August 2018 – Net Worth Zero!

If you follow this blog in any of the social media channels we use (Instagram or Twitter), you might have seen me posting happy updates – more than once – about hitting net worth zero.

It has only been a little over a year since I opened a blank excel (well, LibreOffice Calc, actually) sheet and started plotting the numbers of various savings accounts, investment account and my student loan debt. Since then, it has been a steady walk from underwater towards the red, and because we have never missed a student loan payment, there was always some improvement from month to month, even during the most spendy or tight ones.

This is the first time in almost a decade that I can claim to be in the black. Even though I didn’t track it then, it is no rocket science to deduce that I have been in the red ever since I set foot inside university for the very first time in 2009.

So with that, I’m not sure I could have made this month come off negative – even if I tried to!

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August 2018
Blue: savings – red: various – green: rent, electricity, phone – orange: groceries – yellow: student loan – dark green: transportation – pink: social

The pie chart

Hopefully not too confusing from last month, but I swapped the colour for various and savings around. It just seemed so ominous to have almost three quarters of the pie chart glare back at me in red!

I suppose I should preface: On any regular month, it is very difficult for me to get a savings rate much higher than 50% because of fixed expenses. The extremely high rate this month is due to receiving tax back much higher than anticipated, and much higher than my regular monthly paycheck. So the large spike in savings rate is primarily due to that!


The various is always the most interesting expense from month to month, as the others are fairly stable. This month, various included such purchases as a few pieces of used furniture online ($50) that we had been wanting. Among them a large ottoman with storage space inside. We had been looking for these for free for a year, but were never quick enough to pick them up/message on them – so we decided to throw a little bit of money at one and now have a great extra seat for guests and a place to store our board games. The other piece of furniture was a low footstool, which has been a great relief for my somewhat troublesome knees.

I also spent a reasonable chunk of change ($50) at the local farmer’s market in an attempt to go more or less plastic free for the past two weeks while Mr. Frugasaurus has been down south watching his grandmother’s dog. I debated whether or not to throw it in various or with the groceries, so that adds up too.

Another decent chunk of change ($100) has been equipment for our new friend Bast. We got him with terrarium and everything included, but all his plants were plastic. We both agreed that was not something we wanted him to live with, so we’ve biked quite a few trips back and forth to our local plant shop in order to buy him gecko-safe greenery that can help grow his home into a lush, green vivarium.

In a fit of splurging, I also decided to buy a set of four different sized Beeswax wraps. We are always working on lowering our consumption of plastic, especially single use plastic, and these have been serving amiably as good storage solution for bread instead of plastic bags. They’re not the cheapest, but it makes me happy to use them. I also bought some wax for repairs when they are worn out, and plan to use them for many years to come.

But the last and biggest chunk of change in various this month was actually a small carryover from a conference I attended in July. I have received my money back from that trip, this extra $300 was money I received in July. Balancing of the accounts and all that.

So all in all, many small leaks added to pull up the total in this month’s various. I would like to do better next month, but we will see!

Etsy sidehustle status

And then over to the part of the monthly log that I certainly find very exciting – a short progress report on FrugasaurusVault!

We were off to a very slow start for the first half of the month, with less than $10 in net profits by August 15th.

That picked up throughout the latter half of the month though! And I was very happy when the last purchase ticked in on August 31st meant I had made the same amount of sales in August as in record breaking July, even if profits were slightly less around $30 total. And every cent of it is going towards a house down payment.

Still, I am super thrilled to see that pageviews are growing and slow and steady work is paying off. I don’t expect growth to be huge now that daily routines are setting in again and the demands of full time work are upon us, but if I can dedicate a few hours every week to working on promoting the shop and posting new listings, I will be very happy.

Reviews this far have been great as well, so even if I am still a tiny shop, at least it seems my listings are transparent and honest enough so that they live up to expectations when people do purchase them. Which are all things that make me really happy.

Want to open your own Etsy shop? Use this link, and we both get 40 free listings!

Over to you

How has your August been? Have you made progress towards a long-time goal, or is it more than enough to just keep your head over water while daily routines roll over us in full? The climate is definitely cooling down where I live, and frost nights have already been reported in parts of Norway. Winter is coming!


9 Comments on “August 2018 – Net Worth Zero!

  1. I am still trying to work out some kind of side hustle. For me, I love making electronics, but for now I am looking for ideas. I think one of my problems is that I love playing games with my son, or alone. I also find that taking care of my home is a part time job. That being said, there is still time.

    So how did you figure out what you wanted to make for your etsy shop?

    • Taking care of a home is definitely a part time job in its own right!

      For me, I like creating things with my hands, so with my chemistry background I started out with a soap making sidehustle. But I found that it was too much of a commitment between a full time job to add several continuous hours of measuring, melting, stirring, pouring, etc… so I transitioned to a digital etsy shop (I was already selling my soaps on etsy), because it meant I could work on projects in small increments. If I feel tired, I can put it away half-finished, or if something happens or a friend comes for a visit. The theme was simply because I listened to FIREdrill podcast talk about digital products and thought to myself “Hm, I could try to make some financial ones to help other people pay off debt.” and it just grew from there.

      I will probably work more on physical projects when we are financially independent. But right now with full time work and many commitments, it is nice with something I can work on more “piecemeal”. Maybe not the best answer, but hope that helps. 🙂

      • Yes it does thank you actually. I appreciate that. I have always been a builder of sorts I have the electrical engineering background although I’m a software engineer professionally. One of my goals for today is to start writing some scripts to help automate some of the monthly status charge that I use rather than spending more time doing it by hand. Yesterday though was chopping down a few small trees. There’s some illness going around part of the woods on my land trying to stop it. And today is what I would call the midsummer cleaning out of the Dust and grime that gets into my garage and other Associated type places cars and such. My wife is making this easier by disappearing with my son for a few hours so I can focus.

  2. Congratulations on hitting zero!

    We had a good August but I’m getting very impatient trying to figure out how to advance on the path to our ten year goals and losing sight of the important thing that slow and steady always does the trick for us.

    Do you skip over fall and go straight into winter? If it goes as usual, we’re going to hit a weird summer heat in September and then dive into a mixture of fall and winter.

    Three years ago I started an Etsy shop with no real idea of what I was going to do with it and I’m annoyed that I did that because I should have waited until I knew what I wanted to do and signed up with a promotion 🙂

    • Thanks! And I agree, we know slow and steady wins the race – but it’s hard to be patient!

      When I lived further north in Norway, way past the Arctic circle, we would go pretty straight from summer to winter (or as we called them – green winter, white winter). But where I live now we actually get more traditional seasons, at least as I am used to them. Autumn is just getting started and yellow and red leaves have started appearing here and there. 🙂

      You can always start a new Etsy shop. 😉 I started a different one with a friend, because the subject was so different it would just be weird to brand them together – and I know several sellers who do that. It’s more administration than just running one shop of course, but it is possible.

    • Thanks! I didn’t pay off the student loan though – I just have more in savings. Strange math makes me earn more in interest from saving than I pay on the student loan. So until we have that mortgage saved up, the loan will sadly stay on the back burner. 🙂

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