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It’s time to review that number that never seems to go quite high enough, but it sure is fun to watch it climb, isn’t it?
I hope you find something useful in my report, whether you are looking for new ways to build your own wealth, or just looking for some inspiration while paying off your debt.
I did the latter many times while I was on my debt payoff journey. For me, it was extremely encouraging to see someone else’s success (with a similar mindset/approach), and to think and dream about how I might have success as well.
And I did. I paid off over $150,000 in debt (including my home), and life has never been the same.
Passive and Flexible Income Are Key
For those of you who don’t know me yet, I have decided to quit my job as a cybersecurity director in 2019.
It scares the heck out of me, but I have to get out and do my own thing. I can’t continue on as “just an employee” for the rest of my life.
So, if you’re brand new to the site, Welcome!!
You are just in time to join me on this journey as I try to figure out the following:
- When and how should I quit? Two-weeks notice? Three-months notice?
- How the heck do we pay for our expenses? We have ideas and are taking action.
- Logistics of our 2019 road trip across the U.S.
- Buying our first real estate investment property in 2017.
- Growing this blog in addition to other business ideas.
On With the Net Worth Update
So here are the details for September:
Forewarning: I literally just discovered the “hidden” Toolbar in WordPress so this post is about to get crazy with some font colors. I like font colors.
Over the last three months, our net worth has increased by $26,961 (+5.99%), growing from $450,224 to $477,185.
One year ago, our net worth was $363,661.
So that’s a 12-month increase of $113,524 (+31.22%)!!
It’s so encouraging to watch those numbers grow so much in just a short time. We’re saving as much as we can, and we’re sacrificing petty luxuries that just don’t make us all that happy in the first place.
This brings our monthly average growth down slightly from $10,067 to $9,937 for 2017.
We’re still on-track for HALF-MILLIONAIRE! status in 2017!!
If you like The Office, we can be buds.
We had net income of around $6,708, with $208.13 coming from flexible income. We’re trying to grow our other streams of income to cushion the fall when I quit in 2019!
Note: We always pay our credit card bill in full each month, and we currently use Mint.com to keep our budget straight.
Health Savings Account
This is a pre-tax account designed specifically for health care expenses. We contribute the maximum allowable $6,750.
Thanks to my employer for contributing $900, we only have to send in $5,850, or $487.50 per month.
Our goal is to grow our HSA to match the size of our healthcare plan’s out-of-pocket maximum: $13,000. So, we’re 49% complete on that goal!
This is an education savings account for our oldest daughter who’s almost 4 years old. ESAs are great because the savings and growth are completely tax-free as long as they are used for qualified education expenses.
We’re putting away the standard ESA max amount of $2,000 spread over 12 months.
- Contributions: $166.66
- Gain/Loss: $194.40 (+2.29%)
**Pretty solid gain for the month!
The brokerage accounts break down into three main accounts.
Yes, my emergency fund is invested into an S&P index fund a few months ago. I took a bit of a risk here, but it has paid off, earning me almost $1,000 on my initial $12,000 e-fund. I’ll probably divest at some point, but now isn’t the time.
My real estate savings are just sitting in a money market account (so zero growth) which was a tough pill to swallow because those index funds are doing so well!
But we don’t want to chance losing anything when we are planning to make our first real estate investment purchase in Q4 of this year.
- Real Estate Savings: $53,892
- Emergency Fund: $12,947
- Car Fund: $782
- Cash Invested in September: $2,600
- Cash Invested YTD: $24,304.60
- Gain/Loss YTD: $10,274.16 (+42.27%)
As I’ve said in prior posts, this will be the most volatile category. So, if you’re dabbling in cryptocurrencies, get used to it.
As I always say, I’m not trying to convince anyone to get into cryptocurrency.
Personally, I waited until I was out of debt before getting involved.
I’m sharing my experiences, and I’m happily answering questions for those of you who have contacted me directly. That said, if you’re interested, you might find my current project helpful.
Would you like to learn more about the basics of securely investing in cryptocurrency?
I’m developing an e-guide which will be a compilation of everything I’ve learned during my crypto investment journey. If you’re interested in grabbing a copy when it’s ready, please sign up below, and I’ll email you.
***Also, I am planning to invite a small group of people to get the guide at a great discount in exchange for feedback on how I can improve the guide. So if that interests you, go ahead and sign up below:
In my last update, I mentioned that we stopped contributing to our Roth IRAs and are now contributing solely to a traditional 401k.
We’ll now be maxing out our traditional 401k in an attempt to shield more from taxes, which creates $330 more per month that we can dedicate to real estate investing.
- Contributions: $4,686.51 (includes employer match)
- Gain/Loss: $4,155.59 (+2.21%)
Reason for the Switch to Traditional 401k
The reason we want more money for real estate is that we want to work on passive income now versus building up a massive nest egg that we can’t touch until we’re 60+.
I was talking with a blogger friend, and while figuring out her financial independence savings goal, she made this comment:
“the trouble I keep having is that the amount I need to save to reach my goals is wayyyy higher than the amount I can put away”
Spot on. For most of you…you’ll discover something similar. The 4% safe withdrawal plan (save a $1-2 million nest egg, then tap it each year) is a long-ass path unless you have a ridiculously high income-to-expense ratio.
So, with the change, we’ll be investing about $2,837 more into retirement, paying about $2,957 less in taxes, and having about $330 more per month leftover for investments that will create passive income now and help me quit my job.
If you are interested in a neat net worth tracking tool, give Personal Capital a try. It’s a super neat tool!
I still like to use spreadsheets, but Personal Capital gives me a quick and dirty dashboard with cool reports. The history is nice as well, much easier to tweak dates and see graphs change.
Home – It’s not that useful of a metric, but it went up again this month. Cool.
Cars – The only asset I own that is guaranteed to go down in value. No surprise there! I truly believe that not overspending on cars has been key to my success. If you’d like to see exactly what I do to keep cars from ruining my finances, check out these posts:
Personal Property – We haven’t added anything significant to our valuables. This is basically an estimate of the cash we’d net if we opened our home and sold everything in it, and with fairly conservative estimates.
I’d actually like to see this number go down over time, as we learn to spend even less money on stuff. You can read more on my thoughts here:
Change in Liabilities
Credit Cards – I’ve scheduled the payment for September, but it hasn’t gone through yet so I show my liability at just under $5K.
I believe in tackling personal debt, but I’m OK with credit cards if you pay them off each month. You can read a bit about my philosophy on credit cards here:
See You Next Month!
Well, I’ll see you next month, same time, same channel.
If you’d like to get my updates straight in your inbox, just use the form below to subscribe.
I need some suggestions from you guys on how to celebrate $500,000 once it comes. Maybe I’ll do a giveaway of some sort? That could be fun. So let me know if you have ideas.
Till next time!