Financial Independence Update- October 2019

In October we were able to enjoy some much needed downtime at home in Virginia. After embarking on a 3 week cross-country road trip only days after getting back in the country from a 15 week international trip in Europe, we were more than ready for a break. We were able to spend some time with family and friends as well as start working on getting back in shape. We also did our best to get caught up on articles for the websites and respond to lots of emails.

At the end of the month, we headed to Albuquerque, NM for our biggest speaking engagement to date at the APTA National Student Conclave. We gave two presentations to physical therapy students there on travel physical therapy and how it can help them get a jump start on their finances like it has for us. It went very well overall, and we were happy with the questions and engagement that we got during and after the sessions.

I also turned 31 years old in October and spent some time thinking about where I’ve been and where I’m heading in the future. I’m very thankful for my success and growth as an individual and a professional over the last decade, but I still have a long way to go. I’ve certainly made massive strides in my financial position and my knowledge in various areas, but I have really neglected my physical and mental health at times. Those two areas will be my primary focus for the year to come and likely much longer.

Income

Another new record! October was a huge month in terms of income from the websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) and one that I don’t think will be surpassed in the foreseeable future. The income from the websites was further supplemented by a sponsorship we got for our presentation at the conference I mentioned above. I actually made significantly more in October than I did on an average month prior to leaving my travel physical therapy career. This was certainly a fluke where all the stars aligned and is not going to be a regular occurrence, but it sure was wonderful!

Expenses

My October expenses were relatively low especially coming off of so many months of back to back travel. I wasn’t overly concerned with my expenses this month since I knew that they would undoubtedly decrease by staying mostly in one place and eating out less. I’m really trying to shift my focus from constantly thinking about the cost of things as money becomes less of a factor in many of my decisions. This will be an ongoing challenge for me as I’m naturally a frugal person, and spending more money, even when I’m more than capable of doing so, is still extremely difficult.

With such high income along with the lower expenses, I was able to amass over a 90% savings rate on the month! I haven’t seen that high of a percentage in quite a while. It may be short lived, but I’ll revel in it while it lasts.

Investments

According to my investment tracking on Personal Capital (a great free resource for tracking your net worth and investments) my portfolio was up over 3% on the month. It was another wonderful month for both domestic and international equities with big gains I wasn’t expecting. I’m continuing to stick with my investing plan and staying close to my target asset allocation, but gradually increasing my cash position as I mentioned in last months post. Whitney and I have been considering diversifying at some point with real estate (for us personally or potentially an investment property) so I want to have a down payment available if the right deal comes along. It also feels good to have liquid assets available when I have continued uncertainty about income each month.

Financial Independence Progress

In total, my net worth increased by about 4.1% in October, pushing me much further past my financial independence goal. My projected future yearly expenses are now only 3.7% of my total current net worth. I’m really enjoying the increased feeling of security I get watching that number drop lower. As I mentioned earlier though, I’m really doing my best to no longer stress or worry about finances as much. Things are going very well right now and I have back up plans on top of back up plans at this point, so continuing to be focused on keeping my expenses low seems slightly absurd. With that being said, I have no intentions of radically changing my lifestyle, because I think it’s already pretty wonderful how it is, but I do want to loosen up a little on some things.

Next Month

November is likely to be another good month in terms of income, although no where near as good as October was. My expenses will probably be about the same as they were in October and potentially remain around that same level for the rest of the year now that we don’t have any big travel plans for the remainder of the year. Whitney starts a new job in November, and we will be moving back into the fifth wheel for at least the next three months. November will be my first month of being “retired” and working on whatever projects I choose, which most likely means spending some time writing for the websites, at the gym, and hiking.

Until next month! Thanks for reading!

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