Monday, October 3, 2016

Monthly Progress: September 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 September?

1)       Net worth: $182,436.38, up $4,361.96

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 $178,074.39 to $182,436.38, for a total gain of $4,361.96 for September.

2)     Investment income: $603.01

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 September we started with $107,292.49, invested $1,265.66 and ended the month with $109,160.85. Meaning that, in September, we gained $603.01 on our investments. For most of the month it looked like this was going to be a negative number but the markets uptick there at the end was enough to turn it back for a positive ending. Now that we are 9/12th of the way through the year we have seen an investment increase of 8.66% this year which, if things continue at this pace, could set us up for a 11.55% return this year. That would be awesome since my conservative models that I’ve built to project our future retirement date (October 31, 2033) assumes a 6% annual increase, so that extra 8% this year would be padding for future years when the market might drop some.

3)     Financial plan savings: $1,590.59

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. Thanks to September being a 3 paycheck month, after all of our income, expenses, and planned savings for the month we ended up with an extra $1,590.59 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 $397.65 in our medical industries mutual fund VGHCX at Vanguard.

Then I called up my bank and scheduled a payment for an additional $397.65 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 $109,298.20 today. Which means that, as of today, we actually own 37.185% (roughly 699 sq. ft.) of our home. We bought 18 sq. ft. this month, that’s almost the whole half bathroom down stairs!!!

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

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


  1. Mine was a good month. I reached my Emergency Fund target for this year which is €1000, which is around a month's expenses. Granted, not much. But right now, I have an 8% car loan which feels like an albatross around my neck. Got rid of a third of the loan in a year, so nobbad. It's a good thing that I got rid of my credit cards at the beginning of the year, so one less albatross lol.

    Claude a.k.a. ex MrRicket :)

    1. Thanks Claude

      Sounds like things have been going good for you as well. Thanks for keeping us informed on your progress.