Checkup – April 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.

At the risk of jinxing it, I’m going to say that the past month felt almost completely back to normal — a post-pandemic world. We hung out with friends, did playdates, went to the beach, and are fully back at indoor dining. Our county is seeing fewer than 10 infections per 100,000 people per day and we are ready for society to come back. Nationally, it looks like vaccination efforts have squashed the fourth peak that was threatening, and I think that by Memorial Day we will nearly all be feeling like this is close to behind us.

Budget/Cash Flow

I say it every time but three-paycheck months are my favorite. Nothing like an extra paycheck of gravy to put toward goals. In this case we continue to up our taxable brokerage contributions, while growing our house downpayment fund.

This was also helped by being a relatively low-spend month. Reserving spots for a few week-long day camps for #1 Son ($312) was really the only large atypical expense. We ate out quite a bit at the beach so our food budget remains higher than it probably should be (I may have ordered two dozen oysters at every place we went), but it’s hard to be too down on ourselves when we spend less than a quarter of net pay.

I am continuing to dollar-cost-average into crypto for the time being, $150 into Bitcoin and $50 into Ethereum.

PayItBack Progress

April 2021 Debt

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

Net Worth

April 2021 Net Worth

Net worth continues to scream vertically upwards, helped by persistently ridiculous market returns. The S&P was up over 5% in April, accounting for almost half the year’s gains to date. We now have over a quarter million dollars in our own investment accounts, and over $25k invested for each of the kids.

We’ve gotten my wife’s loans below $20k and in a few short months should have mine below $100k. It remains a constant temptation to just take a huge wad of cash and wipe them out, but we have clearly benefited from the leverage so far.

Financial Independence

April 2021 FI
Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

New Year 2030 drinks are on me.

Financial Goals for 2021

1) Max out 403b: $13,241 of $19,500 (67.9% 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: $18,000 of $68,500 (26.3% 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: $65,068 of $90,000 (72.3% done)
6) Continue to pay minimums on student loans as long as rates remain <4%
7) Finalize estate documents


How Far I’ve Come

4 thoughts on “Checkup – April 2021”

  1. Hey doc! Rising MS4 here just came across your blog – have you ever covered what tools you use to track your progress? Is it an app or premade spreadsheets? Would love learn to see my expenses the way you show yours.

    Reply
    • I’ve talked to folks individually but you’re right, I should probably make a post. I used numbers/excel for my personal charts, and Personal Capital for some of the charts I’ve shared on Twitter. I also use personal capital to automate tracking and then copy those figures into my own spreadsheets. The FI date chart is from the Mad Fientist and there’s a link under it. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      • Cool I’ll look into personal capital and creating my own excel spreadsheets to mimic these should be easy enough. I’ve been reading white coat investor for a while now but its awesome to see this blog evolve in real time (started reading back to the residency check-ins). I appreciate the time you put into this! Makes the process feel more doable/success more tangible.

        Reply
  2. Thank you doc for creating this amazing blog. IMG and upcoming Resident here. Can you please share a advise/ make a blog related to how an IMG, who has no knowledge of investment plans/schemes in United States can take baby steps in this direction.

    Reply

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