December 2016 Financial Statement

According to my Integrity Policy, I want to let you know that this post contains Personal Capital referral links. Personal Capital is a free service. They are looking for high-net worth individuals as possible customers for their financial advisory services, but the expense tracking and retirement planning tools that I recommend are free of charge.

February 2016 Financial Statement

It’s all about the Benjamins. And Jacksons. And Lincolns. And Washingtons.

I didn’t get a monthly report out last month for a lot of reasons, but we are making up for it this month!

AccountLast MonthBalanceChange
Net Worth$304,162.49$334,179.55$30,017.06
Personal Checking$8,829.25$11,593.95$2,764.70
Business Checking$2,196.10$1,220.26-$975.84
Real Estate Operating Account$2,544.88$2,770.47$225.59
Real Estate Cash Flow Account$2,985.05$1,160.81-$1,824.24
Credit Cards-$5,941.51-$8,409.71-$2,468.20
Retirement - HSA$3,021.59$3,516.42$494.83
Retirement - After Tax$47,274.08$50,226.93$2,952.85
Retirement - 401(k)$108,481.49$126,549.28$18,067.79
Retirement - Roth IRA$8,937.83$9,513.55$575.72
Asset - Home$500,000.00$500,000.00$0.00
Asset - Rental 1$46,129.00$46,597.00$468.00
Asset - Rental 2$66,240.00$66,240.00$0.00
Asset - Rental 3$82,684.00$90,852.00$8,168.00
Mortgage - Home-$380,642.23$380,139.00$502.66
Mortgage - Rental 1-$44,139.89-$44,018.18$121.71
Mortgage - Rental 2-$47,782.95-$47,649.74$133.21
Mortgage - Rental 3-$57,606.53-$57,455.41$151.12
Student Loan 1-$21,542.92-$21,256.32$286.60
Student Loan 2-$13,391.64-$13,213.47$178.17
Student Loan 3-$4,113.21-$3,918.82$194.39

In our December 2016 financial statement, our net worth increased by a pretty substantial 9.86% (this covers two months)!

Alright, what’s responsible for this jump in Net Worth? A couple of things. First off, it’s two month’s difference as I wasn’t able to get a report out last month. The last two months of the year included a last-minute rush to maximize the amount I could put into my Individual 401(k)– still the best early retirement tool I know of. I was able to tax-defer almost $43,000 this year!

Our properties increased in value a bit, and that helped. The market increased substantially post-election, though we’ll have to wait and see what comes with the change of administration.

Blog Income

As I mention in my Integrity Policy, I want to make sure I share any and all professional relationships and compensation I make as a part of this blog.

In December, I earned the following:

  • $100 from Personal Finance affiliate payments
  • $48.00 in Google Ad revenue
  • $65.00 in Bluehost Referral Fees

The blog made $213.00 this month. I’d be pretty psyched about that normally, but The Earth Awaits only made $48.71 this month, and costs hundreds of dollars each month to run… and that’s before considering the additional amount I’ve been investing into licenses and data to add new features.

That said, I still think the future is bright for The Earth Awaits. I’m launching a paid subscription service for the site in January which will give users access to tons of amazing, personalized premium features. I’m pretty excited to see whether people are willing to support the site in exchange for some one-of-a-kind expat research tools. I have a number of paying subscribers in mind that I’d like to reach in 2017, but I’ll save that for a goal-setting post I’ll try to get out this week.

I’m also launching a cool new free functionality (attached to The Earth Awaits) for travel hackers that I’ll write about more this month. I think it has the power to change the way people travel for free… more on that later!

If you’re looking to start your own blog or web site, please consider using my referral link for BlueHost. I’ll get a little cash to help pay hosting expenses, and you’ll get a great hosting provider (the same one I use) starting at about $3.95 per month.

Retirement Update

Our net worth is up $30,017.16 over the past two months. Next year will be my first full year running my consulting business as an LLC, and the gain should be a little more linear (adjusting for compounded interest and market performance, of course).

With equity and bond accounts totaling $189,806.18 at the end of December, a 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate would allow us to take out $632.68 per month. Our rental properties, after all expenses, vacancies, and short and long term maintenance are considered, produce $986.00 of safe cash flow every month.

Safe Monthly Income:  $1,618.68 (+73.64 since Last Report)

% to Goal: 32.37 % (+1.47% since Last Report)

Want to Know How to Track Your Expenses?

It’s really easy. Sign up for a Personal Capital account, which is completely free. It’s how I track my balances across time, and allows me to project all my retirement progress without doing any work at all. As a disclaimer, if you sign up with Personal Capital, this site may get a referral fee depending on the size of your portfolio.

5 thoughts on “December 2016 Financial Statement

  1. Mark Dee

    Hi FG: We are glad to hear that you are slowly & steadily moving towards you goal. Another way to add yet a bit “more zip”/accelerate your progress would be to do what many other internet based entrepreneurs do [W have met dozens of enterprising folk similar to you]… and, that involves living in a much less expensive, lower cost, high speed internet location.

    1. The Vagabond Post author

      Hey Mark, thanks! Always forward. Of course leaving the Bay Area would significantly drop our COL, but at the moment the customer I work with necessitates me being in the office… but that’s just for the moment, and we may have more to say on this in 2017, just stay tuned 😉

  2. TheFIexplorer

    Well done! Following your progress has been very rewarding over the past few months. I really admire the integrity of your blog’s radical transparency around your journey and earnings.

    The ‘safe monthly income’ is a really powerful way to make tangible the journey towards financial independence, isn’t it? It was one of the first measures that motivated my own journey. It’s fantastic to see that side bar expanding for you!

    As an Australian it’s so unusual to see rental property valuations in the five figures. Our property market is very strong here right now, and there are few properties around at that level. It must be great to be able to achieve that diversification for a reasonable cost!

    1. The Vagabond Post author

      Thanks, TheFIExplorer! Yeah, you are totally right, the monthly SWR is a powerful motivator for us, and the one that I keep most in mind every month as we inch forward. At this point, as we start to approach $2K a month, it’s really starting to feel like a livable wage in a lot of places.

      Like you guys in AU, the SF Bay Area property market is completely bananas. We would pay 10x the amounts I paid for my rentals for a very small condo here, which is why I bought them out of the area. So far they’ve been very worthwhile investments, though not without their frustrations, of course.

      Thanks also for the kind words about the blog’s aim for total transparency and integrity. I’m well aware that many sites “sell the dream” and make a fortune by doing so, but that’s just not me. At the moment The Earth Awaits is really feeling like the most plausible way to accelerate our lifestyle design while still adding something of value to the world. We shall see in the coming year. I have some goals that I’ll share in the next week or two, and then we’ll see whether I’m able to hit them!

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