Welcome to my monthly net worth September 2020 edition. Another month has come and gone, which indicates a need to review the change in my net worth. For all of the new followers, welcome! I track my net worth monthly to see where I am in comparison to my annual short term goals. Additionally, it is an opportunity to see my progress towards reaching my long-term goals.
September 2020 Personal Update
What happened in the month of September for The Financial Engineer? Further progress!
The family and I made a trip to the lake for a long Labor Day weekend. We enjoyed the family time to close out the summer. The trip allowed us to slow down and focus on important things. Such as, falling off the boat in an attempt to dock it. Additionally, we enjoyed swimming and tubing off the boat. The family also took a trip to a local apple orchard to kick off the fall season.
It has been enjoyable to get out of the house. The kids appreciated picking out apples and getting the fresh air. They relished in picking out pumpkins and drinking the apple cider. Moreover, the outings have helped with the mental health before we enter the colder weather.
The work life has been very similar to last month. I continue to assist a separate regional office with large projects. It has been extremely busy but I am appreciative of the opportunities provided, given current economic conditions. Accordingly, time has been reduced to focus on the website. Nevertheless, I have started reading a book on short-term rentals. A spreadsheet has been developed based upon the book's theme. The spreadsheet will evaluate key financial indicators for the real estate investment.
With the increase in my working hours, comes a decrease in time spent on the side hustles. This month had almost no income from side hustles. The focus was needed to meet client deadlines at work. I found that this was a good month to take a break from the time consumed by the side hustle. As such, productivity will increase to finish out the year strong.
The month of September has provided us with more things to be thankful for. Our youngest daughter is starting to sit-up on her own. She is also starting to sleep for about 7 hours. In addition, we have been able to spend more time with family which has grown the relationships between our daughters and others. It is fun to see our two daughters loving on one another, and they both light up when they see each other.
Similarly to the last few months, my net worth increased. Although it was a modest increase, I am pleased to see continued growth in my net worth during these economic conditions.
September 2020 Actual vs. Budget:
This month's spending was similar to last month's. Please note, each budget section (listed below) is based upon my salary. It does not include any other income sources. The thought is to save all other income 100%, and not include it in the annual budget. As a reminder, I break out my budget into 3 categories:
- Fixed Costs
- Financial Goals
- Flex Spending
Now, let's take a dive into the difference in fixed costs!
I received my quarterly bonus this month which required me to pay more taxes. Additionally, I contributed a portion of the bonus to my HSA. Showing an overrun in this line item is good. The additional contribution to my HSA is helping the increase to my net worth. I plan to place a portion of the funds into a low cost index fund that the HSA provider offers. The investment of the funds will occur by the end of the year.
Reimbursable work costs line item increased from expenses incurred as a result of renewing my professional engineer license. As mentioned last month, every biennial year I have to renew the license. This costs approximately $100 for the state renewal fee. Not to mention, I have 30 continuing education hours I must meet. Those courses can really add up, at an average of $85/hr. Thankfully, my employer covers all costs associated with this. I was reimbursed this month from all the costs incurred. However, I do not track additional income that comes in when comparing the line items to the budget. This is a tactic I use to manage my expenses
Next, let's dive into my Financial Goals.
Great increases to the children's 529 occurred in September. The additional $170 was provided by the quarterly bonus received. I am currently contributing $140 / child each month. With this contribution amount (and assumed 7% annual interest rate) each account should hold $60,000 in 18 years. However, it should be noted, the 529 accounts are not reflected in my net worth. Curious to know why? My net worth tracking page explains it all!
I did not reach my monthly saving goal for the short-term rental. This was due to the reduction in the side hustles. However, a portion of the quarterly bonus did go into the account for this. Undoubtedly, I anticipate this to be met each month for the remainder of the year.
As previously mentioned, I reallocated my vacation and emergency fund monies to the short-term rental savings. These line items will consistently show a $100 savings for the remainder of the year. We did not require any home or vehicle repairs this month. However, this will not be the case in next month's net worth update. My truck is in dire need of new tires.
Lastly, I will share the flex spending evaluation.
I always try to meet budget in my flex spending. This section consists mostly of wants, and not needs. However, the payment for next month's vacation is what caused the overrun shown in the last line item. This was a portion of the beach vacation we will take in October.
Great news, we got closer to the minimal budget for eating out. I am pleased to see a reduction in the overrun number for this line item. The monthly budget for eating out is a stretch, as we are feeding three mouths each time. This budget is set at $125 every month.
Contrary, we spent quite a bit on groceries and alcohol for the lake house stay over labor day weekend. We had some great meals while staying on the lake. Steaks were grilled out as we watched the sunset one night. It was enjoyable.
Let's wrap this month's overview up!
Overall September 2020 Net Worth:
Our state has been doing well with coronavirus cases. The state continues to open the economy up. It is good to see life coming back to local restaurants. I believe the mask mandate has minimized the coronavirus cases, and I will happily wear a mask if that prevents another economic shutdown.
We will see what changes will occur next month in the saga of the Coronavirus. I am excited to see how the economy opens up for the last stretch of the decade long year of 2020.
As always, I have continued to put money into the 401k and IRA accounts. I have focused more attention into the short term savings for the real estate investment. This is primarily funded through my side hustles. I am staying the course and resisting the emotional decision pressing me to reallocate the investments. Who knows when or how the stock market correction will happen? This is why I am not trying to time the market.
My current contribution to my 401k will remain at 8%. I will also continue to place 2% into my Roth IRA. These percentages will remain the same until we purchase our first investment property. After, I will throw fuel on the 401k investment FIRE! This should occur sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
The Financial Engineer's September 2020 net worth is now roughly $145,911. This was an increase of $1,109 from last month. The change was driven by a reduction in my debt, and increase in income from my engineering job. My HSA grew by $354, respectively. I did not have any income from my side hustles. My 401k and individual retirement accounts slightly decreased this month.
Overall, I am okay with the modest increase to the net worth. The side hustle is crucial income that helps increase my net worth. I will get this back on track. As a result, this will allow us to achieve our financial goals. After reaching the goal, my focus of saving will shift to investing into the retirement funds. Again, it should be noted, the value in my daughter's 529 plans are not reflected in my net worth.
My September 2020 savings/investing rate is approximately 23%. This will continue to increase in the following months.
I was fairly accurate with my prediction for September. Sadly, I anticipated September to be a stagnant month. In evaluating my numbers, this was a fairly accurate prediction. I also anticipate October to be a modest increase in my net worth. I foresee the tire expense to hamper the growth. Additionally, the costs for the beach vacation will be in full. After October, I will finish the year out strong.
How is you net worth looking?