Checkup – August 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.

The long days of summer are drawing to a close and the kids are going back to school. We’re totally moved into the house, and while that as kept us from any major traveling, we’re gearing up for our big Disney trip in the fall. We continue to balance efforts on saving vs ‘spending for the now’, and I think we are succeeding.

Budget/Cash Flow

I would love to see our monthly spending get back down the $9,000 range, but with the past year’s inflation that may just not be in the cards. We did rein in food spending a bit but made up for in other areas. I can take credit for by far the largest purchase of the month, a new power rack, barbell, and plate set for our home gym ($1,840). I had been stalking Facebook marketplace and Craigslist for months, but our zip code doesn’t have a very robust supply of the stuff. Other large purchases include a Lego set to do with 5yo ($210) and some custom/matching family gear for Disney ($150).

Okay, maybe inflation isn’t the issue.

I continue to make equal monthly investments into our taxable account and cryptocurrency (‘investments’). This should be the last month with that larger student loan payment, as I have once again refinanced to a new 5 year term, back down to a variable rate of 1.86%. This improves upon my current rate of 2.52% and obviously dramatically lowers the monthly payment with the extended term.

PayItBack Progress

Continued minimum payments, which are about to get even minimum-er.


The first of our normal monthly payments, of which about 25% went to principal. Amortization, baby.

Zillow says that our house has appreciated by about $24,000 since we bought it, but I don’t want to whipsaw our numbers by changing that on a monthly basis. My current plan is to update it annually at the end of the year.

Net Worth

Yet another down month after the glimmer of hope in July. The S&P sank over 4% in August, and our net worth remains down about $45,000 from its peak at the start of the year. I feel very well-acquainted with the $600,000 range and am ready to move on to higher peaks.

Financial Independence

Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

Another spot where we are treading water, perpetually 10 years from FI. It will be interesting to see how and if this changes once the outlier months of our car purchase and downpayment drop off from the spending averages next year, as absent them it looks like we’d be closer to a $10,000 monthly spend than the ~$13,000 it shows now.

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: $90,000 of $87,500 (102.9% 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

5 thoughts on “Checkup – August 2022”

  1. Haha I feel the same way about my current net worth–I am getting very familiar with the number! Though at the worst of it I dipped below a semi-milestone, so glad to be back up a little. Going to be a slog for a while I would imagine, just gotta keep plugging away.

  2. Who do you recommend refinancing with? I believe govt extension is over and now would be a good time to Refi before rates continue to hike.

    • Federal loan pause doesn’t end until 12/31, if that changes anything for you. I’ve refinanced w Earnest, Laurel Road, SoFi, and ELFI and haven’t had big issues w any. I would get quotes and pick lowest rate.


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