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Net Worth Update: May 2020

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

May

A little late on the update here, but better now than never! May saw us hit month 2 of quarantine life and this “new normal” that we’re living in.

It’s still bizarre to think about how many things have so drastically changed. I’m honestly not sure what things will go back to “normal” and what things will be permanently altered. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that my wish of permanently working remotely full time may have come true with this pandemic. Having no commute everyday has been amazing, and has given me back so much time. I’ve been trying to put it to good use!

With the extra free time I’ve finally started up on a new project that has me excited. This is something I had wanted to accomplish in my goals this year, so I’m very happy to get going on that! I have no idea what, if anything, will come of it, but it’s been fun working on something new, and I do believe it has potential.

Other than the above there isn’t too much to update for May. We’ve been staying as active as we can, going on frequent walks during the week to make sure we get outside.

We did take advantage of our working from home situation to head up to my parent’s house to work up there and spend some time with people other than ourselves. It was also great to be able to be with my Mom on Mother’s Day for the first time in a long time, as well as celebrate with my sister in law who is a recent new mother!

Lastly, and no surprise here, we did use a few of our weekends to get out for another 3 hikes this month. This included redoing a hike we originally did on our first “date” nearly two years ago 🙂

Hike #12 at Shenandoah National Park with crazy fog!
Hike #13 at Great Falls, VA on the same trail as our first date!
Hike #14 at Manassas Battlefield National Park

Net Worth

May breaks down as follows:

Another big milestone reached!!

While I certainly did not think this was going to be coming anytime soon given *everything*, that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

It’s really amazing how much faster everything goes once your first $100K is saved up. For reference, it took me 3 years and 11 months to save my first $100K. The next $100K took half that time, taking only 1 year and 11 months.

Who knows how long the next $100K will take (and/or if this is my last time crossing $200K), but by focusing on my savings rate instead of this Net Worth number, it will inevitably happen at some point!

Cash: $34,422 – ($1,151)

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.

I finally had to pay off a large credit card bill on a purchase that I already returned, so this category should be going back up next month,

Otherwise, I finally started to move my extra monthly cash flow out of here and officially into my brokerage. While I’m keeping this cash level as is (between $35-$40K), in May I set up a $500 recurring weekly transfer into a new joint brokerage account with my fiancee.

The leftover cash in here is for emergency purposes as well 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: $108,113 – $6,737

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

Another huge increase here as the market continued to rebound. I’m giving up on stock market predictions and just riding this one out, for better or for worse!

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: $25,066 – $1,279

No contributions this month, though I still have $1,000 left to officially max this out.

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

Brokerage: $17,824 – $3,278

As noted in the cash section, I officially set up a new joint brokerage account with my fiancee. Along with that, I put in place a $500 weekly recurring transfer to this account, so I can dollar cost average my way into the market.

$2,500 was invested in May, which just goes to show how fast it adds up! The rest was market gains from my individual account.

I’m 100% invested in the low fee VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF) in my individual account, though need $500 more before I can invest in VTSAX for the joint account.

HSA: $7,640 – $168

$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: $5,653 – ($111)

KBB value for my 2014 Ford Fusion with 94,000 miles on it.

About 1,000 miles were put on the car this month. The drive to my parents house is about 6 and a half hours, which always racks up the miles during those months.

Credit Cards: $1,315 – $2,686

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 paid off that large balance, just in time to receive my return from shipping it back. In the first week of June I initiated a credit balance transfer, so this positive balance will head to cash, and the balance should be back in the negatives next month.

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

Monthly Expenses:

The budget is still looking great! Aside from those pesky wedding expenses (kidding – it’s all worth it!), and the persistent groceries overage, everything else I feel like I’ve been tracking to fairly well.

This COVID situation is really making me realize just how little money I truly need to spend. We’ve still found ways to enjoy life despite not really being able to go out to places. Though I will admit that I miss going to the occasional bar/brewery, and other events that we aren’t able to attend.

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 $52:

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 $22 (we don’t pay for gas).

Groceries $262 / Restaurants $61:

Same story every month for groceries here. We made another Costco run in May which always drives the bill way up. I can at least say that June is looking much better seeing as we are over half way through!

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 $63 / Transport Other $66:

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

2-3 fill ups in the tank this month to account for the long trip home, as well as driving out for a few hikes.

$66 to get my oil changed and replace a few loose lug nuts on my wheels. I just made the switch to synthetic oil as my car is close to 100,000 miles which is why it was a little more pricey than its been in the past.

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 $15:

Just $15 for monthly Spotify. This has to be the shortest write up here ever! Usually there is a lot more costs heading towards entertainment, though I guess not so much these days…

Travel $200:

Another planned trip we have this year is for my partners annual family beach trip they do each year in July. As of now it’s still on, and as we are officially “olds” now, we offered to chip in for the costs of beach house (in the past my partners parents and aunts/uncles/grandfather would pay entirely for them).

While I think we probably got a discount for being the youngest of the payees, $200 each for a week at the beach is well worth it, and it felt good to chip in and contribute.

Gifts/Donations $10:

It was Mother’s Day in May, and luckily we were able to head home to celebrate with my mom. She likes trying new ciders, so we picked up a local 4 pack of ciders for her to taste. She really enjoyed them which was great!

Misc $59:

$38 for my half of a picture map of DC to hang in our living room. My partner and I had been talking about getting one since we moved in, and found a local artist who made the perfect one!

I also spent $21 for a laptop lap desk to be able to balance my work laptop on my lap when I’m sitting and/or laying on the couch and doing work. Since I don’t have an actual work desk setup in our tiny apartment, this has proved really useful while working from home!

Wedding $608:

There was another large deposit we had to put down in May for the wedding, this time for our wedding day photographer. My partner had been doing an extensive search and found one we both really liked. They were a little pricey, but we think they will be well worth it.

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 63% Savings rate this month. I keep chugging along here and despite the additional wedding expenses I’m still just below the 65% savings rate goal I had set for myself this year!

The extra $250 this month came from a wellness program that my work offers. Essentially, you just need to log wellness activities (steps, sleep, etc) and you earn points for being more active. Since I wear a fitbit, all this is tracked automatically for me, with no real effort on my part. I finally got past the point threshold and redeemed those points for cash!

We’re nearly halfway through 2020 so hoping to keep up the savings through the rest of the year!

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 May turn out!?

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3 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: May 2020”

  1. Great month and good to see you posting again. I have not been to Manassas but have heard it is somewhat smaller than other Civil War sites. I highly recommend a trip to Antietam and Gettysburg, it is well worth it.

    Great news on $200K! I am knocking on that door myself, but finding the $190’s to be incredibly long and stubborn to get through! It will come eventually though…

  2. Another impressive month! Are you and your fiancee combining finances beyond the brokerage account? I’m headed toward these decisions with my boyfriend and there are so many things to consider and so many different ways to go about it! I’m always curious about what other couples are doing, if you’re comfortable sharing 🙂

  3. I love your style of net worth reports!

    Also congrats on reaching $200k that’s impressive!

    I also had the same question as Mari did, do you plan on combining finances beyond the brokerage account? I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on it either way.

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