Another quarter in the books! Every three months, I’ll be taking a look at my personal finances, recent news from The Best Interest, and more dog pictures.
Here are my previous quarterly updates:
Why share this info? To brag?! No way!
I want to be transparent. I practice what I preach and want to show you the results—both good and bad. Many of you have said that seeing my progress helps you gain confidence in your financial life.
And also, I want to show you dog pictures 🙂
This quarter was unique. My life changed in a couple big ways. The markets were volatile. And this all rippled through my finances.
Spending and Income
In January, February, and March, I spend $3534, $3800, and $3632, respectively. That’s an average of $3659 per month. This number is slowly creeping higher, and I’m not a big fan of that!
Yes, my gasoline bill is up. I spent $208 per month instead of my usual $113. Part of this is higher prices, but most of it is my new commute. (more on my career change below).
But mainly, I think my increased spending is from “leaks.” An unused subscription here. A nonchalant Amazon purchase there. I can tighten the ship if need be.
Another post-tax “expense” is the $500/month going to my Roth IRA. Including those dollars, my outflow for the past three months was $12,446.
Importantly, however, my net primary income for the past three months was $12,900 (after-tax, after 401k deductions, after benefits, etc.). My income is greater than my expenses. I’m cashflow positive. That’s important.
The Best Interest
The Best Interest had an interesting quarter of income as well. This is all thanks to Money Mastermind, the book that I wrote with 30 other financial expert friends!
The book recently passed $27,000 in gross sales. Almost 100% of that money has gone to either 1) the cost of creating the book or 2) profit-sharing for all 30 authors.
But a small slice of that $27,000 went to The Best Interest. And having a business that creates revenue is pretty cool! That revenue covered all business costs for the quarter and then provided about $200 profit.
FYI, you can get an e-book copy here. Use code JESSE for 30% off.
…or get a hardcopy from Amazon here.
We covered that I’m cashflow positive. But my net worth is down for the quarter.
This is due to investing. Yes, markets can go down. This is the flip-side of the intrinsic investing relationship between risk and reward.
|New Investment Principal||+$3300|
I didn’t lose the money, per se. Because I haven’t sold the investments that are down. I haven’t locked in my losses.
But this past quarter shows the true cost of investing. It’s a psychological cost! It’s mentally uncomfortable to think that my investments decreased by $13,800 while my take-home pay was $13,100.
The true test: do I regret being invested?
This type of drop is what I’ve been reading about, learning about, and preparing for…for years! It’s never fun to see the numbers go down. But I continued investing nonetheless during this quarter, plowing more money (Roth IRA, 401k) into the market, even as it dropped.
And to be fair, this quarter wasn’t that bad! At its worst, the S&P 500 was down 13% off all-time highs. This was a small correction, not a big crash.
But the major message for you is this: investments can (and will) go down. All investors should pound that into their heads. Over, and over, and over.
If that makes you nervous, that’s ok! Your portfolio risk level should reflect how you feel. But it does not mean you should avoid investing altogether.
Plenty of fun updates here.
I already mentioned Money Mastermind. It’s a ~300-page personal finance and investing book, featuring content from 30 different expert authors.
You can read more about it here.
Teaching Financial Literacy
I (finally) started teaching financial literacy. I cover some basics, but also tailor the content to whomever I’m speaking too. And yes, I try to make it as entertaining as I can!
Best Articles This Quarter
Here are my 3 favorite articles from this quarter:
12 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor. A list meant for normal folks who aren’t sure how to discern a helpful advisor from a predatory shark.
The Madness of Forecasting. Combining some personal stories with the craziness of market predictions.
Break Glass in Case of Market Crash. Inspired by Jason Zweig, I wrote myself a letter to read when the stock market (inevitably) crashes.
I’m running another “monkeys throwing darts to pick stocks” competition.
Here’s this year’s breakdown.
And here’s the current status.
We had one foster dog this quarter. A young pup named Cubby stayed with us for a full six weeks. Check out his before and after pictures below. That’s the same red sweater…
Cubby is now living in his forever home in greater Rochester, and there are two young kids there for him to grow with!
Sadie’s been good too. She’s been loving the spring sniff-aris (a safari for the nose). We have a big park nearby where we keep her on an electric collar (just in case she bolts). Being off-leash gives her free reign to sniff everything, jogging ahead or falling behind us as she sees fit.
As usual, these dogs are a wonderful addition to our life. If you’re looking to add a dog to your life, adopt a foster!
I’ll write the next update in June. Here’s to a great spring!
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Want to learn more about The Best Interest’s back story? Read here.
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