Net Worth Update: September 2017

minehaha falls september

Crisp, cool air… fading leaves… me suddenly panicking about where the summer went…

Yep, we’re officially heading towards Fall.

Welcome to the… September edition of my monthly Net Worth update? Yep, we’re definitely heading towards Fall.

If you’re new here, every month I share my progress towards a goal of nearly $1 million and an early retirement by age 37. If you feel like time traveling, check out the net worth updates page where I keep all the entries since April 2016. PLUS some napkin notes from even before then.

I started September off with a belly, I mean a bang, by indulging in the week-long gorge fest that is the Minnesota State Fair.

By average daily attendance, it’s the largest state fair in the United States. By pounds added to a waistline, it’s a runaway winner.

Between buckets of French fries, bags exploding with mini donuts, and anything and everything fried and then put on a stick, “the great Minnesota get together,” sure knows how to cook. Or maybe they just fry…

minnesota state fair 2017

You’ll have to go back to last year’s August update if you want to see the world’s fattest hog, but rest assured, this year didn’t disappoint. I bought some discounted tickets and got to stuffing my face.

I also played a mean game of skee  ball, which to my surprise, was not rigged by the carnies. I actually walked away with a prize! I promptly gave the new toy to The Money Pup, who posed for an adorable photo right before he decided to rip the poor bear’s eyeballs out.

money pup state fair prize

He looks so innocent…

I soon worked off the food hangover by gratefully accepting an invitation to retreat to a friend’s lake cabin.

I enjoy living in the city, but I’d be a huge liar if I didn’t admit how jealous I am of people who get to see beautiful, unobstructed views of the night sky. While at the lake, I tried to capture a photo of the silent beauty for you loyal readers, but my camera’s terrible quality photo was too embarrassing to post here.

It looked something like this:


In the city, I can hardly open my windows at night unless I want to be startled awake at 3 AM by a blaring siren and maybe a gunshot or two. But here in Minnesota’s northern woods, I can let the windows rip and still sleep like a baby.

It begs the question, how much are we sacrificing our sleep, and ultimately our health, to live near our careers?

Here’s to reaching financial independence, and being able to live wherever we want. With or without a job.

The rest of the month was much less eventful. I mostly kept to my routine of work-gym-dinner-repeat, with a few weekend date nights thrown in between.

OH, and we bought a house.


More on that shocking development over the next month. Stay tuned!

Net Worth Update: September 2017

personal capital september 17

Personal Capital’s net worth overview. (Affiliate links in this post, but PC is awesome either way)

And the detailed breakdown:

detailed net worth

The market must have really gone mad, because September 2017 will go down as one of my least frugal months EVER.

To the details…

Cash: $10,742 (+$2,668) 

Cash went up because I haven’t had to pay the piper yet; September’s redonkulous credit card bill is going to be a serious cash drag on next month’s cash growth, to say the least.

Readers of my emergency fund article would be fair to call me a bit of a hypocrite for carrying this much cash. Mostly this is money saved up for the downpayment on a potential rental property within the next year or so.

Brokerage: $103,994 (+$2,590) 

No contributions this month, but the account increased thanks to a little percentage shift up in the market.

At month end, my brokerage account included:

  • $53,500 invested with Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund. (Related: How to Choose a Vanguard Index Fund)
  • $50,400 in a mixture of Vanguard ETFs, with a few individual stocks back from the days when I thought I could beat the market. I’ve now wised up and decided not to trade individual stocks.

401(k): $73,719 (+$4,176)

$2,300 of automatic contributions and employer matching, and an almost equal increase from market movement.

After a slow start to the year, I’m still contributing almost 30% of my take home pay so that I make sure I max out my 401K in 2017.

Roth IRA: $18,447 (-$92) 

No contributions this month. Investing $5,500 sometime between now and April 2018 (the cutoff date for 2017 eligible Roth IRA contributions) is still a goal of mine. Each month I seem to comment about how I should take a little from my huge cash stash and place it here, and each month I drag my feet. Anyone want to give me a nice scolding in the comments section below?

My Roth is invested entirely in Vanguard’s REIT index fund. I like this allocation, since I otherwise have no exposure to real estate and do not own a house.

Rent Payable: $701 (-$18) 

This number includes my utilities. The crisp fall air meant more open windows, which saved a little bit on the air conditioning bill. Even if that brilliant idea was brought back to reality by a 3 AM wake up from city noises.

Credit Cards Payable: $3,259 (+$1,498) 

Here’s where the insanity of spending starts to rear its ugly head.

As usual, this number is a little over inflated due to some work expenses that I’ll get reimbursed for. But there’s no way around it, I spent a ton of money this month! Let’s check out the details:

Total September Spending: $3,363

money wizard spending september 2017

After two rock solid months of saving about 70% of my take home pay, I fell off the wagon hard in September.

In my defense, I had a few unusual expenses:

  • The $992 of travel includes $550 of reservations for a group ski trip next year. My real share of this bill is only $135.
  • That big travel number also includes $400-ish dollars that I prepaid for a December vacation.
  • I was taking a leisurely drive down the highway, when out of nowhere a huge rock flew off a semi and shattered my new car’s window. A $260 windshield replacement later and I was just glad nobody got hurt
  • Having an offer accepted on a house (is this real life?) meant $420 spent on an home inspection.

With those weak excuses out of the way, here are some of the other categories worth highlighting:

  • Dining out – $311
    • Ouch… fell off the wagon on my New Year’s Resolution to bring my lunch to work more. I also played host to some family who visited Minnesota during the month. Hopefully I should get this back on track next month.
  • Entertainment – $297
    • Also higher than usual (seeing a trend this month?) Major expenses included the previously mentioned state fair, an AWESOME food truck fest, an epic game of mini golf, and lots of trips to the breweries just because family was visiting. And definitely NOT just because I wanted a nice delicious cold one. 😉
  • Vehicle Expenses – $351
    • $77 of car insurance, a $9 car wash, and the dreaded $266 windshield replacement.

If you’re not already tracking your own spending, I can say from experience it’s probably the easiest way to start taking control of your spending. I recommend my new most underrated iphone app, or if you want an even easier and automated experience, personal capital.

Readers, how was your September? 

Is This Book Really The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need? [Book Review]

A couple of weeks ago I was doing a little research study for the’ole Money Wizard

blog site, browsing high as well as reduced for special as well as intriguing material for the above typical team of independent thinkers we’ve collected right here, when I stumbled upon this meeting of Mark Cuban. The meeting was interesting. I had actually constantly presumed Cuban’s inspiration for getting to billionaire standing was the

weird junction of good luck and also ability, an inescapable repercussion of a serial business owner geeky that took place to rack up a financially rewarding acquistion. To my shock, Cuban was actually a hopeful very early senior citizen the whole time! From the meeting: Did you have a guidebook, or were you speeding along on impulse alone? [Cuban] My leading concept

and also inspiration was that I intended to retire by

the moment I transformed 35. There in fact are 2 publications that I acquired as well as still have– Paul Terhost’s Cashing

In On the American Dream: How to Retire at 35 as well as Andrew Tobias’s The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need– that were my individual economic plan. They educated me exactly what I should recognize as well as exactly what I was going to do: I was mosting likely to breast my butt. And after that I was mosting likely to retire and also take a trip and also event like a rock celebrity by the time I was 35 years of ages. I did it by 30.” Currently there’s a publication recommendation! It goes without saying, I logged right into as well as prime delivered those fools to my front door ASAP. Well, I prime delivered among those fools to my front door. I needed to await the general delivery shipment of Cashing in on the American

Dream for weeks.(Stay tuned for a future publication evaluation there!) 2 days later on when The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need gotten here, I still opened up the

very first web page with a healthy and balanced dosage of apprehension. For one, the title is a daringly vibrant case, seems a little scammy, as well as appears unneeded. And also 2, me as well as Mr. Cuban

do not precisely settle on whatever. Our differences flare most

around the topic of money. I would certainly such as to stay clear of holding cash money that will certainly cost me$800,000 over a life time, while Cuban honestly supporters for avoiding of the stock exchange while you wait to begin a billion buck company. A great technique for a wizard technical maybe, yet not precisely the very best guidance for the typical individual aiming to optimize their returns. With these distinctions in mind, exactly how does Mark Cuban’s favored investing publication accumulate? Schedule Review– The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need The very first version of this standard was released in 1978, and also guide has actually been modified as well as re-published a mind boggling variety of times because, either making certain the info is still pertinent, or to develop a great deal of buzz as well as profit yet an additional brand-new launch. Either or … The publication could best be summarized as, “a typical

feeling refresher course on almost anything as well as whatever pertaining to loan.”In sticking to the soaring

title, subjects cover every little thing from the essentials of conserving loan to an

description of covered phone call alternatives trading. Between, the writer shares pointers on acquiring wholesale, saving money on airline company tickets, staying clear of pupil financings, buying an automobile, insurance policy, as well as tax obligations. Which’s simply the initial phase! The following 2 hundred web pages moves the emphasis to the meat as well as

potatoes of guide, or should I claim the supplies and also bonds? After damaging down the fundamentals of budgeting as well as providing the visitor a

reasonable quantity of cautioning concerning those sly “financial investment specialists,” you could anticipate your spending refresher course to describe, in an extremely understandable as well as most of the times amusing way, the fundamentals of every sort of financial investment automobile. Every Little Thing from Money Market Funds to Preferred Stocks, with

the tax obligation benefits of 401Bs, 529s, SEPs, and also

Charities always remembered. The 2nd component of guide concentrates greatly on the principles of the securities market. Exactly what it is,

exactly how it functions, standard terms, booms and also breasts, exactly how you ought to branch out, and also ways to do it all on your own. Every little thing is factually on factor, and also it’s all added with intriguing side-stories the writer has actually gotten via his currently 40+ years in the securities market. Mentioning which, Andrew Tobias isn’t really specifically a financial investment expert, yet that does not actually prevent guide. An author by profession, he initially finished with a literary works level. He

did ultimately obtain himself a Harvard MBA, as well as he will commemorate his 70th birthday celebration. His years of knowledge as well as very first hand experiences handling his very own loan permits some amusing as well as remarkable side tales, which he inserts whenever a subject goes to threat of coming to be boring.< div id=”attachment_2071″ course=”wp-caption aligncenter” > Andrew Tobias. This does individual does not look

andrew tobias book review

70 years of ages to me … Overall, Tobias discovers as an intelligent saver that

respects his cash, however never ever takes himself also seriously. In general, the type of person that would certainly fit right in below, if he went to all curious about millennials looking for economic flexibility. I especially delighted in just how guide was formatted

. Guide reviews much like a blog site, with each phase consisting of a subject after that numerous subtopics, with brief and also normally fascinating descriptions. My fave was the writer’s brief yet pleasant meaning of margin employs Chapter 9: Margin Calls A margin phone call is exactly what informs you to that your life is going

to heck which you never ever must have gotten involved in the marketplace when you did, not to mention on margin. “Could not have actually discussed it much better myself. Ultimately, guide gathers Part Three, which is about The Oh So Beautiful Family. This is the quickest area of guide, as well as while I’m no specialist on this topic, I did get some beneficial ideas below on funds for pairs, youngsters, wills, estate preparation, and also inheritances. So, is it truly the only financial investment overview I’ll ever before need?Maybe, similarly,”spend right into VTSAX” may be the only sentence regarding spending you ever before have to review. Hyperbolic title apart, guide

greater than measures up to its objective of supplying a not-too-boring individual financing refresher course. If I do have one issue, guide sometimes defaults tosome gloriously ordinary suggestions. Conserving just 10%of your revenue is repetitively recommended, as well as guide also finishes with inquiries such as” How do I conserve 10 % of my earnings?”and also “Is it far too late to begin?” To be reasonable, this

is most likely the writer or author having fun to the target market. However, for those take on spirits happy to believe outside the typical box, I would certainly need to advise additional analysis on websites around early retiring Money Wizards. That claimed, for the starting to intermediate financier, guide does an impressive task as a total funds, as well as is possibly the most effective initial publication on spending I’ve yet ahead across. Beginners will certainly value the succinct descriptions of a lot of monetary subjects, and also will certainly leave

with a strong structure to develop their understanding after. Advanced capitalists will not see anything cutting edge, yet are most likely to appreciate the refresher course. For normal visitors of the website, I honor The Only Investment

naturally to examine your public library. For those of you as impatient as I am, you could get your

very own duplicate from Amazon utilizing this web link(or other web link on this web page!)as well as your order will certainly toss a couple of cents this website’s means. Many thanks for your assistance!