Happy Friday, y’all!
Before I share net worth numbers, I have 2 exciting things …
FREE Finance Course From Rebel Finance School
Last year my friends Katie and Alan Donegan ran a virtual finance course — for FREE — to help people take control of their finances. And they’ve just announced it’s happening again, and for FREE again!
The course is 10 Zoom calls over 10 weeks, starting April 26. Each week covers a different area of personal finance and FIRE. They also have some guest speakers lined up like Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution and JL Collins from Simple Path to Wealth!
Even if you’re already well versed in the personal finance arena, I think you’ll still find it fun and helpful participating in Alan and Katie’s course. They’ve been deeply involved in the FIRE movement for many years and want to share as many of their secrets to success as possible.
All details and sign up HERE. Course starts April 26.
Oh, did I mention it’s FREE!!!??
My Wife and I Sold a Rental Property! Woohoo!
After many months on the market and a couple contracts falling through, we finally closed on the sale of a rental. This is part of our long term plans to reduce our physical real estate footprint and move to more passive investments.
The house we just sold wasn’t initially part of our public net worth tracking (and we still have a few properties in partnership that we keep separate from these net worth reports), but now that it’s sold, we’re moving the proceeds over to index funds. So, you’ll notice a much larger bump than usual in this net worth report.
Our proceeds from the property sale were about $35k, which has already been dumped into index funds in our regular brokerage account. :)
OK, let’s get to the net worth update…
Net Worth as of April 1, 2021: $620,147 (+$55,417)
Here’s the account summary, and we’ll get into the breakdowns afterwards:
Whoa! 😳What a massive jump. Even without the $35k addition from property sale proceeds, that’s still a huge $20,000 gain for the month. While much of this was investment growth, my wife and I had a bigger than usual earning month in March, too.
Hustles, Windfalls, and Fun Stuff in March
Here are some fun things that happened last month …
– A couple weeks ago I spotted a garage sale a few blocks from my house. It wasn’t the greatest sale, mostly crappy old items. But on the way out I spotted a small jewelry case and in it was an Elgin pocket watch made in 1903, with a 14k gold hunter case. I bought it for $45, and stuck it on eBay that afternoon. The lucky new owner paid $132 for it, so I got about a $70 profit after fees.
She’s a beauty, right!? I wish I could keep it, but I’ve got too much crap lying around my house already haha!
– About 10 years ago my wife and I did some amateur modeling for ad campaigns. Nothing high fashion or anything — we are just a regular-looking couple! Anyway, an old friend called a few weeks ago with a short gig for some internal company ad campaign (photos will never be seen in public) and they paid us $400 for about 1 hour of work! Woohoo!
– My awesome employer gave me a bunch more contract work during the month of March, which I was happy to take! All extra earnings went right to my 401(k) account as I’m doing 100% contributions right now, before my benefits change in April.
– We received $2,800 in stimulus checks, thanks to the United States of money printing.
– Lastly, I finished selling a bunch of my friend’s storage locker stuff and made $419 after fees. Yeehaw, I love selling stuff for $$$$!!!
Big Expenses and Spending in March
– Our 10-day Hawaii vacation got a little expensive but was well worth every cent! We caught up with 21 friends over 10 days, spared no expense on dinners, BBQs, and did a LOT of drinking :). Stay tuned for a longer write up on all our Hawaii trip expenses.
– Apart from travel, we had a higher than usual month of gift expenses. About $400 on some big milestone birthdays for family and friends!
Detailed Asset Breakdown
CASH Accounts: $27,660 (+$1,722): After the sale of the rental and stimulus check, etc., we dumped a bunch of cash into our after-tax brokerage account. Going forward we hope to maintain a $30k personal emergency fund in cash.
Rental Property + Reserve Account: $235,715 (+$1,031): It was almost a “perfect month” for this duplex. We received $1,975 in rent collection, had $283 in management expenses, and $661 for the mortgage payment. If you didn’t see a few weeks ago, here was my full 2020 ROI for this rental property.
R/E Syndication: $50,000: This is a new partnership investment we funded in February. The property closed in early March, so there have been no updates or dividends received. The structure of this partnership involves a payment to investors every 3 months, so we probably won’t see any activity here for a little while.
IRA – Rollover: $152,215 (+$5,914): Did you know the average household income in the USA is about ~$5,700 per month? It’s crazy to think that I achieved the same amount in growth just from this investment account over the last month without putting a single hour of effort in. THIS IS WHY WE INVEST!!! Money working for you vs. working for your money.
IRA – Roths: $87,906 (+3,021): I keep complaining that my wife and I were “late to the ROTH game” because we started our Roth accounts in our 30’s… But dang! $87k isn’t anything to sneeze at!
Joint Brokerage Account: $170,326 (+$36,773): We dumped more than $35k into this account in March, mostly the proceeds of our property sale. Sadly, we invested right around March 17, right at the market peak! If we had waited just a few days we’d have bought in for a few bucks cheaper. Oh well, you can’t time the market! Actually, I wrote a post about what to do with a lump sum of money. This is me following my own advice!
HSA: $3,934 (+$1,003): Since I have a HDHP account for Jan → Mar in 2021, I contributed $900 to this HSA. Tax-free contributions, tax-free growth, and tax-free withdrawals later in life!!
New 401(k) at work: $16,908 (+$5,964): I still call this the “new” 401(k) account. But it’s about to become old. 🙁 My employer thinks it’s cheaper to pay me as a contractor and is removing all my benefits in April. Oh well, I was able to stuff 100% of my last paycheck into this 401(k), and I’ll look to do a rollover soon into the IRA account.
Breakdown of Liabilities
Rental Property Mortgage: -$121,552 (+$243): One of the cool things about amortization is that as the loan value shrinks, so does the interest portion of the loan. This rental property is slowly paying me more and more each year in principal paydown. Slow and steady wins the race!
Credit Card Balances: -$2,965 (-$254): We went a little nuts in Hawaii on vacation.
We have no other consumer debt at this time. 😎
Cheers to a happy April! How were your updates last month?
Have a wicked weekend, my friends.
PS: If you’re just getting started in your journey, here are a few good resources to help track your money. Doesn’t matter which route you go, just that it ends up sticking!
- The "Budget/Net Worth" spreadsheet - the colorful Excel template I personally use.
- The "Money Snapshot" spreadsheet - a simple Excel template I created for my former $$$ clients
If you're not a spreadsheet guy like me and prefer something more automated (which is fine, whatever gets you to take action!), you can try your hand with a free Personal Capital account instead.
Personal Capital is a cool tool that connects with your bank & investment accounts to give you an automated way to track your net worth. You'll get a crystal clear picture of how your spending and investments affect your financial goals (early retirement?), and it's super easy to use.
It only takes a couple minutes to set up and you can grab your free account here. They also do a lot of other cool stuff as well which my early retired friend Justin covers in our full review of Personal Capital - check it out here: Why I Use Personal Capital Almost Every Single Day.
(There's also Mint.com too btw which is also free and automated, but its more focused on day-to-day budgeting rather than long-term net worth building)
Joel is a 35 y/o Aussie living in Los Angeles and the guy behind 5amjoel.com. He loves waking up early, finding ways to be more efficient with time and money, and sharing what he learns with others. Rise Early | Retire Early!