I’m Married! That and other big news below this this month’s awesome earning and net worth update.
What’s Eric Up To
You read it right. This long time single living blogger is now a married blogger. But that only means good things for all of you. With all of my history of single 20s-30s personal finance tips, I can now continue to offer the great info you are used to, plus more.
Since the last update, my bank accounts have become joint, my wife has joined up on my insurance, and our financial lives are becoming even more intertwined.
We enjoyed an amazing wedding weekend in Santa Barbara, California before jetting off to Vancouver, British Columbia for an amazing five day honeymoon north of the border, complete with bikes and a helicopter tour! We then headed south to my hometown Denver for a friend’s wedding before heading back home to Portland.
Now that we’re back, we are sticking around a while. Our big new project to share with our new friends in town is the Portland Cruiser Ride. Denver folks know what I’m talking about, but if you’re curious, check out the new Portland Cruisers homepage for more info.
Selling Sold My Condo
My condo closed right on schedule on May 28th, and I am now 100% debt free in every way. No credit cards, no student loans, no car loan, and no mortgage. We are now back to the simple days of just renting, but we love where we live and the move was great for us.
We are thinking about a few options for when our lease ends in December. We are considering staying put in our rental or buying a new house in Portland (link to an interview about buying a new home at Learnvest). We are not rushing to decide what to do next, but if we don’t buy we will almost certainly stay in our rental for another year.
Side Business Income
Narrow Bridge Media – All Blogs and Online Activities
Over the last couple of months, I have been getting bigger and better freelance projects. The difference can be clearly seen in the numbers. Re-branding my freelance business as Narrow Bridge Media has been great for business.
- Freelance Earnings – $3,050
- Affiliate Payments – $0
- AdSense – $19
- Advertising & Partnerships – $57
- Premium Plugin Sales – $0 (Thesis Post Image Converter available at CodeCanyon)
- Book Sales – $1 – Buy here or Amazon
- Outsourced Projects – $205 (got some advance work done to cover my wedding vacation)
- Email List – $19 (Provided by Aweber)
- Web Hosting – $21 ($15 per month for LiquidWeb and $5 per month for Hostgator – both paid annually)
- Domain Fees – $11
- Conferences & Events – $31
- Misc – $0
Total Revenue: $3,127, Total Expenses: $287, Total Profit: $2,840
Denver Flash Mob – Flash Mob Consulting and Planning
Denver Flash Mob is officially back online and things are going great. Lots of fun happening in Denver!
- Custom Flash Mob Payments – $540
- 7 Step Flash Mob Planning Workbook Sales – $0
- Outsourced Workers – $400
Total Revenue: $540, Total Expenses: $400, Total Profit: $140
I am currently investing with a two part automated investment plan in my retirement accounts. I am investing 4% of my pre-tax income with a 100% match of that 4% by my employer. I am also investing $211 per paycheck automatically to max out my Roth IRA. Read more about my automatic investing in my retirement accounts to see how it all works.
Before I moved, I was contributing roughly 20% of my income in retirement accounts and would like to return to that level now that I have sold my condo, but I am going to wait for a month or two of married expenses to normalize before I do that.
The best tool I have found to help me keep my portfolio balanced is Empower. The site helps me track and manage my bank accounts and credit cards too, but the site has helped me save hundreds of dollars per year by showing which investments are charging the biggest fees and how to balance my portfolio for my goals and risk tolerance. The site is completely free.
I have been very happy with my most recent stock purchases. My most recent three buys are Starbucks, Amazon.com, and Wynn Resorts. I have no plans to sell at any point in foreseeable future, and I plan to keep riding these up and up. Remember that most people should not start investing by buying individual stocks. Broad index funds like an S&P 500 fund are best for getting started.
My most recent stock pick is for a company called ASSA ABLOY. The company is the owner of the company that makes HID entry systems. You know those little beepy fobs and ID badges that people use to get into offices and apartments? Those things. The problem is that the company is traded on the Stockholm stock exchange and doesn’t have an official ADR in the United States. That means the buying cost is significantly higher than the typical $9 trade fee I normally have at Schwab. The fee is more like $60 to buy it directly via an over the counter intermediary. I am deciding if it is still worth buying without an ADR. If you don’t know what an ADR is, you can read my primer on the subject.
Outside of the stock market, my net annual returns at Lending Club are 11.87%. I currently have 52 active and current loans, 1 past due, 1 in funding, and 24 fully paid. I have earned $225 in interest, so even if one loan goes bad I’m still doing great.
Now that the condo is sold, I expect things to smooth out again and not be as flat and sporadic as while I was paying rent in Portland and a mortgage/HOA in Denver. With the condo sale, my debt went to zero (other than credit cards which I pay in full each pay period) and my cash went way up. That and wedding gifts made it a great month.
If you are interested in how I found the condo and plan to look for my next home, check out my guide to home ownership from search to move-in.
I update all values monthly with the exception of my car value and my condo value, which is updated annually with the value from Zillow.