March was the most lucrative month that I’ve had financially to this point. A combination of five paychecks this month and receiving my tax refund, equal to an additional paycheck, resulted in a significant improvement in my net worth. I also received $400 in bank account sign up bonuses this month to add some icing on the cake. The stock market had a rare down month, but that was no match for my astronomical savings rate due to lots of money coming in and minimal spending.
Whitney and I have accepted our next travel assignments which will take us back to Virginia, but this time in the northwest part near West Virginia. We both agreed to change up settings for this contract and will therefore be working in a skilled nursing facility that requires home health visits as well. We believe that this will be a good change of pace for us as well as allow us to get some experience in home health which is something that I plan to do in the future. Another perk of our new jobs is an additional ~$300/month of income which will further help to boost my savings rate. At this point we will be making about $600/month more than what we made during our very first contracts as new grads. Since my savings rate and monthly savings goals were made based on that lower income, it is likely that I will continue to surpass my expectations.
March was an interesting month for my investments. As I have written about previously, I do not wish to put new money in the stock market at current valuations as I feel the risk is not worth the expected return over the next 10 years. Instead of putting additional cash in the stock market, I decided to make two personal loans, one to family, and one to fund a friend’s business. As a result of the loan to my friend, I am now a 5% owner in his gym Tri-Star Fitness and Performance which is located in my hometown, Roanoke, VA. He is doing good work for the community, and I believe that this will prove to be a good investment.
My current projection for FI is in the month of June 2020, which will be exactly five years after I first began working full time. I am optimistic that with additional money from credit card and bank account sign up bonuses, as well as good investments, I will be able to push this date up even further over the next couple of years. Only time will tell but I hope that you guys continue to stick around for the journey.
3 thoughts on “Progress to Financial Independence- March 2017”
Hello my name is Brandon and I am the owner of http://www.refinedinvestor.com
l liked your content and was wondering if you would be interested in writing a few articles on the stock market for my website? Hope to hear from you soon!
Hey Jared, so I’ve finally reached my emergency savings goals and socked away money for retirement. I want to now dive into stocks but it makes me nervous. I feel like I’m gambling. Are there any resources that can help me feel more secure about putting money into stocks? I keep reading that being young is the best time to take advantage of stocks. I even saw an article saying that stocks historically give a 10% return. Is this true?
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Hey, Mark! Great job on getting your emergency fund completed! Investing in individual stocks is definitely similar to gambling unless you do a lot of research. Index investing is much safer and usually leads to better returns and less volatility. With that being said, the market right now is at the second highest valuation in history so don’t expect a huge return over the next 10 years and the valuations will eventually start to correct. Long term 8-10% annual earning has been the norm but the important thing is to be consistent with investing each month and when an inevitable downturn does occur, invest even more because at that point everything is on sale. Check out “The Boglehead’s guide to investing.” It’s a very good book and talks about index investing and should ease your concerns. Feel free to send me an email and I can send you a pdf of a couple of my favorite books. Jcasazza@radford.edu