Checkup – March 2021

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.

“Spring is here, spring is here, life is skittles and life is beer!”

The world at large and our personal situations continue to improve in tandem. We are almost down to single-digit daily cases in our county, my wife and mother are fully vaccinated, and we’re gearing up for the first real family vacation in over a year. Consequently the pursestrings are starting to open a little bit, but we continue to meet or exceed all of our financial goals.

Budget/Cash Flow

March 2021 Budget

A number of factors conspired to make this our second highest-spend month since I became an attending. We owed on state taxes ($2,919), we continued to spend on travel reservations for the spring and summer ($800), and for some reason we spent a ridiculous amount on food. There were also several moderate expenses like a new outdoor dining set ($316), my annual anesthesia MOCA fee ($310), new contacts ($255), and an Apple Watch for the Mrs ($148). Finally, some monthly payments were doubled in March because they didn’t fall in February (electric and phone bill).

Despite all this, we still saved nearly half of net income. We continued to make minimum payments on student loans, make 10% 403b contributions, and increase monthly deposits to our taxable account which is rapidly growing.

PayItBack Progress

March 2021 Debt

Rates remain at historic lows. Paying minimums. Rinse repeat.

Net Worth

March 2021 Net Worth

The headline here is that we have officially reached a net worth of a quarter million dollars. This puts us at more than double the median net worth of all US households. The S&P continues its current journey upwards, increasing by about 4% in the month of March. And my cryptocurrency ‘investment’ hasn’t gone to zero yet.

Financial Independence

March 2021 FI
Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

One month of increased spending sets our FI date back by 6 months. Obviously this will remain highly variable while I am still early in my career.

Financial Goals for 2021

1) Max out 403b: $8,828 of $19,500 (45.3% done)
2) Max out backdoor Roth IRAs: $12,000 of $12,000 (100% done) ✅
3) Use taxable brokerage in addition to 1) and 2) to save $100,000 total for retirement: $12,000 of $68,500 (17.5% done)
4) Max out 529s for state tax benefit: $16,000 of $16,000 (100% done)
5) Save 20% down payment for a $450,000 house: $60,031 of $90,000 (66.7% done)
6) Continue to pay minimums on student loans as long as rates remain <4%
7) Finalize estate documents


How Far I’ve Come

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