Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monthly Progress: August 2016

The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets. While I update them nearly every day there are a few things that I do and track on a monthly basis, so the first day of a new month means that I get to hard code the actuals of the previous month and see how we did. I LOVE IT!
So, how'd we do in August?

1)     Net worth: $178,074.39, up $3,465.76

I am a bit obsessive but I actually track my net worth every morning that I work, just because I love seeing the graph it makes and knowing what's going on, and it only takes me about 10 minutes using Personal Capital if I go slowly and analyze anything (if you’re not already using Personal Capital please click on the banner ad for them on the right of this article, they are 100% free and I love them and use their android app nearly every day). But over the past month our net worth has increased from $174,608.63 to $178,074.39, for a total gain of $3,465.76 for August.

2)     Investment income: ($386.82)

Another detail that I measure on a monthly basis is how much we've made (or lost) due solely to our investments. This helps me to see what I would have to live off if I didn't work at all and choose to live exclusively off of investments, which is the goal. The current amount needed from investments each month is $2,600, which means that at a 4% withdrawal rate we would need roughly $780k in investments (easy calculation: $2,600*12*25=$780,000). On the first of every month I document what all of our investments are worth and back out the beginning value of the previous month and all of the investments that we made during the month.
In August we started with $105,363.86, invested $2,315.63 and ended the month with $107,292.49. Meaning that, in August, we “lost” $386.82 on our investments. After having increases for the past 5 months it wasn’t fun to see the loss, but it’s not much of a down turn and we’re going to just keep plugging away at our goals and continue to invest regardless of the twists and turns. Now that we are 8/12th of the way through the year we have seen an investment increase of 8.10% this year which, if things continue at this pace, could set us up for a 12.15% return this year. That would be awesome since my conservative models that I’ve built to project our future retirement date (October 29, 2033) assumes a 6% annual increase, so that extra 8% this year would be padding for future years when the market might drop some.
Now we just have to wait and see what happens with this potential Fed Rate Hike that could go down tomorrow or in December and possibly sting the markets pretty bad. But either way, 10 years from now it’ll just be a blip on a graph. All is well. 

3)     Financial plan savings: $964.32

I'm not going to go into the details behind the calculations on this one since it's more lengthy but you can read more about it in my post about 
Our Current Financial Plan. But after all of our income, expenses and planned savings for the month we ended up with an extra $964.32 in our checking account to use for investing in our future.

We have actually made one small change from our previously stated plan and instead on dividing this 50/50 between our mortgage and Vanguard we have begun dividing it evenly 4 ways, adding 2 more buckets for remodels and vacation. So this time we invested $241.08 in our medial industries mutual fund VGHCX at Vanguard.

Then I called up my bank and scheduled a payment for an additional $241.08 to go to the principle on our mortgage. So after our regular mortgage payment that automatically pays on the 1st of each month and this extra payment our mortgage dropped down to $110,964.28 today. Which means that, as of today, we actually own 36.227% (roughly 681 sq. ft.) of our home. We bought 10 sq. ft. this month, that’s almost the whole half bathroom down stairs!!!

So, by and large our August turned out just fine. How did things go for you? 

And here's to having a great September ahead of us.

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