December 2022 Financial Update

Don’t know about you, but we are happy 2022 is over and done with! After working for a couple of months we were really looking forward to the holiday season and getting a visit from our son whom we haven’t seen since the summer. It all started out great with him arriving in town safe, and on schedule, for a week long stay. While he was here we enjoyed some time outdoors and just catching up on all that has happened since we last saw him. And we made sure to fill his tummy up with some homemade meals and his favorite delicious BBQ requests.

Then we got thrown for a loop when on Christmas day when Mrs. RVF woke up and was not feeling good. We did our best to enjoy the day, but fun came to an abrupt end when it was discovered we had contracted covid for the first time after dodging it altogether for the last three years. Thankfully our son was never infected and was able to get back home safe and sound. But we remained isolated for days and ended up missing a lot of our work schedule. This included the New Years eve party that was the one event we were really looking forward to working and being a part of! Instead we were locked down in our RV and in bed by 10pm as parties happened all around us. A fitting end to a rough year!

Now in retrospect the only real rough parts of the year were the poor financial markets and then getting covid at the worst possible time. So we really shouldn’t base the whole year off of poor timing and what was really an inevitable certainty after a crazy bull run in the markets of the last several years. 2022 felt worse just because there just wasn’t a lot of positive things happening and the bad stuff felt SO bad! And we don’t get to see our son very often. Then when he finally gets here this is what happens. Of course we are thankful for the time we did have with him this holiday season and even more so that he made it home safe and unaffected. In the end that’s all that really matters.

As far as the financial markets go, the end of year rally never materialized and the downward trajectory resumed in December. It’s not surprising as there was probably a lot of rebalancing and tax loss harvesting going on as active investors and mutual funds set up their portfolios for 2023.

Here is how our portfolio performed in December 2022:

(Our original portfolio goal $1.5m)

Portfolio = $1,324,627

Our Portfolio Decreased By $64,069 or 4.61% From The End Of November

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Decreased By -19.32%

Net Worth = $1,379,827

Our Net Worth Decreased By $62,538 or 4.34% From The End Of November

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Decreased By -17.97%

Like most people, our portfolio suffered its first losing year since 2018. While it’s never fun to see this happen it was overdue and will probably be a healthy reset in the long run. The frustration this time around however is how the moves have been exacerbated by an out of touch and incompetent federal reserve. And quite frankly also a delusional federal government who just keeps spending and spending regardless of the impact it has on inflation and the deficit. We needed a market correction, but it would have been nice to have a proper reset instead of this shit show we are all seeing unfold before our very eyes month after month.

It’s wasn’t all bad however as our portfolio provided some sizable passive income via dividends and capital gains distributions. Because we live off of our investments and taxable accounts we now only reinvest the distributions received in the non taxable accounts. The exception being our dividend portfolio in which we always reinvest the dividends so we can grow the account. With these distributions we were able to reinvest over $40k back into our positions during a horrible market which will help tremendously when the stock market recovery finally begins.

2022CG Taxable $7,754.87CG Non-Tabable $21,925.04Dividends Taxable $6,569.08Dividends Non Taxable $19,568.73Interest $0.52Total $55,818.24
2022 Portfolio Distributions

That’s said, after a nearly 20% drop in our portfolio we closed out the year sitting well below our F.I.R.E. number of $1.5m, which is a little distressing. As we patiently wait for a recovery in the markets we are doing our best to limit our expenses during this reset so we can keep our portfolio intact. Hopefully we will see a rebound in the markets this year, even if it’s a slight one, and the trend will reverse at some point. Hope is not an investment strategy, so we all need to be prepared for what else might happen as it could get ugly before it gets any better.

Here is how we did on our spending for December 2022:

Monthly Budget = $5,000

Total spend for December 2022 = $4,360

Over/Under Monthly Budget = $640

Over/Under Budget YTD = -$530

Less Prepaid Site Fees = $606

Net Over/Under Budget YTD = $76

Wow, so that is just a crazy way to end a very crazy financial year!

With our son coming to visit we blew out our food budget as expected. That was not a surprise as it’s the only time we really stock up on a lot of special items that he enjoys and that we try to steer clear of. His visits also give me a reason to break out my smoker for some brisket, ribs, etc which usually gets expensive. We called his time here “The Seven Days of Meat!” And we are also required to visit some of his favorite fast food joints that he doesn’t have access to on the east coast. Hello In-N-Out Burger! Hey, the boys have to eat!!

This is also the time of year to either start booking campgrounds or fill the holes in your schedule if you have already started like we have. We continuously monitor places we want to go and their online booking platforms and one of the campgrounds we have been waiting for opened their scheduling for the new year so we jumped on it immediately to ensure we booked a site. That’s just what you have to do when you live this lifestyle and want to be in a certain location at a certain time of the year! As a result of this, our freewheeling food fest and on top of the Christmas shopping season we were certain we would be over budget for the month and have absolutely no chance of making it back to even on the year.

Much to our surprise, once we ran our reports we were under our monthly budget by $640 for December and on top of that we were under our annual budget by $76, net of our outstanding prepaid site fees! That is not what were were expecting at all, but we will take it! At least for this year.

While this was a nice finish to the year it was entirely too close for comfort as there were some areas of our budget where we completely overspent and other areas where we didn’t come close. The problem I have with this is that the areas where we didn’t come close to our budget pertain to emergencies and repairs. Those are areas where we don’t want to come close to hitting our budget. Those are the areas of a budget where you look back and say “thank god we were under budget there” because that means we didn’t have to use those dreaded categories!

So the question becomes, what if one of those things had happened and we used that part of the budget? I know we can afford to pay for it in the immediate, but what’s the long term financial impact going to be? Aside from our budget being way out of whack depending on the severity of the problem it could have long term financial implications.

So we will take the win and consider ourselves fortunate this year. We will also need to take a look at those categories we failed in and assess where we went wrong and figure out what we are going to do about it. This needs to happen if we are going to have long term success as we can’t rely hoping nothing goes wrong when it comes to RV life. In this lifestyle, if you are fortunate enough to not use those dreaded parts of your budget you are thankful and then you bank it, because you might need that money farther down the road.

This it for 2022! We hope you enjoyed our update and thank you for sticking with us through our adventures. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year and look forward to bringing you along with us on our adventures!

See you on the road………………….


P.S. If you haven’t heard we started an online store called StuckonCamping where you can get some of our designs on stickers, magnets, shirts, hats, tote bags and more! Check it out for camping, hiking, RV and other outdoor designs! 

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