Financial Independence Update- November 2019

In November Whitney started her new travel PT contract in Goldsboro, NC, and we moved back into the fifth wheel! After several repairs over the past year, the camper is in good working order now, and since it’s just been sitting in storage, we decided to check out campground options in Goldsboro. We lucked out and found a fairly secluded site on someone’s property with full hook ups for only $200/month plus utilities! That’s the cheapest we’ve been able to find housing on any assignment so far, and it’s perfect for us. The low cost is very nice as well since this is the first time that Whitney will be working a travel PT contract and I won’t. My income is going to be much less consistent than hers, so having a cheap place to stay makes me feel better financially even more so than normal. Plus, the location is great and only a short drive to Whitney’s clinic, the gym, the grocery store, and everything we need in town.

With my time off while Whitney was working in November, I’ve been working on writing more articles for this site as well as planning our next big international trip! Right now it looks like it will be around 5 months long starting in March 2020, hitting a dozen or so countries in Central and South America. Once I get the itinerary nailed down, I’ll write a post talking about the full trip outline and hopefully get some recommendations for things to do along the way from you all :).

We were busy and on the go pretty much every weekend in November. The first weekend before we moved to NC we were at the National Student Conclave in Albuquerque, NM where we gave our presentation on travel therapy and finances to physical therapy students from all over the US. The conference was a huge success and we made tons of connections! We also got to explore Albuquerque a little which was fun. The next weekend we moved to NC and got the camper set up. The next weekend we took a short 2hr drive to visit our good friends in Morehead City, NC, where we have worked for two different contracts in the past. It’s always good to be back there and see our friends! The next weekend we visited nearby Chapel Hill, NC where used a free Hyatt night to stay at a nice hotel, and we explored the cool town of Chapel Hill. And then the last weekend of November was Thanksgiving. Whitney’s clinic was closed Thursday and Friday, so we got to go home to Roanoke VA for the long weekend to spend the holiday with family which was nice.

Income

Income last month wasn’t even close to October from the websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor), but that was expected since it seemed that just about all the stars aligned in October. Even so, income was still very good and more than covered my expenses for the month. I brought in some extra income in November as well from the SoFi Money and Invest accounts that I wrote about recently. I’ve also been working on a couple new credit card sign up bonuses throughout October and November, but both of these are miles earning cards, so no income from cashback there.

Expenses

My November expenses were at about the same level as October. The low cost campground made my housing costs pretty affordable for the month. We did eat out much more often than normal in November, due to being lazy while moving and getting settled into out new area. We also had some added costs for getting the camper set back up including getting a new water hose, sewer hose, power cord, surge protector (for the RV power cord), smoke alarm, LP gas detector, and two fire extinguishers. We should be all set now on camper supplies so I’ve got my fingers crossed that there won’t be anymore fifth wheel related expenses in the near future.

Based on my income and expenses for November, I achieved a savings rate of about 75%. That may not being as high as my savings rate when I was working as a travel physical therapist full time (85%+/month) but it’s not bad at all considering I’m only “working” 10 hours per week or so currently.

Investments

According to my investment tracking on Personal Capital (a great free resource for tracking your net worth and investments) my portfolio was up about 2.1% on the month. The equity market continues to methodically march upward each month which means continuous gains on my investments. I long ago gave up on trying to predict what the next year, much less the next month, will mean for the stock market so I’m hoping for the best and riding it out for the long term. I do have a significant cash cushion right now, and that combined with my income likely surpassing my expenses each month for the foreseeable future, I have no plans to withdraw any money from my investments anytime soon. Keep on growing!

Financial Independence Progress

In total, my net worth increased by about 3.6% in November. Coincidentally, my projected future yearly expenses are now only 3.6% of my total current net worth, and that number is slowly dropping each month which is wonderful to see. Once my future projected yearly expenses reach 3.5% of my total net worth, I will most likely start loosening the purse strings on my future budget. Some leeway and cushion on future expenses are always a great thing since the future is always uncertain!

Next Month

With Christmas coming up, my expenses for December will almost certainly be higher than they have been in November and October. I’m planning to splurge and buy some fairly expensive gifts this year since my financial position is much better than I ever would have anticipated at this point, and only getting better each month, despite the fact that I’ve only worked as a physical therapist for 10 weeks in the past 17 months. Even with higher expenses, I expect income from the websites to be about the same or slightly lower than it was in November, which should still leave me with a 50% or higher savings rate on the month.

Until next month! Thanks for reading!

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