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.
12 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – May 2021”
Nice that mask wearing has become less of a thing. Today I went into the office and this is the first time I haven’t worn a mask at all at work in over a year…feels awesome. Those baby diapers and wipes add up!! It feels like you’ve paid off a car loan once you don’t have to shell out money for diapers, wipes, formula anymore. Good luck on the house hunting. I thought my home buying ordeal was stressful, I can’t imagine buying in this market. Prices are higher, but rates are also lower than when I bought. I think its a solid choice to stay employed till you get your home and all the cash flow projections worked out.
Hey Noel. Yeah, I feel weird not wearing a mask in public these days. Isn’t it funny how quickly our norms can change? I’m (not so) quietly counting down the days until the kids are a little less money and labor-intensive. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying every day with them, and I don’t really want them to grow up. But I also will not miss dirty diapers and $3,000/month of daycare expenses. I guess you always get the good with the bad!
that’s great you got your employment arrangement straight. one question: if you stopped working would childcare then go to zero where you watched the kids in lieu of daycare? that mr. mom movie with michael keaton never ceases to crack me up.
that’s too bad about the o’s again this year. have you gotten up to the yards yet?
If I become unemployed, I would keep the kids at home at least 2-3 days a week. I still want them to go to daycare at least part-time, for the socialization aspect, and to keep my own sanity. But it would be nice to cut the childcare expenses in half at least. I haven’t made it to any stadiums yet, but actually my buddy’s coming down from CT tonight and we’re planning to check out the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) this weekend. Should be fun!
$356 doesn’t seem too bad for the beach trip. Hopefully you get a decent ROI on those money pit kids!
It’ll take decades to calculate the true ROI, but we’re optimistic!
Hey, Adam. Congrats on the remote PM gig! Pretty cool stuff and glad to hear the move is working out pretty awesome. While I don’t detail my expenses, I can confess that I spent a decent sum last year re-doing shite dental filling work I had previously done in So. Cal., so I can empathize. Dude, I burn through trail running shoes, if you’re getting a long last from your shoes, I’ll ask which make/model you buy?
Hey Mr.Fate, thanks! Yeah, I definitely had a questionable dentist back in CT, and wish I had switched before he had the chance to do semi-permanent damage to my mouth. I’m a pretty casual runner, so I don’t know if I have any insight on a really durable trail running shoe. I was using New Balance Minimus model for the past few years before they finally wore out, I liked them but they’re zero drop, not sure what type you use. Anyhow, good luck with that!
I’ve worked on many a PM roles over the course of my erstwhile corporate career, though I’ve never officially been a PM. The smile that is currently etched my face thinking that I don’t have to work on such a role ever, is priceless 🙂
Virginia beach is pretty cool; I’ve been there twice. ROFL on the Orioles meme – I semi-follow a team that is a tad better than Orioles and it isn’t fun over 162 regular season games 🥺
If the PM role was a ‘permanent’ thing, there’s no way I’d go for it. It’s not the worst job, but definitely not something I could see myself doing for an extended period. Since I’m really just squeezing out a few more paychecks before re-quitting, it’ll be fine.
Yeah, the O’s are pretty awful these days. The good stretch from 2012-2016 will help me get through to (hopefully) the next good era, maybe in a few years.
I wish I was in your position. I think back all the time when I was working full-time from age 18-23 through my first years in college before I was actually really broke – and I never invested/saved a cent. It kills me now because it was literally during 2008-2013, and I could probably be in A Purple Life’s situation or at least close if I had just known. But my financial education didn’t really begin until 2013, and at that point I was broke and in a relationship that made me even broker. LOL
Now I’m making the best money I ever have, but I’m so far from FI and/or RE and things feel grim. I’ve almost given up hope and just plan on working forever. Of course, my income will continue to grow steadily over the next few years, but right now I’m not too happy in my job (nursing at the bedside is NOT my cup of tea), and while I could walk away and easily get another job at the end of my Air Force commitment in 3 years, I’m unsure I want to make that jump at that time with where my projected finances will be (plus I’ll just be hitting 6 figures in my job at that time).
You guys are sitting so pretty and I am jealous. It does motivate me though. Thank you for always sharing and being open about your net worth!
Thanks, as always, for the kind words Liz. It’s nice to know that someone takes interest in our journey. It’s pretty easy to have regrets about past decisions, or the decision to not start investing earlier. I did plenty of stupid shit in the years from graduation to roughly 30, and still recovered reasonably well. Actually that’d be a good topic for a post. Anyway, I think you’re doing great right now, even if the current position isn’t a great match. You’ve finished school and are hitting your prime earning years. You’ve got a nice house, and a husband! Just give it some time, and I’m sure things will steadily progress. You’ll be surprised how fast your net worth grows. You’ll catch up to us quicker than you think.