I spent some time reviewing our financial situation and had mixed reactions to what I found. I have been in the accounting field for almost all of my professional career which you would think lends itself to smarter money decisions. In fact, when my wife and I first got married I used to watch every penny in and out of our accounts. I would religiously track our investments every month.
Somewhere down the road of life all of that went right out the window. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I went on cruise control and became very lazy. Could it be that we saved well each month that everything afterwards became fun money? Maybe there’s a bit of that, yes. But I even became lazy in tracking my investments. My monthly ritual turned into a quarterly pain in the posterior that I just got frustrated with. This has to change in order for us to achieve our goals. I need to get back to the basics.
As for the other side of the equation, I was happy that despite the lack of attention we are in good shape. The investment choices I made in the past have paid off over time. Did we wring out every dollar of earnings? No, my portfolio was never built to be super aggressive. I have always been a slow and steady wins the race type of investor. That explains why we never set the world on fire with our returns but we also never had tremendous down years; except for 2008. But who didn’t that year?
The most shocking part of all, our monthly expenses. We are currently averaging about $8k per month this year. A good portion of this was a conscious decision on our part. In the middle of last year, we decided our RV was turning into a money pit. If we were seriously planning to live a full time life on the road, we needed to right that wrong and purchase something we could live in. They always say you should purchase your last RV first. Unfortunately, we purchased our last RV second and it cost us some money. But we couldn’t be happier with our new rig and it was money well spent as far as we are concerned.
In my last blog I said I would start providing financial stats. Here is where we finished 2018:
Portfolio = $831,480 (cash and investments)
Net worth = $1,013,115 (Includes home equity and other assets)
This isn’t too bad considering we used a significant amount of cash on our new RV and it was a break even year in the stock market.
More to come…………………………………