PoP Balance Sheet – August 2017

Welcome to our August 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 moved mostly sideways from the beginning to the end of the month in August. And we didn’t have omniscience necessary to time our investments to correspond with the dip in the middle of the month. However, we did have a fair amount that we rolled into taxable investments at the end of the month, so we still ended up with a decent increase in our net worth for the month.

But on to the numbers for August:

  • Our total assets up $17.6K
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.4K (we paid the cc balance right after this snapshot, oh well!) 
  • Net worth went up by $29.2K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of August is $1,472.3K, which represents a 1.18% increase for the month

For the details…



Brokerage Accounts

  • 401K accounts: $415.8 
  • Roth IRA accounts: $221.5
  • HSA account: $22.1
  • Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $229.4
  • Total Brokerage Accounts: $903.3 

Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)

  • Primary Residence: $269.0
  • Investment Duplex: $175.0
  • Investment Residential Land: $160.0
  • Total Real Estate: $604.0 

Cars (based on “fire sale” pricing per Mr PoP’s research)

Cash Holdings

  • Checking Accounts: $26.0
  • Savings/Money Market Accounts: $8.0
  • Total Cash Holdings: $34.0

Total Assets: $1,571.3


Real Estate Loans

  • Primary Mortgage: $74.7
  • HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
  • Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
  • Total Real Estate Related Loans: $74.7

Car Loan

  • Loan on NSX: $22.1  – the interest rate is so low on this, almost all of the $727 payment went towards principal
  • Total Car Loans: $22.1

Revolving Credit

  • Credit Card Balance: $2.2
  • Total Revolving Credit: $2.2

Total Liabilities: $99.0 

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Net Worth = $1,472.3, up 1.18% from July


How Close Are We Getting to FIRE?

New this year is a graph that Mr PoP and I are still trying to figure out how useful it is to us.

In this one, we’re tracking month-by-month, two lines.  The blue one is an approximation of FIRE income – it is the sum of the last twelve months of net real estate income plus 4% of the most recent brokerage account balances.   The yellow one is an approximation of our FIRE spending, for which I’m using the last twelve months of what I’m thinking of as our “recurring spend”.  Bu that I mean our spending, net of all the crazy shenanigans we’ve been up to the last couple of years with remodeling and “fun car” spending.  The main reason we’re netting these out, is that we definitely won’t be pulling the plug with any big line items like this hanging over us.

The significant dip the yellow line makes this month will probably normalize out next month.  The main reason is that last August was pretty expensive (with Mr PoP paying the bulk of his Burning Man expenses for he and his friend up front) and that high spend month was replaced by this past month in the trailing 12 month average.  When his friend paid us back for his half of the Burning Man expenses, we counted that against September spending (so that ended up looking much lower than usual) and that low spend will come off the trailing average next month.


We’re still chewing on this visualization a little bit, because while it’s nice and succinct, it still omits some important information from our portfolio and spending patterns, specifically our empty lot (worth ~$160K) that instead of generating income is currently costing us ~$1,500/year, as well as the ever decreasing lifespan of our mortgage.  We also spend ~$9400/year on the principal and interest payment of our mortgage, so paying that off (and the value of the lot would pay it off and then some!) would decrease our outflow needs significantly, and even if we pay it off according to schedule it’ll be gone in 2026.

Do you take any future changes into account in your visualizations?


Tracking Investable Asset Growth

This first graph shows the growth of our investable assets (net of any liabilities against them), and shows the distribution of the various equity classes we hold. Pretty self explanatory.



How Many Years Of Spending Do We Have Saved?

Here I’ve taken the total of our investable assets for each month and divided it by the expenses (excluding our investment property expenses) for that month. The idea being that this shows how many years we could live off of those assets at that rate and gives us a better idea of what lifestyle inflation (or intentional deflation) can do to the relative value of our savings.


It fluctuates in a much bigger range, because in high spending months (like February 2013 when we spent almost $7K paying off our car completely and February 2015 when we spent a bunch installing solar panels), the denominator is so much bigger. Because of that, it’s the overall trend we’re looking for.

Early Retirement Locale Index

Mr PoP wanted one more way to understand more viscerally how much we have in “investable assets”, so we’ve come up with what we’re calling our Early Retirement Locale Index. The basic idea is that we know how many years of savings we have at our disposal if we were to continue living in south Florida. (That’s the chart above.) But using the “magical” 25 years of savings necessary for early retirement, where would we have to move so that our current investable assets would cover 25x our COL adjusted current spending? (Note, this is purely for fun, we’re not intending to move. Don’t worry Mama & Papa PoP!) If you want to follow along, we’re using this Cost of Living Index from Expatistan, and using the average of the two big cities in south Florida on the list (Miami and Tampa) as our current COL index, which gets us 159.0. Our city isn’t on their full list, hence the average – but maybe yours is. Then we’re solving this equation:

Current Years Saved/ 25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / COL S. FL

25.87/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 158.0

COL Early Retirement Locale = 163.51

… which gives us the city of Christchurch, New Zealand!

I’ve wanted to go to New Zealand for a long time, and it was disappointing that during our trip to Australia a few years ago we weren’t able to swing enough time off to get there.  And now the problem is that we both know how ridiculously painful the 15+ hours flights to get to that side of the world were, so we’re going to have to find a much less direct way to get there.  And those trips take time – but hopefully before too long time is something we will have in much greater surplus!

Here’s our journey through the ERLI so far…

  • January 2014 – Delhi, India
  • February 2014 – Quito, Ecuador
  • March 2014 – Kiev, Ukraine
  • April 2014 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • May 2014 – Madras/Chennai, India
  • June 2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • July 2014 – Bangalore, India
  • August 2014 – Yerevan, Armenia
  • September 2014 – Skopje, Macedonia
  • October 2014 – Brasov, Romania
  • November 2014 – Prague, Czech Republic
  • December 2014 – Mexico City, Mexico
  • January 2015 – Zadar, Croatia
  • February 2015 – Kiev, Ukraine
  • March 2015 – Cairo, Egypt
  • April 2015 – Bangalore, India
  • May 2015 – Niteroi, Brazil
  • June 2015 – Nowhere!
  • July 2015 – Skopje, Macedonia
  • August 2015 – Recife, Brazil
  • September 2015 – Ankara, Turkey
  • October 2015 – Lisbon, Portugal / Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • November 2015 – Debrecen, Hungary
  • December 2015 – Tbilisi, Georgia
  • January 2016 – San Antonio, Texas or Louisville, KY – readers pick!
  • February 2016 – Lisbon, Portugal
  • March 2016 – Brno, Czech Republic
  • April 2016 – Vitoria, Brazil
  • May 2016 – Santiago, Chile
  • June 2016 – Johannesburg, South Africa
  • July 2016 – Thessaloniki, Greece
  • August 2016 – Gurgaon, India
  • September 2016 – Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • October 2016 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • November 2016 – Oakland, California
  • December 2016 – Hartford, Connecticut
  • January 2017 – Montevideo, Uruguay
  • February 2017 – Noweheresville – or maybe we can just live in the car?
  • March 2017 – Stuttgart, Germany
  • April 2017 – Bologna, Italy
  • May 2017 – Brasilia, Brazil
  • June 2017 – Nairobi, Kenya
  • July 2017 – Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • August 2017 – Christchurch, New Zealand


How was your balance sheet in August? Where would your savings land you today? 

3 comments to PoP Balance Sheet – August 2017

  • MG

    How are you guys faring down there RE: Irma? Are you planning to evacuate?

    • Didn’t see this comment until just now as it was kicked to spam, so sorry!

      When you commented, we were in the midst of evacuating. I was already gone, and Mr PoP was begging a Delta agent to get himself and his parents on a flight early that Saturday 9/9. It worked, thank goodness and they (and Kitty PoP) all joined me up in NYC the next day.

  • So neat to see the blue line above the yellow one, even if it doesn’t tell a perfect story. In a way, it’s accurate: you could hypothetically sell, grab the equity from your property, and have it fully liquid.

    For us, we adjust our visuals by ignoring equity entirely. We just assume the house would net us nothing if we sold, as a way to simplify where we are on the path to FI. It’s too conservative, but it’s the way we account for equity.
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