Came across this test by WorkableWealth.com and thought it was a great exercise to do today :)
Are you better off right now than you were when the year started?
Answer these 6 questions:
- Did you increase your net worth?
- Did you reduce your debt?
- Are you tracking your spending and keeping a budget?
- Did you reach a savings goal?
- Did you ask for and/or receive a pay increase, or take advantage of your company benefits in a way that allowed you to keep more money in your pocket?
- Do you have the right insurance policies in place?
I scored positively in two of these, mildly on another two of them, and then negatively in the remaining two areas, haha… Mainly due to “owning” another house again, as well as the fact I prefer now to mainly only track our net worth over a budget :) But since our net worth went up pretty substantially this year, it’s safe to say we came out ahead overall so I’ll give ourselves an A+ here on this test.
How about you? Feeling good about how the year has gone so far? Anything surprising come up when answering these questions?
A good one to assess each and every year actually, as we close them out and get ready for fresh new starts :)
Here are my answers more fully if they help anyone:
- Did you increase your net worth? Yup! Started the year at $848,665.47 and at last report it was now $1,131,601.03… Almost went and divulged the most CURRENT numbers there, and then realized at the last second I wasn’t allowed to anymore! Haha… Almost got me there! ;)
- Did you reduce your debt? Nope. In fact, we increased it!! Went from being completely debt free for the first time in my life EVER, all the way up to $260,000+ indebted now due to our recent home buying decision (!!!). Which I know isn’t the worst type of debt to have, but it’s still very much *debt* and not that fun to carry around.
- Are you tracking your spending and keeping a budget? Nope. We used to when we first started our journey and it helped out immensely!!, but now we mainly focus on our net worth tracking as I find it holds us much more accountable (AND takes up only 1/10th of the time ;)). Of course, we pay a nice convenience fee for that since it also means we’re probably spending more than we’d like as we’re not fully paying attention to it all, but for now it’s a fee we’re comfortable with paying while we wrangle other important things – like all our kids, haha… (and a dog this past weekend too!! Which my wife is now salivating over after watching my mom’s for a bit!!)
- Did you reach a savings goal? Kinda? My goal is to always max out our retirement accounts every year, but we don’t do it until after the year ends to make sure we’re *allowed* to, so it hasn’t happened yet. Even though we have the money earmarked for it. And honestly that one move alone every year has transformed our savings! Because even if you spend every other dollar that comes in, the amount you’ve amassed over time just keeps compounding like crazy and there’s no way NOT to hit FI eventually doing that year over year!
- Did you ask for and/or receive a pay increase, or take advantage of your company benefits in a way that allowed you to keep more money in your pocket? Yup! Ironically enough, I actually get paid more than I did when I owned this blog, due to a stable “salary” as well as the extra consulting work I’m now freed up to do. So not too bad in that department! (Though no benefits like health insurance or 401k matching/etc since I’m a contractor and not an employee of anyone’s)
- Do you have the right insurance policies in place? I think so? I haven’t changed anything this year, but our $350k term life insurance policies for both my wife and I would still do the trick in the event either of us pass sooner than expected (which is to have the house fully paid off, giving the remaining spouse complete peace of mind). We also rock a sizeable umbrella policy to help fill out the other gaps in coverage which also helps us sleep better at night, though admittedly I haven’t paid much attention to it since the day we signed up for it 5 years ago, haha…
Back tomorrow with more financial nuggets!
Thx for the great questions, Mary Beth!