2019 in Review

2019 was a wild one! Here’s a quick synopsis….

  • December 2018: Got promoted at work
  • January: Created my first technical video course, then created 3 more
  • February: Started this blog
  • May: Got engaged 💍,
  • June: Turned 30, Quit my full-time job to BaristaFI/freelance, Got married
  • August: Moved from NYC to suburbs, First freelance writing client (@ $200/article)
  • September: Fell into depression, Second freelance writing client (@ $400/article)
  • October: Got a kitten!!!! 🐱
  • November: Hit $150k (personal) Net Worth
  • December: Hit $20,000 in Freelance Income


I began this blog in February, 2019, and one of the first posts I published was “2018 Net Worth and Saving.” Back then, I had just begun seriously side hustling/freelancing, and had no idea that within a few months, I would’ve drastically changed my life in MANY ways, including my marital status, work status, and location.

I began my FI(RE?) journey in February 2018, after learning about the concept and finding the Twitter community.

In 2018, I began the year with net worth of $80,905.07, reached my $100k net worth goal in August, and ended the year at $100,416.39 (remember the stock market rumble 2nd half of that year?). That’s +$19,511.32.

2018 Net Worth Graph

I was pretty surprised at the fact that my net worth had gone up $20k in 8 months, and it really solidified the fact that maybe something worthwhile IS possible, even if I weren’t making bank (I was making $60k/yr in NYC at that point). I also saved $32,666 in 2018 with savings, retirement, investments, and side hustles.

It was one of those “oh well” years, as I put in almost $33,000 but my net worth went up only $20,000, which means I lost more than a third of what I put in.

Blogging in 2019

I began this blog with a January 2019 entry, where I saved $3,472.26 and had Side Hustle Income of $397.26. My Net Worth was $107,508.94.

I continued doing hybrid of Net Worth/Savings/Side Hustle Income until I got married in June, and combined finances with my husband. July was the last month I did a “Monthly Update” that had my Net Worth/Savings/Side Hustle Income. From August on, I switched to a monthly Freelance Income log.

The reasons I switched what I reported were:

  • I was no longer pulling in regular income like I did with a full-time job, so “saving” wasn’t really possible.
  • My personal net worth was no longer a real indication of how much I “had” because we combined finances, and it felt disingenuous to continue reporting it when I’m not really making income OR paying for much of my own expenses.
  • I felt like living and saving/investing on $60,000 salary in New York City was something a lot of people could feel interested about, but now that I am married to someone making around $100,000, my financial story isn’t as relevant (though to be fair, since I quit my work, our household income is akin to each of us making $60k).
  • If I had anything to contribute, I felt that it was my “freelance journey,” to show what the first year doing freelance looks like.
  • Basically, my freelance income seemed like the only thing *I* can control now that I didn’t have a full-time job, and another person spending money.

Personal Net Worth

I more or less stopped talking about Net Worth back in July, as explained above. So let’s see how it’s been…

2019 Personal Net Worth

2019 began with personal Net Worth of $101,758.10, and ended with $178,502.01. That’s +$76,743.91. That more than made up for the +$19,511.32 in 2018!

Between January 2018 and December 2019, my Net Worth went up $96,255.23. Almost $100k! Power of finding the FIRE movement!

Here’s my personal net worth change between June 2017 (earliest net worth number I could find) and December 2019:

Combined Net Worth

So that was my “personal” net worth, which doesn’t include my combined assets with my husband. Here’s our “combined” net worth…

We combined our assets in July, 2019, starting at $527,202.69, and ended with $673,786.00 for +$146,583.31 in 6 months.

He is maxing out his HSA, and we are both maxing out our 401ks and Roth IRAs. Otherwise, we haven’t really been able to “save” much because of the marriage, and moving 2 times, and having to pay for his room in his previous dwelling until they found a replacement back in December. (It’s great not having to pay double rent… Thankfully, when I moved, I was able to transfer my lease immediately, which meant I didn’t have to pay double rent.)

Thanks to our investments and retirements though, our net worth has been going out regardless of the fact that our personal finances are in shambles. (We’re hopefully going to stop going in the red every month this year….)

July 2019~December 2019

We’re both 30 years old, and we’re hoping to reach $1,000,000 net worth by 35. Though given that at this point in time (February 2020), we are at net worth of about $700,000, it seems like it may not take us another 5 years to reach it!

“My first $100k” gave me such a sense of financial security, that I’m hoping “our first $1 million” will make me feel a lot better about my potential future as a disabled person.

If I were to be “paying my own bills” (aka: half of our household expenses), I think I’m finally back to a place where I can do so with my freelance income. So I’m happy to say that I’m at where we call BaristaFI… Able to sustain myself on part-time (freelance) work, writing periodically and taking passive income from past work.

Thankfully, I am not, because we can live on my husband’s income, so I’m able to send that money to my retirement accounts so that instead of relying on his 401k and other retirement accounts, I’ll have my own to rely on later in life. We just never know what will happen, so I want to be prepared!

Anyways, 2020 is already starting out with a lot of excitement, and after 2019, I’m excited to see where I’ll be in a year! 😊

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