February 2021 Financial Update

We are one week into living the RV life and to say the last month has been a whirlwind would be a drastic understatement. After getting everything loaded up and driving to our first stop we looked around and saw a giant mess. It looked insurmountable at first, but once we started tackling each area of our storage we became more encouraged as we cleared out bag after bag of our belongings. It turns out we had a lot more stuff left than we realized but after a week of organizing and adjusting to a new routine we feel a lot more at home.

There have been some moments where it’s almost surreal that we are actually living this lifestyle. The campground filled up on Friday with people coming in for the weekend. We spent many years doing the same thing, but this time we watched as new people filed in and eventually filled up every spot in the park. Then Sunday rolled around and while everyone else was packing up we were sitting there drinking our morning coffee and watching the steady stream of RV’s leave. It felt as if we should be doing the same thing and we’re just putting it off until the last minute as we have been known to do. Once the weekend folks were gone the park was nearly empty with the exception of a few other full timers and all was quiet and peaceful again.

One of the important things to remember when living this lifestyle is that you are living and not camping. Being in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, especially on weekends, it’s easy to forget this fact and it could cost you in terms of money and your health. Let’s be honest, everyone eats worse and drinks a lot more when in this type of environment. If you are going to full time it’s probably best to enjoy the atmosphere but not to partake in the festivities every weekend.

Our travel schedule for the year is now nearly completed and it’s exciting to see it take shape. So far we have extended stays booked in Las Vegas, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona. This will get us through the end of November and we are already working on our plans for the holiday season which is kind of a strange feeling,

Financially we have a lot of moving parts and as I mentioned last month I was hesitant to publish numbers during this time. But in keeping with the spirit of this blog and being transparent about our numbers I have decided to move forward and just do my best to explain the large movements over the the next couple of months.

So without further ado……

Here is where we ended the month of February 2021:

Portfolio = $1,475,920

Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000

Amount needed to reach goal = $24,080

Our portfolio increased by $245,566 or 19.96% from the end of January

Year-to-date our portfolio has increased by 19.96%

Net Worth = $1,501,447

This is an increase of $62,813 or 4.37% from the end of January

Year-to-date our Net Worth has increased by 4.11%

So at first glance this is a WOW month right? Well, yes and no. Obviously we sold our house and because of that our portfolio number, which includes all of our cash and investments, benefited greatly from that transaction. Additionally we had always undervalued the asset value of our home because you never really get the amount your home actually sells for into your bank account at the end of the day. There are commissions and closing costs that take a good chunk of that cash so we build that into our net worth by undervaluing the asset on our books. The end result was that the amount we undervalued turned out to be too conservative and we actually received more money than expected. So that was an added benefit to our balances and a nice surprise as well.

At the end of the day we came out of this situation pretty good but we are not finished yet. As we mentioned in previously we are going to use some of this money to pay for our sons college tuition and expenses starting with paying off a student loan for his freshman year. We saved for college in a Roth IRA but we decided to keep that account untouched and fully invested. So instead of liquidating an account that is valuable to our long term vision we will use cash proceeds to eliminate his loan and to pay for another year of school. After that he will take on the final two years of his education which will probably also be the least expensive years if all goes according to plan.

Because of this commitment our next update will most likely reflect a portfolio and net worth decrease unless Mr. Market blesses us with a nice positive month to offset the cost of this transaction.

Speaking of the markets I’m not sure what the heck is going on. They seem to be in a pattern of riding high during the month and selling off at the end of the month. This happened in both January and February. March also jumped out strong start day one but now we have rising bond yields and the markets don’t like that so the volatility has increased and there is no clear direction.

Luckily I have been too busy getting our living situation in order to pay attention so I’m not really tracking the moves as I normally do. But hey that’s the nice part of being a long term investor right? We don’t have to pay attention or agonize over the daily market fluctuations if we don’t want to. Sometimes there are just more important things to do in life like polish the crome on the RV and set up an outdoor kitchen.

So there you have it, our first update as full timers. Thank you as always for taking time to read our blog. Please make sure you follow us on social media by clicking the buttons on the right.

We look forward to sharing our adventures as hit the road and start venturing out and seeing more of our great country.

Until next time………………….

Joe

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