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 2020 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.
The fastest stock market correction in history. The looming threat of a global pandemic. The rise of a democratic socialist to challenge The Orange One. What a tumultuous series of events to hit us in February.
Oh yeah, and one more thing- we had a baby!
So while the world has been besieged by collapsing interest rates and a mad dash for n95 masks, we have been inundated with soiled diapers and round-the-clock feeding schedules.
The good news is that I was granted two weeks of paid parental leave to be with our new baby boy. Not quite Scandinavian policy, but I’ll take it. Mrs. BF will be off for 16 weeks, though her PTO is going to run out and she’ll have to take some unpaid time off.
Someone asked me when I got back to work whether I was relieved to go back to the ‘normalcy’ of work. You know what I said? Shit, no! Surprisingly enough, two weeks of hospital stays, sleep deprivation and simultaneously wrangling a toddler and a newborn was more enjoyable than my job.
In all honesty, the extra time I’ve been able to spend with family over the past four weeks has solidified my view that I want to exit the workforce as soon as economically possible. I will do anything I can to tip the scales toward more quality time with my kids, and less time dealing with bullshit bosses and office politics.
I don’t think I have to explain what happened here. Our investment accounts dropped by $85,000 in a little over a week. Or, as Mr. 1500 days keeps pointing out, the market’s at the same place it was 4 months ago. Perspective.
Spending and Not Spending
|Utilities||$374||electric, internet, firewood|
|Student Loan||$974||praying for PSLF in 2024|
|Transportation||$483||6 months of auto insurance premiums|
|Medical||$2,795||I just bought this baby, straight cash|
|Shopping / Misc.||$457|
|Entertainment / Discretionary||$317|
|Subscriptions||$269||Chase annual fee and yearly mlb.tv subscription|
|February Total||$7,604||$4,809 without the baby|
We had some one-time expenses in February. First off, we spent about $2,800 on a brand new baby. I know, I know, I should have gone with the used baby with 40,000 miles on it, but I just love the new baby smell!
Actually, our first baby cost about $4,000, but Mrs. BF’s employer has since revised their benefits package, so we got a 30% discount on the second one. That doesn’t happen too often.
We also renewed our semi-annual auto insurance policy this month, at $400. When I started this FI journey back around 2012, I was paying over $150 per month for just my policy, and now we are paying $66 per month for both of our coverage. I was really getting shafted.
Income and Investing
We put about $2,000 additional money into our brokerage accounts this month, which you cannot see any evidence of due to the pullback. I will continue to transfer money from our cash reserves into the market if the turmoil continues, and then build up our savings again in the second half of the year.
Besides our regular income from our W2 jobs and the Basement Bungalow, we made a few bucks this month selling crap around the house. I parted with some books and Mrs. BF parted with some plants, which earned about $100 in total. Also, I got a $300 bonus for signing up with Chase for a new checking and savings account. We’ll earn another $300 in a month or so when the cash sitting in the savings account passes 90 days. This year I’m going to do more bank hacking for these sign-up bonuses. Seems like Freddy Smidlap may be doing this as well.
That concludes my February net worth update. How tumultuous was your February? Did you panic sell, or BTFD? Let me know in the comments.