Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Goal Update: End Of April 2017

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 April, 2017
Current value: $31,906 $31,096
Change from last month: +$1,314 +$504
Percent of Goal:  29.34% 28.60%

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:

(Update: I discovered I made a typo when transferring figures to my spreadsheet. The value of my account at the end of April was $31,096, not $31,906. I adjusted the figures above, but not the chart, because I'm lazy.)

Net income from my online courses was $90.00. My hard money loan generated $133.33 in income. I received $2.30 in eBook royalties. And lastly, I received a $50 check from a class action lawsuit relating to my old Whirlpool washing machine.

Income from my online courses seems to be tapering off. This is likely because newer versions of SQL Server have come out and, although my course content is still applicable to the newer versions,  I suspect people want to always learn on the new shiny.

I remember going to one session at a SQL conference that was titled something along the lines of "Best Practices for SharePoint and SQL Server 2016." The very first thing the guy said was that his session was exactly the same as ones he had done for previous versions of SQL Server, but if he didn't put "SQL 2016" in the title, no one would show up. I walked out, not simply because this pissed me off, but because the year prior, I had attended his session for SQL 2012, so I wasn't going to waste my time sitting through the same session.

I could go through and update my courses to show SQL 2016, but really, for the stuff in them, nothing changed. I'm not going to be as disingenuous as that speaker was by re-branding my courses with something like "Now includes SQL 2016!" So my options are to make a new course based on features of SQL Server that are only found in the new versions, or just accept the declining revenue. Not sure which way I will go yet.

I mentioned back in February that my hard money loan was coming due and I was selling my stock in anticipation of rolling the funds from that into a new loan. I sold my stock, but then found out my loan was extended by three months (which I agreed to), so I've been sitting on about $11,000 cash earning next to nothing for a couple of months. Not ideal, but not the end of the world either.

Relocation Update

Man,  real estate agents can be like sharks smelling blood in the water. I opted to fire the one agent I was using to sell my house (I only had 1 showing in 7 weeks) and hire another. As part of that process, I had to take my house off the market. Immediately, I got barraged with calls from agents trying to get me to list my house with them. The house went off the market on Friday night. On Saturday morning, I received 5 calls in 15 minutes! On Monday, I received about 15 calls in the hour between 8 AM and 9 AM. Because I had actually already signed with a new agent, there was no point in my talking to these people. I basically stopped answering my phone for 2 days if the call was from a number I did not recognize.


Taxes this year were about the same, on a net basis, as last year. We ended up owing about $1,000 federal and $500 state, for a total of $1,500. Last year, we owed $1,900 federal and got a $400 refund from the state, for a total of... $1,500. I am nothing, if not consistent :-)

It could have been worse but I had been making quarterly tax payments to lessen the blow. I put aside 15% of the income I receive from my hard money loans, royalties, and online courses for taxes and send that in each quarter. Last year that came to about $600 in payments.

I used to want to end up owing a small amount each year because getting a refund means you have been lending money to the government interest-free for a year. I still feel that way, but after doing our taxes this year, I went ahead and increased our W-4 additional withholding amounts for 2017. My goal now is to end the year somewhere between getting $200 back and owing $200 in taxes. But since tax laws are constantly changing, it's a hard target to hit. It'll be made even more difficult for 2017; my wife's new job pushed us into a new tax bracket, but we are also moving (which gives us some tax deductions) to a state that has no income tax.

Net Worth Update 

For April, our net worth rose by $36,922. As I mentioned last month, this was mainly due to my wife's relocation bonus hitting our bank. Once I sell our house in Arizona and move to Washington, those funds will be used and our net worth will take a corresponding drop.

March 2017April 2017
Note: categorizes our HELOC as a credit card debt, not a loan, hence the apparently high credit card balance.

Mint changed their charts. I miss the pretty colors and I think the new version is harder to read.

Our Property total dropped and our Cash went up. This is because I cashed out a hard money loan, which Mint tracks in the Property category. As soon as my bank clears the funds from the check, I'll be sending it to my HELOC, which Mint characterizes as a Credit Card. This is just me moving funds around trying to get ready for the sale of our house and upcoming move.

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

1 comment:

  1. Nice progress! Hope you are able to sell the house soon, unfortunate that you had to deal with a bad real estate agent. Better luck this time around.