This will probably be my shortest update post so far. There is too much going on in the world that is weighing heavily on me. Just when I think that my disappointment in other people can not reach a new low I am continuously surprised by just how much injustice and hate still remains in the world. I feel like I am fighting constantly not only for my own rights, but for those of others, and the people you would hope to step up and help in continue to disappoint. That is not to downplay the significant work that many are doing to try to promote change and awareness and fight against an oppressive system, but we need radical leadership and political change if we have any hope of moving forward. I will probably stop there because I am prone to write pages about this and just find myself more discourage, so I will leave it with this… Black lives matter, Trans lives matter, if you live in the United States you must vote and do everything you can to help, especially if you come from a place of privilege or power.
So with that here is a brief project update just to try and maintain some consistency on this blog. At the end of May 2020 our net worth was $965,742 which was a gain of $18,329 in one month. For the year we are now down $48,220 for a loss of around 4.47%. Slowly we have recovered almost all of the loss in the early part of the year and are now down less than 5%. This says something about just sticking with your plan, but the time frame that the recovery has happened is unusually fast.
We are still on track to meet our goal this year to save at least $50,000, and will most likely exceed that goal unless we have a financial emergency. We have been able to save over $4,000 every month so far this year. While it was nice to see our net worth rise to above one million earlier in the year, we did not hold on to or stay above that threshold for long. We are now slowly working our way back there.
We calculate our net worth by adding all of our pre-tax retirement accounts (403b, 457b, Traditional IRAs, and ORP), our after-tax retirement accounts (Roth IRAs), and our after-tax brokerage and savings accounts together. We also include real-estate equity (i.e. our home) discounted to a price we think we would be able to get after closing costs if we needed to sell the property as quickly as possible. After we add up all the assets above we subtract our current mortgage (our only debt) to arrive at our current net worth.
This month our income was $10,475 which was back to our normal range. My wife has finally been paid for some of her projects that were seriously overdue which helped tremendously. We have some concerns going forward of whether additional work will continue to come in as many companies and organizations are cutting back.
We calculate our income by taking our net income (after tax income) and adding back the amount that was withheld/saved in our retirement accounts, including the 6% of my salary contribution I get from my job in my ORP account (I mean technically it is income).
We spent $6,252 this month, which is pretty close to our budget. We continue to spend a lot more on groceries and eating out than typical, but much of this is by choice. Our grocery spending is higher because we continue to have our groceries deliver due to Covid-19 and always pay a very generous tip to the shopper. This is an added expensive we are more than willing to pay for the work they are doing and for our families safety as we still are seeing cases increase in North Carolina.
Our goal we set for 2020 is to save a minimum of $50,000 inside our retirement accounts, with maybe a little additional amount in our after-tax brokerage or savings account. We met our goal last year (barely) and saved $50,414 and are off to a good start this year. This month we saved $4,223 in our pre-tax accounts, with no additional amounts in after tax accounts this month. While we are continuing to increase our cash buffer during these uncertain times, we did not have as much free cash flow this month to put extra away. We still have a more than an adequate emergency and cash fund, but we still want to increase it by about 10%.
Some Closing Thoughts
I don’t really have a lot else to say in my closing thoughts this month that I didn’t say in the open of this post. I am too drained and to be honest overwhelmed. I decided a week ago to start opening twitter again occasionally, and honestly I think I picked one of the worst times to start scrolling again. I resisted the impulse to post during this time, but I think the time is coming that I need to start being active again just so I can throw another voice into many topics, not just financial. I have been very cautious because so much is currently going on with our active lawsuits, but it is hard to resist continue to be an active voice outside of that work. I just hope that some positive change can happen in 2020.