Checkup – June 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.

I’m writing this post from out of state, where we have finally had the opportunity to lay my dad to rest, nearly one year after he passed away. It’s been something we’ve been trying to make happen for quite some time, unsurprisingly complicated by COVID, and it is relief to have behind us. I am still not done with the process of executing his will in its entirety; there is still a house and a few other loose ends to tie up. But it feels like the process is nearing an end.

Budget/Cash Flow

As I noted earlier in the year, we seem to be settling into a typical month spend range of $8,000-9,000. This allows to spend money on essentially anything we want, though we don’t have particularly expensive taste.

The biggest single expense this month was the annual fee for my new American Express Platinum card ($550). I had signed up for this just for the 100k point offer, and they immediately increased the fee to $695 starting next year for a bunch of crappy useless new benefits, so I’ll definitely be canceling/product changing in 2022. We also decided to stop paying for a housecleaner and instead got an iRobot Roomba on Prime Day ($468), which will pay for itself in 2.5 months. It doesn’t clean bathrooms or countertops, but our cleaner wasn’t doing a great job of that either…

Beyond that we had some car maintenance ($463), preschool deposit for the fall ($415), and professional family photos ($298).

I backed off a little on taxable investing this month, but I’ll plan to contribute at least $7,000 per month for the back half of the year in order to meet our goal of $100,000 total retirement savings. I added some Cardano to our crypto holdings, but other than that nothing really interesting. Which is great!

PayItBack Progress

Rates remain at all time lows, although its possible this could be the last month I say that! The 1 month LIBOR seems to have bottomed out around 0.07%, and it is currently back up to 0.10%. Part of me almost wants rates to go up so that I can just pay off the loans faster without feeling like I’m making a bad financial choice, but until that time I’m sticking with minimums.

Net Worth

Another nice tailwind from the markets, with the S&P up just over 2% in June. Assets have blown past $450,000 and our debt has been cut in half from its high of $258,000 in July 2019. Between our aggressive savings rate, my end-of-the-year bonus, and the anticipated sale of my dad’s house in the next few months, I am almost positive that we will achieve a net worth of half a million by year’s end.

Financial Independence

Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

Our FI date continues to get pushed out slightly as higher-spend months for this year replace rock bottom spending from 2020.

Financial Goals for 2021

1) Max out 403b: $19,500 of $19,500 (100% 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: $26,500 of $68,500 (38.7% 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: $73,000 of $90,000 (81.1% done)
6) Continue to pay minimums on student loans as long as rates remain <4%
7) Finalize estate documents

How Far I’ve Come

2 thoughts on “Checkup – June 2021”

  1. awesome man! doing great! but do you think the crypto investing should be wealth building? sort of a gamble and may want to mentally account this as not building wealth. just a thought- behavioral finance can be tricky!

    • Point well taken. I’m treating it as such since wealth building is the goal, rather than consumption. But it’s totally possible that won’t pan out! I’m not losing any sleep over it since it’s such a small portion.


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