Holding the line with a $1K increase & riding major volatility – March 2022 Freedom update

I considered not posting this month. With the war crimes and attacks on Ukraine, talking about the impact to my 401k feels inconsequential compared to the loss of life and destruction of major cities.

The stock market has of course been extremely volatile, and I’m right around the same place I’ve been for the last few months – that $240K mark, give or take. I really want to get to $250K and it’s so close and yet…

March 2022 Freedom update

I flew for the first time in two years – to Washington, DC!

But it’s also been a happy time. I took my son, Warren, on his first plane ride and he had his first swanky hotel stay at the Park Hyatt Washington, DC where the entire staff was amazing and treated him like mightily princely. He’s a natural traveler like his dad and it was a phenomenal experience. He’s already asked to get on another plane. We have a traveler on our hands!

I hadn’t been on a plane myself since March 2020 when I went to the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. It was good to be back in the air. I even paid attention to the safety demonstration.

And with money stuff, I changed nothing about my strategy. My house appreciated, and I was able to sock $1,000 into savings. My net worth went up and down all month. But now, it’s at the same place as it was last month. Somehow things keep evening out despite everything happening in the world – and in my life.

March 2022 Freedom update

What a month. The instant I bought new stocks and invested them, they lost value. Then bounced back. Then went down again. It’s been a bumpy ride, but hey – that’s how it goes.

My overall goals for 2022 haven’t changed. I still want to:

  • Save $30,000 in savings accounts
  • Get to $25,000 invested in my taxable brokerage account
  • Max out my 401k again
  • Shoot for a $350K net worth by year end

I’ll definitely max out my 401k this year. And the other goals? They’re beginning to look insurmountable. I managed to ferret away $1,000 to savings this month, but with everything else coming up – who knows what’ll happen.

a man wearing a floral fabric mask

I went to an airport! To get on a plane! 

And of course, the stock market is probably going to keep crashing. But again, who knows about that. Maybe this is a time of continuing to invest and it’ll pop up again down the road.


I’ve continued to invest in family, too. We took our first trip to Washington, DC, last month and Warren absolutely loved it.

a man and child sitting in an airplane

Just like dad, he loves a window seat

I’m starting to think about diverting funds to a custodial account for him, and setting him up for his future. He is very bright and active, and we have a big job of keeping his endless curiosity satisfied. I’m already thinking about our next trip.

Travel is another thing I consider an investment.

a child standing in front of a tall monument

Warren at the Washington Monument

a boy sitting on the floor looking at an airplane

Plane plans 👀✈️

It was amazing to experience his first trip with him. We also went to his first movie in a theater and to an arcade for the first time. Sometimes he wakes up and I swear he’s taller. Being his dad has given me much to think about in terms of financial planning and legacy. That is, when I can get a spare moment. He keeps us very busy with all he’s discovering about himself and the world.

It’s a privilege and an honor to guide him along his way during this earthly existence we’re sharing together.

By the numbers

Anywhomst’ve, my house is slowly but steadily appreciating. In fact, it’s responsible for most of my net worth gain this month.

March 2022 Freedom update

So close to halfway

My overall investments are down, and the investment accounts I don’t actively contribute to (my traditional IRA that’s comprised of past 401ks and the Roth IRA I maxed out in January), keep sliding into the red. What a time to be alive.

But we’re still alive, and it still deeply pains me to think about the needless loss of life on both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. May there be a peaceful resolution. If the world goes to war over this, none of anyone’s little portfolio movements will matter any more.

CurrentLast monthChange2022 Goal
Overall investments$202,627$208,496-$5,869As much as possible
401k (contributions only)$3,333$1,667+$1,666$20,500
401k (overall balance)$23,998$23,786+212As much as possible
Traditional IRA$111,939$116,374-$4,435xx (can't contribute)
Roth IRA$50,993$52,890-$1,897$6,000 (in contributions)COMPLETE!
Taxable brokerage$9,436$9,770-$334$25,000 (total invested)
Primary home equity + appreciation$21,876$18,183+$3,693$20,000COMPLETE!
Net worth in Personal Capital $239,845$238,904+$941$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

In any regard, I’ll keep to my plans and keep sending money to my savings account every chance I can. I’m working my butt off to get ahead, but between that and parenting, I know that’s not sustainable. So I’m going to do my best and that’ll have to be enough. The money will do what it does, which is likely keep going up long-term, and dad needs to rest. 😆

a child sitting on a brick patio

Watching him play in the backyard is everything

March 2022 Freedom update bottom line

In the last 30ish days, I:

  • Met the minimum spending on my my Capital One Venture X card and used nearly all the travel credits for another future trip
  • Stuck to my overall investing plan and added more funds to my 401k and HSA accounts
  • Visited Washington, DC, for my son’s first domestic plane ride and hotel stay
  • Made modest gains with home equity and appreciation
  • Managed to put a little money aside in my savings account

The attacks on Ukraine are weighing heavily on my mind this month, so I’m grateful to be safe and employed right now. I’ll stick to my plan and ride the many waves that it seems are inevitable short-term.

Thank you to everyone who reads these updates. It means the world to me. 🌌

Stay safe and scrappy out there! ✨


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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Just wanted to say I appreciate your blog and also sharing your FI progress details with us. Good luck in reaching your FI goals!

  2. It’s really wonderful that your relationship with Warren has developed as it has. It makes sense that it’s a big game changer – I’m happy for you guys!

    • Thanks so much, Audrey. One of my friends says that raising kids is a PhD program for the soul, and I am feeling that so much. He is simply wonderful. Such a sweet and bright little soul. I love him so much. Can’t wait to see the person he’ll develop into.

      Hope all is well with you – thanks as always for being a part of my journey.


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