Life and Net Worth Updates

I know it’s technically not the middle of the year anymore but in my defense, I have three points:

  1. I published my last net worth update in March 2020
  2. Many people are confused about what day or month it is due to being cooped up at home to avoid COVID-19. Time no longer feels real
  3. Most importantly, this is my site and I can do whatever I want
 
 

Having said that, I want to share with you, gorgeous readers, my latest, mid-year net worth update as well as what I’ve been up to in the past six months. 

 

Here’s my September 2020 net worth, in matrix format: 

 

Amount in Pesos

Amount in USD

ASSETS

Retirement Accounts

1,232,716.52

25,328.01

Stocks Investments (short-term)

135,288.82

2,785.64

House and Lot

1,800,000.00

37,062.55

Condominium

3,793,200.00

78,103.15

Investments – Minority Partner  in a business

150,000.00

3,088.55

Investment – Gown Rental

40,000.00

823.612

Emergency Fund

339,965.79

7,000.00

Total

7,491,171.13

154,191.512

LIABILITIES

Loan for Condominium

1,870,000.00

38,503.87

Total

1,870,000.00

38,503.87

 

 

 

ASSETS – LIABILITIES = 7,491,171.13 – 1,870,000.00 = 5,621,171.13

SEPTEMBER 2020 = 5,621,171.13 // $115,741.64

Comparing this to my last net worth update in March 2020:

 

March 2020

September 2020

Change

TOTAL

$109,802.80

$115,741.64

+$5,938.84 (5.41%)

Retirement Accounts

$28,217.60

$25,328.01

-$2889.59 (-10.24%)

 

Although my overall net worth increased by 5.41% or $5,938.84 from March 2020, my Retirement Account actually suffered a loss of 10.24% or $2,889. This can be explained by the following factors:

 

  1. Stronger peso this September than in March. If you notice, in pesos, my net worth only increased by Php10,683. But when you convert the total net worth in dollars, the conversion this time is much higher than in my past report. For reference, US$1 is equivalent to PHP48.5665 at the time of this writing (13 September 2020).
  2. A big portion of my Retirement Account is invested in FMETF, which has taken a nosedive due to the pandemic. 
  3. However, my portfolio managed to stay afloat thanks to my investments in Vanguard. The US stock market is at an all-time high despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Another thing that I did, well, last year actually, was to get a condominium unit to be my main residence when I go home. The unit is still in pre-selling so I’ll be paying the equity portion for another 2 years. I’m not sure if I should already include it in my net worth computation (but where?) since it will skew my record and will show that I’m buried in debt, even though I haven’t/ I’m not yet required to take out a loan to pay it off. So far I already have more than Php500,000 in equity.

 

My first condo unit is still generating positive income for me, although my tenants will end their contract by October. I’m hoping that they will extend their contract for another year since it’s hard to find new tenants at this time. In case they end the contract permanently, I will be forced to pay the monthly mortgage out of pocket.

On the Home Front

I had a few major expenses the past months, some related to COVID-19, some not. 

 

First, my mom and brother finally got the time to supervise roof repairs before the Philippine monsoon season began. The total expenses, including labor and materials, came to Php45,000. 

 

Another expense is related to the loss of income due to the pandemic. I paid off my parent’s car loan for their Grab taxi. That amounted to almost Php100,000. Before, their taxi earned enough to pay off the monthly payments and insurance but since the quarantine measures began, that source of income was closed off for months. 

 

I have also provided assistance to my extended family in the province for various expenses. Some were for happy occasions like a wedding, while some expenses were for illnesses and loss of income. 

 

I’m so happy that I’m able to help my family in their time of need. I feel so privileged in knowing that even though I don’t really have that much (yet), I can help my loved ones back home.

Personal Development

Remember I told you before that I was taking classes in Harvard Extension School and I received my Graduate Certificate in International Security?

 

I decided to go all in and apply for a full-blown graduate degree. I got the decision via email in the second week of September. 

 

So finally, Auntie Katie is an official Harvard degree candidate/graduate student!

HES decision

Of course, because I’m manol (I don’t know the equivalent of this Hiligaynon word in English, Tagalog, or any language. It means somebody who is so excited about a new thing that they can’t stop talking about it, referring to it, looking at it, etc.), I have already requested to have my Harvard email address changed to my preferred format. I also changed my Linkedin profile, updated my Harvard Connections photo and contact details, and ordered HES and even Harvard College merch. I’m planning on attending classes on campus next summer if COVID-19 abates to fulfil on-campus requirements, and more importantly, get my ID. 😀

 

I want to thank DARPA for developing the internet and Sir Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the world wide web, two things that enabled me to achieve this dream (and to think about it, my life as it is right now). 

Money Thoughts

All of the current developments caused by COVID-19 has got me thinking deeply about the importance of having multiple sources of income. Currently, I have passive income from my rental property plus a small portfolio of dividend stocks, but I definitely need additional money if I want to continue growing my net worth, preparing for my son’s college tuition, and helping my family. 

 

I recently opened this site for collaboration and sponsorships after receiving inquiries. I mean, why not, right? I’m spending money and time to host and maintain this site. Monetizing it through ad placements and sponsored posts is a logical move, financially. Of course, I only want to work with partners who respect clients and value their needs. 

 

I’ve also been thinking of opening a Youtube channel on personal finance, travel, and lifestyle. I’m not yet sure how the channel will look. I was gravitating towards having an explainer video with a voice-over so that I don’t have to appear on camera. I have been told by some readers that they recommended my content to their family and friends but said family and friends preferred to watch videos instead of reading a long article. 

 

 

I don’t know yet. What do you think?

Financial Goals for 2020

A quick update on how I’m faring with my 2020 financial goals:

 

  • Invest at least 15% of my income for retirement. On the way there.
  • Rebalance portfolio to include more US index funds. Before the end of this year, for sure.
  • Aggressively add more money to my son’s college fund. His college fund is invested in the First Metro index ETF (FMETF) and Vanguard Total Index ETF. I don’t include these in my net worth. I and his father committed to adding more money separately later this year. 
  • Make sure that my parent’s SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG memberships are up-to-date. Also, make sure that their health insurance coverage is paid off. Just renewed my father’s Maxicare plan while my mother is under my sister’s health plan coverage from work. Achieved.
  • Keep a list of all assets, including furniture, books, etc., not only for net worth tracking purposes but also for insurance claims, if ever. This goal is recycled from last year. I hope to do better this year. Ummmm…
  • Save up for my required in-campus classes at Harvard Extension School. I shared before that I’m taking classes in HES, which is the university’s online school for non-traditional learners (those who have full-time jobs and don’t live in the Boston area). No longer possible. Next year, I hope.
  • Save up for a big trip if not by the middle of the year on my birthday, by the end of 2020. I really want to go back to South America and explore Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. Or maybe visit my friends in Switzerland and visit the shooting locations of Crash Landing on You. I’m obsessed! Hahahahahaha
 

I’m pretty sure I would’ve saved and invested more money if I haven’t developed the bad habit of buying a lot of things off the internet in the past quarter. I think that as a coping mechanism from all this (not being able to see my family and loved ones in the flesh, not being able to travel, not being able to take a long leave of absence from work, etc.), my brain started developing an addiction to the high I get from receiving gifts (that I actually paid for). 

 

This is definitely my challenge for the rest of the year. On the other hand, I have almost overhauled my wardrobe to include a ton of silk shirts and pants and added a number of designer suits and accessories. Also, I added more luxurious bed sheet sets to my collection. Despite growing up poor, I developed a Princess and the Pea situation wherein I can’t sleep if I’m on scratchy sheets. My bad. 

 

Obviously, I’m not a perfect “financial guru” (I’m not a guru) who has total self-mastery and laser focus to achieve my goal. I’m just a fabulous woman trying to make my way into the world while having fun despite life’s challenges. 

Have you taken the time to write down your net worth so far? How did you do? Let me know in the comments!

love Katie Scarlett

Hello! Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. I use affiliate links to maintain this site. If you believe in what I’m trying to do and to keep the FIRE burning, please consider supporting me by clicking on some links. 

You can also support the site by doing your online shopping through my affiliate links, where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Thank you for your support! 

6 Responses

  1. I personally prefer reading articles over watching videos, especially if it’s personal finance related. But I think you should still create a youtube channel and reach more Filipinos. I’m sure it will look great.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I also prefer communicating via writing but we gotta go with the times 😀

  2. Yes to Patagonia!! Congratulations on Harvard. Like Peso Pinching Papa, I prefer reading as well. I have a very short attention span for watching videos but there a lot of people there who learn more by watching videos so go for Youtube!

    1. I hope I can reach more people with Youtube videos and add diversity to the current Filipino finance youtubers.

  3. Same here! We’ve been buying most things online, even consumables like food, toiletries, etc. Made some frivolous buys here and there too, but dang, it gives me joy. We do still monitor our saving rate to keep it in check. There’s no time like a pandemic to think about balancing frugality with living in the present. Life’s too short Katie! Haha…

    Re your condo, you can count the equity that you paid as “equity in installment purchases,” part of your personal property. Can’t count the entire purchase price as real estate, as it’s not paid in whole yet. As there’s no loan taken out yet, so no liability for you to declare yet. Once the title (condo certificate of title) has been transferred to your name, (wc usually coincides w/ your loan proceeds release to the seller), that is when you can declare the entire selling price as part of your real estate. Then you’ll also have to declare the loan balance as a liability.

    1. Ooh thanks for the suggestion. You’re right, it can count towards my equity, great point.

Let me know what you think

%d bloggers like this: