December 2020 Early Retirement Update

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.

Read more

November 2020 Early Retirement Update

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.

Read more

October 2020 Early Retirement Update

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.

Read more

September 2020 Early Retirement Update

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. 

Read more
Mommy and baby deer on an island in the lake behind our house

August 2020 Early Retirement Update

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.

Read more

July 2020 Early Retirement Update

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. 

Read more

June 2020 Financial Update

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. 

Read more

May 2020 Financial Update

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.

Read more

April 2020 Financial Update

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. 

Read more

March 2020 Financial Update – Rollercoaster Edition

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.

Read more