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.
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 in the middle of December with just a few weeks left in the year. Where did the year go? It’s busy times as usual here in the Root of Good household. As I write this we are packing our bags to set sail to the Caribbean (again) on the MSC Divina and by the time this post goes live we’ll be somewhere in the Caribbean just off the coast of South America. Life is treating us pretty well!
On the financial front, it was another great month. Our net worth climbed by $31,000 to reach another all time high of $2,198,000. Income remained strong at $3,184 for the month while expenses remained rather low at $1,420.
Another month flew by! In October, we embraced the fall weather and enjoyed the changing of the leaves. The kids enjoyed dressing up for Halloween and gathering huge sacks full of candy. All of us enjoyed the very mild weather which makes the outdoors way more fun.
On the financial front, it was another great month. Our net worth climbed by $44,000 to reach an all time high of $2,167,000. Income remained strong at $3,183 for the month while expenses remained moderate at $2,628.
Summer is officially over and fall is here (finally). Between the heat and humidity of our summer vacation in Southeast Asia and the excessively warm September in North Carolina, I’m definitely ready for cooler weather. Fall, my favorite time of the year, means more pleasant outdoor weather for lounging in the hammock and exploring the woods on foot and by bike.
September was a lazy month for us. I got in several nice bike rides, played a bunch of video games, and read a few books. I’m a big fan of leisurely pastimes in early retirement in case you haven’t noticed!
Financially, September was a really good month. Our net worth climbed by $45,000 to reach $2,123,000 by month end. Our income was very strong at $8,462 while our expenses were a puny $979 for the month. If every month were like September, then soon we’d be rich!
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.
The Root of Good family just got back to the US after an eight week adventure in Southeast Asia. We spent the month of July split between Cambodia and Thailand.
Now that we’re rested up and mostly recovered from the jet lag, I wanted to take a break from life and share our July financials before we get busy with all the back to school activities coming up soon.
Our net worth dropped ever so slightly from $2,114,000 to $2,112,000 (a $2,000 drop). Income remained strong at $2,777 for the month of July, while our expenses remained moderate at $1,961.