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.
February 2019 Net Worth
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.
Ever since our daughter was born, I have struggled to carve out “me time” in my life. Don’t get me wrong, she’s my favorite little person and parenthood has been awesome so far. But as an only child and a slight introvert, I need time to be alone and recharge.
Starting in February, I’ve been getting up around 5:30 every morning, giving myself an hour of quiet before the chaos begins. Honestly, I wish I had done this long ago. I have time to read, write, or do anything else I feel like doing. And no one bothers me. No wonder why everyone recommends this!
A More Relaxed Approach to Blogging
With all of this extra time, I’ve been able to keep up with my weekly blog posts in 2019. However, I’ve found myself feeling stressed out over the need to keep producing. Since I’m really only doing this for myself, I’ve decided to relax and stop feeling pressured to post weekly, use social media sites I hate (Facebook and Pinterest), and promote myself in some manner or another.
I really liked this refreshingly honest view of the FIRE blogging community from Othala Fehu.
Essentially, FIRE bloggers fall into 3 categories:
- Basics of Financial Independence: these topics have been covered ad nauseum, and most people are just recycling known material. The OG’s of the FI world have handled these topics already.
- Deep Dive Content: this is useful, because it serves as a comprehensive guide on a certain topic. These are great “next-level” references.
- Personal Content: people sharing their own stories, trials and tribulations. By definition, this material is always unique, and resonates quite well within the community.
I realized that I don’t want to waste my time being just another one of the 2000 PF bloggers, throwing idioms and rehashed advice into the PF echo chamber.
Going forward, I will only be sharing occasional Deep Dive content and my personal journey. If you care to follow along, that’s fine. If you don’t, also fine.
This goes for consuming others’ content as well. I spent a couple months trying to read and comment on too many blogs, including ones that do not excite me. I’m done with this. If I’m still sharing and commenting on your posts, consider yourself in a special category.
To be honest, I’m getting tired of the deluge of brand new blogs loaded with affiliate links and overt advertisements. You’re not going to make money blogging until someone values your content!
Turmoil in the PF Blogosphere
I’ve also been feeling a little disenchanted with the personal finance community in general lately. You probably know what I’m talking about. It seems like we’ve fragmented into different factions, and there’s an all-out war of ideologies going on right now.
I’m not taking sides, except to say this: personal finance is about your own journey; the only real purpose of this community is to encourage and support each other. Stop shitting on each other, seriously.
Okay, rants over. On to the normal stuff.
Hey, the market recovered! I guess all of those people crapping themselves in October/December can breathe easy for a while. It’s also a good reminder to not try to time the market. If you got out when we entered bear territory, you just lost out on the recovery, and now you’re kicking yourself.
Spending and Not Spending
Here are some things we spent money on this month.
Patio Gazebo – $213: we have now purchased 3 gazebos for our patio in the last 3 years. The first one got shredded by the remnants of a hurricane, and the second one was crushed by a freak November snowstorm last year. Luckily, we grabbed this one on sale, and I’ll try to not let it get destroyed again. ‘Try”, being the key word here.
The Book of Mormon Tickets – $199: when I was a 20-something hipster I had a massive entertainment budget. I attended 25-30 concerts a year easily. I’d drive down to Brooklyn in the middle of the night on a Thursday for a secret show without thinking.
Now, I’m old (kinda). We normally attend 2 or 3 well chosen shows per year these days, and every show is accompanied by a babysitter and a curfew. FYI, my last two concerts were Wolf Parade and The New Pornographers- guess I like the Canadians.
Anyway, The Book of Mormon is coming to town in April, and I’m quite excited for this. I’m pretty sure we will categorize this as “money well spent.”
Income and Investing
Besides our normal W-2 incomes, I made a little bit of money working down at the Brewpub, and we collected another month of rental income from The Basement Bungalow. Our most recent tenant moved out during the last week of February, but we’ve got another traveling nurse moving in March 3rd. We even got a parting gift from our last resident!
As I mentioned in my January update, we’ve been decluttering the house in a big way over the past few weeks. Through February, we’ve sold, donated, or given away scores of items that no longer spark joy in our lives. We’ve netted about $400 so far in the process.
It also appears that the ‘tidying up’ that we’re doing will end up paying some serious dividends. You can read the tweet thread below, but here’s the quick synopsis: we almost sold a guitar for $20 on Craigslist that turned out to be a museum-worthy, one-of-a-kind item. I will update further on the details once we find out what this thing is really worth. Crazy!
On the investing front, I still feel absolutely amazing after selling my stocks and switching to index investing. I never knew how much stress I caused myself by constantly monitoring and tinkering with my individual stock positions until I got rid of them. Accepting “average market returns” feels great!
Thanks for reading along with our Net Worth updates, and let me know what you think in the comments. Cheers!