Net Worth

Net Worth | September 2020

Our September 2020 net worth decrease slightly. 2020 is still a good year for us though, and my wife has returned to work!

Welcome to the September 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.

We have officially been tracking our net worth for a year!

You can view Previous Net Worth reports HERE.

August is known to be the hottest month of the year around here, and it did not disappoint. I saw that because last year was a hot September, so we didn’t catch a break for a while. However, this year, we had a very mild September and the weather has been great! I’ve been able to take walks almost everyday with my daughter. Financially, September was a tough month. We expected that it would be, but it still stinks!

And just like the rest of the summer months, I’m not going to talk much about what I did this month because we continued to not do much. It was an overall calm and relaxing month and we got to watch our baby grown and learn more each day. She’s starting to make those cute baby noises!

Monthly Roundup

The mask mandate continues. We are officially required to wear masks anytime we enter a business. Technically we aren’t required, but the business is forced to require it. Traffic, outside of rush hour, is back to normal, and most things seem normal, except that we have to cover our faces. My wife returned to work (in person), and I found out that I’ll have to return to the office in October as well. It’s going to be bummer wearing a mask all day. The baby is doing good, growing, and, overall, life is good.

If you recently had a child, don’t forget to fund their college education. I use the Vanguard 529 plan. I mostly keep saying this as a reminder to myself. Haha. I need to transfer money into the plan before the end of the year, but after the hospital bills are paid. We’re working on getting those paid.

September 2020 Net Worth

Here’s how September compares to last month:

September 2020 Net Worth Summary

September Account Breakdown

Let’s take a quick look at what happened in September.

Cash (-1,620.72)

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.

My wife did not bring home any income this month as she wrapped up her maternity leave. My pay was pretty normal this month. This means that we brought home less than half of the cash that we normally do. We tried to curb our spending, so our cash balance didn’t fall by as much as it normally would without her paycheck.

Investment Cash ($79.66)

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.

We have to pay for the delivery of baby #2, and more bills are coming in. We didn’t have any extra cash to transfer towards investments from August because we were saving it for September, and now we’re saving cash to start paying bills. The increase is solely from interest.

After we receive all the bills and insurance gets their part figured out, we have to pay all the bills. I hope that we can get that done in October, and start investing again in November. I’m still hopeful that some opportunities will come up this winter for investing. Nothing seems to have happened yet from foreclosure moratorium ending in July. It seems like evictions are still halted. I forget what agency is controlling that. That can’t go on forever though.

Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) (-$171.94)

We transferred money from our travel sinking fund into our cash account to help pay for the cruise we bought, so that dropped the value by a bit. This is another reason our cash balance didn’t fall as much. Other than that, 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.

Retirement Accounts

401(k)s (-$723.69)

Our 401(k) decreased just slightly thanks to us contributing throughout the month. They average decrease was slightly under 2%.

I’m still worried about the affect of the upcoming election.

IRA (-$6,980.21)

This decrease is all due to market performance. We haven’t really had a drop in a while, so I can’t complain too much. The drop was about 3%.

College Fund (-$1,389.02)

Just like the other investments, the college savings fell as well. A little less than the retirement accounts at around 6%.

Net Worth (-$10,483.62)

Honestly, not as bad as I expected. The drop in the market didn’t even wipe out the gains from last month, so we’re doing okay. Even better when you consider the fact we brought home less money from our paychecks. My curiosity remains about what is going to happen around election time. Also, I’m still hopeful all the world’s problems will disappear after the election.

In total, our net worth decreased by slightly over 2%.

Accessible Net Worth ($2,213.26)

Monthly Blurb: This is the money we are able to put away, not including the tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

Our income was a below average and our expenses were below average as well this month. Our accessible net worth decreased because my wife isn’t bringing home a paycheck for September, and I don’t make enough to cover our bills.


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.

Passive Income

Phew, all that tension is gone! We have finally made through September, and earning season is over. We no longer have to wonder what kind of dividends will come in. There were reports of a lot of companies cutting dividends, but also a lot of companies were reporting higher that expected profits.

I had no clue what to expect, but I’m happy to report that September was a record breaking month! In a good way.

I received more from dividends than I have ever received before!

Good time for a dip in the market as those dividends get reinvested. I’m looking forward to December, although I’m going into it with the same expectations as I did for September. Expect the worst, hope for the best.

I’m about $1,200 away from passing what I made last year in dividends ($9,242.21). I should easily pass that this year, but you never know! For the last five years, my December dividends have been grater than $1,200.

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 earning 0.4%, down from last month’s 0.5%, and the previous month’s 0.8%

September 2020 Passive Income

Saving’s Rate

Monthly Blurb: 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.

We missed our 50% goal by a long shot this month, even though we spent below average. That’s what happens when you start living on a single paycheck, even after cutting the expenses you can.

Our Year-to-date savings rate is now a significant amount below 50%. Our lowest months for our savings rate are now behind us, but October is not going to be much better. After all, we are cash flowing the cost of a baby. However, my wife is back at work, and we’ll start seeing that income go towards the medical bills instead of just surviving.

Hitting that 50% savings rate target in October is most likely not going to happen, although it should be better than 0% like September.

Here’s how we did this month.

September 2020 Savings Rate

Income ($3,445.03)

As promised, this is what a one-income month looks like for us. It’s not

In September our only source of active income is through my full-time job. My wife brought home nothing as she wrapped up maternity leave.

This is what a WAY below average month looks like for us. You’ll get to see what a good two-income month looks like in the next Net Worth Report. Thank goodness!

Expenses ($4,006.57)

Our expenses were below average this month. Though they were more than what I brought home this month! Yikes!

Here is a quick break down:

1) Home Escrow ($1060.00)

The “new” normal amount we put aside every month.

We adjusted this due to an increase in home insurance. Without the increase, we would have a shortage come January if property taxes stay the same, or increase.

2) Giving ($344.50)

The usual 10% we give every month.

3) Cost of living ($2,602.07)

Previous Months: August: ($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), Dec: ($2,749.98), Nov: ($1,242.44), Oct: ($3,040.36), Sep: ($1,238.39)
Running Average: $2,799.04

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. Starting in July, we are going to use the dependent care account to pay for day care, so we should see a decrease in the cost of living after the medical bills are paid. We changed our mind about this and are going to drain our dependent care account at the end of the year in one lump sum. This is less paper work for us.

Our gasoline bills continued to stay pretty low, but went up slightly since my wife is going into work now. The hottest part of the year is over, so both our water and electric bills decreased. The next few months is where our gas bill starts to go up as we heat the house.

Remember last month where my wife had to pay for some work related items. We got reimbursed for those this month. That helped out, because we really needed all the cash we could get this month. That came out of our August budget, and we see the money back in our wallets in September.

Other than that, we tried not to spend too much. We have some big bills to pay. We’ll continue to try not spending much. We always do, but more so than normal until those bills are paid!

September 2020 Vs August 2020 Expenses

August and September were pretty similar in terms of our expenses. October is going to be all about paying them bills. Ugh….

Goals Progress

September 2020 Goals Progress

Financial Goals

We met our target to fund our Roth IRA’s by the end of March.

We met our target to fund baby #2’s 529 plan early, having finished at the end of May.

The remaining financial goals are year long goals. We’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see if we accomplish them, but so far we are on mostly on track.

As expected, I am on track to have a maxed out 401(k) by the end of the year. It’s all automated, so as long as my job status doesn’t change, we should be good.

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 a personal best in April. I wasn’t so sure we would make this goal before September. September was a make or break month in terms of dividends, and we set a new record for dividend income! Now I’m fairly confident that we will beat this goal of having passive income grater than $10,000!

My goal of having a savings rate greater than 50% is very close. August through September have really pulled that number down. October is not going to help. We’ll have to see what the holiday months look like, and if they’re good enough to make up for it.

Blog Goal

I’ve made a few changes behind the scenes on where I want the direction of this blog to go. My goal was to provide more value to you, so I’ve made some changes in the way I’m going to style blog post in an effort to create post that are more relevant to you. Now I just have to start creating and publishing those posts.

Personal Goals

I caught up on my reading goal last month. I didn’t read hardly at all in September, and I’ve fallen behind again. It’s a real struggle for me, even though I like the books I’ve read so far. I’ve already finished four books. Now I just need to read two more books before the end of the year. I can do it….

My weight didn’t really change this month. Since the temperature has dropped, I’ve been able to run outside a lot, which has been a lot more enjoyable for me. Running at the gym is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge for me. I just can’t seem to go the same distance as I do outside. I’ve started mixing it up slightly where I’ll run a mile or two at the gym and then run back home.

September 2020 Roundup

The month of September was a another good one. The weather was very enjoyable, and I got to spend a bunch of time with my family. My net worth dropped a little, but we brought in a record amount of dividends! We still have a jobs, and my job seems to be progressing in the right direction.

I’m excited for October, as life gets back to normal for us (Whatever that may look like these days). We survived September, and it wasn’t as bad as I once pictured in my head. Our cash flow was negative, but thankfully we can handle that for a month. We will be fully recovered by the end of October.

Stay tuned for next month’s New Worth update. In the meantime, comment and let me know what stats you would like to see.

FIRE Away!

  • 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.

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