Net Worth Update – June 2021

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.

June 2021 Net Worth

net worth
via Personal Capital


June was a busy month for the Brewing Fire household. With summer entering full swing, we have been out and about, and making the most of our new home. We also had the first series of visits from friends and family.

32 oz beers!

At the beginning of the month, one of my close friends came down to spend the weekend and catch up. And by catch up, I mean we caught up on the 75 beers we haven’t shared due to Covid and physical separation. On the plus side, I got to visit a bunch of breweries with him and see the Flying Squirrels play (my first live event in 18 months!). On the downside, I didn’t pace myself, and the 32oz beers nearly did me in. I should have taken Impersonal Finances’ advice.

Next, my parents came down to visit and stay with us. This, admittedly, was a more subdued affair. The grandchildren are their primary focus, of course, and so Mrs. BF and I got a brief respite as my parents continued to spoil their only heirs. Good times had by all.

Most of June was really hot down here in VA. Which is fine, because I much prefer the heat to the cold. In fact, the humidity is consistently 10-15% lower down here than it is in Connecticut. If you can find a shady spot to hide out, I find it much more bearable than southern New England.

And if it’s still too hot, there’s always the pool.

The Pool

There’s an interesting phenomenon down here in Virginia that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. Not that I’ve lived anywhere else, but it certainly isn’t a “thing” in the Northeast. What am I speaking of: The Community Pool.

Where I came from, lots of people have pools. On the street we used to live, 5 out of 13 houses had their own pool. (Not us- they’re such a money pit, I would never own a pool.)

In our current area, almost no one owns a pool. In most developments, it seems like 1-2 houses have swimming pools, at most. I’m not sure if this is due to regulations and HOAs, or maybe they get too hot over the course of the summer. The solution down here is neighborhood pools, and so far I’m really digging them.

We joined a pool that’s 1.5 miles from the house. So close, I’ve been riding my bike there for brief dips. It’s a great way to immerse ourselves (literally) in a new community, and my daughter’s already making friends there. We’ve been going down late morning for a family swim and then eating lunch before heading home. They also have plenty of social events that will likely help us integrate better.

The upfront cost was a bit steep: $250 one-time fee plus $600 yearly membership. However, we’ve already gone around 10 times in the first 6 weeks it’s been open, so I think we’ll be able to get our moneys worth. The kids certainly love it!

Month-Over-Month Comparison

In a mostly sideways market, we eked out a new net worth high in June. Our one speculative investment (Bitcoin) stabilized after a rough patch, and so our after-tax investments have also leveled out.

Spending and Not Spending

Student Loan$0
Transportation$712Taxes, insurance, gas
Shopping / Misc.$448
Entertainment$1,020Visitors, and The Pool
Travel$25EZ Pass recharge
Total$8,412minus the donation

That’s a big number, but there were a few yearly expenses hiding on the spreadsheet this month.

  • Auto Taxes: $190 – cheaper than CT at least
  • Auto Insurance: $413 – semi-annual
  • Pool Membership: $860
tangy fermented mushrooms

We also spent a bit more on groceries, restaurant take-out, and entertainment, as we were hosting friends and family for a portion of the month.

Lastly, I stocked up on some equipment in order to resurrect my passion project: fermenting stuff. I picked up a new fermentation chamber heater, a bunch of glass jars and bottles, and a fresh SCOBY, which totaled $100 or so.

We’re already cranking out some tasty kombucha and lacto-fermented delicacies such as king oyster mushrooms!

Income and Investing

Mrs. BF finished up her stint at the Urgent Care, and will move on to a more preferred role in Hepatology at the the local University/hospital conglomerate. As such, we’ll have a short gap in income from her transition, which we can obviously absorb with the pile of cash we’re sitting on.

Speaking of the cash. I’m actually being a bit conservative about deploying further investments into our taxable account right now, because I’m prepping for a potential home purchase in the coming months. It looks like we may be signing a contract at the end of the summer, and I’m not exactly sure about the financing terms yet, so I want to have some extra cash in case we need it. Stay tuned.

Here’s what our current asset breakdown looks like, if you’re interested. Most of that cash is reserved for an eventual home purchase.

That’s it for June. How was your month? Do people own swimming pools where you live? Have you ever tried fermenting mushrooms? Let me know in the comments.

17 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – June 2021”

  1. bitcoin! we’ve never owned any but might have some exposure through square and paypal? owning some. 32 oz. ballpark beers are no joke. throw in the fact it can be hot at the ballgame and you can probably feel pretty stewed. it’s good you got to hang out with your old buddy, though.

    i think my friend in raleigh said they have a community pool and my in-laws in ohio have one that is very well used. they even rented their pool for a big milestone birthday party years ago. it’s a great concept as long as you don’t have too many “joe dirt” community members.

    • I’m definitely not one of those people that is out there telling all my friends to invest in crypto. In fact, when we visited many of them during a trip to CT earlier this month, they were all trying to convince ME to invest in rando shitcoins. I don’t know what the future is, but BTC is one of the safer bets within the bunch, I think.

      Yeah man, I love the idea of community pools. I’ve never wanted to own a pool myself, so this is a great alternative, and it’s pretty fun to hang out with other members and watch our kids torture each other. No real Joe Dirts that I’ve seen there, yet!

  2. I’m finding myself going out A LOT as the doors have opened on the world again. Just doing my part to keep the economy rolling, but something I’ll need to rein in after the summer months. A community pool is clutch, especially if you have kids. Enjoy the summer and the beers!

    • Thanks! Yeah, we’ve also been catching up on all the activities we didn’t do for nearly 18 months. I’d really like to go to a concert soon, or at least a few more baseball games.

  3. I hate to think what a 32 oz beer would cost at St. Louis Cardinals ballpark. I’m headed up there with friends for our annual baseball trip and the last time we went, in 2019 they were $9.50 for a 12oz bottle! Way back when we had young ones at home we joined a tennis club with a pool. But once the kids were out and gone we had no desire to go to the pool as adults. My view of water is a place to catch fish, which we do frequently. I like mushrooms but I can’t imagine how fermenting them is an improvement? Now fermented grain and hops, or fermenting grape juice, I can get down with that.

    • I used to be a Yankees season ticket holder, and beer prices were horrendous even 10 years ago, I can’t imagine how bad they are now. Yeah, I’m not sure if I would be so enthusiastic about the pool membership without kids. I’m itching to get down to the river and try out some kayaking down here. My wife is the fisherman (fisherwoman?), so that’s what she’ll be doing. You need to try fermented mushrooms, they’re incredible. The umami is cranked up to 11 and there’s a slight tanginess to them that’s so good.

  4. Hi Mr BF – yesterday I decided to follow your lead and open a taxable account at Wealthfront to maximize my tax loss harvesting. Do you know if they do anything to minimize capital gain distributions? I spread my initial allocation out amongst a few different index funds and am worried they’re going to drop me into an ARK fund when they do the harvesting. This could lead to some capital gain distributions I suspect that I’d like to avoid.
    Appreciate any insight!

    • Hey Sean, glad to hear you’re trying out robo-investing! Wealthfront does try to optimize for taxes when they sell or exchange investments, though they don’t spell out their strategy completely. From my experience, they held on to many funds for 365 days before exchanging, to ensure LTCG tax treatment. For rebalancing of index funds, they always use substantially similar investments. This means that, unless you’re already invested in an ARKK fund or similar, they wouldn’t be putting you into that type of investment. I’m not positive how they are doing things after recently opening up investment options, but for me it’s just been shuffling between a few standard asset classes (US equities, foreign, emerging, US dividend etc…). There may be more information in WF’s FAQs on their website. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  5. Good stuff Adam. Being from So Cal, the pool situation was mostly individual like CT. However, the community pool thing seems like a great idea. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it. Also a nice way to re-hydrate after those 75 beers! Sounds like your Summer is off to a great start!

    • We’re definitely trying to make the most of this summer, kind of like we’re making up for lost time. Hope you’re having a good one up in the PNW. I would make a comment about milder temperatures, but you guys are getting some serious heat this summer, much worse even than Virginia!

  6. 75 beers! Sounds like a good time. The community pool sounds a like fun thing. I can imagine how this must help out after moving to a new place. Probably be something I would join if there was one in my neighborhood, luckily it doesn’t get too hot in the Bay Area…actually its been pretty cold and foggy in SF when I go into work. I wear a jacket and beanie, then when I drive back to my house its usually 20-30 degrees warmer and feels like summer. I don’t think california is big on the community pool thing. The memories and the relationships you’ll build within the community will well outweigh the cost of membership. Good luck on the home purchase, definitely a good idea to sit on the cash with all this volatility going on in the markets this year.

    • The 75 beer number is an exaggeration, but probably only a slight exaggeration. Yeah the concept of a community pool is strange to me, but it’s like a way of life down here, and I totally dig it. My cousin lives in SF and he said the same thing as you, lots of fog until August or so when the summer shows up for a few weeks. We’re inching toward figuring out our home situation, maybe I’ll have an update soon. And hopefully I won’t be buying another house for a long time!

  7. We discovered something about pools last month (or was it this month? the days are blending together!) close to where we live: $5 for each adult or child for 1 full day of pool usage. And this is a great in-door pool with 3 lifeguards on duty. 25 meters swimming laps, couple of slides, and an area where kids can play. A god-sent bargain in my books! We’ve been lapping up the experience.

    • That’s awesome! Back when we were in CT, there was an indoor town pool that we could walk to that we could pay per visit instead of being a member. It was something like $7 per visit, which was a great deal for our limited usage. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the equivalent down here, which means we have to go to the pool as much as possible to make it worth it, haha.

  8. Looks like you’re enjoying yourselves!

    “In fact, the humidity is consistently 10-15% lower down here than it is in Connecticut.”

    You know, for some reason, I find that hard to believe. I believe you…but it just sounds crazy! It’s *so* humid. I guess the heat can be high enough to cook off plenty of the humidity, though.

    I laughed at the pool thing, and you’re right, it *is* a thing. We’ve got a neighbor that’s always getting us to come with him down to—what he calls—”the jailhouse pool”. It’s just a community pool, and it’s really quite nice, but for whatever reason, that’s the nickname. Feels nicely laid back, people grilling and swimming and cooling off. Close to our place, too.

    PS: Assuming you’ve not caught any of it, look into the city’s “Festival of the Arts”. We attend different events (all free) each year, and really enjoyed “Forbidden Broadway” this year (sorry, you’ve missed it). Plenty of musical events still going, though. Good for kids, generally.

    • I think your comment about the heat cooking off the humidity is spot on. I definitely feel like summers up in CT were stickier, though the sun down here is a beast. I actually saw something about Forbidden Arts, but we don’t tend to get out much with the kids. I am definitely looking forward to a festival or two. I used to go to concerts almost weekly when I was younger, and now I haven’t seen a live show in almost 2 years. Need to fix that soon…


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