January was a good month for me and Whitney. After a tough year for everyone last year, we were determined to start 2021 on the right foot. The month seemed to go by very quickly, but we got a lot of things done that had been on our to-do list for a while. The first big project for the month was to get our finished basement completely furnished in order to start renting it out month to month. This was something we really wanted to get done not only so that we could make some extra income each month, but also so we’d have someone there keeping an eye on the house while we’re traveling. We got it all done and got our first renter moved in mid-January. She’s a physical therapy student that is in town for three months to complete a clinical internship, which is exactly the type of renter we were hoping for!
Getting the renter moved in during January was perfect timing, because we knew that at the end of the month we’d be heading to Mexico for a couple of months! We flew to Cancun on 1/31 and plan to slow travel around Mexico at the beaches until around April. After well over a year since we last left the country, we were anxious to get back to traveling, and Mexico seemed like the perfect choice right now. The tourist areas are relatively empty, which means lower costs as well as a much easier time staying away from crowds. We were pleasantly surprised that our flight to Cancun had only seven other passengers on it. In addition, Virginia has been cold and dreary lately, so some sun will be a wonderful change!
As we were preparing to leave for Mexico in January, we put in our notice and finished up our PRN physical therapy jobs in our hometown. We spent a total of 3 months working our PRN jobs, with most weeks being between 10-20 hours worked for each of us. It was good to be back in the clinic to refresh my skills and to be able to renew my physical therapy license– but after a few months I was ready to be done again. This experience further cemented the realization that I have no desire to work full time as a PT ever again. A couple days a week for a few months was good, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed any more PT work than that.
Another big focus for us in January was planning and recording our first ever online course! Our online business Travel Therapy Mentor has grown a lot over the past year, and although we’ve put out massive amounts of free content over the years, we have a lot of new people reaching out every day that want a concise step by step guide to getting starting and being financially successful as a travel therapist. That’s exactly what we set out to create, and I think it turned out really well. We’re still finishing it up right now in our first few weeks in Mexico, but we already have beta testers set up and ready to go to get feedback and testimonials before we release it to the world! I think this course will help students and new travelers make and save many thousands of dollars over the course of their careers as travel therapists, and I couldn’t be more excited to get it out!
Income from our websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) for January was the highest it has been since February 2020 (prior to everything being tanked from Covid) for us which was really nice. The number of travel therapy jobs has been trending higher each month, and we’re getting dozens of travelers reaching out looking for help with jobs each week now. We got a big quarterly affiliate payout as well as several other payouts in January. In addition to online business income, I also earned about $1,000 from my PRN work, and we got our first rent payment for renting out our basement! Overall January was a great month on the income side of things for us!
January expenses remained low since we didn’t do any traveling or have any big purchases during the month. With furnishing the basement we were able to use mostly things that we already had or things that our parents had and no longer needed. For our flights to Cancun at the end of the month, we used airline miles, so only had to pay a low cost for taxes and fees.
The S&P 500 was up about 1.3% in January. Meanwhile Bitcoin was up about 14% on the month in total despite a 30% drop during the month from it’s high of around $42,000. I continue to be pretty heavily exposed to Bitcoin and believe that it will continue to perform very well throughout 2021. If you missed my article on why I changed my opinion on it in 2020 and decided to start investing in it, check that out here. I have a smaller percentage of my assets in alt coins which have done very well recently too.
My investment portfolio return was about 4.6% in January, mostly from my Bitcoin exposure.
Financial Independence Progress
My net worth increased by about 5.3% in January, which although not as high as in November or December, is still amazing! This actually pushed me past a really big net worth milestone as well! This puts me at another all time high net worth and my projected future yearly expenses at only 2.6% of my total net worth. That means my total assets are now at over 38x my anticipated future expenses! Watching that multiple jump each month seems almost surreal at this point but it definitely shows the power that compounding interest can have once you have a significant amount of money invested.
February should be great month for us in sunny Mexico! We expect to get our course completely done and do an official launch to the public. We anticipate business income being close to January, and I also think my expenses will stay fairly low due to the low cost of living in Mexico. In addition, I have high expectations for the crypto portion of my investment portfolio to continue to outperform all other assets.
As always, stay safe and healthy! — And let me know in the comments how January was for you along your financial journey!