Net Worth Update – September 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.

September 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.


what could go wrong?

September was a good month for the Brewing FIRE household. We had near-perfect weather for the entire time, and did our best to enjoy it to the fullest.

We attended multiple fairs, which doesn’t sound so fun when I type it out. If you’re unfamiliar with a fair (ye olde faire??), it’s an agricultural event featuring livestock, tractors, farm produce and various knickknacks for sale. There’s also a healthy dose of food and, often, beer. Now it sounds a little better, right?

The largest fair in New England is the Eastern States Exposition, also known as the Big E. We attend this event most years, for the deep-fried novelties and (more recently) loads of craft beer. Baby BF really enjoys playing with animals and people watching, so it’s a win-win-win event these days.

The Pizza Truck

September is also famous for the annual Brewing FIRE family Pizza Truck party. Every fall, we hire an old firetruck retrofitted with a brick oven to post up in our driveway and pump out fresh pizzas for a few hours.

My parents started the tradition 14 years ago, and Mrs. BF and I took over hosting duties in 2016. We invite our family and friends, and typically host around 100 people on pizza truck day. It’s a wonderful combination of lawn games, shameless gluttony and catching up.

Month-Over-Month Comparison

We had a solid jump in net worth during September, as the stock market returned to its recent high point. We also achieved a new all-time high for net worth, which is cool.

Spending and Not Spending

Utilities$63electric + internet
Home Maintenance$1,034cellar door
Student Loan$972praying for PSLF in 2024
Medical$260Another vet visit
Groceries$457Loading up for Pizza Truck Party
Shopping / Misc.$408household stuff
Entertainment / Discretionary$269$200 worth of craft beer
September Total$5,715

“Of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, cellar door is the most beautiful”

Donnie Darko

Unless you’re paying to replace one.

The exterior door of The Basement Bungalow was extremely old and framed in by 2×4’s. Last winter it had warped to the point that there was a constant draft in the apartment, which cost us a bunch of money to keep the space heated. So we decided that we’d replace it before this winter.

Although I love to DIY whenever possible, this was not a job for me. I didn’t have confidence in my ability to properly frame and install an exterior door in a cinder block opening in one day. Therefore, we paid someone. It looks nice and is well sealed, so it’s money I’m happy to have spent.

Most of the other expenses this month revolved around the pizza truck. We bought some new door mats, party supplies, and a massive haul from Tree House Brewing.

Income and Investing

We earned our paychecks and collected rental income on the Basement Bungalow in September. There was no more junk- I mean, gently used goods- to sell on eBay or Craigslist, so no other sources of income this month.

We’ve almost met our goal of $25,000 in savings, so I redirected some of our September cash flow to investing. We dropped $1,000 into our brokerages and another $1,000 into Baby BF’s 529.

hmm.. maybe college isn’t in her future?

I’m still debating whether we should refinance. I wrote an entire post on the topic, but decided not to publish for some reason; maybe because I haven’t figured out what we’re going to do yet! More to come- maybe.

That concludes our September net worth update. Did you hit a fresh net worth high in September? Did you refinance? How aggressively do you contribute to your child’s college savings plan? Let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Net Worth Update – September 2019”

  1. wow, that’s one huge fair. you could have continued on from the brewery to worcester if you wanted to get shot. we never did refinance even though we had a 6+% mortgage. it was down to about 50k and we just banged it out instead of paying closing costs. that pizza truck is a great idea.

    maintaining a house just sucks. everything cost a thousand bucks minimum. we hit a brand new investing high a month ago but it pulled back. that’s ok.

    • Haha I took a train down to Worcester once during college, and that was probably enough exposure for a lifetime. We still have ~15 years left on the mortgage at our current payoff rate, so it probably makes sense to refi. The funny thing about our maintenance costs is that they’re roughly 1% of the value of the house every year, which is what many people say you should expect to pay.

  2. That pizza truck is a great idea. Sounds like a fun tradition to keep going.

    Good luck on the refinance decision. We’re just wrapping up ours. We moved to a 15 year fixed and chopped our rate by 1.3%.

    Congrats on the new new worth high. Surpassed 3/4 of a million with nearly a million in assets. Very well done!

    • We’re probably leaning toward a 15-year refi if I can lock in 3% or so. I’m going to start making inquiries soon to see how low a rate we can find. Sometimes I don’t realize how far we’ve come in the last couple years, net worth-wise, and then I click on a report from last year and am surprised by the progress. I’m sure you do the same sometimes.

  3. I love fairs! Ours is the second biggest state fair in the US, nestled between Texas (of course) and The Big E.

    Congrats on the new high net worth. We also reached a new high last month.

    • Wow, didn’t realize the Big E was among the biggest in the US. It certainly seems that way.

      I just read your net worth update- nice job. I’m kind of dreading the inevitable period of not hitting a net worth high for months at a time. But I guess for now we’ll just keep riding the (relatively) steady market progression.


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