May 2015 Net Worth Update (+15,309)




Highlights for April

  • We have earned approx $3,400 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through credit card signup bonuses in the part year. We are actively working on 2 additional bonuses including the Delta Amex Card for 50,000 Skymiles & Barclay Travel Plus Card for $400 in travel credit.
  • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions.
  • I spent 2 weeks in May on a business trip to China. I enjoying traveling (this trip included my first visit to Chengdu, China); but with a young family back home its difficult to manage. We end up spending more while I travel for work.
  • I'm expecting a small annual performance bonus in June for the first time in a couple years from my new employer. We continue to go through a great deal of transformation and uncertainty as we integrate our organization that was acquired from IBM last year. Change can be hard, but I continue to embrace it and hope it will payoff down the road.
  • In May we hired a painter to help take care of some long standing projects around the house. In the end we spent about $1,400 to update several rooms and some of the exterior of our house. I'm so far behind on home projects that it was a good value to see some progress, but I cringe at the thought of hiring someone to perform a task we can do ourselves. I do see this expense as a good example of the cost of the extra hours I am putting in the office that I could otherwise be putting towards home projects or this blog ;-).
  • Our portfolio performed poorly compared to our benchmark. I continue to think the markets are overvalued and focus our free cash on paying down our property mortgages.
  • In June we have a beach vacation planned for a week after my oldest daughter completes kindergarten. We are looking forward to some down time.



April 2015 Net Worth Update (+$16,009)




Highlights for April

  • We have earned approx $3,400 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through credit card signup bonuses in the part year. We are actively working on 2 additional bonuses including the Delta Amex Card for 50,000 Skymiles & Barclay Travel Plus Card for $400 in travel credit.
  • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions.
  • April's focus has been on the rentals as 2 of our tenants have indicating they are not renewing this year. The good news is looking at the rental market we are bumping the rent on each of these properties by $100+/mo which will certainly help with cash flow. However the time required to re-rent these houses w/ my work & family commitments is a challenge. I am seriously considering if I need a property manager going forward especially if work demands continue at this pace.
  • Our investment portfolio did well this month compared to our benchmark. Our gains were partially driven by some recovery in the oil industry including our recent ETF investment (USO).
  • I discovered when creating this report, that BB&T has not processed our recent mortgage prepayments correctly and applied them to our monthly mortgage payment. I'll have to dig into this, net is this has increased our cash further short term since we didn't have our mortgage payment deducted.

  • Financial Freedom Plan - 2015 Update

    I finally sat down to get an updated view of our progress towards our financial freedom plan that I laid out a few years go in terms of asset allocation.

    Some notes:

    • Our asset allocation to fixed income (interest) will continue to be a gap for us while government drive the low interest rate environment. No sense in putting assets to work here as generally the return is not worth the risk in my opinion. If interest rates normalize well likely shift focus to here.
    • Our invest-able cash flow focus has been on paying down the rental mortgages over the past couple years, but that has not kept pace with the growth of our retirement assets.

    No major course corrections for now. We will continue to pay down rental mortgages to boost cash flow, build cash savings, and continue to take advantage of tax incentives to save in retirement vehicles.


    March 2015 Net Worth Update (+$5,216)




    Highlights for March

    • We have earned approx $3,000 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through credit card signup bonuses in the part year. The last one I did in January and Im actively looking for some additional bonus opportunities.
    • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions.
    • We booked a beach condo rental @ Myrtle Beach for $950 for a week in June. We normally try to take a beach vacation in September when rates are cheaper but are planning a discounted cruise for October. I still wanted to take another vacation as I need more opportunity to disconnect from work and we've opted to take in June to spread out our vacations.
    • We took 5 days in March to take our kids to visit Washington, DC. It was a nice little vacation - we used hotel points to cover the lodging and we packed lunches for our touring during the day. We spent less than $300 on the trip mainly on transportation and dinners.
    • Our spending in March continues to run a bit higher as I just haven't had the time that historically I spend trying to manage our monthly budget. At some point I will want to rein things in, but for now we are still making progress and I'm allocating my limited time elsewhere.
    • We've spent about $1,200 in March on healthcare costs and expect another $2,800+ to hit our balance sheet in April or May.
    • Otherwise it was a pretty quiet month in terms of net worth change. We did make an ETF investment (USO) with some of our cash, and continue to accelerate paydown of some of our rental mortgages with the highest interest rates (5% fixed, 4.25% variable).


    • February 2015 Net Worth Update (+$44,489)




      Highlights for February

About 2millionblog.com

A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,405,985

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