Let me start by saying this quarter has been a bit of a clusterfuck. My father is dying and there is of course the inevitable family drama. When I found out what state my father was in and how my mother was unable to cope, I said I would fly to the UK to look after both of them. (Just as a reminder, I am in the USA and my family is in the UK). I have to give credit to those who do this for a living because this is hard. My father also seems to have some dementia too, so there is that to deal with, and my sibling has been low key using my parents as an ATM for years. Now that I have arrived, that has stopped and she is PISSED!
All of this is to say, that our savings have taken a hit but there are some FIRE elements here:
We live well below our means
Cat and I don’t spend our entire pay checks. When a crisis strikes as it has now, from a financial point of view, its no big deal. When we decided that I had to go back to the UK, the money did not even come into consideration.
Air Miles are Handy
I travelled a lot for work, pre COVID and amassed about 70k air miles on united. Using these air miles I was able to get a business class ticket for the red eye to London. This saved me about $4000. My ticket cost was $5 and change!
I bought a(nother) car
Because I am now in the UK and will be here for a while, I purchased a car. Not just any car but a Citroen C3. Not my first choice but it has some features that make it ideal for old folks with limited mobility. I paid cash for it (about $8500). I was able to do this because Cat and I have a healthy emergency fund. We now joke that we have fleet on two continents.
My little blue toaster!
Where does this put us now?
In order to cover the costs of setting up an office in the UK (in my parents back bedroom – I feel like i am in my teens again), purchasing the car and getting some things sorted out for my parents, I drew $12k from my brokerage account so our overall balance has dropped and Cat and I are no longer one millionaire! Oh no! The recent dip in the market has also contributed to a drop in our net worth, but the good news is that we only had about a month without saving before we went back into saving again. Some of the emergency fund has already been replenished, so all is not lost.
Here are the numbers!
Cat’s portfolio has also suffered with the recent dip in the economy so we find ourselves at a total net worth of: 982,588 which is not too shabby. We are on course for retirement still in the next 2-3 years, although we are close enough at this point that we could pull the trigger on retirement if we wanted to.
I think the message here is that while the numbers are ok, and mostly heading in the right direction, it is the importance of living within the bounds of your paycheck, and having an emergency fund that has been the winning strategy here. I should also add that as mentioned in some of our other posts; I work from home and now I work from my mother’s home. As far as my job is concerned nothing much has changed, I am just in another country. While being here I have continued to manage my workload, team and onboarded a new employee, so I am still working and that helps tremendously. So while I don’t like the dip below the $1M mark, I am not concerned and hopefully the market will come back soon and push us over again.