April went by in a flash and it feels like May is shaping up to do the same. It’s hard to believe we are already publishing another financial update! Ever since we left Mesa we have been busy trying to get caught up on projects and hobbies while at the same time getting back to enjoying the things we love like hiking and sightseeing. And since we have family that lives close by we have to make sure we find time to visit and catch up while we can.
Over the last month it has been great to be out in the open air and enjoying nature again and we have tried to get out for a nice size hike at least once a week. The great part about being full-time in our RV is we get to enjoy things while everyone else is busy working and the kids are in school. Often times when we go on hike we are the only people around which allows us to enjoy the views and our surroundings undisturbed. That will begin to change over the next few months so we are trying to take advantage of it while we can. We are hoping to hit Zion National Park before it gets too crowded and we have to leave. It’s been awhile since we have been there and it has some of the best hiking!
On the financial side we would categorize everything as just “ok”. As an accountant I like everything to be neat and tidy because that’s how financial stuff is supposed to be. The way our work-camping gig was set up we got paid and then had to turn around and pay most, if not all, of the money right back. Then the charges for each month don’t align with the pay periods so it drags out into additional months until we finally got everything settled. All of this nonsense has made the budget and expense reports we created in order to make sure we stay on track look like cluttered garbage. As a result there is a lot of adjusting and figuring out that needs to be done in order to get true numbers for our tracking which eventually gets disclosed on our monthly blogs. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s annoying and sloppy and sort of drives me crazy.
Then we look at the financial markets and the complete disaster that is the federal reserve and our federal government as a whole. Wow, what a shit show! How the chairman of the federal reserve continues to raise rates with a straight face while banks are failing and the data reflects everything is going in the wrong direction is beyond me. And the lag effects from most of the rate increases haven’t even hit the markets yet!
He actually said the banking system is robust and stable in his statement just before more turbulence hit hours later. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but this is either incompetence on a never before seen level or some sort of sinister plan because it just doesn’t make any logical sense.
The fed also continues to use those amazing employment numbers as justification for raising rates. But, have you noticed that those amazing numbers keep being significantly revised downward after the fact, month after month after month? Could it all be bullshit or are they just that bad at their job?
Food for thought for those not beholden to the groupthink echo chambers of people with a (R) or a (D) after their names.
Here is how our portfolio performed in April 2023:
(Our original portfolio goal $1.5m)
Portfolio = $1,392,537
Our Portfolio Increased By $11,042 or 0.80% From The End Of March
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By $67,910 or 5.13%
Net Worth = $1,448,872
Our Net Worth Increased By $9,423 or 0.65% From The End Of March
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By $69,045 or 5.00%
As you can see it wasn’t a great month, but it was a positive month. In this environment, with this band of dopes in charge of our economy and the financial stability of our banking system, we should probably be happy with anything being positive.
Is the adage “sell in May and go away” going to play out this year? Could be and there’s a good reason to think it will. Why have your money in risk assets when you can get almost 5% risk free from a money market? Why do you think bank deposits are tanking and money market deposit are surging? 0.01% vs. 5.00% risk free isn’t a difficult choice. Hell, if we were still working and earning an income we would be piling money into our money market account and locking in good rates on CD’s. Why risk losing anything when the buffoons are in charge?
What I do think is that the pressure to pause rate increases is growing too loud and they will have no choice but to do so. And as we have said from the beginning of the rate hike cycle they will have gone way too far. As such, they will eventually be forced to cut rates as the economy continues to tank in order to try and avert complete disaster. Oh, and just in time for an election year. Isn’t that timing something!
This is what the bond markets are pricing in and I happen to think the bond markets are a lot smarter than politicians and political hacks. So buckle up and stay tuned……..
Here is how we did on our spending for April 2023:
Monthly Budget = $5,000
Total spend for April 2023 = $6,545
Over/Under Monthly Budget = $1,545
Over/Under Budget YTD = $1,132
Less Prepaid Site Fees = -$422
Net Over/Under Budget YTD = $710 Over Budget
As expected we had to layout a lot of cash in April when our RV and Vehicle insurance came due. They also raised our rates for no apparent reason so that was a few hundred dollars more than we planned for. These are budgeted annual and semi-annual expenses so while we were over our $5k per month number it was a planned event. If we were to exclude these expenses we would have been under budget by $1k so we actually had a good month when we look deeper into our budget categories.
Now that we have most of our annual front loaded expenses out of the way we should start to see things come more inline with our budget as the year rolls on. Being only $710 over budget at the and of April is a sizable improvement over the same time last year when we were almost $1,700 over budget. This is mostly attributable to our work-camping positions and not having to technically pay for a space until we arrived in Utah. So at least we have that going for us.
As we enter our final month in Utah we are looking forward to spending more time with family before we start making our seasonal journey to explore more of our great nation. Next on tap after Utah is a week stay in Idaho followed by a full month in Montana. These are two stops we have been looking forward to for a long time and it’s hard to believe it’s almost here.
Please note that because of our travel schedule some of our updates for May that we typically post in the first week of June might be delayed a little. We will do our best to get them to you once we get settled down.
As always thank you for taking time to read our blog. We look forward to sharing a fun and adventurous camping season with you!
See you on the road!!
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