Checkup – March 2022

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 have flirted with the idea of cutting back on monthly update posts. I even polled the audience to see if quarterly updates might reasonable. Our financial life has been somewhat more ‘on the rails’ recently, and I really do want these posts to be helpful/inspirational and not simply self-indulgent. That said, there are some fairly significant upcoming milestones — real and potential — so I have opted to keep things as they are for the time being.

Budget/Cash Flow

Despite a week-long beach vacation and eating out almost every meal, we managed not to break the overall budget this month. I do think this sets a record for our food spending, probably due at least in part to inflation effects. At least we know that if we had to trim spending somewhere, there’s an obvious contender.

Major outlays for the month include a professional contract review before re-signing with my hospital ($735) and a 110 minute (!) massage at the beach ($170). Beyond that it’s a lot of delicious seafood and inflated gas prices.

PayItBack Progress

Slowly starting to see the first signs of action here in a long while. My variable interest rate ticked up a significant (0.1%) amount for the first time since January 2020. There is more to come. It will have to increase quite a bit before I start paying more attention to it and paying it off more aggressively, but I certainly have the cashflow available should the need arise.

Net Worth

The bleeding in the markets has finally stopped or at least paused. The S&P was up about 3.5% on the month, enough to wipe out February’s losses but not enough to get us back to positive territory for the year. Net worth remains about $15,000 below our prior high at the end of last year.

Financial Independence

Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

Our FI date remains firmly within this decade. Hopefully no more blips that push it out considerably farther.

Financial Goals for 2022

1) Max out 403b: $20,500 of $20,500 (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 $120,000 total for retirement: $30,000 of $87,500 (34.3% done)
4) Max out 529s for state tax benefit: $16,000 of $16,000 (100% done) 
5) Continue to pay minimum on student loan as long as rate remains <4%
6) Finalize estate documents
7) Purchase a house

How Far I’ve Come

2 thoughts on “Checkup – March 2022”

  1. New to the blog – congrats on financial progress thus far. I’m also a physician early in career and along same path. This is probably in an earlier post but how have you justified having Roth IRA’s for your kids? I read one line somewhere about your wife’s photography business so I assume they’re counted as models? Otherwise I thought they had to have documented earned income to be able to open a roth IRA. Curious how this is documented tax-wise. I don’t have Roth IRA’s for my two small kiddos. Thanks.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yup, you’ve got it exactly. They make a small amount modeling for advertising for her business. We file all the appropriate paperwork and make W2s so it’s all above board.

      Thanks for reading!


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