Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time its Net Worth November 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 October.
I’m not sure how to say this, but how in the world is it already December?? Another month has flown by and I’m left trying to figure out what I’ve done during it.
I unfortunately did not have many posts out on the blog last month. My job picked up again and had me working some long days that left me exhausted, and when you procrastinate with writing like I do it doesn’t lend itself to getting posts out on time.
However, on the weekends I was up to my usual antics, hiking a couple weekends and enjoying the last bit of nice weather before the coldness of winter sets in.
Here’s a couple cool pictures from some adventures I went on! Such fantastic fall colors!
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Shenandoah was on FIRE yesterday – see what I did there 😜 (there were no actual fires, just the colors!) Very happy I made the solo trip out here to see the colors one last time before they likely disappear for the winter. Next time I should probably make sure I check to make sure the weather forecast matches the one from where I live so I don’t freeze on the two hikes! Well worth it though! PSA: if you’re going to visit a national park, make sure to come in the morning! I came around 9am and there was no line. I stayed for 5-6 hours, and as I left, the line to get in the park was halfway down the mountain 😱
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Back when I cut cable a few months ago, I made the conscious decision to give up something I really enjoyed watching. College Football and the NFL on the weekends. I really liked watching these, but I always felt that during football season there was never enough time to do things, as there is almost always a good game on to watch. . A couple months in and it feels like I’ve been the most active on weekends in a long time. When you cut out the time spent on one thing, it opens up a lot more time for other things. Hiking and sight seeing, especially during the fall, are such cool activities, and I’ve had a lot more time for that this year! . This photo was taken on Sunday around 4pm. Usually I’d have been on my FOURTH hour of watching football. Instead I saw this after spending a few hours walking around breathing in the fresh autumn air 😊
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Even though it was low 40s and very windy, really glad I bundled up to go walk this trail! I find once the weather gets cold, I usually become a hermit and stay indoors. I’m looking forward to getting outside more this winter and seeing what nature has to offer during its coldest months!
The last weekend of the month was of course reserved for heading home for 5 days over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was a much needed break from work, the blog, side hustle and everything to just sit back, relax and enjoy family time. I definitely felt recharged a bit after coming back!
A last notable event that occurred this month was that Gwen from Fiery Millennials came to town! She is interviewing with a few companies in the DC area to get back in a full time job after giving entrepreneurial endeavors a try and realizing it’s not for her. Jealous she was able to give this a shot and wishing her the best! She’d be a great addition to the DC money crew 🙂
Ok now to the fun stuff!
November breaks down as follows:
Wow that was a nice rebound after last month! I’m essentially a little better off than I was at the end of September, which feels pretty good after the massive drop from last month.
We’ll see if the increases like this month become the norm again, or whether we have more of last month in store for us coming up. Only time will tell!
Cash: $20,247 – $1,658
Because last month was one of my lower spending months on the year, the credit card bill this month was fairly small, meaning the increase in this account was even larger than normal!
The $500 difference between Personal Capital and my own table is because I am the commissioner of one of my Fantasy Football leagues. The commissioner is also Treasurer so I get to keep everyone’s dues before paying them out at the end of the season.
I don’t think it’s right to count that money as part of my Net Worth since it isn’t really mine, which is why I removed them. However, I’ll gladly earn a few extra cents in Interest from that money over the course of the season!
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: $67,413 – $2,652
Contributions this month totaled $1,596 (Employer Matching included). Next month I’ll be maxing this one out on the year!
After the tough month in October, it was nice to see this account rebound. I’ll always rather see this going up than down obviously 🙂 Who knows if it’ll last, all I know is that I’ll be investing through the ups and downs!
I recently adjusted my allocations in this account in order to make my investing approach simpler. Check it out here if you’d like.
Roth IRA: $11,466 – $290
I maxed out my Roth IRA back in March, so this will flow with the market for the rest of the year.
I recently switched this account from a Mid-cap fund to the total stock market index (VTSAX) as a part of my initiative to make my investments simpler.
Brokerage: $13,471 – $254
No contributions here, so just normal ebbs and flows of my investments. I’m holding off on future contributions here until after I purchase a rental property.
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: $3,458 – $373
One more month until I max this account out on the year! Contributions totaled $221 so after a few months of losses, finally a bit of a gain.
I have all my funds here invested into a REIT.
Auto Value: $8,149 – ($292)
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.
Credit Cards: $(672) – ($106)
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!
Another low spending month, which always feels pretty good 🙂
As always, see below for the full breakout of spending to see how I did against my budget.
Auto Loan: $(5,649) – $292
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.
Wow! One of my lowest spending months in the year! I’m nearly even on my budget going into the last month of the year. I’ll need to stay strong and disciplined over December during Christmas shopping season if I want to hit my goal!
Here are the details for November:
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 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 this year, but was increased in August and this is the new rent.
Utilities $62 / Internet & Cable $36:
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! I’m going to go a whole year without it and see how it impacts my life. I have hardly noticed going without it for the last couple months so it may be a permanent change!
Groceries $113 / Restaurants $28:
Both Grocery spending and restaurant spending were down this month.
I really did not go eat out much this month at all, cooking just about all my meals in my apartment. I also had about 5 days at home for Thanksgiving in which my family had food for all my meals (as well as a couple leftovers I was sent back with) which helped to lower this cost as well.
Car Payment $302:
Monthly car payment to pay off my loan.
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. Looks like I had over-budgeted for this (which isn’t a bad thing).
Auto Fuel $154 / Auto Other $22:
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.
The trip back home for Thanksgiving drove (pun intended 😉 ) the higher than normal fuel costs this month. The Other costs were a routine oil change I had this month.
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.
No medical expenses this month, and hopefully no more for the rest of the year (fingers crossed).
You can read about my unpreparedness and what led to the big YTD negative here.
Looking at this months entertainment expenses, I couldn’t believe it… only two transactions! That’s unheard of for me in this category.
Considering one of them was my normal $15 for monthly Spotify, that meant the other was a doozy…
While I’m normally immune to Black Friday and the various deals that are thrown around, I fell victim this year. I spent $179 on something. To be fair, it’s something that I’ve been searching around for deals for a while, so it’s not like this came out of nowhere, but that kind of dough definitely hurts leaving the bank account.
I’m not going to mention just yet what the purchase was, but don’t worry I’ll be writing about it in more detail next month if you’re curious 🙂
No travel this month (my trip home was covered in other categories).
It was my dad’s birthday this month so this was the gift I got him!
$20 for the (roughly) monthly fill up on my laundry card.
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).
Another low spending month means back to back months of higher than 60% savings rate! I was really pumped to see this.
While I can’t control what the markets do, how much I spend is absolutely within my control and thus what I’m putting most of my focus and energy towards.
My side hustle of charging electric scooters was back up slightly this month to $232. I’m still doing it roughly half the days in the month and the hourly commitment is still peanuts. We’ll see how I fare in the winter months, but I can see this providing a steady stream on income so long as no drastic changes take effect.
I’m so close to reaching my stretch goal of a 55% savings rate. Let’s see if I’ll be able to make it!
In the meantime – check out the Net Worth Updates page to see how I’ve done in past months for comparison.
How did your November turn out?