What a crazy summer it has been. I didn’t intend on going dark for 3 months, but I found very little time to devote to writing about money. My summer started like I pretty much planned – I had some business travel in New Orleans for several days in early June, followed by a little vacation with some friends. What I wasn’t expecting was being pulled into a meeting a few days before leaving for New Orleans… I was put on a “special project” that started as soon as I got back from vacation.
“Special Projects” are fairly common at work, at any given time in the company there are probably a dozen or so projects going on that require NDAs. This was the first one I had a key role in, and it required me to travel every week. For 9 weeks I would spend Sunday/Monday in airports getting to a destination. Monday-Thursday would be spent locked in a board room with a dozen other people. Friday would be spent in airports getting home. Any time at home would be spent trying to connect with my spouse and kids. Rinse and repeat.
Basically, I haven’t even looked at my little corner of the internet, and didn’t think about writing anything until things settled down a bit. Now that they’re settled, I’ll be back to (hopefully) posting a couple times a week. What better way to be back than with a Net Worth Update. Even though I wasn’t posting my updates, I was still tracking through the volatile summer market.
Between August and September, we dropped ~$5,570. Our biggest decrease came from cash (which I’ll explain below). Our retirement holdings also dipped below $200,000 after holding for two consecutive months. Finishing above $200,000 is our goal for 2019 ($250,000 is our goal for 2020). Otherwise… each section is as follows:
In the last update I posted (here if interested) I was mulling the idea of just setting the value of our house to $360,000 and leaving it. Well, that’s exactly what I started doing in June. The only thing I’ll include in the house section going forward will be little updates that we do. Maybe keep a running tally of home ownership costs (since they suck) and feel sick to my stomach when I see how much we spend on little things in our home.
After the tripping breaker saga, the electrician was able to “fix” the problem by isolating it to a wire in the ceiling of the basement. We couldn’t tell what it went to, so he took it off the circuit and the breaker stopped tripping. We don’t even know what the wire went to. The previous owners had a koi pond in our backyard that was destroyed in a storm before we moved in, I’m guessing it went to that.
Over the summer we also built the fence by ourselves (me plus my father-in-law). It looks great and, compared to what we were quoted, it was basically free (~$340 spent vs. $3,675 quote).
Decent size drop in car value. But, that’s what we expect with depreciation. Monthly car payments of $0.00 per month is still AMAZING. Still pinching myself over getting a free car.
Only the 3rd down month of the year, January and June being the other two. A lot of pundits are calling for a recession any day now – eventually they’ll be right.
Roth IRA (-$1,918.44)
Last month was pretty rough for a couple of the stocks I own in my Roth IRA. HPQ slid down a lot after posting decent earnings. MO, PM and MPC all also had bad Augusts, meaning I significantly under-performed the S&P last month. Recently, I started buying a blend of ETFs and now have ~7.2% of my Roth IRA in index funds.
You can compare individual performance of each stock by looking at May’s net worth update.
Monster Vacation Fund (-$101.35)
Down slightly. The decline was partially offset by the small position I have in ATVI. If you’re wondering why I call it the Monster Vacation Fund – see this post.
Big decrease in cash last month is due to one thing – starting our 2nd child’s 529 plan. It required $3,000 to open since we use the Nevada plan through Vanguard (and aren’t Nevada residents). If you take out that one time charge, we would be up a bit month over month.
One of the columns we can always count on to be green, no matter how much the market tanks or how much cash we spend. We are close to the $200,000 line on our mortgage. We should be sub 200 after our November payment.
Equity Loan (+793.82)
After sorting out our equity loan issue with the company, we’re back to taking out massive chunks from this loan each month. Unfortunately, we are no longer able to make bi-weekly payments. Instead, I calculated how much we would pay each year with the 26 payments, and divided by 12 so we are at least putting the same amount towards the loan each year. We will lose out on a bit of interest by not making the bi-weekly payment, but it won’t add up to that much since we are super-charging our payoff.
Previous 12 Months Graph
A slight decrease from last much, but still up over the last 2 months. So long as the trend is to the top right, I’m happy.
After eclipsing our $200,000 retirement goal for 2019 for a couple of months, we’re back below the target. There’s still a lot of year left for contributions, and for the market to move up (or spiral down). Time will tell.
- Finish my new book I started a few days ago – Heir to the Empire – it’s a Star Wars book that I’m reading for pure pleasure.
- Post 5 times this month – Getting back into the swing of posting won’t be easy with all the other things going on in life; but I can do it
- Have a “No Spend Week” – I’m going to try to buy nothing from Sep. 8-14th. If I fail, I’ll try again the following week.
Are you interested in tracking your Net Worth?
Tracking my net worth was one of the first and best decisions I made to start getting serious about saving for my future. Back in April 2017 I created a Personal Capital account to make it easier to keep track of my accounts. Instead of hopping from website to website to add up my different accounts, I just needed to visit Personal Capital to see them all in one place.
It is a great tool that connects your different bank and investment accounts all in one place. Once you add your accounts, they will update automatically. It is easy to see how your spending (and saving!) affects your total financial picture. The program is incredibly easy to use and very straightforward.
It takes just a few minutes to sign up and enter your account information. After that, you’re off and running to having a clearer understanding of where your finances are.