current news for march 2021
Things happening today according to Flipboard

Now that the dust has settled and our move has happened successfully I finally find the time to write an update on our progress.

I will try to make this short and sweet. We ended the infamous 2020 with a net worth of 274K. The prediction for 2021 is about a 71K increase. 

Personal capital 2020

Most of my net worth comes from real estate equity. After our move, we pushed our RE assets to 950K.

The housing market continues to show signs of strength and this spring should trigger some healthy increases as far as rent and house prices go.

Thanks to Mint I am able to track my net worth on a daily basis. This helps a lot! Especially when you are having a miserable day at work and feel like you have lost your purpose, which as a teacher we have had plenty of those moments this school year. If you are not using Mint and Personal Capital you are truly missing out. I highly recommend it. It does all the heavy lifting for you and it helps you make informed decisions about your finances. Both Apps are part of my financial GPS.

As it is today we are standing on a net worth of $308,890. That is an increase of $34,890 since January 1, 2021, which equals a 12% growth. That is already 49% of my 2021 goal. I thought I had surpassed the middle point of that goal due to a discrepancy I have in my notes and the data I am pulling from Mint and Personal Capital, but regardless, this is freaking awesome! I can’t even imagine what it will be when the best of the real estate season kicks in this spring and summer. And granted, my take-home pay is around 68K. So, money is definitely working for us.

That is in a nutshell where I am at.

If you want to know more about our move and details of how we made it happen, read on!

Buying a New Home

After going through almost a year of a pandemic-caused financial recession and observing an increased demand in the housing market for larger spaces we became part of the statistics. Being in a 3 bedroom house with no basement and 4 kids really pushed us toward our decision. I guess that if we had 2 boys and two girls that would’ve made things a bit easier, but having 3 girls and one boy complicated it all. Plus the added caveat that we have the potential complication of my mother staying again with us for a long period of time. We needed some extra space.

We were also at the point of finding another investment property. The options were buying another rental or buying a bigger home for us and turning our then current home into a rental. We chose the latter.

How did it happen?

We had about 40K in cash for a down payment but that would’ve wiped out our savings.

Thanks to a lender that I always work with he suggested we refinanced one of our rentals, pulling some cash out and with the historic low mortgage interest rates our payments would not change that much.

Our balance in that house was 117K, with a mortgage payment of $1,218. After pulling out a bit over 40K our balance became 165K and a monthly payment of $1,283. Those numbers include insurance and taxes.

In short, we bought a house and I didn’t spend any extra money. Well, we did, but if feels like I just moved money from one house to another and got to keep all my precious cash. Yes, my standing balance went up but the way I look at it is “ I don’t pay for it. My tenants do.” I appreciate that and I tried very hard to keep them happy by providing a living space well kept.

 We have had a lot of expenses in the new place. We were given credit for some of them and some other we are just paying for it. 

Some of the expenses were: 

Windows: We got credit for 9 windows(7K), but we paid for the rest 6.(4K).

Radon mitigation. We got credit for it (1.4K)

Some DIY canned lights for our living room: Under $200.

We splurged on a Sunsetter for the deck- that was a whopping 5k. Our old house had it when we bought it. We didn’t like the look at first but we loved its functionality. These awnings turn your patio or deck is an extension of your living space. It was a big expense but during the summer we really spend our days sitting outside while our neighbors have to go inside and hide from the sun. An umbrella for 6 people just doesn’t cut it. Plus, now the fabric designs are much nicer than what we had.
I am even considering replacing the fabric in the old house. I want my tenants to enjoy their summer, plus I like to keep my rentals close to selling conditions.

Then, last but not least, we have the big expense of moving our above ground pool. I took it apart myself. We’ll have to replace the liner and pay for the new install which comes to $1,046, plus permit $120, plus the electrical $300, plus $1000 to refill and fix the crater we left behind at the other house. That last expense should be tax-deductible since that house is now a rental.

We also decided to get a beautiful reclining couch for $3K. Not very frugal decision but our old couches had taken the beating of 4 kids for 13 years and they were literally ripped and losing their inners. We could never sit all together because they were not big enough. Now we have an awesome family lounging area where we gather, chat, watch movies, enjoy each other and that has tremendous value for us.

I know. Not very frugal, and it is a lot of money but we don’t pay for pool memberships or go anywhere in the summer other than our yard and forest preserves around. We usually take one trip to Michigan in the summer, and one to Wisconsin to drop our older girls at camp and the rest is a daily yardcation all summer long. We truly enjoy our house.

So…the tab please! After all these are put together we have spent about $13,666, plus the couch that we’ll pay in 3 years with zero interest.

Part of the reason behind these scandalous purchases has been the stimulus money we have been receiving. We really didn’t need it, more is coming and I just want to enjoy my house and my family. It seems like I always make everything nice for my tenants. I fix our house and instead of staying and enjoying it we just move. So now, we are good to go. 

Today is the first day we will enjoy 70 degrees around Chicago and I just can’t wait to enjoy our awesome house this summer. After all, FIRE has no purpose if you can’t enjoy the journey to it. Right?

How about you? Any big financial movement this 2021? Any splurge? I would love to hear about any of your new plans or goals for ‘21 down below.