As the handful of you who follow this blog know, we spent the majority of 2017 getting out of debt, which freed up more income in 2018 to give away and invest. As I have a more detailed post coming later, I wanted to focus on some specifics here:
We saved/invested 48.8% of our bring-home pay in 2018 versus 17% in 2017 when the first 10 months of the year was all about getting the whips off our backs. We maxed out IRAs for my wife for 2017/2018 and started investing heavily into her 403b plan as well. The rest of our investments were put into building up our emergency fund (a high yield account with Synchrony), a low-fee brokerage account with Fidelity and a minority stake in a new investment partnership. With more than 36% of our bring home pay going towards debt in 2017, you can see the difference getting out of debt can have in advancing your future.
We gave away 17.2% of our bring home pay in 2018 versus 13% in 2017. Sadly, we only gave away around 5% prior to 2017. And not to beat a dead horse but getting out of debt allowed us to contribute significantly more to the needs of others. Some of this went to creating a nonprofit.
The one constant the past two years was how much of our bring home pay that we lived on: 34%. The largest changes in this category were (increasing): medical (shoulder surgery), housing (new living room furniture), lifestyle (2 nice vacations), and; (decreasing): food (better budgeting) and insurance (thank you, Clark Howard)…
Again, a more detailed post coming soon….Happy New Year! Best of luck to all!!!!