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HomeRetirementFebruary 2023 Early Retirement Replace

February 2023 Early Retirement Replace

Welcome again to a different replace from Root of Good. We’re slowly easing into spring. Or so we thought, till we received a short snow blizzard over the weekend. It was above freezing the entire time, however it’s nonetheless neat to see snow in March in North Carolina. 

We spent the complete month of February at dwelling with out journey of any variety. Within the final twelve months, September was the one different month the place we have been at dwelling the entire month. It’s good to have the time to loosen up and regroup after a busy 12 months of post-pandemic “revenge journey”. 

February was a blended month for our funds. Our internet value dropped by $68,000 to finish February at $2,710,000. Our earnings totaled $1,756, whereas our spending was only a tiny bit decrease at $1,675 for the complete month of February. 

Let’s soar into the small print from final month.



Funding earnings totaled $405 in February. Our fairness index funds and ETFs pay dividends quarterly on the finish of March, June, September, and December. In consequence, we had a small quantity of funding earnings final month. Right here’s extra on our dividend investments.

Weblog earnings totaled $920 for the month. This degree of earnings is barely larger than current averages. 

My early retirement life-style consulting earnings (“consulting”) was $185 in February. That’s only one hour of consulting. I suppose the tech business has been hit notably laborious just lately, and that’s the place numerous my aspiring early retiree shoppers come from. In some unspecified time in the future they are going to be wealthy as soon as once more, and inquisitive about determining how one can go away the rat race 30 years early. 

Tradeline gross sales earnings totaled $0 in February. I ought to have obtained virtually $1,000 throughout February, however on account of some unexplained error the cash didn’t magically present up. I’ve opened a assist ticket with the tradeline gross sales firm to hopefully restart the cash pipeline quickly! I ramped up my tradeline gross sales in 2020 and mentioned it in a bit extra element in my October 2020 month-to-month publish and in my July 2021 month-to-month publish

For January, my “deposit earnings” totaled $69. Out of the overall, $54 of the “deposit earnings” comes from money again and incentive bonuses from the and on-line buying portals (a few of which was earned from you readers signing up via these hyperlinks). 

When you join Rakuten via this hyperlink and make a qualifying $25 buy via Rakuten, you’ll get a $10 enroll bonus

The remaining $15 of “deposit earnings” got here from a Godiva Chocolate class motion settlement. I can’t recall what rights of mine have been infringed upon, however doubtless it was a grave damage I’m positive. Luckily, the $15 makes me complete once more so I can proceed consuming chocolate sooner or later. 

February Youtube earnings was $176. Youtube solely pays out once you exceed $100 in amassed income. Lately, my Youtube earnings have been just below $100 monthly on common, so I solely receives a commission each different month. 

Right here is the Youtube channel for the curious. It’s random journey movies, birds, children, and a few DIY movies. There are only some predominant movies that herald many of the site visitors (and income!).



When you’re inquisitive about monitoring your earnings and bills like I do, then take a look at Empower Private Dashboard, previously referred to as Private Capital (it’s free!). All of our financial savings and spending accounts (together with checking, cash market, and 5 bank cards) are all linked and up to date in actual time via Empower Private Dashboard. We’ve got accounts in every single place, and Empower Private Dashboard makes it very easy to test on all the pieces at one time.

Empower Private Dashboard can also be a strong instrument for funding administration. Protecting monitor of our complete funding portfolio takes two clicks. When you haven’t signed up for the free Empower Private Dashboard service, test it out in the present day (assessment right here).

Monitoring spending was one of many crucial steps I took that allowed me to retire at 33. And it’s now simpler than ever with Empower Private Dashboard.



Now let’s check out February bills:

In whole, we spent $1,675 throughout February which is about half of our frequently budgeted $3,333 monthly (or $40,000 per 12 months). Groceries and utilities have been the 2 highest classes of spending in February.


Detailed breakdown of spending:


Groceries – $708:

Grocery bills proceed to creep upward. The latest shock was on retailer model generic sodas. A 2 liter bottle was $0.98 final month and it jumped to $1.25 this month. This is identical soda that was $0.59 per 2L a few years in the past. It’s formally doubled in worth. 

The excellent news is that different merchandise appear to be coming again all the way down to earth ever so barely. Egg costs halved from $5 per dozen to simply over $2 per dozen. Cheese and recent meats additionally appear to be barely cheaper versus a couple of months in the past. 


The compulsory month-to-month pho pic


Utilities – $465:

The full utility spending was $465 final month. The electrical invoice contributed virtually half of the overall utility expense. I paid two months value of electrical energy payments ($90 and $92). 

The water/sewer/trash invoice totaled $129. 

The pure gasoline invoice, which supplies heating and sizzling water, totaled $154 for final month. We’re previous the coldest climate right here in North Carolina. We didn’t even use the warmth for half of the previous month, and needed to activate the air con for a couple of days. We should always take pleasure in a pair months of decrease utility spending earlier than the extreme summertime warmth arrives and our electrical energy invoice goes up for a couple of months. 


Journey – $237:

We’ve got booked most of our journey to South America for this summer time. The entire flights aside from one are paid for. Throughout February, I paid $192 in taxes plus 88,000 American Airways miles for 4 tickets from Santiago, Chile to Raleigh, North Carolina. Later in March, we purchased a number of extra units of tickets for flights inside Argentina (these prices will likely be included within the March monetary replace). 

The 2 months of Airbnbs that we booked in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile have been paid for utilizing Airbnb reward playing cards that I received free of charge utilizing my Chase Final Rewards factors and the “Pay Your self Again” redemption possibility (now not obtainable for Airbnb reward playing cards). On common, we spent about $61 per day on the airbnbs in South America. Costs in LatAm are far more aggressive than the lodging prices we skilled in Japanese Europe final summer time.

We’re additionally reserving barely smaller and cheaper lodging since there are solely 4 of us touring this summer time. Our oldest child will likely be in school full time and dealing an element time job again right here in Raleigh whereas we’re having enjoyable in South America. Her selection, not ours (in case the haters wish to know, ha ha ha).

The opposite journey that we booked throughout February was a set of 4 1-way tickets from Miami to Raleigh to get dwelling after our Christmas cruise to the Caribbean and South America. We spent $45 in taxes and a complete of 30,000 American Airways miles on the tickets dwelling from Miami. 

In case you are inquisitive about getting free journey out of your bank card like I do, take into account the Chase Ink Limitless or Chase Ink Money enterprise playing cards (my referral hyperlink). Proper now the Chase Ink enterprise playing cards supply 75,000 Chase Final Rewards factors that may be redeemed immediately for $750 in money. Mrs. Root of Good and I every obtained our new Chase Ink Limitless playing cards throughout December, and we simply picked up a brand new Chase Ink Money card throughout March. The bonuses carry on rolling within the door! 

Chase is fairly liberal in the case of “what’s a enterprise”. When you promote stuff on eBay or Craigslist or do some odd jobs sometimes then you might have a enterprise and will get a bank card as a “sole proprietor”. 


Driving out to the Neuse River for a protracted stroll on the greenway. That’s our “journey” for February.


Healthcare/Medical/Dental – $35:

Our present 2023 medical insurance prices $18 monthly, due to very beneficiant Inexpensive Care Act subsidies that we obtain on account of our low ~$45,000 per 12 months Adjusted Gross Earnings. We didn’t need to pay the premium in December (for protection throughout January) as a result of we paid it in November. 

We signed up for 2023 dental insurance coverage and paid a complete of $38 in premiums throughout February. This features a double cost I made to my insurer. 

I selected a really primary plan for $9 monthly for me that covers most preventive care however no fillings. Mrs. Root of Good has a special set of dental wants than I achieve this we stored the extra complete $20 monthly plan for her (similar as 2022’s plan).

By shopping for insurance coverage, we must always save a pair hundred {dollars} on my dental care. For Mrs. Root of Good, we are going to nonetheless save a couple of {dollars} in comparison with paying money for the preventive dentist visits all year long.

I additionally visited the dentist and paid my annual $50 deductible for the examination, cleansing, and x-ray. My second routine dentist go to in 2023 ought to be 100% lined by my insurance coverage.


Training – $57:

February’s training spending got here from a $57 e-textbook buy for our daughter’s group school coursework. It doesn’t sound just like the textbook is used very a lot, however it’s required to take the in-class assessments (as in “present me the receipt and I’ll offer you your examination”). My cynical facet says this can be a pure revenue seize for the textbook written and printed in-house by the professors on the group school. My non-cynical facet additionally says it’s a pure revenue seize. 

Type of like paying a bribe or getting scammed when touring in international international locations – it’s only a value of doing enterprise. Transfer on and settle for it! And on this case, the $57 value was paid for utilizing scholarships and grant cash so it didn’t really value us a penny out of pocket.


School chemistry distant studying mad scientist lab equipment for dwelling experiments. The lab equipment was surprisingly free. 


Gasoline – $51:

An virtually full tank of gasoline for $51. 


Eating places – $24:

We received takeout from the neighborhood Chinese language restaurant twice throughout February. Our Chase bank cards had a suggestion for $5 off a $10 buy on 4 completely different playing cards. I break up the costs from every restaurant go to into two transactions (per go to) to maximise our 4 Chase credit. The full value of the takeout throughout the month was a internet of $24. 


Automotive – $22:

Our center little one FINALLY received her teen learner’s allow after a 16 month delay (principally attributable to inept authorities contractors). We forked over $22 on the DMV for the learner’s allow.

Be careful Raleigh drivers, there’s an adolescent in a minivan on the unfastened! 


You’ve been warned.


House Enchancment – $10:

Our dishwasher ate one in every of its components. A grinder blade deep down within the innards of the dishwasher. For $10, I discovered a substitute blade and put in it myself in 20 minutes. 

I’m not assured that this restore will final long run as a result of we nonetheless hear a bizarre noise coming from the dishwasher. The dishwasher is 13 years previous at this level. So my subsequent motion will likely be to place the previous unit to relaxation and purchase a model new dishwasher. 


Cable/Satellite tv for pc/Web – $0:

We usually pay $18 monthly for an area lowered charge package deal on account of having a decrease earnings and having children. 30 mbit/s obtain, 4 mbit/s add. Proper now the price of the web service is quickly lowered to $0 because of the “Inexpensive Connectivity Program”. 


Mrs. Root of Good’s pastime – feeding the birds within the yard



Yr to Date Spending – 2023


We spent $5,097 throughout the first two months of 2023. This annual spending is about $1,600 lower than what we budgeted for 2 months of spending in our $40,000 annual early retirement funds.

It’s shaping as much as be one other low-spending 12 months total. Most of our bills for our summer time 2023 journey to South America are already paid at this level. We’ll simply need to cowl meals and native transportation and yet one more set of flights. 

School prices for our two children in school ought to be lined in full by grants and scholarships all through the rest of 2023. And we’ve got ample 529 funds ought to we have to cowl something out of pocket. 

The one massive expense anticipated for 2023 will likely be a used automotive. We failed in our makes an attempt to amass one throughout 2022 however that’s okay. The market seems to be cooling off a bit, since I’m lastly seeing a couple of automobiles below $10,000 that aren’t full items of junk. 

In fact, we aren’t even a 3rd of the way in which via the 12 months, so it’s laborious to forecast our spending if some surprising emergency arises. 


Month-to-month Expense Abstract for 2023:


Abstract of annual spending from all ten years of early retirement:



Web Value: $2,710,000 (-$68,000)

After a big $162,000 in features throughout January, we watched our internet value backslide by $68,000 to finish the month at $2,710,000. A really respectable quantity nonetheless. 

Our internet value continues to slip into mid-March as this publish goes dwell. We’re within the midst of a financial institution disaster as I write this, so we’ll see within the coming days and weeks whether or not this seems to be a nothing-burger or a significant inflection level in financial historical past just like the Nice Monetary Disaster of 2007-2009. I’m leaning in the direction of nothing-burger. 



For the curious, our internet value reported above consists of our dwelling worth (which is absolutely paid off). Nonetheless, please notice that I don’t take into account my dwelling worth as a part of my portfolio for “4% rule” calculation functions. I notice people ask me about that each month so I simply wished to state that right here for readability.


It’s springtime and the bushes are in full bloom!


Life replace

One other month of taking it simple. I can’t complain! We’ve received some thrilling journey developing in three quick months. Within the meantime, we’ll be celebrating two birthdays and two graduations (elementary faculty and highschool). 


Grilling steak and veggie kebabs for dinner on a campfire in our yard down by the lake. Our almost-free million greenback expertise.


Our oldest little one turns 18 in one other week. I don’t understand how this has occurred because it looks like she was simply born not too way back. Tempus fugit, as they are saying. Now that she will likely be an grownup herself, we hope she will be able to function a babysitter for our different two children whereas us dad and mom journey extra as a pair. 

Later this spring, I’m trying ahead to persistently hotter climate. We’ll bust out the hammocks, loosen up below the bushes, and benefit from the spring breezes. It shouldn’t be an excessive amount of longer earlier than that occurs. 

Properly people, that’s it for me for this month. See you subsequent month! 


Received any massive issues happening or any journeys deliberate for this spring? 



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