March 2015 Financial Reports

More than any other team, I’m a big Minnesota Twins fan. I’m a fan of Minnesota teams in general, but the Twins are the tops. And, like any Minnesota fan, I long for the better days of yesteryear.

Despite the state having a team in each of the four major sports, we haven’t won a championship since the ’91 World Series, which ESPN called the greatest world series of all time. That’s for good reason, too. There were five one-run games, three games went extra innings, a game six walk-off homer, game seven went scoreless to the 10th—what’s not to love? The Twins won games one and two, lost games three thru five, and finished out winning games six and seven back at the Metrodome.

I’ve watched the highlights tape countless times in my thirty years of age, and this month’s financial report feels a lot like watching game four of that World Series. I know things are going to get better, and quickly, but the temporary pain is still tough to see. Let’s get started.

The Path to Financial Independence

PathMy forward passive income ($721) and side hustling ($5) covered 8.8% of my expenses this month. Once this “coverage ratio” holds above 100%, then I can retire. Expenses are still very, but temporarily, high, keeping this ratio down. I didn’t state an end-of-year goal for this number, but I’d like to see something above 30%. I think achieving that is likely, albeit with great effort. If I can get passive income over $1100, I think I can get $300 from side hustling. If I can get down to $4,500 in expenses, then I’ll hit that number. High expectations! But, why would I make a goal that is easy?
Passive Income



See Investment Portfolio for Full List of Holdings and Details

Paid In March: $727.66
Previous Forward Dividend Income: $628.77
Dividend Increases/Decreases: + $1.31
Dividend Buys/Sells: + $49.72
New Forward Dividend Income: $679.80

In my first year of working life, I would guess I made roughly $727.66 at McDonalds. This month, I made that much just sittin’ around. Granted, March had a lot of nice payouts, like shipping-container lease company Textainer (Ticker: TGH) and material and mining giant BHP Billiton (Ticker: BBL), so it was higher than the payout I’ll get in April or May—but the trend is certainly upward. I used that money to buy some more shares of Atwood Oceanics (Ticker: ATW), as the oil space continued a slight downward trend. The additional dividends from that, as well as contributions I made to my 401(k) (100% in an S&P 500 Index Fund) means that in an average month going forward, I’ll make $679.80 in dividends.

The goal for this year is to hit $1,000/mo in forward dividends. That will be tough, but it will be close.


See Investment Portfolio for Full List of Holdings and Details

Paid In March: ~$0
Previous Forward Dividend Income: $40.75
Interest Rate Increases/Decreases: $0.00
Interest Contributions/Withdrawals: $0.30
New Forward Dividend Income: $41.05

The goal this year is to reach $70 in forward monthly interest. I’ll get there. I get a $400 annual interest payment every April, that’s why this usually shows zero.


Now that we’re back in Virginia, this has gotten to be more on my mind. The near term plan is to downsize our cars are eliminate our vehicle debt. Once that’s off the books, I’ll be (and a lender will be) more comfortable with me taking on an investment property.

Side Hustles

SideTalk about a letdown… but, I’m actually not too worried about this. The website is seeing better traffic (4,119 views in March) and getting more eyes on the blog is a lot more important than the monetization of it. I completely did not adhere to my word in my February Update that I’d write more at SA in March. I’m disappointed in myself for not doing so. I have nothing more to say other than I should be doing better than this as far as the freelance writing is concerned.


ExpensesHere’s the table for our March expenses. $8,252…that sucks, but it’s not entirely unexpected. We subletted our apartment on March 20th, so two-thirds of the month we were still paying for two households. We also had some significant moving costs that almost entirely negated the savings. We did a full round-trip up and down the east coast moving our belongings and picking up our two cats from Atlanta. (More Excuses Coming). We also had the final payment due on our cruise in May. Add to that our phone plans changing and the costs for that, two medical insurance plans (switched jobs), and restocking the house with a hundred products, ugh…just a lot. Like a said at the top, though, this feels like Game 4 of the ’91 World Series. I know how this is going to end up. Our lease will soon be up, so there will be no more utilities and internet costs for that. Our phone plans are now completely on new and inexpensive RingPlus plans.

Expenses again
I’m excited for what April will bring, as it will certainly be much lower. I’m even more excited for what August will bring, and the August after that, as a lot of the little things were doing now will start paying off big time. Have faith, I beg of you. I think this expense chart will be a great teachable graphic for years to come.

Net Worth

As always, Net Worth is generally irrelevant as it pertains to financial independence. A man with a net worth of two million, but all home equity, is probably worse off than a man with net worth of one million that’s predominantly in high quality dividend paying stocks.

Net Worth

Net worth this month is $318,794, which is just 0.2% higher than last month. Although, the S&P was down 3% in March and expenses were still frustratingly high, so that ain’t all that bad. The change in jobs has resulted in an abnormally high amount of deferred compensation (orange), and debt continued its slow but steady climb toward the horizontal axis. I hope to have a strong April as far as debt payoff.

Thank you, as always, for reading and following my progress toward financial independence.



  1. I really like your view on net worth. It seems so many other blogs focus so heavily on it without considering liquidity and long term ramifications of improperly balanced portfolios. Love the blog and keep up the great work.

    • Adam,
      Thanks for commenting! Net worth really is a odd thing to keep track of in the financial independence community. I still get asked about “my number” for retirement, and I never really have an answer. My real number is $3,200/mo, because that’s what I expect my expenses will be. I suppose I could extrapolate that into a net worth number (maybe, like $800k) but given that the $3,200 will be made up of various streams of passive income that all have greatly different yields, my actual net worth at retirement is largely unknown.

  2. I really like your take on net worth also. I think its more important to build a steady and increasing cash flow amount per month then to grow my net worth. I mean the passive income generated will allow you to retire. 1 million sitting in equity isnt doing much. Now grant typically as you grow your monthly cash flow by nature your net worth should be going up. At least with rental properties. That is what I am concentrating all my efforts on.

    Keep posting! Good stuff!

    • Thanks so much for commenting. You’re right, it’s difficult to have a huge imbalance between net worth and passive income; they will tend to track each other unless your whole net worth is tied up in a primary residence or something.

      I will keep posting! Thanks so much!

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