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You cut 3 years off your student loan debt! Well done. Now cozy up in your hygge quilt, pour yourself some glogg, and take a gander at my finances. As with last month, I’ll start off with a net worth update before moving on to my expenses, particularly my .
My goal is to have a million dollar net worth at age 45. Specifically, before I turn 46 in September 2021. When I started tracking this in September 2015, I had a net worth of $455,169.63. Today I’m at $568,367, a gain of $113,197.37!
Pretty good, but I’m not quite on track with my goal. To reach the goal I needed to average an increase of $7,600 per month, but so far I’m only averaging an increase of $6,658 per month. Doh! Consequently, I’m $16,002.63 behind the curve. Here’s a graph showing my progress. The blue line is the pace I’m on, while the black line is the pace I need.
Reasons for hope: Mrs. Rich and I both got promotions in the past year. Our retirement savings alone get us close to $7K per month, and certain gains tend to come in chunks (like our business LLC). Reasons for despair: Every month that we’re off the pace will make it harder to make up ground.
Here’s a breakdown of our net worth as of the end of February.
So far in 2017, our average increase is $7,293.53 per month, thanks to January. February was an anomaly and our net worth went down. The culprit was that we paid a $12K preschool bill. I expect March to be a big gainer because we get paid 3 times in the month. April will be a wild card because we will have a tax bill, but at the same time we might record increases in our LLC (illiquid investments in farmland and commercial real estate). I’ll write a post on those sometime.
One final note on net worth. The excellent blogger over at Make Wealth Simple says I’m not calculating my net worth correctly because I’m not including valuables, vehicles, and pensions. I’d get a big bump if I started including those: my car + valuables total around $35K, and my wife and I both have pensions. So, maybe my true net worth is higher, but for the purposes of this blog I want to reach my goal without taking those items into account.
Okey Dokey, moving on to the monthly expense nitty gritty. I did a comparison on January and February, and once again we spent more than $2K on food! Incredible! Check out this comparison chart and that loooong line at the top.
Food! For readers who don’t know me, I’m not a fat man. So what gives? Well, our grocery bill appears to be stable at $1200 per month. At first I thought it might be because we’re living overseas, but I confirmed this number is on par with what we spend in the States. We pay for quality, fresh food. Currently, one third of the total is spent at our local fruit and vegetable place, one third at our local grocery store for basics like bread, eggs, and cheese, and the final third goes to specialty items we buy from the local deli or order online. When we eat at home, it’s usually homemade and healthy. We’re not going to change this to save money.
As for the restaurant portion, we came in at a whopping $1,062.49. I know exactly why — my best friend visited in February and we spent $500 on 2 meals. They were worth it, as I noted in my latest Happiness Report! To answer your question about restaurant reputations Penny, I’m glad you enjoyed the Outback, but chains like that (Chili’s, Denny’s, Friday’s, Applebee’s, Stinky’s, etc, etc) don’t do it for me.
This is not about being snooty, I just don’t like the food … or the atmosphere … or the huge portions … or the feeling in my stomach after I eat a Bloomin’ Sriracha Blast Super Chicken Stuffed Slider Cheese Popper.
Incidentally, I loved Olive Garden when I was younger. Who doesn’t like butter? But when I got older I experienced some GREAT Italian food — not always fancy or expensive, just authentic and delicious — and Olive Garden doesn’t please my taste buds anymore. Have you ever had something so good that it ruined your previous experience of something else? It’s human nature. I don’t blame anyone for thinking Olive Garden is great Italian food. I just can’t do it, I’ve seen the light. As Plato wrote in The Cave, “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?”
So that’s the deal with food and restaurants. I also had to rent a car during my friend’s visit, so that’s the bump in transportation. Here’s the complete list of income and expenses for February.
Regular expenses clocked in at $4,630.25. That’s a decent number for us because our salaries bring in $12,000 (during a month with 2 pay periods). It helps that we don’t pay for housing while living overseas.
Irregular expenses fluctuate bigtime. As you said, it’s always something, eh Penny? Last month it was preschool, this month it’s the dentist and a plane ticket for my mom AND YOUR MOM to come visit! However, I’ll be reimbursed for both these items, so they’re temporary expenses.
By the way, my mom LOVES Outback Steakhouse. Unfortunately for her and fortunately for me, there are no Aussie-Tizers in this country.
The most surprising thing to me is how little we’ve spent this year on everything other than food. I’m pleasantly surprised, actually. Granted, all this will spike when we we move back to the States in August and start paying for housing again.
So, what do you think? Is my food spending out of control? And a couple questions for you: If you started making more money, at what point would you start to lose benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit, food support, or low cost internet? On a more hypothetical level, what would you do if you had no student loans and made $12,000 per month? What do you think would change about your spending?