Home > Archive: January, 2021

Archive for January, 2021

DW signed up to sell at a pop up shop next week

January 27th, 2021 at 07:41 pm

My wife has been sewing for a number of years and has sold stuff here and there, mostly through friends and some word of mouth. Over the past few months, she's been putting more effort into the business. She started selling bags on consignment at an area yarn shop and has sold quite a few of them. She realizes, though, that she needs to expand her market.

There is a local business that runs an indoor (and in season outdoor) pop up shop every Saturday. For $20/day, you get a 9x9 space to sell your wares. It's not a flea market. It's mostly crafters: knit, crochet, soap, woodwork, flowers, jewelry, etc. So the people who come there to shop are the type who are looking for handmade items and understand that those sorts of things cost more than mass produced stuff at Walmart or Target.

The place does some marketing but also depends on each merchant doing their own advertising so we'll be blasting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to try and drum up business.

We'll see how it goes. If it seems like a good market for her, they do the pop ups every Saturday so she can do it regularly if it's worth her time.

Working on our taxes

January 24th, 2021 at 06:12 pm

I spent some time this weekend starting to organize everything for our taxes. I made an appointment to drop things off to our CPA on February 24, so I've got time, but I don't want to wait until the last minute.

We haven't gotten all of the paperwork yet but there was enough I could do with what we already have.

The good news so far is that our taxable capital gains were lower in 2020 by about $3,400 so that will lower our tax bill. Also they are allowing $300 of charitable donations to be deducted for 2020 even if you don't itemize, so we'll get to take advantage of that. And that doubles to $600 for 2021 for those filing a joint return.

Otherwise, things should be pretty much the same as last year. With the lower CG and the charity deduction, we'll hopefully owe less and/or even get a small refund. We owed a little over $900 last year.

Vanguard account milestone

January 2nd, 2021 at 01:35 am

I forgot one thing in my previous post.

As of market close on 12/31/20, our Vanguard account topped $700,000 for the first time.

We actually have more than that there as that only includes my rollover IRA, my Roth IRA, and our joint brokerage account. My wife also has a rollover IRA and a Roth IRA which hold another $123,000. But the figure that I see when I log into my account doesn't include those.

As always, it's really just another number and doesn't particularly mean anything, but we all like to see those milestone numbers.

2020 Year End Portfolio and Spending

January 1st, 2021 at 03:11 pm

2020 was another fantastic year financially speaking.

Portfolio Value

12/31/19: $1,329,432.03

12/31/20: $1,624,972.12

Increase of $295,540.09 or 22.23%


This doesn't capture everything as it doesn't include things paid by cash and check, but it's an accurate comparison of identical spending year to year.

2019: $6,657/month

2020: $5,966/month

Clearly, the pandemic saved us a considerable amount of money, primarily from lack of travel and dining out.

If I subtract out spending for which we got reimbursed, the actual number drops to $5,325/month. I don't have the corresponding figure for 2019 so I can't compare that. However, just playing with that number - $5,325/month - and using the rule of thumb that you need 25 times annual expenses to retire, that would work out to $1,597,500. We're a bit over that so that's exciting. I realize our spending will creep back up once the pandemic ends, whenever that is, but theoretically if we could maintain the lifestyle we've had in 2020, we are right around where we would need to be to retire. Our actual target is more like $2.2 million but that's not so far off realistically.


Happy New Year to all. Have a great 2021.