Last month brought the first day of Spring and the Vernal Equinox on Saturday, March 20. The weather is warming, but not warm. However, we experienced a nice boost to our net worth from my renewed interest in options trading and some unexpected increases in our cryptocurrency and the values of our vehicles. Here is the summary.
Monthly Net Worth Update
We increased our assets by 1.41% or $16,517.21 by the end of March. The cryptocurrency may see severe drops in the future, but the money generated from my options trades will not drop.
We spent quite a bit more than we initially budgeted so this cut into our cash savings dropping it by 11.08% or $2,949.06. Some of this additional spending was preparation for our butterfly, herb, and vegetable gardens.
Cash Back/Gift Cards
We received our annual Costco Cash Back reward of $298.90. We also received a free membership from Sam’s Club. I am personally not a fan of Walmart as a company due to their business practices, so never previously considered a membership. The store surprised us with the nice variety and slight difference from Costco. We will shop there occasionally in the future.
I thought the 10.51% increase from February was great, but our Coinbase account is up another 32.34% or $7,607 bringing the current balance to $31,132.12. I recently read the book The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey. It is quite fascinating learning about the history of money and how Cryptocurrency fits into world economics. I figured if I own a stake in this stuff, I should begin to understand it more.
One of my fellow investors, this one from Zurich, Switzerland and I tested the Strike app over the Lightning network. We transferred $1 to my mobile app from his Lightning node in Switzerland. I then paid him back from Strike to his Lightning node. You say, “So what, I do that with my friends on Paypal and Venmo all the time.” The difference is that this is on the Bitcoin Lightning network and when I paid him back it converted the money into Satoshi, which are the smaller divisible units of Bitcoin with no foreign transaction fees. It also did this with no transfer fees and within seconds from the Midwest US to Zurich, Switzerland. To both of us, this is life changing. You can learn more about it in this interview with Jack Mallers the inventor of Strike.
I also spent some Satoshi from my Bitcoin balance last month purchasing items from several Cryptocurrency sites. I plan to write a blog post on Cryptocurrency in the future highlighting my purchases.
In addition to my monthly contributions to my 403b, FSA, and HSA, I had some success and one failure trading options last month. These trades generated $3,821.96 after fees and commissions. One bad trade cost me roughly $2,100. Being in a hurry when placing the trade caused my error. After the debacle, I created extra cautionary steps to prevent me from placing the trade incorrectly in the future.
We made changes to how we manage this account. Each month, I deposit $800 and withdraw $798. States created Section 529 plans more than twenty-five years ago to encourage their citizens to save for college. We use our account for the state tax benefit. I believe a Roth IRA is a better tool to save for education. However, should you beg to differ, please explain your argument to convince me otherwise.
Last month, I spoke too soon when I stated that home values finally stopped increasing. We saw another spike in home values. I believe we are experiencing another housing bubble due to the extra money in American’s pockets and historically low interest rates.
Cars and Boat
Something crazy is going on over at Kelly Blue Book. My car increased in value by $2,406 in a single month and my wife’s car increased in value by $882. It appears that NADA did not get the message because our boat stayed at the same value.
We decreased our liabilities by 0.32% or a total of $1,170.31 for the month.
We kept our credit card balances at zero by paying the balances religiously each week.
We paid $300 and have 41 more monthly payments to pay off $12,300 at a 0% APR.
We have 29 years 6 months (354 payments) to pay off our remaining $156,328.09 mortgage balance. We paid off $280.32 of the principle at a 2.875% APR.
We have 21 years 11 months (263 payments) to pay off the remaining $196,248.62 balance. We paid off $589.99 with a cost of $471.86 in interest at a 3.125% APR.
Here are the various savings rates I calculate monthly based on our income and debt payments.
- 10.74% – Percent of Debt Payments / Income earned
- 22.60% – Percent of Personal Retirement Savings / Income earned
- 2.70% – Percent of Employer Retirement Savings / Income earned
- 25.29% – Percent of all Retirement Savings / Income Earned
- 36.03% – Percent of Savings + Debt Payments / Income Earned
The debt payments are for our home mortgage, our AC loan, 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.
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. Please leave any comments or questions below.
Thank you for reading!