Checkup – September 2019

Welcome to another Dr. PayItBack monthly checkup! I use this space to remain accountable to our expenses and goals, track net worth and debt, and muse on what was done well and what can be improved.

September marked my first full month of attending salary, and it was a demonstration of how powerful a physician paycheck can be in the service of debt elimination and aggressive saving, all while still supporting an excellent lifestyle.

Perhaps most importantly (though not yet reflected financially), the PayItBack household has a new member! We welcomed a second boy at the end of the month; everyone is home and doing great, which is a bigger blessing than anything else I could write about here.

Budget/Cash Flow

This is what ‘living like a resident’ looks like, or at least close to it. We didn’t quite make our savings goal, due to making my one (honest!) guilty-pleasure purchase in the form of a new TV đź‘€. I was going to wait until Black Friday, but it went $600 on sale and even I don’t have that much self-control. Despite such a ridiculous outlay, we remain completely on track to meet our overall wealth-building goals, falling just shy of our ‘2/3rds’ goal for wealth-building.

Otherwise things remain remarkably stable, with consistent spending in ‘elective’ and ‘fixed’ categories alike. I continue to be grateful for our decision to rent for the time being and avoid larger housing costs.

Net Worth

There’s a lot of talk of ‘inflection points’ in the FI community, and this month certainly fits the bill. July may have been the nadir and August may have been the first positive movement, but September is the true beginning of what I hope to be a meteoric rise out of debt and beyond. Our net worth increased by $14,580 in September; at this rate it is conceivable that we could be back to broke (net worth of zero) in nine short months! I don’t have a set goal timeframe for this like I do for getting out of debt (3-5 years), but I would be thrilled with anything under a year. This obviously depends almost as much on market conditions as it does on my personal discipline, which is why I don’t consider it an explicit goal.

Overall, a very successful month, and an exciting preview of times to come.

Wealth Building Goals for 2019

1) Devote 2/3 (66.7%) of my net income to wealth-building: 61.9% running average
2) Max out 403b: $6,010 of $19,000 (31.6% done)
3) Max out backdoor Roth IRAs: $2,000 of $12,000 (16.7% done)
4) Max out 529s for state tax benefit: $200 of $8,000 (2.5% done)
5) Pay off personal family loan: $3,535 of $6,060 (58.3% done)
6) Build up emergency fund (checking and savings): $12,620 of $30,000 (42.1% done)
7) Put whatever is left toward paying off my car loan at 3.99%

How Far I’ve Come

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