At the beginning of January we took a couple week road trip from Virginia down to Key West FL with lots of stops along the way. We met up with friends, followers, and family all along our route, but the main purpose of the trip was to see the national parks in Florida as well as Congaree National Park in South Carolina. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck with the national park we were looking forward to the most, Dry Tortugas. This park is only accessible by ferry or sea plane out of Key West, and both need to be booked well in advance especially in winter when it’s busy. We bought our ferry tickets over a month in advance to make sure we’d be able to go since it’s one of the most difficult parks to get to in the lower 48. When we arrived on the morning of before sunrise, we were informed that the ferry needed unexpected maintenance and wouldn’t be running that day. The next available date that tickets were available was in three weeks. We were very disappointed to say the least. Sadly, besides paying $1,000 or more to charter a boat for the day, there wasn’t anything we could do about it. There are no other ferry options and the seaplane was fully booked. Even though not getting to go to Dry Tortugas was a let down, we still really enjoyed the other parks and the trip overall. Plus it was nice to get out of Virginia for a little while where the temperatures were pretty low throughout January.
Once we got back home, we spent the rest of the month planning our next big trip, 2 months in Latin America, and trying to get ahead on business things (articles, scheduling social media posts, etc.) so we wouldn’t have as much to do while traveling. We also returned just in time for the biggest snow storm in our town in about a decade which got us pretty excited. We’d never live somewhere that gets a lot of snow all winter, but since it’s so rare in our area, it’s always exciting when a big storm comes through.
Income from our websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) was down by about 20% compared to December, but yet it was still our second highest month of all time. January has historically not been a great month for revenue due to trying to be mostly caught up on payments at the end of the year, so having a big month in January was a welcome surprise. We started off the year strong with a lot of new content which led to our highest monthly website traffic of all time as well, which undoubtedly helped with revenue. We hope to continue putting out a lot of quality content, especially on Travel Therapy Mentor, throughout all of 2022.
January was an expensive month. On our road trip we were able to stay with family and friends some which helped with costs, and we used some hotel points for a couple free nights at a really nice hotel in Miami; but even so, Florida was expensive. In Key West, we did our absolute best to find the lowest cost accommodation that we could, but being their busy season, pretty much nothing was low cost, including the food and parking. We also paid for tours at both the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. Even with the higher expenses, my savings rate for the month was still slightly above 80% which is certainly nothing to be mad about.
The S&P 500 was down about 5.3% in January which was the biggest drop since March of 2020 during the Covid crash. Meanwhile Bitcoin was down about 16.7% which hurt a little extra coming off of the -18% month in December. Crypto remains about 35% of my total portfolio despite the recent drops. Overall, January was a pretty rough month for my investments with red across the board.
Financial Independence Progress
My net assets decreased by just under 5% in January. This was better than I was anticipating after seeing my investment accounts all pretty severely negative throughout the month. After this drop, my net assets are now equal to 51.7 times my annual expenses. Seeing this number and being a little disappointed makes me realize how weird human psychology is. I can remember at the height of the crypto bull market in April when I first reached nearly 50 times my annual expenses being almost exuberant. Now at a number even higher than in April I feel a little let down since the trend has been down. Even so, I’m still very happy with where I’m at.
At the beginning of February we embark on our next long international trip but first with a stop in Texas for the APTA Combined Sessions Meeting (the biggest physical therapy conference of the year). We’re excited both for getting back out and exploring as well as returning to a big conference after almost two years. We’re going to stay flexible throughout this trip due to continued uncertainty with Covid and restrictions but hopefully everything will go smoothly!
How was Decemeber for you financially? Let me know in the comments!