Time flies when you’re having fun. We’re all having fun, right? Summer just flew by and we are officially feeling fall here in North Carolina. It’s cooling off some and the kids are back in (virtual) school so it definitely feels like fall even if the calendar says we have a couple more weeks of summer.
This was our first summer in a long time that we didn’t travel anywhere. Was staying at home all summer boring? Not really. I still have the travel bug and want to hit the road again when it’s safe and convenient. In fact, we booked some speculative travel for next year with our fingers crossed that it will happen. You’ll have to keep reading to find out how optimistic our travel plans are!
Financially speaking, August was a fantastic month for us. Our net worth climbed $73,000 to end the month at $2,206,000. Income was relatively decent at $5,759 while our expenses came in slightly above budget at $3,468 for the entire month.
Breaking news: we just had the biggest earthquake in 100 years here in North Carolina! Sunday morning we woke up to the whole house shaking. I immediately recognized the rumbling and jostling after living through a much stronger quake in Mexico more than 20 years ago. No damage here in the Raleigh area. But at the epicenter in Sparta, North Carolina, the 5.1 magnitude quake caused some structural damage to buildings.
In other breaking news, I can’t believe summer is almost over. Here in Raleigh we have less than one week before school starts! We’ve had a relatively lazy summer compared to our normal trips around the globe the past few years when we visited Europe, the Bahamas, and Southeast Asia.
But hey, we’re in the middle of a pandemic so I guess hunkering down at home is as good as it gets right now. This summer, we kept busy with lots of video games, board games, and books while it’s hot outside. Plus the occasional bike ride on cool days or a trip to the swimming pool when it gets particularly hot. We are making the most of life at home!
Financially speaking, July was a great month for us. Our net worth climbed $70,000 to end the month at $2,133,000. Income was relatively decent at $5,675 while our expenses came in slightly below budget at $3,035 for the entire month.
I can’t believe it is the middle of summer already. I just saw next week’s sales paper advertising back to school supplies! Is August really just around the corner? Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
We have been busy with home-based activities for the most part since our big summer travel plans were wrecked this year. It’s usually hot most days so we try to get outside during the morning and evening when the weather is more bearable. In the middle of the day we have plenty of indoors activities to keep us entertained. I’ve been engrossed in a new (to me) computer game for the past few weeks.
Between fun pastimes, routine chores, and small projects around the house, summer has been fulfilling. Although we love to travel, this is a nice forced break from our normally busy summer schedule of full time travel.
Financially speaking, June was a good month for us. Our net worth climbed $41,000 to end the month at $2,063,000. Income was relatively decent at $6,244 while our expenses came in well below budget at $2,311 for the entire month.
May is over and I’m back with another monthly update. In North Carolina we enjoyed very mild weather last month which meant we got to spend some great days outside. I took several 18+ mile bike rides down to the Neuse River and back home. We also spent plenty of quality time in the hammocks.
The kids are almost done with their remote learning “homeschool” before school officially breaks for the summer. As of now, we are planning on staying around Raleigh for the next two months. I’ve been busy cancelling all our reservations throughout South America and our August cruise.
Financially speaking, May was a very good month. Our net worth shot up $69,000 to end the month at $2,022,000. Income was relatively decent at $2,605. Our expenses were higher than average at $4,692 but that included a very expensive house repair that was mostly expected.
Another month in the record books. What a month it was! During these “interesting” times we are taking it one month at a time and remaining flexible about our expectations for the near future. It appears we are on the cusp of everyone giving up on the whole “stay at home” thing and doing whatever they want. So maybe everything will be okay. Or maybe we’ll be in Lockdown Round 2 in another month or two. Just have to adapt and stay flexible at this point!
At least while we are stuck at home, the weather here in North Carolina is beautiful so we have been able to enjoy the outdoors a lot. We also celebrated another kid’s birthday, held an immediate-family-only Easter egg hunt, painted a bathroom, and homeschooled our kids. I’m ready for a vacation!
From a financial perspective, April was an incredibly great month for us. After a devastating March, our net worth skyrocketed by $134,000 to end April at $1,953,000. Our income was very high at $8,548 while our expenses were low at $1,324 for the month of April.
Did March seem like a particularly long month to anyone else? Looking back at my month in review, I have a hard time believing the world has changed so much in one month. In America it was mostly business as usual on March 1st. However by March 31st we are all self-isolating at home, many places are shut down, and international travel is nearly impossible.
North Carolina hasn’t been particularly hard hit yet. One model forecasts that we won’t run out of hospital beds or ventilators during the peak in a couple of weeks, so that should help our local situation even more. Other folks in the rest of the country and overseas haven’t been as fortunate.
As with last month’s update, I’ll go over our finances and provide some more thoughts on current events near the end of this article.
Financially, March was about as ugly a month as I ever expect to see in my lifetime. Our net worth dropped by $298,000 to reach $1,819,000 by the end of the month. Income was relatively strong at $7,832 while expenses remained very low at $1,600 for the month.
Unless you are an heir to a big fortune or you have won the lottery, you have to work hard to have money. To accumulate wealth, you have to make more money than you spend. The key is to keep your expenses low. And there will be sacrifices. Nothing crazy though.
At the Root of Good household, our clothes are not from the mall, we don’t dine out at Ruth’s Chris, or deck out our split level home with the latest from Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma. We choose not to quench our thirst with Dom Perignon or Dasani. Yes, we have made sacrifices. At first we balked at some of these sacrifices, but we gave them a try. You never know until you try right?
We have decreased our expenses by carrying our lunches in disposable plastic grocery bags (which also make great suitcases). We refill disposable water bottles and reuse disposable straws and plastic utensils.
Well folks, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. It’s amazing how much life has changed since I wrote my last blog post a month ago. I am certain that the next few months will bring even more change.
I’ll cover my regular monthly financial stats in the first several sections of this post and share some more general thoughts on the coronavirus and its impacts in the last sections.
Financially, February was a rocky month for our investments. Net worth declined significantly by $114,000 to end the month at $2,117,000. The silver lining is that income for the month remained very strong at $5,298 while expenses totaled only $2,618.
January is over and February is already half way over. It’s been a busy month here at the Root of Good house and I’ve been a total slacker when it comes to blogging. Since the start of the year we have researched, planned, and booked not one, but two (!!) big international trips (more details below). The unseasonably warm winter weather has proved quite a distraction too (in a very good way).
Financially, we had an okay month of January. Net worth declined $30,000 to end the month at $2,231,000. Income for the month remained strong at $3,270 while expenses totaled only $2,682 including a few dozen travel hacked international plane tickets.
After a busy end of the year, it has taken me a while to pull this monthly update together. In December, we spent twelve days on a cruise. Once we returned home, the Christmas holiday season started shortly thereafter. Then the New Year’s celebration commenced. In between were several other gatherings of family and friends. I’m looking forward to a much lazier 2020!
From a financial perspective, we had a great month in December. Our net worth climbed $63,000 to reach another all time high of $2,261,000. Our spending was slightly below budget at $3,193 while our income was a monstrous $23,579 for the month.