This past year was a great year for the stock market. The S&P 500 hit record highs. The NASDAQ broke several records. And we were able to invest the most we ever have! FIRE here we come!
We closed out 2019 strong. Most noteworthy, we had more than a $186,000 boost to our investments, bringing us to an all-time high of $517,917 in our overall investment portfolio.
Our previous financial update was in July. I made a slight revision to the July chart. I noticed I attributed contributions to our taxable brokerage accounts which were actually contributions to our ROTH. The total balance was unchanged but the balances for the IRA and brokerage accounts have since been corrected.
We made contributions to several tax-advantaged investing accounts including the maximum to our ROTH IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans (401K/TSP/403B) and a health savings account.
We also funded an account for future real estate investments in a high-yield savings account. Check out SoFi Money, an account that earns interest on all your cash and has no account fees. Get $25 when you fund your account with at least $100.
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Contributions to tax-advantaged investment accounts:
Investments in taxable brokerage accounts:
Money saved for future real estate investments:
Mr. Miller and I both received raises but didn’t feel the need to adjust spending much other than our travel budget. We increased travel spending and increased our savings.
We also made some additional money by dog sitting three times this year. We earned $225 over the Christmas holiday and used that extra income to buy tickets to Freestyle Love Supreme.
This was the first year that I linked my monthly budget sheets to a sheet that calculated the yearly totals. I found this super helpful. It’s one thing to allot $10 a month on snacks but when I see that $120 a year was spent on junk food. It’s a bit ridiculous. Do you add up monthly totals? Do you look at total year spend amounts?
Our housing, transportation, and grocery costs totaled $22,125.75. Most of our transportation expenses are purchased with pre-tax dollars and is deducted from our respective paychecks. Under New York City’s Commuter Benefits Law we have access to these transportation fringe benefits. The 2020 pre-tax transit benefit has increased to $270!
We increased our travel spending and had two “big” vacations. In May, we flew to Vancouver and spent a few days exploring before boarding a 7-day cruise to Alaska. Cruising isn’t my preferred way to travel but an Alaska cruise has been on my list for a while. I highly recommend.
In the fall, we spent half of September road-trippin’ in Ireland. It was the longest vacation I’ve had and one of the best vacations ever.
In the spring, we went away for a quick weekend trip to celebrate our anniversary in Florida. The mornings were spent on the beach, we kayaked with manatees and went ax throwing. In April, my husband spent a few days in Minneapolis and went to the final four games with his relatives.
I was able to visit my nieces and nephews in the south several times in 2019 and flew two of my nieces to spend three weeks with us here in New York City.
For now, cutting expenses isn’t a priority for us. We are satisfied with the amount we save, spend, and invest based on our current numbers. Small financial win – Mr. Miller was able to reduce his cellphone bill by switching to Mint Mobile. He tried it out for several months and made the change permanent in August.
Final Numbers for 2019:
That has a nice ring, doesn’t it?! For some, reaching this point in their financial journey was expected. Perhaps it was a poverty mindset or a scarcity mindset but I never even considered being a half-millionaire would be possible. I’ve talked about growing up in the Bronx and coming from a low-income household.
I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunities that have led us to this point. Having good jobs, access to retirement plans, and learning about wealth building has catapulted us to where we are. Above all, investing while the market has been setting records has also made a huge impact on us.
We are hopeful for this new year and have big plans. May 2020 be good to you and be the best year yet!