I am late writing my blog post for September. It was a busy month with Dr. SoS’s birthday at the beginning of the month and my milestone birthday along with a fine party near the end of the month. Not exactly the party we planned due to the pandemic, but quite enjoyable none-the-less. Old friends joined me to celebrate and I enjoyed the social interaction sorely missed since the start of the year. Despite or perhaps even due to all the celebrations, we barely increased our net worth for the month.
Monthly Net Worth Update
We managed to increase our assets slightly by 0.73% from the previous month. Increasing our savings and contributions to my retirement made the biggest impact.
Despite spending roughly $700 for my birthday party, we increased our cash savings by nearly 9% up $1,606.27 for the month. However, remembering to pay off the credit cards by the end of the month would have decreased this increase.
Cash Back/Gift Cards
We really need to stop spending money. Our credit card cash back increased by $144.13 during the month due to increased spending. We also took part in the Costco P&G rebate where spending $100 in Proctor & Gamble products paid a $25 gift card. We stocked up on products we used, spent just over $200, and earned $50 in Costco gift cards. Lastly, my mother gave me a $100 gift card to one of our favorite restaurants, McCormick & Schmick’s, and our next-door neighbor gave me a $50 gift card to a local restaurant that they really like.
Where our Coinbase balance increased by $1,371.04 in August, we are back down $1,311.70 for September. You win some. You lose some. But you only lose if you sell at a loss. We are not selling.
We are devoting more and more of my paycheck to the retirement plan offered by my employer. Once we paid off our HELOC in 2019, we began maxing out my HSA. Now the goal is to work toward maxing out my 403b contribution. Our total contribution to retirement last month was $2,586.48, increasing our accounts by 0.4%. This reduces our gross taxable income while helping us achieve financial independence.
This account increased by $0.07 for the month to $43.40.
We are making small improvements to the house. This past spring and summer, we really worked on the landscaping and gardening. Now that autumn is upon us, Dr. SoS started painting the downstairs. We have an indoor hot tub and we got that cleaned out and filled. Our kids love the hot tub and it sure is nice to relax sore muscles. The hot tub is in part of our three-season sun room. My wife bought a new Ripstik “G” for me for my birthday. The sun room has concrete floors, so I try to get a ride in every day or so for 15 to 30 minutes.
Cars and Boat
I drove 288 miles during the month. Working from home really cut back on the miles I am putting on my car. Dr. SoS put 706 miles on her car. Kelly Blue Book decreased the value of both our cars this month, but our boat kept the same value.
Liabilities increased again this month due to having credit card balances at the end of the month and by not having a house payment, yet.
If you read any of our earlier net worth blog posts this year, you would know that we pay our credit cards off weekly. I forgot to pay the credit cards off by the end of the month with all that happened at the end of the month. We ended up the month with $997.93. Since I am late writing this blog post, you should know that I paid everything off just after the first of the month bringing our credit card balances back to $0.00.
We both had credit card debt when we were younger. Divorce created a significant amount of debt for both of us. Both of us also paid off all the debt and swore to never get back into credit card debt. My goal is to keep the cards paid off weekly so that this never happens again. We also religiously use YNAB to track our budget and spending, which is a life-saver.
Because I made an immediate payment of $336, we did not have a payment due this month. Next month will start our monthly $300 payments. We very nearly paid off my car and now this will take half that payment I was looking forward to saving.
Three more payments!
No payment due this month so the balance remains at $158,000. The debt increased because as I mentioned last month, the $1,855.07 credit from the over-payment of our previous loan went into savings rather than to pay down on the mortgage.
We have 22 years 5 months (269 payments) to pay off the balance. Guess what?!? We are finally below $200,000 for this loan with a balance of just $199,553.57 paying off $532.26 of principle during the month.
We continue to calculate our savings rate each month in various ways. Here are the resulting calculations for the month.
- 17.57% – Percent of Debt Payments / Income earned
- 29.89% – Percent of Personal Retirement Savings / Income earned
- 4.56% – Percent of Employer Retirement Savings / Income earned
- 34.46% – Percent of all Retirement Savings / Income Earned
- 52.03% – Percent of Savings + Debt Payments / Income Earned
The debt payments are for our home mortgage, my car, and Dr. SoS’s student loan. The savings is only what I and my company contribute to my company 403b and HSA, excluding any cash savings. As I predicted, our personal retirement savings was much higher this month, up 8.84% from last month.
As of the first day of October 2020, we are up slightly 0.10% increasing our net worth to $751,787.55 from our September 2020 net worth of $751,072.07, and up 24.75% from our October 2019 net worth of $602,652.75.
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.
Thank you for reading!