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.
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.
The year is coming to a close. Time to get your financial house in order before we pop the bubbly and ring in the new year.
Here are some tips to optimize your finances before it’s too late:
Here we are days away from the official start of fall. We are fully recovered from our eight week vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. After we landed in Raleigh, we were immediately busy with back to school shopping for supplies and clothes and several rounds of school orientations now that each of our kids attend a different school. Throw a teenager’s birthday party/sleepover into the mix and it made for a very busy August.
Now that the kids are back in school, the adults of the Root of Good household get to take a breather. Our daily schedule shifts from the summertime routine of waking up, touring temples and palaces, and gorging on street food to the school year routine of waking up, walking one kid to school, then returning home to sip coffee for as long as we want.
Financially, last month was a mixed bag. Our net worth dropped by $34,000 to end the month at $2,078,000. Income was better than average at $3,968 while expenses remained modest at $1,995 for the month of August. Any month where income greatly exceeds expenses is a win as far as I’m concerned. Small fluctuations in the stock market don’t mean anything in terms of long term financial success for early retirement.
What do you do when you save a bunch of money and retire at 33? Spend months at a time traveling the world of course!
This summer we spent eight weeks exploring the temples, palaces, and waterways of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in Southeast Asia.
In today’s article, we cover the first segment of the trip where we visited two cities in Vietnam. After a looooong flight from the East Coast of the USA, we landed in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, where we stayed for eight nights. Then we visited Can Tho, Vietnam in the Mekong River Delta region for a three night stay. After leaving the Mekong Delta, we headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (with a short one night pit stop in Ho Chi Minh City en route).
May was another successful month of early retirement. We took it easy and enjoyed a relatively slow month of leisure with family and friends. I spent a few days being a “real” blogger and influencer by attending Camp FI in Virginia where I gave a presentation titled “FIRE for Fun!”. That makes me a real blogger, right?
Our finances were a mixed bag in May. Our net worth dropped precipitously by $87,000 to end the month at $2,022,000. Fortunately our cash flow situation was much better. Income remained decent at $3,438 while our expenses dropped significantly to only $752 for the month of May. When income exceeds outflow, you can’t worry about finances too much!
Time flies when you’re having fun! We’re almost half way through May and I’m just now updating our April financial snapshot. We have been vacationing, volunteering, and enjoying the wonderful springtime weather. What can I say? I’m retired and don’t always have time to focus on this blog!
We had a great financial month during April. Our net worth climbed $47,000 to $2,109,000 thanks to great stock market returns. Our income for the month remained strong at $4,794 while our expenses were rather low at $1,591.
Here is a more detailed look at our April finances along with some pictures to show what the life of an early retiree looks like.
Spring is definitely here in Raleigh. Warm afternoon temperatures bring us outside while green clouds of pollen filling the air push us back inside. And everything is in bloom!
We had a busy March as you’ll see in this article. April will be no different. We are just a few days away from departing for our one week cruise to Jamaica, Mexico, and Cuba. When we return, the last week of April will be filled with volunteering at our kid’s school all week and a big birthday party to close out the month.
Our March financials look great. Net worth climbed $13,000 to $2,062,000. Our spending remained low at $2,299 while our income continued to be strong at $4,553. We just wrapped up another month where income greatly exceeded spending.
To celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary, we visited Mexico City for an 11 day vacation (without kids!). We have visited the city several times before, so we didn’t plan on hitting the tourist trail too hard while in the city.
On most days we spent a few hours sightseeing and many more hours relaxing, dining, and indulging in other forms of laziness. Some days were more successfully lazy than others, but overall we took it easy.
While in the city, we visited the museums and colonial buildings in the historic center of town, toured a half dozen districts on the edge of town, and took a day trip to the pyramids at Teotihuacan.
We’re back for another monthly update on the life and times (and finances) of Root of Good! February was a whirlwind of activity that had us out and about exploring the Raleigh area during periods of unseasonably warm weather. Then we hopped on a jet plane to go south of the border for the last half of the month. We spent a wonderful twelve days in Mexico City celebrating our fifteenth anniversary (and we left the kids at home with grandma!).
One of the magical moments in early retirement is when you head off for a couple weeks of vacation somewhere exciting and your net worth shoots way up. You don’t do a thing and you grow wealthier!
That happened for us in February. Our net worth climbed by $45,000 to $2,049,000 while we were traipsing around the woods in Raleigh and hopping on subways and eating tacos across Mexico City.
Income remained strong for the month of February at $4,430. Expenses dropped to $1,537 for the month which is somewhat surprising given we spent half the month living it up on vacation.