the Netflix-watching, my schedule is pretty full these days. 

During September, we have been busy planning and booking a lot of travel for 2022. That takes up a lot of time too. Hopefully these travel plans work out better than they did in 2020! 

Financially, last month was a mixed bag. Net worth dropped by $38,000 to end the month at $2,687,000. Income during the month totaled $10,061, which was much higher than our $4,481 spending during the month. 

Read more

August 2021 Early Retirement Update – Back to School (and College!) Edition

How is it September already? Summer break is over and all our kids have been back in school for a couple of weeks now. We are more than two thirds of the way through 2021 already! Where did all the time go?

The biggest news of the month is that our oldest kid is officially a college student. The college expenses have started on a very small scale with textbook purchases (read on to find out more details!). It’s strange to have the kids back in school after the past eighteen months of virtual schooling at home. So far so good – everyone is staying healthy! 

We’re settling back in to home after our long summer trip. And once again getting used to the “new” school year routine. The weather finally started cooling off in the past week so we’ve been able to spend more time outside, which is a nice relief! 

Financially, last month was great for us. Net worth popped up by $33,000 to end the month at $2,725,000. Income during the month totaled $2,587, which was slightly higher than our $2,091 spending during the month. 

Read more