One Life To Live Q4 2017 – Omurice Joins Our Fusion of Cultures

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omurice

One Life To Live is our quarterly update on how financial independence plays an integral part in fueling our true happiness. We all have one life to live, but are we making the best of it? Are we living it in the richest way possible? We hope that our lifestyle answers those questions as we continue to optimize for happiness. Carpe Diem!

Welcome sexy souls,

It’s time for our 4th quarter recap! I feel like the last months of 2017 just came and went. We laid low during the last months of the year and only took a trip to Florida. Now we’re already in February. That’s how fast life goes, so the more reason to make it worthwhile.

Adventures

Sarasota, FL

While we explored several cities in the Tampa area, Sarasota was the highlight from our most recent trip to Florida. Why? Because we’re contemplating that area as our early retirement home. We liked what we saw so far and are thinking of first renting in the area after leaving PA. Have you been to Sarasota? What do you think of the area?

omurice omurice omurice omurice omurice

Passive income and expenses

The following is a streamlined report that takes very little time to produce, therefore, giving us time back to get back to living our lives. It stays within our theme of having one life to live and maximizing our time for happiness. What’s included in these reports? At the end of the day, people need food, shelter, mobility, the ability to pay the bills and take care of debt payments. So, these are the expenses that we concentrate on.

Bare-bones expenses

Bare-bones spending for Q4-2017

This is how we spent money on the most basic needs during the fourth quarter.

 Main Category

 Quarter Amount 

2017 Monthly Average

Comments

*Net Rent$637.41$447.24
Bills & Utilities$465.09$163.82
Debt Payments$0$0
Groceries$1,490.71$519.42
Auto & Transportation $241.65$248.64
Home Supplies$162.14 $62.08

Total

$2,997

$1,441.19Total spent on these in 2017 = $17,294

That sums up our bare-bone spending for last quarter. So we stayed below $18k for the year – nothing surprising there. Groceries tend to be higher than what many in the FIRE community spend and we’ll talk more about that on the upcoming annual spending post. You can click here to see our latest annual spending post.

Passive income

Dividends

The fourth quarter is the best quarter for dividends. It’s the Christmas gift that keeps on giving! We received $11,840 in dividend income for the fourth quarter. That’s a 30% increase from a year ago. Of course, dividends are just one part of the equation as we like to concentrate on the total returns of our investments.

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Passive Income Main Categories

 Main Category

 Quarter Amount 

2017 Monthly Average

Dividends$11,840$2,036
Capital Gains$0$788

Total

$11,840

$2,824

Portfolio Returns

Our entire portfolio, including the house funds (NCF), which are heavily invested in bonds, returned 3.05% for the quarter. We’ll continue to trail the S&P 500 by a few points until we settle on a property after retirement and get rid of a big chunk of bonds.

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Road to retirement

We recently posted a recap on our FIRE plans. Things are going well and we’re on way to retire by 2020. Man, there’s a long list of to-do’s before we get there, so we’ll be busy by this spring as we start to get rid of stuff.

From the chef’s kitchen

Cooking your own meals is a great way to eat healthy and save money. A great advantage is that you can cook with better ingredients and know what’s going into your food.

Here are some of the dishes we cooked last quarter. (From left to right)

Tostones with chicken and avocado

A Dominican must have tostones in their diet. Hahaha. We had family over and made some yummy fried plantains (tostones) with a garlic sauce accompanied by organic chicken breast. We eat chicken occasionally, as you can see from some of our photos.

Boiled sweet potatoes with fried eggs and sautéed veggies

We had to find a way to finish up the sweet potatoes that we got from the farm co-op. Nothing like a slice of avocado to complement that plate!

Omurice

Omurice is a new dish to us. It’s a Japanese fusion of omelette and fried rice that we discovered while watching a Korean drama – definitely a new yummy addition to our list of recipes.

Apple pie

It’s cold and gloomy out there. Gotta have apple pie. Enough said.

Crab cake with baked potatoes and homemade tartar sauce

We decided to try these delicious crab cakes from Wegmans and they were a hit. There are not cheap, but it would cost a lot more to buy this dish at a restaurant. So we have it as splurge on special occasions. Okay, that was baloney, but it sounded responsible. We’ve been having it on more than just special occasions, but the household obsession with ramen noodles probably makes up for the price differential.

We didn’t have tartar sauce, but after googling it, realized how easy it is to make and that we had all the ingredients at home! We now make our own tartar sauce. An FI win!

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What’s next?

We’d probably make a trip to VA in March for a concert and a little getaway. Money-wise, we’re in the process of front-loading retirement accounts. As far as upcoming posts from Enchumbao, I have no idea of what’s coming. This is as organic as it gets. 🙂 We’ll see what we get inspired to write about. Hasta luego and thanks for reading.

What are you doing to optimize for happiness?

Please like & share:
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Mr. Enchumbao

Mr. Enchumbao retired at 44. He worked for 13 years at Vanguard, primarily as a Communications Project Leader in the Institutional Division, helping people save for retirement.

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