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.
May 2021 Net Worth
As May ends and we have our unofficial start to summer, I must admit that life is beginning to feel a lot closer to “normal” than it has since early 2020.
Less mask wearing. More travel. The Orioles are losing almost every day, and attendance at the stadium returned to its pre-Covid level of ~10%.
On the other hand, life is significantly different from the pre-pandemic era. We have another kid now, I’ve joined the work-from-anywhere economy, and we sold our CT homestead to move to Virginia.
Still, semi-normal life feels better than the shitshow known as 2020.
We packed our things and headed to the coast for a few days of beaches and rays. Our daughter is particularly enamored of the ocean, so she had a great time playing in the sand and getting decked by rogue waves.
We booked an oceanfront hotel in February using Chase points. Typically these hotels are $300-400 per night, but we got the room for about $150, because not many people were booking hotels at that time, I suppose. We also lucked out with the change in CDC mask guidelines and relaxing of the rules just prior to our trip.
I’ve been detailing the status and future of my job during the past few months. To recap, I was offered a temporary remote position when I attempted to quit in October. I subsequently rejected a permanent position in a business development role, because it didn’t sound like something I wanted to do. Having FU Money has allowed me to be very selective about my work.
Soon after I told the VP “thanks/no thanks,” my R&D Director came back to me with an offer to create a new (remote) position that basically matched what I was already doing. After a lengthy approval process that made it up to the front office, I was approved last week. I’m officially a permanent, remote Project Manager.
In a normal world, one would be ecstatic over this news. My response has been more like “meh.” I’m happy to still collect a paycheck, and I have total freedom over my time (I’m writing this post during my normal work hours, because I can). I’m just not enthusiastic about working much longer.
For the time being, I’ll stay employed, but I’m also wondering when we should start coasting. I feel like I might be developing a case of “One More Year” syndrome. We’ll see how it plays out.
It’s a little too soon to get into details here, but we have a really solid lead on actually buying a house.
The short story is we gave up on bidding wars, and instead took an innovative approach to house hunting.
I’ll be sure to update on our progress as it plays out. I’ll probably even write up a playbook for others that are struggling to ‘win’ a house in this market.
The streak is over! Our net worth actually went down in May. The markets were mostly flat, but the main culprit was our cryptocurrency allocation as part of our 2021 investing strategy. I guess if you want less-than-ordinary returns, you need to make less-than-ordinary investments.
Spending and Not Spending
|Medical||$448||some dental work|
|Shopping / Misc.||$401||mostly consumables|
|Clothing||$274||new sneakers, summer stuff|
|Travel||$356||Virginia Beach trip|
|Total||$8,000||minus the donation|
$8,000 on the nose. How about that?
As always, most of the spending was on the never-ending money pit we call children. We purchased the trifecta of regular diapers, overnight diapers, and wipes this month, to the tune of ~$100. If you wonder why we need overnight diapers, then you haven’t had the unpleasant surprise of being peed on in the middle of the night. Or maybe you have, and you’re into that. No judgment here.
Travel: we stashed old Percy at the doggy lodge again while we hit the beach, which cost $99. The rest of the travel spending was on restaurant take-out, gas, and parking.
Medical: I had to replace a crown that has fallen out twice in the last 5 years. My previous dentist in CT was a hack. I think this one will stick, but only time will tell.
Clothing: I buy a new pair of shoes every two years or so, and was due for another pair of running sneakers. I also needed new swim shorts because my old ones literally won’t stay on, and we just became members of the community pool. Additionally, the kids keep getting bigger, and the weather keeps changing, thus we need to replenish the closet on a frequent basis.
Income and Investing
We each earned our normal W2 income this month. This is Mrs. BF’s last month at her current job, and she’ll have a 3 week hiatus prior to starting her new ‘dream’ job. As mentioned previously, she took a sizable pay cut with the new position, but it comes with enhanced benefits, and the ability to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is the main driver for the change.
Our cash position dropped a bit this month because I transferred a bunch over to Wealthfront. Check out my not-review of the robo-advisor.
I’ve been sitting on a lot of cash because we plan to buy a house in the next 6 months, and I didn’t know whether I would stay employed in 2021. Now, having resolved my working arrangement, and getting closer to resolving the housing situation, I should be able to better project cash flows going forward. Once we firm up the numbers, I will probably look to put more money to work in the market. Or not? I can never make up my mind about how much money to keep on the sidelines. Check out Big ERN’s recent take on this topic.
I’m going to skip the 529 accounts update this month, and change it to a quarterly review. Nothing major to report on a month-to-month basis, as the accounts are relatively small and we’re only auto-contributing $100 per month right now.
That’s it for May. How was your month? Lining up any summer plans? Would you rather head to the beach, or the mountains? Let me know in the comments.