GYFG here checking in for the June monthly financial report. If you have been reading these reports for a while you will notice that I introduce each month with the same intro month after month. I do this for two reasons; a) for the newbies to the site (which make up about 50% of the sites traffic); and b) to remind everyone what these reports are all about. By all means if you have read the intro at least once, then please feel free to skip down to the “Summary of June 2016” section where the new content begins (click the orange link to be taken there automatically).
For those of you that are new around this corner of the internet, I wanted to fill you in as to what these reports are all about. These monthly reports are about full transparency. They are just as much for me as they are for you. It’s a hard decision to make all of your financial details public, but it’s also a very motivating one. It’s not just the post, but the process of putting this post together that really benefits me.
My sincere hope is that my transparency will inspire you to take the helm of your own financial ship and be intentional with its direction. I truly believe that anyone can reach financial freedom, if they are willing to do things differently. If you earn an average salary and have an average savings rate, then you can expect an average result! That means you will likely have to work at a job you may or may not enjoy until you’re 65 and then maybe you can retire IF you’re lucky.
Hey, there is nothing wrong with average. If you’re happy with average, then by all means keep doing what everyone else is doing. Not sure how you feel about that, but I have no interest in living an average life. I want EXTRAORDINARY.
Most people don’t want to live below their means in order to reach FINANCIAL FREEDOM, because that’s painful. They think it involves cutting out all the joy in life. You know what I’m talking about, those financial gurus that tell you that in order to get rich you need to cut out the $5 lattes and stop going out to eat. Then after 40 years of diligent and above average savings and super low spending, you will be a millionaire. Basically, you have to live like a college student and suppress all the things you want to do in life and then when you’re old you will be rich.
Okay, that doesn’t sound like the plan for me either.
The good news is there is another way. This site and these reports are here to show you the OTHER path to financial freedom. There is a way where you can have your cake and eat it too. I believe and hope that over time I will be able to convince you of the following:
In order to reach financial freedom you can choose to live below your means by cutting expenses to the bone and living in a state of scarcity or you can expand your means and live in a state of abundance by increasing your income and enjoying the $5 latte or other indulgence of your choice.
Not only that, but if you’re diligent you can reach financial freedom a lot sooner than anyone has ever led you to believe.
Our Mission Statement:
To Humanize Finance, Build Wealth, and Reach Financial Freedom.
I know I don’t have to publish my juicy details every month, but it’s important to me that you know that I put my money where my mouth is (because not that many finance blogs or people giving financial advice do this). I publish all of my financial details not to brag, but instead to show you what is working as well as what’s not working. Sometimes finance can get pretty dense, but I think real life examples and numbers can help slice through the complexities (and BS). Personally, I have always enjoyed the financial reports put out by other bloggers around the blogosphere.
As always, you can find all my previous reports on the Financial Stats page (as well as annual trends and a few other financial metrics not found on this report). In these monthly reports the plan is to give you a month over month update on Gross Income, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth, Expenses, Contributions, Savings Rate, and progress on the mortgage pay down goal.
Summary of June 2016
Wonder how I pull all this information together every month?
We use Personal Capital to aggregate and consolidate our transactions from across all of our financial accounts (checking, savings, retirement, credit cards, mortgages, HSA, and other investment accounts). At the end of the month I then drop that information into my financial stats spreadsheet in order to produce this (beautiful) monthly report.
Tracking your finances is, in my opinion, the best way to stay on top of your finances. You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. You can’t make informed decisions if you don’t know what you having coming in vs. going out. Without a holistic view of how much you spend every month, there’s no way to set savings, debt repayment, or investment goals. It’s a financial freedom must!
If you don’t have a FREE account with Personal Capital, stop reading and go sign up for your account right now! (Seriously, this financial update will be here when your done. There’s no time like the present to take action. You will thank me later!)
Month Over Month Financial Summary
Just three things to point out in case you missed it:
- Cash was up a nice 17.9% in June as our spending was lower and we received about $3,600 in reimbursements.
- The value of our cars was taken down by -25.6% or almost $7K. Even though this hurts net worth, I enjoyed reducing their value, as it continues to represent a smaller and smaller percentage of our net worth.
- Our Real Estate holdings increased $11,521 or almost 2%, this was do to updating the value of our condo from $193,479 to $205,000. The previous value was held forward for 16 months and we have continued to see similar units in the complex sell for over $200K for the past 6 months, with the most recent selling in May for $215,000.
What went down in June?
Last month I adjusted the forecast up to $22,000 and we came short by about $900. Mrs. GYFG continues to blow her numbers out of the water bringing in an additional $5,000 in income again this month (that’s 6 for 6 for anyone keeping track).
Here is a look at the trend for the last 13 months:
I updated the 2016 forecast, and it’s now forecasting gross income of $312,470 for 2016 ( I still think we will actually come in closer to $315K or more). If you’ve read my blueprint for how I plan to reach $10M, you will notice that we have jumped about 6 years ahead of schedule on the income front.
I didn’t have us at this earning level until 2021 in the original blueprint…which will obviously need to be updated (probably sometime later this year).
The Juicy Details
- Previous Month: $22,325
- Difference: -$1,201
Now where did all that money go?
I have come to the realization that there are always going to be unplanned expenses. Our goal is to save 50% of our income and live off and enjoy the difference guilt free. With that type of rule governing our financial life, it is a free pass to inflate our lifestyle, but only proportional to our income. You can see prior financial reports here. We do however try to line up expenses with expected income as much as possible.
Since we are at the end of Q2, rather than talk to the month over month variance, I thought it would be worth wild to take a look at a year to date analysis comparing spending through Q2 vs. Budget.
Notes on Q2 YTD Results:
1 – Income was up $19K or 12.6% over the plan. Both Mrs. GYFG and I are having a fantastic year, enough said!
2 – House Mortgage & HOA This is due to the cash-in refinance we just completed in April. We refinanced our 5/5 ARM at 3.625% into a 3/1 ARM at 2.25%. We didn’t have a mortgage payment due in May.
3 – Home Improvement If you recall the Q1 updated I did in March you may remember we were almost $5,000 ahead of budget, which I chucked up to timing from front loading Q1. As you can see we have now swung the other direction and now have a $2,070 favorable variance. Our budget for the year is $12,000. Being that it is summer and then we slide into the holiday’s it now looks like this category will likely come in under budget (lots of commitments back half of the year, thus the front loading).
4 – Shopping & Other This is really a slop account that picks up all the odds and ends. This should be partially offset by the favorable variances from T&E, Home Improvement, and Health & Fitness. Things have been busy and I have gotten a little lazy at changing classifications that Personal Capital doesn’t automatically classify based on my preferred categories.
As expected, when we looked at Q1, the unfavorable variance in spending has been self healing with time. At the end of March we were ahead of budget on spending by $9,503 and are now only ahead by $6,667. I expect this gap to continue to narrow through the end of the year and to be on or below our spending budget.
Here is the trend for the last 13 months:
I have now changed the chart to reflect the add-back of loan amortizations to reflect what I call “real spending” above. This is done because amortizations are really just a balance sheet transfer from cash to pay down liabilities, it has no impact to net worth.
It’s nice to see expenses trend down while income continues to trend up!!!
CALL OUT: It is crazy how slippery money can be. Because of this I totally recommend you automate as much of your finances as possible, especially the saving and investing piece. We set our financial goals at the beginning of the year and then automate the process of reaching them.
Our mortgage payment is automatically set up to pay $1,600 in additional principal.This will be put on hold until further notice (see below)
- My 401K contribution is automatically deducted at a rate that will ensure I max out by year end ($18,000)
- My HSA contribution is automatically deducted at a rate that will ensure I max out by year end ($6,750)
All of these things take priority over any spending that we do in a given month. We monitor expenses but don’t really manage them. Instead we manage savings and investments and let the expenses work themselves out.
Below is how we’re tracking to our goal of saving 50% of our after tax income.
You can see that although our goal for the year is 50%, we bounce all over the place on a monthly basis.
So far in 2016 we are still on target to hit our goal of 50% (we’re actually now looking to beat it by 1%).
Speaking of savings rate, have you checked out my post where I mathematically prove the importance of your savings rate as a higher priority than the compound return? If you’re trying to build wealth quickly, then you have to read this post.
Net Worth and Mortgage Pay Down Update
My ultimate goal is to build up a Net Worth of $10M returning 6% a year or $50,000/month in gross income (at the end of June we are officially 4.0% there). Don’t freak out, this is only about $5.5M in today’s dollars when you take into account a 3% inflation rate.
I am not anywhere close to a 7-figure net worth yet (or what some refer to as the double comma club). However, it is growing at a very respectable rate (just take a look in the side bar for growth at a glance). If you want to see how I plan to get there you can read all about it here (soon to be reviewed and updated at some point).
June Net Worth $399,946 (this puts us up $82,220 or 25.9% vs. 2015 with 6 months to go)
- Previous month: $383,167
- Difference: +$16,780
Since publishing the first financial report we have been able to post 18 consecutive months of positive gains to Net Worth. Let’s see how long we can continue this trend. The larger the number becomes (and the more invested we become), the more difficult it will be to continue this trend.
Net Worth Component Break Down:
With the refinance closing in April, our primary residence has crossed a threshold over our target of 25% or less of net worth (as of June, now 24% of net worth). This means we will be discontinuing our additional principal payments until we can dilute this number to reduce our concentration risk (would like to get this well under 20% before resuming). This doesn’t really effect the pay down goal, as the refinance forced us to bring in enough cash to satisfy our scheduled extra payments through April of 2017.
Speaking of net worth, the next 3 months should bring some very healthy increases. We are currently forecasting an increase of about $38,000 over the next 3 months. We are currently on track to increase net worth by $140K in 2016 vs. our original goal of $112K.
Something I have been thinking about and worth pointing out is that our net worth was actually negative to the tune of almost -$300K back in early 2009, so we have come a long way in a relative short period of time. Until now I had only reported our ending net worth from 2012. I am thinking up a post that would give the full story of how we started so negative right out of college and how we have improved it so dramatically in such a short period of time (it’s on the list). I mention the first drag in this post about our investment condo.
Note: I think people tend to glaze over the fact that the savings rate plays a much bigger role in increasing your net worth than the rate of return on your investments (in the early days of your journey). In the short term, savings rate has a bigger impact on net worth. The goal is to eventually build a big enough asset base that the gains from compounding will eventually outpace the gains from savings. Actually, check out the post I recently wrote: Savings Rate – The Most Important Variable to Wealth Building [and the math to prove it]
Progress On Our Mortgage Payoff Goal
You can read about our strategy to pay off our mortgage in 7 years (and 3 months). When you break it down and follow the 3 simple rules, it’s not as hard as it sounds. We bought our house in February of 2014 and then refinanced it into a 5/5 ARM in September of 2014 to remove PMI and free up cash-flow to put towards the principal and keep us on track to pay the mortgage off at an accelerated pace. We have since refinanced again into a 3/1 ARM at 2.25%, which has freed up almost $400/month.
The progress chart above shows how much of our goal we have completed. The goal completion percentage is up 0.1% vs. May.
This goal will move a bit slower over the next few months as we work to reduce the concentration of our net worth in this area. We should be able to get it well below 20% by January of 2017.
I hope these reports inspire and move you to action. Don’t take a passive role in your finances and hope for the best. There is a famous Jim Rohn quote that I think everyone should keep in mind:
If you don’t plan your future, somebody else will. And you know what they have planned for you? NOT MUCH!
You have to be intentional with your finances if you ever want a fighting chance to make it to financial freedom. It doesn’t have to take 40-50 years of slaving away for the man before you have the option to retire. I personally think that 15-20 years is really all you need, and for the folks that are more aggressive (i.e. extremely frugal, not us) or very high earners you can probably reach financial independence in 10 years or less (maybe us, it’s yet to be seen but income is our focus vs. expenses).
I am looking forward to chatting with you all in the comments below. How was your month? Also, if you have a blog, I encourage you to write a monthly financial report and come back here and share the link. I would love to be part of your support and accountability.
One last thing before we go. If you are new or even if you’re not new and you have been wanting a more guided tour of the blog, I finally launched a “Start Here” page. I highly recommend you check it out.
– Gen Y Finance Guy
Oh, you’re still reading.
Do you want to help keep our lights on? You’re under no obligation, but if you were already thinking about it or were a little bit curious, why not help us out?
Here are a few ways you can help us out:
- Personal Capital – You know how big I am on tracking my finances, that’s why I totally recommend Personal Capital’s FREE software that helps you see all your financial accounts in one secure and convenient place (checking, savings, investments, and retirement accounts). Without a tool like Personal Capital, these reports would take 2-3 times as long to complete. You want to track your income? Your expenses? How about your Net Worth (who doesn’t like watching that bad boy climb). Just sign up and link your accounts today. Absolutely FREE to you!
- Prosper or Lending Club – Lending to consumers is a great industry that’s produced profits year after year for a handful of banks. Now with Prosper, you as the investor get unprecedented access to this market. My personal P2P portfolio is earning over 5%. Open a FREE investment account today!
- TD Ameritrade – They are hands down the best broker for the retail investor. TD Ameritrade provides a number of investing platforms that are more robust than any other platform I have ever used. My particular favorite is the “Think or Swim” platform. Oh, and did I mention that they have over 100 ETFs that you can trade commission FREE?
- Blue Host – Have we inspired you to create your own blog? Well let me save you some money. This is the hosting company that I use for this blog. It is stupid cheap and the customer service is amazing. The normal price is $5.99/month, but if you use this link you will get a 34% discount (only $3.99/month). It took me less than 5 minutes to buy my domain, install wordpress, and get the first version of this site up and running.
OR you can check out our Recommended Products and Resources page.
Another excellent month! Congrats!
Two notes: in your “Notes on Q2 YTD Results” section, you say income is up 91k – I think you meant 19k.
Under “Net Worth and Mortgage Pay Down Update” you have May Net Worth – but I think you meant June Net Worth.
I wish income was up $91K 🙂
Thanks for letting me know about the corrections…they have since been made 🙂
I wish I still had my editor to read through these things. Time is just so slim right now..
If you’re looking for a new one, I’m available 😉 It is a huge chunk of what I do for a living.
Pingback: The Net Worth of Personal Finance Bloggers
Great progress! congrats.
Thanks XYZ! We are trying to work it hard. We have one more big push in July and then growth will level off until January of next year.
very nice now starting to see the MOM jumps that I was anticipating!
I am up to $547k, but that’s as of today. I realize your posts are as of July 1st so I always update about 2 weeks after you do :D.
Zillow now has my condo listed at $925k which I believe to be roughly fully valued. My net worth jumps should definitely start to slow down a bit from here.
One scary thought is about $120k of my $200k annual net worth increase this year has been from my condo…without that you’d be seriously nipping at my heels. I will have to turn things around soon here as I can’t count on the condo all the way to a mil 🙂
Hey Sean – $547K is awesome! Can’t believe that your Condo alone has picked up $120K…seriously consider selling and buying a little mega mention over here in my neck of the woods with the profits 🙂
Our net worth is up $82K for the year so far. $62K of that is through savings/debt pay down and the other $20K is from asset appreciation, dividends, and interest.
Right now the forecast has us ending the year around $457K at the end of December and over $500K by end of January. Although I don’t know the details just yet, by end of year with the promotion and perks and pay that come with that, 2017 should be an amazing year.
Keep stacking those Benjamins 🙂
shoot I totally would, I’d love to live in socal but I don’t think my clients would appreciate it very much 🙂
You two are killing it! Congrats!! I am sad to say we are going down in net worth in the next 30 days (losing the equity in our home) just to sell it. It’s under contract now but we just bought it two years ago and it hasn’t appreciated. We wouldn’t make the decision to buy it as a rental property now so we decided to let it go. After that though, it’s onwards and upwards! BTW – Loving all the graphs and charts.
Thanks for stopping by Julie.
Are you selling to relocate for a new job?
Glad you are enjoying all the charts and graphs…trying to keep it interesting & visual 🙂
Hey GYFG. New reader here (found you via biglawinvestor).
Am I correct in assuming you are counting your mortgages/real estate as both mortgages and liabilities?
I.e., your condo is worth 200k, your house is worth 400k, so collectively that’s worth 600k, with the liability being whats remaining on the mortgage(s) ? That’s an interesting (and favorable) way to track real estate assets.
As someone who is also considering a rental property, I wonder if you have done any COBA on the time-suck that being a landlord can be – one bad tenant could muck it up, it seems. That might be an interesting post if you haven’t done one already.
Great to connect and have you as a reader.
With respect to treatment of properties and how they are accounted for in the net worth calculation. On the asset side of the equation I take the current market value which happens to be $400K for our primary residence and $205K for our condo for a total of $605K. Then on the liabilities side of the equation I take what is outstanding on their respective mortgages $304,525 for our primary residence and $157,330 for our condo.
Assets = $605,000
Liabilities = $461,855
Assets – Liabilities = $143,145 (this is contribution to net worth for these two properties).
Regarding being a landlord…we don’t do it ourselves, we pay a flat $100/month to let a property manager deal with that headache.
You might want to check out RentalMindSet.com; as Brian writes exclusively on rental real estate.
Thanks for the response! Will definitely be checking that out.
Awesome stuff here dominic! I use personal capital too and I know all your graphics here are not from them, so I must say they all look great and make things easy for all of us to read.
Yeah, the graphics are not from Personal Capital. I use PC to pull all my financial data together in one place and then download a transaction dump to upload to my custom spreadsheet. Makes it super easy vs logging into all the accounts individually.
Glad you find them helpful and visually appealing.
Congratulations! I only see fantastic numbers as you are growing positively each month. I’m going to start putting my numbers out in August for transparency and I finally started working. Forecasted 76% savings rate in July is fantastic, getting ready for the big fat bonus? 🙂
Congrats Finance Solver!
A 76% savings rate is amazing.
I am getting ready for a piece of that big fat bonus 🙂
The bigger piece won’t come until January of 2017. We get paid 30% of our bonus potential in July and the remaining 70% in January (hoping for some additional discretionary bonus on top of this).