My Financial Journey 001 May 2017

A monthly series detailing my own experiences with money and how I use my own strategies in my life.

My Financial Journey 001 May 2017 David Shepherd

My Financial Journey 001 May 2017 David Shepherd

This is my first post in a monthly series I’m creating called, My Financial Journey. My normal guides provide great strategies you can use to automate your money, but I keep getting questions about what I specifically do with my own money.

Well, this series is here to answer that. I’ll be journaling most of my financial moves each month and posting them on the site. So let’s get this started.

Brand New House!

This was a big month for me. I bought a brand new house with my love, Krista. I had been living in a 2 unit rental property I own, temporarily over the last couple years.

My New House

My New House

Now if you don’t already know this, I consider myself a bit of a minimalist. If it were just me I would probably buy one of those modern “tiny houses” in the woods and be perfectly happy. However, I have 4 kids along with Krista and I, so at least for now, a “tiny house” was out of the question.

We happened to meet a woman who was struggling financially and needed to move, on top of that, the house was in the school district we wanted the kids in. It had enough bedrooms, close to the schools, and a nice yard for the kids.

It worked out perfect, so we bought it. We love it and the kids are loving it. We should be there at least until the kids move out 10 - 15 years from now.

Best of all, it’s in great shape and literally needs no work other than decorating!

Savings Goals

If you’ve read any of my guides, you know I’m a big fan of budgeting. It’s a great way to gain control of your money and stay out of debt. Part of my budget is for saving for goals. This year I’ve got some new goals and I’m making steady progress. Here is a screenshot of my current goals:

2017 Savings Goals

2017 Savings Goals

I continue to save for gifts for the year and it is on track. We’re also saving $6,000 this year for vacations and adventures. We’ll be taking a cruise down to several caribbean islands this summer. The trip is booked and the expense came out of our vacation savings goal.

I also moved my old emergency fund into Robinhood for further investing. This is a brand new emergency fund started this year for day to day unexpected issues that can arise like a car repair. It’s around $800 and growing. I plan on getting it to $2,200 by the end of the year to handle most issues that come up over the year.

Finally, on to my new car goal! I currently drive a paid off 2010 Toyota Prius and love it. It’s a great car, but the time will come when it’s getting old and not running like it use to, so.. I’m getting ready for that day.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

I’ve always loved the concept of the Tesla cars and when the announcement came out that they will be releasing the new Tesla Model 3 in 2017 for $35,000 I knew that would be my next car. Instead of taking out a car loan, I’m beginning to save now to buy it in cash in 4 ½ years. I’m off to a good start and looking forward to the day I get to drive off in my new Tesla debt free!


I’ve made a few stock transactions this month, but not too many.

I bought some shares of Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF VTI for my personal investment account I have in Robinhood. It is a ETF fund of the total stock market from Vanguard. It’s a great way to invest in the stock market in a diversified way with very low expenses. Love this ETF.

I also bought some shares of Snapchat SNAP for fun in my Robinhood account. I’m not totally convinced that Snapchat will be a great long term stock or company, but for now, it’s a trendy new app that I want to feel out. It’s more of a short term play. We’ll see how it does over the next year. If Facebook keeps stealing it’s features, it’s hard to tell if it will last.

That’s all I have for this month. I’ll be back next month with a new update.

-David Shepherd - Creator of Let’s Automate Your Life