Another solid month to wrap up the year. December 2018 was sort of a bloodbath for the markets, if you all recall. I was expecting at least a slow bleed for this time in 2019. But no, the markets just keep going forward!
Major expenses for last month was …surprisingly nothing, if you exclude the gifts purchased for the holiday season. As those are seasonal, and recurring every year, we already have them baked into our saving/spending buckets.
Net worth reaches another high of $915k. Buzz of an impending recession is everywhere but we still plow into our tax advantaged and taxable accounts. We are also hoarding some cash. The recession will come but we don’t, and neither does anyone else, know when. And it will pass too.
There were a major expense of $2,706 this month, where we booked a vacation with a credit card and then promptly paid it off.
Things to keep in mind when looking at these numbers:
These numbers are snapshots in time, most likely the last day of the month
Since I copy/paste the numbers from the online accounts, the decimals remain but they are insignificant (obviously, duh!). Neither are the ones and tens digits of each account balance. What is important is the trend.
If you’re reading this for the first time, welcome! If you’re thinking if now is the “right time” to invest in the market ….well, everyday is the right time to invest, if you’re in it for the long haul. Remember the adage, “time in the market is more important than timing the market“
Our net worth is close to $900K! After an initial hiccup at the beginning of October, the markets have continued moving up. As you’ll notice our cash holding is at an all-time high. Major part of it is due to known expenses coming up, part of it is dry powder when the markets takes a dive. Does this sound like market timing? Well, yes, it is! But the amounts are so small to what we have out in the market invested, it does not really matter in the large scheme of things. It’s more to do with mental jujitsu, that we have some cash around when the correction comes.
This is what we are on track to make through the end of the year.
W’s base salary is $101,296
W got a bonus of $2,865
M’s base salary is $153,000
M got a bonus of $11,400
Our total yearly income is (or would be if we continued our employment till the end of the year) $268,561
This puts us in the top 3% of US household income. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on that. We are incredibly blessed to have a number of factors working in our favor, a lot of which are just plain birth circumstances. Sure, we work hard and made conscious choices to invest in college educations but that doesn’t even tell half the story.
We had been with T-Mobile for about 12 years. Our monthly bill, for a family plan of two, had averaged out to around $75/month for the past couple of years. Not bad. We were grandfathered into an old plan and didn’t quite think much about it.
But starting this year, T-Mobile dropped the corporate discount we used to get. Monthly bill jumped to $84. Just a $9 increase, still it got me thinking if other comparable options were out there with a lower cost.
After a bit of research and a lot of procrastinating, we finally pulled the trigger to switch in August.
W went with Google FI. You pay $20 for unlimited calls and texts, and $10/GB of data used. One month cost was $32. This is post paid with users only paying for the amount of data they use. Coverage is quite possibly even superior to Verizon as Google FI uses combination of any available network and wi-fi spots. Can keep old number.
M went with Mint Mobile. This is a prepaid MVNO operating on the T-Mobile network. They have “free” unlimited talk and text on all of their plans. You “only” pay for data. Paid upfront $66 for 6 month, with 8 GB of 4G LTE data every month. That works out to $11 a month. This is a promotional offer that anyone can avail. Regular priced plans start at $15/month for 12 months, for 3 GB of data every month; and other combinations of number of months and data limits – all prepaid. Coverage is same as T-Mobile. Can keep old number.
By switching we have effectively cut our phone bill in half, with same or better coverage. Boom.
August was the second month this year that our net worth dipped by over $12K. And that’s ok. How ok? Even with the monthly dip, our net worth is over $144K for the year! Frankly, the market run we’ve been having is almost unprecedented and it is bound to end at some point. But from that end it will rise again. All is good.
Valuation of retirement assets, which is almost 70% of all our non-property assets, decreased by ~$17K. Liquid cash in bank accounts increased over $3K but most of that increase will go towards paying off the fence we had installed couple of months ago (they billed the invoice late).
We also stopped paying the extra monthly $3K towards mortgage principal that we’d been doing since the start of the year, in anticipation of the reduction in income that will happen when M stops full-time work.
Other than that, a mostly quiet month. We’re enjoying the long Labor Day weekend. Kiddo will be going back to school this week. Some travel planned for end of September.