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  • Late Start Earner

An eventful first half of 2023

I never would have imagined that in the first few months of the year I would have made a cross-country move, sold my condo, survived company layoffs, questioned the role of my career in life, maxed out my retirement contributions (Roth IRA, 401k, Mega Backdoor 401k), and bought another property.

A major takeaway is that life throws curveballs and opportunities, and crafting a purposeful life starts with establishing and maintaining a foundation that reflects my core values and invest in my health (physical, mental, emotional, pychological, and more). As life circumstances shifted, I'd also strayed from prioritizing some of these values, and feel grateful to have a deeply supportive network to re-anchor me.

Looking forward, I have a few financial goals to close out the year:

  • Emergency Fund: Boost my emergency fund back up to $20k in a HYSA.

  • Mortgage: Pay off $100k. In a high-interest rate environment, investing in the mortgage is a guaranteed and safe return. Once I've paid this amount off, my monthly housing expenses will drop to no more than $600/month. While my investments have taken a hit with the new home purchase, I am also excited by the prospect of requiring lower target numbers for different FI milestones.

  • Continue practicing healthy frugality: I want to continue spending money on things that matter to me. At the same time, I noticed at one point that I was over-spending in some areas unnecessarily to the point that it was not reflecting my values. Asking myself what the 'better' choice was for me has helped me take more trips to the grocery store to cook meals that are healthier than what I would have gotten with takeout (even though sometimes it is more expensive), helped me pay for services that make my life easier (hiring painters, paying for laundry), and prioritizing vacations on my getaway property.

  • Donate: I'd like to identify one or more causes to donate towards before the end of the year, and to start building in charitable giving into my annual budget.

In terms of non-financial goals,

  • Bedtime: I'd like to start going to bed earlier to help me wake up and start the day earlier.

  • Exercise: Continue prioritizing exercise 3x/week, and re-introduce lightweight exercises on off-days.

  • Teetotaling: Continue practicing teetotaling during the workweek.

Overall, my goal in the second half of 2023 is to set myself up to be financially stable in the face of uncertainty, and to shape my lifestyle habits to be more in tune with my core values.

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