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.
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.
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.
January was another busy month for us in the Root of Good household. We worked hard planning our summer trip to Southeast Asia. We got outside and played a bit when the weather was nice. And we bundled up against the cold when winter returned with full force.
Financially, last month was quite a blockbuster. Our net worth jumped $133,000 to re-cross the mythical $2,000,000 mark and land at $2,004,000 by month’s end. Income was strong at $3,779 while expenses remained within our budget at $2,937.
Let’s dive into January’s financial update!
Out with the old and in with the new! 2018 proved to be another fun-filled and successful year of early retirement for us at Root of Good. I’m looking forward to 2019 being more of the same. Our oldest child will enter high school (!!) in the fall which means college is just around the corner.
We have several trips lined up for 2019 that will bring us to Mexico, Cuba, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. We’ll be spending more than two months overseas exploring new places, eating new foods, and wondering how we ever had time for full time jobs.
Looking back on December’s finances, we saw a very significant drop in our net worth. Due to a major stock market correction, our net worth dropped $117,000 during December to end the year at $1,871,000. Compared to 2017, we were $166,000 poorer at the end of 2018, which represents an 8.1% drop in net worth versus 2017’s $2,037,000 year end balance. After a brief bout of volatility in January and February, 2018’s market was mostly uneventful until October when stocks went into decline. Tough times in the stock market, but that is to be expected occasionally.
Spending for the month of December totaled $3,878 with a year end total of $29,058 for all of 2018. Income for the month of December was very high at $21,030 due to year end dividend payments and several double payments from blog advertisers. Income for the year totaled $72,605 and was roughly half blog income, half investment income.
Ok, folks. 2018 is rapidly coming to a close. We’ve had a busy year and 2019 will be no different. I’m not sure how I ever had time for anything fun when I was working 40 hours per week!
Looking back on November’s finances, it was a month of holding steady. Out net worth remained the same at $1,988,000. It was a good month of income with $4,173. Our expenses remained moderate at $2,846. In financial terms we’re just fine even though we are still about $50,000 below our year end 2017 net worth of $2,037,000.
Does it feel like 2018 is flying by? Less than two months to go until 2019! We’ve been busy during the month of October. We spent the first part of the month aboard the Caribbean Princess cruise ship. Once we returned to Raleigh, we tackled several projects around the house and enjoyed the nice weather outside.
In financial news, you may have heard that turbulent times have returned to the stock market. At one point, our portfolio was down almost $200,000 for the month before recovering to $1,988,000, a loss of “only” $98,000. Income for the month remained strong at $5,352 while expenses remained rather low at $1,784, or exactly one third of our income. In conclusion, our net worth dropped by a significant margin, however our diversified income streams outpaced our spending.
Better late than never, right? Since we’ve been cruising the Caribbean without internet, this monthly financial update and slice of early retired life is about two weeks late. I’ll work on the timeliness in the future. If I have time 🙂
Aside from having fun on the cruise, I’m extremely excited that it finally feels like fall here in North Carolina. The air conditioning is off and the windows are open after a long, hot, humid summer. Time to enjoy the outdoors before it gets cold!
Financially, September was an okay month. Income exceeded expenses, which is always good. We brought in $2,829 in September while only spending $1,342. On the net worth balance sheet, we shed $12,000 in value to bring our net worth to a still respectable $2,086,000.
When you have kids it’s impossible to retire early, right? I found out that may not be true in all cases. Like my own. We have three kids and still managed to retire early. But how is it possible when kids are soooooo expensive?
The US Department of Agriculture publishes the “Expenditures on Children By Families Annual Report” which examines the cost to raise children in America. The headline number that gets a lot of press is the total cost to raise a child from age 0 to 17: $233,610. And that doesn’t include the cost of college!
Almost a quarter of a million dollars seems really high to me, so I’m diving into our kid-spending to see what it actually costs to raise our three kids.