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 2022 Net Worth
This month, we had to say goodbye to our big old pitbull, Percy. Most people who follow the blog have noted the uptick in vet bills over the past few months. A nasal/respiratory issue in October devolved into a series of appointments, procedures, and ultimately some bad news. After stabilizing for a few weeks, Percy’s health declined quickly, and he left this world at the end of the month.
Little is known of Percy’s early days. He was found on the streets of New York in early 2015. Because he was loitering outside a sandwich shop, the shelter that took him in named him Hero. Side note – why do New Yorkers call sandwiches “heroes”? That’s worse than hoagie or submarine. At least a foot-long sandwich looks like a submarine.
Anyway, Hero spent almost two years at the animal shelter before we came across his ad. We had lost our previous dog in early 2016, and after about 8 months of fostering, we were looking to settle down again. We saw Hero’s goofy headshot and thought it was oddly charming. We decided to take a ride to check him out and get to see his personality. The moment he entered the ‘meet and greet’ room, he immediately crawled onto my lap. Needless to say, we knew we would be taking him home.
The timing of our adoption wasn’t random. We had planned to start a family in 2017 (our daughter ended up being born in October), and so it’s risky to introduce a foster dog to that environment. Fortunately, we hit the lottery with Percy, temperament-wise. We’ve never been around a dog that was so tolerant of kids, people, and other dogs. He was truly the most mild-mannered pet we could ask for.
Percy lived a great life of leisure during his 5+ years with the family. He wasn’t especially fond of walks, and much preferred laying out on the deck or rolling around in the grass. He barked at the deer that would run through our yard, but I’m pretty sure he only wanted to play with them.
In late 2019, Percy had an inner-ear event that left him with vertigo and partial deafness. In 2020, he had a repeat occurrence which left him fully deaf. His pace slowed a bit, and his balance was wobbly for the last couple years, but he was otherwise happy. I used to joke that he didn’t really listen to me when he could hear me.
We’re still getting used to life without Percy. The kids are a bit confused about death – our two-year-old keeps thinking that he’s still downstairs. It’s weird for me, especially, because I am home 23 hours a day, and so we were basically together 24/7 for the last year and a half. I don’t miss letting him out 25 times a day, or the constant stream of odors that emanated from him, but I certainly will miss his companionship and his after-dinner cleaning skills.
Until we meet again, old man.
Lots of money moving around in February. We closed on our long-delayed home purchase, hence the $90k drop in our cash reserves, along with the equivalent increase in home equity. The markets were pretty turbulent once again this month, though the decline wasn’t very significant.
Spending and Not Spending
|Utilities||$453||electric, internet, trash, gas|
|Student Loan||$0||delay until May?|
|Shopping||$562||A canoe and some chairs|
|Total||$7,976||minus the donation|
Not much to comment on this month. The grocery bill came down a bit after last month’s spike; probably just working through our stockpile of expensive meats. We bought some larger items including a canoe for river explorations and some used chairs for our impending move. Percy’s last rites and cremation cost about $400.
Income and Investing
We earned our normal W2 incomes in February, but not much else. My company deposited an extra $500 into my HSA for filling out some forms and telling them I’m healthy. I discontinued the contributions to my company’s ESPP. Investing for a 15% stock discount is something I’ve always argued for, but I want to redirect cash flows during our upcoming move, in case there are additional expenses associated with the new place.
Here’s where I sneak in a surprise announcement, to see if you actually read these whole updates. This post marks my 48th consecutive net worth update. I haven’t missed one such post since March of 2018, when I started the blog. However, I think now is a good time to discontinue the practice and end my monthly updates.
The decision is due to a number of reasons, but mainly due to a lack of time and shifting priorities. I’ve often talked about being strained for time because of professional and personal commitments, and it hasn’t gotten any better in the last year. My post frequency has slowly drifted down, and maybe now is the time to turn off the spigot. I’m not ‘quitting the blog’ yet, but I’m not sure what’s next.
Thanks to everyone who has followed along on the journey the last four years. It’s been fun to look back at earlier posts and get a snapshot of my life during these exciting times. This experiment has been much more successful than I would have imagined when I started, and I’m grateful for that.