January 2018 Financial Update

It’s time again for our financial update. This one is for January 2018. You can read last month’s update here. To see all our financial updates, please go here.

Life in January got closer to normal than the previous two months. Progress on our net worth continued slow but steady.

January 2018 Financial Update Summary

Total Net Worth$214,400+$8,800
Assets$470,300vs Previous
Savings$12,200+$4,000
Home (based on Zillow)$332,500+$100
Vehicle #1 (based on KBB)$7,700+$0
Vehicle #2 (based on KBB)$23,800-$1,500
Stocks/Bonds/Mutual Funds/ETFs$71,800+$2,600
Peer-to-peer Lending$10,900+$100
Real Estate$10,200+$0
Cryptocurrency$1,200+$1,100
Liabilities$255,900vs Previous
Home Loan$199,400-$1,000
Home Equity Line of Credit$0-$0
Home Depot Credit Card$800-$100
Vehicle #1 Loan$9,300-$200
Vehicle #2 Loan$31,400-$500
Credit Cards$15,000-$600
vs Previous

All amounts have been rounded to $100 increments for readability.

Notes

Life is keeping us on our toes. Here are some of the notable items from this past month:

  • My wife is a certified Fire Fighter and has some promising leads for her first position. Right now she continues to work as an AEMT.
  • My dad has been fighting cancer for a bit now. He mentioned that he’d like to go on a trip to Alaska with us, so we’re doing a cruise in May.
  • We continue to work on organizing the house and only bringing things back in (since the flooring replacement) that we really think we’ll need.
  • One of two side contracting jobs is still on hold. However the other job has been sucking up most of my free time as they are in a rush to get some items to market.
  • We’ve been receiving a lot of our tax records, and it’s beginning to look like we may owe a lot more than we had planned for…that’s a subject worthy of its own post, so I’m planning on doing one soon.

All of these things will have an affect on our finances. I’ll dig into these below in more detail.

Assets

Our new automated payment to the Roth IRAs of $600 monthly has started. With that monthly deposit plus quarterly contributions of $950, we’ll be able to max out our accounts without stressing the budget like we had to this last year.

We had another decent month for stocks. The overall increase was $2,600. Our Junk Bond has slowly been increasing in value. Hopefully, we’ll receive the full amount, but I’m still only relatively confident we’ll receive the interest payments. It’s definitely one of our riskier investments.

Our Lending Club investment continues to perform, but total defaults are now up to four. The account still has an ROI of 12.4%, which we’re happy with. We’re watching this one more closely as there seems to be a marked increase in missed payments.

Fundrise is starting to show some solid growth. We received our first dividend payment which came out to be a 6.4% annualized return. It is a little lower than we were hoping for, but we may have not been invested for the full quarter. It’s a bit difficult to tell. If that’s the case, we should have an improvement in yield next quarter.

Cryptocurrency

In addition to our original investment of $100, we transferred our mined Ethereum into the account, so the account is now approximately worth $1,200. At one point during the month it was worth as much as $1,600, and it has been trending down as of late. It can be quite volatile.

By the way, if you click on this link, sign up, and purchase $100 worth of a cryptocurrency of your choice, we’ll both receive $10 in free bitcoin. So far, I’ve had a good experience with it. Keep in mind that linking your checking account has lower fees than using a credit card to invest, but the investment takes longer to settle in the account.

Liabilities

Our vehicle’s continue to remind us that automobiles are a terrible investment. They are depreciating far faster than we are getting them paid off ($1,500 vs $700).

For now on the Home Depot card, we’ve been just paying $100 a month. We have 12 months total to pay it off without interest, so this would pay it off before any interest accrues. We also paid down $600 on our other credit card debt. The payments were limited because of the concern we now have about how much we’re going to need to come up with to cover additional taxes that we weren’t expecting.

Goals

Now that we’ve caught up on our contributions for our Roth IRA, we’ve set up automated monthly payments. We also were able to increase my 401(k) contribution (sadly, no matching) from 3% to 6% giving us a total of approximately 15% of our gross income being saved for retirement. We’re happy with that, but as my wife starts working as a fire fighter, we’d like to increase this to the maximum allowed of $18,500.

Beyond that, our main goal now is to resolve our issues we may or may not have with our tax bill this year and then pay off the credit card debt, thus leaving us with a solid emergency fund and no liability for it.

Remodeling

For now, we decided to stop working on the house as we resolve some of the other issues that we discussed above. We have the following items left on our remodeling adventure:

  • Downstairs bathroom (95% complete) – estimated $200 left
  • Upstairs bathroom – estimated $5k – going to delay until later in the year
  • Front fence – estimated $2k – going to delay until at least this summer
  • Side driveway and back patio – estimated $18k – going to delay until at least this summer
  • External siding – estimated $25k (this needs to be done in the next year or so) – hoping to push this into a year or two from now when we can pay for cash with my wife’s new income

Goals for February: Save money for the cruise we have in May with my parents. Prepare our taxes and determine where we’re at financially. Begin paying down the credit card debt again.

Longer Term Goals: Financial independence, remodel our fixer-upper home, opportunity to travel throughout our lives

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