December 2022

December, thankfully, brought close to a dismal year. Our NW dropped by almost $47k last month.

The weather in our part of the world has been, to put it politely, f**king insane. Record snow, blizzard conditions, icy roads, plummeting temps has made an awful start to winter. We traveled over the holidays but though we are all safe, conditions were frightful.

The new year apparently is going much like the past one. January already have had 3 school closures due to bad weather! Hopefully this will get better.

Life has been, otherwise, good around here. We’re engaged in activities that mentally and physically keep us in shape. We’re eating well. We aren’t worried about finances. We’re watching a lot of movies.

The year end review should be out before this month ends.

Hope your holidays were special. Cheers!

November 2022

Rising stock markets, second month in a row, lifted our NW by $58k.

Life is good around the here. Late fall has been mild. There’s snow on the ground but temps have only once gone close to 0°F. That’s a win in our neck of the woods! Winter activities, mostly held in different domes around where we live, are on in full swing. Though going out on ski excursions will happen a couple of times later during the season.

Spending in November was more than the *average*.

Not very surprisingly, groceries have been on an upward trend. With inflation, this number is now closer to $600 monthly average than the earlier $500. Thanksgiving and being around extended family pushed this even higher. Expenses on activities/sports (registration, signups, gear), car (regular maintenance), and other miscellaneous stuff brought this close to $4.5k.

Hope you all are living the FIFA World Cup, which for the first time is being held in the (Northern hemisphere) winter. Till next time, when hopefully Messi and Argentina have been crowned world champions – cheers!

October 2022

Again, almost 3 weeks into the month late …..I want ideas about *punitive* actions against us if we publish the blog post over a week late. Seriously 😀

Market gain gave us an increase of almost $79k for the month. Not bad. Quite a ways to regain all time highs.

Fall festivities are drawing near and we’ve been busy with fall/winter sports and activities. Though not as extensive as spring/summer sports, these tend to take up a lot of evenings during week nights and then some in the weekends. We are lucky to be involved in stuff that are near and dear to us.

Till (by the first week of December!) next time, have a great Thanksgiving! Cheers!

September 2022

September provided us our second biggest monthly loss at close to $89k.

We’ll just leave it at there. Especially since it’s 21 days into the new month!

Outdoor fall sports have wrapped up in a blazing few weeks and weekends of activities. We’re still recovering from multiple tournaments and games and …fun. Winter sports will start up in November. We’re currently in the zone where we have all the evenings for ourselves. Doesn’t happen much around here!

Expenses for September was the average archetypal spend for us. Over the course of a full year, $3k would be the average monthly expenses.

Here’s hoping you all are having a nice and contended fall. Cheers!

August 2022

NW decreased by $36k. All good.

Our lives are going on swimmingly though. Schools have reopened. Sporting activities have necessitated us being out in the fields on most evenings. Fall is here. I’m in the camp who believes that fall starts when we kick off September. Or when the NFL starts. Either works.

Markets have tumbled further in September. We’re still contributing in our 401(k), IRAs, and taxable brokerage accounts – in boring old index funds and ETFs. Nothing has changed.

Hope you’re having a good start to fall. Cheers!

July 2022

The market rose by around 10% in July and with it our NW gained $83k. Not bad.

We finally made a dent in the cash buffer (that has been borderline crazy) that we keep. These were some ways we burnt through cash last month (besides the regular stuff):

  • $6k to I bonds
  • $1k to brokerage
  • About $2k to pay for flights, car rental, and part of a hotel stay for an upcoming vacation
  • $823 on semi-yearly premium of vehicle insurance

Here is a break down of July spending:

Most of the recurring categories are at their average.

July ended in a blaze of …sunshine and sports. Many an afternoon and evening were spent cheering, or coaching, competitive youth sports. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful clubs, facilities, parents, coaches, and players where we live. These are the days and times we live for in the often frozen American Midwest.

Hope you all have been able to enjoy summer. Remember it’s already two-thirds gone!

This is the 100th post on this blog. Here’s to a 100 more. Cheers!

June 2022

Well, June didn’t turn May’s respite into something more 🙂 Instead, our NW ended up falling by over $72k.

Few things to note:

  • Value of (all) retirement accounts fell below $900k for the first time since Mar ’21. Oof
  • Value of 529 accounts fell below $40k for the first time since Apr ’21.
  • Cash positions at $92k is still insanely high. A few reasons for that,
    • Summer months are typically low income months for M (as schools are off)
    • The *impending* recession

June has wrapped up in a spectacular burst of activities, even by our standards. Weeknights and weekends were all spent outside. We’re all sporting various levels of tan, sun burns, and sun rashes!! We were very glad to have a long and relaxing weekend of July 4th (but even that ended up with some travel to visit some family!) Activities for the spring/summer session will draw down by end of July. The next season will start back up in mid-August.

Hope you all are able to enjoy the sun. Cheers!

May 2022

Markets turned a bit positive in May with us ending up a little higher than April, where our NW plummeted by ~$100k. June, so far, is turning out to be an even bigger hole. It’s still all good 🙂

Spending for May

With the current inflation, groceries, eating out/takeout, gas, and virtually everything else cost higher. We bought a new set of all weather tires for one of our vehicles.

We’re firmly in summer now. Weather wise, activities wise. School is over. Most evenings are spent outside in sporting events. Temperatures for end of May and beginning of June were pretty mild (refreshing) but the heat is turning up. We hit our first 100° day yesterday. Bugs are out in full swing.

Here’s wishing you all have a great summer ahead of you. Cheers!

April 2022

We “suffered” our worst month since we started tracking way back in 2017. Almost $100k in red. It’s ok though 🙂

The way this first week of May is going, we’ll be down a couple of hundred thousand more soon. It’s still ok.

Spring is in full bloom here. We’re enjoying 60° days and cooler nights. Outdoor activities are on in full swing. Literally six nights out of 7, we are out playing/coaching. Some weeks we’ll be out all seven days. This will be the default state of affairs till end of June. Wish us luck!

Hope all you get to spend a lot of time outside. Cheers!

March 2022

An increase in NW after a few months of sliding.

We crossed a thin red line last month ….we have over $100k in bank accounts laying around! That’s unpardonable 😠

W got a nice bonus paid out in March. We have some plans to burn through some of that cash.

First, there is some amount earmarked for “donations” to Uncle Sam in April 😜

Second, when you look at our spending for March below, there are some eye popping numbers that we spent (on credit cards). This is planned and we will pay off the balance.

Third, the rate reset on I Bonds will happen on 1st May, and it’s increasing to 9.62%. Though some commentators are urging to lock in the blended rate of 8.54% for the next 12 months, we’re going to wait for the new rate and purchase some at the higher rate.

Here is spending for March.

We spent a sh*t ton on “Household” last month. The two biggest culprit was 1) Home insurance premium of $1,500, 2) An absurdly big TV (I promise, the viewing is a pleasure!) we got for $1,300. I’ve been following the prices of TV for a few months and a few weeks after the Super Bowl, a lot of one-time-use TVs are returned. For obvious reasons. I got this one for about $600 off. That’s a steal in my books!

The next biggest category was “Activities/Sports” which included fees paid for D’s various sporting and cultural activities, subscription for the family for a community based group, and concert tickets.

The April showers are in full swing where we are. Outdoor activities which were already supposed to have started have been postponed by a week. We are all geared up for the fun.

Hope you, readers, are keeping well. Cheers!