Summer is here and Austin is a raging inferno—June 2023 was the ninth-hottest in recorded Austin history.
On Monday, June 12, I started my 5K training, following Hal Higdon’s intermediate plan. I finished the first three weeks in June and if all goes well, I should finish the eight-week plan in early August.
In total, I went for 25 runs, covering 63.31 miles in 9:32:03, likely the most prolific month in my life.
I’ve felt great. I’m running pain-free and I’m motivated and eager to get better.
The biggest change from previous attempts at following a training plan has been to… follow the plan. A revolutionary idea. I’m running my easy runs at an easy pace and pushing hard on the speed runs.
My goal is a sub-23 minute 5K, which will require a 7:24 / mi pace.
The only other update from June has been the stock market’s continued bull run. It’s amazing how fast the pendulum swings.
In April, the world was ending and a recession was imminent. Now, the economy is bursting, AI will revolutionize everything, and the recession-callers are Chicken Little.
This only reinforces the lesson that timing the market is a fool’s game.
I’ve known this for years and yet I still held out from investing, choosing instead to hold cash, as I thought a recession would come and I’d get to buy into the market at a lower price.
Now I have to make the “scary” jump into investing again, which is another reason in favor of continued, steady investing—routines are easy to follow once ingrained, so 99% of the battle is setting up good ones.
You asked me what I learned. I didn’t learn anything. I already knew that I wasn’t supposed to do that. I was just an emotional basketcase and I couldn’t help myself. So maybe I learned not to do it again, but I already knew that.
In terms of numbers, our total expenses in June were $3,965.63 and my net worth increased by $35,627 to $867,199.1
Here’s how the numbers broke down:
Our mortgage payment was $3,363.61. This breaks down into $1,506.74 for principal, $446.28 for interest, and $1,410.59 for escrow.
As I mentioned in last month’s update, our monthly escrow is higher this year as the escrow wasn’t set high enough to cover the property tax last year.
We’re technically getting an interest-free loan as the lender paid the property taxes in full at the end of 2022 and we’re paying them back throughout 2023. Small win.
We have $223,982 to go until we’re mortgage free.
We paid $69.89 for insurance for our 2018 Kia Soul and $87.23 on gas on our way to Atlanta.
We’re on Nationwide’s SmartMiles program—their pay-per-mile insurance—since we don’t drive much and it’s been working out well so far.
One big reason I went with the SmartMiles program is that it includes a road trip exception which caps your billable daily mileage at 250 miles.
This came in handy for our trips to Big Bend and Atlanta as we did each leg of the 8+ hour trips in a single day.
Our six-month policy runs out in August and we’ve signed on for another six months. Our monthly base payment increased from $65.42 to $74.40 and our mileage rate from $0.048 to $0.058.
This will lead to a $90 or so increase over the six months.
Our utilities include electricity, natural gas, internet, water, sewer, and trash.
Our electricity bill was $17.72 for 124 kWh.2
This was surprising as we used 232 kWh last June and this June was hotter. The difference must be due to having been away from home camping for a week.
Yet even increasing the usage by 33% to account for this week only puts us at 165 kWh.
I assume this was an aberration and that next month will be more in line with last July’s total of 514 kWh.
Our natural gas bill was $27.53 for 4 CCF.3
Our house uses natural gas for the stove, water heater, and heating. Our usage is in line with last year and should stay at this level until November when the colder weather returns.
Our internet bill was $65.33 for the cheapest plan (300 Mbps) offered by Spectrum since they’re the only provider in our area. If we’re lucky, we’ll have a cheaper alternative by the time we have to renew the contract in January.
Finally, our water, sewer, and trash bill from the city was $82.18. This breaks down into $29.23 for water (738 gallons), $29.04 for sewer, and $16.43 for trash, plus taxes.4
We spent $76.78 on groceries, lower than our typical spend for two reasons:
- We spent a bit extra in April and had extra food to work through.
- We spent a week away from home—I stayed with a friend while my wife was on a business trip—and the food I bought during this week is included in the Fun category.
The $76.78 broke down into $50.97 at Aldi and $25.81 at Walmart.
My wife and I spend around $200 a month on food. See How we eat for only $200 a month for a detailed explanation.
At Aldi, we got our usual produce—avocados, onions, potatoes, bell peppers—along with six dozen eggs, eight bananas, two 24 oz. containers of quick grits, two bags of frozen sweet peas, and two bags of frozen fruit.
At Walmart, we stocked up on peanut butter5 and got two bags of frozen broccoli.
The $135.34 Fun bucks we spent in June came from two events: our return trip from Big Bend and the week I spent at my friend’s apartment.
The gas on our way home from Big Bend accounted for $70.58 of the total with another $0.54 spent on a postcard on our last day.
The remaining $64.22 were spent at HEB on groceries and ingredients for a weekend barbeque while I stayed at my friend’s apartment.
As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, my wife has an Etsy shop that yields a small profit.
We spent $13.23 renewing the domain for her website.
We spent $12 on renewing the domain for this blog and $16.91 on the monthly payment for an umbrella insurance policy with Nationwide.
I’ve been meaning to get umbrella insurance to have extra coverage on top of our home and car insurance and I finally bit the bullet this month.
I started my first full-time job in August of 2017 and started tracking my net worth that December. This first entry came in at $19,054.64.
As of June 2023, my net worth is at $867,199, an increase of $35,627 from last month as the stock market continues to go up.
Given the market rally, this has turned out to be a huge mistake. The S&P 500 has rocketed 24% from its bottom of 3,577 last October to 4,425 in June.
The plan going forward is to decide on a cash buffer we’re comfortable with and start investing into the market on a monthly basis once again. This time for good, I hope. We’ll see if I’m able to follow my own advice.
My goals for July are to publish two posts, come up with a plan and routine for better promoting the blog, and to run a 23-minute 5K.
I hope June was good to you and that July is even better.
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My wife and I track expenses together but our net worth separately. Our finances are combined for the most part, but we’ve always tracked our net worth separately and never bothered to combine our tracking. ↩
The cost was $0.103 per kWH plus a fixed fee of $4.23 and taxes. ↩
The cost was $1 per CCF plus a fixed fee of $21.60 and taxes. ↩
The cost of water is $0.005 per gallon plus a fixed fee of $25.48. Sewer costs $0.006 per gallon plus a fixed fee of $25.31.
The water charge uses the monthly consumption while the sewer charge is based on the average winter usage, that is, the average water consumption during the winter months of November, December, January, and February.
This means our sewer fee will be the same until April 2024 by which time we’ll have established a new average winter usage. ↩
Seventeen 16 oz. jars for $1.25 each for a total of $21.25, which is an absolute steal as we had been getting our peanut butter at Trader Joe’s for $2.29 per jar. ↩