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 markets were down in January, but we managed to salvage asset growth due to Mr PoP’s big year-end commission check. No big changes to the accounts, except we’re particularly cash heavy at the moment while we wait for our permits for our new solar panels to be approved (at which point we’ll have to fork over a large amount of cash). We could lean on our HELOC if we wanted to, but the current rate on that is around 5%, and we’d rather just forgo putting money into our taxable account for a month or two instead of paying interest on the HELOC. (Feels too much like borrowing to invest in the stock market, and that’s the type of leverage we’ve never been comfortable with.)
So for the month of January:
- Our total assets went up by $11.2
- Our total liabilities went down by $0.8
- Net worth rose by $12.0K
- Total net worth as of the end of January is $838.6K, which represents a 1.45% increase this month.
And for the details…
- 401K accounts: $220.3
- Roth IRA accounts: $147.2
- HSA account: $9.7
- Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $76.0
- Total Stock Accounts: $453.2
Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)
- Primary Residence $215
- Investment Duplex: $130
- 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: $34.0
- Total Cash Holdings: $44.0
Total Assets: $930.6
Real Estate Loans
- Primary Mortgage: $92.0
- HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
- Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
- Total Real Estate Related Loans: $92.0
- Credit Card Balance: $0.0
- Total Revolving Credit: $0.0
Total Liabilities: $92.0
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Net Worth = $838.6, up 1.45% from December
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 188. 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
14.26/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 188
COL Early Retirement Locale = 107.23
… which brings us to Zadar, Croatia!
I’ve never made it to Croatia, but friends in college did and they actually raved about the beaches, so Zadar (being a small coastal city) might actually be right up our alley in many ways. Weather just a bit cooler than FL, but still moderate. Nearby farm country is the source for maraschino cherries (mmmm!), not to mention that the region of the country is named for (or vice versa?) one of our favorite breeds of dog- the Dalmatian. (Mr PoP’s family had one until a few years ago.)
But it would be ironic if we retired there and Mr PoP never had to wear a necktie ever again since Croatia is supposed to be the birthplace of the necktie.
- 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
How was your balance sheet in January? Where would your savings land you today?