A Year in Review – 2019

Welcome back, friends! It’s been a roller coaster of a year here in the Pocket Change family and in this post, we’ll take a look back at 2019 as well as look forward to 2020. This past year was our first full year following our FIRE path. Of course, we’ll focus on the financial aspects of our year. We’ll also touch on my job search and family status too. Let’s go!


As we pursue FIRE (check out the Start Here post for more info about what we mean), the net worth value is a primary indicator of our progress towards our goal. Our current FIRE goal is to reach a net worth of $750,000 across our asset accounts. This includes savings, brokerages, retirement, etc. We also include our mortgage (both the liability and the asset) in this calculation, although some who pursue FIRE don’t do so.

The year 2019 started out with a net worth of $18,072 according to Personal Capital. By the end of 2019, we ended at $54,027, recording a net change of $35,955! Considering we hit a bit of a snag with the job loss and missed out on some retirement savings, this is still great progress. As we progress into 2020 I hope that we’re able to continue this momentum.

Reaching a net worth of $54,027 puts us at 7.2% of the previously mentioned FIRE goal of $750,000. Of course, since we’re not technically bringing in any income, right now we are recording a savings rate of 0.00%. However, during the year our rate was approximately 33% up until the job loss. For more about what we mean by savings rates, check out our previous post on that here.

Personal Capital net worth during 2019


As most of you know, I’m currently seeking employment as I lost my job at the end of October. I have looked at my job loss as a blessing in disguise (read more about it in my last post here) because of the time I have spent at home, plus some stress I had been ignoring. What’s nice is that I have been receiving unemployment, so we still have some cash flow.

Each week, in order to maintain my unemployment eligibility and payments, I am required to make contact with 2 employers. I also have to track my applications, resumes, conversations, and more for the unemployment office in case of an audit. I had a good lead with a company here in Des Moines but was unfortunately not offered the role. A minor setback, but we have hope for 2020 that something will come soon. While I hope we don’t need it, unemployment will extend out to the middle of April.

Mrs. Pocket Change quit her job after Baby Pocket Change was born, and together, we’ve had a wonderful time together during her first several months in this world. I wasn’t provided paternity leave at my former employer, so having this time has been special.

2020 looks to be another busy year, but hopefully, as a job comes through, life will return to a somewhat normal pace. I’ll be honest, being able to spend this time with my family has been a literal taste of what FIRE is all about, but we’re not there yet.

Thanks for following along in our financial journey friends. I hope 2019 was good for you, and not just in the financial realm but all over. Wishing you the best in 2020!

~Mr. & Mrs. Pocket Change

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