Welcome to the March 2021 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.
Vaccines are now available to everyone, but it’s still only a little safe to hang out if you’re vaccinated…interesting. Things are trending back to normal though.
I’m not going to talk much about what I did this month because, well, we haven’t been doing much. It was an overall calm and relaxing month for us, and we survived losing an hour of sleep thanks to daylight savings time.
Normally, I go through my month, and go over the highlights. These days I’m doing it a little different. I think I can sum up my whole month in one or two paragraphs.
A quarter of the year is already gone!? Seems crazy Time seems to fly by when you’re taking care of kids.
Texas decided we would have 1 week of winter. The weather in March was really nice, and I’ve enjoyed starting to run outside again. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was too hot to run outside in April.
Thinking back though what we did in March, I really can’t think of much. We worked, and worked, and relaxed as much as possible on the weekends. Where relaxing looks an awful lot like doing laundry and other chores that didn’t get done during the weekend.
The most exciting part was getting to visit my parents. It’s been such a long time to see them, so it was nice to hang out with them.
March 2021 Net Worth
Here’s how March compares to last month:
March Account Breakdown
Let’s take a quick look at what happened in March.
Monthly Blurb: 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.
It was a good month for us in terms of spending. The difference in cash on hand is due to two things:
- Tax Refund
- Work Bonus
We actually received a decent size tax refund this year mostly due to the fact that we had another child. Also, my work has an incentive plan that pays out every March. My company did well in 2020, so that means I got a decent size bonus.
Our spending was a little below average this month. We didn’t really do much, so that kept expenses low.
Investment Cash (+$4,300.75)
Monthly Blurb: 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 was a decent amount that we were able to put into our investment account.
I’m still waiting for some opportunities to come up. The foreclosure moratorium was supposed to lasts until the end of 2020, but it has now been extended for most of 2021.
I expect the market will be flooded with properties a few months after the moratorium ends. The longer it last, the more severe it is going to be. If they extend it indefinitely, home owners will eventually stop renting out houses and there will be a bigger crisis.
On top of this, the real estate market is red hot in my area. There is low inventory and most homes are going above list price in a matter of days. It’s hard to find a rental property in a market like this. Plus, I’m not sure I want a rental if I can’t evict a bad tenant.
Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) ($1071.33)
Nothing exciting here. Just the usual. We’re back at it again. We are just saving up for our property tax bill and HOA fees for when they are due early next year.
Last month we had less than a 1% drop, and this month we saw over a 6% increase. The markets are just boiling with anticipation of life getting back to normal.
Speaking of bubbling…. I still think we have to be in some sort of bubble, right? And the bubble keeps getting bigger and bigger. The markets have basically been on a bull run for 12 years. Yes, I know that there has been a recession or two, but they were short lived.
And cryptocurrency! It’s still going up like crazy. The fed mentioned again that they were looking into ways an e-currency could be used. I’m curious how that’s going to play out over the next few years as more companies begin to adopt it.
Again, all market performance. Last month I mentioned that I planned to transfer in money for our 2021 ROTH contributions. I still haven’t done that.
I got distracted and that didn’t happen. It really needs to get done, so hopefully it will happen this month.
One of the Roth accounts had a negative month. I’ll have to look into that since everything else was up.
Overall, that’s a gain of about 4% between the 401k and IRA’s. Not too bad. I could live with that, as long as we don’t’ have hyperinflation.
College Fund ($1,741.32)
The college fund is invested just like the IRAs; in mutual funds. The gain is equal to about 2.6%. Not great, but at least it’s positive and about on pace with inflation.
Net Worth ($24,487.05)
Last month was the first time our net worth had decreased in over half a year. (It was September 2020.) It was followed up by a great month. I’m always surprised at the end of the month and see how much our net worth has increased.
In total, our net worth increased by slightly over 4%.
Accessible Net Worth ($10,166.03)
Monthly Blurb: This is the money we are able to put away, not including the tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Our income was normal and our expenses were a little below average this month, and we received a couple bonuses; one from work and one from the IRS. The markets were up a decent amount. Our accessible net worth increased as a result.
Status: (Other than the hospital bills.) 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.
December was a near record month for dividend income, and 2020 was a record year. We are about 25% of the way to being able to live solely off the dividend. And it’s suppose to grow exponentially, right? So, Financial Independence here we come!
That said, February, along with January, are very boring months for dividends. Finally March has arrived! And we actually brought in some dividend income.
The dividend income was less than $10 off from what we received in 2020. I’m curious what April will look like, because most of that dividend came from one mutual fund in the biotech sector. Has anything happened in the biotech sector recently?! Maybe a vaccine or two or three.
The interest rate in my savings account is super low, as can be expected. My money is barely making any money sitting in that “high-yield” account now earning a measly 0.3%.
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.
Last year, I had to adjust the savings goal to 50%, which we didn’t achieve. I’m setting the same goal this year, and it’s looking like it will be tough to get there.
This month we actually reached that goal! I’m normally optimistic, but I’m going to take a pessimistic view of this. We wouldn’t have made it without the IRS tax refund. And that’s including the bonus that I got from work. We would have been right at 45%
Of that 50% we are spending, Housing and Daycare alone eat up about 30%. We give 10%, so that means we are living on 10-15% for everything else.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for daycare, but these Texas property taxes kill me. They will be the reason I move out of the state. Is that Tennessee I see in the future???
I expect moving there will at least cut property taxes in half. Daycare will decrease every year, until it’s gone in about 5 or so years. Hopefully we can get our savings rate up to 70% by then.
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 way above normal income month looks like for us, with an IRS Tax Refund and work bonus.
Our expenses were a little above average this month. We had some car expenses, home maintenance, and we restocked our pantry after emptying it out last month. Really though, most of that increase was because of the 10% we give every month.
Here is a quick break down:
1) Home Escrow ($1695.31)
The normal amount we put aside every month. And as I mentioned last month, this went up slightly we hired a gardener. Plus the HOA sent us a “friendly” notice saying we need to stain our fence or they’re going to fine us.
2) Giving ($1,540.60)
The usual 10% we give every month.
3) Cost of living ($2,962.72)
Previous Months: Jan: ($4,757.43), Dec: ($-$1,132.39), Nov: ($1,372.91), Oct: ($6,397.83), Sep: ($2,602.07), Aug: ($2,835.56), July: ($4,283.01), June: ($3,031.71), May: ($2,957.92), Apr: ($2,164.31), Mar: ($3,078.52), Feb: ($2,474.38), Jan: ($4,708.98)
Running Average: $3,243.45
This includes all our bills (Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Phone), transportation, food, shopping, and daycare. Home insurance is paid for out of our Home Escrow savings account. Like last year, we are going to drain our dependent care account at the end of the year in one lump sum. Doing it that way is less paper work for us.
Our gasoline bills was low thanks to staying home so much, but it was partially offset by our utility bills. Took a lot of gas and power to keep our house at a decent temperature.
I mentioned that after February, I should have a pretty good idea what a normal month looks like. And I’ll know if a savings rate of 50% is likely.
Unfortunately, after seeing what a normal month looks like for us, I think a 50% savings rate is a little bit of a stretch for us. I’m not going to change it though, because it will be a good challenge to see if we can make it.
March 2021 Vs February 2021 Expenses
February was a pretty average month, in terms of finances, where as March was sprinkled with some bonuses we didn’t really think we were going to get. We’re in our routine for the year, and things are going great.
Hopefully April stays fairly smooth too, although I think we may have another car repair. The good news is we have some friends coming to visit that we haven’t seen in a long while. We’ll see how that impacts spending.
Aside from the Roth IRA contribution, most of the financial goals this year are year long goals.
The Roth IRA contribution should be done, I just have to transfer the money. I’m putting all that investment money we had in December towards the Roth’s.
Aside from the 401k, which is on automatic contributions from my paycheck, I’m still not sure how the other ones are going to turn out. Time will tell.
I have to wait till dividends start coming in to know how the passive income goal will turn out. I can’t really tell just from March, but if March is any indicator, I’m not going to make this goal.
The savings rate goal of 50% is turning into a stretch goal, but I still think we can do it. We made it this month!
For 2021, I want to create more content. My goal is at least one article a month. I failed to do so far this year. I keep saying hopefully next month I’ll get an article posted, but life is just keeping me busy. Honestly, I struggle to find time just to make these net worth reports, but it’s something I’m committed to doing.
I’m doing a reading goal again this year, but half the number of books. I know 6 books isn’t much, but it felt like a lot. I think I can do 3.
So far I haven’t started.
And then their is my physical health. I didn’t get to where I wanted in 2020, so we’ll try again this year.
I’ve been loosing some weight this year, and I’ve been going to the gym again and running. That’s been helping. Just need to eat a little healthier.
I’ve started trying to cook up some veggies to have with dinner, but I also just bought a bunch of Blue Bell and Key Lime pie. But hey! It’s progress, right?
March 2021 Roundup
The month of March was a a good one, and nothing unusual happened. Kids didn’t get any unplanned time off school, we all stayed healthy, and pretty much life ran smooth.
I’m continue to be excited as we progress into April, and for the rest of the year. We are inching closer and closer towards normal.
I’m still hopeful that we will be able to stop wearing masks everywhere we go soon. Doesn’t look like it will be by April, but maybe summer? I think the original goal was heard immunity, wasn’t it? IT used to be around 70%, but that benchmark seems to differ depending on the day.
Stay tuned for next month’s New Worth update!
- 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 money for my babies. Consider it their net worth summary.
- Home Escrow – This is Uncle Sam’s money. We don’t mess around with Uncle Sam and his money.
- Total income only includes our active income, which is currently our full-time jobs.