November 2017 NCF Update: We Can See Through The Forest

Welcome to the monthly update of our house fund goal, Nuestra Casa Fund (NCF). Our NCF goal is to save enough before we retire early, to fully fund our home purchase. We’ll measure our progress by providing a monthly update against our benchmark. Our number one rule: Never, nunca, touch this money unless it’s for the house. We’ll achieve our goal by continuing to work at our full-time jobs.

As far as investing, our action plan is to continue maxing out retirement accounts, while saving for the house and fulfilling the rest of the buckets we deem necessary to retire early.

Drop by drop se llena el vaso

Gota a gota se llena el vaso. That’s a Spanish saying which means that drop by drop the cup will fill. And that’s how we feel about our goal. Each additional percentage of savings at a time gets us closer to our next life. Every paycheck contributes to our future home. This whole thing feels surreal at times. It will probably continue to feel like this until that one day when we get to have the keys to our new home, totally paid for.

The beauty of this goal is that once we’re ready to buy, we’ll get to enjoy our place stress-free. We won’t have to try and get promotions to afford it or work at full-time jobs to pay a big-ass mortgage. We’ll be able to build beautiful memories in a place that a bank can’t claim as an asset on their balance sheet.

October was another terrific month for our house fund goal. Let’s see how we did.

November NCF Update

We expect to meet our goal by August 2018. The allocation for our goal is 80% bonds and 20% cash. We decided on this allocation so that our goal can keep up with inflation, without risk of major losses during a downturn. Our goal is not to seek huge returns but to manage risk.

Below are our October results along with a year-to-date update.

  Year-to-date NCF Update
MonthPercent of Goal MetBenchmarkPercent Increase Towards 100%
January 201723.9%23.9%Month that we started tracking this goal.
September (new target)78%77.2%28.9%

Last month we saw an increase of 2.5% towards our march to 100% of funding our goal. We’ve now saved 80.5% of the funds for our future home purchase.

Say what?!

That’s right, we saved over 80% for our future house. It’s not every day that the numbers are reversed. Usually, people aim to save 20% and finance 80%. We are our own bank and we have the best customer service: no worries about approvals and need to sign a ton of papers when we buy, so saving 100% for our home purchase is the way to go.

We can see the deep forest branches moving aside and can feel the sunshine on our faces.

So close to reaching this goal. It’s freaking awesome!

We hope that we can get further ahead of the benchmark before year-end since we have the Roths to max out come January. December will be a three-paycheck month. Those are our favorite kinds of months!

NCF returns

One neat thing about having all the funds in one place is that we can easily see the returns for the month without having to go to too many places. One account, one screen gives us the entire picture. The savings returned $156.11 for the month: The bond funds were down by $74.27 and we had income returns of $230.38.

The rest of the savings came from our butts spending time in the cubicles.

What’s our formula to fully fund our future home?

Easy, we saved to become financially independent first. As we were nearing our FI goal, we started to save for a house. With the help of the investment gains and by continuing to save diligently, we’re doing in a couple of years what takes consumers decades to accomplish under the traditional homeownership path.

The formula is not complicated, my friends. Pay off consumer debt, don’t buy junk that doesn’t add value to your happiness, look for affordable rent, and invest.

What personal finance goals do you have for this month? 


After dedicating 13 years of his career to Vanguard, José retired from the corporate world at the young age of 44. During his tenure at Vanguard, he expertly coordinated the production of both electronic and print educational materials for 401(k) participants. Now, he relishes in his early retirement, cherishing time spent with his family, indulging in his favorite hobbies, seeking out new experiences, and savoring meals in the comfort of his own backyard.

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