September was another really busy month, but that’s about par for the course for us these days. After getting back from Europe at the end of August, we had only a few days to visit with family before setting out on a cross country road trip. We’d never driven across the country before, so we decided to take the opportunity to see some more of our own beautiful country while making our way to Las Vegas for The Travelers Conference. The road trip was wonderful, and we saw some sights throughout Colorado, Utah, and Arizona that surpassed anything we’ve seen in all of our travels so far. We can’t wait to get back out there and explore some more national parks! I will write a future post on the road trip and my total expenses for it as soon as we get finish up the Europe trip posts that we’re behind on. In total, the road trip took 23 days, and we covered over 5,500 miles. As for the conference, it really surpassed our expectations, and we will certainly be back in Vegas for it next year! Any healthcare travelers that are on the fence about going, do it! Once we got back from the road trip, we had one more quick trip to make to Norfolk, Virginia (5 hours to the east of Roanoke) for Whitney’s friend’s wedding. While we were there, we also gave a presentation at Old Dominion University (where Whitney attended PT School) about Travel Therapy and Finances. Then, we headed back home to Roanoke. Needless to say, September was quite the month!
September was my highest earning month since leaving my full time job as a PT back in May. Income from the websites continues to grow, especially since we’ve had more time to build our Facebook (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) and Instagram followings these past few months. At this point, the income from the websites has surpassed even my most optimistic projections from a couple of years ago, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of things slowing down. Speaking at conferences and schools, as well as doing more podcast interviews, along with our Facebook live videos have led to game changing results in income. I have no idea how long this will continue, but I’ll do my best to keep it up and keep providing value to all of our followers!
My expenses in September were a little lower than in August as I anticipated since we were not traveling through as expensive of places (like Croatia and Italy), but not as low as I was hoping. Staying in AirBnBs and hotels throughout our road trip, plus spending a lot on gas and eating out every meal made for a pretty expensive month still. With everything considered, I’m happy with my expenses for the month. But I am looking forward to staying in one place for a while through the remainder of the year which will help decrease expenses significantly. My total expenses for September were about 40% of my total income generated from the websites alone, so even with the higher than average expenses, things are still going very well and I’ve got no reason to complain!
According to my investment tracking on Personal Capital (a great free resource for tracking your net worth and investments) my portfolio was up about 2% on the month. It was a wonderful month for both domestic and international equities despite tons of fear mongering in the financial media regarding potential economic slowdown and recession. I’m sticking with my investing plan and staying close to my target asset allocation, but I am building up a bigger cash cushion than usual since I likely won’t be “working” for the foreseeable future. It makes me feel good to have a couple years worth of expenses in a high yield savings account just in case one of those frequently predicted recessions does come to fruition.
Financial Independence Progress
In total, my net worth increased by about 2.5% in September, pushing me even further below my 4% goal. My projected future yearly expenses are now only 3.8% of my total current net worth. As my net worth and income from the websites grow and my expenses remain modest, I feel more secure in my financial position each month. I certainly feel confident that if I never wanted to go back to work full or part time as a PT that I would be fine; although I do still plan to work occasionally in the future, either taking a travel assignment intermittently or working a day or two per week PRN once we settle down in one location. My feelings on that could certainly change, but I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll never work a permanent full time job as a PT at this point.
October is on track to surpass September in terms of earning from the websites, which will make it my highest earning month ever outside of W2 employment! My expenses should be much lower in October since this will be the first month since May that we won’t be constantly traveling either around the country or internationally. I have no idea what will happen with the stock market, so I won’t even make a prediction on that. I’m anticipating another jump in my net worth in October due to the higher income which is always a great thing.
At the end of October after spending most of the month at home in Virginia, we will be traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico to speak at The Physical Therapy National Student Conclave on travel physical therapy and finances. This presentation will be HUGE for us! It will be by far our biggest speaking engagement ever, which will mean a lot more exposure to our websites and content– plus we were able to secure a sponsor for the event! We’re very excited but also nervous to speak in front of such a big group!
Until next month! Thanks for reading!