Net Worth Update – November 2019

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.

November 2019 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.


As we enter the holiday season, it often stirs up memories of my childhood. I don’t think back to a particular time or setting, it’s more of a generalized feeling for the era. I would liken it to the LCD Soundsystem quote: borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties.

A new tradition – street coffee!

In my adult years, I’ve mostly shed all of the holiday traditions. Yes, I still get together with family around this time and eat way too much, but not much else. It’s not so much that I ‘don’t care,’ it’s just something that has fallen down the priority list.

Rethinking Tradition

Now that I have a kid (soon to be kids), I’ve been rethinking tradition. I don’t want to feel that I’ve deprived Baby BF of the warm, fuzzy feelings around Christmas that I remember. I want her to grow up with the same wonder (and curious skepticism) that I had.

An aside: when I was 3, I started asking my parents why Santa used the same wrapping paper as them. From then on, Santa didn’t bother wrapping the gifts he dropped off.

So, for now, we will bring the tradition back. We will hang lights and stockings, decorate the house, and get a Christmas tree for the first time in 15+ years. I must admit- there was one thing I wanted to do for the longest time, and now I finally get the opportunity!

“Pissing Santa” on the roof

I’ve dreamt of topping my house with a ‘pissing Santa’ forever, and now I finally did it! I think I was inspired by all of the urinating statues in Belgium. I’m not sure how my neighbors feel yet, but if they know me, they probably should expect it.

Ah, I almost forgot. There’s one part of the ‘tradition’ we won’t be bringing back: consumerism and excessive gift giving. Of course I can’t deny our daughter anything at all under the tree, but it will be much more tame versus the usual concept of Christmas. We’re still figuring out the details here, and I’ll update on this next month.

Month-Over-Month Comparison

We broke the $800k net worth barrier this month! This is surprising, considering we started the year around $600k. Markets are near all-time highs again, so that certainly helped. Also, our home’s ‘value’ recovered from last month.

Spending and Not Spending

Utilities$548oil tank filled
Home Maintenance$193
Student Loan$974praying for PSLF in 2024
Transportation$888snow tires and secondary wheel set
Shopping / Misc.$356
Entertainment / Discretionary$355
November Total$5,689
Misc. expense: $59 tree

Utilities: we filled the oil tank to the tune of $485. Since we installed our new wood stove last winter, we’ve significantly reduced our oil costs, but we should still have somewhere around $1,500 worth of fill-ups over the winter.

Transportation: I gave in and bought snow tires for my car. I normally have 2-3 instances every winter where I get stuck and/or nearly slide off the road, so I finally bit the bullet here. The good news is that I only drive about 1,500 miles over the winter, so the tires should last me at least 5 or 6 seasons. I also picked up a spare set of summer wheels off of Craigslist for $400, which is at least half of the retail cost of a new set.

Some other miscellaneous spending included additional insulation for the attic and basement, and the Christmas lights you’ve seen above. I was hoping the Santa I got off of eBay came from Freddy Smidlap’s collection, but apparently I wasn’t so lucky.

Income and Investing

We earned our paychecks and collected rental income on the Basement Bungalow in November. The new tenant (college hockey coach) is literally never at the house, so I think it’ll work out well.

I also spent some time down at the brewpub in November, so we’ll get a little bit more money there.

We hit our goal of $25,000 in savings, so any additional money will be saved up for our January 2nd Roth IRA deposit, or maybe some taxable investments.

I have some exciting news about my multifamily rental unit that I never talk about, but I’ll save it for an upcoming post.

That concludes our November net worth update. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you eat too much food? Would you hate your neighbor if they made Santa piss off their roof? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – November 2019”

  1. thanks for the shout out for the smidlap heirloom collection of le junque. i like the peeing santa of course. we fly a jolly roger pirate flag near the back of our house and a little kid around the block thinks i’m a pirate because his mom told him i was.

    good call on the christmas tree and decorating. now it’s dec. 10 and we still haven’t gotten a tree so i don’t think we’ll be getting one again this year. i kinda wanted one but we travelled for thanksgiving and we’ll travel again at christmas so that doesn’t leave many weeks to enjoy it. i remember how much the season rocked when i was a little kid, though.

    we didn’t fund our roths like in the past with money from our paychecks but this week i’ll sell some taxable shares and fund the roths with those and get that money behind that tax shield. i just hope the powers that be don’t change the rules after all my sheltering effort.

    • You should convince everyone you’re a pirate. That’s badass. I’m pretty ambivalent to the idea of having a tree, but if the kids like it, then why not. I’m always worried about the potential of tax laws to change. What I’ve heard most recently regarding Roths is that they may institute RMDs someday on them. I see that as very likely, almost guaranteed, at some point. But I can live with that change, because I’m not going to have $30,000,000 in there to leave for my great-great-great-grandkid.


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