PoP Balance Sheet – January 2016 – Readers Pick Our ERLI!

Welcome to our January 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!

Despite the fact that we just had our lowest spend month in 2.5 years, our balance sheet didn’t move in the positive direction. With the S&P500 dropping nearly 6% over the course of the month (and being down as much as 10% during one trading session!), we didn’t have enough income coming in to offset our market losses, even if we had spent $0!  But, we did drop some cash into the market…

After seeing our 2015 W-2s, I went ahead and completed the back-door funding of our Roth IRAs for 2015. So that moved $11K that we had set aside in cash into our Roth IRA accounts. While I’d love to say that I timed it perfectly and executed the trade when the market was at its low point this month, my luck just isn’t that good. But we did end up buying in at ~13% discount to where we bought in last year, so I’ll call that a win.

Anyhow, here are our numbers for January!

  • Our total assets down by $19.4
  • Our total liabilities went down by $2.9K 
  • Net worth went down by $16.5K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of January is $932.8K, which represents a 1.74% decrease this month.

And for the details…



Brokerage Accounts

  • 401K accounts: $249.9 – a sizable hit here, despite 401K deposits starting back up again
  • Roth IRA accounts: $159.5 – our deposit of $11K here just made up what we were down
  • HSA account: $12.8
  • Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $105.9 – deposits here again just made up what we were down
  • Total Stock Accounts: $528.1 

Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)

  • Primary Residence $239
  • Investment Duplex: $140
  • Investment Residential Land: $80
  • Total Real Estate: $459.0 

Cars (values from Kelly Blue Book)

  • Car 2: $6.0
  • Total Cars: $6.0

Cash Holdings

  • Checking Accounts: $14.1 – need to move some over to taxable
  • Savings/Money Market Accounts: $12.5
  • Total Cash Holdings: $26.6

Total Assets: $1,019.7 


Real Estate Loans

  • Primary Mortgage: $85.5
  • HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
  • Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
  • Total Real Estate Related Loans: $85.5

Revolving Credit

  • Credit Card Balance: $1.4
  • Total Revolving Credit: $1.4 

Total Liabilities: $86.9

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Net Worth = $932.8, down 1.74% 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.


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 189.5. 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

19.44/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 189.5

COL Early Retirement Locale = 19.44

… which gives us San Antonio, TX or Louisville, KY!

Wow!  Before calculating this, I thought there was a good chance we’d hit North America due to the low spend month, but didn’t expect for the ERLI to land us in the US quite yet.  Wow!  And the most impressive part is that our rank this month is officially higher than the town where my parents live.  I knew their COL was low, but looks like it’s even lower than I realized!  (No, Mr PoP, a low COL is not a compelling reason to move there.)

As for choosing between San Antonio and Louisville, we’re not really sure which to choose.  A good friend of Mr PoP’s lived in Louisville for several years after college, but didn’t like it enough to want to stay.  Similarly, my sister moved to San Antonio for a job, but also didn’t like it enough to want to stay.  Neither of those are really ringing endorsements from some of the people that know us best.  But we’re open to other opinions!  Of Louisville and San Antonio, which would you choose and why?

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!


How was your balance sheet in January? Where would your savings land you today?  Which ERLI would you pick – San Antonio or Louisville?  

21 comments to PoP Balance Sheet – January 2016 – Readers Pick Our ERLI!

  • They’re both nice! I’ve only been in the touristy parts of either though, which I don’t remember as being particularly cheap. So who knows what it’s like in the rest of the city.
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..How many steps: February challenge updateMy Profile

    • That’s probably true for most cities – that the touristy parts are more expensive than the locals areas. So they were probably cheaper than you realized.

  • My low spending this month would put me in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! But I use the last 12 months of spending since it is more representative of my lifestyle and that puts me in Ankara, Turkey.

    I’m not sure which to pick for you guys either! But yay for being in North America!
    Leigh recently posted..January 2016 update (+0.5%)My Profile

  • Louisville has a really nice central park type area. I haven’t visited San Antonio, but it is close to Austin, which is a good city. My problem with both places is that they are driving-centric. But I did enjoy my visit to Louisville. The real question: do you prefer bourbon or Texas style BBQ? I like to vote with my mouth/stomach.
    Leah recently posted..The Evening RoutineMy Profile

    • Louisville has some darn good bbq too. I think we had Memphis-style ribs when we went. So good. Though TX cannot be beat for smoked meat. We were a bit underwhelmed with the bbq in San Antonio (compared to what we’ve had from Austin, for example), but we were mainly on the River Walk which may not showcase the best they have to offer. We did go out of the riverwalk/alamo area to get ice cream from their best ice cream place (I was pregnant and hungry, iirc… also I seem to have a habit of trying cities’ best ice cream places when I’m conferencing) that was pretty phenomenal, but not cheap.
      nicoleandmaggie recently posted..How many steps: February challenge updateMy Profile

    • Hmmmm, so as a vegetarian for over half my life now, BBQ is definitely not on the list of things I’d consider. Unless it were a negative, as in strong meat culture makes vegetarianism difficult… which wouldn’t surprise me if it were the case in either of those two cities, come to think of it!

  • Reepekg

    My business trip to San Antonio was nice. Any place that has an institution like SwRI is good enough in my book.

    We’re in Tbilisi this month, hot on your heals!

  • Have just found you guys through Mr 1500’s blog, but now I realise I recognise your names from MMM comments. Small world.

    Will be heading back to read your previous posts but really enjoyed this one. I especially liked the charts. Do you make them in Excel? Do you share your spreadsheet? I’ll definitely keep reading on!

    • I keep the data history in an Excel file (it’s actually pretty basic), but the charts are made through a WP plug-in called EasyChart. Not the fanciest charts around, but easy to create and update without having to do a lot of copy/paste images.

  • San Antonio is supposed to be a pretty good place to live in. SDXB used to be based there, and so I would occasionally spend a few weeks or a couple of months there. It was pleasant enough…though it’s hard to tell about a town when you’re living on a military base.

    He claims Texas drivers are even more insane than Arizona drivers (yipe!). My guess is the COL wouldn’t be much different from Tucson or Phoenix; and in Arizona, Prescott would be a more pleasant place to retire (by far) than most points in Texas. My father, who grew up in the Ft. Worth area, used to say the best thing about being from Texas was being as far from it as he could get…
    Funny about Money recently posted..Goodreads: The Last Social-Media StrawMy Profile

    • A friend of mine recently biked across the US from California to FL and said that Alabama drivers were the worst, but TX was a close second. He didn’t seem to think AZ was particularly bad to bike through, except for the elevation changes.

      I haven’t been to Prescott in probably 2 decades, maybe more. But I remember it being beautiful!

  • I’d vote for San Antonio, just because there’s no state income tax, and Texas has similar weather to where you are in Florida. I’d personally pick Louisville purely based on the weather :)
    Mom @ThreeisPlenty recently posted..January 2016 Early Retirement ProgressMy Profile

    • I actually don’t think the weather in San Antonio would be all too similar to where we are now. It’s so far inland it’s bound to be hotter in the summer than we get and probably colder in the winter, too!

  • dandarc

    Only been to San Antonio and driven through Louisville. But I vote San Antonio.

    Liked it there for the ~2 days we spent for a bowl game when I was young and stupid and thought a “Michigan -> Texas -> California -> Michigan” road trip was a great idea for the holidays.

    • Why is it that ridiculously long road trips sound great in your 20s, but not in your 30s… =)

      • dandarc

        Seriously – I don’t think my wife and I put the miles of that trip on my car in a whole year now. Granted, my car is only used in-town these days, but still.

  • wow, this is a interesting way to look at how much “real” value your assets worth.

    very useful!