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 2021 Net Worth
More than any other month, September is a nostalgic time for me. We’ve started to feel that evening chill in the air, which is quite welcome after our first central Virginia summer. It’s back-to-school season, and exciting to see the baseball schedule wind down as football starts up. But there’s one thing that always reminds me it’s fall, more than any other sign – allergies.
I’ve had seasonal allergies since as long as I can remember. Specifically, fall allergies. When I look back fondly on the 38-odd Septembers I’ve seen, I can vividly recall the feeling of absolute misery. Sneezing, runny nose, sinus headaches, and an inability to sleep. I would spend these weeks every year in a drug-induced haze: Nyquil to Dayquil to Nyquil. Repeat. A visit from Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, with no discernible benefit.
So when I read that Richmond was the #2 worst locale for allergies in the US, I was a little apprehensive. (Ironically, New Haven is also in the top 10. Am I a masochist?) Will I now have spring and fall allergies? Will my September misery last until October? Or will I just die?
Well I’ve got some good news. Miraculously, I’ve made it through the month of September with minimal allergy discomfort. I sneezed a handful of times and had a really minor stuffy nose for a day or two, but I basically skirted the season altogether. Holy shit, this is amazing. Who’d have guessed that moving to a worse place for allergies would be my cure?
In other news, we had a brief Labor Day weekend get-together with my family in Amish Country, PA. We picked an Airbnb that was roughly half-way between VA and CT, and it was actually pretty fun. The kids got to visit with their grandparents, we saw a lot of people driving horse-drawn carriages, and we absolutely loaded up on cheap local produce from Amish farm stands.
Well the markets dropped by a few percent in September, and so did our investment accounts. It’s funny watching the business news media shit a brick over 1% moves to the downside, but I guess that’s how they keep peoples’ attention. Let me know when the VIX gets back over 30.
Spending and Not Spending
|Utilities||$438||electric, water, internet, trash, gas|
|Medical||$179||child-sized Covid tests|
|Shopping / Misc.||$865||New phone|
|Entertainment||$186||Birthday bouncy house booked|
|Travel||$334||Labor Day trip|
|Total||$7,649||minus the donation|
Shopping: last year my wife lost her company-issued mobile phone when she separated from her job, and I had to get her a replacement. I chose to buy a refurbished iPhone from eBay for $250, and it malfunctioned from day one. This month it gasped its last breath. So rather than repeat last year’s mistake, I bit the bullet and got a new iPhone to the tune of $600. We’ve averaged 4-5 years of use for new models, so I guess it’s not that bad.
Food: after last month’s $1,000 combined food bill, we came in under $600 for groceries and take-out in September. I think we just happened to stock up more than normal in August. Good to see the trend smooth out over time.
Medical: I started to write a full-blown rant on childcare and Covid, but I retracted it before hitting publish. Everyone’s dealing with their own problems, and our problems are really minor in comparison to others. But I will leave you with this: we’ve spent over $600 on Covid tests for our kids in 2021, and I’ve lost 7-8 days of work due to runny noses. Hopefully this winter won’t be more of the same, but I’m not overly optimistic.
Income and Investing
We earned our normal W2 incomes in September, plus $600 from the government for baby-making. Mrs. BF received a $3,000 check from a family trust that pays out sporadically, so that’s cool. I also came in 2nd place in my fantasy baseball league, with a $275 payout. Beer money!
Investments-wise, I transferred some money into our Wealthfront account and also made one more crypto investment. I wanted to get my Bitcoin allocation up to a ’round’ number. Of course, you can’t tell that we upped our investments, because the market dropped about 5% in September.
Here’s our current mix of investments.
I had promised an update on our housing situation, but I don’t want to post anything until we’ve signed a contract, so I must delay once more. I’m hoping to have a purchase agreement (and an explanatory post!) later in October.
How was your September? Enjoying the cooler weather? Dealing with seasonal allergies? Hit up any county fairs? Let me know in the comments.