Monthly Archives: November 2014

Time for a Turkey Trot

turkey trotMany people look forward to this week in late November in anticipation of the grand meal we call Thanksgiving. I am one of those people (I love food), but another fun perk of the week is the good old neighborhood 5K Turkey Trot run/walk!

Without any specific training, I ran such a trot on Sunday that started just two blocks from my front door. Even better than that – it was FREE! So many 5K races these days are between $25 and $45 to register. This one cost me just a $5 donation to the local elementary school in the form of seven raffle tickets (which did not garner me any valuable prizes). Darn.

I’ve been a runner for the past ten years now. I have five marathons under my belt and more than a dozen half marathons. I’ve never been particularly fast, but I have a great time doing it and it keeps me pretty happy overall. Earlier this year, I did two significant hikes. I traveled to Tanzania for a 6-day climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa (say it with me: Budget Buster). One month later, I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in one day (about 24 miles). Both were brutal for different reasons and I decided that I wanted a significant break from running and hiking. So for the past several months, I’ve been taking a weekly Piloxing class and doing Supreme 90 workout videos at home. I attribute that and  my mostly paleo diet to a 7 pound weight loss and feeling stronger each week.

So to my surprise, I was able to crank out this 5K in 28:32, which is just over a 9-minute per mile pace. Woot! Feeling good about that, as my training pace is usually between 10-11 minutes per mile. In the first mile, I was worried that I started too fast in trying to keep up with those around me. It’s been a long time since I’ve raced at this distance, but I’ve found that pacing is much more critical the longer you’re running. So I figured I’d just go for it and see what happens. The only one who knows or cares about my performance in this event is me.

About half way through the run, I started chatting with a nice guy, Randy, and we ended up finishing together. I love finding someone to run with (if they’re game, of course); it really helps push me to keep going and not stop for a walk break. I struggled the last half mile but made it to the end with little left in the tank. Very happy with myself…I need to do these 5Ks more often!

I recommend finding one in your hood to run, jog, walk, push a stroller, or whatever! Just get out there and get moving! Happy Thanksgiving.


May the financial break-down begin!

FI0017I’ve spent the last week contemplating how to show my financial information without sharing too many personal details. I realize that the whole point of this blog is to do just that! However, I appreciate my privacy and have much hesitation in spilling all of my personal secrets out for the world to see. Perhaps as I get ramped up, my feelings will change on this, but for now I’m going to play it conservatively. I hope you understand.

The simplest way to gather my current snapshot is with the help of Personal Capital. This is a great site to view all of my accounts in one place. I like the “Net Worth” overview page in particular; this is where I will pull my investment status from for my monthly blog updates.

So without further ado, here is the current breakdown as of today (rounded to the nearest dollar):

  • Fidelity 401k (current employer) – $84,320
  • Vanguard IRA (rolled over 403b from former employer) – $12,038
  • Vanguard Roth IRA – $9,034
  • Shareholder Account (ESPP from former employer) – $3,053
  • Betterment savings account (long term emergency fund) – $7,130
  • Capital One 360 savings account (short term emergency fund) – $6,303

TOTAL – $121,878

Not too shabby! Although I think that I should be in a better position at 40 years old, especially if I want to even consider retiring before 65. In my first post, I didn’t include the Capital One account in my total, which is why it was a bit lower at $115,000.

In my next several posts, I will visit each of these accounts to discuss why I have them and what investments they hold. Exciting stuff, I know!

I used to hate reading blogs

I just didn’t give a crap about what every random person on the internet feels they need to share with the world. But over the past couple of years, I’ve become a junkie for personal finance, healthy lifestyle, fitness, and pop culture podcasts. This has sucked me in to the world of blogging, which is far more vast than I ever imaged! I never thought I’d start one of my own, but I now feel like I have something to share with others to (hopefully) make their lives better. It’s also an interesting new way to hold myself accountable for some of the financial goals I have for myself. Let’s get started.

I live in the Los Angeles area and have a great job in the film industry, but I don’t want to be lining up for a paycheck when I’m 70. I’d like to retire well before 65, although I don’t know what it will look like just yet. I’ve been shoveling as much money into my 401k as I can (currently 12% of my income, plus 2% employer match), but I know that won’t be enough to support my desire to bail out early on the working world and do something cool. I’ll do a full breakdown of my assets in upcoming posts.

The hair-brained idea I had just the other day was to figure out how to exponentially increase my savings over the next 10 years.

How can I grow my $115,000 portfolio to $500,000 by the time I’m 50?

You see, I turned 40 in June. This wasn’t some mind-blowing experience or freak-out moment. I’m pretty darn young for my age and would prefer to embrace getting older than fight it. I live a healthy lifestyle that includes:

-Paleo diet with minimal grains, sugar, and processed food.
-Endurance athlete, having completed 5 marathons, as well as many triathlons and cycling events (although I’m now focusing on lifting weights and HIIT training).
-I adore sleep and get at least 8 hours most nights.
-I have two loving cats that make me smile every day.
-I have a great, smallish group of close friends that I can turn to for support (as well as an awesome therapist).

But enough about me! I could sit here all day spewing stuff about my life. I’d rather get to the task at hand and figure out how I’m going to accomplish this new goal, since it surely will NOT be easy. I’ve recently been seeking a way to increase my income, but nothing brilliant has hit me just yet. Perhaps this blog will help?! For the time being, I will focus on leading a more minimalist and frugal lifestyle to make my income go further. I often complain that I don’t earn a high enough salary (especially compared to many of the people I work with). But compared to so many others in the US and the world, I earn a HUGE amount of money and I should totally be able to make this work. I just need to commit myself to it and kick ass.