Another splendid month has passed, and with it came the end of 2016. We spent the month afar and abroad for the most part, visiting family and friends for the holidays.
And we ended the month much more wealthy than we thought we would!
We kept our expenses pretty low despite all of our travel, and we earned way more than we expected to for a few different reasons. As I’ve been saying to my husband for years: We’re rich!
Net worth is near the end of the post. Savings rate is in the middle. Income is…right here. Boom! Here you go!
My paycheck $3,300
Mr. Chedda's paycheck $3,616
Credit card bonus $112
Looks nice! Here are some details:
My paycheck is pretty constant, but December was that holiest of holy grails—a three-paycheck month for both of us—so I got paid half again as much as a usual month!
Mr. Chedda’s paycheck number was also unexpectedly high. He quit his job and his last day of work ended up being December 9, so we expected his last paycheck to be the second one of the month.
BUT Mr. Chedda’s trickiness knows no bounds! He asked his boss if he could put in for an indefinite medical leave of absence instead of officially quitting now, since he physically cannot do his job any longer. His boss was a big fan of the idea (I think it made him look better) so Mr. Chedda started the process.
BUT it turns out that the leave of absence administrators changed over at the end of 2016, so Mr. Chedda’s paperwork is taking a very long time to get processed and in a weird twist of fate they have to keep paying him until they decide his case.
So, we’re still getting his paycheck every two weeks! These last few have been much higher than his usual paychecks because he filled up his 401(k) by the end of October this year in anticipation of his uncertain job situation.
Every month for the past several years Mr. Chedda has received $1,200 from his generous parents. We never count on it, because they could stop giving it at any time, but it’s definitely a wonderful boost that goes straight to our investment pile.
If it makes you feel shoddy to see us getting a gift while you have to work hard for all the money you earn, I’m really sorry. I hate to wave it in people’s faces, but I also want to be forthright about where our money comes from.
If it helps, you can tell yourself that Mr. Chedda has always had a low-ish salary for a white collar worker in the DC area with several years of experience and you can imagine that this gift just bumps him up from his actual salary in the $40k-$50k range to an effective salary in the $60k-$70k range.
I consider seeking out and managing bank account and credit card bonuses a part time job. I’ve been backing off since the big bonanza for our free Hawaiian honeymoon trip, but we’re still reaping the rewards.
This month we cashed out about $112 in rewards points from a credit card bonus. They were the dregs of a pile of Barclays reward points we used to have, so we couldn’t use them on anything except statement credit. Free money, though!
We took home – $8,228.60
We spent – $2,966.44
We saved – $5,262.16 or 64% of our take home income this month!
That’s way higher than last month’s savings rate, but this month was a three-paycheck month so it makes sense.
The last couple of months have been great for investors! (At least for index fund investors. I really don’t know how any individual industries have been doing.) We’ve been raking in the money!
I was in Barcelona on December 31 without access to a computer, but I did check our net worth on the Mint app:
Boom! $317,718! How does our current net worth compare to what we had before? Let me pop that new net worth number into the handy R program I wrote for just this purpose (I also wrote a tutorial on how you can use it yourself!)…and:
And the zoomed in version (I’ll have to change the zoom for 2017):
You can see from the relative sparseness of data points that I didn’t track our net worth as compulsively in 2015, but I’m getting better. The amount of time between the points I plot is determined by the extremely precise, scientific method of recording my net worth whenever I check Mint and I feel like recording it.
I especially try to record a number whenever I hear that there’s been a big spike or dip in the stock market, so I can catch a lot of the noisiness of our investments in the graph.
We’re doing great on our $500k in 5 years goal! So far Mr. Chedda’s leave of absence from the paid workforce hasn’t hindered us at all, I guess because he actually hasn’t stopped being paid yet. We’ll see if it slows us down in the months to come.
In any case, we have enough saved up to cover $317,718/$2,966 = 107 months or almost 9 years of expenses at the rate we spent in December. That feels really, really good and it’s 10 months higher than the number from last month!
We ended the year with $317,718. Our goal from the $500k in 5 years plan was to end 2016 with $277,697. That means we’re $40,021 above our end of year goal!