Savings rates and net worths

Hi all. I don’t have a net worth update today, partly because Mint is misbehaving — its connection with Vanguard seems to be off, and it’s showing me with an extra account there, which in turn is increasing my net worth by $17K. Not that this wouldn’t be nice, but it’s definitely not accurate 🙂

Speaking of net worth! Double Debt Single Woman is in positive net worth territory this month! It has been a long haul for her — she’s increased her net worth by over $140K in five years, through a job loss and surgery, to get to this point. Amazing work, DDSW.

I myself am thinking about a period of unemployment next year, not exactly on purpose but also not exactly NOT on purpose. My current contract runs out at the end of June and so far I don’t have a job lined up yet, though I do have a phone interview in a couple of hours and also some other things ‘cooking.’ However, I’m also considering volunteering full time for a while, at least six months or so.

Whether or not I do this, I’m planning for it, and am so so pleased that it’s even an option. And it’s been all about my savings rate over the last few years. I’m not calculating it down to the last percentage point anymore, and I don’t think I’m at the 50% mark that I was during 2015. I’m saving about 1/3 of my basic monthly income right now, plus when I get a lump sum payment like my book advance or for teaching a class, most or all of that goes into savings. So I’m probably running around 40% overall, maybe a bit higher.

That said, saving 40% is pretty great! Not only does it increase my savings, but here’s the key: it means that I’m holding my expenditures down far enough that those savings cover months and months and months of living expenses. It’s a great feedback loop. At this point I actually think that, with a couple more lifestyle changes, I could have no income for as much as three years (!) before I ran out of cash on hand. That doesn’t count my retirement accounts. Now, of course I don’t intend to do anything of the sort. But let’s say that I was saving only 10 or even 20% of my income. My savings would be lower in absolute terms, and my expenditures higher. Perhaps I’d only have six months covered instead of three years?

4 thoughts on “Savings rates and net worths

  1. Isabella says:

    Good for you! And yes, I have followed DDSW for years. It’s good to see where she’s at.

  2. Chonce says:

    40% is pretty great! Excited to see if you decide on volunteering for a while. That sounds amazing!

  3. Oooh! Taking time off from the grind?!! Cool! 🙂 Having options in life is where it’s at. We like a good mystery, so we’ll wait to find out where your next destination takes you. Congrats on the savings rate. And thanks for the shout out.

  4. Megan says:

    Oh man, volunteering for 6 months AND having financial security sounds like heaven. I hope you can make it happen!

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