It’s beginning to look a looot liiiike…. no, not Christmas yet… Another net worth update!
Every month, I track and share my progress towards growing my net worth to roughly $1 million. The goal? Financial freedom by age 35. I’m currently 29 with a few hundred thousand to go, so let’s check in on the progress.
Life Update: November 2019
In November, I got a double dose of my favorite holiday!
That’s because I flew down to Texas for Thanksgiving with my family at the beginning of November, then hung around in Minnesota to visit Lady Money Wizard’s family on the actual holiday.
I’m sure you’re familiar with all the Turkey stuffing (and stomach stuffing) that goes along with the big day, so I’ll spare you the details.
But I will stop and tip my cap to Thanksgiving, one of the last holidays standing against the onslaught of consumer culture. While Christmas lost the battle to gift giving obligations decades ago, Thanksgiving has managed to stay pure and true to its roots. Any holiday that’s all about good times with friends and family, without any of the social pressure, is a day I can get behind.
In other family news, The Money Pup and The Money Meow continued their bromance:
And on the business side of things, I got surprised at work with a big time promotion! Well la-dee-da for you, Money Wiz…
But the important part? The big time promotion comes with a big time pay bump! All the ramifications of this exciting news is far too much to discuss during a short intro to a net worth update, so keep your eyes peeled later this week for an entire post about what this all means.
Oh yes, I’ll be sharing more details than ever, so get your gossip cans ready!
Since there’s another post coming out in a day or two, we’ll keep this one short and instead jump right into the dollar dollar bills, ya’ll.
Net Worth Update: November 2019
Cash: $14,225 (+$5,649)
Wow! That’s a nice monthly change!
While trying to track down the cause of the unexpected cash growth, I uncovered one of my favorite surprises of the year – a three paycheck month!
I get paid every other week, which means through the grace of the calendar, there’s one or two months every year where the stars align, and I get paid not once… not twice… but thrice over a given 5 week period.
I could get used to this…
Brokerage: $158,619 (+$3,206)
Not quite as wild as last month’s $16,000 gain. Then again, I didn’t actually contribute anything to the brokerage account this month. Instead, the growth in my portfolio was aaall market gainzzz, thanks to yet another +3% month in the stock market.
I’m feeling like a broken record, but I’m still asking myself how long this onward and upward rally can last.
With my cash portfolio sneakily climbing over $10K again, I’ll look to make make yet another cash to bond transfer next month, as part of my longer term plan to get my bond allocation up to 10% of my portfolio.
For newer readers, this part of my portfolio consists almost entirely of Vanguard index funds (VTSAX if I’m being specific) mixed with a few leftover individual stocks, back from the days when I was young and naive and thought I’d be the next Warren Buffett.
401(k): $135,146 (+$4,334)
You’ll notice the growth of my 401k outpaced the growth of my brokerage account by a little over $1,000. You’ll also notice I contributed a little over $1,000 to the 401k this month, as part of my paycheck’s automatic contributions plus employer matching.
That’s detective work, yo! Call me Sherlock Holmes…
One interesting quirk I noticed this month – despite the three paycheck month, my 401k hasn’t yet registered the contributions from that third paycheck yet. I’m guessing this is just an issue of timing, and next month I’ll get an early head start on growing the 401k further. In any case, that’s something I’ll want to keep an eye on.
(As a completely random side rant, it always shocks me the number of people who devote 40+ hours a week to a job, then refuse to spend the 15 minutes a month to make sure their hard earned paycheck is accurate. I know it’s a chore, but if you’re gonna prioritize one chore, making sure you’re getting paid seems like a worthwhile one.
I know of way too many people who have found issues with their paychecks, and for some reason, those issues never seem to work out in the employees favor… )
Roth IRA: $34,418 ($498)
It’s almost the start of the new year, and you know what that means!? Another opportunity to max out the IRA.
In 2020, the IRS held the IRA contribution limit steady at $6,000 per year. So personally, I plan on setting aside $6,000 of my cash in January 2020 so I can get this out of the way early, and then let my money grow for the entire year.
Rent Payable: $802 ($49)
Absolutely no clue why this went down so much compared to last month. It was noticeably colder in November than October, so I’d expect the heating bill to be a lot higher.
Gah, I hate the constant mystery of utility costs.
For newer readers, I share a house owned by my fiance. My rent payment to her includes my half of the mortgage, utilities, and anticipated home maintenance. (We allot 2% of the home’s value to expected maintenance each year, or $300 per month.)
Credit Cards Payable: $3,337 (+$1,105)
A big jump up in credit card usage this month, which is partially to be expected since November wasn’t going to be as frugal as No Spend October.
Then again, there’s always some weird reimbursable work expenses on the card, so let’s see exactly what was going on:
November 2019 Spending: $2,361
I had a bit of a relapse after No Spend October, although honestly, I expected this total to be way worse. Only $111 over budget feels like I dodged a bullet after the way I was slinging around the credit card this month.
Dining Out: $335
Wham! This was partly from a celebratory dinner with Lady Money Wizard to clink glasses over my newfound promotion, and partially because that Thai food spot down the street is just so delicious…
I’d like to say there were all sorts of cool events and concerts that made up this month’s entertainment spending, but the truth is that this total included a few trips to the breweries, some more trips to the breweries, and then to really mix things up, a few trips to the cocktail bars with friends.
Vehicle Expenses: $284
Including $200 of vehicle registration to drive my cheap Mazda 3 on Minnesota roads. (Another reason why Minnesota is the 15th most expensive state in the US)
The Money Pup got a little too excited on his walk, got something in his eye, and had to make a $100 visit to the Vet, which I split with Lady Money Wizard.
I used airline miles to fly to Texas for Thanksgiving, but did take a couple of Ubers to get there.
Then, I booked out 3-4 different round trip flights all the way through June 2020, which used even more miles and credit card points. Pretty awesome to be flying for almost free – redeeming miles still runs about $5 per flight because of the TSA fee.
Travel through June 2020 that I’m jumping-out-of-my-skin-excited about?
- Skiing in Whitefish, Montana and Salt Lake City, Utah (twice!)
- Sedona, Arizona
- Vancouver Island, British Columbia
My one Black Friday splurge – my favorite jeans (shout to Gap Selvedge!) went on sale. They’re literally the only jeans I own, and are actually an awesome staple to a frugal wardrobe. But living in Minnesota means I wear them so much that I have to re-stock once a year or so.
Just picking up a few Christmas gifts for friends and family.
How was your November?
Do you agree Thanksgiving > Christmas? Did you manage to avoid most of the Black Friday madness, or did you score an epic deal that threw you over budget like me?