Financial Update Report – February 2017

MichaelInvestment, Misc, Net Worth20 Comments

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Financial Update Report – February 2017
Financial Update Report – February 2017

Below you will find a snapshot of our personal February financials – including a brief synopsis of our net worth and monthly cash flow.

Find out WHY I calculate and share our personal net worth – here.

Want to track your finance the same way?  I’ll show you how I use Personal Capital to help create these financial reports absolutely FREE.  Also, download my budgeting spreadsheet found in my popular post – How to Budget Like a Bad Ass!

February’s Overview

Financial Update Report – February 2017


Does anyone know why February’s are so short?  Yeah, I know I can “google” it, but I’m curious if you know this random fact off the top of your head?

Anyhow, our net worth was UP for the month of February and we had a slight DIP into the negative with cash flow.  Was it because we just booked a couple of flights to Hawaii? Let’s dig in and find out.

Net Worth Summary

We ended the month of February at  $1,768,595 vs. $1,745,425 this past January.  This is a $23,170 increase in our net worth or +1.3% by percentage.

This increase comes from a fluctuation in real estate prices, and also a little bump from the stock market charging ahead in this rather odd bull market all the way to DOW 21,000.

Cash Flow Summary     

Income of $12,932 was down from January by a few hundred dollars.

Our income is primarily made up from my wife’s teacher salary, rental income, dividend income, and misc investment income (eg. RealtyShares).

I also made my first Amazon FBA sale in February.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was good to see a few purchases nonetheless.  More to come with my future FBA posts. 😉



This month we spent $13,474 which is higher than average.

Cash flow was slightly negative for February primarily due to a couple of insurance policies that came due (auto & property).  This accounted for an extra $1200 in semi-annual premiums.

Remember how I was supposed to hit Tony Robbin’s UPW seminar in March?  Well, unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.  The entire event was booked a few months in advanced.  Despite being on the waitlist, it became apparent that we probably weren’t going to get in since it was several hundred people deep!  So…

Time to Travel Hack

We booked a trip to Hawaii instead!  We’re headed to Kauai for a few days during my wife’s spring break and the kids will hang out with grandma and grandpa.  Additionally, we’re headed to Napa Valley just prior to that with a couple of friends for wine tasting (well, not me since I don’t drink) and to part take in a once in a lifetime dining experience at the French Laundry (maybe I’ll do a foodie post on this experience if there’s interest).

As I mentioned in a prior post, my wife and I signed up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.  Chase rewarded us 200,000 points combined.  Typically, these points would be equal to $2000, but with this card, we were able to get 1.5x’s the points value when spent on travel.  So, we received $3000 in travel credits!

More specifically, we were able to use our travel hack using points to cover our flights from LAX to San Francisco to Kauai and back to LAX.  Total cost was $592/ticket or $1184 for the both of us (78,933 points).  We also used our points to book a 4-star hotel (67,000 points), and a car rental (10,000).  Total out-of-pocket expense = $0.

My final travel hacking purchase this month was my booking my flight to Panama City.  This would have cost $595, but I still had enough point to cover it (39,500). Total out-of-pocket expense = $0.

As an added bonus, we both received applied and received our global entry cards in the mail recently.  This will give us TSA Pre-check benefits like expedited security screening and expedited customs check-in when returning from a foreign country.  It’s $100 to apply, but free as a benefit to our cards.

Portfolio Balances (Equities)

We’ve been trailing the S&P 500 lately.  And, I suspect a portion of this has been my recent equity moves out of certain stocks back into cash and/or bonds.  It’s a more conservative stance for our portfolio, but I want to lock in some profits now regardless of how much further the market climbs.

Last week I pulled off another $20,000 off the table.  It’s currently sitting in an MMA, but I’m looking to put that to work soon in a conservative vehicle.


Well, life is certainly dynamic this year with travel already!  No Tony Robbins UPW this year, but at least Kauai is now in the mix.  New Orleans may or may not happen also depending on flight prices now.  I’ve been using Kayak’s price tracker to keep me informed.  Do you use anything else other than Kayak?

To make things even more interesting, we just added a new trip to the end of the year.  My wife’s cousin is getting married in London, so we’ll be taking the kids on their first international trip to visit the U.K. and Ireland for a couple of weeks.

Yup, it’s gonna be super busy this year.  🙂

Readers, how was your February?  Are you hitting your personal finance savings goals?  What are your thoughts on travel?  Is it an experience worth spending a lot of money on, or overrated?  

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20 Comments on “Financial Update Report – February 2017”

  1. Hawaii is paradise – super jealous over here in Minnesota 🙂 (actually it was 57 degrees yesterday so not too bad). If I was to go anywhere on a vacation tomorrow, it would be Hawaii. Are you going to surf or go on a boat? Hang out on the beach?

    February was a great month for me! With a company bonus and new side gig consulting, I was able to invest/save over $6k.

    Thanks for sharing your statistics Michael, looking forward to future content!

    1. Hey, Erik, 57 degrees ain’t bad! 😉

      For this specific trip, we’ll be doing a lot of hiking. Kauai is a more laid back island with lots of scenery (Jurassic Park)… or so I hear. There will definitely be some beach time as well.

      Glad to hear you had a great month yourself. $6k is a huge investment. Nice job!

  2. Great post, Michael! I am inspired by your numbers and can’t wait to be further along in my own journey. Next celebration happens at Net Worth = $0! We’ve got a big hole to dig out of, but we’re blessed to have a big shovel as well and are looking forward to piling up the our worth in the coming years. Thanks for sharing your progress!


    1. Hi Ryan, that’s fantastic that you have “big shovel”! You’re gonna kill it on the other side of net worth once you pass $0. Enjoy the journey. 🙂

  3. I look forward to those Amazon FBA posts. I’ve heard a bit about it, but mostly from people who didn’t have a good experience. Congrats on that future trip to Hawaii–I’m jealous. 🙂

    Our February was really nice. We saved over 50% of our income and applied the surplus to student loans. Our net worth is still quite negative, but it’s great to see the red number get less worse each month. 😉 We were also under-budget on food for February, which has never happened before. Huzzah!

    1. Wow, under food budget? That’s impressive, MPP. I don’t know that I’ve even done that myself (I like to eat too much). 🙂

      Excellent job saving 50%!!

  4. Good post Michael….we’re planning out big trip for the year right now and I’m looking at the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. When you book the flight, do you that through the Chase site, or do you convert to airline miles first?

    Just curious, I’m fairly new to the travel hacking thing.

    1. Hey Mr. Tako, yeah I’m pretty new myself. This was our first cc in a long time. Anyhow, we booked straight through the Chase Travel Rewards site. It’s pretty good. We’d check for deals on Kayak first, and then compare on Chase’s site to make sure it was coming up with the same dollar costs. They didn’t have every option, but most of them were available.

      BTW, if you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the 100K points promo ends on the 12th of March and you have to do it in a Chase bank branch… so, if you want one, better hurry! 🙂

  5. Hawaii is on our travel bucket list. We have a two trips planned this year and are saving a ton of cash with some travel hacks. We would not being making the trips without this benefit. We had an all-around great February, productive on all fronts.

    1. Hey Brian, I hope you get to Hawaii sooner than later. You’ll love it! I’m glad to hear you’re getting in some other travel tho and hacking it up.

  6. I love Kauai. The vibe was so laid back when we visited. The snorkeling was awesome too.
    Yes, you should do a post on the French Laundry. It was an amazing experience when we went in ’02. I’m not sure if I’d splurge like that now that I’m living a frugal lifestyle. One of the best dining experience we’ve ever had. Enjoy!

    1. Hey Joe, we’ve never been to Kauai before, so we’re looking forward to that. Someday we’ll need to visit the big island too… I’d love to see an active volcano!

      Yeah, I’m pretty excited about the French Laundry. The last really over the top meal we had was in San Sebastian, Spain nearly 8 years ago. At least I’ll be able to write it off as a business expense! 🙂

  7. Just signed up for Chase Reserve. Wish I had travel hacked before we had kids though. Sometimes it requires more flexibility. I’ve generally used Ultimate points to transfer to Hyatt. For flights, I’ve often had issues getting direct flights with the miles. And I really prefer no layover with little kids!

    1. Cool, Andrew, glad you snagged one right before the 100K bonus evaporated! I’m not sure when we’ll see a deal like that again.

      Anyhow, you can certainly transfer points to other programs, but you will loose your ability to spend them at 1.5x’s.

      I did see fewer direct flights as you mentioned, but was still able to secure a few (my Panama flights, Hawaii, etc.).

  8. kauai trip was much refreshing with your wife I hope. The Chase sapphire reserved credit card would have been the factor for your refreshing happiness. Just kidding 🙂

  9. Hi Michael, thanks so much for sharing! Im at UPW really outstanding event. Also, I live 45 min away from New Orleans, moving there soon.
    Question, is your snapshot displaying the liabilities? Meaning, if I add a house of 500k to my networth and put 100k down, would my Personal capital dashboard show 400k as my as my networth or 500k?

    1. Hi Garbriel! I’m so jealous. I wish I was at UPW now. I was supposed to go with my wife this year, but it got sold out super early this year. Hope you’re having a stellar time.

      Anyhow, in answer to your question, it should come up in your net worth as $100k assuming you’re taking out a loan for the other $400k. Overtime, this $100k will fluctuate based on the value of the property going up or down.

      As a specific example, here’s how Personal Capital adds my primary home into my net worth snapshot…

      In personal capital I added in an asset for my primary home for $609k (this gets updated through Zillow’s home estimator). It also tracks the liability (the loan on the home) through the link with BOFA Home Loans for -$285k. So, $609k-$285k = $324k in equity we currently have in the home. This $324k is then added as part of our net worth snapshot with all other assets.

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