Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time it’s Net Worth August 2019 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.
Whew, it’s been another busy month (as evidenced by my continued lack of consistent posting) but I’ve returned again for another net worth update. The weekly posting has continued to elude me as I settle in to my new apartment and create new routines after the move late last month. Sometimes there’s more important things in life going on that you need to focus on, but I hope to get back to it soon! Alrighty, with that quick update out of the way, let’s see what’s been keeping me so busy:
A whirlwind August started out with a weekend trip down to Roanoke, VA. My s/o and I scheduled this trip back in April (before we knew we were moving the weekend before) as it was a place we both really wanted to visit. We debated canceling due to the ongoing move, but decided to go anyways to give ourselves a break, and boy did we not regret it! It was an amazing weekend full of hiking the nearby mountains and exploring what the city had to offer. It definitely did not disappoint, and is somewhere we both want to go back to!
The following weekend we stayed around the city for some much needed unpacking and organizing time, but we were thwarted for the most part as my s/o was side hustling all weekend. While I think it’s amazing my girlfriend side hustles occasionally on the weekends, I must say I’m a little jealous as that takes away from the time we get to spend together! We’ll see if I can selfishly convince her to cut back on some of those hours at some point 🙂
The third weekend we took a trip up to New Jersey to go to a big party organized by one of my college friend’s parents. My s/o had never met any of my college friends (after nearly a year they were beginning to think she wasn’t real…) so it was great to introduce her and catch up with them!
The last weekend was fairly low key. I was planning to head home for the potential birth of my niece, but the timing just did not work out well so I unfortunately had to miss it due to work the next week. I got plenty of pictures though as she’s a cutie! Because of that I had a relaxing weekend around DC and did some biking and exploring around as I like to do.
While all this was going on there was the constant reminder of the unpacking, organizing, tidying up, coordinating selling things on Craigslist, getting used to cooking and cleaning for two people and of course the continual work stresses throughout. Safe to say it was a crazy month! I can luckily say it’s been much better so far in September 🙂
August breaks down as follows:
With all the hub bub and negative news stories in August you would have thought we were in a full blown recession!
Sure, while there were a few bad days and big dips, that’ll happen in the market. The only reason I was paying attention was so I could find an opportunity to invest more (we’ll get to that later :))
Despite all the market volatility, my Net Worth didn’t fare too bad. I do have to admit I was helped out by a 3 paycheck month, my first since January! There was a slight variance in PC to my spreadsheet as an interest payment posted over the weekend after I snapped the screenshot, but it’s close enough.
Cash: $27,690 – $307
Due to my above average salary I have a lot of excess cash coming in. See the income section below to view what I bring in.
Despite a 3 paycheck month, my cash account barely went up. This is due to two reasons:
First, it was a very high month of expenses, most of which were the non-credit card variety so it was taken out of my accounts during the month. Second, I took advantage of some of the market volatility and moved $2,000 into my Roth IRA during the biggest dip during the month. It’s about time I started moving money over there!
Next month should return to the normal levels of cash increases (hopefully).
Side note: 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: $88,473 – $1,046
Contributions this month totaled $2,700 (Employer Matching included).
The 3 paycheck month led to some robust automatic biweekly investing. The market lagged overall, but happy to see my savings outpace the overall down month in the market.
I take the simple approach to investing and have about 90% of this account in stocks (70/30 Domestic/International), and 10% in bonds.
Roth IRA: $15,429 – $1,782
As mentioned in the cash section, I took advantage of the big dip in the market this month to contribute $2,000 to my Roth IRA. This now brings my total to $3,000 contributed on the year, meaning I’m halfway there!
I’ll look for a few more potential buying opportunities as the rest of the year finishes out, but the plan is to max this out by year end.
This account is invested 100% in VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market).
Brokerage: $14,748 – ($270)
No contributions here, and there probably won’t be any for quite some time. I’m holding off on future contributions here until after I purchase a rental property (and funding my Roth IRA!)
Just moved along with the market here, and the overall market was down slightly for the month (had the month ended earlier this would have been much worse!)
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: $6,952 – $471
$317 of this was my own contributions with the rest just the market doing it’s thing. Looks like real estate was actually up while the rest of the market was down, which usually isn’t the case.
All my funds here are invested into a REIT.
Auto Value: $7,325 – ($86)
KBB value for my 2014 Ford Fusion with 84,000 miles on it.
Car value pretty much stayed the same despite putting nearly 1,500 miles on it this month. There was a lot of driving with the two out of town trips!
Credit Cards: $(686) – $281
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!
It was a massive spending month, as you’ll see, but not much of it was on credit cards.
As always, see below for the full breakout of spending to see how I did against my budget.
Yikes. Over $4,000 spent this month is quite the budget buster… It’s the most I’ve spent in a month since having LASIK surgery, and almost had me crying “Uncle” by the time it was over.
With the new apartment and projected expenses, I also reworked my budget to more accurately reflect the rest of the year’s spending, though kept the monthly total the exact same at $2,450.
It’s best to save the explanations for the details…
Monthly Rent $1,888:
As mentioned in last month’s update, my old apartment lease did not run out until mid August, meaning I had to pay double rent for half the month. This was an unfortunate situation, but there really was no way around it as I couldn’t find anyone to sublease for only two weeks.
My new monthly rent is going to be $1,200 which is slightly higher than it was last apartment (though as you’ll see under Utilities/Internet, that subsequent decrease more than made up for the slight increase here). My girlfriend and I split rent costs, but I pay slightly more than her as I make nearly double her salary, which only seemed fair.
New apartment means new utilities! I’ve found this place is much cheaper than my old place which justified lowering the budget here. My s/o and I split utilities expenses right down the middle.
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 $20 (we don’t pay for gas) so the electric will really be the only variation here month to month. Loving how much lower this category is per month!
Groceries $143 / Restaurants $130:
Since we are planning on combining most meals, we also decided to split our grocery costs down the middle too (to avoid one of us feeling like the were paying a lot more than the other based on who went shopping). It’ll be interesting to see where our baseline spending here turns out, but not bad for the first month!
Restaurant spending was also up, mostly due to the two trips we took. We decided not to bring any food to Roanoke (thanks to the craziness of the move), and also treated ourselves to a couple nice meals after we were exhausted from hiking.
Auto Insurance $0 / Fuel $152 / Other $154:
After paying for 6 months up front last month I’m now covered through January 2020. I adjusted my budget up from $55 to $60 to reflect the slightly higher insurance premiums I’m paying in DC.
Nearly 1,500 miles of driving between Roanoke and New Jersey (and work of course) leads to some high gas costs!
While last month dealt with all the “Other” auto costs of moving into DC, this $154 was for my prorated year of Virginia taxes on my car. Not going to miss this annual cost!
Cell Phone $240:
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.
This was my payment to them for the second half of the year, so I’m now covered through the end of December.
No medical costs this month.
Ouch… No easy way to tally this up so let’s start with the big ones:
$275 for Camp FI Mid Atlantic 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there this year, so I was all on board to get another one for next year! Spending money to hang out with and learn from this FI community is something I value quite a bit, and find it worth spending the money on.
$150 for the fantasy football dues for my two leagues with friends from high school and college. Though I have a chance to win money here (like the $775 I won last December!) it’s better to just write this off as an expense and have fun following along and trash talking with friends. Though it’s hefty, it’s also some I have fun with and value.
$67 for various bar trips throughout the month, including a few breweries while visiting Roanoke. $30 for a lagging trolley tour ticket I owed my parents from our trip to Park City last month. It was fun to see the city and hear the history!
$16 for two tickets to see Natural Bridge State Park (I don’t mind paying fees to help preserve natural wonders), and $15 for monthly Spotify rounds it out.
FinCon 2019 was hosted in DC in September, however, it was fairly far away from our apartment. In order to fully experience the conference, we decided to hop in on an Airbnb with friends a few blocks away. This cost $195, but for 5 nights it was a steal.
The other $61 was for my portion of two Airbnbs we stayed at in Roanoke.
The New Jersey was free as we stayed at our friends house after the party which was super convenient!
In anticipation of my niece arriving, my brother hosted a “diaper party”? I’ve never heard of it before, but apparently it’s the male equivalent to a baby shower. While I couldn’t make it, I had my dad purchase some diapers to give as a gift, which came out to be $20.
$215 for new apartment things we needed to buy such as: rugs, rug pads, shelves, a dresser, shoe rack, kitchen cart, trash can, etc. There was quite a bit!
$85 for a year of a city bikeshare membership. At $2 an individual ride this is a steal! I feel like I’ve already gotten my money’s worth out of it in less than a month!
$50 to replenish my EZPass for the tolls for the New Jersey trip. $35 to replenish my metro card for my shorter (preferable) commute to work.
$27 for my quarterly haircut and $22 for a trip to Target for various toiletries I was running low on.
Wowzers, this was a long expense section to write!
Here’s the overall picture:
$65 of extra income this month which was nice. This was all from selling things in my apartment I did not need anymore due to the move. $25 for my old TV stand, $15 each for my floor lamp and bookshelf, and $10 for my small ottoman.
Thanks to the magical 3 paycheck month, I still managed to save 56% of my income, despite spending over $4,000. I’ll take it as a win, but the huge budget busting month is still a disappointment as it’ll be a lot tougher to hit some of my other goals for the year.
We’ll look to rebound in September and end the year on a strong note nonetheless!
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 August turn out!?