August 2017 Financial Update Summary
|Total Net Worth||$190,400||+$8,300|
|Home (based on Zillow)||$328,200||+$4,700|
|Vehicle #1 (based on KBB)||$8,800||+$0|
|Vehicle #2 (based on KBB)||$27,800||-$200|
|Home Equity Line of Credit||$0||-$0|
|Vehicle #1 Loan||$10,200||-$200|
|Vehicle #2 Loan||$33,800||-$500|
All amounts have been rounded to $100 increments for readability.
For whatever reason, our vehicles only depreciated $200 total this month. We prefer that any day!
Our home’s value continued to go up on Zillow, though not as drastically as last month. The market around here seems to be cooling off a bit, but the remodeling bug is alive and well! It seems like every third house in our neighborhood is under renovation (including ours).
Right at the end of the month, we sold some stock, and tried our luck with High Yield Bonds (aka: Junk Bonds). As with all things in life there are trade-offs. This has a potential for very high returns, so that also implies there are extreme risks involved. We decided to take a chance after doing some significant research on the company, and I hope to have another article up on the subject sometime this month.
I should know a lot more about whether this was a good idea in next month’s report, because that is when they are supposed to make their next payment to the bond holders (aka: us).
We had a nice month with our stock investments (+$700). This time, most of the gains were from LC. Yes, we own both Lending Club stock and invest in their notes. Is that stupid? I guess we’ll find out!
LC stock seems to be extremely volatile, and I’ve been down 10% and up 15% all in the same month. I think long term it will be a good investment. Fundamentally, the company seems to be in a nice up swing.
Our Lending Club investment continues to perform. We’re now seeing about a 16% return, and we’re invested in approximately 390 notes. Of those, two are currently in a grace period (late 0-15 days), and all others are current. We had our first 16-30 day late notes this month, but they all ended up paying. It looks like it may be just a matter of time before one actually does default, but until then, we’re crossing our fingers.
Fundrise remains unchanged. It turns out their website allowed me to invest into a fund that is not available to be invested in when using retirement funds. They also said that due to some IRS rules, they had to wait 60 days to return the money. That was a bit frustrating! But to their credit, they have fixed the website, and they gave us a check for about $290 to cover opportunity cost (investment time) and any fees that our self-directed IRA account might charge for the transactions.
There is nothing major to report here. We continue to make payments and chip away at the balances. Next month the credit card portion might increase a bit. I explain more below.
During August, we were able to pay down about $1,200 on our credit cards. This was only 50% of our goal. We had a bunch of unexpected bills this month which ate into our disposable income, but we’re still pretty disappointed with the results.
However, though we didn’t save anything for the TV, we also didn’t buy one without having the money in the first place! I can’t say we wouldn’t have done that in the past. It’s certainly not an emergency, so we’re holding firm.
On the plus side, we should be receiving two contracting checks and an additional paycheck this month.
That being said, we probably won’t make much progress on the debt/savings this month. My wife is starting a new career, so we need to fund her schooling for that this month. We’re also replacing a good portion of the flooring in our home which is one more remodeling item off the list, but will take much of our disposable income this month.
Assuming the flooring gets completed (or at least paid for) this month, we have the following items left on our remodeling adventure:
- Downstairs bathroom (25% complete) – estimated $3k left
- Upstairs bathroom – estimated $5k
- New front fence – estimated $2k
- New side driveway and back patio – estimated $18k
- New external siding – estimated $25k (this needs to be done in the next year or so)
Any additional disposable income this month will go towards paying down credit card debt, though it’s possible our debt total might increase.
This month we also have a quarterly estimated taxes payment due to the IRS…whee…
Goals for September: Pay for schooling, flooring, and taxes. Chip away at debt with any additional money available.
Longer Term Goals: Financial independence, remodel our fixer-upper home, opportunity to travel throughout our lives