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Archive for July, 2019

July 2019 net worth update

July 31st, 2019 at 09:26 am

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
AV: 22,397 pounds ($27,996)
SW: 28,134 pounds ($35,168)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $78,908
NT's Roth IRA: $37,071
AS's trad. IRA: $20,530
AS's Roth IRA: $57,666
AS's SEP IRA: $32,810
AS's cash: $2,259
CJ's 401(k): $148,563
CJ's Roth IRA: $41,376
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $427,281 ($454,554 value -6%)
---
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,130,206

Debts:
US Mortgage $377,973
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,146
UK Mortgage 2 $6,355
UK Mortgage 3 $6,693
-----
TOTAL DEBT $430,167

Current Estimated Net Worth: $700,039

May 2019 estimate: $698,769

Change in net worth: +$1,270

Summary: Our net worth stayed almost exactly the same. I realized that since I checked June balances on July 6, I already captured July Roth contributions and debt payments as part of the big leap in net worth we had last month, so that makes sense. The existing values of our funds are flat from when I checked them last.

Nevertheless, it was enough to tip us past an exciting milestone--over $700K in net worth!

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. (I do have my eye on a comparable listing for the UK flat, but it's been on the market a long time.) UK pension values updated about once a year. UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.25 for every British pound.

Self-publishing on a dime (or several thousand dimes)

July 17th, 2019 at 08:52 pm

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've finally self-published one of my novels! And, because we've got so much going on financially (and because I have zero confidence in my ability to sell copies, TBH), I've tried to do it as cheaply as possible. Here's what I've spent so far (and what I've managed to do for free).

Editing/proofreading: Free. (AS did a round and I did several.) Well, I did purchase some book editing software a couple years ago, but I did that before I even had concrete plans to publish, so I don't really count it.

ISBN/barcode purchase: $79. (Well, I bought 5 of each in bulk for $395, but I intend to publish other books so I'm only counting a fifth of the cost for this one.)

Cover design: Free. (I found a free photo on a site called Unsplash, and AS designed the cover.)

Formatting and test paperback copy: $85.24. I used a platform called IngramSpark, which also makes the ebook and print-on-demand paperback available on most bookselling sites.

Marketing/publicity: $19.39 so far. Since I'm publishing under a pseudonym, I wanted an author pic that didn't look 100% like me, so I paid someone on Fiverr to make a line drawing of my photo and alter it a bit. That cost $14. Then I shelled out $5.39 for a review copy that I sent to a site, hoping they would give me some press. (They said they would but haven't so far, so we shall see.) Other than that, I have a Facebook account, Instagram feed and blog under my author name, and those are all free to use.

50 copies to sell personally: $226.13. It would have been about $279 but if I ordered at least 50, I would get a $49 formatting fee refunded, so I did that.

Total cost so far: $409.76.

Total revenue/sales: $0.

So far I know I've sold at least 3 paperback copies through online, but I won't get paid until the next billing cycle, so I'm not counting them. I make less than $2 per online paperback sale, so less than $6 that I know I have coming.

Oh, and I have at least three real-life people who want to buy a book directly from me. I'm going to charge $10 for the book if I sell it personally, and they cost $4.52 apiece to print and get delivered to me, so that's at least $15 net expected.

So I guess I'll make at least $20 on the sales I know for sure? Obviously I need to keep marketing myself, but this is the hard part. I hate boasting, and plus I'm beset with self-doubt about whether the novel is any good. Sometimes I think it is but other times I'm like how can I know for sure? I'm too close to it.

But obviously, I need to get out there and hustle for at least $380 more in net revenue if I want to make up for the cost of getting the thing out into the world!

I'm a published author!

July 11th, 2019 at 08:09 am

Well, self-published, but it's still exciting!

I finally managed to get one of my NaNoWriMo novels edited and uploaded to a self-publishing platform. It's now

Text is available on Amazon and Link is https://www.amazon.com/Viral-T-Berkeley/dp/1733140700/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=viral+berkeley&qid=1562858150&s=gateway&sr=8-1
available on Amazon as both an ebook and a paperback, if you want to check it out! (Warning: It's a thriller and a little bit gory and raunchy, in case that's not your thing!)

I decided to publish under a pseudonym since I'm also a writer in the marketing industry and don't necessarily want my clients to know that I write trashy novels! :-)



There's so much to learn about this process...I've learned many lessons and I'm sure there are more to come. Like, I tried to price my book so that I'd get a little bit of profit, but I found it hard to figure out. So I'll have to wait until I get my first sales report to see if I did it right.

If you're interested in learning more about my lessons learned so far and other things related to the book, I also have
Text is an author blog and Link is https://taberkeley.wordpress.com
an author blog.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to market the thing, and also working on a new book--a financial advice book based on my old Ordinary Savers blog!

June 2019 retirement goal update

July 6th, 2019 at 02:03 pm

Goal: $776,700 by March 2024

Current retirement balance: $489,155

Still needed: $287,545

April 2019 balance: $473,628

Progress since April 2019: +$15,527

There are 57 months to go before March 2024, so that means we need assets to appreciate $5,045 per month on average to meet our goal.

Overall goal: saving 8x income by retirement (age 65)

Incremental goal explained: getting my and NT's retirement to 4x our salaries (currently $75,120 and $62,100) by the time we turn 50 and AS's retirement values to 3x her annual income ($75,940 in 2018) by the time she turns 45.
$75,120 x 4 = $300,480
$62,100 x 4 = $248,400
$75,940 x 3 = $227,820

The goal will shift anytime our salary/annual income changes.

June 2019 net worth update

July 6th, 2019 at 01:56 pm

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
AV: 22,397 pounds ($27,996)
SW: 28,134 pounds ($35,168)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $78,372
NT's Roth IRA: $37,102
AS's trad. IRA: $20,541
AS's Roth IRA: $57,727
AS's SEP IRA: $32,838
AS's cash: $2,259
CJ's 401(k): $147,663
CJ's Roth IRA: $41,411
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $427,281 ($454,554 value -6%)
---
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,128,936

Debts:
US Mortgage $377,973
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,146
UK Mortgage 2 $6,355
UK Mortgage 3 $6,693
-----
TOTAL DEBT $430,167

Current Estimated Net Worth: $698,769

May 2019 estimate: $668,102

Change in net worth: +$30,667

Summary: Wow, another huge swing in the other direction! Last month we lost about $12K in net worth, this month we made that up plus another $18K!

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. (I do have my eye on a comparable listing for the UK flat, but it's been on the market a long time.) UK pension values updated about once a year. UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.25 for every British pound.

July 2019 debt payments

July 6th, 2019 at 01:39 pm

I'm just catching up on finances because we were away at a no-screens lakeside vacation in Wisconsin!

While we were gone, all our mortgage payments hit:
US: $750 to principal
UK1: $182
UK2: $38
UK3: $40

All told, $1010 went to principal.

New debt totals:
US Mortgage $377,973
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,146
UK Mortgage 2 $6,355
UK Mortgage 3 $6,693
-----
TOTAL DEBT $430,167