Monthly Money Check: Rich Horsed Around in October 2017

My kids: Up early playing with a “ghost horse.” (Picture from 2016, in Ireland)

Hey Penny,

Sorry to hear about your lack of sleep. I can’t imagine being pregnant, for obvious reasons. If that ever happened … now that would be a blog! Pregnant Mansplaining.

I get close to 8 hours nightly but the difficult part is that my boys wake up at 530 and go immediately to playing — experiments with water, indoor gymnastics, and other not so relaxing games. As I write this, they are playing some sort of imaginary game about ghost horses with a ball and a nerf gun. I guess this is cute but I’d prefer a quiet cup of coffee.

Anywho, what’s the topic here, monthly money check?

We’ve been back in the US for 2 and a half months now, and I think our spending is starting to settle down. September and October were full of big one-time moving expenses, like furniture. In November, I plan to track expenses more closely to see how we’re faring with “routine” expenses. That said, I’m not sure any month is routine. The holidays are fast approaching and perhaps we’ll have a vacation to book. Our spending routine is lumpy.

Let’s see how our net worth has changed recently, then we’ll look at each category and our longer term  goal. Here’s my net worth overview from the past 4 months.

Click on image to enlarge.

OVERALL: Overall, our net worth is up by $15k since July and flat since August, the moving month. In one sense, this is encouraging, because we’ve spent the lights out and we’re still not going backward. In another sense, we’re not going forward either, we’re just moving money around between categories. Speaking of categories …

CASH: Current level is $13,500. I try to keep cash levels between 10-20k. I was able to do this despite buying a car for $18,750 in cash and paying a hefty amount on rent. How did I do it? Well …

DEBT: Unfortunately, I increased debt by 11k with a 0% balance transfer. In other words, I paid $7,750 down financed the remainder. I’m growing tired of this debt, and would like it completely paid in a year.

INVESTMENTS: My investments are up because I’m slotting the car’s value here. So, nothing exciting on this front. Brothers, LLC is holding steady. I’ll be drawing down my alternative investments (Prosper) and my Opportunity Fund in order to pay down debt.

RETIREMENT: Here’s the bright spot. Retirement funds are up by nearly $20k in 4 months. This is the Automatic Millionaire budgeting method at work. Basically, max out the 401k and don’t sweat the rest. Live life, and retire at a reasonable time. Even if we save nothing else and earn a paltry 2%, we’ll have nearly $2 million in the 401k at retirement.


Click on image to enlarge.

Big picture, we are on track for my net worth goal of 1MM at age 45. The blue line is roughly tracking with the red line. I’ll be 45 in 3 years, and if I hit 1MM at any time that year, I’ll declare victory.

It’s interesting to look at the graph and notice how we get a bump in the Spring and dip toward the Fall. I think that’s because around tax time we get an updated valuation of our LLC holdings, and later in the year we’ve had preschool payments in 2016 and moving expenses in 2017.

I expect the coming year to present a new pattern. This will probably be the key year in achieving (or not) our goal. Expenses are high and we’re adjusting to new travel realities (it’s not as easy to get to new, cool places). Anyway, stay tuned for a more detailed expense review next time.

Get some sleep!


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