Parental Leave – A Preview Into Early Retirement?

A few weeks ago our second daughter was born. When her older sister was born 4 years ago, I was pretty new at my job so I didn’t get any parental leave benefits. Back then, I just took a couple of vacation weeks and went right back to work. This time around, I’m senior enough to get 16 weeks of parental leave (yay!). Now, I won’t take all 16 weeks in just one go. We are trying to keep the girls home as long as possible so I’ll be splitting the 16 weeks into three chunks. Still, this is the … Read more…

Q2 2020 Expenses – Lockdown Edition

The second quarter of 2020 was mostly about settling into our new reality. With our daughter out of daycare and both of us working from home, we tried to adjust as best as we could and make the most of everyday. On the bright side, we remained healthy, enjoyed more time as a family, and saw our second daughter grow and turn into a baby bump. With that, let’s dive into the numbers: Daycare used to be our largest expense. In Q2 it wasn’t even a line item at all since we pulled our daughter out in the middle of March. … Read more…

Is Rental Real Estate a Good Investment? A Real Life Case Study – 2019 Update

Two years ago, my friend David from fiology.com asked me to take a close look at his performance as a real estate investor. Now that he has filed his 2019 tax return, I’ll be updating his numbers to include the most recent information. If you are new to this case study, I recommend you read the original post to get the full context. If you already read the initial post, feel free to start here for the 2019 update. 2019 Update As you might recall from the original post, David used to own 6 rental properties that he started acquiring back in 2011. The rental … Read more…

Q1 2020 Expenses – $8,892

The first three months of 2020 were unlike anything I have ever seen before. In January we enjoyed hosting friends from out of town. February was relatively uneventful, and then in the middle March the U.S. was practically shut down to avoid the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. We started working from home, and pulled our daughter out of daycare. Last but not least, we found out we are expecting our second child! Before going any further, I’d like to acknowledge that we are going through challenging times. From the virus, to the dead of George Floyd, and ongoing political divisiveness. … Read more…

Q4 2019 Expense Report & Year End Update! Plus Some Thoughts on COVID-19

The last three months of 2019 were quite busy for us. As soon as tax season started winding down we took a trip to California to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. We enjoyed exploring around Los Angeles, San Diego, coastal towns in between, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Other than that, we enjoyed some fantastic weather in Raleigh spending time as a family. While the last 3 months of 2019 were pretty good on their own right, they seem absolutely glorious given the current state of the world. I’ll write about some my thoughts on the COVID-19 situation towards … Read more…

Q3 2019 Expenses – $6,548

July, August, and September were great months for us. Most of these summer months are relatively slow for me at work. My office closes for the whole week of the 4th of July. This extra time, combined with the great weather, means lots of time spent outdoors with our little one. Without further introduction let’s get into the numbers. Let’s dig into some of the larger and more interesting items. Daycare: not surprisingly daycare continues to be our biggest recurring expense. We are grateful to have found a great place right across the street from our house as it saves us … Read more…

Is Rental Real Estate a Good Investment? A Real Life Case Study – 2018 Update

Quick Intro: About a year ago, my friend David from fiology.com asked me to take a close look at his performance as a real estate investor. Now that he has filed his 2018 tax return, I’ll be updating his numbers to include the most recent information. If you are new to this case study, I recommend you read the original post to get the full context. If you already read the initial post, feel free to start here for the 2018 update. 2018 Update As you might recall from the original post, David owns 6 rental properties that he started … Read more…

Q2 2019 Expense Report – $5,900

April, May, and June were great months for us. The first half of April was really hectic for me because of the April 15 tax deadline. After that, I took some days off to relax and catch up on life. In May, we spent nearly three weeks in Colombia. It was great to see family and recharge. Back in North Carolina, we tried to spend as much time outside as possible with our little one. Without further introduction let’s get into the numbers. Let’s dig into some of the larger and more interesting items. Daycare: not surprisingly daycare continues to be … Read more…

Have We Reached Financial Independence Abroad?

As you may know from reading this blog, I track my income, expenses, and net worth at the end of every month. The process is rather simple: login to Personal Capital (free financial software) and input relevant data on my own spreadsheet. The end result looks something like this: Back in 2017, as a last step in the process of tracking my finances, I started using the Mad FIentist laboratory. The laboratory is a cool tool to graph your numbers, track your progress to financial independence (FI), and play with your assumptions. Most months, I just input my data, look … Read more…

Q1 2019 Expense Report – $6,950

The first three months of the year were great for us financially, and relatively quiet otherwise. We came back from spending new year’s eve in Florida, settled back into our routines, and tried to play outside with our little one as much as the weather allowed. Without further introduction let’s get into the numbers. The Numbers Let’s dig into some of the larger and more interesting items. Daycare: not surprisingly daycare continues to be our biggest recurring expense. We remain grateful to have found a great place right across the street from our house as it saves us lots of … Read more…