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Net Worth Update: April 2018

Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time its Net Worth April 2018 edition:

For those that are new, I will be posting these on a monthly basis to show my progress towards Financial Independence.  The purpose of these is not to brag, or show off what I have, merely to show that little by little, even over the course of just 28-31 days, much progress can be made.

In addition, by tracking and posting this on the blog where everyone can see, I’m hoping this helps to hold me accountable to my goals. Where slip ups and unchecked spending can easily be passed off by keeping it to myself, with other people watching it should help to keep me in line! (Nothing like trying to avoid public humiliation to keep you motivated!)

If you haven’t already, check out last month’s report from March.

April

I’m not sure about you all but April absolutely flew by!

Perhaps that was because I took a 10 day trip to Europe for the latter two weekends of the month. I won’t rehash the trip here since I talked enough about it over the last few posts, but (SPOILER ALERT) it was a great time!

The prior two weekends were much more low key. I knew I had a big, expensive trip upcoming so I purposefully kept expenses to the bare minimum and pursued some more frugal activities.

The first weekend my parents were in the area and stayed for a day. We all went and walked around DC for the day as the cherry blossoms were in full bloom at the beginning of the month (it feels like so long ago at this point!)

The next weekend was more of the same. We finally started getting some better weather so I checked out the cherry blossoms again one last time for the year and also went on a little hike in the area!

That is one thing I’m really looking forward to doing more of this spring/summer and am already compiling a list of trails/hikes I want to accomplish in the year.

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve just outside of DC

All in all a couple very relaxing weekends which were much needed prior to the busy and fast paced vacation!

Now for the real reason you’re here!

Net Worth

April breaks down as follows:

It was a normal month with my Financials, so not too much on the surface to report.

To the details!

Cash: $11,844 – ($78)

This balance is a little understated as I had taken out a bunch of cash for my trip to Europe to have as a backup just in case. Very little of this cash was actually spent (I used credit cards mostly everywhere) so I just need to deposit it again. This will true up again next month.

This month I plan to (finally) optimize my bank accounts by switching to online savings accounts that give me a much higher interest rate than my current bank gives me.

This has been a long time coming, and I’m running out of excuses so this is something that’s going to get done this next month!

401K: $55,732 – $1,777

Contributions this month totaled $1,626 (Employer Matching included). Thus the market gave me a little bit extra.

I don’t plan on touching this money for quite a while, so there are no worries here watching the market continue to waver.

My balance is 100% in stocks right now, split roughly 70/30 – Domestic/International.

Roth IRA: $11,348 – ($17)

I maxed out my Roth IRA last month, so this will flow with the market for the rest of the year.

This account is all invested in a Vanguard mutual fund for Mid-Cap stocks.

Brokerage: $12,775 – $132

No contributions here, so just normal ebbs and flows of the market.

I originally invested $12K into the account, $10K in the low fee VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) and $2K in a high yield dividend paying stock.

HSA: $1,755 – $218

I opened my HSA account at the end of November last year after turning 26. This gain was straight from monthly contributions, (minus the quarterly fee I’m charged).

Unfortunately, this is all held in a Cash position right now as I need a minimum of $2,500 to invest in a NTF (no transaction fee) mutual fund.

As I’m on track to max this out this year, I’ll hit this mark later this year and will immediately invest it.

Auto Value: $10,188 – ($289)

I have my Auto Value pegged at $2,500 above what the remaining value on my Auto Loan is. The negative value is simply monthly depreciation. The reason for this? Simply put, that was the value of the down payment I placed on my car (2014 Ford Fusion).

I verify through Kelly Blue Book each month so that if I desperately needed to, I could sell my car for around that value, which has always been the case. However, I plan on having this car for a long time so ideally the need to sell before the loan is paid off never actually comes up.

Credit Cards: $(1,094) $6

I pay off my credit cards in full every month so this is just the monthly balance. By doing this I build credit and get free travel rewards and cash back while paying the credit card companies nothing in interest!

This number is what I pull from my credit card statements which ends on the 4th of every month.

So technically there are a couple expenses from next month being counted in here but this is what’s easiest for me to track so I’m not too worried about it.

Credit Card expenditures were about the same this month. See below for the full breakout of spending to see how I did against my budget.

Auto Loan: $(7,688) – $289

The value on this increases as the amount of principle on the loan decreases with my monthly payment. Glad to see it’s under $8,000 now!

I got the loan with a 1.9% Interest rate, so I’m keeping it for now, though as the balance gets lower, it’s going to be more tempting to pay this off and be done with it, even if the math may not make sense.

Monthly Expenses:

Overall not bad considering this includes all the expenses for my 10 day European vacation! I was pretty frugal the rest of the month I wasn’t on vacation, so you may recognize some of the totals being close to what was reported in my vacation recap post.

The details:

Monthly Rent $1,131:

Have to love living in a HCOL (High Cost of Living) area right? This is for a 2 BR apartment with my friend in which we split the cost. We could have found a place a little bit cheaper, however it would have been much further away from where we wanted to be (leading to an even longer commute), and with much less perks than what we have now.

Utilities $65 / Internet & Cable $70:

I’m beginning to think I simply under budgeted for utilities… whoops. Luckily its not by too much and I can absorb this extra cost in other areas.

Internet/Cable is pretty standard around $65 as I split the costs with my roommate every month. We ordered a movie on demand this month and split the cost of that.

Groceries $77 / Restaurants $174:

Since I was gone for 10 days, the grocery spending was naturally lower as I did not have to restock my fridge and pantry for that time.

Restaurant costs were solely the ones from my European trip.

Car Payment $302:

Monthly car payment to pay off my loan. Less than 2.5 more years now! (If I don’t pay it off sooner). With only a 1.9% Interest rate I believe I can beat that payment towards interest with returns through the market, which is the only reason I haven’t paid it off so far.

Auto Insurance $0:

I paid in full in January for the next 6 months to get a discount on the total price. This price is much lower than what I used to pay!

Auto Fuel $76 / Auto Other $0:

I have a lengthy commute to work – 60 miles round trip – leading to high fuel costs each month. The 10 days of no driving definitely helped bring the fuel costs down this month.

The Other category includes any maintenance, repairs, taxes, etc that I budget for.  Nothing spent on that this month, though I will be due for an oil change in the next month or two.

Cell Phone $0:

I’m still under my parents plan so this is my portion of the bill. I pay my parents directly up front for 6 months at a time. I’m currently paid through June at the moment.

Medical $0:

No medical expenses this month, though the bills from my health scare a little while ago are coming due which you’ll see next month. (Hint: they were pretty high).

Entertainment $340:

My two frugal weekends prior to leaving for vacation were essential in keeping this cost low! The only other cost in here besides the vacation entertainment expenses was my monthly Spotify charge (which also is a Christmas gift to my siblings).

As mentioned in the recap, the entertainment expenses were a majority bar related, but also included several walking tours, the Guinness and Jameson factories in Ireland and a morning at a Turkish bath house. All great times!

Travel $397:

All my flights for the vacation were booked or covered with Travel reward points (from regular credit card spending) in prior months. Thus, this is a combination of the hotels/hostels, trains/buses and all the taxis/metro I took while abroad.

Technically some of those taxis were entertainment related, but I wasn’t about to split all those out and just lumped them all in here for simplicity.

Gifts $0:

No gift giving this month. A vast majority of my gift spending is at the end of the year around Christmas time when I get Christmas gifts and make donations.

Misc $40:

$27 for my (basically) quarterly haircut, roughly $5 for a parking meter while my parents and I explored the tidal basin, and the remaining $8ish were the other expenses from the vacation.

Savings Rate

Here’s the overall picture:

*Note – Take Home is my after tax pay (what shows up in my bank account). 401K is only my contributions. 401K Match is my company’s 3% match. HSA is both mine and employer contributions.

44% savings rate: not bad considering the trip!

Our yearly merit raises went into effect at work this month, which definitely helps out more on the income front.

It’s my first time dipping below a 50% savings rate this year, but even with this and last month, I’m still on pace to reach my stretch savings rate goal of 50%!

Check out the Net Worth Updates page to see how I’ve done in past months.

How did your April turn out?

12 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: April 2018”

  1. That’s a good savings rate for a month with a vacation included! My month wasn’t so kind, but I knew that coming in. The triple whammy of a federal tax bill, state tax bill and 6 month car insurance bill all hit me in April which led to a slightly negative savings rate. 🙁 However, even with April included my YTD savings rate is still 57% so it didn’t hurt me too much in the grand scheme. Aiming to get right back on track in May.

    I too will be making the switch to an online savings account for my cash reserve. I’m so sick of getting a bank statement showing literally pennies in interest every month. It’s not even worth the paper it’s printed on. At least with an online account, I can make a couple hundred bucks (depending on how much I put in, of course). I don’t know why it took this long to take action, but maybe the rising interest rate climate is spurring me on.

    Once I do that, I feel I’ll have my money working for me the best it can. Given that I don’t have the benefit of a 401(k) at my job, I max out my HSA and Roth IRA and put anything else I save into my brokerage account.

    The cherry blossoms looked beautiful! Of the places I’ve been, DC is near the top of the list. I just love the sights and all the history. I’ve visited five times (I think) in my life, most recently five years ago. Aside from the high cost of living, you live in a great place!

    1. Thank you! Woof yes that’s a big whammy of a month there, but still an awesome savings rate on the year! I’m sure you’ll bounce back just fine 🙂

      Absolutely agree on the tiny interest payments though, they were getting so annoying! It will be nice to actually start getting something for them holding our money.

      Cherry blossom season is one of my favorite times of the year! DC is definitely a fantastic place to live, but yes the high cost of living is so annoying. It’s really all about the trade offs!

  2. Hah yeah, peak cherry blossom season absolutely feels like ages ago! I’m always hesitant to fight the crowds there but the photos certainly help make up for it!

    I feel you on the wanting to pay off debt early, even if it’s not the most optimal choice math-wise. Granted my student loan interest rate was a bit higher than your car loan, but there was no need for me to pay it off so early in the year. But especially after last month’s accidental way overpayment, I just wanted the damn thing gone. The good news is whether you pay off the car loan or let it ride, you really can’t lose either way!

    Uh oh, *only* a 44% savings rate. For shame 😉 Congrats on a great month!

    1. Yes it was so cool to see for the first time!

      Good point though, I think I’ll re evaluate where I’m at at the end of the year and maybe pay it off then! Maybe not though cause I’ll need the find for a potential rental property? Idk we’ll see haha

  3. You’ll notice I didn’t even mention the high interest savings account in my recap this week… because I’d completely forgotten about it until after I published the post. Whoops. I’m working on the same keep things frugal for half the month since we’re traveling the second half of this month. I’ll be thrilled if we can get anywhere near 50% for May, but we shall see.

    1. I did notice! But I figured you were still planning on doing it in the near future 🙂

      That’s the best part about a flexible approach to spending. It’s good to know when more expensive weekends are coming up so you can adjust the weekends before/after to make sure you hit your goals!

  4. Looks, great. I’m new to blogging and just found you Blog. I definitely have some catching up to do. I will read up on your back story later. How old are you? I figure your in your 20’s like me (I’m 29). You’re doing awesome!

    Look forward to future posts Young Fire Knight! (the name is pretty dope)

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