The Big Scratch – September 2017 Net Worth Report

As mentioned in last month’s Big Scratch, we had a garage sale to help cover the cost of some home maintenance this fall. We made a whopping $255! This should cover a 5-gallon can of paint and some brushes.

Luckily, we also have a friend who has a summer business washing windows. Since he will be starting his winter gig soon, he offered us use of all his ladders, power washer, and sander. This should save us significantly in rental fees.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Community is an effective wealth preserver!

School’s In

Speaking of community, we received bags of hand-me-down clothes from friends with older children, so Little Miss is in Heaven with all the “new” clothes!

Her favorite? A bra.

Kill me now. We have put restrictions on the bra wearing but she is completely obsessed.

She runs home from school every day to put it on. She struts around the house, stares a herself in the mirror. Last night she asks, “Mom, did you noticed I am wearing my bra?”

It. Is. Nonstop.

This past weekend she asked, “How old were you when you starting wearing a bra?”

Me: “34.”

I guess when you buy children’s clothes, at least you have some control over what is in the bag.


Rest in Peace

In sadder news, a close friend died. I don’t even know how to talk about Joe yet without breaking down.

It wasn’t a tragic death. He lived with COPD for the last 15 years and finally succumbed. Years ago, we used to sit and drink coffee every afternoon at the dive bar in town (it is really less “divey” and more “historic”).

He called me when my child was born. I lived 700 miles away. His picture hangs in my foyer and, on the way to bed I say, “Good-night, Joe.”

The other day, I talked to his widow and she acknowledged our special relationship. Truth is, I haven’t talked to Joe much for the last few years as his health was declining. I was caught up in the busyness of my own life. We never got to have that last cup of coffee.

Joe would be proud of the path we are currently on. In his own way, he always liked to stick it to the man. He would recognize that this journey is about freedom, not money. I can still hear his laugh (followed by a lot of coughing, of course).



September 2017 Net Worth

After substantial gains in the stock market, growth in August was stagnant. By having a high savings rate, we essentially smooth the ride and any drops are mostly insignificant. Like clockwork, we pay ourselves first every month. It has paid off year after year. The sooner you get started, the sooner it will pay off for you too!

Let’s check out the numbers!




The table shows the balance sheet for the beginning of the month August 2017 and September 2017.

Year-to-date results

Net worth in January 2017 was $663,042.

January 2017 to September 2017 difference = $108,249! This total includes:

Increase/decrease in home equity = $5,233

Investment contributions = $61,085

Earnings/losses = $41,931


Investment Contributions

Our financial savings goal for 2017 is $83,042. It includes investing the maximum to the 401k, Traditional IRA, Health Savings account and the brokerage account.

This has become a stretch goal for us due to a lower than expected raise and bonus. Regardless, I am going to continue to aim for it and find some ways to generate additional income this year.

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


In August, 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 2017 is 70%. A high savings rate can be reached through decreased spending and/or by increasing income.


In August, we realized a net income savings rate of 68%! Cumulatively for the year, we have a SR of 67%.

Despite taking two, week long vacations this year, we continue to keep our expenditures low. Soon, our savings rate will achieve the 70% range.

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

NISR = Total Saved + Mortgage Principal / Total Income – (Taxes + Charitable Giving)


Investment Income

Our net worth minus our home equity is $504,806. We just broke the half-million dollar mark! 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.


I am now officially a half-millionaire! Somebody pinch me!


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2 Responses to The Big Scratch – September 2017 Net Worth Report

  1. Raman K says:

    Congrats on the milestone! Keep up the great work!

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