Financial Update Report – December 2017
Below you will find a snapshot of our personal financials for the month for December 2017. This includes a brief synopsis of our net worth and monthly cash flow activity.
Curious as to WHY I calculate and share our personal net worth? I explain it here.
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December is a wrap and so is 2017! Happy New Year from London, UK. 🙂
We’re about 9 days into our 14-day vacation. It’s been wonderful getting to see and experience so much in both Ireland and the U.K.
Our first stop was Dublin, Ireland, where we were met with sub-freezing temperatures and even a little snow. No matter! We enjoyed our quick stay regardless and even made a day trip up to Belfast to see the Titanic Museum.
We’re now in London spending the final week sightseeing, catching up with family, and some friends that live here. It was fun ringing in the new year across the Atlantic 8-hrs ahead of home.
Life is quite different here with mass transit and the blustery weather. It certainly makes me appreciate all the of beautiful sun we have back home in San Diego. 🙂
Anyhow, sorry for my delayed posts in December. With Christmas and the trip, I simply miscalculated how much time I had to do everything I wanted to. I WILL do better in 2018!
We will also do better with cash flow in 2018. I’m looking forward to a slower year of traveling than 2017 and a lot fewer expenses in this category.
Let’s have a look at the final month of 2017 and any insights for the year…
Net Worth Summary
Net Worth inched up and plateaued in December. We ended up at $2,027,289 vs. $2,021,593 this past November. This is a $5,696 increase in our net worth or +0.03% by percentage.
The gains were primarily from an increase in property values in addition to rising portfolio values.
Here is what the entire 2017 year looks like so far. NW has climbed $288,839 so far or 16.6%. (Compared to $1,739,333 at the end of December 2016).
I feel incredibly blessed to see this type of increase over the course of a single year while I was not working or earning a significant income. As I’ve said many times in the past year, this is the power of compound interest working in our favor.
Cash Flow Summary
December was one of our largest months of expenses for 2017, and cash flow took a hit at -$8466. And, although we would have still ended up in negative territory, it’s actually not as bad as it seems at first glance.
Income of $15,337 for the month rose from the past month as one Vegas property finally started providing back an income to us. We will be receiving full income from this property beginning this month and enjoying a greater cash flow based on the higher rent. Other increased income came from year-end dividends, although more than half of that is tied to retirement money.
Our income is primarily made up of my wife’s teacher salary, rental income, dividend income, and misc investment income (eg. RealtyShares).
December’s expenses of $23,803 were massive! However, some of this was strategic due to the new tax bill getting passed. One such strategy we used, was to pre-pay our property taxes (~$5000) and some other expenses early, to maximize the current tax structure in 2017.
Other larger expenses included charitable offerings, $3000 cash withdrawl for our trip (which isn’t really spent), and misc gifts.
So, all in all, we would have broken even without the accelerated tax payment, or the cash withdrawl (I don’t add back in petty cash into personal capital).
Nevertheless, we need to do better in 2018!!
I want to see a lot of green cash flow months to coincide with NW increases too. I will plan on updating our annual budget when I return home and make sure that we are spending intelligently and not letting any money slip through the cracks.
Portfolio Balances (Equities)
Our portfolio pretty much kept pace with the S&P 500 this month. I didn’t do any major transactions, with the exception of moving our portfolios from Etrade over to Ameritrade Institutional. This was related to us hiring a financial advisor to help us manage our portfolio going forward. I’ll definitely discuss this in more detail in 2018.
I really can’t complain about 18% in 2017. But, it is interesting that we still trailed the S&P 500 by almost a full point. I also got scared out of the market on certain occasions leaving money on the sideline throughout the year.
2017 was an incredible year! I didn’t hit a lot of my initial income goals I had for myself at the beginning of the year, but life this year was super fun as a stay-at-home Dad (SAHD). I realized somewhere along the way, that being present with my family was my primary goal.
2018, I’m going to continue being the best SAHD I can, and be an even better husband. Life moves pretty fast when you have a family, even when you’re FIRE’d. So, you need to make a point to reconnect with each other on an ongoing basis.
Finally, I’m working on a book all about FIRE! I plan to release it this year, so I’ll keep you all up to date with that.
Other than that, I’m going to keep eating healthy, staying fit, loving life, and giving back.
I wish you a prosperous and fulfilling 2018 ahead!
Readers, what are you thankful for from 2017 and hopeful/eager for in 2018?