I usually calculate my net worth on the 15th of the month. I’ll be traveling on the 15th of June, so this month, I went ahead and took a look at the month’s progress.
I was not happy with what I discovered.
I didn’t make progress this month. In fact, instead of the typical $1,000-ish increase I’ve enjoyed since paying off the debt, my net worth DECREASED by $257…
Now, I know that $257 is nothing to get upset about in the scheme of things, but I can’t help but worry about the cost of the summer I’ve set up for myself. I’m traveling for three weeks, and as low-budget as my plans are, it still is going to cost some money. And, I have to worry about one other cause of the decrease: surprise medical bills.
Healthcare is the only thing in this country that we purchase before knowing the price. Why is this? Seriously. We wouldn’t move into a house without knowing what we’re going to pay. We wouldn’t drive a car off the lot and find out what it costs later. But, for our BODIES, they’ve got us. We’ll have the test. We’ll see the specialist. All before knowing what the price will be. We just wait for the bill in the mail and hope we have enough in savings to cover it.
Well, I have enough, but that is my savings. I wanted to make payments toward a balance, and that desire was met with some…distaste, I’ll say, from the front desk.
When I took on my teaching gigs for the summer, I knew that I wanted to:
- Max out my IRA
- Pay for some work on the house
- Cover all my traveling expenses
- Maybe start a taxable fund.
I didn’t think I’d be buying an $850 bed. I didn’t think about medical debt. I didn’t think I’d dip into my savings to cover the bed and some upfront travel expenses before I left.
I didn’t think my net worth would stop growing.
Markets dip and life happens. I get it. The best we can do is spend less than we earn and keep what we can. I’m still disappointed, though. Since paying off the student loan debt, my net worth has increased steadily. To have it suddenly slide backwards is a blow. But, as blows go, it’s manageable, I suppose.
I can’t fix it overnight, but I might be able to by the end of next month. I can’t dip into savings for anything else. I’ll pay off the debt before I pay for the work on the house. If I don’t open a taxable fund until next year, it’s not the end of the world. As far as worries go, it’s a good one to have.
Have you seen decreases in your net worth during your FIRE journey? How did you handle them?