Q3 Hardcore Savings Update

Cool fall greetings to all my current and future millionaire readers. Since September is done and gone, it’s time for a Q3 hardcore savings update. As always, we continue to feed our 457 and 403b accounts with the intention of maxing them out in December. So far, so good! Thus far, we’ve managed to contribute $65,000 into our 457, 403b, and IRA accounts. In total, we have managed to save a little less than $70,000 thus far in 2015.

Q3 Savings Update for 2015
Retirement AccountsSelf Spouse Total
Traditional IRAs$300$200$500
Total Retirement$36,300$28,700$65,000
Other AccountsFamilySonTotal
Coverdell ESA$0$2,000$2,000
Mutual Fund$1,000$0$1,000
Grand Total for January to September of 2015: $69,145

How are your savings goals progressing? Good luck to all and keep on hammerin’!

Useful Resources: Companies and Services that We Actually Use.
Affiliate Link Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use  
This website is powered by Blue Host (Affiliate Link).
Investing:  The majority (90%+) of our money is invested at Vanguard.   If you know of a better low-cost option, please let me know.  Why Vanguard?
Net Worth Tracking:  We use Personal Capital to track our various accounts.  Personal Capital is an great way to aggregate all of your financial accounts at one easy-to-use website.  (If you have less than $100k in assets, please register with this link.)
Banking:  We have used USAA for our checking and savings accounts since 1997.  We also have checking and savings accounts at three credit unions:   AlliantElements Financial, and Navy Federal.  Finally, we have an online checking account with Simple.
Health Savings Account:  We use Elements Financial to access commission-free, low-cost Vanguard ETFs at TD Ameritrade.
Phone Options:  My wife loves her $10 a month plan at Republic Wireless (new plans now start at $15 a month).  I had the same plan and liked it too, but unfortunately I broke my phone in Mexico.  I currently use a WiFi-enabled phone at a cost of $0 a month thanks to three Google apps: Voice, Hangouts, and Hangouts Dialer.  We also have a Skype subscription with its own number for unlimited U.S. calls ($80 a year).
Travel Rewards:  If you'd like to learn how to get "free" flights and hotel rooms, take the free course at Travel Miles 101.  When we slow travel, we use Airbnb to find low-cost, month-long rentals.  Whenever possible, we try to use Uber instead of taxis.
Credit Score/Report:  Here are some websites with free services to verify your credit history:  Credit Sesame / Credit Karma / Annual Credit Report
Click here for my recommended:  Blogs, Books, and Podcasts


  1. Hey Ed,
    Nice work piling those savings away! Maybe this is covered somewhere else, but do you also set aside cash for your future trips, miniretirements, etc? Where is that cash going to come from?
    Thanks as always for sharing the details.

    • Chad,
      Our money comes from a few sources. First, we take annual 72T distribution of $18K from our IRAs. Since we lived on about $1,500 a month in Mexico, we know that could get us through an entire year south of the border. Second, we have 457 accounts that we can take distributions from without the pre-59.5 tax penalty. This allows to strategically tap money as needed. By May of 2016, we hope to have our 457 accounts up to $150,000. Third, we also have a few Roth IRAs that we have owned for over 5 years, so those funds are available for harvesting without penalty if needed. We also plan start a Roth IRA conversion ladder in 2016. Finally, we’re selling our house this month, so we have that money to draw from if necessary. (Actually, we plan on putting that money aside as a down payment on a future home if we decide to buy another house.) In a nutshell, that’s how we plan to finance our future adventures.

      • Thanks for the explanation. Wow, $1,500/month. That’s good.

        I assume you’ll be staying put and not traveling every day. Is that right?

        What part of Mexico?

        In the past whenever we are moving a lot while traveling, it has always been a drag on living costs because of transportation and more expensive houseing. If you can settle in and get an apartment, buy groceries, etc … it gets a lot cheaper.

        • Chad, you’re right about traveling draining your money. For that reason, we plan on setting up a base in the Yucatan; either Cancun or Playa del Carmen would be fine for us. We like the area because it’s easy to get to from Georgia, the beaches are nice, there are lots of things to explore, and the infrastructure is good. I envision us renting an apartment for 6 to 12 months to see how we like it. We also want to explore other areas in Mexico.

          During our stay in Cancun in 2014, we found it very easy to live there. We shopped at Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart, the various Mexican supermarkets, and the traditional markets. We certainly had lots of good food to cook. We were able to walk to all the places we shopped at…we only took 3-4 taxi rides during our 40+ days in Cancun. We took the public bus for our beach trips, and we walked down to the Parque de las Palpas just about every night. What fond memories we have of that trip!

  2. ElleX

    I would like to THANK YOU for opening my eyes. I now see a world of possibilities. I am coming up on my third paycheck of putting 100% of my paycheck in my 401k. I won’t be able to fully maximize my 401k but I will have much more than last year.

    I have read every post on your website (some two or three times) and have told several of my friends about your website. (Also, rootofgood.com and gocurrycracker.com.)

    Again, THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  3. I am not starting it yet, but once I pay off this next loan, because of your blog, I am starting a 457 plan at my university. I already max the 401(a) and 403b. Can’t wait to get started on saving more.

    • Jason,
      Congrats on your savings prowess! We really like the flexibility that the 457 gives us. Because 457 accounts do not have the pre-59.5 early withdrawal penalty, we take distributions from them for “living expenses.” Savings money is awesome, but we all need money to cover day-to-day living expenses. For that reason, we always fund our 457 accounts first. Good luck working your plan. Ed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *