The Big Scratch – February 2018 Net Worth Report

One of my foremost personal goals this year is to achieve a higher level of fitness. I live a sedentary life….really sedentary. I commute 3 hours per day, and then sit in an office chair in front of a computer for 10 hours. In the evenings, I have just enough time (about 1.5 hours) to eat dinner with my family, take a shower and read before bed.

Note: We only take showers every other night, so sometimes we play a quick game like dominos or mancala or watch TV for 30 minutes.

I have made up excuse after excuse why I can’t get in shape now, before FIRE. Some center around an old personal injury, so the type of exercise I do is limited (no high impact stuff like running). Most of these excuses center around time, and that is a real thing. This year, I am determined to make it a priority.

Since I spend the large majority of my time at work, I have decided try to get as much stairclimbing in without getting fired (not FIREd :)). I am starting slow, as it has been almost 6 months since I was getting regular exercise every day. Twice a day, I climb up and down 10 flights of stairs (2 flights, 5 times each) at over 11,000 feet elevation. After a couple of weeks, I will increase this amount. I hope to burn at least 500 calories per day.

Granted, I am not a heavy person to begin with, so I am not burning a huge amount of calories, but I am getting my heart rate up, building muscle and strengthening my core.

Afterwards, my brain is clearer and more focused. I guess this is a perk for my employer.

It also allows for more frequent hand washing, as I always hit the bathroom to wash my hands (they get super dirty using the stair rail). This has got to help me from getting sick.


But what about when I am not at work?

This is when most of my normal exercise occurs, but I need to do more. This means, more walking (we walk most everywhere, anyway). I also want to incorporate a regular yoga practice into my life.

Yoga is a great way to start or end the day and I have access to routines for both. The meditation component really can’t be ignored. I feel that it is as vital to my overall health as much as the physical stuff.

The Goal? I want to be fit when I start FIRE, not be struggling to get fit after FIRE. I want to be healthy and ready to go from the onset. Establishing these habits needs to start now.

No more limiting beliefs for me.


February 2018 Net Worth

We saw amazing growth to our net worth, over $36,000 in one month! I think I might throw up.

In January, I transferred $220 into my savings in an effort to bulk up the emergency fund. The emergency fund is in a Capital One 360 savings account which pays high-yield interest, currently at 1.0% APR.

Additionally, I made $7,131 in contributions to my tax-deferred and taxable accounts.

We have been saving like this for 3 years; now it is like clockwork. Paying ourselves first feels amazing, especially when the market is roaring!

Let’s check out the numbers!

The table shows the balance sheet for the beginning of the month January 2018 and February 2018.

Year-end results

Net worth in January 2018 was $841,313.

January 2018 to February 2018 difference = $36,478! This total includes:

 Increase/decrease in home equity = $673

Investment and cash contributions = $7,351

Earnings/losses = $28,454


Investment Contributions

Our financial savings goal for 2018 is $92,190. It includes investing the maximum to the 401k, Traditional IRA, Health Savings account and the brokerage account. Dividend payments are automatically reinvested.

*Nearly 100% invested in low-fee index funds (VTSAX – Vanguard)


In January, we contributed to:

*My employer contributes a match of 10% of my base salary to the 401k. My contributions to these accounts are automatically deducted from my paycheck. I never even noticed it’s gone.



Savings Rate

Our net income savings rate goal for 2018 is 70%. A high savings rate can be reached through decreased spending and/or by increasing income.


In January, we realized a net income savings rate of 64%! In 2017, we achieved a SR of over 69%, just under the goal of 70%. We are off to a great start this year!

Savings rate on net income is calculated by Total Saved + Mortgage Principal paid divided by Total Income minus taxes.

NISR = Total Saved + Mortgage Principal / Total Income – Taxes


Investment Income

Our net worth minus our home equity is $607,964. These funds are held in equities and a minor amount in cash. These monies will provide passive income during our FIRE (Financial Independence/ Retire Early) years along with income from our rental property.

ER accounts include Roth and traditional IRA, brokerage and cash


We will consider FIRE when our investments and cash reserves equal $937,424, each bucket is fulland the rental property is paid off. This conservative goal allows us a safe withdrawal rate of 3.5% assuming we need $32,800 investment income per year. We will also have an annual profit of $7,200 from the rental property bringing our allowable annual retirement spending to $40,000.

We aim to live off of $35,ooo or less in retirement so this FI goal should allow flexibility.


January saw great growth, but are you ready for the stock sale February might bring?


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