FIRE Frugality Retirement

November 2020 Update & 5 Frugal Things

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Financial Update

This last couple months is exciting in terms of FIRE goals. I’ve finally passed 50k net worth and could scream with excitement. About 28k of that is in savings accounts; I have about 18k squirreled away for a house down payment and a 10k emergency fund.

For the first time ever I’ve started throwing money into a taxable brokerage account. I’ve maxed out my Roth IRA for the year, and with no other retirement vehicles like a 401(k) or an HSA, I decided to finally put my Vanguard account to use. (My Roth IRA account has been at Fidelity.)

Here are some FIRE stats for this month:

After-tax pay$4287.16
Roth IRA contribution$1018.52
Vanguard brokerage$696.35
Total FIRE investing$1714.87
Savings rate40%

I’m not usually able to pull off a savings rate this high; I think it’s due to lifestyle inflation. Things haven’t felt tight this month, so I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to sustain this level of FIRE investing going forward.

5 Frugal Things

  1. I cut my boyfriend’s hair after several weeks of him asking me to do it. Every time one of us remembers, it’s usually past the point of my being functional/willing for the day. I finally pulled out my hair scissors and gave his bangs and lengths a trim. He hasn’t had to get a professional hair cut in a couple years now that I’m cutting his. I’m not the best stylist, but it’s not too difficult to give him the shag-style cut he likes.
  2. I didn’t impulse buy a book about something I’ve been impulse-wanting. We’ve been on the fence about a baby for years.
    Do we want one? Would we be good parents? Are we too selfish with our time? Should we adopt later on? Should we try to enjoy our time together and not bring another life into the mix?
    I fell into a baby mania the last week. After browsing some subreddits about parenthood, I decided we needed to read The Baby Decision immediately. However, it wasn’t available as an Overdrive e-book at the library and I couldn’t find it for under $10 on Amazon.
    I’m feeling less hungry for parenthood this week; I’m reading some of the other 5 books recommended for fence-sitters instead. Money saved, crisis averted.
  3. I was able to rescue a good deal of food from rotting this week.
    In addition, I DIYed a veggie broth base as I haven’t placed a Costco order yet this month and the other grocery stores we’ve tried have been out of stock. has a great vegetable bouillon recipe that I’ve used a handful of times with great success.
    Here are the ways I put some nearly-forgotten foods to use:
    • A shriveled, squishy banana: I was able to salvage half of this and mash it into my morning oatmeal.
    • Old cooked rice and an almost-expired avocado: These were delicious mixed with homemade pinto beans and my ever-reliable Frank’s RedHot.
  4. I uncovered a nearly full tube of lip gloss. It was hiding under a pile of papers in my backpack-purse. At this point, I won’t need to buy any lip products until sometime next year.  
  5. This week I decided I couldn’t stand my Wacom tablet stylus perpetually falling off my work desk. Instead of keeping it propped up in an old jar or buying a fancy pen holder for it, I decided to make one out of polymer clay. My pen holder buddy is still in progress, but I’ll be sure to debut him in a future post.

What frugal things did you do this week?