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Net Worth Update: February 2019

Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time its Net Worth February 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 January.

February

As the shortest month of the year, this was probably a month where not as much got done right? Wrong!

The only problem was that looking back, I realized I hardly took any pictures! 🙁

I suppose you could argue that’s good and bad, as it means I was not on my phone as much, but no pictures is still sad!

Anyways, I went on one hike this month while the weather was nice. These were the only pictures I had! The other weekends were either snowy, rainy, some kind of mix, or just freezing cold which lent itself to bundling up indoors when possible.

Another weekend I made my way down to the Raleigh/Durham area to meet my significant others parents! (well, one parent at least, the other I met a couple weeks before and was on the above hike!)

It was a pretty great weekend full of getting cultured, breweries and meeting a wonderful blogger friend (hey Budget Epicurean!), and I mentioned it in an earlier post about how I think the area could be a great place for the journey to, and post-FI.

Lastly, my little brother plays Division I lacrosse so I try to make at least one of his games per year to support him. The furthest south his team was playing this year was in Philadelphia, so I made the trip up one weekend to see him. They got a win!

Ok now to the reason why you are all here!

Net Worth

February breaks down as follows:


Another solid month for the net worth! It was a pretty standard month from a financial standpoint.

Just about all my savings and investing are automated at this point so it doesn’t leave me with too many decisions to make – which is exactly how I like it.

My focus has really been on the potential real estate side and where to invest this excess cash I have. To be determined!

Cash: $20,846 – $1,147

Due to my above average salary I have a lot of excess cash coming in. In addition, I’ve got a side hustle charging electric scooters that helps to bring in extra cash too. See the income section below to view what I bring in.

This is a fairly normal increase for my monthly cash holdings so nothing new to report here.

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: $75,023 – $3,381

Contributions this month totaled $1,596 (Employer Matching included).

Nearly $2,000 in gains this month is pretty great! It’s been nothing but up so far this year, so we’ll see how far we can ride this wave.

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: $12,741 – $433

No contributions this month so this is just market gains. I’ve contributed $1,000 so far this year, so still a ways to go to max this out.

This account is invested 100% in VTSAX (Vanguard Total Stock Market).

Brokerage: $13,987 – $554

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.

My high yield dividend paying stock has not been doing great for most of the time that I’ve had it. But in recent months it’s really took a turn for the better and has been a big part of why this account has been up in the past couple months (along with the total market of course).

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: $5,133 – $257

$212 of this was my own contributions with the rest just the market doing it’s thing.

Finally crossed $5K!! Though this is my smallest investing account, it’s fun to watch this thing grow little by little.

All my funds here are invested into a REIT.

Auto Value: $7,331 – ($227)

KBB value for my 2014 Ford Fusion with 77,000 miles on it.

Credit Cards: $(1,254) – $569

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!

I’m just finishing up reaching the $3,000 minimum spend on the Chase Business Ink Unlimited. I’ll soon get 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to use in the future which will be great! This travel hacking saga has been working out very well so far.

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

Monthly Expenses:

Despite an eye popping amount of Travel spending, I still came fairly close to hitting my budget for the month!

Here are the details:

Monthly Rent $1,185:

Have to love living in a HCOL (High Cost of Living) area right? This is for a 2 BR apartment in which I split the cost with a roommate. 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/Internet $97:

I decided to combine my utilities and internet lines as the internet was not going to really be changing all year so there wouldn’t be much to say on that front.

My apartment building has been strangely warm all winter so I haven’t really had to turn on the heat at all. After overrunning my utilities budget last year I’ll take this start!

Groceries $132 / Restaurants $96:

Pretty standard month here as this is right about what my groceries averaged last year. After tracking all my grocery expenditures in February I’ll be coming out with a post soon on how I keep these costs low!

Restaurants were about normal. I think now that I have a significant other, this category may trend a bit higher this year as we enjoy going out for a couple meals per month and trying out different restaurants.

Auto Insurance $0 / Fuel $60 / Other $18:

I’m covered through July on my Auto Insurance after paying for 6 months up front.

Fuel wise, I filled up twice last month, not as much hiking (and thus driving) on the weekends helped my fuel to last a bit longer, as well as more walking to work!

The “Other” costs this month was $16 in tolls to/from Philadelphia, and $2 as a tip to the valet attendant at my parents hotel who allowed me to park in front for 30 minutes while I grabbed a quick breakfast with my parents.

Normally they would have made me use the whole valet service, which would have been $40… but it was nice of them to let me leave it out there like that!

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 now covered through the end of June after paying in January.

Medical $0:

No medical expenses this month. Ideally I will only have to pay out of pocket for my semi annual dental cleanings.

Here’s hoping for a happy, healthy year!

Entertainment $83:

$68 for a weekend full of breweries and fun with my significant other in Raleigh/Durham. There was some food mixed in here too, but my policy is to make expense tracking easy and splitting out food from booze on a receipt does not make that easy.

The same goes for my restaurant line above, there was likely a drink or two mixed in there as well. I really just take a quick look to see which category took up a majority of the bill and then classify the whole expense as such.

It’s not precise, but I’m less concerned about the individual categories, and more focused on how I’m doing at an overall level!

Otherwise just $15 for monthly Spotify.

Travel $763:

Wow… lots of travel booked this month! Bad news is this is a whole bunch of money… Good news is, this likely consists of most of my yearly travel!

There are still a few trips out there remaining to book… but I’ll get to those soon enough.

Where to start… $47 for bus tickets to NYC for the first weekend of March Madness with my college friends. I’m still a fan of taking the bus and think it is a great, cheap way to travel!

$256 on flights to Atlanta, GA for my sisters college graduation in May.

$63 for lodging in/near Wilmington, NC for a June wedding and then weekend getaway with my significant other (costs split with her).

Finally, $396 for flights to Salt Lake City, UT for a week in July with my family for a nice vacation! This is a vacation my parents like to do every other year with the family to go see somewhere new, and cover the entire cost of lodging for everyone which is extremely generous.

Atlanta, Wilmington, and Salt Lake City are all going to be new destinations I’ve never been to so this is pretty exciting!

Gifts/Donations $0:

No gifts or donations this month. I’m debating just making my donations in big chunks throughout the year (potentially to help with min spend requirements on future credit card openings), instead of a recurring monthly expense.

Does anyone have strong feelings against doing something like this?

Misc $20:

$20 for regular monthly laundry.

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).

Coming off January which was my highest income earning month ever, it was a bit disappointing to see February income at the lowest it’s been since last May.

My W2 earnings were normal, but my side hustle earnings were way down which led to this mark.

Here were my side hustle earnings:

A couple factors led to this low number for the month (my lowest since I started).

  1. There was a lot of poor weather around DC in February. Due to snow, rain and cold temps through the month, there was probably a little over a week where the scooters were grounded and not available to ride (or charge).
  2. Bird (the company I charge for) changed it’s pricing and charging model. The Base rate used to be $5/scooter but they lowered that to $4/scooter in February. In addition, they are now allowing scooters to be ridden later into the night, which makes it tough on chargers like me who prefer to be in bed earlier.
  3. I was dealing with a personal health type issue the last week or so of the month (all good now!) in which I made sure to be in bed early to help fight it/recover which meant no scooter collecting.

With the changes to Bird, I’ve now also signed up to charge with Lime, a competing electric scooter company that’s also prevalent in the area.

I’ve always maintained I’d continue with this side hustle so long as it made sense, was not super time consuming and the $/hr was still decent. We’ll see how long that continues, but hoping to keep the side hustle income flowing!

Other than this, the savings rate is still looking solid so no complaints here!

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 February turn out!?

12 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: February 2019”

  1. Nice. Cool to read about updates where everything is moving in the right direction. 🙂

    Don’t sweat the travel expenses, I’m the context of your overall net worth (never mind the monthly increase) it looks like a manageable amount. You can always get more money, but time with our friends, family and SOs is limited.

    One question from what I saw on the post, are your family members / SO into FI etc… like you or have they not discovered it yet? I have a family member that is turning (slowly) towards the FI side so I’m interested to hear about other people’s experiences of trying to convince family members to start saving and investing early.

    HH

    1. Thanks HH! Great point on the travel – this is something I value and is worth spending $$ on.

      Good question though! This is a great post topic that I should write more in detail about. My family is aware that I’m doing this whole thing, and I’m trying to bring them on board to the merits of it so they can do it themselves. My SO is absolutely on board with FI which is amazing. She’s killing it on her own despite making much less than I do. Having the same goal we’re both working towards is pretty fantastic!

  2. Great month! You’re really doing a great job with the savings rate. I’m very much looking forward to the groceries post.

    Travel is a good thing, I wouldn’t fret about that. You’re doing things that are important and you want to do, it’s not out of necessity for something unfortunate, thankfully. I love March, the basketball tournament is the best sporting event of the year in my opinion. Have fun!

    1. Thanks Brian!

      Travel is essential to my values and you’re right, I should not have any qualms about spending my money on this. March madness is one of my favorite times of the year so the tournament is sure to be a blast!

    1. LAX is a great sport. I am glad to hear it’s making it’s way West! It’s taught in general in high schools in the area, and my alma mater, Syracuse, is usually ranked near the top. So thank you for the good news.

    2. Yea I love watching him play, and though I really enjoyed playing baseball in high school, I secretly wish I picked up lacrosse too as it looks so fun!

      Lacrosse is huge on the east coast and the area where I grew up is a huge recruiting ground for the division I programs. I’ve been hearing it’s slowly making its way out west which is also pretty cool!

    1. Thank you! Yes this is true, it is much easier and convenient to gather and collect the scooters when it’s warm out. Plus more people ride them when it’s nicer so hopefully I’ll ramp it back up soon in the spring!

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