December 2021 Financial Freedom Update

Income: $11,182.19

Expenses: $4,932.02

Savings: $6,250.17

Updates to our income report

For the income report month in December, my SaaS job brought netted $3960.11, my previous job still had some payouts which were $1916.26, my wife’s job brought in $2,018.26 and other income sources like business and gifts were $3,791.03. This is a big jump from our previous income report in November.

We have had one of the best months we’ve had in a really long time. 2021 was absolutely a learning year and i’m extremely thankful that we experienced financial hardship like we did early on in 2021. It helped us understand what it means to count every penny. Without good financial habits back a few months ago, we would have to make some drastic changes just to keep ourselves above ground. It wasn’t all bad though. We had a little baby girl in August! She now possesses our hearts and every wish is her command. 

My previous job was kind enough to provide the remaining payment from the projects I sold off during my time there. It was unexpected but fully welcomed. 

My wife who works part-time as a tennis coach was able to make a good amount the hours she worked.

Our businesses incomes combined with gifts received in December brought in an amount we’re really grateful for. Q4 is always a big quarter for businesses and where most of them actually turn a profit for the year. Our business ventures saw a nice bump. The thing we’re really grateful for is once a purchase is made on our business products, the proceeds go to Pencils of Promise which is a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world.

december income report

Updates to our expenses

Since I have changed jobs and work from home, the company I work with provides incredible health benefits. We will pay $592 for a family of 3 to be on one plan and our car insurance is $164.17 for 2 cars. We might make further adjustments to our car situation in the future like listing mine on Turo or just sell it. We’re not decided on the best way to work through it but i’m just fortunate that this health insurance provided is the lowest premium i’ve ever had on a plan. It’s funny to think in other countries you can get a family of 3 for less than $150 a month.

Nonetheless, we’re fortunate to have great insurance with low deductibles, and premiums which allow us to build our HSA which we’ll invest with in a few short months once we reach our investable amount of $2,000.

Apart from our mortgage, our biggest expense was surprisingly groceries. I love how we always get to the end of the month and we’re doing really well on our budget and just splurge on something like groceries to get ahead. Prior to our big summer blowout (frozen reference) we were just over $375 or so on groceries. With the (literal) last day of the month explosion, we spent a total of $787.23 which is a first for us. But to be fair, a large portion of it was to buy things that were heavily discounted at Costco which some items will last us the whole year. An example is my protein powder. Normally, Costco sells a 5.5 Pound bag (80 servings) for $54.99, they were on sale for 39.99 so we bought 4.

I now have 320 days worth of proteinnnnnn. Not only that, but we decided to cut out all junk food that has excess sugars/added sugars. Costco surprisingly has a wide selection of healthier alternative snacks that are just as good/better than the original. We found these really tasty KETO peanut butter cups and chocolate brownie cups.

They taste just like Reese’s and are much healthier and even have a good bit of fiber in them. We are not and don’t plan on being on a KETO diet but we don’t mind switching out candies and chocolates for things that taste good and are also good for you. Especially since the cost of going to the hospital is so much more than buying healthy groceries at the store.

So we don’t mind to splurge on healthy foods and snacks if it means we will never set foot in a hospital for health related reasons. 

Lastly, we love spending money on things that bring us joy. Going shopping doesn’t bring us much joy so why not use that money towards something like healthy eating or going on vacations? Ramit Sethi calls it a money dial in his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

We are looking forward to our trip to Puerto Rico in January as we didn’t go anywhere in 2021. I’m thankful my job allows for me to go on 4 weeks paid vacation so we decided to head out mid-January for a trip out to the Rico! (not sure if anyone calls it that)

Changes in mindsets

We are still heavily interested in moving to Ecuador in 2022 as it will bring us the same if not exponentially better quality of life than in the states but for half the cost. The biggest thing we would give up is being a short drive away from friends and family as well as Amazon.

All things considered, we’ll still be a short flight away if needed to visit for the holidays but the culture in Ecuador is great to the point that we would be surrounded by loving people due to the friendly nature of the country. Amazon has become a luxury/crutch for us. Need something? Get it on Amazon! Need a last minute gift? Amazon! Needing ideas for an upcoming holiday? Amazonnnn.

It’s gotten to the point where we won’t leave our house to go to the store since we can simply get it online. I find this to be a problem so we would actually really like to see what life is like outside the convenience of Amazon. We feel like life has gotten so convenient on things we don’t necessarily need that it has forced us to get complacent. We don’t really need people to gather our trash, especially for the price they charge.

We also don’t even know what our HOA does since we still have to pay for all maintenance ourselves. Not only that, they just drive by our house from time to time to tell us our garden needs to be cut. Well, that’s just the shape of those plants and they’ve been there for 3 years already and we’ve never heard anything so I think we’re good.

We think our HOA was made just to complain on homes but not do anything to provide more help for our neighborhood. Even if they put out lights in the entrance to our community, so what? If that’s what my money is going towards then it makes even more sense to leave and go elsewhere. 

Moving forward, my plan is to continue increasing our savings rate, selling a ton of software and developing my sports brand in order to generate multiple heavy streams of income that are built with minimal time maintaining them.

What lies ahead?

I will work daily to be the best that I can possibly be at my SaaS job, keep posting videos on my social media accounts for my sports brand and writing articles here. My wife will be staying home to take care of our child in a few months once her grandma leaves to go back home to Russia.

For the time being, we are focused on generating income that allows us to have little or no maintenance required for it. This way growth occurs through more exposure but we aren’t limited by funding. Time will tell what we find but we are grateful for the lessons 2021 brought us and we look forward to achieving financial freedom in the coming years and documenting as much as we can along the way!

Until next time

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