2019 Hardcore Savings net worth

Adiós 2019 y Bienvenidos 2020

Three Generations:  Me, My Dad, and the Genetic Lottery Winner

Okay, I know this post is late, but here it is.  Before I get into last year’s accomplishments and this year’s goals, it’s worth mentioning that there are many things in life that are more important than money:  family, community, faith, health, and love.  As I write these words, the world is under threat by the Covid-19 pandemic that is causing massive social and economic disruption.  I wish my readers the best in these difficult times; please do your best to stay healthy, safe, and solvent.

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2019 Hardcore Savings

When we took our current jobs in May of 2018, we knew that 2019 would be our greatest savings year yet.  Well, I’m happy to report that we were able to fill all of our hardcore savings buckets to their maximum levels.  As always our buckets consisted of four main accounts:  457, 403b, traditional IRA, and HSA accounts.  Here are our 2019 numbers;

2019 Hardcore Savings
Our Savings Accounts
457 Catch-up Contribution
403b Catch-up Contribution
403b Employer Contribution
Traditional IRA
IRA Catch-up Contribution
HSA at Fidelity
HSA Catch-up Contribution
VTSAX Mutual Fund
2019 Totals
Mission Accomplished: Over $130k Saved in 2019!

When I started teaching public school way back in March of 1992, I never envisioned saving over 6-figures working as a teacher.  Many teachers probably won’t even believe our savings numbers, but I promise they’re accurate. 

(Check out this awesome picture of my son at a tacky Christmas sweater contest.  That’s his awesome-sauce youth pastor who is obviously hip beyond belief…yeah boy!)

Christmas Celebration 2019

2019 Net Worth

As you can imagine, our net worth grew considerably after saving $130k in a year.  The surging stock market also helped.  Here’s what our net worth was on December 31st, 2019:


Oh, the Good Old Days! (Pre-pandemic Net Worth)


As for investment return, look at these eye-popping numbers:


Our Index Portfolio Surged (at 19%) in 2019

While I’d love to tell you that we’re investing geniuses, the truth is that we’re just dull index-fund investors with the majority of our wealth invested in VTSAX.  When the market goes up, we’re “smart,” and when the market goes down, we’re “idiots.”  Such is the life of an index-fund investor.  

Other Accomplishments in 2019

Apart from our money goals, 2019 was a big year in other ways:

  1. Jogging Streak * I jogged everyday in 2019, and my streak grew to 1,279 consecutive days of jogging without a miss!
  2. Push-ups * Completed 25,252.5 push-ups in 2019 to extend my push-up steak to 660 days.  Yes, I did a half push-up for all the numerologists who read my blog.    
  3. Duolingo * Continued to work on my French, Portuguese, and German in 2019.  Sometime during the year I lost my streak, but I didn’t let it bother me.  I mainly focused on Duolingo’s conversations and stories lessons.  I even did a little Italian in 2019. 
  4. Weight Workouts * I did a lot of curls last year.  For example, I did hammer curls for 100 straight days (usually 3 sets of 12 reps of 50 lbs) before I developed “tennis” elbow…boy, did that hurt.  Lesson learned:  some exercises should not be done every day!  Finally, my bench press peaked at 285 lbs. in 2019.  I just barely missed 300 lbs, see video below:

2020 Goals

Here are my main goals for 2020:

  1. Save $120k * Since my wife will be leaving her job at the end of May, we won’t be able to save as much money as 2019.  Nonetheless, we plan on making this year count financially.  If all goes as planned, we should be able to save over $120k.  (More to come in my Q1 update.)
  2. Jogging Streak * My goal is to jog all 366 days this year and extend the jogging streak to 1,645 days without a miss.
  3. Push-ups * Let’s see if I can do more push-ups in 2020; to do that I’ll need to average 70 push-ups a day (70 * 366 = 25,620).  Daily push-ups will extend my streak to 1,026 days.      
  4. Weights * Okay, here goes:  I have to bench press 300 lbs again!  My all-time record is 316 lbs, so that is within reach theoretically.  Wow, hitting a new personal record at age 56 would be beyond awesome.    
  5. Language Learning * At a minimum, I’ll finish all the Duolingo stories and conversations for Spanish and German.  Thanks to Modern States, I’ll take the CLEP test for French and German this summer.  

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, last year was an awesome year personally and financially.  Overall, all three of us experienced a high level of happiness in 2019.  This year was also off to a great start until this blasted Coronavirus arrived!  Just remember that “this too shall pass.”  

Be safe and best of luck nailing your 2020 goals,


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This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. I think the 300 lbs is more impressive than the savings!! I hope you get 320lbs this year. I want a video too. I would have to rehab my shoulder to get those numbers again, so I stop at 225lbs for 3 reps. Good Luck!!

    What’s your wife moving on to instead of teaching?

    1. Hello Big Josh!
      That magical 300 lb. number surprised me, but it’s a testament to doing push-ups every day. I haven’t lifted heavy in a while since there’s been no one to work out with. Don’t worry if I hit 300 this year, there WILL BE a video of me strutting around celebrating such a glorious event.

      My wife wants to be available to her parents from here on out. My father-in-law is 89 and my mom-in-law just turned 80. They’re both in decent health, but they’re getting on up there. Our son will be a freshman this year, so we’ll be here for a few more years. Enjoy your summer, G

  2. As a guy who ran many marathons and tens of thousands of miles let me weigh in on running being another one of those workouts you absolutely should not do every day. In your twenties you can get by with that, even possibly in your forties, but without rest days you might do damage to your knees that can’t be repaired. By the time you feel it, it might be too late. It’s great to meet your goals, but even better to meet truly sustainable goals. Great job, but think about alternating running with upper body work to let those horses recover. Great post.

    1. Hi Steveark,
      Don’t worry Steveark because I don’t even come close to the miles your ran. I’m a slow and lazy jogger who does 14 miles a week at best. I bet I come under that most weeks because I only jog for time, usually 12 to 18 minutes. I also jog primarily on grass here in South Georgia. About once a month I go for 30 minutes or more. My days of long runs or races is OVER.

      The best benefits of my jogging routine are fresh air, natural sunlight, and me time for mental musings. On those rare occasions that I felt leg weary, I shift down to nothing but 12 minute jogs for a week or more. Thanks for the email! G

  3. Awesome story! I like how you put family first. You and your wife work well as a team. A great asset to your son’s future. I am a satisfied single parent of three lovely sweet tarts. The oldest is twenty, in her second year in the Air Force and the other two are sixteen and twelve. I am a second year EBD teacher who owes 70k in student loans and enroll to attend Brenau University in May, just purchased a home five months ago owing 215k, 20k vehicle loan, no credit cards, no other debt. However, I have been researching how to invest and what to invest to enter into financial freedom. I listen to your podcast and was blown away that you too taught in Georgia. As I listened your story and the knowledge you shared got better and better. Yet, I still needed a break down of what and how you did course for dummies. So, I came to your website to learn more. Thank you for being down to earth, finally someone I can say, this is not a scam, As soon as HR return from Spring break, I will be calling the office. I will continue to follow you and began to apply your principles. Dave Ramsey is good but I can relate better to you.


    Ms. Watson

    1. Hello Ms. Watson,
      Thanks for writing and making my day! As you wrote, I’m not looking to scam anyone, just help get some financial breathing room. Best of luck finding your FIRE path. G

    1. Hi Elle X,
      When we took these jobs, I knew that we would have a few big years since we’re both over 50 now. Gotta love those catch-up contributions! G

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