Net Worth Update – December 2020

Each month, I share a net worth update for the Brewing FIRE household. This brief summary of our financial standing serves as a progress report on our journey to financial independence.

In addition to giving a snapshot of our net worth, I will take a brief look at our spending, saving, and investing activity for the month.

December 2020 Net Worth

via Personal Capital

We use Personal Capital to track our net worth. Personal Capital makes it easy to track all of our banking accounts, investing accounts, credit cards and loans all in one place. Personal Capital also has numerous other functions for analyzing your investment holdings, asset allocation and performance, as well as some great retirement planning tools.


December

And just like that, 2020 is over. Actually, 2020 felt like the longest year I’ve lived through.

We welcomed our son into the world at the beginning of February. At that point, I thought taking care of two children at once would be the biggest challenge of 2020. Hah.

Then, that virus thing happened, which has dominated most of our lives since.

With Mrs. BF on maternity leave, no daycare, and no family interactions due to COVID, we learned how to subsist completely on our own. And we thrived.

So much so, that our fun fantasies of geoarbitrage crossed into the realm of possibility.

I’d never seen a white squirrel before I got here, but they’re EVERYWHERE!

Then suddenly, Mrs. had a job offer. Then we put our house on the market. And so it goes…

We arrived in Virginia at the beginning of December, and we’re mostly settled now. It took some getting used to, but we humans adapt to most things. And I’m pretty happy with the situation so far.

After 15 years of trudging to an office nearly every day, working from home is pretty fantastic. I’ve gained a control over my day that I never had previously, and it’s great. I honestly don’t think I could go back to a 9-5 job again.

I hope to dedicate future posts to our decision-making process around moving, and other related topics, so I’ll save it for a later date.


Month-Over-Month Comparison

We finished off 2020 with another all-time high for net worth. It’s truly incredible that, during such a tumultuous year of chaos and tragedy, we could find ourselves in such a fortunate position.

our Charlie Brown Christmas tree

As you can tell, we closed on the sale of our house. For the time being, we’re sitting on a ton of cash and we’ve got no home equity to speak of.

In a way, I feel great to no longer own a home and have to worry about repairs, depreciation, and the general woes of homeownership.

On the other hand, I feel a degree of impermanence, like I’m floating around with no terra firma. I think there’s a certain comfort in knowing that no external circumstances could disrupt your living arrangements. I also feel the need to plant roots for my kids, so we can start building a new community for them.


Spending and Not Spending

CategorySpendingComment
Mortgage$915pro-rated
Rent$1,850
Utilities$198
Home Maintenance$320
Student Loan$0
Transportation$363VA insurance/registration
Childcare$2,752ouch.
Medical$30
Groceries$651
Restaurants$330(take-out)
Shopping / Misc.$819house stuff
Discretionary$215
Subscriptions$46
Travel$146
Other$4,284Move-related
Total$12,922

After spending a ton in November, we topped it in December. However, more than half this amount is directly related to our move.

We ended up having overlapping rent/mortgage payments for roughly 6 weeks, which kind of sucks, but is mostly unavoidable. Our closing date was delayed by at least 3 weeks due to COVID-related backups in processing real estate transactions. I guess the delay is offset by large premium we got on our asking price.

I can’t believe I actually bought one!

Moving expenses: we moved all of our possessions via U-Pack cubes, as detailed last month. This cost $2,300. In addition, my mother-in-law drove our second car down for us, so we had to rent her a car to drive home. Finally, we replaced some of the furniture that we sold in CT.

We spent a lot on groceries and general home supplies this month, which is expected. Our grocery bill was actually very low in November, so it all averages out.

After putting over 1500 miles on a $50 garage sale treadmill in CT, I purchased a new one ($600 delivered) after our move. The exercise equipment secondary market is barren these days, because everyone is working (out) from home.


Income and Investing

Between Mrs. BF’s 4 month maternity leave, and her 5 week gap in employment from November-December, I feel like I’m doing all the heavy lifting around here. Just kidding, she’d kick my ass if she read that.

But seriously, 2020 was our lumpiest year in terms of cash flow. I went from praying for a severance package, to (unsuccessfully) attempting to quit, while my wife spent nearly half the year not working. Ah, the advantages of Fuck-You Money.

I’ve been teasing some new information on our investing strategy for months, but I still haven’t carved out enough time to write a post on it. Thankfully, I’ve been consuming a ton of Cal Newport content lately, and I’m getting super obsessive about time-blocking and organizing my time. Maybe this means that I’ll start writing more on the blog. Maybe not.

That’s it for 2020. I hope everyone had a boring, socially-distanced New Year. And I hope 2021 will be a lot better, though the bar is set ridiculously low. Cheers!

6 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – December 2020”

  1. that’s a pretty great price on a treadmill. i really ought to spring for one as i’m getting tubby with our work gym closed. hey, your house closed so that’s pretty good. glad to hear you’re enjoying the work from home arrangement. personally i’m happy to be back to work. holidays and sitting around quite a bit suck the life out of me. cheers to a prosperous ’21.

    Reply
    • That treadmill is definitely the low of the low end, but I’m not too fancy, and it works. The deck broke on my old treadmill and I replaced it with 3/4″ plywood because I didn’t want to pay $200 for an OEM part. Horizon T101, if you’re interested. I do get a bit of cabin fever, but I’ve been going for a walk most days just to keep moving and break the routine. The Virginia sun is still warm!

      Reply

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