Well folks, here we are in April. It’s no longer winter but it’s not quite summer yet. Maybe we’ll enjoy a little bit of spring before the heat sets in? Right now we’re suffering through the horrible intermediate phase of “pollen season” here in North Carolina. It lasts a week or two.
Everything is covered in a thick layer of yellow pollen. It billows through the air in thick clouds, turning the sky green. I’m just glad I can wear a mask outside and not look ridiculous any longer! The main consolation is that it will rain eventually and wash all the pollen away.
Our kids just enjoyed almost two weeks off school for spring break. We didn’t go anywhere this year. However we are ramping up our big summer travel plans. So far it’s looking like we’ll take six or seven weeks to make a tour across the USA all the way to California in the west, Montana in the north, and then head back home. I’m keeping reservations mostly refundable at this point since 2020 taught us that flexibility is very important.
The good times keep on rolling. March was another great month for our finances. Net worth went up $68,000 to end the month at $2,648,000. Income during the month totaled $16,183, which exceeded our paltry spending of $1,483 by a factor of ten!
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.
Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Although in the case of February I think it flew by because it’s the shortest month of the year. Only 28 days! Here we are in March, just a couple of weeks away from the official start of spring.
I’m looking forward to springtime which means short sleeves, hammock time, and campfires down by the lake. It means my bike rides won’t be as cold, and I can lounge around during rest stops and enjoy the weather.
February was a good month for our finances. Our net worth went up $36,000 to end the month at $2,580,000. Income of $6,967 significantly exceeded our spending of $951 for the entire month of February.
Y’all still having fun out there? At this point of the year we are officially more than half way through winter. Spring is just around the corner! Here in North Carolina, January was more wet than cold for us. Although we did get a light dusting of snow that lasted for a few hours. I know my readers from the northern states laugh at our snow, but hey, it’s all we got.
When it wasn’t wet and rainy, we managed to get outside a little and do some yard work, ride bikes, and go for walks. But we mostly stayed close to home and enjoyed a lot of inside activities. For me that means reading, video games, and Netflix.
In financial terms, January was another great month. Our net worth went up $39,000 to end the month at $2,544,000. Income of $3,224 slightly exceeded our spending of $2,577 for all of January.
2020 is (finally) over. What to say? Overall it was a pretty good year for us. The complete lack of traveling wasn’t great. Wearing masks is no fun. But we persevered and survived and got to enjoy another year of early retirement.
In December, we enjoyed the moderate North Carolina winter weather and got outside a good bit. Not quite hammock weather but still good enough for hikes and bike rides. Christmas with family was an abbreviated affair compared to normal years, but at least we’re all keeping safe and healthy. There’s always next year!
In financial terms, December built on November’s successes with another all time high net worth. We saw a jump of $100,000 in our net worth to bring the total to $2,505,000. Our spending was rather modest at $1,851 while our monthly income was much larger at $20,699.
Well folks, we’ve almost made it through 2020! Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas/New Years holidays are rapidly approaching. Even though the way we celebrate these holidays will likely look different this year, they are always something I look forward to.
In November, we were able to get outside a lot and enjoy the cool fall days. I appreciate the nice weather right now because I know it will be cold for a couple of months during the winter. So we make the most of it while we can!
In financial terms, November was a phenomenally great month. Our net worth went up $243,000 to end the month at $2,405,000. Our income, while lower than most months at $1,744, still managed to exceed November’s spending of $1,437.
Happy November! With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, life is pretty fun right now. The weather here in North Carolina is beautiful this time of year with generally cool nights and pleasant days. And the leaves on the trees grow more vibrant each day.
We did a modified Halloween this year without trick or treating for the kids. However, we did manage to walk a couple of miles around the neighborhood looking at decorations while handing out our own candy to our kids. Plus our neighborhood organized a Halloween parade where the candy-givers drove around tossing candy to all the kids dressed up for Halloween! Next up for us is improvising a Thanksgiving dinner outside with family in two weeks.
October was a good month overall in financial terms. Our net worth dipped by $4,000 to end the month at $2,162,000. Spending was relatively modest at $1,624 while our income was phenomenal at $5,968 for the month of October.
Another fun month has flown by! Mrs. Root of Good and I should be driving through Northern Spain right now. Instead, we are keeping busy here in North Carolina while enjoying this wonderful fall weather. The kids are busy with virtual school during the days. Evenings and weekends are pretty relaxed. It’s business (mostly) as usual in our house right now.
Financially speaking, September was a decent month overall. Our net worth dropped by $40,000 to end September at $2,166,000. Income was great at $8,908 while our expenses came in below budget at $1,830 for the entire month.
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.