Welcome to my site. I am on a path to financial independence and want to guide the way for you as well. Follow along as I, a 27 yr old, take a regular salary and simple investing strategy to an early retirement.

July Budget Review

July Budget Review

Monthly Review: July 2019 - 76% Savings Rate

Lets quickly hit the big events from July:

  1. Free $800 voucher and first class upgrade via United

  2. Free rock concert

  3. Free Lil Wayne / Blink-182 concert

  4. Camping in the Boston Harbor Islands

  5. Leslie turned 27!

  6. Burlington Vermont trip and beer festival

  7. Free food spread for small business meet-up

  8. $25 white water rafting and steak dinner

Now it’s time to get into the details:

Income: $7,452

Just the standard post tax income

Expenses: $1,763.19

This month began on the road for a quick work trip to Colorado but then stayed fairly local aside from the drive up to Vermont.

That doesn’t make it a boring one though with all the activities I listed above. I’ve said it before but I’m really happy with any sub $2k month here in Boston and it seems like I’m hitting the mark more consistently now.

Now let’s break it all down in detail

Going Out: $68.38

  • Groupon $10

  • Brooklyn $16.58

  • TW $8.33

  • Class 6 $23.90

  • Burger King $3.80

  • Subway $5.77

As always there’s some free food involved that helps curb the cravings to eat out. I think the most fun one was the first class meal from Denver. It came with an $800 voucher, I’ll walk through how that came to be in a bit.

Went with the vegetarian entree. Pretty good actually. The cake was 10/10

Groceries: $127.06

I know…it’s a travesty and I’m ashamed. I’m proud of my $60 average…we’ll get things back on track.

  • Stop n shop $8.41

  • misfits $18.75

  • Star Market $12.78

  • commissary $17.54

  • Stop n shop $5.07

  • Imperfect $2

  • Shaws $5.11

  • Dollar tree $2

  • commissary $10.50

  • misfits $11.75

  • Stop n Shop $9.54

  • commissary $20.55

One of the fun dishes that came out his month was a Frittata aka egg bake that I made in the Instant Pot.

What you can’t see are all the beautiful layers of bacon, cheese, and veggies inside.

What can’t the instant pot do?

What can’t the instant pot do?

Bills: $964.82

Bills were pretty standard this month but with the addition of an annual online storage bill

  • Rent

  • Car Insurance

  • Internet

  • Cell Phone

Travel: $276.72

This month’s spending isn’t completely reflective of the events because of pre-paying.

The actual costs for the month were:

  • $8 Vet tix

  • $22.82 bday

  • $205 Beer fest / Air BnB

  • $15 Vet tix

  • $2.90 train

  • $13 George Strait / Blake Shelton concert

  • $10 Carpool Vermont

I didn’t take the best notes on what the Vet tix charges were for. Let’s take a look at what I do remember.

Harbor Island Adventure / Death trap

If you get a chance to read many of these you’ll know we love exploring and camping. Leslie knew that I had always wanted to go camp out on the Harbor Islands in Boston.

These islands are right out from the city and you can still see the city from them. You take a ferry out to the one you want to camp on and can ride the ferry in between the other islands as well.

Normally they’re booked solid as soon as the season opens up but she found a weekend night with an open spot. Turns out there may have been a reason…

If you’ve ever seen the deadliest catch tv series the photo we captured may bring back memories

So everything looks good right?

So everything looks good right?

We actually had a beautiful day leading up to this moment and the following day would be beautiful too. Unfortunately we got slammed with a flood while we were setting up camp.

We literally had to pick the tent up and pour water out of it that got in during the setup. We eventually got all dried up and even a bit of sleep. The next day was great and overall it was certainly memorable.

We had no idea the storm that was brewin’

We had no idea the storm that was brewin’

$25 Rafting + Steak

The local Air Force base does some amazing trips. It’s through a program called Single Airman’s Initiative or SAI.

It says single but it’s not meant to be trip where you’re looking for a date, it’s referring to folks who don’t have dependents.

These trips are amazing and heavily discounted. Sadly they still have trouble filling slots at times so I don’t feel bad for always throwing my name in the hat.

Best way to end a day on the water

Best way to end a day on the water

After tackling some class 3 & 4 rapids, they served a fantastic spread of steak or salmon with all the fixins.

$800 United Voucher + 1st Class Upgrade

So this month started off as a rough travel month. I got put on last minute orders (that means I was told to travel somewhere for the military).

Thankfully it was back to Colorado which I love, but unfortunately Leslie had a flight as my companion via the Companion Pass on Southwest set to leave from Nashville that I could no longer be a part of.

The Companion Pass allows you to get buy one get one free plane tickets on Southwest Airlines but the account holder (me) has to be on the flight. I incorrectly assumed that if I didn’t cancel my flight that she’d still be allowed to travel since we already paid.


Leslie was forced off the plane after boarding and left to sleep in the airport until she could catch the make-up flight I bought her.

Our luck made a positive turn

On the way back to Boston from Colorado, I heard United was giving an $800 voucher for someone to stay behind and fly out the next morning which was July 4th. I jumped at the chance.

The deal got even sweeter. They found me a flight that would get me in about an hour later than my original flight.

They gave me a $250 voucher to catch a taxi from Colorado Springs to Denver. An upgraded first class direct flight to Boston. Then capped it off with an $800 United Airlines voucher that me and Leslie plan to use for a trip to Europe next year.

Blink-182, Lil Wayne, and Randomness

In the effort to not write full books every month, I often leave out details on a few events I do.

But one doesn’t skip the Blink-182 / Lil Wayne concert. I’ve never seen such a mix of people but it seemed that everyone really enjoyed both shows. My buddy got the tickets for $15 total for a pair and asked me if I’d like to go so it was a freebie.

Never thought I’d be at a Lil Wayne concert

Never thought I’d be at a Lil Wayne concert

There was also another free concert with some rock bands from the high school days like Atreyu and The Used. Leslie turned the big 2-7 so we had a celebration at the house. Finally I had a chance to stop by a local small business meet-up with an amazing food spread.

I tried to spread the word of Saving-Sherpa as well as The FI Show Podcast. I mean that and the steak tacos of course.

Steak tacos, fish tacos, calimari, wings…. too much to capture in one picture

Steak tacos, fish tacos, calimari, wings…. too much to capture in one picture

Miscellaneous: $222.94

Just the random stuff that doesn’t fit into a category

  • Rover background check (future side hustle potential)- $25

  • Running Shoes - $77.98

  • Backpack Cooler + freeze packs - $84.96

  • Amazon - $35

Gas:  $103.27

Drove the vehicles way more than I normally like to but I think I’ll be turning that around soon.

Big Picture: Net Worth Increase $2,285 to $355,036

Last month had a huge stock market jump and this month took a little chunk out of it. Always good to have a net worth increase even if my investments did lose $3,400.

This puts me about 60% of the way to Financial Independence after just over four years of tracking. It starts slow but it’s starting to really gain steam!


June Budget Review

June Budget Review