Net Worth Update: October 2017

money wizard net worth september 2017


To say October was a wild month could be the understatement of this blog’s history.

I started October trying to pack in all those wonderfully festive fall activities. I’ve raved before about just how much I love the fall season, and don’t worry… I’ll only rave a little more.

As the fall air’s growing chill asks you to cozy up, and the trees give off their last hurrah of color, I find myself wishing we could just turn every season into fall.

You all can take your beaches, flip flops, and scorching sun… give me some jeans, a sweater, and a warm apple cider any day! #PSL (just kidding…or am I?)

Highlights of this year’s season included more beautiful trees than I had time to photograph, and a local Fall Fest that saw some maniacs racing down the river in hollowed out GIANT PUMPKINS.

Yes, those are 1,000 pound pumpkin boats…

Although for some reason this year’s fall felt short. I’m not sure whether that’s because of the whirlwind going on in my life this October, or the fact I spent two weeks of the month traveling to California and Texas – two states known for their total lack of Fall.

In any case, around the second week of October I packed up my bags and headed to sunny California. It had been a while since Lady Money Wizard and I got away, and we were both looking forward to a week of relaxing.

Unfortunately, the world had other plans for that vacation of ours. You see, in the time since we planned our trip, the two of us made the tiny purchase of a whole freakin’ house, and the bank set our closing date to right after our trip.

To complicate matters, our original plans to visit Sonoma Wine Country literally went up in flames. Here was the hotel we planned on staying at:

hilton sonoma burned

hilton sonoma wine burned 2

Yeah… not happening.

Never deterred, our relaxing weekend turned into on the fly improvising, and our one-on-one getaway was frequently crashed by bankers requesting documents, realtors asking for signatures, and other bankers requesting more documents.

Nonetheless, we ended up staying with some friends in San Francisco, and we had an awesome time. With the help of our local friend, we passed on the Fisherman’s Wharf madness, drove right by all the tour buses taking selfies with the Golden Gate Bridge, and went barely off the beaten path to score an even better view of San Francisco’s most iconic landmark:

We sat on that secluded log and had a great time with friends for most of the day. It was an activity that didn’t cost us a penny, but was probably the highlight of the trip.

Less than a quarter of a mile away, tourists battled for parking spots and rushed to find their tour guides, who they paid upwards of $50 for the privilege of shouldering their bodies into an overcrowded bus. As we sat enjoying the silence, we couldn’t help but chuckle at how the tourist traps are almost never worth it, and the best things in life are consistently free.

Having worn out our welcome with our friends, we headed down to Monteray, California for a day. We meandered the rocky coastline by bike, and only fended off about 3,000 phone calls from bankers and realtors during our stay.

But it didn’t matter how many missed calls we had, the scenery wasn’t any less incredible:

The next day, we worked our way back to San Francisco. I hopped on a midnight plane, grabbed a couple hours of sleep, then hopped on a still-dark-outside-flight to Dallas for FinCon 2017 – the blogger’s conference so crazy it will get its own entire post next week.

I stayed in Dallas for 5 days, hopped on another midnight flight, squeaked out a couple more hours of sleep, then headed to the bank for an early morning house closing, right before the very last day of October.

We closed just in time to set up two lawn chairs in the house’s empty living room, and start handing out candy to our first ever trick-or-treaters.

Could there be a more fitting end to this wild month?

Net Worth Update: October 2017

And the detailed breakdown:

To the details!

Cash: $11,243 (+$501)

It’s nice to see the cash inching upwards, which should be helpful as I continue to shop for a rental property investment in 2018.

Brokerage: $105,836 (+$1,842)

No contributions this month, but the brokerage account increased about 1.8% during October due to market changes.

My breakdown remains:

  • $54,500 invested with Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (Related: How to Choose a Vanguard Index Fund)
  • $51,000 invested in a mixture of Vanguard ETFs, with a few 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): $77,413 (+$3,694)

$2,300 of automatic contributions (including employer matching) with about $1,300 in capital gains from market movement.

After a slow start to the year, I’m still contributing over $800 per paycheck, so that I make sure to max out my 401K in 2017.

Roth IRA: $18,262 (-$185)


Even though I announced my plans to max out my IRA during the 2017 tax year (and you should too!) I keep dragging my feet on this.

I think I’ll take a reader’s suggestion and set up automatic transfers to my Roth IRA with Vanguard. (Thanks Saver Steph!) I’m obviously dragging my feet too much otherwise.

Rent Payable: $715 (+$14)

The very last month of apartment rent before moving over to the house!!

Credit Cards Payable: $3,004 (-$255)

The credit card number is always a little over inflated, because I include the total outstanding balance on all credit cards. Even though I never pay a cent of interest, the way the timing of the billing cycles works out, this number usually equals about a month and a half of spending.

Which is why I started included these detailed spending reports:

Total October Spending: $2,289

money wizard spending october 2017

Not my worst month ever (I’m looking at you, September 2017) but not my best either. Some of the major categories:

  • Dining Out – $215
    • With the stress of the move and half our apartment packed away, we defaulted back to a little more eating out than the budget.
  • Travel – $510
    • California sure ain’t cheap. This damage could have been at lot worse if we didn’t have the help of the Chase Sapphire Reserveto give us free flights, and I didn’t cash in some hotel points to find a place that wasn’t burned to the ground.
  • Entertainment – $39
    • A few trips to the breweries, a redbox, and the fall fest featuring GIANT PUMPKIN BOATS.
  • Clothes – $255
    • After nearly 5 years, I had to replace all my dress pants for work. 🙁 Here’s to hoping this set lasts me through early retirement. 😀
  • Other – $256
    • Mostly dog related spending, plus a few Christmas gifts for friends and family.

And that’s a wrap on the craziness of October!

By the way, 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 money. I highly recommend Personal Capital, which will track everything for you automatically. If you prefer to be a little more OCD, you can always track it manually using this underrated iPhone app.

Readers, how was your October?

9 Spooky Halloween Statistics [Go Figure]

candy sales halloween stats

$9.1 Billion How much Americans will spend on Halloween in 2017, as estimated by the National Retail Federation.

$86.10 Amount spent by each consumer, up from $82.93 since last year.

1/3 Portion of Halloween spending devoted to costumes.

$25 The average consumer’s Halloween candy spending.

18% Of US consumers who said Candy Corn was their least favorite candy, barely eeking out bubble gum with 17% of the vote – officially making Candy Corn the world’s worst Halloween candy. I’ve been saying it for years!

$25 The average amount spent on Halloween decorations.

72% Of families who plan on celebrating Halloween this year, which makes me feel bad for the 28% of kids whose parents need to chill out.

16% Who plan on dressing up their pets. And since I know you’re curious, the most popular pet costume in 2017? A pumpkin, of course.

100% Increase in spending for pet costumes since 2010. Guilty…

how much do americans spend on halloween every year

Figuring Out Halloween Statistics about Spending

As far as holidays go, Halloweens spending is dwarfed by its nearby holiday brothers. I’m looking at you, Christmas and Black Friday. And yes, Black Friday is now considered a holiday. Somehow…

But that doesn’t mean Halloween isn’t without its fair share of commercialization. 30% of annual retail sales take place between Black Friday and Christmas, and Halloween serves as a nice little test run for how loose consumers are feeling with their cash.

As stores start inching the price of candy higher, retailers watch with eager anticipation as we head into prime time buying season. This year, retailers are already estimating a 8.3% increase in Halloween spending over last year. That’s a lot of candy!

That said, I really did expect the total number to be higher. Score one for the paper-thin $24.99 Halloween costumes everywhere.

Maybe what’s most interesting about Halloween is that although spending can grow in a hurry, it’s also one of the holidays most open to cost cutting. Scary movie marathons don’t exactly break the bank, and DIY is practically embedded into the holiday itself.

Home made costumes and decorations can save a fortune. For those who don’t want to bother with the scissors or creativity, hit those day-after Halloween sales!

The day after Halloween, Target routinely slashes all their costume prices by 50%. I’ve even seen costumes and decorations for up to 90% off, as retailers get desperate to liquidate. And let’s not forget the deals on candy…

Does Money Buy Happiness? Instagram’s Most Ridiculous Playboy Shares the Truth

If Bruce Wayne were a genuine individual, he would certainly be Dan Bilzerian.

I assumed I was actually creative with that said introductory, up until I saw GQ Magazine beguiled me. They explain Dan Bilzerian as, “a type of Bruce Wayne-meets-Hugh Hefner for the social-media age,” which is a lot more detailed as well as exact.

And also right here’s exactly what may be his most precise title of all– “The King of Instagram.”

The label comes from his definitely mind-blowing variety of fans– 23 million.

For recommendation, the present President of the United States has 7 million fans. Amongst the A-list of various other celebs he’s defeated at the appeal competition: Mark Zuckerberg, Leonardo Dicaprio, Snoop Dogg, Floyd Mayweather, Kobe Bryant, Robert Downey Jr., Oprah, as well as Barack Obama.

Exactly what’s made him all these fans?Unlike the listing of individuals over, he’s not a renowned star, business owner, or professional athlete. In an unusual spin of the net age, he arrived after he was detected in the leading left of a texas hold’em program, with a lady holding on his shoulder, obviously designated the vital task of rubbing his beard.

Since after that, he’s obtained around 20,000 fans a day, just by being an abundant person that publishes ridiculous pictures of his life

. I placed the adhering to collection with each other after scrolling with his web page for a little much less compared to 5 mins:

why is dan bilzerian famous

He asserts to have actually gained his lot of money as an expert online poker gamer. For the functions of this short article, we’ll roll our eyes at that as well as neglect that his papa was among Wall Street’s most noteworthy business raiders, that carefully established a count on fund for his boys before being founded guilty of fraudulence as well as obtaining sentenced.

Wherever Dan Bilzerian obtained his loan, as well as nevertheless likeable or unlikeable you may locate him, there’s one truth that stays coldly apparent:

He’s been around cash. Even more to the factor– he has even more cash compared to he recognizes exactly what to do with.

As well as with that said comes a specific degree of knowledge regarding something that a lot of are constantly going after.

Does Money Buy Happiness? Dan Bilzerian Weighs in

So just what does our Instagram Batman state when individuals ask him whether loan can acquire joy? In a current podcast meeting, he had this to state:

An instance I prefer to provide is when I was 16, my desire vehicle was a Mustang Cobra. So if I obtained a Mustang Cobra, I would certainly have gone to a 10 [on the joy range] However, a Ferrari would certainly additionally bring me to a 10. As well as you can not go above a 10, right?

So allow’s state that I obtained the Ferrari when I was 16, and also currently we blink onward as well as I finish university, as well as allow’s state my daddy provides me a BMW M5. If I had the Ferrari, currently I’m most likely mosting likely to go to a 7, right? Due to the fact that I’m tipping down in an automobile.

However if I had the Mustang Cobra and also currently I obtain a BMW M5, I’m mosting likely to be back at a 10.

It’s the very same automobile. You’re the exact same individual. You’re at the exact same area in life. The only distinction is your viewpoint as a result of your previous experience.”

If you’re not a cars and truck aficionado, the essential details right here is that a Mustang Cobra sets you back regarding $50,000, a BMW M5 sets you back concerning $100,000, and also a Ferrari sets you back $200,000+.

Simply puts, Dan is stating that as soon as you’ve had a $200,000 vehicle, it’s difficult to “tip down” to a $100,000 automobile.

Dan is articulating exactly what I’ve long assumed; cash is totally loved one. Aiming to get to an ever-increasing quantity of it is a workout in futility.

He proceeds:

When individuals ask why abundant individuals typically aren’t as delighted, I believe it’s since they’ve upped bench until now that just the most effective points please them.

An additional instance, when I left bootcamp, if I mosted likely to Outback Steakhouse I would certainly have gone to a 10. Currently, if I most likely to the very best dining establishment in the f *** ing globe, I’m at perhaps a 6 or 7. I would certainly simply resemble completely satisfied. I indicate, I’ve obtained 3 cooks, I consume the most effective food at all times. To make sure that does not make me pleased anymore.

If somebody acquired me a Lamborghini, I would certainly resemble whatever. I’ve had them, I uncommitted. However if you offer it to the person off the road he would certainly go to a 10.

I can not acquire joy any longer. I’ve acquired every f *** ing point that I ever before desired. There’s not actually anything that I desire. So I can not acquire any type of satisfaction.

As well as, if you offered me a routine automobile, or place me at a normal resort, I ‘d in fact be listed below the regular degree. Whereas a regular individual would certainly simply enjoy to be on a getaway.

It’s type of like the person that wins the lotto. A year later on, he’s statistically much less satisfied compared to the individual that obtained his leg severed the year prior.”

This is a very straightforward admission from a man that’s whole Public Relations tactical could be summarized as glamorizing the lush way of life.

Why the Rat Race is a Losing Battle– Hedonic Adaptation

What Dan is explaining below has actually currently been identified by scientific research. It’s called hedonic adjustment, and also the keynote is that people are extremely efficient obtaining utilized to points.

From a transformative point of view, this makes excellent feeling. In order for our varieties to not pass away out the minute some challenge comes our method, it’s practical that we would certainly come configured with a little of code that allows us adjust to our setting, excellent or negative.

As a matter of fact, Dan’s last remark regarding the lotto game victors is the precise research which created this term. In 1978, psycho therapists spoke with 22 lotto game victors as well as 29 paraplegics. In an outcome that does not obtain any kind of much easier to think the extra I re-read it, within simply months of their corresponding life-altering occasions, both teams reported comparable degrees of joy.

Difficult? A defective experiment?

Not. It ends up, the lotto game champions swiftly obtained made use of to their classy sparkling wine as well as million buck residences, and also like Mr. Bilzerian, they in fact discovered much less pleasure in life’s typical points. On the various other hand, mishap sufferers located much more joy in life’s average occasions, and also were equally as confident concerning their future as the lotto game champions.

These points are counter-intuitive to understand, specifically when you’ve been elevated in a society that invests billions of bucks to encourage you the current $19.99 device is all that’s missing out on from your life.

However there’s merely excessive clinical proof to insurance claim or else, as well as way too many individuals on top of the cash hill, determined the sight isn’t really rather as incredible as we’re convert.

“Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But You Can Buy a Boat, as well as a Boat Would Make Me Happy”

That’s not to claim that things cannot make you satisfied, a minimum of for a bit. The lottery game champions actually enjoyed … for a pair months.

The thrill of acquiring a brand-new device is actual. The difficulty is, it’s totally short lived, as well as it could spiral unmanageable quickly.

Experiments reveal that cash evokes comparable mind checks as drug user high up on drug. More study reveals a straight relationship that being also materialistic has the tendency to make you much less satisfied.

When we burglarize from our future to money momentary joy today, we’re just excavating ourselves an opening.

Much like we do not all begin our days with a snort of drug together with our early morning grain, since we intuitively understand that’s in some way destructive to our future, we should not anticipate the adrenaline thrill of an acquisition to supply any kind of long lasting degree of joy.

So, we’re entrusted to 2 options:

  1. We could proceed going after the most up to date and also biggest acquisition, fiending for that following dopamine hit and also bankrupting ourselves and also our future in the process.We could agree scientific research, acknowledge short lived joy of what it is, as well as seek something a little bit much more lasting.The Lasting Sources of Happiness Exactly what are those long lasting aspects of joy? Significant job, wellness, relationships, positive outlook, as well as liberty, at the very least inning accordance with the professionals. All those points are offered to us, without or without a Dan Bilzerian sized way of living.