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!
After tallying up all of our cash hemorrhaging expenses (for which we haven’t yet adjusted any of our asset values up), imagine my surprise when I added up our balance sheet and we somehow came up with a non-trivial gain on our net worth for the month of February. Thank you, Mr Market and the 401K deposits that went into Mr PoP’s account from his last big commission check that didn’t clear until the beginning of February. =)
So for the month of February:
- Our total assets went up by $17.1
- Our total liabilities went up by $1.1 (just a function of when the cc balance is paid)
- Net worth rose by $16.0K
- Total net worth as of the end of February is $854.3K, which represents a 1.90% increase this month.
And for the details…
- 401K accounts: $235.8 – Mr PoP’s passed $100K this month!
- Roth IRA accounts: $154.8
- HSA account: $10.4
- Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $80.3
- Total Stock Accounts: $481.3
Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)
- Primary Residence $215 – we plan to update this once the solar installation is complete, and then again once the kitchen remodel is complete this year
- Investment Duplex: $130 – and we’ll update this once the new roof is on this place in the next 4-6 months
- Investment Residential Land: $80
- Total Real Estate: $425.0
Cars (values from Kelly Blue Book)
- Car 2: $8.4
- Total Cars: $8.4
- Checking Accounts: $10.0
- Savings/Money Market Accounts: $23.7
- Total Cash Holdings: $33.7
Total Assets: $948.4
Real Estate Loans
- Primary Mortgage: $91.5
- HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
- Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
- Total Real Estate Related Loans: $91.5
- Credit Card Balance: $1.6
- Total Revolving Credit: $1.6
Total Liabilities: $93.1
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Net Worth = $854.3, up 1.90% from January
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.
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 196.5. 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
6.15/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 196.5
COL Early Retirement Locale = 48.34
… which brings us to Kiev, Ukraine!
Again. We “landed” in Kiev using the ERLI for the first time back in March 2014. This time around, Kiev is actually at the absolute bottom of Expatistan’s COL Index list and that’s precisely where our high spending month got us. (Frankly I was somewhat surprised we were still on the list at all given our spending was close to $10K last month.)
Back in March 2014 we had our doubts about the political stability of the Ukraine and sadly (especially for Ukrainians), our confidence in Ukraine’s political stability hasn’t really increased dramatically since then. Earlier this week John Kerry was meeting with the Russian foreign minister in Geneva for talks about Ukraine and the ceasefire announced in February seems a bit tenuous from our angle.
It looks as though the political situation has made retirement in Ukraine more affordable than it was a year ago (6.15 years worth of expenses land us in Ukraine now in contrast to 11.67 years worth of expenses in March 2014), but for us it’s much less desirable. Early retirement is going to be enough of an adventure without having to deal with militias and military coups. =/
- 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
How was your balance sheet in February? Where would your savings land you today?