Financial Independence Update- October 2022

October was another really busy month for us. In terms of both traveling and business, 2022 has been our most busy year by far. There were a lot of states, national parks, and countries that we wanted to visit before settling down that got pushed back due to Covid, so 2022 has been the year of trying to make up for lost time.

We spent a couple weeks at home at the beginning of October, followed by a quick week long trip to Acapulco, Mexico to spend some time relaxing at the beach with Whitney’s mom… before heading out on our much faster paced around the world trip which we started at the end of the month. We’ve got a lot that we want to do and see over a relatively short 9 week international trip. We ended the month by kicking off the trip in the islands of Greece, which was absolutely incredible.

We didn’t have much time during October to really focus on getting content out for the websites, but were still able to get a video and a couple articles published in addition to the daily grind of updating social media and responding to emails, messages, and comments. It feels like we’re always struggling to find a balance between traveling, business, and health/fitness. It gets a little better each year but still a lot to improve on, especially with our fitness in the coming months.

I also turned 34 in October! It was a wonderful birthday, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on how fortunate I’ve been in recent years. Whitney and I do our best to count our blessings often, but birthdays are a perfect time to put some extra effort in.

Income

Income from our websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) for October was decent but not great. Better than the last two months but still only our 7th highest total revenue month of all-time. We continue to work on diversifying our income streams without adding a lot of extra time and/or effort. It’s gradually improving each month which is great to see. I’d rather make a little less and have incoming coming in from many different sources than to earn more but only from a couple of sources. It feels much safer overall.

Our biggest issue right now is constantly getting requests for our time which is already limited especially when traveling internationally. Some months dozens of people want to “hop on a quick call” to ask questions or “pick our brains” about travel, finance, business, or partnership opportunities, which just isn’t feasible at all anymore, even if they’re paid calls. We’ve been having to say no to almost everyone lately except for our course members who we prioritize, and some of our longer standing business associates if it’s urgent. It’s always difficult for me to say no, but I’m learning that if I don’t protect my time then I’ll be more busy now than when I actually worked full time, which certainly wasn’t the goal when pursuing FIRE.

Expenses

In October my expenses were relatively high again between the trip to Mexico and starting the trip around the world. We have tons of credit card rewards that we’re trying to use on this trip to save money, but it isn’t always possible to make award flights work out. It also isn’t worth it to save small amounts of money by sacrificing time or the experience anymore like I did sometimes in the past. This trip is almost certainly going to be the most expensive we’ve ever taken despite it being one of the shortest of our international trips. With the higher expenses, my savings rate for the month was around 75%.

Investments

After the big down month in September, the S&P 500 was actually up 7.99% in October. The monthly ups and downs have been crazy this year. The volatility in equities has been nothing compared to Bitcoin though. Bitcoin was up 5.53% in October which felt pretty calm, but the biggest moves of the year seem to usually be in Q4, so November and December should be interesting. I continue to gradually allocate more of my cash to both an S&P 500 index fund and Bitcoin each month. I’ve learned with experience that when buying an asset feels the worst, it’s usually the best time to do it. On the bright side of all of the negativity surrounding markets lately, savings accounts are actually earning a decent amount again. My savings account is now paying 3% interest which feels good after a few years of nearly no interest at all.

Financial Independence Progress

My net assets increased by about 5.7% in October due to higher income and investment returns. After this monthly gain, my net worth is back in the positives for the year of 2022. I feel really good about this after so much damage in almost all markets this year. I’ve been very fortunate to have a consistent income source during this year, because otherwise I’d probably be a little nervous living off of just my investments and savings. It’s certainly not clear if we’re closer to the beginning or end of this bear market, but having a significant amount in cash and a significant amount of money coming in each month has been really helpful so far.

Next Month

In November, we’ll spend the entire month traveling internationally, making our way toward Australia and New Zealand. I’m really excited for this trip since we’re checking off several bucket list items this time. As I mentioned above, expenses are much less of a concern on this trip which gives us a lot more flexibility to see and do everything we’ve been looking forward to over the last few years. If you want to see and hear more about our trip, follow us on Instagram & Facebook where Whitney regularly updates with some awesome photos!

How was October for you financially? Let me know in the comments!

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