Down market and a huge $50K hit after selling house – May 2024 Freedom update

I’ve been semi-avoiding writing this update to detail this month’s huge losses, but eat the frog, as they say.

The Oklahoma house sold, April 2024 was the first losing month for the S&P 500 after five positive months in a row, and the house sale money was gone in a poof.

a man taking a selfie in a park with a city in the background

We went to Chicago for five days!

I used the money to pay down debt, start on my 2024 Roth IRA, and build up my savings a bit. But, to further illustrate the losses, I invested ~$4,000 but my investments are only up $435 for the month.

I also might’ve been overestimating my old home’s value and didn’t include transaction fees against my net worth in previous updates. But now the house is gone, and so too are the mortgage and equity estimate from my net worth calculations.

Now that I’m renting again, maybe this is a more “pure” version of calculating net worth. All that to say, it was a rough month—and I am down nearly $53,000.

May 2024 Freedom update

And what about the tax sale? There were a few properties that I bid on, but I was quickly outbid.

I saved the money from the sale (about $35,000) and was willing to use it all on a valuable deal. But it was competitive, and I bid up to the max. Some of the houses went to the hundreds of thousands. Like I said last month, it was my first rodeo. There’s another one in October. I will follow these for a while as I build up my savings.

a child looking out a window

Warren watching from the CTA train in Chicago

As soon as I got back from signing the papers in Oklahoma, we went to Chicago for five days. That was extremely challenging in many ways.

It was the new baby’s first flight—and Beck’s (he’s 1, almost 2). New baby was only 3 months old. ‍ I still can’t believe we did it.

The flights to/from Memphis were a little over an hour each. Not bad, but they were loooong hours. Getting on and off was by far the hardest part.

Now that I’m relieved of the extra house payment, I can focus on investing and saving.

This month’s progress

As far my goal to save $500,000 by August 2024, I’m letting go of that. Barring some miracle, the odds are against me now. It’s OK. The biggest thing is that I’m tired of hovering around the $300K mark despite all my efforts.

But of course, there is much more going on in the world now. It just means I’ll have more time to blog about than I originally thought. 🙂

Also, I’m currently less than $15,000 away from having $300,000 invested, and that’s a fantastic achievement on its own.

a sunset over trees and a road

Pretty sunsets during these spring nights

For the first time in a while, I don’t have a side hustle. I’m mostly too tired these days. Not that I don’t have ideas. I’ve just been content to work my day job and spend time with the kids in the evenings. Then I go to bed. The weeks fly by this way.

Also, anything could happen. One good month for the market could boost me closer to $400K. I also think that, following the house sale, it’s just gonna take some time to find a new equilibrium. But all good.

To recap this month, I:

  • Added $2,700 to my 2024 Roth IRA
  • Continued investing in my 401k and HSA
  • Paid rent with my Bilt Mastercard and am earning Bilt points
  • Added nearly $2,000 to my savings account
  • Paid down debt accrued from the last few months of life and getting the house ready
  • Did not buy a tax sale property, though it was an amazing learning experience for the future
a boy playing baseball with a bat

Now I’m a t-ball dad

By the numbers

Since pulling these numbers, I’ve already gone up another few thousand. But this was where I was at a few days ago. It felt grim at the time. But here’s where it all stands.

CurrentLast MonthChange2024 Goal
Overall investments$283,058$282,623+$435As much as possible
Roth IRA total$70,780$69,455+$1,325
Roth IRA 2024$2,700$0+$2,700$7,000 (in new contributions)
Taxable brokerage + UTMAs$3,674$3,731-$57$25,000 (total invested)
Raw land$40,400$40,400xxNo goal, just including for completeness 🙂
Net worth in Empower Personal Dashboard$310,416$363,002-$52,586$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

You’ll notice I removed the real estate numbers and still haven’t added my liabilities. I thought about adding my car payment for my van and another credit card I’m working to pay off in the background.

May 2024 Freedom update

Le sigh

Short- and long-term goals include:

  • Build my savings account again in 2024
  • Work up to 15% in 401k contributions
  • Put more money into Beck’s UTMA 
  • Contribute to new baby’s UTMA
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2024
  • Buy more property

May 2024 Freedom update bottom line

Another saying: You can’t improve what you don’t measure. I’m glad I’m doing this. This month felt hard in many ways, and I have hugely mixed feelings about selling the house. On the one hand, it needed more ongoing upkeep that I could manage from afar. On the other, that housing payment was so low and I wish we could’ve made it work.

But, the golden handcuffs are off. And I do look forward to whatever’s going to happen over the next few months. If this month has shown me anything, it’s that wild swings are back on the table. For now, I’m doing t-ball a few days per week with Warren and enjoying the weather before it gets too incredibly hot.

Money stuff is always operating in the background, and I enjoy these forensic-style snippets even if this one was on the losing end. Even so, I’ll stick to the plan and report back in a few more weeks!

As always, thank you for reading and following my journey. Hope everyone is doing well!

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. A couple points. Anyone who is still paying 6% anymore is not very smart. It is easy to find a listing agent who will take 1% and the offer a 2% co-broke. Vast majority of people find houses online today and not through a realtor.

    Also, I don’t know what math class you took but not listing your liabilities is not giving you a true representation of your “net worth”. Just be aude you have 300k in the bank doesn’t mean you are worth 300k.

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