Net Worth Update – January 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.

January 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.

January – Planning and Preparation

January seems like a good time to go over our plans and set a course for the new year. In my December update, I laid out a bunch of information regarding our 2019 spending, saving, and overall net worth progress. I thought about writing a post to update on my 2019 goals, but I’m probably going to skip it because I doubt anyone really cares.

Using our 2019 financial metrics, I’m trying to project what our 2020 will look like from a fiscal standpoint. There are still a number of moving parts that I need to nail down, but I think I’ll have a pretty solid picture soon. Maybe I’ll share this in another post.

Baby room is looking pretty good

As I mentioned in the title, we spent much of January preparing as well. Preparing for what, you ask? The arrival of Baby #2.

Mrs. BF was in full nesting mode all month long. She acquired a number of baby rockers, feeding chairs, and other necessities from Craigslist and FB Marketplace. We gladly accepted tons of hand-me-down clothes from friends. I transitioned our spare bedroom from the dog’s fart-house into a nursery. And we cooked an extra 15 pounds of food that we stuffed into the freezer for later.

As the end of the month rolls around, I feel surprisingly ready to take on care of another small human. And Mrs. BF can’t wait to evict him.

Month-Over-Month Comparison

We hit another net worth high in January, just barely. It could have been better, but we had unusually high spending this month, coinciding with a large semi-annual tax bill.

Note: The Personal Capital net worth projection is off because two of our accounts haven’t been updating properly since December.

Spending and Not Spending

Property Tax$3,888semi-annual
Utilities$710electric, internet, oil
Home Maintenance$18
Student Loan$974praying for PSLF in 2024
Shopping / Misc.$770
Entertainment / Discretionary$192
January Total$9,661$5,773 without taxes

Property Taxes: We pay almost $8,000 per year to live where we do. Part of this is the fact that we have almost 3 acres, part of it is the excellent school system in our town, and part of this is the reality of living in Connecticut. $8,000 tax bills will be one of the primary reasons we leave CT, if that does eventually happen.

Our new babysitter- Sesame Street!

Childcare: after January, we’ll have a break from most childcare costs. Baby BF will stay home with us during my wife’s maternity leave, so we’ll be able to save some money there. On the downside, both kids will be attending a new daycare starting in June, and this will be significantly more expensive than our current situation.

Check out this post if you want to read a nice summary of the highs and lows of childrearing, and the exorbitant cost of childcare.

Groceries / Shopping / Misc: we spent an unusually high amount on food, and general shopping this month. It’s almost entirely due to the impending baby arrival. We have enough food right now to survive a nuclear apocalypse, and we have enough diapers and wipes for a small army of children. I’m expecting both of these categories to drop substantially next month.

Income and Investing

Our sources of income in January were our W2 jobs, rental income from the basement apartment, and a few other miscellaneous sources.

I settled some residual stuff from the sale of my multi-family property. I also sold the old tires that came off my car when I installed snow tires, which fetched $50. I actually had no intention of keeping them, but Costco mistakenly threw them in my trunk when they did the install.

For investments, we maxed out our Roth contributions to the tune of $12,000 on January 2nd. It’s always fun to see your investments jump by 5 digits at the beginning of the year, except for the fact that our checking account dropped by the same amount.

That concludes my January net worth update. Do you update your financial plans at the beginning of the year? Any big changes for 2020? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – January 2020”

  1. baby on board! i think we’ll fund the roths this year in the more traditional sense. last year it was just selling stocks in taxable and buying them back in the roths. i’ve said it before but 8k in property tax would break my spirit. you must hold your nose to write that check twice a year. congrats again on baby deux.

    • Thanks. You’re essentially doing a Roth conversion, which makes sense if it doesn’t ding you, tax-wise. If you harvest some tax losses, you’re converting for free. Yeah, the property tax bill sucks. The basement apartment rental is our only saving grace; I think we would have moved already without that. As it is, we’re still strongly considering leaving CT in the next couple years.


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