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 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.
November – Making Moves
I’m going to keep this update brief, since I’ve been really busy over the past few weeks. Busy doing what, you say?
Moving to Virginia.
Here’s some background on the move. We actually completed the relocation during the Nov 30 – Dec 2 time period, hence I’ve been a bit late with this monthly update.
Some highlights: we decided to use U-Pack relocubes from ABF. They’re essentially smaller versions of Pods. I had read that U-Pack had better customer service, and less complaints in general, versus Pods. We had a great experience with U-Pack, and highly recommend them for anyone who wants to do a semi-DIY move.
Here’s the U-Pack process, if you’re interested.
- Make a reservation on upack.com. You will get the all-in cost immediately, though you won’t be charged until the cubes are in transit.
- The relocubes get dropped off a few days before your move. The cubes are quite small (6×7 ft footprint), and can fit in a parking spot.
- Fill the cubes at your leisure, then tell U-Pack that they’re ready to be picked up.
- U-Pack picks up the cubes, and brings them to your destination. Call them when you arrive to have them dropped at your new digs.
It’s that simple. We had no issues during the move, and communication was really easy for the entire process. This, by far, was the easiest part of the move.
Moving 3 tons of shit was a lot less fun.
Actually, we down-sized quite a bit before the move. We only brought one couch, one bedroom set, our kitchen table and a few other random bits of furniture (tables, lamps etc..). However, kids accumulate loads of toys and other crap, and so we had to haul most of this to our new home. Also, I kept most of my brewing equipment, which definitely added to the labor and cost of the move. It’s my main hobby, though, so it had to be done.
Our net worth recovered nicely in November. This was fueled mostly by 10-15% gains in our investment portfolio.
A quick note on maintaining a cash cushion. We saved up a decent chunk of money during the course of the year, topping out somewhere around $50,000. The main reason was that we knew we were going to see a substantial drawdown during the move.
As I mentioned last month, we have been writing checks left and right during the moving process. This includes moving expenses, security deposits, overlapping mortgage and rent payments, and home repairs. At the time of writing, we’re down to approximately $10,000 in cash.
In other words, we needed all of the cushion to get through the house sale / move. Planning for knowable expenses is key. Thankfully, we should be closing on the home sale before Christmas, and we’ll be flush with cash for the foreseeable future. By January, I’ll be complaining about having too much money sitting in savings.
Spending and Not Spending
|Rent||$925||1/2 of November|
|Home Maintenance||$2,118||Pre-sale repairs|
|Transportation||$2,023||New brakes, struts…|
|Shopping / Misc.||$869||Vet visit, used iPhone, baby stuff|
We spent a lot of money in November. However, if you back out costs directly related to moving, we would have spent around $5,000, which is average.
Mortgage / rent: During November and December, we are unfortunately paying both the mortgage on our house and rent in Virginia. This sucks, of course, but it’s pretty much unavoidable. It’s only ~40 days that we’re paying in both places, which certainly could have been worse.
Moving expenses: – the home sale was contingent upon us making a number of repairs, which totaled approximately $2,100. This included installation of a radon mitigation system, and miscellaneous plumbing work. I did the electrical work myself, but I’m still too chickenshit to mess around with leaky pipes.
Car service: Mrs. BF needed new brakes, struts, and bushings (or something?) to the tune of $1,800. This is the first major maintenance expense for her car, which is now 7 years old, so I guess that’s not too bad.
On the bright side, we saved some money on childcare and groceries this month. I attempted to eat everything in our freezer during the month, and almost succeeded.
Income and Investing
Mrs. BF finished up with her former employer early in the month, but received her normal pay. She’ll be starting her new job in mid-December. I continue to be paid for remote work, so no changes on my front.
I’m making some modifications to our investment accounts and portfolio, but I don’t have the bandwidth to talk about it now. I’ll give you a hint, it’s related to The Barbell Strategy.
We sold even more of our possessions in November via Craigslist, FB Marketplace, and eBay. I used some tips from Freddy Smidlap, and sold some ‘vintage’ band t-shirts for $30-40 each. We also sold off most of our outdoor equipment (mowers, blowers, etc…), since we’re now renting and will never maintain 3 acres of land again (I hope!).
We’ll be using some of this cash to repurchase furniture and other necessities as we get settled in the new abode.
That concludes the November update. How was your month? Did you have a lonely Thanksgiving, or a COVID super-spreader jamboree? Let me know in the comments.