August was a crazy month here in the DIY$ household. We got some of our last trips in before school season makes it harder to skip town with the kids, got the backyard prepped for our concrete patio that will be poured in September, and increased our net worth by $4K to $685,332.
NET WORTH SUMMARY
We’ve done a pretty good job at growing our net worth. With the recent madness of hurricanes and other extreme natural disasters, it has caused us to reconsider some of our net worth allocations. I’m not talking about bonds vs stocks or international vs domestic, I’m talking about taking stock of our ‘survival’ inventory. We already have a bit of non-perishable food stored and lots of tools, but we’ll be re-evaluating whether we have enough. We may also find ourselves buying things that are really just for emergency preparedness purposes.
Our cash balance crept up again this month, helped out a lot by an extra $1,000 that came our way unexpectedly. I know I keep saying that we’re done with big trips, but our travel never seems to end. It isn’t impeding us from saving for retirement or building our cash but it does slow down our cash pile-up. This month I traveled for work a bit (no out of pocket expense), and we took the kids to California for a wedding. I also just got back from a quick trip to go to a football game with my dad and brothers.
After spending a few days in the SF Bay Area and Sacramento, I think I’ll be adding that area to my list of ‘places I won’t be upset if I never go back to’. Las Vegas and Chicago are already on the list for me. We got to see the Muir Woods (along with what felt like an entire small town), and that was great. I’d still like to see Yosemite, but the city and traffic are just not for me.
The S&P 500 was basically flat in August, growing just 0.05%, yet our investments managed to grow by about 0.5% excluding our normal monthly contributions. While most of our investments are invested in S&P 500 index funds, we do have some international funds that did well.
Nothing has really changed in our driveway or replacement plans. We have a gas guzzling Expedition EL to tote around our crew and it is great. When we travel and have to rent a vehicle like we did in San Francisco, we typically get a minivan. Every time we rent a minivan, I’m reminded how much I prefer a large SUV.
My little Corolla is a great car. There really isn’t much more to say. It has over 207,000 miles on it and has never had any major repairs. The end of this year will mark 10 years that we’ve owned it. As much as I love it and know it could probably go another 5-10 years, I’ve started looking at replacements. It is getting old and while it runs great, it’s cosmetically showing its age.
Yet again, we paid extra on the mortgage. Our total home equity went down slightly as Zillow has our home value declining. Our neighbor has moved out and has been doing some home improvements before selling. We’re curious to see when he lists his house for sale and how much it ends up selling for.
A friend who lives nearby recently sold his house and it was only on the market for two days. In our area, updated houses sell quickly and for top dollar. Houses that aren’t updated tend to sit until homeowners realize they won’t get top dollar based solely on location.
MINI DIY OOPS
A few times each year, Sherwin Williams has a 40% off sale. Pretty much whenever this sale happens, we buy a couple of gallons of paint. Even with the 40% off it’s still more expensive than some of the stuff at Home Depot or Lowes, but it covers so much better and is much easier to work with. There’s a reason the pros use it. One thing we love is that they keep a record of all the colors you buy, so you can go in and say “I need another gallon of the color I bought last Spring”, and they’ll know what color you’re looking for. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
We bought 3 gallons back in July but didn’t get around to using it until August. Halfway through painting a room, we realized it wasn’t the right color (doh!). It looked a little off from the get-go, but it was close enough that we thought maybe it would dry right. Not so. Turns out, someone fat fingered the numbers and gave us something one shade off from the same sample card. At the store, they were great and swapped it out for the right color even though we had already used some of it.
The room looks great now, but we wasted a couple of hours painting the wrong color. The moral of the story is that Sherwin Williams is great. But when it comes to paint colors remember to ‘trust, but verify’.
So that’s the August update. Better late than never, but life seems to get in the way sometimes. We’re still on track to get to $700k by year-end and are excited for what’s next.