Net Worth Report #11 “Legs Eleven”

Holy schmoley! My wife and I spent $537 on gas last month. 

At an average price of $4 per gallon, that works out to about 134 gallons of fuel…

And since our Prius averages ~44 miles per gallon, we must have driven about 5,907 miles in the month of July. Hot dang!

(Hang on a sec, that can’t be right… OK, maybe there were a few snack food or energy drink purchases at these gas stations that are throwing off my numbers. But still, that’s a crap ton of driving for just 1 month!)

We did have fun though…

Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park!

Jackson Lake, Grand Tetons

Yours truly, ripping it on a slalom ski on Flathead Lake, Montana

Other massive spendings in July…

  • We paid our tax guy $695 to file our 2020 tax return. (It’ll be a few months before we see our ~$1k refund check probably)
  • We prepaid 6 months of our cell phone bills, costing $540. (We’re on a family plan, paying $90 per month for 2 lines with unlimited everything.)
  • We spent $1,027 on groceries, $537 on restaurants, as well as $776 on beer/wine. Ouch! This is about double our usual monthly numbers… But, traveling means more expensive food shopping, drinking and eating, so this was to be expected.
  • Car services, washes and parking passes set us back $258.

All in all it was a pretty expensive month!

Net Worth as of Aug 1, 2021: $721,633 (+$3,562)

Woohoo! Even with a massive hit to our checking account, we were still able to eke out a $3,500 increase to our overall net worth from our investments.

As for that little +$875 note in blue? More on that below…

Our  real estate syndication is paying dividends!

Back in March my wife and I bought into a real estate syndication. Our initial investment was $50,000 and the project will make us money two ways:

  1. Quarterly distributions: We are expecting $875 per quarter (works out to be $3,500 per year, which is 7% return on our $50k investment). This is just year 1 expectations… the dividend will likely go up slightly in years 2,3,4 and 5.
  2. Profit on sale: Eventually, somewhere around year ~5, the apartment complex will be sold. We’ll get our $50k initial investment back, as well as profit sharing from whatever additional value the building sells for.

One of the downsides of positive cashflow real estate is that there’s no good way to reinvest the dividends. All the distributions are paid in cash → that’s why I added an arrow paying into our checking account. This is great for people who live off of cashflow. But for my wife and I, we will just be investing the dividends into our brokerage account when we get them.

Detailed Account Breakdown

Cash Accounts: $31,321 (-$3,521): I’m still working out the details to dump our emergency fund into the stock market. I’ve been working on a wacky idea recently about opening a Solo Roth 401(k) with TD Ameritrade. Ideally, I’d like to invest our cash in some type or Roth, instead of our regular brokerage account. More to come on this!

Rental Property + Reserve Account: $243,594 (+$767): Here is how the property made us money last month:

$1,975  —  Incoming rent

(-$140)  —  Property mgmt fees

(-$245) — Commission for lease renewal

(-$160)  —  Maintenance, repairs, lawn care

(-$663)  —  Mortgage principal + interest

$767  —  Total account gain this month

Woot woot! In other good news, this rental cost me ZERO man hours to manage this month. It’s our favorite property, and we’re planning to keep it long term. (Not part of the rental properties we are selling)

Real Estate Syndication: $50,000: As I mentioned above, we got an $875 distribution check, which went to our checking account. :)  We’ll invest this when we move a chunk of cash from our checking account later this month.

IRA – Rollover: $182,349 (+$145): Just a teeny weeny bit of growth here. Since we’re not contributing regularly to traditional retirement accounts, this asset relies completely on market growth.

IRA – Roths: $96,742 (+$1,720): Cheers to tax free growth! It would be awesome to top $100k in these accounts by the end of the year!

Joint Brokerage Account: $234,052 (+$2,733): This account we did pump up by $50k a couple months ago with proceeds from the last rental property sale. Feels good to see it growing immediately — stock market growth is soooo much easier than rentals. :)

HSA: $4,594 (+$81): It doesn’t matter if it’s $81 or 81 cents… growth is growth, and I’m thankful for all of it!

Breakdown of Liabilities

Rental Property Mortgage: -$120,572 (+$246): Someone dropped the idea of paying down this mortgage a little using our emergency fund — it would be a guaranteed and immediate return. It’s a great idea. But, my wife and I are still comfortable with debt and believe investing our cash in the stock market will make more sense in the long run. So for now, this mortgage remains the way it is, slowly being paid down by our tenants!

Credit Card Balances: -$447 (+$1,391): We hammered our credit cards this past month. But, we pay off everything in full, every month, before any interest is owed… We really only use credit cards to collect rewards points!

My wife and I have no other consumer debt at this time. 😎

How did you guys and gals fair this past month? Cheers to killer August!

Happy Friday!

– Joel

Ok, one last photo… This is wifey and I celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary! CHEERS 🥂

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  1. Glasses Guy August 6, 2021 at 7:54 AM

    Congrats on the wedding anniversary! Looks like you guys had a great time celebrating! And your travels looked to be a blast as well! Your month of July looked a lot like our month of June when we drove to Florida for 2 weeks and our gas/food bills were unusually high. We also had some car repairs to take care of as well. Our net worth was barely up, which was a great feeling because it *felt* like we were hemorrhaging cash the whole month!

    I have been thinking about your plan for your emergency fund, and I took ours down to roughly 2.5 months of living expenses and I am putting the balance in our brokerage. All our tax advantaged accounts are already maxed out for the year. I am going to just put it in a total stock market index fund. Interested to see what you end up deciding to do with yours.

    1. Joel August 6, 2021 at 12:09 PM

      Hey GG! Congrats on your progress, and nice to hear about your emergency fund plans. I didn’t think that post would be so well received, but I guess others have come to similar conclusions. Anyway, I’ll let you know when we dump the cash. It will most likely be VTI… but I’m justr trying to figure out what account to stuff it into. :)

  2. Zach L. August 6, 2021 at 1:48 PM

    I love net worth reports from people. It helps me find new things to try out, like Real Estate Syndications (specially not as an accredited investor).

    Thanks for this!

    1. Joel August 6, 2021 at 2:26 PM

      Hey Zach, happy Friday! Yep, it’s fun to see where everyone puts their money and learn about various investment vehicles. I also like watching how things change over time as people’s priorities shift in life :)

  3. Dragon Guy August 6, 2021 at 3:37 PM

    Wow, 5,900 miles last month…very impressive. Thank goodness for the Prius!

    I set up a Solo 401(k) with TD Ameritrade last year. There was a lot of paperwork and I had to actually wire in my initial contribution as they didn’t accept ACH. Wires? What year is this?! But otherwise it has been easy to deal with. I like with the Solo 401(k) how you can have an employer and and an employee piece (although the employer piece cannot be Roth).

    1. Joel August 6, 2021 at 6:24 PM

      Hey DG! I’ve been researching both TD and E*Trade for the Solo 401k. And honestly I think E*Trade is the winner at this point! Given my low income level (and our low-ish saving rate), I think personal contributions is all we can do this year. So I won’t be doing “employer” matching I don’t think.

      Curious, did you do Roth 401k contributions or just regular 401k? Cheers!

  4. Impersonal Finances August 7, 2021 at 1:16 PM

    I got hit hard by the same categories last month–eating and drinking! Lots of restaurants and lots of boozy outings. Taking advantage of the outside world while I can (hopefully no more shutdowns looming).

    Looks like an awesome month! Yellowstone has been on my list for a while.

    1. Joel August 8, 2021 at 9:36 AM

      Yellowstone was great. Smokey, but great. It was pretty packed too, I think most national parks and camping spots are this year because everyone has the same idea :)

      Cheers to a more frugal rest of the year!

  5. FreshLifeAdvice August 11, 2021 at 4:52 PM

    Happy Anniversary! I never heard of Real Estate Syndication until you introduced me to it – 7% return and the money is returned once the complex is sold. That’s ideal! Cheers to an ever-growing net worth!

    1. Joel August 11, 2021 at 6:42 PM

      Cheers! Yep, this one should be a 7% return, as well as extra proceeds at time of sale. But, I should probably note that I heavily research and thoroughly vet the deals and partnerships before investing. Good deals are definitely out there – but not every deal is a slam dunk :)

  6. John August 31, 2021 at 9:50 AM

    Love the breakdowns! I’ve tracked my stuff in YNAB over the past 3 years and have started to do my own personal tracking since I saw your road to 1 million post.

    1. Joel August 31, 2021 at 10:41 AM

      Awesome! I’ve heard good things about YNAB but never used it myself.