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Net Worth Update: April 2020

Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time it’s Net Worth April 2020 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

After a month that seemed to drag by and will never be forgotten, I blinked and April was over! It’s crazy how it happens that once you get accustomed and adjusted to a situation, time seems to go faster again.

After the shock and awe of March with the stock market crashing and beginning a temporary 100% remote work situation, everything seemed to normalize in April as we all got used to our new situation and the market recaptured much of the March losses.

We’ve been doing fine over here and making the best of an unfortunate situation, but we’re definitely excited for things to somewhat go back to how they were beforehand. Who knows when that will be, but hoping it’s sometime in the near future!

While I don’t miss my work commute, it would be nice to be able to go out and do things again. We’ve tried to go on daily walks around the neighborhood and focused on starting and maintaining exercise routines to a varying degree of success. Otherwise it’s been a lot of reading, puzzles, and catching up with friends for us!

We also managed to go on a few hikes this month, while also taking an “urban hike” down to the Washington Monument one day, which was roughly 5 miles round trip. It was a great way to get some exercise and get outside!

Hike #9 on the year – Sky Meadows State Park
Hike #10 – Chimney Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park
Hike #11 – Urban Hike to Washington Monument!
Sunset on one of our many weeknight walks in DC!

As you could probably tell, April was fairly low key on the experiences side of things. Let’s see how the money situation turned out.

Net Worth

April breaks down as follows:

I gotta admit I totally didn’t see a rebound like this happening in April. While I certainly figured we would rebound at some point, I didn’t think it would be in one month! This monthly Net Worth gain is the highest it’s ever been (following the worst drop I ever had…)

While the market isn’t quite back to the levels it was at before, it’s still up a significant amount from the lows in March. I gotta admit, with half the country still closed down as well as millions of people out of jobs I have no idea how the stock market is doing so well right now.

I guess this is why I don’t try to time the market. If it doesn’t make sense now, it never will!

Cash: $35,573 – $3,228

Due to my new six-figure salary I have a lot of excess cash coming in. See the income section below to view what I bring in.

After making a few moves cash moves to my Roth in March, I’m planning on sticking with my large cash cushion. Sure I’m giving up potential better returns in the market for now, but I feel better having a large emergency fund on hand.

I also view this as a sort of Opportunity Fund, where if the markets do drastically decline again, or if housing becomes somewhat more affordable in the next year or so, I’m ready to invest some of this for much better prices than I’m seeing now.

401K: $101,376 – $11,670

Contributions this month totaled $1,769 (Employer Matching included).

A big rebound here and we’re back to six figures! My contributions slightly changed as I had to lower them in order to make sure I didn’t max out too early in the year. My employer will only contribute the 401k match if I contribute to each paycheck, so it’s essential that I don’t max out too early.

I take the simple approach to investing and have about 95% of this account in stocks (70/30 Domestic/International), and 5% in bonds.

Roth IRA: $23,787 – $2,785

No contributions this month, though I still have $1,000 left to officially max this out. Big rebound here as well!

I’m 100% invested in VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market) in this account after briefly owning a small percentage in bonds.

Brokerage: $14,546 – $1,673

No new investments here so this was all market gains.

I’m 100% invested in the low fee VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) in this account.

HSA: $7,471 – $742

$207 of this was my own contributions, with the rest being the same old story with market gains.

All my funds here are invested into a REIT, which hasn’t seemed to rebound quite as drastically as the total market.

Auto Value: $5,764 – ($582)

KBB value for my 2014 Ford Fusion with 93,000 miles on it.

Zero miles driven this month (not quite, I took it out once or twice, but I round to the nearest 500 miles here for simplicity) but one of the biggest monthly drops yet! I’ll never understand the calculations behind this, but figure it’s a better tracker than nothing.

Credit Cards: $(1,371) – ($190)

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!

Credit card spending was back to its usual level. There is still one large purchase I have on here that needs to be returned, so this number is also a bit inflated again, but will be paid off in May.

As always, see below for the full breakout of spending to see how I did against my budget.

Monthly Expenses:

With another future wedding expense hitting this books this month, I figured it was about time to finally break these expenses into their own category. It’s going to be a lot of money, and figure it’s better to track these separately. Thus, I retroactively moved the February engagement ring expense into this category as well.

I also adjusted my grocery budget upwards, and entertainment downwards to reflect the reality of the higher spending in the grocery category.

Other than this though, COVID has cancelled several events for us this year, leading to refunds, which is keeping our yearly discretionary expenses minimal (outside of paying for some future travel!)

Monthly Rent $1,200:

$1,200 is my portion of the rent for the 1 bed, 1 bathroom apartment I share with my partner.

Utilities/Internet $55:

We have a flat $15/each monthly water bill. We also got a great introductory rate on internet (the lowest bandwidth option) for $15/each per month. The remaining was my portion of the electric for $25 (we don’t pay for gas).

Groceries $273 / Restaurants $83:

We stocked up on plenty of groceries in April, including a Costco trip which is always expensive. It also seems like things are generally slightly more expensive at the grocery store nowadays which isn’t helping this category. We’re eating healthily through this downturn, which is the important thing, but the ever escalating costs here may give rise to some more detailed tracking in the future.

We’re looking to help out local restaurants a bit that are still open in the area. We’ve made a routine to order pick up every Thursday which allows us to get outside and go for a walk to pickup our meal.

Auto Insurance $0 / Auto Fuel $0 / Transport Other $0:

I paid for the next 6 months of my car insurance in January which now covers me through July.

No gas fill ups as my car barely moved all month. Outside of a trip or two hiking which didn’t require a fill up that is.

$0 across the board here, as there was virtually no travel (outside of hiking) to speak of! Definitely not complaining!

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 and I’m currently covered through the end of June.

Medical $0:

No medical costs this month.

Entertainment ($179):

Negative expenses… what’s the deal?? Well, we paid $275 for tickets to Camp FI Mid Atlantic in June 2020 after thoroughly enjoying ourselves at the event last year. Unfortunately, though understandably, the event was cancelled due to COVID so we were refunded the entire amount for the tickets.

Otherwise, we paid $81 each for a few nice bottles of whiskey to sip on during this quarantine, and to support a local distillery! Lastly as always, $15 for the monthly Spotify subscription.

Travel $340:

As COVID started to cancel many of our travel plans for the year, we began to realize that we have a lot of vacation days we will need to use. As the travel industry is facing a huge downturn, we’ve been noticing a huge number of sales.

We’ve been wanting to visit Acadia National Park up in northern Maine for quite some time now and figured this was as good a time as ever to make the plans. We found some very cheap Southwest flights in October and pulled the trigger! The total so far was $102 each for flights (thanks Companion Pass!), $131 each for a rental car, and $108 each for two nights up near Acadia for an Airbnb. We only need to book two nights in Portland to complete the up front costs for the trip.

We’re fully prepared in case we have to cancel, as the Airbnb and car rental company have favorable cancellation policies, but hoping we’re good to go by October!

Gifts/Donations $0:

No gifts or donations this month.

Misc $0:

No miscellaneous expenses again this month which is always nice!

Wedding $320:

New category here! After the big purchase of an engagement ring in February (for $873), my fiancee actually noticed her exact same ring was on sale for a significant discount in April. Thus, we bought the exact same ring for $742, and returned the other one which saved $131! Have I mentioned this is one of the many reasons she’s so amazing!? 🙂

The larger expense this month was $451 each in order to put our initial venue deposit down for our wedding. We officially have a date!! June 2021 is when it’s all going down. While we would have preferred a fall 2020 wedding, with everything going on and venues reserving fall dates for the weddings in the spring and summer that had to be cancelled, it just wasn’t going to work out this year.

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 4% match. HSA is both mine and employer contributions (my employer contributed $750 in January).

Wow 73% Savings rate this month!! This is one of my highest in quite some time.

It was helped by my raise taking effect this month, as well as the $1,200 government stimulus check hitting my bank account. I qualified for the entire check as my 2019 AGI was below the $75,000 phase out limit thanks to the pre-tax deductions that are taken out of my paycheck.

Otherwise it’s business as usual on the Savings front. My spending is well accounted for (outside of maybe those groceries…) and I’m fortunate that my income has still been robust through all this turmoil. I’m hoping things get back to normal soon though!

If you want to see how I’ve done in past months, check out my Net Worth Updates page to see over a year’s worth of reports.

How did your April turn out!?

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4 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: April 2020”

  1. Fair to say you had a fantastic April!
    Any particular reason your income has not been impacted at all?
    Congrats and keep up the good work!

  2. Awesome month! The cash position is very smart right now. Opportunity fund indeed.

    Timing the market is impossible, although after a severe drop it does always seem to rebound quickly to stabilize, this time at a lower point than before as there is still uncertainty. You’ll always see some strange moves, such as yesterday’s huge sell off in the final hour. Why that happened, I have no idea!

    I wonder how the government checks were used by people. For some (most likely people who read this blog), it went straight to savings/investments. Others will need it to cover immediate expenses due to job loss, others will spend it all. I don’t know how they can gather reliable data on it, but I’d be curious to see how it was used in the end.

    1. Exactly. The opportunity fund route is how I’m hoping it plays out. I agree that it would be fascinating to see the data on how it was used. I would imagine most people on the FI path had a good use for it 🙂

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