February seemed to go by even faster than January. Even though it is cold outside and we have plenty of snow Dr. SoS and are both back in the pool on a regular basis getting in shape for Spring and Summer. Our budget is tight, but we are doing well with our finances. Have a gander.
Monthly Net Worth Update
Our assets increased by $1,558.24 from our savings and my trading activity. Here are the details.
We increased our cash accounts by only $69.70 last month. We increased our Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings account by $702.48. Our overall cash accounts were lower from a decrease across the rest of the accounts to stay under budget for the month.
We spent less than we earned, but only by about $23 for the month. Dr. SoS managed to keep us under our monthly food budget by $42.87! I believe this is the least we spent on food since I started tracking our spending through Mint in March of 2013. Our largest irregular expense for the month was $660.96, which is why we ended the month so close to what we earned. This renewed our gym/pool membership for the year.
Cash Back/Gift Cards
I cashed in $497.60 in credit card rewards last month. This helped pay for the annual gym/pool membership. Our balance increased $44.81 otherwise.
Ethereum is up for last month. It is not significant, but at least it did not drop even further.
We are still 100% in cash or cash equivalents across all our accounts. We are more active in our investments and are waiting for a market drop to buy back into the market. I read a good quote the other day that relates directly to our philosophy.
When people say they’re worried about holding cash, I remind them cash is an option on the future. It’s not earning very much right now but could potentially earn a lot more when you buy at the bottom. I’m not looking at this and panicking at all. I’m rubbing my hands at the coming chance to buy solid assets cheap.John Mauldin Financial writer, publisher, and New York Times bestselling-author
Since the market moved up over the past couple months, I used this upward swing to sell some options contracts. These trades generated $1,637.78 after fees and commissions for the month with about 10% of our portfolio at risk.
We have two of these accounts. One is for Baby SoS and the other is for her older sister and our middle daughter, Ms. O. I transferred some money from Ms. O’s account to pay for school books for the current quarter. These accounts increased a total of $47.50 since last month
I do not plan to change the value of our house until we do improvements. We do not plan to complete any improvements until we pay off our current HELOC. Our plan is to remodel later in the year using cash instead of borrowing the money.
Cars and Boat
I am not sure why, but my car dropped in value by $814 since last month. Dr. SoS’s car went up in value by $18 and our boat that is sitting on ice right now increased by $175.
We made more progress on our liabilities reducing them by $4,167.60. The bulk of this reduction is our mortgage payment and the $2,107.38 payment on our HELOC.
We continue to pay our credit card balances every Friday. Since the month ended on a Friday, we had $206.07 outstanding left to pay on our credit cards for the week.
Our final credit card with a balance of $600 at 0% that we used as a loan last year is nearly paid. I am practically jumping up and down at nearly having this card paid in full. Once paid, this will be the first time we have ever had $0.00 credit card debt since before we met.
This is another payment I look forward to going away. We are down to 22 monthly payments of $600 per month totaling $13,200 left to pay off my car. The good thing is that this loan is also at 0%.
HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit)
We made our third monthly payment of $2,000 plus interest. Our balance is now less than $18,000. Continuing this practice will get us to $0.00 on this account no later than November of this year. Any extra money we earn will either go into emergency savings or go toward paying down this loan even faster.
In addition to our mortgage payment this month, we also paid $261.58 toward escrow shortage. This is one more potential expense that no one tells you may come due each year when you own a house. We could have increased our monthly mortgage payment, but I decided I would rather just pay the escro shortage now and keep our payment the same. We have a maximum of 117 more payments or 9 years 9 months to pay off this loan!
We are now up to $200.35 paid toward the principal of Dr. SoS’s student loan. It is not much, but at least we are not going backwards.
As of the first day of March 2019, we have a new net worth high of $555,657.87 up 1.04% from our net worth of $549,932.03 last month and up 51.95% from our net worth of $365,693.75 from the first of March 2018. Our current net worth puts us in the top 30% at 224/747 bloggers on the Rockstar Finance Directory Net Worth Tracker.
We compile this information each month to keep us accountable and to hopefully inspire others to spend less than they make, save more, and make wise investment choices. If you have any comments or questions, please leave a comment or contact us directly.
Thank you for reading!
The debt reduction is just awesome!
Interesting that you are keeping all of your retirement in cash and cash equivalents. I am sure you are not trying to time the market, but curious to know why 100% is allocated to cash.
Another great month!
The debt reduction is not without cost. Dr. SoS did an excellent job with our grocery budget last month, but our finances are tight. It is pretty amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Paying off the HELOC is our biggest goal and we will see it done this year.
I am not trying to time the market as much as purchase businesses (stocks) at a sale price that is less than their intrinsic value. The issue is that the market is so overvalued right now that we have not found anything to purchase for quite some time.
I have a chart that I use to see when the market trend is headed up. This chart indicated a downtrend in June 2018. We moved much of our portfolio to cash at that time. When the market looked like it was recovering in September 2018, I purchased some TSLA stock and began trading with it through November 2018. In December, I saw another downward trend. Now it appears we are headed back up. The Global Market outlook seems pretty grim and I wonder how it will affect the US market in the future.
I am just waiting to see what happens and looking for any good opportunities for investment while we watch the overall market perform its typical ups and downs. Thanks for the comment.