February 2019 Financial Update

Financial Update
5 min read

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 January 2019, 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.

Monthly Income
  October November December January
Passive
Income
WPC REIT  $106    $108
OHI REIT    $95
JCAP REIT $56 $57
LADR REIT  $104 $185
VDC Fund $69
VTI Fund  $69 $172
Ally Bank Interest $24 $11 $12 $16
Side Hustle
Income
Blog Income $1,630 $1,478 $1,117  $965
Statistics Tutoring $0 $120 $200  $0
9-5 Income
Data Scientist $4,584 $4,584 $4,584  $4,584
Total Monthly
Income
$6,573 $6,288 $6,154  $5,915
  October November December January

Here is a recap of my total expenses in January 2019:

January 2019 expenses

I saved about 66% of my total income in January, which is a number I’m pretty excited about!

Net Worth

Here is a summary of my account balances as of February 1, 2019:

Money Market Funds
Savings Account $12,997  (+$1,992)
Checking Account $1,465   (-$490)
Total Money Market $14,462 (+$1,502)
   
Tax Advantaged Accounts
Traditional IRA $3,645  (+$324)
Roth IRA $4,681  (+$410)
401(k) $33,992 (+$4,168)
Total Tax Advantaged $42,318 (+$4,902)
   
Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts
Brokerage Account $68,025 (+$6,393)
Cryptocurrencies $675 (-$25)
Republic Private Investment $550 (+$0)
Total Non-Tax Advantaged $69,250 (+$6,368)
   
Net Worth $126,030 (+$12,772)

Here’s a look at my net worth progression since I started tracking it back in August of 2016:

Net worth February 2019

Recap

From January to February my net worth increased by $12,772, the largest net worth jump I’ve ever experienced in one month.

Much of this increase was due to the stock market recovering after a disastrous December:

VTI stock price February 2019

Since nearly all of my investments are in stock index funds, it’s not much of a surprise that my net worth had such a nice jump this past month.

I also happened to time the bottom of the market nearly perfectly (on accident), picking up shares of VTI (Vanguard total stock market ETF) like a mad man at the end of December. These shares are up over 15% in the past month alone.

This was another healthy month for blogging income, as I earned just under $1,000 in January. For those who are curious, I earn income through advertisements, affiliate links, my Excel Genius Toolkit, and my Data Scientist Resume Pack.

I also earned $350 in dividends from my small collection of REITs in my brokerage account. This is one of my favorite forms of income because it’s completely passive. Dividends simply show up in my account on a regular basis without any work on my part. 

Looking Forward

In total, I earned $1,331 outside of my day job in January, which was enough to cover about 66% of my total expenses. As I’ve shared in previous financial updates, my main financial goal in 2019 is to be able to cover 100% of my expenses each month purely through income outside of my day job. Although it’s nice to see my net worth climb higher, I’m mostly focused on growing my monthly income since this is what will enable me to quit my day job sooner.

Right now I have three sources of income outside of my day job: blogging, stats tutoring, and dividends. In 2019 I plan on monetizing two additional sites to boost this income even further.

In the latter half of 2018, I was able to earn over $1,000 pretty consistently each month outside of my day job:

Income outside of my day job

In 2019, I want to boost this number to at least $3,000 per month. At this level of income, along with a net worth (hopefully) over $150k, I would feel comfortable with quitting my day job and working for myself full time.

Until then, I’ll keep providing monthly updates. Thanks for reading 🙂

Further reading:

Is Net Worth the Wrong Metric to Track?
Why I Can’t Imagine Enjoying Any Corporate Job
Life is About Finding Fulfilling Work, Not Saving Up Enough Money to Never Work Again


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.

3 Replies to “February 2019 Financial Update”

  1. Congrats Zach! It was a good month for sure. I’d be interested to read more about your high-level investing strategy. I know you are doing only the S&P 500 index, but what’s your thought process behind your decisions to invest in taxable vs. tax-advantaged, and also pre-tax vs. Roth? Just curious, as I am planning to retire before the traditional age as well and that is currently what I am wrestling with.

    I like the REITs you have as well (although IIRC you don’t invest in those anymore) and often think about doing something similar. But I know that’s not the optimal strategy as far as taxes are concerned…having that bit of extra income would be nice though, whether just for reinvesting or for funding an IRA. Tough choices lol.

  2. Congrats on the great month. Obviously you’re on track to become independent rather quickly. Maybe I wouldn’t count myself financially free with 150k invested, but at least it gives you enough runway to start working for yourself full time.
    Do you already know what it is you want to do by then?

  3. Nice work, this is awesome. I would almost guarantee you’ll hit your goal by the end of the year. Keep up the hustle and feel free to email me if you want to talk about monetizing your sites 😁

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