Another month, another net worth update! :) Where we break our 2 month losing streak – woo! And actually hit an all-time record of $480,000 – the highest it’s ever been! Even with losing cash every month, talk about the power of compounding and investing…
And get this – when I updated my Early Retirement spreadsheet (which is a perfect time to do so btw) it knocked off a WHOLE YEAR! Because if that $17,000 stays and compounds over the next handful of years (a big “if” – hah) it grows our wealth enough to hit that financially free mark one year earlier at 53 instead of 54. Very fascinating stuff to see whether it proves fruitful or not!
It also seems we hit another milestone of $700/mo in mortgage principle pay off which is pretty sweet! It’s no $2,000+/month like the good ol’ days, but considering we haven’t done anything different outside of rounding up to the nearest $100’th with every payment, it’s a nice sight to see :) Same payment but with increasingly better results every month! Not too shabby…
Altogether a solid (and surprising) month, and just goes to show a little effort now pays off big time later. And it’s only surprising to me because I ignore the news and market swings and only find out what’s going on at the end of every month when I sit down to run these updates. Sometimes it’s a bad surprise, but it’s well worth the benefit of less clutter and depression in my life, haha… When have you ever come away from the news or pundits feeling better about yourself? :)
Here’s how February went down…
CASH SAVINGS (-$1,490.29): Nothing new to add here really, other than it’s been super helpful to have our Challenge Everything mission going strong which helps keep these loses lower than they would be. Which I’ll be blogging about again soon w/ the latest #’s of Craigslist dealings and other random money that still continues to come in… Seriously, you guys should track the amount of random $ that falls in your hands – it adds up over time!
BROKERAGE (+$12.30): This is our semi-new experiment with opening up my first recent brokerage account to learn more about dividend investing and to diversify my accounts better (99.99999% of my investments are tied up in retirement accounts). It all started when 20 of us bloggers decided to have a little competition and see how far we could grow $500 :) I’m in a respectable 8th place so far having grown my pot by 3.3%. Not that I really know what I’m doing as I just copied what my friend Jason from Dividend Mantra does – hah.
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$3,733.99): Haven’t invested a penny here since early 2014. Depending on how this tax season goes though, I hope to be able to max out this bad boy for our 6th or 7th year in a row. But our cash piles are getting low so not sure if I’ll have the balls to pull the trigger!
IRA: SEP (+$14,934.14): Same with this one – nothing new dropped in, however, this will definitely change when I max this out as soon as I know how much $$ I can put in (it’s tied to yearly business profit which I’m in the process of compiling). This is the one place I’ll max out each and every year no matter what’s going on – it’s the driving force of our wealth! (Before this it was maxing out our 401(k) when I had a 9-5). This one thing alone will make you a millionaire over not so long of a time. Highly recommend figuring out how to do it if you’re not doing it already. And of course we’ll be throwing it all into VTSAX without a second thought :)
Here’s a snapshot from our Vanguard account since moving over last April:
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$23.00): Nothing new here either… Normal drops in value over time until the cars finally explode or we’re forced to pick up new ones (much more likely with a growing family). I’m hoping this is still far far away as I love not having car payments (!!), but I know they can’t last forever. At least Frankencaddy :( This weather is giving it to him good this year, ugh.
Here’s the current values of our cars:
- Frankencaddy: $1,000.00
- Average Toyota: $5,891.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): This also remains the same @ $300,000. We only update it when we talk with our realtor (which is once every year or so), so in between it just stays flat and I don’t even bother with Zillow or the likes because of the constant fluctuations that I can never fully trust. And just like with the investments, it doesn’t really matter until the day of cashing in. So we’re cool with not as frequent updating as long as we check in every now and then.
MORTGAGES (-$700.95): I love this number! $700. Sounds damn sexy :) And again – for doing nothing different than sending our same payments over with an extra couple hundred attached (we pay $2,000 every month towards our first mortgage that’s $1,850ish, and $200 every month towards our 2nd mortgage which is like $60’ish). I’ve kept this constant through good times and bad, and it’s so engrained that when I think of how much I pay for our mortgages I immediately think $2,200 when it’s really $1,900. A good habit to get into!
Here’s the balances of our two mortgages:
- 1st Mortgage: $267,859.92 (30 year conventional @ 5.5%)
- 2nd Mortgage: $26,675.23 (HELOC @ variable 2.8%)
And here’s our total net worth over the past 12 months! Look at that last jump!
And this is how our boys did ;)
Two months down this year! One positive month and one negative month… I’ll take that anytime as long as the positive ones more than make up for the losers ;) And, as always, you can find all 7 years of net worth updates online here: J’s Net Worth Tracker. Check out that graph at the top!
How did you guys do last month? Anyone break a million or pay off enough debt to move into the black? Hope so :)
If it helps, check out our Blogger Net Worth Tracker over at Rockstar Finance. I feature over 130 bloggers ranging from (-) $125,214 to (+) $2,533,799 and finally converted all the currencies so it’s easier to compare now! (Though, you shouldn’t be exactly comparing, but rather getting inspired and learning how others in your $$$ range are building up their own worths.)
Here’s to a solid March!
PS: Here are three ways you can start tracking your net worth *right now* if you’ve been slacking:
- Use this “Money Snapshot” spreadsheet I created for my money clients to track stuff simply
- Use Mint.com (free) and have it all automated for you after hooking up your accounts
- Use PersonalCapital.com (free) which is “like Mint, only on steroids” as my friend Justin likes to say. He did an in-depth review for us taking screenshots of his own million dollar plus account to learn from, and he’s been retired since he was 33 so it must be good! ;)
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 $$$ clients
If you're not a spreadsheet guy like me and prefer something more automated (which is fine, whatever gets you to take action!), you can try your hand with a free Personal Capital account instead.
Personal Capital is a cool tool that connects with your bank & investment accounts to give you an automated way to track your net worth. You'll get a crystal clear picture of how your spending and investments affect your financial goals (early retirement?), and it's super easy to use.
It only takes a couple minutes to set up and you can grab your free account here. They also do a lot of other cool stuff as well which my early retired friend Justin covers in our full review of Personal Capital - check it out here: Why I Use Personal Capital Almost Every Single Day.
(There's also Mint.com too btw which is also free and automated, but its more focused on day-to-day budgeting rather than long-term net worth building)
Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!
Oh man – did your retirement accounts go up over 4% in ONE MONTH? That’s fricking amazing. I’m not down with how US Retirement accounts work but are those funds actively managed by investment managers or passively tracking an index? Either way, that is one hell of a ‘fuck yeah’ for compounding interest and reinvesting profits’.
Haha agreed :)
And yeah – all $$ in a Vanguard index fund (VTSAX) that doesn’t have an active manager or anything like that. Which means crazy low fees to help with the compounding!
Yes J! I wish you meet your target. One year ahead (54 to 53) is really still good! I hope you have a fruitful year, J.
Nice work! That doesn’t surprise me that the investment accounts were up so much for this month. February was a great month for investors with the S&P up over 5%. Thankfully I did all my stock shopping right at the beginning of the month before they all started climbing.
Nice! I miss dollar cost averaging…. My income just fluctuates way too much to be able to tell how much I’ll have to invest vs what I *can* invest w/ my SEP since it’s tied to business profit. I probably should work something out though to help spread it across the year.
Interesting thought. So you think dollar cost averaging works better on a monthly basis than an annual basis?
I do, yeah, but not if you have the money all at once. For example, If i had $10k to drop into the market I’d drop it all in today vs spreading it out over the next 12 months in the future. However if I only had $1k or whatever each month to invest then Id do that each month and not wait a whole year and *then* drop it all in kinda like how I’m currently doing it. If that makes sense?
Jim Collins had a great article on this a few months ago that really hit home with me:
Yes, it does make sense. If I had the money now, I would invest it instead of holding on to it.
That Jim Collins article is right on. I especially like his emphasis on adjusting your psychology to the right investment strategy, as opposed to the other way around. Thank you.
Half a million next month, that should be your goal! Nicely done!
Oh man, I can’t even imagine!
Awesome month for you! Woohoo! Winter has been brutal on my ancient Frugalwoods-mobile as well and she sustained a massive bumper hit (while she was parked) last week. Not to mention all the salt eating away at her rust stains… so I feel for poor old Frankencaddy.
And I’m with you on ignoring the markets as well as the newsy-anchors. Unless they start having greyhounds do the weather, I’m not watching.
4% increase in one month is amazing! Go markets! Compound interest and investing and all that stuff really is doing the brunt of the work now. Nice job building the pot!
Nice! I like the dividend challenge. It sounds like fun! :) Congrats on shaving a year off…that’s awesome, J!
Almost to half a mill, nice! I just broke 50k for the first time :) I love how your net worth bump knocks a whole YEAR off of your working years. That’s some powerful perspective there!
Gotta hit $50k before you can hit $500k :)
Wow, 4% in a month is kick-ass! Last month I finally hit 100K house down payment (with appropriate reserves for closing costs) so that’s been my big financial accomplishment for the month!
You saved $100k in cash??? That is incredible!!!
Tell me the house only costs $100k too? :)
Nice work as usual J! The market did definitely play nice last month and bought in during January so was glad to see that myself. You’re doing far better than I am in the challenge – I’m holding tight at like #16 or #17 ha!
Nice job this month. Do you have cash tucked away to max out your SEP in your tax account or will that hit come against your cash shown above?
I had it tucked away for a while and then moved it over at some point last year. So it’ll sting to watch that number drop when the time comes, though I kinda like it that way as it puts things in better perspective!
Great job! February was a good month for us too. We are at the point when the market is us, our net worth is up. We just sat down on Saturday with our CPA and I figured out how much more I can put into my solo 401k, so I’ll be writing a nice check to Schwab to start taking advantage of compounding!
Awesome job! For some reason I still haven’t done my net worth, probably because I’m still scared of what I will see. Right now my goal is making sure the Roth is fully funded and finding a way to combine finances with the bf so we can work towards financial goals together!
Dang, J$ You did well!! As soon as our debt is gone, we’re putting every spare penny toward that mortgage. Can’t wait to see those numbers go down like you guys are seeing. Thanks for sharing the encouragement. :-)
Having no mortgage payments will be baller!! We’ll have to actually meet in person when you pull that off to celebrate :)
Wow. That’s an awesome jump! It would be nice it it continued all year and beyond. :) Thank you for sharing. It’s always motivating.
You’re balling! Awesome to see you’ve been doing well. I had a good February also, well more like the markets were on fire which helped raise the value of my retirement fund.
I like that you mostly ignore the market yet are doing pretty awesome in that department. I am so afraid to put all my eggs in that one basket(re:ur vanguard). Got to admit that since I downloaded Personal Capital, thank you btw!, I may watch their market thingy a bit too much. But I think it’s cuz we are so negative net worth and our retirements are our only real asset.
Way to go this month, you show that there may be down months but there really is up months!
That’s funny about personal capital :) Better to watch that than other things online, eh?
I hear ya on the “one basket” thing too. I was initially afraid but then realized while it’s only 1 fund, it actually holds *thousands* of companies so it’s a lot more diversified than people think :) In fact, it’s the most diversified you can get – hah! (at least in the US as the index I chose is only US-companies. prob would be smarter to have some with international and bonds too, but for another day…)
Awesome! We don’t roll up our #’s now, but once we’re done paying PMI, we’ll keep that $81 in our mortgage payment since we’re used to it!
Awesome month! You’ll break the $500k this month, right? Our net worth is plodding along, nowhere near yours though!
Maybe this time next month you’ll hit 500K! Wow!
Great job on the net worth! You are almost at $500,000. WOOHOOO! :)
I secretly want to know YOUR net worth ;)
February was good – it was bonus month!
We’re at -$69504.57 (+$17,189.11) overall! This is the one month I can keep pace with J$!
Assets: $62,683.45 (+$12,188.46)
Car Values: $7733 (+$13) huh?
IRA: $13,115.23 (+$713.17)
401(k): $30,110.81 (+7,584.01)
Cash: $11,724.41 (+$3,878.28)
Liabilities: $132,188.02 (-$5,000.65)
Car Debt: $4,644.05 (-$35.63)
Unsecured Loan: $7,673.45 (-$429.66)
Student Loans: $105,011.41 (+$104.35) I think I read the principal balances last month, not totals.
Credit Cards: $14,859.11 (+$4,639.71)
Overall, very happy and trying to continue this progress!
Way to go! Up $4k in cash – that’s incredible!!
Sucky about the loans, but at least it was on purpose AND will pay dividends for the rest of your life – so can’t be too upset about that :)
I love these updates; I find them so inspirational, because I really want to get to that point where I can gain or lose most of a year’s worth of income just by hanging out and letting the markets do their thing :) Congrats! And I look forward to the day you sell that home.
I will be throwing an online party when that happens!! :)
Whoo hooo! Go get em J! I just signed up with Personal Capitol. I’m not sure how much if differs from Mint so I’m just experimenting. While income has been sucky this last year, I at least can manage a slight smile that I have a net worth of any kind. :)
Let me know how it goes with PC as the months tick by :) I’ve had an account with them for a year, but seeing Justin’s post made me want to spend more time in it and really use all the tools too! I typically like manually tracking my money, but you can’t hate all those pretty graphs and insights that magically are made for you – hah.
There is something powerfully motivating about round numbers. $700 towards principle on a mortgage payment. Getting to the ‘admiral’ level in Vanguard funds. A six figure milestone for net worth. Getting to the next big round number gets me to perform better than I would without them, I think.
Probably a post in there.
Are you going to write it, or am I? :)
Well, I only write every two or three weeks.
So, I’ll race you. ;)
Dude congrats on growing that net worth! One of the things I have been doing is microlending… lending $ to people I know (collateral required, of course), then charging monthly interest in addition to principal. You’d be surprised how much the interest can add up and affect your net worth positively! Just call me the Bank of CK ;) … Keep up the great work on the blog and in life! :)
Where were you 3 years ago when I wanted to pay off our 2nd mortgage and refi! :)
Whoowhoo! I love it when the size of a portfolio really starts to make it take off on its own! I am eagerly anticipating that day for us. Soon, Anne, soon, the markets shall have their way with your money and it will be amazing.
Nice work hitting an all-time record!
I didn’t get into the black, but I’m getting closer all the time. I did pay over $1,000 toward debt, which is almost double what I had planned on paying. I also increased my EF savings by more than I had planned too. Feb was a pretty good month over here.
Holy $hit – you’re on fire! Imagine all the lovely things you’ll be able to do once that debt is gone?? partyyy time!
Awesome work. The market had a big move up in February, which tends to be the tide that lifts all boats.
You’re almost a half-millionaire. That’s outstanding. At this rate, you’ll be a millionaire in fairly short order, even if you stop hustling/investing…and we know that ain’t gonna happen. :)
Keep it up!
Congrats on reaching your all-time high net worth!!! Thank goodness you ignore the market volatility and let your investments work for you. I know the cash drain sucks, but just think about how awesome it will look when you become a two income home again! :-)
I will die of wallet explosion!
Excellent work man, ’tis a time to celebrate. I haven’t done my February yet, 12 time zones from home and my online banking doesn’t work from over here too well. I am expecting a mediocre month, nothing like the killer one you have seen. I will down around a 55k loss on company stock since they started to drop in October and that is hurting my month over month net worth.
Keep up the good work, you will be past me in no time. Most of my net worth is in property, most of yours is in the market, I bet you pass me by mid year! And the scary part is I am happy about it. If it wasn’t for you I still would be wondering where my money goes because I would have never started tracking it.
I can’t wait to see next month!
I’m so glad to hear it man!! Tracking it does wonders for both confidence and motivation :) So keep on going, brotha. I’ll wish you a $55k Win in your near future to help balance out that nasty loss!
Way to go!
Our net worth is going way down this year. Tim’s teeth will be $16k-20k, wiping out savings completely (and we’re working our tails off to get the balance up to that point). Doesn’t help that we’ve already had $3k of repairs this year and have to get an HVAC unit for the in-laws in the guest house for another $3,500 (we have $1,100 saved for that, at least).
So hopefully the yearly bonus occurs in December and we work hard in 2016 to get our savings account healthy again.
At least our house is now worth about $125,000 and we only owe about $80,000. And our 2012 Honda Civic has under 30,000 miles on it, so it’s still worth a goodly amount. That helps the overall numbers a bit.
Def. helps out! Esp the house one – way to go on that, much smarter than us :)
Well done on the $17K increase this month, that’s great! I still haven’t put together my net worth. I’d put it off for ages because I didn’t want to look at my debt numbers more than I had to. But now the consumer debt is gone, I really should work out my net worth. I might surprise myself with a positive number!
Love to see the graphs going up. You’ve done a great job, let’s hope March will be even better. Looking forward to the updates.
Congrats! This jump is awesome! You reminded me to do my own update tomorrow, lol.
Your so close you can reach your hand out and touch half a million dollars. If the markets can hold their own, you will be there in no time.
That’s a solid jump. Half a million dollars isn’t too far off. Keep up the good work.
Nice work, J$! We’re up $32K over here, to $526k. Mostly the markets, but we’re also dumping money in my 401k to max it by early April, the first of many annual goals.
You DOUBLED my increase! Haha…. bastard ;)
Awesome numbers as usual. I’m definitely maxing out the work 401k and Roth IRA this year.
Congratulations on the big increase this month.
I managed a 38% rise to $8385.51 AUD last month. Well worth taking on the extra work before university as that has put me right ahead of my goal for the year of $10,000.
Nice work with the SEP IRA, that is the way to go. Thanks for the update, keep rockin’
Well done J$, my month doesn’t even touch yours lol but we are at a much different stage of our journey at the moment. we are getting closer every month to that first $100,000 in net worth. I hope frankencaddy survives the rest of winter!
I’m glad you bring up a “different stage of the journey” as that’s an important thing to keep in mind with this stuff :) We’re all finding our way here at different points in life and at different ages/countries around the world so you can rarely do a fair comparison!
And the $100,000 mark btw is a biggie. I remember it as if it were yesterday, and I feel like things start snowballing a lot more after that point.
I too had a great month. It feels good to share they joy.
Wow nice jump this month! It’s so fun to see all that green!
We did pretty well this month too with everything getting slightly higher across the board. Continuing to throw extra towards our mortgage every month!
Love seeing these real life examples of compounding – if you only had $40 k of net worth that increase might only have been $1.7k rather than $17! Great stuff for Feb J Money! I had a great month too, with the portfolio up nearly 12% – but partly thanks to the power of leverage, which I have just got rid of to reduce risk.
And I’m totally with you on the news – my life is so much better since I largely started ignoring the media :)
You’re right! This is why the rich keep getting richer – their wealth just multiplies while they sleep ‘cuz of this momentum!!! (well, and other reasons too of course, but it’s def. a factor ;))
You’re killing it JM!! I just ran our net worth recently for the first time. Yikes! Similar numbers as yourself and a very happy future of compounding while upping contributions at every step. I have a lot of hobbies, but this one has become my favorite to pursue. Really a lifestyle change. Keep it up. Y’all are an inspiration!! :)
Thanks man! A great hobby to have indeed – I could think of about 900,008 others that could be worse :)
Our month was not quite as great as yours, but it was still good. $2,500 off the business debt, bringing it down to $15,000 (from an original starting point of $80,800). Looking forward to the day when we’ll be more focused on the growth of our investments! Keep enjoying yours : )
We’re all in different stages, my dear! You shall be here soon enough! :)
Wow! JM! Increases are always a great thing. Well done!
Thank you for always inspiring us by posting your own net worth. Before seeing one of your posts I didn’t think I had a “Net Worth” as I thought this was only something multi-milliionaires calculated. Now that I have followed your lead and mapped out my own I enjoy watching it rise! Its still way too low for my age (retirement goals) but Im almost debt free!!!!!!
That’s fabulous! And you’ve already got the hardest/scariest part done – the very first reveal! :) In theory it should all be much happier as time goes on, haha…
And yes – everyone has a net worth whether it’s negative or not. But the important thing to keep in mind is that you’re actively *doing something* about it. So congrats on getting all over it :)
I love reading about your net worth. I laughed out loud when you wrote about ignoring the market swings, because really, who needs all that stress and worry anyway? What was your financially free mark again? I looked at the spreadsheet and it looked like it was 2 million. That’s a lot to live off of! Does it have to be that high? I guess it’s also hard to tell when your expenses will change and what they may become so I am assuming you are doing it off of your current expenses.