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Net Worth Update: July 2018

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

July

July was a crazy busy month! I feel like I hardly had any time to relax. Of the 5 weekends that are in this report (first weekend of August included), I had people visit me twice and was out of town the other 3 weekends.

While it was a whirlwind and a lot of fun, as you’ll see it came at a pretty high price.

The first weekend was my first time solo traveling as I went camping in Shenandoah National Park. It was a great experience and you can read more about it here.

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Yesterday I wrote a blog post about my first experience on an overnight solo adventure. I was pretty nervous about it at first, but my fears were all for naught. It was a great time and I’m so glad I did it! Will definitely be doing more of these this year! 😊 . If interested, read more about it on my blog (link in bio)! I went and camped in Shenandoah National Park. This is the view from the amphitheater at Loft Mountain Campground, so gorgeous! . . . . . . . #shenandoahnationalpark #shennps #nationalparkgeek #financialindependence #earlyretirement #debtfreecommunity #financialfreedom #blogger #dcblogger #instablogger #personalfinance #lifeisgood #savings #loveva #lovelifeoutside #modernoutdoors #roamtheplanet #awakethesoul #hikingculture #solotraveler #justgoshoot #forceofnature #ipulledoverforthis #bevisuallyinspired #splendid_earth #outside_project #exploreourearth #alifealive #liveadventurously #forgeyourownpath

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The next two weekends my little brother and then my old roommate (who just moved away) were in town to visit.

My little brother and I played a round of golf, then went classic tourist and stopped at a few monuments and museums. It’s a great excuse to do that in your own city every now and then!

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No hiking this weekend but instead played tourist as my little brother visited me! . I feel lucky to have such beautiful free attractions in this city and love walking around the monuments and museums from time to time. Sometimes you don’t need to travel far to find fun things to do! . . . . . . . #washingtondc #washingtondaily #igdc #bythings #mydccool #dcchasers #acreativedc #dcblogger #dcitystyle #instablogger #bloglife #personalfinance #financialindependence #earlyretirement #financialfreedom #savings #debtfreecommunity #optoutside #lifeofadventure #lovelifeoutside #earthpix #modernoutdoors #wheretofindme #nakedplanet #city_explore #justgoshoot #forceofnature #ipulledoverforthis #bevisuallyinspired

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With my roommate visiting and staying with me, it was sort of a last hurrah before he officially started business school. We hit the town and caught a Nationals baseball game which is always fun.

Sadly the Nationals lost 🙁

The last two weekends were spent traveling. One to Upstate New York to spend a weekend on the lake for my friends Bachelor Party, and the last to Newport, RI for a beach weekend with all my college friends.

Both weekends were a blast and spent in good company. Given the nature of these trips (Bachelor party, and since my college friends love to party) it was a very expensive month which is what I was expecting.

What I wasn’t expecting was getting the chance to attend a Camp FI meetup this year. When a few spots unexpectedly opened up I jumped at the chance! At the end of August I’ll be attending Camp FI Midwest and I’m super excited to meet some more of the FIRE community and like minded people!

With this expense, an already very expensive month was completely blown up. Hopefully you all don’t take my personal finance blogger title away from me!

Net Worth

July breaks down as follows:

Although July was a spendy month as you’ll see later, it’s tough to tell based on my Net Worth! With all the money I have in investments, it really makes for a big increase when the market goes up.

Cash: $14,579 – $1,111

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! 🙂

I also got an extra $250 for completing my work’s annual “Be Healthy” campaign through logging steps and tracking healthy behavior. Make sure to look into whether your company has some benefits like this to take advantage of!

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: $63,316 – $3,556

Contributions this month totaled $1,831 (Employer Matching included). A good month for the market means some awesome returns in my biggest account!

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

Roth IRA: $11,958 – $301

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: $13,754 – $377

No contributions here, so just normal ebbs and flows of my investments.

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: $2,417 – $219

I opened my HSA account at the end of November last year after turning 26. This gain was straight from monthly contributions.

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.

I’ll hit this mark next month and will immediately invest it. I’m thinking of putting it in a REIT in order to further diversify my investments.

Auto Value: $9,317 – ($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.

It’s sad to see my $100,000 car now worth less than 5 figures.. a hard lesson learned!

Credit Cards: $(2,271) ($756)

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 finally hit my minimum spend on the Chase Sapphire Preferred! It was so awesome seeing 50,000 points (worth over $600 in travel) in my account once I hit that. I’ll keep you posted on what travel I use that towards in the future 🙂

This number is what I pull from my credit card statements which ends on the 4th and 5th of every month. Now that I’ve hit the minimum spend on my first travel travel hacking card, I’ve decided next month I’m going to just pull the expenses exactly by the month from now on in order to keep it simpler as I continue to open new cards.

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

Auto Loan: $(6,817) – $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:

This month the wheels fell off the wagon. As there was so much going on it really led my expenses to balloon. I know I need to do better and will be looking to decrease all spending where I can in the coming months to make up for this one!

Here are 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 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 is increasing in August (as I renewed my lease another year), so you’ll see an adjustment to my budget to account for that next month.

Utilities $66 / Internet & Cable $35:

Definitely under budgeted 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.

Groceries $180 / Restaurants $97:

Grocery spending was a bit higher as I’ve stocked up on food and we bought a bunch of groceries for the Bachelor Party weekend.

Restaurant spending was on target, but is also deceivingly high since my little brother and I went out for a few meals that I paid for both of us.

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 $99 / Auto Other $70:

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.

I had to get my state inspection and renew the annual registration on my car which was the “Other” 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 will cover my cell phone bill through the rest of the year so the YTD negative variance will even out by year end.

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 $862:

Woah… that’s a massive number. I knew it was going to be an expensive month with all that was going on, but this was truly a budget buster.

$76 on ubers and $145 on bars/alcohol for all those pre-mentioned events above. Going out to bars/drinking in general can be expensive 🙁

$102 on golf. ($32 for the Bachelor party weekend, and $70 with my brother (since I paid for both of us)).

$15 camping in Shenandoah, $15 Spotify, $30 for Nationals game tickets and $78 for Bachelor party weekend activities (renting a boat and a wine tour around the lake).

$400 on Camp FI Midwest ticket. This upcoming trip is an expensive one and surely will hurt my savings rate for the year. The way I look at it though, I’ll trade a percentage point or two on my savings rate in order to spend it on personal development and meeting like-minded people in the community.

I can’t imagine twenty years from now I will look back on this decision with any kind of regret.

This is a category I’ll be looking to really cut back on the remainder of the year in order to help make up for the unexpected trip.

Travel $546:

$300 was the amount I sent to my friend for prebooking the Newport trip. This includes the airbnb for 3 nights and groceries/alcohol. It should be around this number, but as the total costs get finalized from friends I could end up getting a few dollars back, or possibly owe a little bit more.

$19 was for a bus to Philadelphia to meet my friend so he could drive us up to the Bachelor party weekend. Buses are a great way to travel on the cheap!

Lastly, the flight to Minneapolis for Camp FI Midwest was $227 which was surprisingly cheap for booking less than a month out.

Gifts $14:

This was my portion of the gift we got our friend for the Bachelor party. While we were traveling around Europe we picked up a specially engraved bottle of Jameson whiskey for our friend as he is a big fan. He loved the gift!

Misc $97:

$20 for monthly laundry, $27 for my quarterly haircut, and $50 application fee to renew my lease since we were changing roommates. (Not happy about this one but apparently it’s to cover administrative tasks related to changing it up.)

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.

Ouch… this month was by far my worst savings rate and for the first time all year I’ve dropped below a 50% overall savings rate.

At this point, unless I can further increase my income, my stretch goal of 55% is going to be very tough to hit.

I’m not giving up on it though!! Hopefully I can rebound in the coming months and give this goal a serious run.

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

How did your July turn out?

16 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: July 2018”

  1. Very nice month. Despite all the boozing and howling at the moon, your cash and 401k increased, so don’t feel guilty.

    I too could cut back on the fun and games, but that just means one day I’ll be the loneliest rich person sitting at home. Not a good life.

    Keep it up!

    1. Thank you! Yes, trying not to feel too guilty, but definitely need to be mindful of the spending and not give into the “well it’s already a bad month so what’s an extra cost..”

      Totally agree though, it’s all about what you value!

  2. As long as this month is a once in a while thing (which it seems to be) and not lifestyle inflation, I wouldn’t kick yourself to much. What matters is that you did things you enjoy and there are monetary costs to them! You’re only down $783 on the year to budget and it looks like nearly half of that (cell phone and auto insurance) will rebound by themselves since you’re paid through the end of the year. So you have to make up $382 over 5 months…$76.40 per month. At your income level and with the mindset you have, that shouldn’t be a problem at all! Plus, your net worth went up nearly $5K this month! I’d say it was a decent month, all things considered.

    My month was pretty good. My NW increase was around the same ballpark as you, although I don’t bring in nearly as much $ as you do. Consequently, my budget is also lower. But I have most of my money working for me in the market so that’s a good thing!

    Seems like you had a lot of fun this month and that’s worth the extra expense in my book! As long as you enjoy it, have at it. Boy, I’m glad I don’t drink alcohol. That can get mighty expensive! 😂 But in the end I guess that evens out given my golf habit!

    1. Totally agree, definitely not giving up on the big goal, and definitely will need to be mindful of spending in the future. There is a way to make it work though! (And it involves more work haha)

      Congrats on the nice month! Love seeing the Net Worth constantly going up!

      Haha yes those are definitely both expensive habits. At least yours is for only part of the year! 😂

  3. Hey, your super spendy month’s savings rate is what my normal savings rate is sometimes, so in comparison this really isn’t that bad, especially considering how eventful the month was! But yeah, good thing last-minute CampFI decisions don’t present themselves very often 😅

    That’s an awesome gift you got for your friend, and fantastic planning to do it while you were in Europe!

    1. Haha you know I totally blame you for this really spendy month! 😉

      Yeah we were at the factory tour and saw they had those and were like… he would love this! (that was also when we planning the whole weekend as well haha)

  4. Summer is sure expensive, isn’t it?? I’ll be posting my July update on Monday, and while I haven’t finished calculating the numbers, I can guarantee you I didn’t hit that 50% number either. But I agree that Camp FI will absolutely be worth it – have so much fun!!

  5. Summer can certainly be an expensive time for all of us!

    Newport, RI is one of my favorite places. I’ve visited a few times when I was younger and coming from out West seeing some of the mansion there are absolutely incredible!

    Also glad you got to see the Nats. Bryce Harper is one of my absolute favorite players in baseball right now and I was glad that your GM decided not to try and trade him at the deadline. They’ve been playing well since then!

    1. Seriously you can say that again! But yea it is such a nice place.. the mansions are so cool!

      Yea we’ll see if they try to keep Harper.. I think after the season some team is gonna throw a boatload if money at him so can’t see him being here much longer

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