Another year in the books and it was a doozy! Personally and financially we hit milestones and then decided the time was right to forge our own path and live life on our own terms. I won’t go into the details again in this blog. You can read all about it in our 2021 Year In Review.
Since we already covered everything in the previous blog we will dive right into the financial stuff.
Here is how our portfolio performed in December 2021:
(Our original portfolio goal was $1.5m)
Portfolio = $1,641,781
Our Portfolio Increased By $64,512 or 4.09% From The End Of November
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By 33.30%
Net Worth = $1,682,093
Our Net Worth Increased By $65,450 or 4.05% From The End Of November
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By 16.64%
December was quite a month and in the end it was a great year!
The markets wavered to start the month but eventually shook off the Covid Omicron fears and pushed to new highs once again. Going forward all eyes will continue to be on the FED and how they handle their new found realization that high inflation is not as transitory as they thought.
As I said in our previous update, I don’t fear rising interest rates. What I do fear is the FED overshooting on rate increases in an attempt to get ahead of something they should have already been prepared for and addressing. It takes time for monetary adjustments, like rate hikes, to work through the system and if adjustments are made too early and often it can have a negative impact on the economy leading to a recession. So this will be something to keep an eye on.
Here is how we did on our spending for December 2021:
Monthly Budget = $5,000
Our total spend for December 2021 = $4,873
Over/Under Budget = +$127
Over/Under Cumulative = +$1,221 (Starting October 1st which was our first full month of retirement)
As expected December was an expensive month. We still managed to squeeze in under budget. With our son in town for three weeks we went out and did a lot of activities so that was expensive. We also did a lot more grocery shopping and dining out so our total food bill for the month was through the roof. We managed to temper our Christmas shopping which is part of the reason we stayed under budget.
It’s very encouraging to see that we have remained under budget all three months with a cumulative savings of $1,221. This confirms that we are living within our means and that our planning was accurate.
As we head into 2022 we will have some financial events to work through. The biggest one will occur sometime in January when we have to pay for our son’s college tuition and housing. On the bright side this should be the last payment we have to make as the obligation shifts to him going forward. Additionally, we will need to have annual maintenance performed on our RV which is expensive but is not something to cheap out on.
These two items represent a significant chunk of cash and because of this we will probably start the new year in a hole on our total portfolio. Maybe Mr. Market helps us out a little but I’m not banking on that and expect to have a negative month for January.
Just a note that when we publish our expenditures for January 2022, I will exclude college tuition and housing from our expense number. These amounts are accounted for in our personal budget. We did not include them in our monthly budget for full-time RV living as it is a one-off expense not related to living our lifestyle or our FIRE plan. Also, if we were to include these amounts, it would only skew our numbers going forward and become a nuisance when trying to do comparative analysis.
Later down the line we will have to deal with our last tax filing for California. This is always an adventure and promises to be so again as we cut ties with the state for good. If the experience of trying to get the California DMV to understand that we left the state and registered our vehicles in South Dakota was any indication of what’s to come then we are probably in for a fight.
So that’s where we stand heading into the new year. We have a lot of plans and are always excited to share them with our readers. Hopefully 2022 will be just as successful as 2021 as we start venturing across the Country for exciting new experiences.
Until next time…………….