It is that time of the month. Time to count the dimes and do the monthly net worth numbers.
I can already tell you now: I have some good and bad news.
The headlines of this month? My investments continue to fluctuate heavily, savings are on track and the blog is starting to generate some income. Oh, and I got a brand new website design at MoneyMow.com – I hope you like it 🙂
March went by really quick with work, social getaways and wedding planning. I can’t believe a quarter of the year is already gone. Can you?
Personal life: What happened in March?
In my personal life, my fiancé and I spent a lot of time on planning our wedding this summer. We are having more than 100 people attending, and we are all about the details, so it takes a lot longer than I had initially imagined. It is still fun to do, so it has not become a nuisance (yet!) 🙂
I have continued learning programming this month with DataCamp. It is still a lot of fun, although I realize that I won’t become a great programmer from doing just this. It is in the projects you learn the most. What will I use it for? I don’t know really, so for now it is just a hobby.
Work continued with a new project for the same client. It looks like I will be on this project for quite a while, but it is good in terms of learnings and work-life balance.
I have recently also started to question whether I will need to reach my financial independence number of 4,500,000 DKK (750,000 USD) to retire early. Since this blog is generating some income, and I also expect to work a little for money in retirement, I don’t need as much money to retire as I have previously thought. Also, I might start looking at other passive income investments such as real estate.
Financials: How am I tracking on my early retirement goal?
This month’s savings rate has increased slightly compared to the previous months. I ended up with a savings rate at 46% for March (compared to 35% in February), which is closer to my 50% target. I don’t expect to get above this anytime soon with our wedding coming up this summer. Still, I believe it has been a great month from a savings rate point of view:
MoneyMow savings rate over time (%)
My take-home income was 32,741 DKK (5,457 USD) and I managed to save 14,902 DKK (2,484 USD) resulting in the 46% savings rate. I currently don’t include earnings from this blog, as they still fluctuate quite a lot.
My 12-month rolling average is a savings rate at 40%, so I’ll do my best to push that even higher after the wedding.
Now to the bad news. My total net worth declined heavily in March:
My total assets including pension of 427,462 DKK (70,714 USD) was a decrease of -5.6% compared to last month’s net worth.
This means that I am now 9.5% of the way towards my early retirement goal of a net worth of approximately 4,500,000 DKK (750,000 USD) down from 10.1% last month.
Naturally, it feels horrible to be taking a step back on the journey – and a quite significant one this month.
The primary reason for the decline of 6% this month has been the decline in cryptocurrencies. Without cryptocurrencies in my portfolio, my net worth would have grown by 2.4%. However, it was not only cryptocurrencies that had a very bad month.
As you can see, once again only peer-to-peer lending yielded positive returns last month. The rest of the investments declined.
Stock indexes declined for the second consecutive month by -2.9%. I try to positive about this and focus on the long term, but it seems like we have some geopolitical movements that are distorting the markets.
Peer-to-peer lending grew with 0.9% once again. It yields consistent returns that are highly predictable, so I will try to increase my investments in this, although I realize the risks that are associated with it.
Pension also gave a negative investment return this month at -4.9%. Ouch.
Cryptocurrencies absolutely crashed this month. I have “lost” a lot of money in the past few months on this, but I still have positive returns overall. My cryptocurrency portfolio decreased with -52.2% (!!). Now, I am just holding on to it and hope something will happen in the future.
Blogging: How did income and key metrics develop on MoneyMow?
Now to the good news. This past month has been very good for MoneyMow.
Traffic has increased and income has been at an all time high.
Just as last month, I have included my income from the blog to be fully transparent. I always disclose in all posts and pages if there’s any sponsored content or affiliate links. The blog income for March was:
- Affiliate programs: 724 DKK (121 USD)
- Sponsored posts: 6,546 DKK (1,091 USD)
- AdSense: 59 DKK (10 USD)
The total blog income for February was 7,321 DKK (1,220 USD). Now that’s a lot considering last month was at 1,386 DKK (231 USD)!
I believe if I could make 1,000 USD every month on the blog, I could retire 50% faster than otherwise.
To be fair, half of that income came from an influencer feature that involved a blog post and some social shares, so I don’t expect to get this every month. It is important for me to say that I clearly mark affiliate links and sponsored posts with a disclaimer and category. All non-marked articles are always 100% unbiased and represent my own thoughts.
For April, I don’t expect as much, but I do expect to continue earning a little on the blog, and I will try to investigate other venues for this.
After declining last month for the first time ever (in a short month of 28 days in February though), this month the blog is back on track!
The metrics for March developed like this:
- Visitors: Visitors are still in four figures and increased with 16%
- Page views: Page views are still on the way to 10,000 per month, and increased with 15%
- Facebook likes: Facebook likes are at 1,780 up from 1,734 last month
- Twitter followers: Twitter followers are at 743 compared to 710 last month
- Newsletter growth: The number of people following my newsletter continued rising this month with 15% crossing the magical level of 100 subscribers
I am extremely satisfied with the development of the blog – both in terms of key metrics and income. I didn’t develop the blog with the intent of monetizing it, but I am beginning to see the possibilities in doing that. I really like writing the posts, and I would love to dedicate even more time to the blog in the future
Favorite posts of the month
I’ve spent some time reading this month as well, and the following posts are my favorite.
- Retire by 40 wrote a very honest post about their “unglamorous early retirement lifestyle“. Sometimes it is nice to just get a real look into the life of early retired people. I especially like the weekly schedule. Even though their life might not sound glamorous, I think it sounds amazing, and I am looking forward to having a similar lifestyle when retiring!
- J. Money at BudgetsAreSexy wrote a great post about the advantages and disadvantages of tracking net worth (as I do with this post every month) compared to budgeting. I have never budgeted much, but I might consider giving it a try in the coming months, as I might learn something about my good and bad spending habits from it.
- Military Dollar is a finalist in the Rockstar Finance rumble, and my favorite finalist. The post on the personal finance triple constraint is quite interesting. I like the different ways of thinking about financial independence through the trade offs between “ease”, “speed” and “wealth”.
That’s it for the month of March. For the coming month, I will do my best to keep up the good savings rate at above 40% and maintain the consistent growth on the blog.
If you have any comments to my new website design or find any bugs, feel free to let me know 🙂
Thanks for being part of my journey and for reading this long update.