Checkup – 3rd Quarter 2023

Welcome to another Dr. PayItBack monthly quarterly 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 times I almost forget this site exists! So thank you, if you haven’t. I do like the idea of holding on to this domain, my own little piece of digital real estate, but I remain largely in the “boring middle” of my financial career, with not nearly so much to say as when I first started. I do enjoy staying on top of things and making these charts, so hopefully some of you out there continue to find this helpful.

Budget/Cash Flow

We continue to do better and better with our savings, eclipsing our efforts from last year. We achieved 60% this quarter, which brings our year-to-date savings rate up to 58% (in contrast with 39% at this same time last year).

Major line items this quarter include a reserving accommodations for a 10th anniversary trip next spring ($1,300), splurging on some new Apple products ($1,100), and bought a fire pit for the backyard ($1,100). All of this happened in September, which was our highest-spend month of all time when adjusting for major one-time purchases like paying for our car in cash.

We continued to increase contributions to the taxable account, and are back to $5,000 per paycheck, or about $10,000 per month.


Slow and steady. Our 4% rate is now essentially half the current prevailing rates for a 30-year mortgage. Madness.

Net Worth

My last update was almost exactly the last local peak of the stock market, so net worth has only crept up marginally despite our savings. S&P is down about 7% on the quarter. It seems that a million dollar net worth will be sadly out of reach for 2023, but no way to know for sure.

We have finally rebuilt a comfortable cash position of three month’s spending, depleted last year after I paid off my loans.

Financial Independence

Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

There’s that September spend. But just look at how much closer the FI and income lines have gotten!

Financial Goals for 2023

1) Max out 403b: $18,110 of $22,500 (80.5% done)
2) Max out 457b: $17,490 of $22,500 (77.8% done)
3) Max out backdoor Roth IRAs: $13,000 of $13,000 (100% done) ✅
4) Use taxable brokerage and Mrs. PIB’s solo 401k in addition to goals 1, 2, and 3 to save $178,000 total for retirement: $25,730 of $120,000 (21.4% done)
5) Contribute to 529s and get state tax deduction: $16,000 of $16,000 (100% done) ✅
6) Rebuild emergency fund to 3 months of spending: $29,280 of $30,000 (97.6% done)

How Far I’ve Come

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