Monthly Update

Monthly Update

Winter landscape

Last month has been a whirlwind of activity for me – spending 8-10 hour days at work, then another three or four after work on the bathroom.  Just finished grouting the shower tile and will post pictures afterwards. I’m really looking forward to a week from now when all of this activity is done and I can focus on my reading and this blog again. On the plus side, the temperature has finally climbed into the 30’s, so I’m no longer freezing to death in the sub-zero chill anymore when I’m breaking pipes and pallets for the dumpster.

For updates, money has flown out the door on this remodel project. It makes me really appreciate how frugal I am normally that I am numb with horror at the scale of it. I rarely spend $100 on ANYTHING and I’m now dropping that amount every day, if not several times more. Its gotten to the point that I have credit debt since I don’t want to cash out my stock just yet. That happened to me last year too when I was building several gardens in my yard, so I am confident that I can manage it, even though I’d prefer it never happen at all. (one day, when the debt is gone!)

My cashflow has also dropped as I gave my roommate two months of free rent for his work in the basement bathroom, which is honestly nowhere near enough. If he were doing this as a job I’d owe him thousands.  I will probably reinstate it next month though as his girlfriend from Atlanta will be moving in and staying with us for a while.  After he is gone I plan to increase the rent to $900/mo, which is the average for my area.

My stocks are static from last month despite some fluctuations. I’m expecting good news from the company that most of my money is invested in sometime this summer, so once that happens I am selling no matter what. Time to let the dream die and move on to other pastures. This could be affected by recent events in the news…but I won’t hear about them until Easter as I gave up both the news and some cell phone usage for Lent this year.  (turns out, it really cuts down on my procrastination).  Once that happens, I will also pay off my school loans and personal debt, though I have made good progress on both of those fronts.  I’m blown away looking at the old posts from last September, since I’ve decreased my debt by 30% since then, or almost $10,000.  Focusing on a few key objectives really works! I wish I had done this 5 years ago after I first got out of grad school :-/

Otherwise, I FINALLY finished my taxes earlier this week and am expecting a $4.3k refund from the state and federal government.  I’d be dancing right now at the chance of laying waste to my loans if it weren’t for this damn remodeling project! I owe the credit card companies, I owe my roommate, and I owe my parents for my Dad’s work rewiring my house.  Farewell, oh lovely money! It was nice seeing you, if only for a moment.

Updated figures are below. To make things a bit easier to read, I included a chart as well to show changes since I started this blog. The green assets line is plotted against the left axis, and the other lines against the right axis. The projected passive income is what I would get if I converted all of my assets to an index fund with a 3% return (the average 7% market gain – 4% inflation).

Wealth Chart 201802


$2.5k in cash
$32k in 401k/Roth IRA
$85.4k in stocks
$103.4k home equity (House value $290k – Home mortgage $186.6k)


$7.2k (@9%, being paid off at $534/mo) (~15 months until finished at base rate)
$15.7k (@6%, being paid off at $600/mo) (~32 months until finished at the base rate)
$187k (at 4.125%, being paid off at $1400/mo, half from me, half from a mother-in-law unit I rent out)

$3.5k in credit card debt (should be half of this after returning shower panels and glass)


$0/mo in rent, on a month-by-month basis (gave my roommate two months of free rent in lieu of payment)

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