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2015 Highlights

January 28, 2016


I made limited progress on my goals after this post, except T did paint the bathroom after that post.

2015 Financial Highlights

  • Our net worth increased by $91k, with most of that being in retirement savings. Our cash buffers that I don’t count in my net worth are also a lot healthier, and we are a due a huge tax refund (>$20k) this year, so… this is just what my accounting system says.  Our actual gains were ~$120k, the difference will show up in 2016 net worth increases.  This is much lower than the $139k it increased in 2014, but nothing to sneeze at.
  • Our total spending was about $105k, compared to $94k in 2014.  Details were shared this year.
  • Our total food spending averaged about $850 a month, compared to a shocking $1000/month in 2014.
  • My estimate of our 2015 tax bill (federal + state, excluding property taxes) is about $39k compared to an astounding $74k in 2014. We had some one-time income in 2014, and only had a few months of deductible home expenses.

Non-financial things of note:

  • My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through treatment.  She’s still recovering, but is cancer free now.  She did awesome and was a trooper.
  • I started new jobs that is a much better fit than my 2014 job.  Things didn’t go as planned, but it is still an amazing job for me.
  • We got a puppy!   He is very sweet and finally calming down (uh, sorta).  He was a lot of work for the first 6 months, but also has brought a lot of laughs and joy.
  • We did minimal traveling together, partly due to said dog: A January visit home for me, a run-cation to Portland for me, a week at a lake with my family in August for me, 1 short backpacking trip for us all, a couple of road trips to LA, a couple to Tahoe, and the holidays at home.  I went to Dubai for work and T went to Hong Kong for his work (and a few other domestic work trips for us).  Flights home (5 RT flights to the midwest) were paid on miles.  Related news:  We are ALL OUT of miles!
  • My running was pretty much crap, but I did a half marathon and one trail race.
  • I read very few books (13).  My favorites were The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood), The Soul of a New Machine (Tracy Kidder).  The former is a good book for any engineer to read, despite being written in the early 80s.
  • My husband was amazing, as always.  He was super supportive every step of the way.

A lot of 2015 was spent agonizing about shenanigans at work.  It was a dynamic year, to say the least.  On that same front, I’m still mapping out what 2016 will look like, but I have a lot of good options.  I’m saying yes to a lot of things, and have to be careful to draw lines. I hope I’m doing it well.  I hope I am protecting myself.  A successful career could be determined by what one says yes to and what one says no to.  I err on the side of saying yes to opportunities.  It has served me well so far, but at some point, I’ll have to switch gears.  On the positive side, almost everyone I worked with in the past year had good feedback and kept offering me other opportunities to work more with them.

Outside of work, a lot of 2015 was spent training up a puppy into a dog.  He is still in training – his greetings (of humans and dogs) are overly enthusiastic, he only walks at a heel when there are no distractions, he still pulls on his leash more than he should – but he’s a good dog.

That was 2015.  It wasn’t the best year, but it was a good year.  I hope 2016 will be even better!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2016 1:09 pm

    Congratulations to your momma for pulling through. That is the most important piece of news above all the numbers.

    (I went through the same.)

    • January 29, 2016 5:49 pm

      No kidding! Some things money can’t do anything about. It was tough news, but I’m impressed at how well she handled it all.

  2. January 29, 2016 5:40 pm

    I’m so happy your mom pulled through! I can’t imagine how much stress that must have added on top of your already stressful work year. My parents are pretty convinced they only have another ten years of life in them (no they’re not as old as you think they are – they’re just quite morbid and worriers) and so I really worry sometimes when I spend too much time working whether I should be spending the time with them instead.

    • January 29, 2016 5:52 pm

      Me too! They caught it early, and things went pretty much as well as they could for someone who got a diagnosis of breast cancer.

      Her parents (my grandparents) had some pretty big health issues (they are in their late 80’s), and she had to deal with that, on top of her own illness. It was just a tough year, but things are on the upswing for her. She had heart surgery last year to correct a birth defect, so two major heath things in two years. Here’s to a healthy 2016 with no hospital visits!

      You just never know how long people are going to be around. I wish I could live closer to my family, but that is not a likely scenario given the careers we chose.

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