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Net Worth Update – February 2018
Welcome to my second Net Worth Update!
February 2018 was a good month. It was sorely needed after a very expensive January, and I managed to get away without any large expenses, getting back to my first sub 50% spend rate for a good few months!
I was kept fairly busy this month, mostly by work but also with a few frugal activities (socialising with friends at a free bar, a weekend away teaching undergrad students outdoor skills) and finally furnishing my guest room. The latter was less frugal, but I managed to walk away from Ikea without three hundred knickknacks.
During all of my busyness, I could’ve almost missed all of the talk around the world about multiple markets “plunging”, “correcting”, or whatever you want to call it. Chicken Little would have been proud, and people claimed the sky was falling! If you did miss it, a gross oversimplification would be that a few major markets lost up to around 4% of their value.
What did I do?
Absolutely nothing! Firstly, like a good student of the School of FIRE, I wouldn’t think about panic selling when the market drops because I’m in it for the long haul. Secondly, it wasn’t enough of a drop for me to get overly excited and scrape together more money to try to capitalise on what in the grand scheme of things was a small fluctuation in the market. Instead, I left my automatic contributions do their work, and for the second month in a row my portfolio has grown by less than I put into it, or as I like to call it, buying on sale!
Net Worth Stumble
While a good investing month in the accumulation phase means buying funds on the cheap, it doesn’t make for impressive net worth changes. And as I include my estimated equity in my home, that number is subject to fluctuations in the automated property value estimates I use from Zoopla.
This month saw a few percent knocked off the estimate, which in turn caused my net worth to fall this month. I’m not overly concerned, as far as I’m concerned the fall was a normal phenomenon and not related to any major change in the local property market that would have a lasting effect on house prices.
Now, onto the report!
February 2018 Report
Salary – £2055
Lodger – £300
Total income – £2355
General expenses – £815
Personal expenses – £303
Total expenses – £1,119 (-72% from January)
Additional investments – £600
Total – £4322 (+14%)
Cash Flow – +£1236
Spend rate – 48% (74% 6mo average)
Net worth – £17,453 (-12%)
Lifetime Wealth Ratio – 0.29 (0.34)
3% SWR – £10 per month threshold hit
Last month I mentioned a few plans for the coming months, so let’s check in and see how I’m doing:
Cracking down on my expenses, to get back below 50% of income – Update. Managed it this month, now I just need to try to sustain it!
Building up the emergency fund to three months’ expenses – Update. My emergency fund increased by 14% this month, and would just cover three months at this month’s spending level. But I need more to cover my “average” spending.
After 1 and 2, increase monthly contributions to portfolio – Update. I’ve kept contributions at the same rate for now, but looking at the above process I may be able to look to increase this sooner rather than later.
That’s all for February! Lots of positives and no real long-term negatives. I’ll chalk that one up as a win. If you’d like to see my other Net Worth Updates, check out this page.