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Net Worth Update: August 2018

Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time its Net Worth August 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 July.

August

After an extremely hectic and busy July, this month was mostly spent relaxing. Of the 3 weekends included in this report (since the first weekend of August was included in last months), two were in DC, while one was spent traveling.

The first was a much needed lazy weekend. I spend the weekend reading, working out and catching some rays at the pool. It also happened to be a zero spend weekend! This was much needed after the very expensive July.

The next weekend I got back to my outdoorsy ways and hit up one of the Virginia state parks for a hike. This was a new hike and I’ve been slowly crossing off hikes from the massive list I put together earlier this year. Hopefully I can get to them all by year end!

That weekend I also took a run down to Teddy Roosevelt island. Running in DC is awesome as there are some pretty cool sights to see (cover photo) to distract me from how much I dislike running!

The last weekend I traveled up to Minnesota for Camp FI Midwest. It was an amazing time and very much worth the cost (which was reflected in July’s report). I wrote a post earlier about the experience so feel free to check it out!

All in all it was a great month! Now what you’re really here for:

Net Worth

August breaks down as follows:

I’m now including a Personal Capital screen shot as well to match up against these numbers, just in case people don’t believe me 😉 The dollar off is just rounding by PC.

A new record!! This beats January as the largest month to month dollar increase that I’ve ever had. I suppose getting 3 paychecks (which also had some OT hours in there) in August really helped drive this one, but I was still thrilled to see it nonetheless!

Cash: $15,859 – $1,280

Due to my above average salary I have a lot of excess cash coming in. In addition, I’ve still been getting paid for some OT hours which has really helped to increase this. Maybe I should just consider this my side hustle! 🙂

Despite paying off a large credit card bill from last month, this still increased due to the extra paycheck.

I don’t usually keep my cash this high, but I’m currently saving up for a rental property for my next big investment.

401K: $67,080 – $3,764

Contributions this month totaled $2,811 (Employer Matching included). The extra paycheck led to the uptick in contributions.

Another good month for the market also meant some great returns in my biggest account!

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

Roth IRA: $12,258 – $300

I maxed out my Roth IRA back in March, 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: $14,167 – $413

No contributions here, so just normal ebbs and flows of my investments. It great when the market does well!

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: $2,792 – $376

I finally crossed the $2,500 threshold where I could invest these dollars! I immediately put this into a REIT in order to diversify a bit from my stock heavy portfolio.

Contributions totaled $331 so I’ve already seen a bit of gains!

Auto Value: $9,026 – ($291)

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.

I had to pay my local vehicle tax this month. The vehicle was assessed around this exact value which made me feel good that I’m reporting this accurately!

Credit Cards: $(615) $1,656

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!

The big change was from me paying off a very large credit card bill from July while maintaining lower expenses in August.

In addition, I’ve finally just switched to pulling the exact month end credit card charges number, instead of showing the statement end date (usually the 4th or 5th). This trimmed off a couple days for this particular month.

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

Auto Loan: $(6,526) – $291

The value on this increases as the amount of principle on the loan decreases with my monthly payment. Just chipping away at it at this point.

I got the loan with a 1.9% Interest rate, so I’m keeping it for now, though I’ve talked about the tough decision of whether to just pay it off or not.

Monthly Expenses:

Finally back under budget for the month for the first time since May! I’ve adjusted my budget around slightly as my rent has increased, but kept it at the bottom line total of $2,663, which is what I’m hoping to be under by year end.

Here are the details:

Monthly Rent $1,154:

Have to love living in a HCOL (High Cost of Living) area right? This is for a 2 BR apartment 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.

My rent formerly was 1,131, but our lease renewed mid August at a higher rate. The new full monthly rent will be $1,185 starting in September.

Utilities $74 / Internet & Cable $37:

Definitely under budgeted this year for utilities, not a big deal though as I just cash flow the overage with my savings.

I’ve officially cut the cord from cable though! I’m going to go a whole year without it and see how it impacts my life. I have a feeling I won’t miss it, but I suppose we will see.

I lowered the budget here (since I don’t need it anymore) by the same amount I increased the rent for the month.

Groceries $135 / Restaurants $30:

Grocery spending was at about it’s normal range.

I only ate out at restaurants a couple times this month leading to the low cost.

Car Payment $302:

Monthly car payment to pay off my loan. Less than 2 years left now! It’s doubtful I let it last that long, but we’ll see.

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, though I’ve been debating whether to just pay it off now.

Auto Insurance $0:

I’m covered on auto insurance through the end of the year so you will see the YTD negative variance even out by year end.

Auto Fuel $53 / Auto Other $271:

I have a lengthy commute to work – 60 miles round trip – leading to high fuel costs each month. Though with my promotion I’ve been walking to work a lot more recently which has helped bring this cost down. The Other category includes any maintenance, repairs, taxes, etc that I budget for.

In the Other category I had to pay the annual vehicle tax that my county mandates. Ouch. While I pay lower in car insurance around here, this bill typically makes up for it.

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 am covered through the end of the year now.

Medical $0:

No medical expenses this month and ideally the only remaining expense will be a small dental charge for an appointment later this year.

You can read about my unpreparedness and what led to the big YTD negative here.

Entertainment $317:

Another over budget month… but this time it wasn’t as much in my control!

$186 was for a rental tux for my friends wedding. I’m a groomsman and really didn’t have a say in the matter which was a real bummer. Weddings are expensive!

$79 was for lagging costs from my Newport trip last month. Turns out the groceries and alcohol we bought as a group were a bit more expensive than my friends had thought…

The rest was $15 for Spotify, $5 Virginia state park entrance fee, $15 for beers at a Choose FI DC Happy Hour meetup, and $17 on some beers to bring to Camp FI Midwest.

If you take out the lagging vacation and wedding costs, I only spent $52 on entertainment this month which is super low for me!

Travel $77:

$45 was from a lagging Uber trip to the Providence airport from Newport. It was an expensive uber, but when I laid out my travel options for the trip, doing this was by far the cheapest choice.

$32 for 4 nights of parking at the BWI long term economy lot while away on the Camp FI trip.

Gifts $0:

No gifts this month, but with two weddings in September this will be much bigger next month.

Misc $69:

$20 for monthly laundry, $49 for renters insurance. My roommate and I were able to split a policy for a year which made it fairly cheap.

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 (my employer contributed $750 in January). Interest is from Bank Accounts only.

Did I mention I love those 3 paycheck months? The total income this month was by far the most I’ve ever had (been tracking since 2015) which led to the big savings rate.

I haven’t been factoring in my OT hours into my projections, but because of that it really looks like my stretch goal of 55% is back in play! In addition, I’ve recently started up a small side hustle which is going to help me bring in a few extra dollars each month. Details to come shortly!

In the meantime – check out the Net Worth Updates page to see how I’ve done in past months for comparison.

How did your August turn out?

18 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: August 2018”

  1. August was a three paycheck month for us too. Man is it awesome to see those numbers!! If only that was every month haha. And a full no spend weekend, I’m impressed. The only way we seem to manage that is if we’re camping off grid somewhere that doesn’t involve paying for a ferry.

        1. Yes standard spending would still be needed (groceries, car fuel, etc though would definitely try to minimize), but nothing discretionary like entertainment/restaurants/etc. It would be interesting to see how it goes!

    1. Ah that’s a bummer! The only reason we get that is because of many companies going with paying bi-weekly which leads to 26 paychecks each year instead of semi monthly which leads to 24 paychecks each year. It is awesome!

      Just about everything is in index funds except for about 5% of my 401k which is in company stock and $2K of my brokerage account in an individual stock

  2. I love three paycheck months. Mine are June and December. Out of curiosity, what numbers did you include in your numerator and denominators to arrive at 71.6% savings rate? I struggle with how to go about accurately calculating my savings rate.

    1. Me too! Honestly, I’ve seen so many different calculations on how to determine your savings rate. It comes down to whether you want to do it based off gross income or not. I calculate mine the way that the BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis) does. (Here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.bea.gov/2017/08/21/measuring-how-much-people-save-an-inside-look-at-the-personal-saving-rate/amp/ )

      The numbers are in my chart! Total income minus total expenses divided by total income.

      1. I try to stay true to the Bureau of Economic Analysis method as well. It is slightly more complicated than using gross income but provides a more standard result. Thanks for your reply.

  3. Hey YFK! Been on vacation so I’m just catching up on your posts. Great month!! What the heck is a vehicle tax?! Never heard of that, but it’s the only bad news in this report!

    1. Hey Brian! No excuses! 😂😜 Hope you had a great time on vacation!

      Ugh I’d never heard of it either, so you can imagine my surprise when I had close to a $300 bill out of nowhere to pay when I first moved out here a couple years ago… very annoying but at least I budget for it now. It’s basically just a tax on your vehicle value, I think it’s to encourage less vehicles in the county but I can’t really do much about it since I need mine for work.

  4. I did, it was awesome! You’d probably have liked it from what I’ve read. Saw tons of national parks and sights. Rocky Mountain, Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Devils Tower, Little Bighorn, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Craters of the Moon and Great Basin.

    That’s crazy on the vehicle tax! Very annoying indeed.

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