April 2018 Progress Report and an EPIC Comic Book Store Mission Accomplished!

April was a comicpalooza of epic proportions, I tell you! Mostly because Mr. FE, a self-proclaimed comic book historian (yes, it’s a thing), set out on a mission to visit 100 comic book stores. He had already reached 98, so with only 2 more comic book stores to go as of April, we headed off on a day trip to visit the little state of Rhode Island to complete Mr. FE’s goal of visiting 100 SUPER MEGA comic book stores.

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On the way down we visited Time Capsule in Seekonk, MA, then crossed state lines to visit Rah-Coco’s Collectibles, then we swung sideways and hit a Newbury Comics in Providence, RI, thus, bringing the total to a whopping 101 comic book stores personally visited by Mr. FE! Mission accomplished!

We celebrated Mr. FE’s amazing achievement with some mouth-watering pizza slices from Fellini Pizzeria, a popular college haunt. Mr. FE had a pepperoni slice, I had a mushroom slice, and we both tried their kielbasa and blue cheese slice. Mr. FE liked the blue cheese but I can’t say that I was a big fan. It’s not Fellini’s fault, I’m just not into blue cheese to begin with. But hey, it was worth a try right?

Then, Mr. FE went all out in his celebratory state and grabbed a ginormous chocolate Whoopie Pie to finish things off. I, however, was on my best behavior and successfully refrained from the Whoopie Pie goodness taking place before my very eyes, and I didn’t even succumb to a lonely crumb.

I have to say that although I am not into comic books myself, I had a blast coming along on the journey. By traveling to all of these comic book stores, in multiple states, I had a chance to visit areas I would not have seen otherwise, and the many experiences I have gained as result will forever be etched in my memory bank.

And this experience has only emphasized the fact that there is no need to spend money on go-go entertainment in order to have fun. Mr. FE would carefully plan and map out our destinations, and we’d bring along our own bottled water and either make sandwiches, or check out the areas local pizza joint for a slice. So simple, yet so undeniably rewarding.

Anyway…enough rambling about our day-trip. I am just a bit saddened by the fact that this mission has finally come to an end.

It’s time to reveal our April 2018 Progress Report! This month was a more normal month for us where it does not included Mr. FE’s annual bonus. We also saw a reduction in my medical expenses because the deductible and out-of-pocket limit had already been met. I did have a small copay, but nothing earth shattering. All in all, it wasn’t a bad month for us.

APRIL 2018 PROGRESS REPORT
Income
Mr. FE’s Gross Income $6,164.50
Mrs. FE’s Gross Income $0.00
Investments
Mr. FE’s 401(k) Pre Tax Contributions $1,475.52
OFE’s Taxable Contributions $0.00
Market Gain / Loss $6,574.09
Savings Rate
Savings Rate (includes investments) 44%
Mortgage
Remaining Mortgage Balance $142,808.57
Net Worth Gain / Loss $4,202.00
Expenses
Mortgage, Property Taxes, HOA $1,895.50
Internet, Phone, Cable $194.22
Electricity $83.00
Natural Gas $81.00
Water $38.00
Insurance (life, auto, home, umbrella) $0.00
Cell Phones (2-Lines) $61.03
iTunes $0.99
Medical $37.41
Food $374.88
Restaurant $25.12
Gas $123.29
Clothing $94.06
Car Wash $19.99
Gym $14.00
Total Expenses $3,042.49

Income

Mr. FE’s gross income has returned to normal because it doesn’t include his annual sales bonus from 2017

My gross income is zero again where I’m still out of work. To be honest, I still don’t feel like getting my career started up again. This has been an ongoing theme where I am facing some anxiety about the future of my health. For right now, I prefer to hang back and see where things go.

Investments

Mr. FE’s 401(k) contributions have normalized as well in absence of the annual bonus. Our investments have recovered a bit with the current market rebound, but who knows if it will stick. Stock markets will always fluctuate and it’s not something we concern ourselves with over the long-term.

We currently hold 90% in VFIAX and 10% in a bond fund in Mr. FE’s 401(k). In OFE’s taxable account we hold VTSAX along with some cash.

Savings Rate

We know that there are a few different formulas used to calculate a savings rate, but at OFE we like to include our investments because that’s where the majority of our savings is directed. We don’t hold much cash and keep only the minimum required to pay bills in our checking.

We use a simple savings rate formula: Amount saved divided by gross income multiplied by 100.

April’s savings rate came in at 44%. We are satisfied with our overall progress in savings this month, but we continue to look for ways to improve our bottom line.

I would like to cut cable since I hardly watch tv anyway, but Mr. FE refuses to give it up and claims it helps him unwind after a busy day at the office. I understand this but I do hope that one day Mr. FE can find himself a more frugal way (like reading, walking, etc.) to chill out.

Maybe some of you can share some ideas with us that don’t include watching mind-numbing television. We’re all ears!

Mortgage

Still chipping away at our 15-year mortgage which sits on 3.6%. We have 11 years, 6 months remaining. This is the ONLY DEBT we hold in the OFE household.

Net Worth

Our net worth showed a net gain of $4202.00. This has more to do with the fact that the stock market had recovered some of the losses from March. We are hoping that May is better and helps us move this number up some more.

April Expenses

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Pic is a little blurry, but the pizza was yummy nonetheless!

April was far better than March when it came to our expenses. Our medical bills were lower where I met the maximum out-of-pocket requirement from our health insurance. Not really something to be proud of, but at least the remaining part of the year should be far cheaper on medical front.

We splurged on pizza in Rhode Island to celebrate Mr. FE visiting 101 comic book stores. Gas was a much higher because of two things: 1. prices have gone up 2. Our long distance driving. We also both purchased some new, much-needed sneakers.

Overall, April wasn’t a bad month for us. We made some progress with our savings rate and our net worth recovered a tad from last month’s drop in the stock market. Fingers crossed that May goes just as well. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that wealth building is a long and slow process.

How was your April?

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4 thoughts on “April 2018 Progress Report and an EPIC Comic Book Store Mission Accomplished!

  1. I noticed you use iTunes; do you listen to enough music to warrant an Apple Music subscription? It is $10/month or $100/year. As a big music fan, I love it – I can listen to anything any time, including new releases on the day of, and download music for offline use (which stays put until you cancel your subscription).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a question about your mortgage – you decided to get a 15 year mortgage? Did you feel like you had to make many comprimises for this? Sorry if it’s on your blog somewhere and I missed it. The comic books and pizza sounds like great dates to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You didn’t miss it. Great post idea though! 🙂 Yes, we have a 15-year mortgage. When we first purchased our home we went with a 30-year mortgage thinking it was more affordable, then we woke up and realized it was one big expensive mistake and refinanced to a 15-year mortgage to save on interest. It wasn’t much of a financial sacrifice because we held no other debts when we decided to refinance.
      In our opinion, 30-year mortgage terms are a waste of money, but it’s a personal decision and a 15-year may not be right for everyone, just like homeownership isn’t right for everyone. It’s up to the individual buying the home to determine what they can and cannot afford.

      Like

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