A pretty slick comeback yesterday!
But wasn’t so hot days earlier when I finally logged in to update it…
Here was a live action shot of me at the time, lol:
The numbers didn’t come out good, but they also weren’t TOO terrible?!
I think I always build it up WAYYYYY too much in my head that everything’s crashing and burning and I’ll log into like 50% down investments, but then whenever I actually check it’s only down a fraction of those numbers so I end up coming away pleasantly surprised…
So my over-fear basically squashes my *normal* fear and then I come out feeling okay in the end :)
Of course, none of this even really “counts” until the day you go to cash it out anyways, but it’s still pretty nerve-racking to live through despite how logical you are or aren’t.
So just a reminder that if you were a little freaked last week – or still are today – just know you’re not alone! It affects the best of us! And just repeat to yourself over and over again that YOU’RE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL!
It also might help you feel better knowing the next time you go to pick up some more funds they’ll be on quite the discount ;) So it’s not totally bad, right?!
But if you need a little more encouragement, try this idea too from my friend David Damron:
I’m thinking about including “controllable” / “uncontrollable” calculations into my monthly net worth spreadsheet – controllable being mortgage pay down, contributions, savings versus uncontrollable being market growth/fall – that way I stay motivated in down times by my actions
An excellent way to put things in perspective more! Especially if your net worth relies heavy on market swings than it does your own contributions, which of course is a good problem to have really.
So instead of just looking at that *one number* at the end of the month, try breaking it down like David suggests and see if that makes you feel any better.
Here’s how it looks if I do it for February:
Things in our control last month:
- Spent less than we earned!
- Put less on c/c for the month
- Paid off more of our mortgage!
- Maxed out my SEP IRA: $12,000
- Created, and maxed out, my Traditional IRA: $6,000 (we made too much to contribute to a ROTH last year due to selling BAS)
- Created, and maxed out, the Mrs’ Traditional IRA: $6,000
- Threw extra money into our brokerage account: $5,000
(Now I’ll admit I WAS trying to time the market for the *best day* to drop in all those investments, so the second I saw the market crashing I dumped it all in thinking I was a genius, only to then watch it drop day in and day out for the entirety of the week and putting me in my place again ;) I really shouldn’t even try anymore, haha…)
Things outside of our control last month:
- Markets implode: -$70,000
- Storm door breaks in wind storm: (still looking for a replacement – $500?!)
Not the *best* thing to see, but a LOT better when I focus on that top half there and see all those wins compared to the big red scary numbers… We made some pretty great headway with the things we had control over, and the rest, well, was totally outside our control! And at the end of the day we can only do so much…
So maybe try this out for yourself and see if it helps calm your nerves any? You could easily just add a few extra lines to the bottom of your spreadsheet, or into an “info” tab or something for the month. Here are a few templates you can practice on too from spreadsheets we’ve made over the years:
- The “Budget/Net Worth” spreadsheet – the original version of the one I’ve used for years
- The “Money Snapshot” spreadsheet – a simple template I created for my former money coaching clients
- The “Early Retirement” Spreadsheet – a quick and dirty way to track your progress towards FIRE (there’s also a second version with help from Go Curry Cracker: Early Retirement Spreadsheet v2)
In the meantime, just keep doing your best to stay collected! It’s scary out there, but if you believe in your PLAN there’s no need to change anything up!
Just a matter of finding ways to keep your self sane as the world around you is in complete chaos ;) It’s quite possible those Preppers might be onto something (and having a field day right now!), but for now I choose to believe in mankind and continue staying the course…
I hope you’re able to find peace in your strategy as well!
PS: while we don’t say it much here on this blog, or in other FIRE circles for that matter, remember that it’s also OKAY to change your plans too if you find the market turmoil is too much for you! There’s plenty of other areas to invest in outside of the stock market, but just make sure it’s TRULY a personality thing and not just cold feet :) This is the first time many of us have had to go through something like this, so if deep down you find it’s not for you, that’s totally fine! Just make sure you’re investing *somewhere* so over time you still have the magic of compounding working for you and you don’t end up doing it the hard way… It takes a while to finally nail down a strategy you’re comfortable with! But keep trying!