Welcome to the February 2020 edition of our net worth tracker, where we’ll track our net worth month over month. I first started tracking our net worth at the time this blog was started, which was the beginning of September 2019. I started by creating the Net Worth Baseline report.
You can view Previous Net Worth reports HERE.
February was a volatile month for the markets, but at least we didn’t have any unexpected expenses.
February was finally a fairly relaxing month for us. We had at least two weekends of relaxing, stay at home days. The weather was even nice enough for us to go spend some time at the park.
We did take a weekend vacation, which was spent with friends and was definitely not relaxing. Then there was Super Bowl weekend, where we got to eat some good food at church.
Table of Contents
Super Bowl Weekend
In fact, the Super Bowl was the first weekend of February. My church hosted chili cook-off and a desert contest. My wife entered both of them. The chili she made was a thick, hearty, meaty chili. In my opinion it was the best, but she came home with second place. The desert she made was a Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake. I’m pretty sure she could sell it and have no problem running a dessert shop. That said, she faced some stiff competition, and again took second place. Second to a banana pudding, which, admittedly, tasted great.
My wife and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. In general, we prefer to stay home and relax much more than fighting crowds and receiving mediocre service at a restaurant. That said, we did have a good time stock piling chocolate and candy the next day when we went to the grocery store. We intended to only buy a few items, like milk and cereal, but the clearance candy got us. We’re still working our way through it.
We took an adults-only weekend to go visit our friends that moved to Nashville. I was able to get rid of some of that Valentines candy on the trip. They showed us around town and took us to a bunch of hipster food places. One of them was even in an Airstream. That’s how hipster they are.
We also got to visit the Dave Ramsey studios. I visited a few years back, while they were in their old building, and Wow! This new building is quite the upgrade. There is a separate visitor entrance now, and a self-guided tour that takes you from Dave’s beginnings up to now. If nothing else, it’s worth stopping by for the free cookies and coffee.
February 2020 Net Worth
Here’s how February compares to last month:
February Account Breakdown
Let’s take a quick look at what happened in February.
This is where our paychecks get deposited. All our income goes into this account, then gets transferred to the proper accounts as set by my budget. The trend continues that I do the net worth report before transferring money to the appropriate accounts.
This is about the amount we expected to have at the end of the month. Our spending was pretty average this month, and neither of us had an “extra” paycheck.
Investment Cash (+$3,779.86)
All of our cash leftover at the end of the month is transferred here and is considered part of our saving’s rate.
This is where our leftover income went from February. It’s still towards the beginning of the year, meaning we can start contributing to our 2020 Roth IRAs. The IRA money will go into this account for now, and then when we have the maximum yearly contribution saved, we’ll move it to the Roth IRA accounts. You will hopefully see this happen in our March Net Worth report.
I’m tempted to move what money we have right now into an IRA to take advantage of the correction in the market. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do that yet, or stick with the original plan of waiting until we have all the money saved up.
After that, we still plan to start saving towards a 529 for baby #2.
Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) (+$1,046.72)
Nothing exciting here. Just the usual. We are just saving up for our property tax bill and HOA fees for when they are due early next year.
The volatility we saw last month suddenly turned into a correction the last week of February. As a result, our 401(k)s took a dip. The drop, percentage wise, matches what we saw in our IRA accounts.
The IRA’s definitely felt the correction. The percent decrease (6%) is less than the decrease seen on the markets (~11%). I guess those fund managers are doing something.
College Fund (-$1,246.96)
The college fund is invested just like the IRAs; in mutual funds. That dipped with a similar behavior as the IRA accounts.
Net Worth (-$11,113.27)
This is the first month since I started my net worth reports that we have had a decrease in net worth. I’m going to take this with an optimistic view and be happy that our investments affect our net worth more than income from our W-2 affects our net worth.
In total, our net worth decreased by 3.05%.
Accessible Net Worth (+$4,116.32)
This is the money we were able to put away, not including the tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Our income and expenses were both average this month. I’m thinking about changing our saving’s rate goal as a result of looking at this for a few months now. I’ll make the decision at the end of March.
Status: None, as usual. They’re a burden, so I avoid them. The cars, the house, they’re all paid for. Student loans…never used them. Credit Card debt? I only use one, and it gets paid off every month, and often I’ll pay it off multiple times per month. Just depends on how many times I think about it.
February, just like January, was not a very exiting month for dividends. Nothing really happened. I expect this upcoming month, March, and April to be more exciting and to actually have some dividends to report.
The bank where I keep my savings currently has an interest rate of 1.5%. Not earning much, but at least it’s something.
I track my savings rate in order to help keep my feet to the fire, so later I can be Gone on FIRE. As a bonus, you get a glimpse into my cash flow by looking at the income and expense rows.
I set a goal this year to achieve a savings rate of 60%. January was a really bad start. February was not much better. As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to reevaluate this goal at the end of March and adjust accordingly. It seems like 50% may be a more attainable goal, while still having to work for it.
Right now, our only source of active income is through our full-time jobs.
This is what a relatively “low” income month looks like for us.
Our expenses were pretty aveerage this month.
Here is a quick break down:
1) Home Escrow ($1020.00)
The normal amount we put aside every month.
2) Giving ($827.16)
The usual 10% we give every month.
3) Cost of living ($2,474.38)
Previous Months: Jan: ($4,708.98), Dec: ($2,749.98), Nov: ($1,242.44), Oct: ($3,040.36), Sep: ($1,238.39)
Running Average: $2,575.75
This includes all our bills (Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Phone), transportation, food, shopping, and daycare. Thankfully, there were no auto repairs this month. There was no auto/home insurance bill due this month, although those are right around the corner in Spring.
February 2020 Vs January 2020 Expenses
Our expenses were through the roof in January, as it was one of our costliest months since I’ve been tracking here. It was back down to around average for February.
We had to pay the doctor again this month. March will be the last $700 payment to the doctor for a while, at least until the baby comes. Second, we took that mini-vacation. That cost around $200 for the weekend.
Oh, I also bought a phone. It’s still in the mail, but that cost around $300. I really miss the days of doing upgrades, where you could get a new phone nearly free. I haven’t figured out a way around this yet.
We are still on track to fund our Roth IRA’s by the end of March. There is about $600 left before that Roth IRAs are maxed out. We should be able to save that much easy in March, and then start contributing towards the 529. This keeps us on track to complete investing in the 529 by the end of July.
As expected, I am on track to have a maxed out 401(k) by the end of the year.
I did not actively do anything to increase my passive income, other than contribute to retirement accounts. Hopefully this is happening passively, and we will see that increase reflected in March and April.
My goal of having a savings rate greater than 60% is the only financial goal really off track so far. I’ll have to see what the coming months look like before deciding if this was too aggressive of a goal. Stay tuned!
At the beginning of the year, I increased my presence on social media by being active most days of the week. Over the course of the last few months, I noticed that the number of views has decreased by about 50%. I’m not sure why, but I’m decreasing how often I post to only four times a week. I’m still new to this social media stuff, so I don’t really know what best practices are. If you have any suggestion, PLEASE let me know.
I’m also still working on some stuff behind the scenes here, such as PDFs and calculators. Stay tuned for that as well!
I’m on track for my reading goal, having completed the first book of the year.
My weight hasn’t really improved or worsened since last month. I was doing pretty decent all month, having made some small improvements, then we took the road trip. It all went to waste with all the food I ate during the trip. Also, it doesn’t help that we were given Girl Scout cookies. Who can say no to those?
February 2020 Roundup
Mentally, February doesn’t feel as bad as January, although our net worth decreased for the first time since I’ve been tracking it.
Why? I think it’s because I expect the stock market to have up and downs, where as it’s much more personal, not to mention inconvenient, when the car breaks down. It’s as if the market is out of my control and the car breaking down should be within my control.
- 2 big items not included in my net worth:
- House & Cars – Their value will be added to my net worth if and when I sell them.
- 2 accounts not included in net worth total (even though they’re listed):
- 529 – This is my baby’s money. Consider it her net worth summary.
- Home Escrow – This is Uncle Sam’s money. We don’t mess around with him.
- Total income only includes our active income, which is currently our full-time jobs.