Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Goal Update: End of August 2016

At the end of each month, I post an update of my goals, including a brief discussion of any notable events that might have occurred during the month. The latest month's figures can always be found under the Featured menu in the menu bar at the top of the blog.

Last updated: End of August, 2016
Current value: $25,001
Change from last month: +$174
Percent of Goal:  22.99%

Note that the funds in this account are invested in stock, so there will be fluctuations in value that are outside my control. I never withdraw money from this account, so any dips are purely due to stock price changes.

Events Of Note Last Month:

I squeaked past $25,000! That means I've unlocked another achievement!

Income this month from my online courses was $285. My hard money loan generated $133.33 in income. Those two things alone should have pushed over $25,000 with a couple hundred dollars to spare, but my stock account declined a bit, so that canceled out some of these gains.

As I thought they would back in June, Udemy has once more changed their pricing model. The model they tried to go with was a maximum price of $50 and a maximum discount of 50%. This was a big reduction in overall prices and a much lower cap on allowed discounts. However, even though the total cost to students was lower under this new pricing model, I saw my profits drop and I'm sure the company saw theirs drop as well. I think there were two issues here, both of which involve the irrational thought processes of shopping humans: 1) people prefer getting big discounts off a higher price, even if a small discount off a lower price gives them a lower overall cost and 2) a lower cost for a course implies the course might not be of high quality.

The new pricing model, which went into effect August 22, now allows a new maximum price of $200 and maximum discount of 75%. I've increased my prices and we'll see how things work out. I can tell the company is really anxious to get course prices raised again - they've sent me no less than 6 emails in a week reminding me to increase my prices.

This month I also won $20 in a drawing at work for filling out a survey about car pooling. Thanks to friend Pam Moore, bassist for The Neptunas and Cheap Chick, for reminding me to add this into the Tesla fund as well!

Pamita, back in the muumuu days

I also received $2.30 in ebook royalties. My birthday was in August and I threw $50 I received as gifts into the Tesla account.

Realty Income (O) stock dropped from the crazy highs of last month and I took the opportunity to buy some more shares with the cash I had accumulated. I picked some up at $66.56 a share. With their dividend of $2.418 per share, that gives me a yield of 3.63%. I look for a minimum of 3.5%, so this is good.

You Really DO Love Me!

I also am very happy to be able to say that this blog was mentioned on J. Money's Rockstar Finance blog a couple weeks ago. He featured my post "Are You Good At Ignoring People? You'll Probably Be Good At Investing." It's been a longtime goal of mine to get featured on his site, which highlights three "awesome money articles" each day. I'm honored to be chosen! (And coming one day before my birthday, this was an awesome present!) After you're done here, check out his blog, Budgets Are Sexy. I read it regularly.

Net Worth Update

Our net worth continues to grow, increasing by $11,346 from last month to a new total of $703,325.

July 2016August 2016
Note: categorizes our HELOC as a credit card debt, not a loan, hence the apparently high credit card balance.

Once again, the big increase in our net worth was due to Zillow's estimate of the value of our house increasing. I won't argue with it, but the huge gain is not really from anything I did this month, so I don't really deserve any credit.

If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please drop me a line!


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