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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 May 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.
|REIT dividends, stock index fund dividends, savings account interest||$120||$270||$303||$103|
Here is a recap of my total expenses in May 2019:
I saved about 68% of my total income in May.
Here is a summary of my account balances as of June 1, 2019:
|Money Market Funds|
|Savings Account||$6,306 (+$3,215)|
|Checking Account||$3,528 (+$623)|
|Total Money Market||$9,834 (+$3,838)|
|Tax Advantaged Accounts|
|Traditional IRA||$3,716 (-$256)|
|Roth IRA||$4,772 (-$325)|
|Total Tax Advantaged||$49,206 (-$1,699)|
|Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts|
|Brokerage Account||$69,566 (-$2,828)|
|Republic Private Investment||$550 (+$0)|
|Total Non-Tax Advantaged||$70,679 (+$1,429)|
|Net Worth||$130,571 (-$489)|
Here’s a look at my net worth progression since I started tracking it back in August of 2016:
Here’s a quick financial recap of this past month.
This month my net worth was mostly flat because all of my savings was offset by stock market drops.
I have a little over $100,000 held purely in total stock market index funds, which means the 5% drop in prices during May lead to about a $5,000 drop in my total portfolio value across my various accounts.
These types of drops come with the territory when you invest mostly in stocks. In April we saw the total stock market increase by 3%, which lead to an exciting $3,000 gain in my portfolio value. Now, the 5% drop in May lead to a $5,000 loss in my portfolio value.
Fortunately, I don’t plan on touching these investments for several decades so this volatility doesn’t bother me at all.
Related: How to Think About Market Drops
Income & Expenses
I earned $810 in blogging income this past month, which is a bit lower than what I’ve been averaging so far in 2019. Fortunately, my projected earnings for the next two months look much rosier and I’m excited to share those income numbers when the time comes.
For those who are curious, I earn income through advertisements, affiliate links, The Excel Genius Toolkit, The Data Scientist Resume Pack, and most recently my ebook Elements of Freedom. If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I encourage you to check out my free guide here.
I also earned $103 in dividends and interest in May, which added a nice chunk to the bottom line.
In terms of expenses, this month was quite low. One major reason for this is because I decided to pay off the remaining balance on my Honda Civic last month, which eliminated a $287 recurring monthly payment. Last month I also made a bulk payment for six months of car insurance, along with a bulk payment for three months of cell phone service, which meant I didn’t have to pay for either of these expenses this month.
My main financial goal at the moment is to be able to cover all of my living expenses purely through income streams outside of my day job.
I am no longer attempting to save up 25 times my annual expenses to achieve financial independence because I’ve decided that it makes more sense for me to develop enjoyable income streams now that can cover my lifestyle, rather than slog it out at a desk job I can’t stand just to build up a massive portfolio that can cover all of my expenses passively.
Specifically, I have been focusing on building up my online income through a collection of websites I own (including this one) along with a bit of statistics tutoring on the side. In addition, I have been earning a few hundred dollars each month in stock index fund and REIT dividends, which I also include as income outside of my day job.
The following chart shows my income outside of my day job vs. my total monthly expenses for each of the last 12 months:
Note: the large spike in April is due to paying my annual taxes.
On average, I’ve been able to cover around 60% of my total monthly expenses purely through income outside of my day job. I’m on a mission to get that number up to 100% and beyond over the coming 6 to 12 months, so that I no longer even need a day job to cover my expenses.
It’s tempting to simply quit my job now and go full-time with my online income streams. Once I quit, I would have even more time to work on my sites, which would (hypothetically) allow me to grow my income much faster. I could also use my existing savings to bridge the gap between my monthly income and expenses.
Although my net worth trajectory would start to flatten out and potentially drop a little, that wouldn’t concern me too much since building up my net worth is no longer my primary goal.
Even still, I would like to see my income outside of my day job start to trend above $2,000 each month before I feel comfortable enough to leave my day job.
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.