September 2023 Financial Update

We are back with our September 2023 financial update! The months are flying by and before you know it we will be heading to the great state of Texas for the winter. We have enjoyed our time on the lake in Oklahoma, but like all great things it will soon come to an end.

As much as we love lake life we are getting to the point where we are ready to move on. The downside to being in this area is that there just isn’t much to do. Aside from walking around the campground or sitting outside looking at the water not much is going on. As such, we have been pretty stagnant for that last month. After a rough couple of months camping in a remote area was a relaxing change. Now we are itching to get somewhere we can be more active and do some sight seeing.

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Before we arrive in our winter location near San Antonio we have one more stop which also happens to be on a lake. This will be our last hurrah before we start work-camping at our winter destination.

We are pretty excited about this work-camping oppertunity. It appears to be more inline with what work-camping is supposed to be, unlike our last go round. Admittedly we still have a little angst about getting started. After what we went through last winter the thought of work-camping kind of lost a bit of its luster. Hopefully everything pans out and we can enjoy the experience while also making a little bit of cash.

Since we have been mostly idle over the last month we have continued to peruse the real estate market. There have been some properties along the way have caught our eye or peaked our interests. However, once we start looking deeper they just don’t make sense.

That’s a nice part about the position we are in. It allows us to be picky and hold our expectations to a higher standard. And it’s not like we are in some big hurry to settle down somewhere. We are more than happy with our lifestyle and would be perfectly fine living on the road for the foreseeable future. But, if the perfect property in a great location that checks all the boxes and would make us happy comes available? Well yeah, we would probably jump on it. That’s a big if at this point.

When it comes to finding a home finances are a big part for us. But, it’s not going to be all about the finances. We hope our next home will be our forever home. Since this might be the last home we buy we have a pretty long list of things we are looking for. And most of them are not something we are willing to compromise on. We need to get some bang for our buck, but it doesn’t need to be a loud bang.

Over the years we have learned to live with less and we are very happy with that decision and the lifestyle. While it would be nice to have a little more than the current 200+ square feet we live in now, we don’t need a lot. So some ritzy house in a fancy neighborhood is not going to do it for us. We don’t need the headaches, added expense or in some cases the drama of a neighborhood.

Ideally we would like a more laid back rural setting that gives us a lot of what we have now. Minus the worry of travel days and having to pack everything up to move on a monthly basis. We would still like to have some proximity to civilization for shopping and the like. We have experienced needing to drive far for groceries while traveling. It’s definitely not something we would like on a permanent basis. Most of all we would like some property and not a chintzy lot. Life on the road has helped us realize how much we enjoy having a little space away from people and big cities.

These are just the factors we are using to narrow down our search. On top of this we also have some pretty specific items we are looking for which we won’t get into now. But, as you can see we have really started putting a lot of thought and perimeters into the process. Who knows, maybe we will find our forever home eventually and start a new chapter!

Now, onto our September 2023 financial update numbers!

Our Portfolio Performance September 2023:

(Original portfolio goal $1.5m)

Portfolio = $1,377,329

Our Portfolio Decreased By -$65,171 or -4.52% From The End Of August 

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Increased By $52,703 or 3.98%

Net Worth = $1,441,544

Our Net Worth Decreased By -$63,294 or -4.21% From The End Of August 

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Increased By $61,717 or 4.47%

The downward slide for the markets didn’t just continue through September, it intensified after the fed speech. Historically September is a horrible month for equities anyway, but we can’t just shrug it off as a seasonal norm this time. There seems to be much more going on under the surface. In all honestly, I just don’t trust the economic numbers being put out. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s how it looks and feels.

I’ve been doing this for a while now and as I’ve said before data revisions happen all of the time. And when they do happen it is not typical for them to always go in one direction. Time and time again, month after month the numbers are getting released only to have huge downward revisions.

Here is how it looks to me, you can agree or not. The numbers get reported. The media reports on the data that’s released and puts their happy spin on it. The revised numbers then get released at a later date and the media completely ignores it. Or in the case of CNBC they gloss over it as more of a CYA type of deal because people that pay a sliver of attention watch their coverage. But the government can say they released the revisions which gives them cover while at the same time keeping the general population ignorant.

It’s happens consistently with the unemployment numbers and there were huge revisions with the GDP numbers. I’m not trying to be a conspiracy alarmist, but those data points are pretty important numbers to the party in power. And if those number go south so do they.

And before anyone points to the supposed “great numbers” just released for September and the upward revisions for prior months, read the report again. Losing full-time jobs and adding twice as many part-time jobs or government jobs is not good. In fact, the whole report is garbage. Of course, only the headline gets reported as usual and people who don’t pay attention think it’s great. The devil is in the details and it’s called gaslighting.

As we are not beholden to a political party we prefer to ask questions and trust what we see with our own eyes. Does it look and feel like things are going great? Are there really plenty of jobs for everyone? Has inflation really eased up on my budget? Does it feel safer in the places we visit? Does the country feel safer as we travel around? Are we more financially well off compared to the past?

These are basic questions people should be asking themselves when making life decisions or voting for representatives. Relying on others to “keep you informed” or just doing something because “that’s how I have always done it” is an ignorant lazy way to go through life. It’s also destructive and the equivalent of letting others make decisions that impact your life with no challenge.

I’ll end my rant with this. If people can’t be honest with themselves and learn to act in their own best interest then they are letting others dictate their lives and societies downfall. That doesn’t just make them irrelevant, it also makes them lemmings or patsies. The term useful idiots could also apply.

The sad part is these people never end up better off. They end up broke and dependent on handouts from the same people who just screwed them. Politicians thrive on the cycle of ignorance and dependency. That’s what allows them to stay in office for 30+ years building a $100mm stock portfolio on a $170k salary. Something you and I would go to prison for. Rules for thee, but not for me!

Our Spending for September 2023:

Monthly Budget = $5,000

Total spend for September 2023 = $3,042

Over/Under Monthly Budget = $1,958

Over/Under Budget YTD = -$276

Prepaid Site Fees = +$0.00

Net Over/Under Budget YTD = $276 Over Budget 

In last months update we said we expected to have a great savings month in September. We absolutely accomplished this and in great fashion. Not only did we nearly get our annual budget back to the breakeven point, we had our lowest spend month ever!

When we compare the month of September on a year over year basis our spending decreased by whopping 35% from 2022. Year to date we are now just $276 over budget which is still a $1,477 improvement when compared to the same nine month period in 2022. This puts us on a great trajectory heading into the 4th quarter of the year.

Looking forward to October we expect to be at or over our $5k monthly budget. In the month we will be traveling a couple of times so fuel costs will be incurred. We will also incur a semi-annual insurance expense as well as a deferred prepaid site fee. We also expect to add on some expenses for more site seeing after being cooped up for a month. If we can break even or just stay relatively close our monthly $5k budget amount in October that would be a big win.

That’s a wrap for our September 2023 financial update. Thank you as always for reading our blog!

See you on the road!


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