Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Monthly Progress: February 2017

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 February? Hint – AMAZING!

1)       Net worth: $206,109.59, up $7,539.41

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 I highly suggest checking them out. 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 $198,570.18 to $206,109.59, growing by a total of $7,539.41 for February.

Killed that $200,000 barrier, just hope the bottom doesn’t fall out of the market. 

2)     Investment income: $4,531.33

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 February we started with $122,693.75, invested $903.07 and ended the month with $128,127.87. Meaning that, in February, we gained $4,531.33 on our investments.

This year I added another metric to track on this. In February we spent a total of $3,720.36 (this includes an extra $808.92 towards our mortgage) which means that, this month, we could have lived off of our investment income and had $810.97 left over to re-invest in next month.

Current ER* date is being calculated out at 7/28/2033 (5,993 days left!).

3)     Financial plan savings: $805.13

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 $805.13 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 into 4 buckets, adding 2 more buckets for remodels and vacation as follows: Vanguard = 30%, Mortgage = 30%, Remodels = 30%, Vacations = 10%. So this time we invested $241.54 divided evenly between our 4 Vanguard mutual funds (VFIAX, VGHCX, VHCOX, and VTSAX).

Then I called up my bank and scheduled a payment for an additional $241.54 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 $104,285.65 today. Which means that, as of today, we actually own 40.07% (roughly 754.25 sq. ft.) of our home. We bought 16 sq. ft. this month!

So, by and large our February turned out awesome. How did things go for you? 

And here's to having a great March ahead of us. And by the way the markets have opened this morning I’m feeling good about this month.

P.S. I got my annual bonus from work yesterday (wanna know how much it was? ;-) ). So, in accordance with our financial game plan I took 10% of the net amount out for tithing, then split the remaining 90% down the middle. Half ($567.38) was divided evenly between our 4 Vanguard mutual funds (VFIAX, VGHCX, VHCOX, and VTSAX). And the other $567.38 was put towards our mortgage principle. I plan on doing this same thing with our tax return next month as well.

*ER stands for Early Retirement. My wife and I do not go on dates to the Emergency Room on a planned schedule.


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  1. Hiya :)

    I finally surpassed the €100k Net Worth mark last month :) I am including and updating a home inventory in this net worth. What do you think? It's nice reading your posts :)


    1. Thanks Rickety, I always enjoy hearing from you. Great job being breaking a barrier.
      When you ask about adding in "a home inventory" what exactly are you referring to? If it consists of listing the value of your homes anticipated equity in you meet with I'd totally agree, I do. But if it consists of itemizing the "value" of the things in your home such as how much you could sell your lamp or set of steak knives, I'd disagree. It seems like way to much work and impossible to get right. I don't consider anything I own (other than my house) as an investment, everything else is a consumable good to me until I actually sell it and turn it into cash. Even our cars, I plan to drive then to they die and don't think of them as an asset.