It is already March. That’s crazy! February flew by for us. I was very busy at work with a little bit of cross-country travel. I only put out 4 posts, which is way less than the 6-8 I’d like to have. Unfortunately, March looks like it is going to be even busier; I’ll be travelling for work 4 of the next 6 weeks. Thankfully, no cross-country travel so I might not be a zombie at home.
On the heels of February’s huge $24,800 gain, we posted a modest ~$8,000 increase. It was a fairly uneventful month, which was nice considering how busy we were.
Next month, barring a big market correction, we should pass $300,000 in net worth. I receive my annual bonus from work, and because of the good year we had in 2018, it is going to be the biggest one we’ve ever received. If you come back in 30 days, you’ll notice the bump in our Roth IRAs and cash.
Anyway – enough talking about that. Here’s how we made out last month:
I’m chalking this up to fickle Zillow. On a % basis, this is relatively flat from last month, but still hovering around $360,000, which is where we had it for the majority of our net worth calculations. After my recent post on why home ownership sucks, I’m tempted to move this into the LIABILITIES column. If you’ve ever read Rich Dad Poor Dad, you know that the author would put House into the LIABILITIES column. (If you haven’t read it, consider clicking this affiliate link and buying it – it’s worth the few dollars it costs.)
Our cars depreciated as they are expected to do! We are still feeling so fortunate to not have a car payment anymore. I wrote a few months ago about just how impactful dropping the car payment could be for us (here). We boosted the amount we save in our Ally savings account each week (earning a nice 2.2% yield), and also boosted our Equity Loan payment with the money we are no longer spending on a car payment.
I was surprised at how much the 401k was up last month. I really didn’t pay any attention to it. The 401k slightly under-performed the S&P 500 last month (2.9% vs. 3.2%). For the year, so far, the 401k is at a 13.06% return compared to the S&P 500s 11.3% return. Next month, 19% of my pre-tax bonus will drop into this account, so there should be a nice bump above the average increase.
Roth IRA (+1,075.15)
Our Roth IRAs were trending a bit higher than the S&P 500 up until February 21st, when Kraft-Heinz reported poor earnings and tanked ~33% over the next several days. Then, on the last day of the month, HPQ dropped 18% after reporting weaker earnings than expected. But, that’s what happens when you own individual stocks instead of indexes. Here is how our individual stocks have performed since we bought them:
With the money coming into the Roth IRAs next month, the stocks I’m considering are: Altria (MO), AT&T (T), AbbVie (ABBV), & Boeing (BA). I wish I had been sitting on enough money to buy a bunch of Boeing at the end of December, but I still think it is fairly valued even after the recent run-up.
Monster Vacation Fund (+$692.03)
We had another big month of growth in our vacation fund, unfortunately it was mostly manufactured. We received our cash back reward from our credit card and stuck $500 into our Monster Vacation Fund. When you eliminate the injections into our account, we gained $92.03 which puts us just under the S&P 500 returns for last month.
We ended the month up over $700. Next month, with the incoming bonus, we should be up a lot again. Hopefully we will be able to track consistent growth in our cash position through the end of the year. I’d like to get our emergency savings buckets filled back up.
Slow and steady. Every month a couple extra dollars hit the principle. We are still tracking to be sub $200,000 remaining on this mortgage by the end of the year!
Equity Loan (+701.54)
Back to 2 payments hitting the bottom line. If I had more free time, I’d really like to pick up some side hustle to pay this down even faster. I can’t wait for it to be gone.
Previous 12 Months Graph
That December/January dip is now in the rear-view mirror, onward and upward!
Our retirement accounts widened the gap from our 2018 goal of $150,000. Now, we’re at $165,732.02, a measly $34,267.98 away from our 2019 goal. Hopefully, in next month’s update, the gap to $200,000 will be ~$20,000. Still a long way to $1,000,000, but we’re chipping away.
Last Month’s Goals
- Finish Fire and Blood (Affiliate Link) – Done! With my cross-country flights, I was able to finish this book and one other!
- Keep up with my new eating and workout habits – Done! I missed one scheduled workout day because I was traveling, but did a great job with my new eating habits!
- Post 8 times – Fail! Only 4 posts in February. March is going to be even tougher, so I need to make sure I carve out time to write.
- Complete all my MBA work >24 hours before it is due – Done! I even finished my most recent assignments a full week early!
- Read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Affiliate Link) – my lovely wife bought me this book for Christmas after seeing how many space/science videos I watch on YouTube.
- Exercise at my hotels – I don’t want to fall out of the habit of working out every other day, and I can’t let travel be an excuse to not exercise. In a few months I’ve already made a lot of progress that I don’t want to lose!
- Post 6 times – I’ll be more conservative this month. I’m going to try to type when I’m on airplanes or in my hotel (if I don’t just crash on my bed like I usually do).
- 95% on my upcoming MBA exam – it’s next week, wish me luck!
Before I go…
Would you be so kind as to head over to www.themoneymix.com and vote for my recent post on Home Ownership for the Monthly Jukebox? Vote #4 – Thanks!! (And read the other outstanding posts from February while you are at it)
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