PoP Income Statement – April 2016

Our new BFF!

Warren, our new BFF!

Welcome to our April 2016 Income Statement!

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.

I increased our income tax withholding quite a bit after paying our taxes this year, and this is the first month that shows the full effect of that. With rental income, variable and non-cash compensation, and tax credits that we have been lucky to take advantage of, we tend to need to change our withholdings quite a bit from year to year and this year I expect we’ll need to pay a good amount more than in 2015. The changes I made in March based on the IRS calculator may have overshot the mark in how much we will owe in taxes at the end of the year, so I’ll try and address this again after we’ve filled our 401Ks for the year which should happen sometime in the summer.

Speaking of taxes, paying our tax-man was one of the largest line items this month, but he continues to be worth every penny.

The other big line item this month was travel, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering we were away from home for nearly 50% of the month. The $2,332 in travel expenses here has about 13 days of travel incidentals in it (which we aim to keep at or below $100/day – we stayed well below), payment for our rental in Omaha, and about $1,000 in expenses for the trip to Ecuador that I’ll be taking in November. Travel spending has definitely been front loaded in March and April this year, and while these two months definitely represent the bulk of our 2016 travel spending, there will still be a bit more to come in the second half of the year as 2016 is really proving to be our year of travel.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,707.  

And the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – April 2016

2015 Shareholder Letter

Warren Buffet’s #1 fan!

One of the ways that Mr. PoP has enjoyed learning about business and investing over the years is by reading (and re-reading!) Warren Buffet’s annual Shareholder Letters written to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.  Though we missed the chance to publish our own Shareholder Letter the same day that Berkshire Hathaway did this year (that’s what we did for the2012, 2013, and 2014 editions), we figured we’d post it today since we’re leaving for Omaha to see the meeting in person with other cool folks like The 1500s, Even Steven, Income Surfer and A Fiery Millennial.  

If you’ll be in Omaha, drop us a line!  And if you won’t be in Omaha, you can still catch the meeting which will be livestreaming for the first time ever on Yahoo Finance on Saturday.  Definitely worth catching one way or another! 

Executive Summary

2015 was in many ways a “building” year.  Our net worth growth was the lowest that we’ve seen since starting our tracking in this space nearly four years ago.  The flat equities markets certainly weren’t a help there, but we also made several larger, long term capital expenditures (namely our giant remodel project, our new solar panels, and a new roof on our duplex) that should provide dividends (both of the monetary and happiness kind) for decades to come, though we haven’t recognized much (if any) monetary value from them so far.

Here’s what the past few years have looked like:

  • End of 2011 Net Worth: $256.7K
  • End of 2012 Net Worth: $417.3K
  • End of 2013 Net Worth: $624.4K
  • End of 2014 Net Worth: $826.6K
  • End of 2015 Net Worth: $949.3K
    • YOY Net Worth Increase of $122.7K, +14.8%
    • 2015 Gross Income: $200.8 Employment / $18.5 Investment Properties
    • 2015 Spending: $70.7K Personal ($23.9K Remodel, $26.8K Everything Else) / $15.9 Investment Properties

Money

Continue reading 2015 Shareholder Letter

Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Sunset at Secret Beach =)

Today we’re wrapping up our second week back in the swing of things after what (for us) was a fairly epic vacation to Hawaii. And though work has been fairly hectic for both of us since returning, it’s also been pretty darned good as well. It’s that fact (even more than the brand new farmer’s market that has started a short walk from our house or the three otters – two pups and a mother – that crossed my path on a jog a couple of mornings ago*) that is truly making this a Happy Friday for me.

Like I was telling Mama and Papa PoP the other day, this vacation was different than any other vacation that I feel like I’ve been able to take in pretty much my entire career. At 2.5 weeks, it was officially the longest vacation** I’ve ever taken in my 33 years of life on this planet, unless returning to my parents’ house over the Christmas holidays in college counts as a vacation. On that count, my sister would heartily agree with me that it does not. =P

Continue reading Happy Friday – Happily Back At Work

PoP Balance Sheet – March 2016

Welcome to our March 2016 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!

So despite March being a particularly high spend month, the come-back in the stock market brought our net worth to a new high water mark and a pretty big milestone.  That’s right.  As of this writing, we are officially members of the double-comma club.  Crazy, huh?  Well, I think it’s kindof nuts.  We’re hoping to can convince Mr 1500 to show us the double-comma secret handshake when we get together in Omaha at the end of April.

While this milestone is definitely not the end of our journey to financial independence, hitting it while we’re vacationing in Hawaii does add a bit more meaning to it.  The last time we were in these beautiful islands, we decided that we wanted to start a personal finance blog to stay on top of our finances and record our path.  We’re pretty confident about two things.  1 – We had no idea that four years later we’d be back on the islands with two commas to our names.  2 – We’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have had quite the same run of success were it not for the blog and being a part of the online personal finance community.

That said, we’re also pretty confident that this won’t be the last time we cross into the double comma club.  We’re increasingly subject to the whims of the market, and a small drop in the S&P500 can easily kick us out again.  And that’s okay, too.

Anyhow, here are our numbers for March!

  • Our total assets went up by $47.5
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.1K 
  • Net worth went up by $47.4K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of March is $1,003.9K, which represents a 4.96% increase this month.

For the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – March 2016

PoP Income Statement – March 2016

Welcome to our March 2016 Income Statement!

Grainy picture of the Kilauea volcano at sunset. iPhone not the best at night... =(

Grainy picture of the Kilauea volcano at sunset. iPhone not the best at night… =(

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.

We’re still in Hawaii for another week, but I took a few minutes this morning to compile our monthly financial statements.  (Once you get a system it really doesn’t take much time at  all to summarize every month, I swear!)  And it’s good for us to check in on our monthly totals, even on vacation.  =P

March was an expensive month, and the overwhelming theme of much of it is “travel”.  That’s pretty okay for us since we knew we wanted this year to be a year when we traveled more after not getting to travel much while working on the kitchen last year.

Shopping was high as I spent nearly $350 in the two days before departing on our trip trying to replace my old hiking boots with ones that wouldn’t aggravate my foot injury.  The good news is that I found some Keens that fit the bill – and they have gotten a TON of use on our trip so far!  But I still have a good $200+ in other shoes that need to be returned when we get home since I had just started buying the “best shoe” I found at every store we went to.  Yay for return policies.  =)

We also paid Mr PoP’s traffic ticket and online traffic school. Ugh… a solid $217 for a U-turn.  Violating the law is expensive, yo.

Travel was the big one, though.  $2,874 in non-reimbursable travel expenses.  About $1K of this went to tickets for Mr PoP and his best friend to attend Burning Man later this year.  At $390/ticket + a vehicle pass, it’s not cheap.  But this is a trip Mr PoP has been wanting to take since before we even started dating and it’s finally happening.  He and his friend are having a blast planning for it so far, too!  The remainder of the travel spending this month was for our Hawaii trip.  12 nights with AirBnB hosts at ~$110/night.  12 days of rental cars at ~$30/day, and ~6 days of incidentals, which we try and keep at $100/day or less when we’re traveling.

April travel will also be on the high end as we will have the remainder of our Hawaii spending, spending for our trip to Omaha for the BRK meeting, and we’ll have another payment for my trip to Ecuador later this year.  That won’t be the end of the travel spending for the year, but these two months will definitely have the bulk of it.

The shining bright spot on this income statement is the negative $402 in kitchen renovation expenses (ie $402 in income in this category).  We’re still not done with the kitchen, but we’re starting to sell some of the tools we bought that we are done with and won’t be using again and are counting these sales against our previous (and future) kitchen expenses.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $3,707.  

And the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – March 2016