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At the start of each month I share a financial update where I summarize my income and expenses from the previous month along with my current net worth.
I’ve always found it insightful to follow the financial journey of other bloggers, so I hope that readers can find some value in following my own.
Income & Expenses
Here is a recap of my total income in March 2018, along with my income from the previous three months to offer some perspective.
All dividends from REITs and index funds come from my brokerage account. My 9-5 income listed below is post-tax, while dividends and side hustle income are pre-tax since it’s a bit harder to calculate the tax that I will pay on these income streams until tax season.
|REIT dividends, stock index fund dividends, savings account interest||$253||$366||$120||$270|
Here is a recap of my total expenses in March 2019:
I saved about 34% of my total income in March.
Here is a summary of my account balances as of April 1, 2019:
|Money Market Funds|
|Savings Account||$15,109 (-$815)|
|Checking Account||$2,468 (+$1,031)|
|Total Money Market||$17,577 (+$216)|
|Tax Advantaged Accounts|
|Traditional IRA||$3,851 (+$82)|
|Roth IRA||$4,943 (+$104)|
|Total Tax Advantaged||$47,729 (+$2,537)|
|Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts|
|Brokerage Account||$70,718 (+$1,284)|
|Republic Private Investment||$550 (+$0)|
|Total Non-Tax Advantaged||$72,304 (+$1,625)|
|Net Worth||$137,610 (+$4,378)|
Here’s a look at my net worth progression since I started tracking it back in August of 2016:
My net worth grew by a total of $4,378 this past month mostly due to a bit of savings and some market gains.
A few noteworthy events during March:
1. Despite an up-and-down month, the total stock market ended slightly higher than it started in March.
Since most of my investments in both my brokerage and tax-advantaged accounts are composed of total stock market funds or S&P 500 funds, this meant that my account balances grew modestly across the board.
2. This was a record-setting month for blogging income.
I earned a total of $1,723 in March through this blog, which is the most I’ve ever earned in a single month.
If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I encourage you to check out my free guide here.
3. I had one outlier expense in March.
From my total expenses I shared in the table above, it’s clear that I had one outlier expense: LASIK eye surgery. The price tag on this surgery was $3,580, which is a pretty good deal for perfect vision, no more eye appointments, no more glasses, no more contacts, no more contact solutions, and no more buying new contacts.
In addition, the surgery itself only took about 10 minutes and I could see perfectly fine after going home and taking a three hour nap. This was one major expense I was happy to pay for.
4. I had one outlier income source in March.
You may have noticed that my income from my day job jumped up in March compared to previous months. That’s because I received a year-end $2,100 bonus. This was perfect timing because it helped offset over half of the cost of the LASIK surgery.
One of my primary financial goals is to be able to cover all of my living expenses purely through income streams outside of my day job. This past month I earned $1,993 through a combination of blogging income and dividends, which is the most I’ve ever earned in one month outside of my day job.
Considering that my typical monthly expenses range between $1,800 and $2,400, this means that I earned roughly enough outside of my day job in March to cover nearly all of my typical living expenses.
Looking forward, I plan on continuing to grow my online income each month. I recently added my personal finance aggregation site Collecting Wisdom to the ad network Mediavine, so I should start earning a couple hundred bucks from that site each month as well moving forward. I also have a couple other sites that I’m attempting to monetize over the coming months.
I believe that if I can start earning income from several different sites and slowly grow these sites over time that I’ll be able to generate enough income each month to quit my day job far before I’m able to save up 25 times my expenses and declare myself to be financially independent.
Until then, I’ll keep providing monthly updates. Thanks for reading 🙂
My favorite free financial tool I’ve been using since 2015 to manage my net worth is Personal Capital. Each month I use their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track my investments and ensure that I’m on the fast track to financial freedom.
My favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site I created that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.