Welcome to the September 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.
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 say 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! 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 babies grown and learn more each day. It’s crazy how fast they learn.
The mask mandates continue in places. 78% of adults are fully vaccinated, so when do we call the pandemic over? When do we go back to normal?
If you recently had a child, don’t forget to fund your 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 2021 Net Worth
Here’s how September compares to last month:
September Account Breakdown
Let’s take a quick look at what happened in September.
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 changed jobs and brought home a PTO payout as a result. My pay was pretty normal this month. This resulted in a really good month as far as take-home pay goes. This helped because we had to pay some medical bills this month.
Investment Cash ($3,371.06)
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.
All of our extra money is going towards investments this month. This is where our leftover income went from August.
Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) ($1,067.40)
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.
Our 401(k) decreased just slightly thanks to us contributing throughout the month. The average decrease was slightly over 1%.
The markets were down this month, which hurt our overall net worth.
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 (-$1,997.45)
Just like the other investments, the college savings fell as well. About the same as the retirement accounts at around 3%.
Net Worth (-$1,125.29)
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. The extra money my wife brought home really helped.
In total, our net worth decreased by slightly under .2%.
Accessible Net Worth ($10,588.76)
Monthly Blurb: This is the money we are able to put away, not including the tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Our income was above average and our expenses were about average this month. Our accessible net worth increased because my wife brought home a bonus paycheck for September.
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.
Phew, all that tension is gone! We have finally made it through September, and earnings 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 than 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 $5,500 away from passing what I made last year in dividends. Hopefully, I can pass that this year, but you never know! For the last five years, my December dividends have been greater than $2,000, but not always greater than $5,500.
My money is barely making any money sitting in that “high-yield” account earning 0.4%.
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 made our 50% goal this month, even though we spent above average. That’s what happens when we get an extra paycheck.
Our Year-to-date savings rate is still below 50%, but at least it’s closer. Our lowest months for our savings rate are now behind us, but October is not going to be much better.
Hitting that 50% savings rate target in October is most likely not going to happen.
Here’s how we did this month.
As promised, this is what a one-income month looks like for us. It’s not
In September, my wife brought home a little extra. I made the normal amount.
This is what a WAY above average month looks like for us. You’ll get to see what an average two-income month looks like in the next Net Worth Report. Thank goodness!
Our expenses were well above average this month.
Here is a quick break down:
1) Home Escrow ($1603.72)
The “new” normal amount we put aside every month.
I should really change this to just “Home” because it’s not just home escrow anymore. It includes the gardners, and cleaners when we have them come.
2) Giving ($1400.41)
The usual 10% we give every month.
3) Cost of living ($3,968.22)
Previous Months: Aug: ($3,532.91), July ($2,394.24), June: ($4,283.01), May: ($3,726.16), Apr: ($3,857.24), Mar: ($2,962.72), Feb: ($2,632.65), Jan: ($4,757.43), Dec: (-$1,132.39), Nov: ($1,372.91), Oct: ($6,397.83), Sep: ($2,602.07), Aug: ($2,835.56)
Running Average: $3,237.04
This includes all our bills (Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Phone), transportation, food, shopping, car insurance, 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 paperwork for us.
We have been driving more, so our gasoline bill is starting to climb. We hit a new peak in August as gasoline prices continue to rise. Our utility bills rose as well since the weather is heating up and we have to cool the house. Not to mention watering the yard.
I mentioned that after February, I should have a pretty good idea of what a normal month looks like. And I’ll know if a savings rate of 50% is likely.
We managed to keep our savings rate above 50% up until May. I expect that to drop throughout the remainder of the year until we hit December.
I was previously hopeful that changes in daycare will help us keep that number above 50%, but the decrease in the cost of daycare was not that significant. Now I’m looking forward to in a couple of years when they start school and are out of daycare.
September 2021 Vs August 2021 Expenses
August and September were pretty similar in terms of our expenses.
Hopefully, October stays fairly smooth and we don’t have any unforeseen expenses.
Aside from the Roth IRA contribution, most of the financial goals this year are year-long goals.
The Roth IRA contribution is done, and the money has been transferred to the proper accounts.
Aside from the 401k, which is on automatic contributions from my paycheck, I’m still not completely sure how the other goals are going to turn out. Time will tell.
We are on track to save over $50,000 for real estate investing. The year is officially two-thirds over now, and we’ve managed to save nearly 89% of what the year-long goal is. I think we will make this one.
If dividends keep breaking records then I will meet the passive income goal. Currently, I’m on pace to meet the $15,000 goal for passive income. We’ll see if that pace keeps up. I know it looks ugly now, the remainder of the money comes in at the end of the year, in December.
The savings rate goal of 50% is turning into a stretch goal, but I still think we can do it. We’ve dropped below 50% right now! And the rest of the year is the challenging part. We’ll see what we can do to upright this ship.
For 2021, I want to create more content. My goal is at least one article a month. I failed to do that 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 aren’t much, but it felt like a lot. I think I can do 3.
So far I haven’t started.
And then there is my physical health. I didn’t get to where I wanted in 2020, so we’ll try again this year.
I’ve been losing 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. Yeah….that didn’t happen in September. I gained a few pounds.
September 2021 Roundup
The month of September was 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 jobs, so that’s good news.
I’m excited for October. We survived September, and it wasn’t as bad as I once pictured in my head. Our cash flow was positive, but net worth went down due to investments. September is a historically bad month, so no shocker there.
Stay tuned for next month’s New Worth update. In the meantime, comment and let me know what stats you would like to see.
- 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.