Home > August Spending and Life Stuff

August Spending and Life Stuff

August 17th, 2021 at 09:34 pm

This has been a spendier month so far. $250 for car repairs, 6 month car insurance payment came out, and I have scheduled an eye appointment to get a new Rx so I can order more contacts. Also have a minor medical procedure coming up in late August that I am sure will involve some out of pocket cost, though not sure of the exact amount yet.


On the fun spending side I finally decided to get a bicycle, to see if I can run more local errands on it when I don’t have time to walk several miles round trip and for another exercise option this fall if delta keeps getting worse. I found a basic used bike in good condition for $100 online and spent another $30 for a helmet and bike lock. Pretty sure I haven’t been on a bicycle since I was 12, but it came right back! Was not expecting how much it uses the butt muscles though, so I will probably need to do more practice rides closer to home before I venture too far into town.

On the saving side, I have started investing in a few Vanguard ETFs in addition to my 401K deductions, using the budget category that was previously going toward student loans.  (Also reallocated some of that budget item to donations). I decided to just start on my own, and I will probably get around to finding an advisor to help rebalance things down the road when the world isn't so weird. I am splitting things between the VTI (whole US stock market), a large-cap ETF fund, and this month I am also adding a Vanguard small-cap fund.  Down the road I might try to find a dividend-focused fund as well, but these three seemed like a reasonable way to at least get started in the market. My 401K is managed separately and can't be transferred to Vanguard.

Those of you who do your own investing- what do you choose? How did you decide?

3 Responses to “August Spending and Life Stuff”

  1. PatientSaver Says:

    Hope you enjoy the bike riding! I am doing the same, taking a spin around the block most evenings as a way to strengthen my knee after an injury last year.

    As far as the investments, we have Dido here, our own resident CFP who might want to weigh in, but at first blush, isn't the large cap fund redundant with the US stock market fund? You might want to diversify into foreign stocks as well since the US often does not outperform the rest of the world in any given year. Foreign stocks would likely be cheaper to buy into right now.
    There are plenty of asset allocation questionnaires online, probably including on the Vanguard site, that quiz you about your personal risk tolerance, timeframe and so on to help you determine the right mix.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    I would focus on an appropriate stock/bond mix, as PS mentions. 100% stock is popular in recent years after a long bull run, but always makes me cringe. Risk tolerance is a factor, but so is timeline for when you need this money and your overall goals.

    I personally have all my investments in a VBIAX, which is a 60/40 stock bond mix. This was the next step after our emergency fund, but I wanted a level of "invested emergency fund" (sleep like a baby with a full year of expenses on tap) and expected to tap this money in 5-10 years (for kids' college and/or a down payment on our next home). It was a good middle ground of very hefty emergency fund (not being too conservative), while reaping significant stock market gains.

    I had a goal at some point to maybe go 90% or 100% stock market for anything above a certain goal. This would be money that's just gravy and that we wouldn't "need". I never made it to that goal. We have too much retirement space right now (after having less retirement space while I was building up taxable investments).

    Which reminds me, I wouldn't put a penny in taxable investments unless ROTH IRAs were maxed out. Take the "tax free gains forever", if you aren't already. IT's also so much easier for taxes. (ROTH contributions can be tapped any time, is not as tied up as other retirement vehicles).

    & of course, tax planning is a consideration. We are in a 0% investment tax bracket so I have not had to weight taxes with our taxable investments. Bond funds aren't generally recommended in taxable accounts. Fair enough, if you are in a higher tax bracket.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    The bike sounds like a lot of fun! Glad it came back and the helmet was a good investment!

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