And we’re off! What an awesome month. It seemed like the market would never slow down. The S&P500 clocked in at 5.62%! Jeez! Our retirement accounts comprise the most significant portion of our net worth and benefited the most. This is the first month of our half-a-millionaire status (read: When $500K Feels Like meh). At one point it was as high as $509K.
Before getting into the details let’s talk about a big vacation/expenditure. This month we took a trip to Vegas. We found flights and hotel for three nights for $721 (flights are typically $300 per person). How could we say no? It was a great trip as we got to see my cousin/best man and his wife. While we were there we saw a couple of celebs. The first was Metta World Peace. We were trailing behind him and then in front of him as we headed to go see a hypnotist-comedy show – hilarious, btw. The second was good ol’ George Costanza/Jason Alexander. He happened to be a couple of seats in front of us at MJ’s One Cirque du Soleil show. See stalker picture below.
I opened the wallet when we went to Vegas spending for Cirque tickets ($424)🕺🏾, hypnotist tix ($60), comedy show tix ($90), and David Copperfield tix ($184), the later of which I do NOT recommend. DC was SUPER cheesy. I also don’t recommend the gondola ride at the Venetian. We flew down Freemont street on a zip-line which was fun but the wait was incredibly long (~1hr) for a two-minute experience. And, most of the food was mediocre and expensive. However, there was a restaurant that was well worth the price – Carson’s Kitchen. We probably spent $2500 on food, drinks, entertainment, flight, hotels, ubers/lyfts, and a bit of shopping🤑.
The one thing you’ll notice I didn’t say was gambling. I learned my lesson long ago when I thought ’50/50 chance to make a quick hundred’ and placed $100 on black after six successive red numbers. The croupier gave the wheel a good spin, the ball danced in and out of reds and blacks, and, to my surprise, the ball landed on a seventh RED! Mother Effer! Scarred for life. And never again would I put even a twenty in a slot machine🎰. Fortunately, I’ve probably saved myself $2,000 by not gambling in vegas during the times I’ve been there and at a hand-full of other casinos. Unfortunately, the casinos ended up getting me anyway because my wife pays $6 for a bottle of water🤦🏻♂️+💸💸💸.
Anyway, I think its important to spend on experiences and not stuff. We jammed a lot of activities in a short period of time, got some good gym time in, and hung out with family before kicking off 2018. I hope you take some dollars from your disposable income to relax and recharge along your financial independence/early retirement journey.
Given that not a lot changes with all the accounts, I’m going start discussing major changes/events related to the accounts.
Retirement Accounts (+$23.750): Finally, a return to normal contribution levels. I had maxed out my 401k in November of 2017 and had to resort to after tax contributions to my 401k in order to keep getting my employer match. Next month, the Mrs MORE’s 403b contribution will kick in and we’ll get back to shuttling an additional $1,541 monthly.
HSA (+$1,068): Welcome HSA to the net worth list. I’ve neglected to include our HSA because we didn’t have anything invested because we were using the funds. Now that my wife’s employer contributes funds to her FSA (i think), we can use that money for medical events, and use the HSA through my employer for investments! Hooray!
Non-Retirement Moola (+$2,002): We continue to make progress on our emergency fund, as it passes the $9,000 mark. Digital Currency finally got some sense knocked into it. My options came back a bit. Meanwhile, my long brokerage account with Apple, Merck and P&G dropped a bit. I’m slowly drawing down my Lending Club account after 3, heading towards 4, defaults. And that’s even investing in primary A creditworthy loans. Oh well. 🤷🏻♂️
Debts (+$1,032): While I had made our January car payments in December, I decided to make another payment in January to keep up the debt reduction progress.
So that’s it! I hope your month was equally as awesome.