2021 Year-End Update

What a year... as I write this, I'm on the mend from my own mild case of COVID, having been finally been hit by Omicron despite being vaccinated and boosted. (I got it from extended indoor, unmasked contact with a family member who turned out to have been not as "careful" as they thought they had been.) I know a lot of people are in the same boat. It is disheartening to have such a huge spike in cases after feeling optimistic over the summer, but I am trying to focus on the lower hospitalization and death rates. If vaccinations mean COVID becomes something that has less serious long-term health risks, like the regular flu, that is good news.

I've been using this low-energy post-holiday time to start getting year-end accounting in order. A few facts and figures:

The investments I manage for my mother had returns of about 20% this year.

My year-end net worth was $2,232,684.

My income from investments was approximately $145,000, while my income from work was approximately $72,000.

My spending on "Arts," a new category I started breaking out last year for museums and concerts, was up from about $100 in 2020 to over $1,000 in 2021 because I was so excited to enjoy live music with the reopening of local venues. (Most of the concerts I went to were outdoors, but a couple were indoors, with masks required.)

Sweetie and I had let our gym membership expire during the height of the pandemic, but we re-joined this fall, at a cost of about $1,100 for a year. I also spent about $250 on some apps and equipment to try to get myself to exercise more at home.

My travel expenses were an all-time (or all recent memory, anyway) low of $356 in 2021. All we did was visit family using our own car. 2020 would have been almost as low but for an international trip for a wedding early in the year, before the pandemic blew up.

I spend about $1,800 on clothes in 2021, vs a little over $800 in 2020. I bought a couple of expensive fleeces from Patagonia and expensive Hoka One One sneakers since they are the only shoes I can really walk in anymore, but otherwise much of my spending was on very inexpensive jeans and shirts on eBay, some of which were for Sweetie. I love working from home and being able to prioritize comfort!

When I did my 2020 taxes with my accountant and she heard I was working again, she suggested that I not do pre-tax 401k contributions anymore. She did a quick calculation of how my savings might be likely to grow over the next 15 or so years and said "you're going to have a lot of money when you retire! Your tax bracket is likely to be higher then, so you should probably focus on Roth IRA contributions now." So I immediately switched to doing Roth 401k contributions in my employer's plan.

I'm still enjoying working again. During the summer, I did find myself missing the freedom I had the last couple of years, and Sweetie is itching to travel again when the pandemic subsides. I'm hoping there will be an opportunity to scale back my hours. Occasionally it has crossed my mind that I could get a better-paying job that would still allow me to work from home, now that my entire industry has become more flexible about remote work and is likely to stay that way. But I'm not feeling greedy about the money. My current salary has more than stabilized my cash flow. I could cut back my hours somewhat and still get benefits, so that is a plan that is in the back of my mind for whenever it makes sense.

Thank you to anyone who still checks back in and reads these posts. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year! Onwards and upwards in 2022 (as long as we're not talking about COVID hospitalization rates!)

Source: myopenwallet

2021 Year-End Update