Nothing but love for April! The market was happy, our budget was happy, and life in general was pretty happy :) What more can you ask for?
As you can see, the majority of changes this month were pretty positive, and helped us break back into that $60k range.
But the coolest part of the month was converting over my Roth IRA into a Brokerage Roth IRA so I could start investing in individual stocks again! I won’t be able to take that money out for quite some time, of course, but even better. The less temptation I have, the less opportunity for rash decisions ;)
You may also notice a small blemish in the cash & car department. The first has its reasons which I explain below (and is actually a GOOD thing!), and the latter is just pretty much expected. After all, when it comes down to it they’re cars – not investments. And then we have a wonderful uptick in the Mortgage department! More on that to follow…
Here’s how April’s Net Worth breaks down:
CASH SAVINGS (-$224.86): This is awesome! It may not look it, but we actually xfered out around $2,000 into other areas ;) So the fact we’re down only $200 is killer. Most of the money went into my new stock picking adventure, and then the rest into paying down part of the mortgages! Not as fun as hoarding it all, but i guess you have to pay them down at some point.
EMERGENCY FUND ($0.00): Our $10k is still sleeping away nicely in our Money Market account. It’s mixed in with other funds so I can’t determine exactly how much interest is accruing on the Emergency Fund in particular, but I promise it’s adding up.
ROTH IRAs (+$2,754.05): Blowin’ up baby! Now that I’ve converted my old Roth into a Brokerage Roth IRA, and the market is still behaving, this area should be seeing some green going forward. And most of it going into hand-picked stocks courtesy of Mr. Warren Buffett ;)
401(k)s (+$4,562.72): Same awesomeness here, except solely based on the market right now. Whenever this goes up, the biggest part of our Net Worth goes up too! I love it. Of course, the opposite has been known to happen as well…
SAVINGS BONDS (+$0.20): I’ve had this collection of bonds hanging out since I was a wee lad 20+ years ago. And up until last month, I never thought twice about it. BUT, a fellow blogger (Ishan@ Save Few Bucks) pointed out that it would make *more* sense to cash them in and use the money to pay off our mortgages since they’re charging us a much higher interest rate (6.875%). And you know what? He makes a valid point. Why the hell am I still holding onto these? Sure they’re sexy as hell to look at – all “old school” and all – but when it comes down to it, that money could in fact be used better. So Ishan, this month I plan on doing something about it. Much love for pointing it out brotha.
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$475.00): A bit sucky, but always anticipated. Although I had a brain fart while trying to recall the mileage on the Mrs’ car and was too lazy to call her, so i’m hoping i was way off there ;) Here’s how the values breakdown:
* Pimpin’ A$$ Caddy –> $3,670. Went up $75? haha…I’ll take it!
* Gas-Sippin’ Toyota –> $10,435. Down a minor $25 buckaroos, gotta love that.
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): This will remain @ $300k (the price our realtor set it at) until I get more word from him in a few months. He has a fantastic eye in our particular neighborhood, and has been selling (and even lived at one point) in this area for 20+ years. I also keep an eye out on what Zillow & Redfin.com show it listed at every month, and the $300k is pretty much where the average falls, maybe a tad bit lower.
CREDIT CARD (car loans) ($0.00): ZEROOO!!!! Yup, the last time it was at zero was back in August when we paid off all 3 store credit cards. This previous c/c debt was really just an “auto loan” that I happened to charge on my credit card – dropping a 5.5% interest rate down to around 3%. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but this method definitely works well if you know what you’re doing and don’t have much outstanding debt lined up.
MORTGAGES (-$309.08): We just recently started paying extra towards these mortgages, and will continue doing so going forward. We’d love to take a big portion of our cash reserves and knock a big chunk of it away, but I don’t think we’re at that point yet. For now, we’ll be using any extra money left over from our House Budget to pay it down.
*1st Mortgage: $287,835 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
*2nd Mortgage: $62,669.46 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.
That’s it for April! Time to concentrate on May and try and get that net worth back into the $70k’s again ;) Stupid house values and economy. Oh well, it’ll be that much better when it all turns around again. Hope you all had a fabulous month in finances as well! Time to go play some online monopoly now, I’m freakin’ addicted. (and not afraid to admit it either)
PS: If you’re just getting started in your journey, here are a few good resources to help track your money. Doesn’t matter which route you go, just that it ends up sticking!
- The "Budget/Net Worth" spreadsheet - the colorful Excel template I personally use.
- The "Money Snapshot" spreadsheet - a simple Excel template I created for my former $$$ clients
If you're not a spreadsheet guy like me and prefer something more automated (which is fine, whatever gets you to take action!), you can try your hand with a free Personal Capital account instead.
Personal Capital is a cool tool that connects with your bank & investment accounts to give you an automated way to track your net worth. You'll get a crystal clear picture of how your spending and investments affect your financial goals (early retirement?), and it's super easy to use.
It only takes a couple minutes to set up and you can grab your free account here. They also do a lot of other cool stuff as well which my early retired friend Justin covers in our full review of Personal Capital - check it out here: Why I Use Personal Capital Almost Every Single Day.
(There's also Mint.com too btw which is also free and automated, but its more focused on day-to-day budgeting rather than long-term net worth building)