Caught On FIRE Update – Sept 2020

I’ve been MIA lately so I wanted to post some of the latest updates. A ton has happened since the last few posts. Covid has taken over every conversation on the planet, everyone that goes anywhere wears a mask, and rioting seems to be a pretty normal thing to see these days. Besides all that, I thankfully still have a job and I’m still putting money away every paycheck.

A Landlord Update

I’ve officially been a landlord for over a year and re-signed the lease with my tenants. They’ve been great. We did a video walk-through, the place was spotless, and I haven’t stepped foot in the property since I last handed them the keys. Since listing the rental on Zillow, they’ve paid promptly on time every month. It’s about as good as anyone could expect and no appliances have broken down yet. This gives me hope for a possible second rental unit in the future. Not sure what kind of deals I’m going to find though as the housing market seems to be booming somehow during this crisis.

A Mental Update

For a while there, I couldn’t stop staring at my accounts. They took a huge drop. At one point I remember thinking, “I could have bought a Tesla with that money!” – definitely a 2020 thing to say! But miraculously we’ve recovered since I kept putting funds into my accounts when everything dipped, I’m better for it now. Honestly, I’m still half expecting another dip to happen. In my eyes, the recovery was way too fast and there is a lot of work to be done, but I’ll count my lucky stars until then. The Mad Fientist also had a great podcast talking about the covid crash and how to deal with it and it just felt re-assuring more than anything.

A Financial Update

In 2018, I made around $5,800 in what I consider passive income. Last year, I made around $8,900. Now, in the first half of 2020 I hit around $5,300 which is almost the same as my 2018 entire year. Not too bad overall. The trajectory keeps going in the right direction, although sometimes I see some you-tuber post about making thousands a month with very little work and my heart sinks a little.

Kidding! There’s always going to be someone ahead of you and there are going to be plenty others behind you. Just stay the course.

2020 Goals

I didn’t really set any 2020 financial goals. With the way things turned in March, I really just hoped to keep my head above water as I’m sure most people did. Now that I’m floating, I’ve just been able to save easier given there’s less money to go and spend things on. Travel, vacations, and going out aren’t things that are happening too often.

With everything happening and not spending as much in general, I decided to increase my 401k contribution so that I’d max our earlier in the year. Given the large market drops, I felt it was appropriate.

Looking Toward The Future

Since I didn’t truly get to feel the effects of the 2008 financial crisis as I wasn’t into my actual career yet, 2020 has been a learning event to say the least. There were much worse things that have happened in the past and somehow the markets were able to recover so I’m positive we’ll recover from this. If anything, this has been a massive lesson on a personal level for financial tolerance. Given that I’m still pretty young, I can handle some larger swings – but I can only imagine someone retired or close to it having a panic attack. It’s not an easy pill to swallow.

2020 is a year I’ll always remember, but also look forward to it being behind all of us. I hope that jobs growth explodes in the future and that this virus will be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.

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