My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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Monthly Update - May 2014 ($1,705,013, +$15,050)

Contributed by mm | June 8, 2014 5:34 PM PST

With another five-figure increase in the month of May, our net worth breached $1.7M for the first time. In the trailing 12 months, we grew our net worth by $203K, or 13.6%.

Our household balance sheet, along with monthly, year-to-date, and trailing 12 months comparison, are shown below:

6446-networth.jpg

With no significant one-off spending, we saved about $3,500 from our earned income. In the first five months of the year, we saved about $15K, or 23% of our take-home income.

More prominently, our investments fared well this month. Our $400K-strong USD-denominated portfolio gained another $3,500 thanks to a record-making stock market, and our CNY-denominated portfolio, now approaching $940K, gained $6,500 thru some rather safe investments. For the first five months combined, our portfolio delivered almost $49,000 returns.

Even the Chinese Yuan foreign exchange rate, which caused some serious pain to our net worth in the past four months, has reversed its direction and contributed to a small $1,300 paper gain. On a year-to-date basis though, it still burned a $31,000 hole in our net worth when reported in USD.

A side note on the high credit card loan balance: quite some balance is due to manufactured spending to meet initial spending needs to qualify for certain credit card bonuses. Since we bought our house (and no longer need a pristine credit score), we have been applying one or more cards every month to take advantage of some good sign-up bonus deals usually at $400-600 a pop or even more. In 2013, we received over $4,000 of such sign-up bonuses in the form of cash or mileage points. In 2014 so far, we have logged over $5,000 and the number is still growing. We also always pay off credit card balance every month and cancel cards with annual fee before the first anniversary. It is serious side income now :-)

One more update: we closed the HELOC with a credit limit of $140K with an outstanding interest rate of 3.75%. I don't expect to touch it any time soon and will let it serve as a cheap backup credit facility for now. One more reason to sell our credit scores for some easy bonuses.

This Post Has Received 3 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Chris M Commented on June 8, 2014

Great update once again....been with you for years!


Ed Commented on June 10, 2014

Question - I assume any tax deferred investments reside within the Cash and Investments line on your balance sheet. Does the 3500 saving in the current month include tax deferred savings? Just wondering, as you also state that you have saved 15K YTD, 23% of take home pay. Do you include tax deferred savings in "take home pay"?


MM Commented on June 11, 2014

Thank you Chris!

Ed, I understand what you are asking. Yes, I included 401(k) contribution in the calculation. Technically it's not take home pay ... I should say "after tax income" to be more accurate.


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