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Net Worth Update: October 2018

Welcome to another monthly Net Worth update! This time its Net Worth October 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 September.


After hustling and bustling all over the place in September, October was a much more relaxed month that was mostly spent around DC.

3 of the 4 weekends I was able to get out and enjoy the cooler fall weather and go hiking! It was exciting to get back into that after going sparingly the prior few months.

Two weekend hikes were spent in Maryland state parks, while the third was out in Shenendoah (utilizing my National Parks pass) to get a sneak peak at fall foliage! Here’s a few pictures from the adventures (including the waterfall above and a stop off at a sunflower field!):

Cait Flanders was in town for a couple days this month as well, so it was great to go see her give a speech on her book at a local library, as well as meet up with her and several other DC bloggers at a local establishment the next day. Fun times!

The last weekend of the month I traveled out to California to see family and more specifically, my grandmother. I wrote about a few things I learned from that trip here, but overall it was still a great time seeing family and I’m very glad I went.

Alrighty, on to the numbers!

Net Worth

October breaks down as follows:

Wow! Finally something different to write here! I’m sure you were all getting bored of the relentless march up 🙂

Unless you live under a rock you probably heard the market had a bad month. That’s going to happen in the short term. Some months will be way up, others will be way down.

Good thing we don’t pay attention to the noise and are investing for the long term right!?

Cash: $18,589 – $1,224

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.

No more OT income this month, which I am totally alright with. I did earn an extra $300 this month by signing up for a new bank account. Chase Bank was running a promotion in which they would give you $300 to sign up and connect your direct deposit to a checking account. This probably took my 15 total minutes of my time to set this up and adjust my accounts. Too easy!

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: $64,761 – ($4,193)

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

*GASP* Nearly $6,000 in investment losses! I’ve never seen losses this big before, so I was curious as to how I’d react. I checked at the markets low point during the month, and my losses were even worse at over $8,000!

Fortunately, I was ready for this. I realize that all my gains and losses are just on paper. They don’t mean much until it comes time to withdraw them.

Hold strong friends! This may have just been a correction… I think we’re in for a bumpy ride over the next few years.

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

Roth IRA: $11,176 – ($1,024)

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: $13,216 – ($920)

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: $3,085 – $148

I opened up this account last year and am working towards maxing this out this year. Contributions totaled $221 so the account had a loss this month again.

Luckily my account isn’t as high as the others, so my contributions were still able to outpace the losses from the bad month.

I have all my funds here invested into a REIT.

Auto Value: $8,442 – ($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: $(566) $440

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!

This month was much lower than normal and I was loving it!

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

Auto Loan: $(5,942) – $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.

Monthly Expenses:

After the last few high spending months, I really needed this! I haven’t had expenses this low since earlier in February this year. Two more months to work and and balance my year end budget. Lets see if I can do it!

Here are the details for October:

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, but was increased in August and this is the new rent.

Utilities $70 / Internet & Cable $35:

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 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 $111 / Restaurants $106:

Grocery spending was a little below normal while restaurant spending was up.

I ate out a few more times than usual this month. With being out in California for 5 days that lowered the groceries a bit as well, as my Aunt and Uncle were more than happy to cook a little extra for most of our meals.

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 so you will see the YTD negative variance even out by year end.

Auto Fuel $109 / Auto Other $0:

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.

Fairly normal fuel expenditures 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.

Medical $0:

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.

Entertainment $303:

$205 for Fin Con 2019. After getting a bunch of FOMO for missing out on the conference in September for my friends wedding, I jumped on the chance to attend next year! I’m really looking forward to it, as it will be a great chance to learn more about blogging, and meeting others in the community.

$45 for golf. This was a lagging cost that didn’t post until October from my friends wedding at the end of September. The groom and all the groomsmen went out to play the day before the wedding which was a fun time.

Without these two costs for events that technically weren’t or won’t be in this month, it was an extremely low spending month!

$33 in bar spending. This consisted of three separate events, and meetups. I’ve come a long way from the days of averaging spending over $200/month in this category…

Lastly, $15 for monthly Spotify and $5 to go see the sunflowers mentioned above!

Travel $13:

An uber from the airport after my California trip. I got lucky that a coworker was super nice and offered me a ride to the airport for my flight out!

My Aunt and Uncle were kind enough to pick me up and drop me off from the airport while out there.

Gifts $0:

No gifts this month, but as you all know… Christmas is coming soon.

Misc $38:

$27 for my quarterly haircut, then $11 for various parking meters around DC and California while driving.

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.

It’s pretty awesome to see the savings rate jump up on these low spending months. It really gives me motivation to keep the spending to a minimum! (but obviously not by depriving myself of any fun).

Without a high income, hitting this high savings rate is tough. I understand if you can’t relate to that, but I hope you can at least take something from my spending reports, which I’ve been working on becoming a more mindful consumer.

My side hustle of charging electric scooters was a bit down this month to $209, primarily due to less days of charging (being too busy on weekends and a few more weeknight events than usual). Will look to get that back up next month!

October was a great start to getting back under my target budget, as well as helping me to reach my stretch goal of a 55% savings rate. We’ll see if I can 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 October turn out?

16 thoughts to “Net Worth Update: October 2018”

  1. Months like these are going to happen, but when you really break them down it is all about what can control and what you can’t. Forget about the market, it is uncontrollable.

    Things like your savings rate and debt reduction are items you can control and make market turnarounds that much better.

    All-in-all, you did everything right and are still doing everything right to position yourself for success in the future. it’s just a matter of time.

    Well done!

  2. Only down 3.7% for the month is pretty good. Our net worth dropped 5% for the month and I was pretty happy with that considering how heavily invested we are in stocks and the stock market dropping about 7.5% in October.

  3. As one of the other commenters said, only down 3.7% is very good. My NW was down over 5% in October, but I also blew my budget unlike you 🙁

    That grocery spending though…maybe I do have to drive out of my way to Aldi. Might be worth it! I guess I eat too much 😂

    I have little doubt that you’ll get your YTD spending back in line with your budget over these last two months. Keep it up!

    1. Haha hey we all have those months, don’t forget I blew my budget real bad in July!

      Aldi has worked really well for me and what I eat, but may not be as great for others. May be worth seeing if it’s worth it though!

      That’s the hope! Ideally there’s no huge expenditures left for the year 🙂

  4. Man 60% savings rate. That’s impressive! Nice net worth, waiting for th market to correct, then you’ll see that number back to the top. Keep up the amazing job youngfireknight. I look forward to watching your progress.

  5. Ahahaha finally an exciting month that’s not just same old, same old! 😉

    I love your recognition of the fact that your high income is one of the main drivers behind your savings rate. There’s only so much you can cut your expenses down, especially while living in this area, and once you do that, it’s the income that makes the most difference. That’s an important reminder, especially given recent articles and salary transparency drama in the PF world lately! Okay, blogger with an actual non-profit salary getting off her soapbox now 😂

    1. I was so getting tired of the same old updates of the market going up… (just kidding who would think that 😂)

      I always strive to be transparent and hope everyone somewhere can take something from my experience, if not all of it!

  6. I find that in a down market such as October my downside is mitigated by the contributions I make. Then when the market comes back I set a new personal net worth record. It appears you are doing the same…..I get those Chase $300 dollar offers in the mail all the time. The next one that hits my mail box is going to be used. Thanks for the inspiration YFK.

    1. Yep that’s usually been the case for me as well. This drop was too much for my regular savings to combat though! Oh well, once the market turns back up I should be setting those new records like you said 🙂

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