April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

We were very fortunate that our mail forwarding company and the South Dakota DMV are quick and efficient unlike California as we arrived on Tuesday and by Friday we were full residents. You can see that story here. This worked out well because there was a big storm heading our way that was going to hit the day before we were supposed to leave. The possibility of getting snowed in was real and because of the cold weather we were already very low on water and had burned through almost 80 pounds of propane in just over 7 days. There was no way we would have had enough of either to get us through the weekend let alone until Tuesday when we were supposed to leave. Since we had already accomplished everything we came for, minus visiting Mt. Rushmore and every other fun thing we wanted to do, we decided it was best to leave South Dakota 4 days early before the storm hit. It cost us some money we had prepaid but that was a small price to pay to get somewhere warmer and not get snowed in.

After two more days in below freezing temps as we drove back through Wyoming and Utah we finally arrived in sunny Las Vegas completing 2400 miles of driving in just over a week. We had contacted the folks at the campground and they were generous enough to block our spot for a few days prior to our scheduled arrival date so we had a nice cushion and could get there anytime we wanted. Once we arrived we wasted no time setting up camp and enjoyed 2 weeks of sunshine with just a few days of strong winds. Much better than freezing cold and snowing.

After two weeks in Vegas we headed back up to Utah which is where we currently sit. We have this site booked for the entire Summer and we plan to make the most of it. Our son will soon arrive and we plan on doing a lot of fishing, hiking and visiting with family who lives in the area during our time here. When we arrived our friends were here already and it was so nice to sit and visit with them for a couple of days. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss familiar faces until you see them again.

While all of this was going on the financial world continued its hot streak. It was difficult to pay much attention to the markets until we settled in Las Vegas and able to exhale. Once we were there I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had some good gains.

While reviewing our accounts I made a decision to modify and utilize an old brokerage trading account that has sat dormant for many years. As a matter of fact I believe the account is now with the third brokerage after a couple of acquisitions. At one time this account was used in a very unsuccessful attempt at day trading which I eventually gave up on and moved to investing in index mutual funds. Since there wasn’t much cash left in the account I decided to use that money and start a mini dividend portfolio as a little side hobby. In order to fund this account in the future I decided to take any money made from this blog through advertising or affiliate links and use it to build a portfolio of dividend paying stocks. This is not a lot of money so taking passive income to try and build a portfolio that earns more passive income sounds like it could be fun and it’s only going to be a fraction of our overall portfolio so the risk is minimal.

As for our overall portfolio, Here is where we ended for the month of April 2021:

Portfolio = $1,532,256

Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000

Amount Needed To Reach Goal = ZERO

Our Portfolio Increased By $55,313 or 3.75% From The End Of March

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 24.41%

Net Worth = $1,558,562

Our Net Worth Increased By $51,170 or 3.39% From The End March

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By 8.08%

There it is!! We first crossed our portfolio goal on April 6th and so far we have not looked back. It was exciting to see but with everything going on I could only muster up the energy to send out a tweet instead of dedicating time to write a blog post. So yay us!

Financially April was a very expensive month for us. First we had to pay about $1k for fuel to get to South Dakota and back. Also one night stops at campgrounds are pricey, but it was way too cold to boondock anywhere to save money. Once we were in South Dakota we had to pay for our vehicle registrations, licenses and full time insurance for the rv and Jeep. Finally we ended up liking the place we stayed at in Vegas and decided to prepay for a campsite to spend the winter there. Let’s not forget we also ate the cost of 4 days in South Dakota by leaving early.

On the positive side we are done with our transition now so there are no more expenses we will incur going forward. Also while it is expensive to prepay for campsites it all evens out in the end because future months will not have that expense. And because we are stationary for a few months at a time our fuel costs will be zero for the RV in most months. So it’s a lot of money upfront but over time you recoup some of that cost.

As for the markets it’s hard to give an outlook as I have been so disconnected for the last month. It appears the reopening surge is happening but inflation is a concern regardless of what the Fed is telling everyone. I tend to believe what I see with my own eyes before believing what some government official is trying to sell on the financial networks. Everything is getting more expensive and that’s a fact.

We are now entering sell in May and go away territory and with the markets primed for a correction I wouldn’t be shocked one bit if that happens. When corporate earnings are blowing out the numbers and stocks don’t budge or even move in the opposite direction it starts looking like people are looking for a reason to sell and lock in some gains. Can’t blame them at this point.

We will continue to stick to our long term strategy but now with a small slice of dividend investing on the side. I’m excited to start building this little side hobby and see where it goes. I haven’t researched and actively invested in individual stocks for over a decade and last time I did it wasn’t pretty. But the strategy and goal this time is also much different and the dollar amounts are small for now.

We look forward to sharing our adventures with you and thank you for reading and following our little blog.

Until next time…………………….

Joe

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