Cushy On Our Tushies!

After years of preparation, here we are… finally sitting pretty.  Well, sitting *on* something pretty.  And for that I have to thank Frugal Paragon, for being such an awesome inspiration.  And my mom, for sitting me down and teaching me something I wasn’t really nuts about when I was nine years old well enough that I could remember a lot of the basics and online tutorials could mostly fill in the rest 2.5 decades later.

IMG_7524You see, I just spent the last two weekends sewing seat cushions for not only the bench seat in the dining room, but all the chairs as well.  And (IMNSHO) they turned out pretty darned well!  (Especially the last two I made.  I definitely got better as I went along!  =) )

These cushions have been a long time coming.  Specifically since we installed the bench seat roughly  a year ago and I realized that it can get pretty uncomfortable to sit on un-molded plywood for hours at a dinner party.

I didn’t originally plan to sew these myself.  I thought I’d be able to find cushions that I didn’t hate pretty easily.  Sadly, I found that not to be the case, in no small part because of the mish-mash of shapes and sizes of seats that we needed the cushions for.  The bench seat has 3 seats with hinged opening, 2 of which are the same size.  Then we have 2 library chairs, and 2 petite chairs.  Finding cushions to fit all of these, and remotely match was going to be a custom job, and those tend to come with custom prices. Continue reading Cushy On Our Tushies!

Sorry for the interruption!

Sorry for the blackout everybody!

For a hot minute we thought our anonymity had been compromised by somebody at my office; we panicked and pulled the site till we could know for sure. Happily, all is well and we’re back up.

To all of our readers that wrote to ask what the deal was-thank you! You’re a big reason why this blog is still up and running =)

Check in tomorrow for 100% more pictures of otters.

 

Thanks,

Mr. PoP

Is It Easier To Be Kind When Your Financial Life Is In Order?

A couple of recent interactions left me reflecting on how kind so many of our “FI” friends are and I started wondering if this was more than just coincidence.

Meeting Up With Friends From Ecuador

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but this adorable otter showed up in our backyard earlier this week and I fell in love!

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but this adorable otter showed up in our backyard earlier this week and I fell in love!  (Click the pic to enlarge)

While Mr PoP and I were in California, we got the chance to meet up with a couple that I had met while on the Ecuador Chautauqua last November. This couple invited not only Mr PoP and I over to their house for dinner and socializing, but generously also included in an invitation for Mr PoP’s friend that we were staying with to join in the fun as well! It was a lovely evening, with great food and even better conversation.

Then, as Mr PoP, his friend, and I were all walking back to Mr PoP’s friend’s apartment after dinner, both Mr PoP and his friend agreed that they had just met two incredibly kind people. I didn’t disagree that this couple was kind, but Mr PoP and his friend’s insistence that their level of kindness was unusually high made me reflect on the people that I had the chance to meet while in Ecuador. In the context of the other 30-ish attendees at the Chautauqua, this couple’s unusually high level of kindness hadn’t stuck out.  The thing is – all of the attendees (and speakers) were so ridiculously nice. Nice to one another, nice to the staff at the hotel (the spanish speakers went out of their way to converse with the staff as people, not just as employees) – everyone in the group was just lovely and kind all around.

Then We Hosted A Meetup In Our Own Town

Continue reading Is It Easier To Be Kind When Your Financial Life Is In Order?

PoP Balance Sheet – April 2017

Welcome to our April 2017 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Not too much action in terms of the substance of our balance sheet this month.  However, with some high spending months from travel spending last spring falling off of the LTM (last twelve month) calculation that we’re using to chart our spending, we finally crossed over where our potential passive income is greater than our last twelve months of spending.  Now just to keep it there!

Here are the numbers for April:

  • Our total assets up $19.7K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $2.2K 
  • Net worth went up by $21.9K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of April is $1,382.8K, which represents a 1.61% increase for the month

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – April 2017

PoP Income Statement – April 2017

Octopus at the Monterey Aquarium!

Jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!  Too cool!

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

April was a bit of a contradiction here in the PoP household.  It felt insanely short (how is it May ALREADY!?!) and long (was it really less than a  month ago that we were enjoying a bit of a road trip in California?) at the same time.

Our April expenses were also a bit of a contradiction, too.  A bit on the high side, but not too bad when you consider that it’s got a lot of travel and car expenses in it.

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The deer munching the hedge right across the street from where we were staying!

First – the travel.  $801 was the remainder of the incidental expenses for our CA trip that had us spending time in Northern California and Southern California and a mini road trip in between.  Honestly, it was a pretty awesome trip.  I fell in love with the town of Pacific Grove right near Monterey – how could I not when I got to see whales, harbor seals pupping on the beach, and a deer munching on hedges in a front yard across the street from our AirBnB.  Top all that with a trip to the Monterey Bay aquarium and I was in fauna heaven.  We weren’t watching our spending too closely during this trip, but still ended up right around the $100/day in incidental/additional expenses that we aim for.  Add to this the 1 night of AirBnB and the 3 day car rental that we had prepaid and we came out in pretty good shape for a 11 day vacation.

Second – the car expenses.  The AC on our old car is not doing so well.  So $200 of the car expenses went toward a better diagnosis of that issue.  Mr PoP thinks he has that now, and will probably buy the parts to do the repair himself sometime in May before it gets too insanely hot in Florida. Even though we’re not planning on keeping the car for a whole lot longer (6 months max, we’re thinking?), selling a car without A/C is pretty much a non-starter in Florida.  We’ve been down that road once before already and it wasn’t pretty.

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We met Chuck the seal on the beach in Santa Barbara with friends.

Then there was $962 worth of NSX expenses.  $235 of that was for a jack stand so Mr PoP can finally start installing some of the parts he bought in February and March.  (He’ll start on that in May!)  But the rest of that is our first $727 auto loan payment.  The interest rate is 1.49% on a 3 year loan, which seemed like a good opportunity to keep cash in the market invested.  Admittedly, this is a much shorter term bet than we generally feel comfortable making, but so far the S&P500 is up 1.06% from the day the funds were disbursed to us (6 weeks ago).  So very short term, this is so far in our favor and we can pay it off at any time with no penalty.  Not going to lie, though – it is a weird feeling to have a car loan with a payment of $727.

Here’s all the rest of the numbers…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,699.  

And the details… Continue reading PoP Income Statement – April 2017