Checkup – May 2019

OKAY, lord knows I’m a perfectionist, but up above is what I hope will be the final iteration of my net worth tracker. I’ve redone a lot of the timeline so that it better reflects the merging of my wife and my finances when we got married, rather than just randomly when I combined everything in personal capital. I’ve added dividers to relevant points in my career, and – perhaps most importantly – I sat down and did some serious (and hopefully realistic) math that led me to the conclusion that three years is probably a more reasonable goal than two for debt payoff (more on this below).

Budget/Cash Flow

A typically atypical month in the PayItBack household. Big ticket items include security deposit for the house we will be renting for at least the first year of my new job ($1,850) and our health care deductible for Mrs. PayItBack and the little boy we’re expecting in October ($930). At this point I’m putting almost all expenses on a 0% APR intro offer from a new credit card to float us until August.

Net Worth

Pretty steep nosedive in net worth this month. Market has been crummy (investments down 5% in May) and a decent number of large one-time expenses (for being one-time, there sure do seem to be a lot of them). The biggest news is that I’ve finally bitten the bullet, given PSLF the finger, and refinanced all of my loans with Earnest to a variable rate of 2.49%. This means a few things. For one, I’m soon going to be pummeled with a $3,100 minimum payment for my new consolidated student loan that is no longer income-driven. I expect that this will precede my attending income stream by at least a month, which should be exhilarating. In addition, this new super-low interest rate means the ‘debt vs investment’ waters become a little more murky. A guaranteed 7% return from paying off loans is one thing, but at 2.5% even a taxable brokerage account starts to look a lot more enticing. Because of this – and barring any crazy increases in my variable rate in the next few years – I’ll be aiming for debt-free (aside from a mortgage) by July 2022, three years after fellowship graduation.

Can’t wait.

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