Welcome to the March 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.
Wow! Is anyone happy that March is over?! I started February’s net worth report off by mentioning how volatile the markets were. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that back? Her in March we plummeted into a recession at record-breaking speed.
And that’s no exaggeration.
On top of that, there was not really anything any of us had to do. That allowed time for many of us to keep looking at our portfolios. I read a lot about how people were stressed out and anxious, but the lower to stock market got, the more I got excited!
“Why?”, you ask.
I look at it as a chance to pour money into the market and buy mutual funds at a discount. And that is exactly what I did.
I haven’t put all my extra money into the stock market because I’m waiting for the Coronavirus thing to play out a little more. I’m waiting till the end is at least in sight.
I normally like to do a week by week recap here of anything remotely entertaining (to me). Since we were all told to stay home this week, it’s going to be a little shorter, but I’ll do it anyway.
This was the last “normal” week in America. The panic hadn’t arrived, and there was still toilet paper on the store shelves. The most exciting thing we did was going out to get some BBQ. For this trip, we decided to go to Rudy’s. Hard Eight BBQ is still my favorite, but it’s nice to switch things up once in a while.
The panic is starting to build. Toilet paper is now a scarcity and people are starting to wonder if they should leave the house or not. We didn’t really do anything. Not because we were scared, but because it’s what we would normally do.
We have plenty of toilet paper. That’s something we always have well stocked, and don’t have to worry about. We just pick some up when it’s on sale at Costco. Right now, I’m hoping it goes on sale before the end of the year! The most exciting thing I did this week was sell a lawn mower.
Ca-Ching! $175 for my Ryobi 40v Electric Lawn Mower.
I got rid of that one because I upgraded to a self-propelled version when they went on clearance at the end of last year. As a result, this new mower’s net cost was around $20. Well worth it in my opinion.
Week 3 & Beyond
Everywhere is basically at shelter-in-place status now. My wife and I are both considered essential employees. That means we still get to work, for which I am grateful. Also, daycare is still open, which also means we can still work.
Other than not being able to dine-in anywhere, life is pretty much continuing as normal. For those of you that are in trouble, I’ll continue to pray. I have a couple of friends who are struggling, so I know the hardship it can cause. I’m helping them out as much as I can.
Hopefully life starts to get back to normal by the end of April. Time will tell. Let’s get into some finances, shall we?
March 2020 Net Worth
Here’s how March compares to last month:
March Account Breakdown
Let’s take a quick look at what happened in March.
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. As usual, I do the net worth report before transferring money to the appropriate accounts.
This is a little more than 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, but I did get an annual performance bonus. I forgot about it until my boss told me because it’s something the company just rolled out for my pay grade, and this is the first bonus check we’ve received.
Bonus money put me in a good mood for the day. Actually, it still puts me in a good mood thinking about it.
Investment Cash (+$4,036.40)
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 March. We have now saved up enough to fully fund our 2020 Roth IRAs.
That happened at a good time, huh? (Knock on wood.)
The IRA money will be transferred out of this account sometime during the month of April, and transferred into the Roth IRA accounts. So, if you are really analyzing my numbers, don’t be shocked to see this account have a 5-figure drop when I post April’s net worth report.
Last month I mentioned that I was tempted to move what money we have right now into an IRA to take advantage of the correction in the market.
Phew, I’m glad I waited on that. That will earn us a few extra bucks when the market starts to recover.
Now that the Roth IRA’s are funded, we will start saving towards a 529 for baby #2.
Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) (+$1,041.76)
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.
No surprises here. Our 401(k)s are dropping like a rock, just like everybody else’s. We’ll be fine, especially since my wife and I have a decent level of job security.
This is the first recession I’ve gone through in my working career, so I’m excited to see what my accounts look like once we’re in a bull market again, and the markets have more than fully recovered.
We’re continually pumping money in, so it’s like buying it on sale, right?
The IRA’s definitely felt the hit too. A percent decrease of 10% – 13% between the accounts.
College Fund (-$1,980.67)
The college fund is invested just like the IRAs; in mutual funds. However, it only dropped about 7%, instead of a double digit drop like the IRA accounts.
Net Worth (-$17,647.76)
This is now the second 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 slightly over 5%.
Accessible Net Worth (+$4,942.04)
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. This portion of our net worth has nothing to do with the value of the stock markets, so it increased. Yay!
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.
January and February were both boring months as far as dividends are concerned. March, on the other hand, was a bit more exciting. It wasn’t as good as March 2019, but it was still the second-best March dividends I’ve ever had. I’ll take it!
The bank where I keep my savings currently has an interest rate of 1.3%. Not earning much, but at least it’s something. The interest rate keeps dropping lower and lower as the federal reserve keeps cutting rates.
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.
Last month I mentioned that I was going to reevaluate the savings rate goal at the end of March and adjust accordingly, based on how well I did in the first quarter of the year.
I said I would make the decision at the end of March, so now is the time!
I’ve decided to adjust the savings rate goal to 50%. It seems like 50% is a more attainable goal, while still having to work for it.
Here’s how we did this month.
Right now, our only source of active income is through our full-time jobs.
This is what a fairly normal income month looks like for us, aside from getting that bonus.
Our expenses were pretty aveerage this month.
Here is a quick break down:
1) Home Escrow ($1375.00)
The amount we put aside every month, plus a little home maintenance costs thrown in there.
This month we had our HVAC system maintenance to pay for. This is a once yearly bill, so we hopefully won’t see any HVAC ills until next year.
2) Giving ($1,009.86)
The usual 10% we give every month.
3) Cost of living ($3,078.52)
Previous Months: Feb: ($2,474.38), Jan: ($4,708.98), Dec: ($2,749.98), Nov: ($1,242.44), Oct: ($3,040.36), Sep: ($1,238.39)
Running Average: $2,647.21
This includes all our bills (Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Phone), transportation, food, shopping, and daycare. We also had our last installment to the baby doctor. We should be good to go until baby gets here. There was no auto/home insurance bill due this month, although those are due in April.
March 2020 Vs February 2020 Expenses
March’s expenses were very similar to February.
We had to pay the doctor again this month. March was the last $700 payment to the doctor for a while, at least until the baby comes.
The main difference is that we received our Costco cash back in February. This accounts for the difference in COL between the two months. Otherwise, bills were very similar.
We met our target to fund our Roth IRA’s by the end of March. We will now start contributing towards the 529, beginning with the extra money from March. This keeps us on track to complete investing in the 529 by the end of July. That gives us four months to save the remaining $
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. As expected, we saw a good portion in March, and will hopefully receive a good size portion in 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 have also started working on doing a redesign of the blog, after watching DYEB’s blog review. I don’t know when I’ll complete it, but I am working on it. Promise!
I’m staying on track for my reading goal. I am most of the way through the second book, so I should definitely have two books down by the end of April.
My weight hasn’t really improved or worsened since last month. I’ll take that as a win, since every single gym is closed right now. I’ve been running outside, which has actually been really nice. The weather has been just about perfect for that.
March 2020 Roundup
I look at March as a very exciting month for us, although our net worth decreased continued to decrease. Only the second month it’s decreased (after February) since I’ve been tracking it.
Why? I know the economy will recover. I know the world will recover from Coronavirus. We had some savings on the side that we were able to throw into the market, and hopefully that will pay off over time.
- 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.