Mid-2016 Update

Man have I been busy, and not paying much attention to Fervent Finance. The month of May included packing up my old apartment, selling furniture, moving to the Midwest, traveling for work, traveling back to the Northeast for a wedding, finding a new gym, researching purchasing a bike, and many more things I’m probably forgetting. June, so far, has included traveling for work, buying a bike, and another wedding.

The move to the Midwest has been a great transition for me so far. I am enjoying being back in the burbs with lots of room to roam and with my significant other. I have a nice home office setup which has worked out great.

From my picture at the top of this post you can see I just bought a bike! I’m super excited about it. I have spent about $350 on the hybrid bike and accessories so far (accessories not mounted in the picture). There are bike paths and trails all around me that I’m pumped to explore. I’ve found I live in a pretty decent biking community. This is a pretty big expense for me, but it’s much cheaper than buying a car! I hadn’t biked since I was a kid and forgot how much fun it is. Definitely no regrets so far.

My finances have been way more boring than my actual life. My expenses have averaged $2,453 per month for the first five months of 2016. My goal for 2016 is to spend less than $30,000 (or $2,500 per month), so I’m on pace. I think I should definitely hit that goal since for a little over four months of this year I was living in Manhattan, and now I’m in the Midwest. My savings rate is hovering around 60%, but this should go up the remainder of the year due to the fact that my compensation is somewhat concentrated in the last four months of the year due annual raise and bonus time falling then.

I’ve recently ratcheted up my 401k deferral to 60% in an effort to max it out in July. It is a little tough to see my paychecks shrink, but will be nice to have my paychecks for the final five months of the year be without 401k deferrals. My brokerage account will definitely feel the love during that period.

The girlfriend and I have already devised a nice system for splitting expenses. It’s working great so far. Personally I believe since we discuss finances regularly, it puts us ahead of the game, and gives us one less thing to argue about.

I’m attempting to up my amateur travel hacking game and am currently in the process of booking a free trip to Cancun for the winter. Haven’t locked it down yet but I have the award nights and points in the bank to do it. I haven’t been to Cancun since spring break in college and think it will be a nice change of pace to go with my significant other, rather than during spring break with my college friends. Can anyone say cocktails, naps, and the beach?

The blog has definitely fallen to the wayside due to me spending more time with my significant other, getting into biking, continuing to work out, and traveling for work. But hey, priorities tend to change and I like to be outside during the summer months (at least when work lets me get away from my computer for a while).

How is the start to your summer going, personally and financially? Do you find yourself concentrating on different hobbies and projects as time goes on and seasons change?

26 thoughts on “Mid-2016 Update

  1. Brian @DebtDiscipline

    Congrats FF, sounds like the transition has been a great one. You are killing it on the saving rate. 🙂 Lots of activities wrapping up the school year on our end. All good! Priorities do shift over time including hobbies and projects. I have spent more time volunteering over the last two year than I did in the previous ten.
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Could you Cover an Unexpected Bill in Cash?My Profile

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    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks Brian. I know how much you enjoy volunteering, so glad you’re able to prioritize that.

      Reply
  2. Mr. SSC

    It sounds like a great environment on a lot of levels! I like the bike, I swapped out my older cruiser type bike for a Specialized Hybrid last year and it was an amazing difference. We don’t ahve too many trails around here but my oldest likes it because we can “go fast!” lol

    Nice plan on the 401k savings too! Get one topped off and then swap to non 401k for the rest of the year, brilliant!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Road Less Traveled – SSC StyleMy Profile

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    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Loving the bike so far. I like maxing out the 401k early, but seeing less cash come in the door in the meantime plays some mind games 🙂

      Reply
  3. Mr. PIE

    Glad you are settling into the new environment.

    Trying to get out more on my bike this season. Got a new one as a result of being in a recent accident and my old bike was trashed. My youngest kid (age 7) and I love to go on long rides together. Well, long for him at least.

    Summer season brings hiking in northern New England which is far less expensive than our winter hobby, skiing. But all good, wouldn’t change doing either of them.

    Can’t beat travel hacking. Mrs. PIE posted on this recently and you may find some useful links / strategies in her post. It wa geared for the beginner so you may be ahead of it…..
    Mr. PIE recently posted…Good Reads from Mr. PIEMy Profile

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    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I hope it wasn’t a bad accident. I bought a helmet before the bike actually – safety first! I’ll check out the hacking post, and post about my free trip shortly as well.

      Reply
  4. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

    Good to see you back! I’d love to hear about how things are different in the Midwest compared to NYC…I’m sure I’ll be jealous about the housing costs. Spring/summer is definitely a fun time and great to be outside. Travel hacking is awesome and I’m sure you’ll have a fun time in Cancun. I went like 10 years ago…man I’m feeling old now!

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I’ll have to share a post on the differences I’ve noticed. #1 is less showing off, but also lower incomes at the same time. I went to Cancun 7 years ago, so that makes me feel old too.

      Reply
  5. Norm

    I was going to ask if you’ve been bike commuting, then I remembered, you don’t have to commute at all! I just biked home from work. Enjoy the trails!

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Haha – my commute is a 20 step walk from the bedroom to my desk. In NYC I was walking 1.5 miles RT for work and another mile if I went to the gym. So I figured a bike would help me stay active besides lifting at the gym.

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks! I work from home currently, so the bike will probably get a rest (as long as my work situation doesn’t change).

      Reply
  6. Thias @It Pays Dividends

    I love biking communities! We have a nice long trail by our house that can take us most places in town we want to get to. We just got a bike trailer so we can take our daughter with us so the amount of biking we plan to do this year is going up! Nice job on potentially knocking out the 401k in July!

    Reply
  7. Our Next Life

    Nice to read this update! (I think this post didn’t show up on Feedly… hmmm….) Glad you’re getting settled into your new environs, and love to see that you’ve been getting out there on your new bike! It HAS been tough to keep up the posting schedule now that the weather’s so nice — I’ve been making a massive effort to hike a ton, and it’s definitely cutting into the tie for just about everything else. 🙂 But sounds like you’re doing everything right financially, and should have an awesome year if there’s still the fall windfall coming your way!
    Our Next Life recently posted…What If the (Almost) Worst Happens?My Profile

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    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks ONL. I’ve been loving my bike. It was money well spent! Enjoy the hiking.

      Reply

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