PoP 2017 Spending Summary

2017 was a year of highs and lows, and very much felt defined by two items:

  1. Mr PoP finally buying his dream car – a 25 year old Honda, and living that joy daily, and
  2. Experiencing our first ever hurricane and dealing with the stress and the aftermath in our own ways.

Looking at our spending, it’s pretty clear that both of these items had a pretty significant impact.

2017 Spending Goals

Chock full again - of the car of Mr PoP's dreams...

That 25 year old Honda Mr PoP dreamed about…

We started the year with a plan to spend:

  • $46.7K on “personal spending, excluding
  • another $3.6K on finishing our remodel – which has now expanded to almost every room in the house,
  • and spend the $18K already set aside for Mr PoP’s dream car, plus probably another $18-20K in current cash.

Even with a couple week-long trip to California in the spring, and the car spending running a bit high as we headed into the fall, we weren’t shooting too far off the mark for that spending goal. But Hurricane Irma put a significant crimp in our plans. Hurricane related spending added up pretty quickly…
$4,011 in hurricane prep/repairs after the fact
+ $1,830 in hurricane evacuation spending (plane tickets, rental cars, gas, etc…)
+ $1,000 in hurricane related charity spending
—————
$6,841 in total “hurricane related” spending

Now, some of that I’m sure we would have spent anyhow – for example, we probably would have still donated a similar amount to charity, but would have likely chosen a different charity. And some of the “evacuation” spending would have been regular “travel” spending since we were already traveling that weekend, it just ended up being a longer and very different trip than we thought!

So with that nearly $7K in “hurricane spending” in mind, I don’t feel like we did too badly with our actual spending:

2017 Actual Spending

  • $51,407 on “personal spending”, excluding the
  • $3.0K on the remodel (so $51,302 total),
  • and $20K spent on acquiring Mr PoP’s car (the rest still financed), though this doesn’t include the ~$5K he spent in assorted parts to play with work on the car since he got it (that money is included in our “personal spending”).

We’re off by ~$5K, which I’m pretty comfortable writing off completely to Hurricane Irma.

Where Did The Money Go?

  • Reminder for future evacuations... being fed a constant supply of amazing food helps.

    I didn’t make this, but I have now had cooking lessons from the person who did that are paying off… =)

    Groceries: $5,409 – a bit on the high side, but we’ve been hosting more (including hosting Christmas at our place this year)

  • Eating Out: $2,464
  • Total Food – $7,868 – 10.5% of the total 

Continue reading PoP 2017 Spending Summary

PoP Balance Sheet – December 2017

Welcome to our December 2017 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

If you had asked me on January 1, 2017 if I thought that the S&P500 would be up over 18% a year later (over 20% after dividends), I would have looked at you as though you were insane.  And yet, here we are.  Because we aren’t market-timers, the difference between what I thought the market was more likely to return (0%?) and what the market did actually return (>18%) didn’t actually make a difference in our actions throughout the year.

But, we did make a few changes, and our balance sheet is shaped a bit different than it was this time last year, too.

  1. The first way is a bit noticeable in that we bought Mr PoP his dream car, and then decided to take out a loan against it because the interest rate was so low.  So that added lines to both our assets and liabilities.
  2. The second was less immediately noticeable, but we moved money around within our accounts so that instead of aiming for a 90/10 stock/bond ratio across individual accounts, we aimed for it across our entire portfolio and did some fee minimization there.  I’m actually slightly embarrassed that we hadn’t optimized this earlier since now that our brokerage accounts are as big as they are, this will actually save us almost $1,000/yr on fees.
  3. The last thing we did is also a little noticeable, but we did it at the very end of the year so this is the first monthly balance sheet it shows on.  We transferred $25K from our taxable investment account to a Donor Advised Fund at Vanguard.  This will be where we expect our charitable giving will come from for the most part.  In a way, this money isn’t *really* our money anymore.  It’s earmarked for charity, so kindof already spent.  But we get to decide the timetable and what charities we get to give it to.

With all that, our net worth growth wasn’t the highest YOY change we’ve ever had, but it was still quite solid, coming in at a gain of $294.1K for the year.

Here are the numbers for December:

  • Our total assets went up $18.2K
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.1K
  • Net worth went up by $18.1K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of December is $1,574.5K, which represents a 1.16% increase for the month

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – December 2017

PoP Income Statement – December 2017

One of the prettiest things I saw this month - a christmas tree decorated very simply and beautifully with lights and bromeliad plants. So very Florida - I loved it!

One of the prettiest things I saw this month – a christmas tree decorated very simply and beautifully with lights and bromeliad plants. It was so very Florida – I loved it!

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

Happy New Year!

Not going to lie, I’m fairly glad to see 2017 in the rearview mirror and I’m sure Mr PoP feels the same way.  Not to say that it didn’t have its highs (hello, NSX!), but overall – the areas that we “overspent” this year weren’t really enjoyable ones (hello, Irma). 

December spending sent 2017 out with a bang as it was kindof insanely high, mostly due to the $2,900 of spending pretty directly related to the hurricane.  That $2,900 paid for the repairs to our solar panels (two new panels and fixing the connections that were ripped out when Irma tore one off the roof), all new screening for the roof of the lanai, and lastly – we bought a generator.  This is less of a hurricane repair than it is a hurricane preventive measure, and we’ll be making a couple more preventive measures early in the new year in the form of replacing a few openings on the house and making the wind and impact resistant.  While we’ve always known living here that hurricanes can and will happen, living through the prepping for and cleaning up after one makes us realize that our lives would be much easier if we had better built-in prevention measures.  So we’re making them.  

Shopping was high-ish mostly because we ended up splurging and getting a decent amplifier/receiver to add to the 5/1 surround sound system we got last month.  Our guest room used to be an area that we didn’t use much when guests weren’t around, but over the past 6 months or so we’ve transformed it so it’ll be a hang-out/media room where we can watch movies on the projector screen with surround sound, but then we can convert the futon couch into a bed when guests come to visit.

Here’s all the numbers…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $4,415.  

And the details… Continue reading PoP Income Statement – December 2017

Happy Friday – Hurricane Who?

I cannot begin to describe how happy we are this Friday that our memories of the hurricane are finally starting to fade a bit as our outstanding hurricane related items are finally pretty much all addressed. (Well, mostly – there are a couple of small lingering ones, but the big ones are finally taken care of.)

Solar panel or projectile? Why not both?

Solar panel or projectile? Why not both?

While we know that we were incredibly lucky not to have any major damage, as it turns out, even having relatively minor damage (ie, not worth filing an insurance claim), can make returning to normal difficult.

Despite a supply of contractors and handymen flooding the area, the increased demand for those skills rose so rapidly that in many cases it was a battle even to have our calls or emails answered at all (much less in a timely manner).

In no particular order, here are the last three of our “big” issues that we’ve been able to get resolved over the past few weeks.

Continue reading Happy Friday – Hurricane Who?

PoP Balance Sheet – November 2017

Welcome to our November 2017 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

 

The S&P 500 (which climbed over 2% in November) was almost entirely responsible for our net worth growth this month, so thanks, S&P 500!

Here are the numbers for November:

  • Our total assets went up $29.8K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $1.5K
  • Net worth went up by $30.3K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of November is $1,556.4K, which represents a 2.05% increase for the month

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – November 2017