May 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 April 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.

Monthly Income
  January February March April
REIT dividends, stock index fund dividends, savings account interest  $366 $120  $270  $303
Side Hustle
Blog Income $765 $1,281 $1,723  $1,023
9-5 Income
Data Scientist $4,584 $4,584 $4,584  $4,584
Total Monthly
$5,715 $5,984 $8,677  $5,910
  January February March April

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

April 2019 total expenses

Net Worth

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

Money Market Funds
Savings Account $3,091 (-$12,018)
Checking Account $2,905   (+$437)
Total Money Market $5,996 (-$11,581)
Tax Advantaged Accounts
Traditional IRA $3,972  (+$121)
Roth IRA $5,097  (+$154)
401(k) $41,836 (+$2,901)
Total Tax Advantaged $50,905 (+$3,176)
Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts
Brokerage Account $72,394 (+$1,676)
Cryptocurrencies $1,215 (+$179)
Republic Private Investment $550 (+$0)
Total Non-Tax Advantaged $74,159 (+$1,855)
Net Worth $131,060 (-$6,550)

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

Net worth chart as of May 1, 2019


My net worth dropped by $6,550 this month.

Two Large Expenses

The reason my net worth dropped was mostly due to two large expenses:

1. I decided to pay off the remaining balance of $10,200 on my 2015 Honda Civic.

Part of the reason I decided to do this was because I had two headache financial situations with the Credit Union who I have the lease with and I simply didn’t want to deal with them anymore. Also, this is a car I plan on driving for many years to come so I decided to simply pay off the balance in full rather than carry the 3% annual interest rate on the loan for the next three years or so.

A nice side effect of paying off this loan is that it’s one less payment I have to think about each month. Also, my monthly expenses going forward will be $287 less than they were before, which is just a few extra hundred bucks I can throw in investments each month.

2. I owed $2,715 in taxes mostly because I waited until the end of the year to pay taxes on the side hustle income I earned through this blog. This is actually a great sign because it indicates that I earned quite a large chunk of additional income from blogging last year.

I expect my blogging income to at least double (potentially triple) this year, so I’ll likely pay my taxes each quarter in 2019 so I don’t get hit with a massive bill next tax season.

Blogging Income & Stock Market Gains

Despite these two huge bills, my net worth only dropped by $6,550. This actually isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things. Part of the reason my net worth didn’t take a huge hit is because this was another solid month filled with blogging income and rising stock market prices.

I earned a total of $1,023 in blogging income through advertisements, affiliate links, my Excel Genius Toolkit, and my Data Scientist Resume Pack. If you’re interested in starting your own blog, I encourage you to check out my free guide here.

In addition, the total U.S. stock market had a nice month with about a 3% total gain from the start of April to the end:

VTI stock market growth from April 2019

Since most of my investments are in stock market index funds, this meant all of my account balances grew in size.

At this point, I have a bit over $100,000 invested in index funds which means a 3% gain in one month is equivalent to a $3,000 gain. That’s pretty incredible. That means as I’m going about my normal life, the stock market is throwing $100 into my pockets each day just because I’m invested in index funds.* This is the beauty of owning assets.

*Keep in mind a 3% gain in one month is rare – historically the stock market has delivered 6-7% gains each year after inflation.

Related: Why Owning Assets is Better than Having Job Experience

Looking Forward

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 as well moving forward. I also have a couple other sites that I’m actively working 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 financially independent. 

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

Further reading:
The 4% Rule Only Offers One Way to Cover Your Expenses
Why I’m No Longer Trying to Save Enough Money to Never Work Again
Is Net Worth the Wrong Metric to Track?

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.