Net Worth Check Up: $224,724.81 (Up $3k)

April 2011 Net WorthAnother month, another nerd-fest! Haha… I had a friend just ask me what I was doing via gchat, and I very proudly stated “My net worth update!” It took him 15 mins to respond… I don’t think he was impressed ;)

But honestly, who here DOESN’T like checkin’ on their money? That’s why you’re my crew. I can say anything I want about money here (like how much I’d love to re-enact Scrooge McDuck’s awesome coin dive!) and y’all get it. You’re good people, and I’m glad to call you my friends :)

Now back to the task at hand.  Our new net worth. As you can see, we’ve got some pretty major changes going on up in hurrr. Specifically, with that horrible red tax number up there – bleh. I talked ranted about paying these quarterly taxes earlier in the month, but seeing it up there like that just solidifies my hatred for it. I’ve already said my piece though, so we fight another day!  (And save like balls before the next one comes)

Other than that, it was bidness as usual.  Websites didn’t make as much money last month, but the stock market more than made up for it.  And the wifey – she socked away $2k this month!!  That’ll do the trick every time ;)

Net Worth Breakdown: APRIL

CASH SAVINGS (+$1,427.09): All Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy here.  My stuff lost $600+ due to less advertising revenue this month, as well as that nasty tax bill aforementioned.  (So, I pretty much “lost” $6,000 this month) Not alarmed though – most of it was seen from far off.   And this next month should make up for it a bit!

EMERGENCY FUND (+$100.00): We’re getting closer to that $10,000 again!  My goal is to at LEAST throw in $100 each month no matter what. Without taking away from any of the other funds either – it’s gotta be pure leftovers from the month. Don’t question me ;)

*NEW –> TAX FUND (-$5,575.00): I kinda sorta took some of y’alls advice, and made this an extra line item in the calculations.  It doesn’t 100% reflect as perfect as I want yet (aka you save up money every month, only to have a big hit and disrupt the total net worth), but I kinda like the way it looks up there right now.  The reality is I do save up the money and then get pinged every 3 months, so it is pretty accurate – as long as I, personally, understand that the $5k I’m saving up is not MINE to do what I please with. Which I do ;)  I wouldn’t be self-employed if I couldn’t handle that one – I’d be in jail for tax evasion. Okay this paragraph is getting reallll long, haha…

IRAs – ROTHS & SEP (+$674.20): I decided to clump these guys up to save room going forward.  I had the newer SEP detailed out, but an IRA is an IRA (at least for these purposes), and my goal for tracking them is to see how my “investments” in that category are looking each month.  So clumping works out just as nice.

401(k)s (+$5,929.06): LOVE love LOVE this! I know people say it’s not “real” until you cash it out, but guess what?  If I cashed it out right now I’d realize these gains!  But yeah, for the most part you can’t count on this money being there 100% unless you’re storing it all in a cash account or something.  Which wouldn’t really do you that well over time.  For now I enjoy the fun spikes and continue to learn how it all “works.”  I’ll take the excitement over cash anytime when it comes to investments.

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$75.00) : Few extra dollars this month on behalf of the trusty ol’ Toyota.  It’s been slowly rising over the last couple months for some reason… I like it ;)  Not that we’re selling anytime soon.

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,695.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $10,680.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Same number as usual.  Though this reminds me that I still have to reach out to our realtor and get him to soft-appraise it for me again.  It’s been a year, and he knows this place like the back of his hand.  Any luck it could be going up?! :)

CREDIT CARDS ($0.00): Just the way daddy likes it…

MORTGAGES (+$153.36): Still going strong w/ the “rounding up” habit… I barely notice it, and it def. chips away a little each month… if only it would get up and sell itself! (I’m not bitter)

  • Mortgage #1: $286,175.72 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
  • Mortgage #2: $61,911.88 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.

There ya have it kiddos.  Another month down, another quick financial snapshot.  It’s kinda funny.  I never SEE all this stuff happening over the month, but when you sit down to actually run the numbers it really paints a picture!  For the good, or for the worse.  I thought I’d be swimming in debt this month due to the tax stuff, but obviously we did better in pretty much every other category.  This is why it’s SO IMPORTANT to force yourself to check in on things every month.  It’s the gradual stuff that can make or break you!

True story: I was losing money every single month for a year, before blogging, and I had NO idea it was happening.  In fact, I thought I was SAVING money every month! So please, if you’re not already tracking it, start today.  An hour a month can literally change your (financial) life.  And I want you happy and chillin’ on a beach with me one day!!! :)

Much love,

PS: Did I mention you should start tracking your money?

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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!

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 Empower account instead (formerly Personal Capital)

Empower 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.

personal capital dashboard

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 Empower - check it out here: Why I Use Empower Almost Every Single Day.

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  1. You Suck at Kijiji May 3, 2011 at 6:55 AM

    My first thought was “holy crap, how’s he doing this?”

    My second thought was “um, he explains all that in excruciatingly interesting and repeatable detail every day on the web site, stupid.”

    Don’t mind me — I’m over-tired.

    But congratulations, as usual. You’re proof that proper planning something something something profit!

  2. Matt May 3, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    How did you come up with $10k as the target for the emergency fund?

  3. Michelle May 3, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    definitely reach out to the realtor – it would be AMAZING if you could refi those two rotten mortgages into ONE…this year before rates hit 6% again (not saying they will within the year, just that the recognized savings from your 6.875 and a REAL amortization paydown would rock)…good luck and yay to the Mrs for being an awesome saver…

  4. Shauna L May 3, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    I didn’t even have to click on the Scrooge McDuck link to know exactly what you are talking about. Love it.

  5. Stephen May 3, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    good to see your doing fine working for yourself J. I’m happy to say that my net worth is finally in the green. Ive been using your table for my own for the past 6 months and its great to go back and see the improvements and declines, but every month closer and closer to get in the green and out of debt. And this month was the first month im finally over the hump. Everything from here on out is WORTH. :)

  6. Austin May 3, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    Nice month, J! Have you ever, or could you explain more about the mortgages that you have? Looks a little … non traditional (?) and since my wife and I are getting the house bug, I’d love some more details on the kinds of mortgages you have and their function. Thanks!


  7. Kitchen Penguin May 3, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Aloha J$!

    Congratulations on the continued upward motion of your net worth; mine is also moving in the same direction but not at the same rate. What “value” do you use to calculate your automobile worth? Just curious because there’s a $1,000 difference between the trade in value and the private sale value for my car (the higher number is $30 less than your Caddy).

  8. B. Myself May 3, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Wow! You are doing a fantastic job. I have just started tracking my net worth, and it needs quite a bit of work before it will look anything like yours.

    Also, I agree with “Michelle” in that refinancing your mortgage(s) would be helpful in improving your net worth in the long run.

  9. Wade May 3, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Once again, you are able to show your steady financial improvement. Well done J. Money!

    I think that $10k is a decent emergency fund. I wish I had an emergency fund with that much in it. I guess that I’ve got some work ahead of me.

  10. CityFlips May 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    I’m a big fan of watching the net worth grow! Turns out, it grows faster when you’re not paying off credit cards anymore! Woot woot! 2 months and going strong! I don’t have the income to make leaps and bounds, but as I’m fond of saying…Every Penny Counts!

  11. Matt May 3, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    I think one of the smartest things I did was buy a modest home. Its nice only allocating 10% of our income to housing and putting all the leftovers toward savings and paying down the principal. We were tempted to get a McMansion like everyone else but resisted and went with something that we could pay off in a short amount of time.

  12. J. Money May 3, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    @You Suck at Kijiji – Haha, thanks man. It actually takes so much longer just to type it all out than to run the numbers! :)
    @Matt – That’s an excellent question. If I’m being completely honest, it’s just a nice solid number that helps me sleep better at night ;) But if I’m putting my advice hat on, I’d say it’s MUCH better to base it on X number of monthly expenses so if the $hit hits the fan, you’re gauranteed to survive for a while until you’ve overcome whatever it is setting you back (like a job loss, for example). For us, $10k represents about 2 and 1/2 months worth of expenses. But everyone has their own comfort levels.
    @Michelle – I’m cooking up a little somethin’ somethin’, so stay tuned on that ;)
    @Shauna L – Haha, that’s cuz your down like that!
    @Stephen – THERE YOU GO!!! That is excellent news my friend, congrats!!! And thx so much for sharing that you’re using my table! Makes me so happy – keep it up :)
    @Austin – Well, I wouldn’t recommend others doing what we did even though it worked for us so far ;) We have an interest-only 1st mortgage w/ a locked in rate (so it’ll never go up), but after 10 years we have to majorly increase our payments to make up for not paying any principal down throughout that phase – which is why you gotta make sure you know what you’re doing to sign on (we make extra payments each month, and plan to increase it way earlier – we just wanted the flexibility of this type). Then we have a 2nd mortgage that’s a Home Equity Line of Credit maxed out. That one has a variable rate which is normally way higher than the 1st mortgage, but due to economy is about a THIRD right now. Which means we gotta pay it off, or lock it in, before it starts going up UP UP!

    Does any of that help? To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of home ownership right now (I don’t think it’s for everyone), so I’m prob. not the best to be helping out in this department ;) But I will say that no matter what you do, MAKE SURE to get a mortgage payment within your budget. I can’t tell you how important that is — it’s so easy to get caught up in a nicer home and to stretch yourself thin, but it WILL wear on you over the years and unfort. it’s not an easy thing to get out of if need be. So please take your time and make sure you both are totally comfortable first :)
    @Kitchen Penguin – Aloha! Glad your numbers are steadily rising too, my friend :) I use KBB “private sale” since that’s what I’d be doing if/when it comes time to sell them. If you prefer to trade-in yourself, I’d then base it on that. Whatever you see yourself doing down the road :)
    @B. Myself – Awesome, keep on top of it and make sure to check in at least once a month to track your progress! And yup — def. best to fix mortgage situation if it’s an option. Something that was not possible until most recently for us, so stay tuned ;)
    @Wade – Thanks :) But it really all depends on what your own situation entails. $10k may be too much for some people and not make sense, whereas others it’s not even close to being enough.
    @CityFlips – Rock it out!!! You’re so right, credit cards are the devil ;) Well, unpaid off cards I should say, I’m still a huge fan of them when used smartly!
    @Matt – YES!!!! AMEN brother! Wow, 10% is incredible. You are an inspiration, truly. Not many people have the willpower (and smarts!) to be able to do that. I know I didn’t when we were house hunting ;)

  13. MacroCheese May 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    You’ve probably addressed this, but why do you include your primary residence in your net worth?

  14. Uncle El May 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Hey J.

    I dont see the account for Work for yourself or your Buffet Investments account up there. Unless you combined them else where.

  15. Jennifer Lissette May 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Well, J. Money, I’ve officially been using your net worth spreadsheet for one year now! Plus, my husband and I created a little addendum spreadsheet that puts each month’s column in one table in case we ever want to make a visual representation of the info. I’m really proud to say that even though our home has lost $75,000 in value in the past year (according to zillow), we’ve still managed to double our net worth this year (albeit, a very small net worth).

    I’m really grateful for you, your blog and your spreadsheet for getting me into the habit of tracking my net worth. I look forward to gathering the data each month, even when the markets dive or I pay large lump sums for things like property taxes. Knowing everything, the good and the bad, it gives me a feeling of control and stability. And being able to look back now and see the progress that my husband and I have made gives me a great feeling of pride. Thanks so much for having the courage to put your numbers out there and inspiring the rest of us to hop on board as well!

  16. Peliroo May 3, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    I’m way overdue to do this! Glad for the reminder. Thanks J$.

  17. retirebyforty May 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Your net worth is looking good. Check out my April cash flow, it’s on my site today.
    I’m taking 3 months off and we’re living on 1 pay check right now. I don’t think we’ll see positive cash flow for the period. :(
    Our housing is the biggest expense too.

  18. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager May 3, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Congrats on being up $3K! And thanks for the shout out about Adaptu Recommends. You rock J$!

  19. JoeTaxpayer May 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    6-7/8? I’d tell the bank I’ll pay it off at 5% starting now or they can just $%^&*(@#$.
    Funny, the world’s biggest loser (I mean Trump) managed to renegotiate debt was hit net worth was negative, and came back to be worth at least a few million dollars. (I subtract for the tarnished name his serial bankruptcies brought him). You have more to gain than lose. Not saying walk away, just threaten.

  20. Ruby May 3, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    “PS: Did I mention you should start tracking your money?”

    Yes, J$, you did…and I’m putting it on my To-Do list RIGHT NOW. :D

  21. J. Money May 3, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    @MacroCheese – Mainly cuz I like to have an overall view of *everything* major with my finances, but also because I have all those mortgages and you HAVE to include that in there so it balances out. Or else it’s not “accurate” – at least in my opinion.

    Here’s a post I did about it :)

    @Uncle El – My Work For Yourself account was never listed separately in these breakdowns, only internally in my accounts. For net worth purposes it goes under “cash” – although in reality it should now be considered my “business emergency fund!” haha… my goal’s dream has come alive ;)

    My Buffet Investments are included in my IRAs section since I do all stock & mutual fund investing strictly in my retirement accounts. Because it keeps me calm and collected, but also leaves me more money to “play” with too. And of course, you don’t have to worry about taxes and all that in some of the cases ;) *ahem* Roth IRAS

    You’ve got a good memory, friend!

    @Jennifer Lissette – Awww you’re welcome! You’re making me blush over here ;) I am SO GLAD my spreadsheet helps out, and even more so that you are coming up with your own ways to watch your progress too. That is very VERY good to hear, and I hope others are reading that too and getting pumped up cuz it really DOES do wonders to your whole outlook! Even if it goes down, etc, like you mentioned. You are awesome, and I congratulate the two of you :)

    @Peliroo – You know I’m here for you ;)
    @retirebyforty – Awww that’s not too bad! just a little bit – I was expecting like down $2k cash flow or something, haha… 3 months huh? That is so cool. Your baby is adorable!!! If you guys can rock that 1 paycheck rule, it would be amazing. Life changing even. All that time spending with family and stuff you actually CARE about? Crazzzzzy. I wish you nothing but success my friend :) And feel free to call/skype/email anytime! I’m at home too, just baby-less… for now ;)

    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – We’re all in this thing together ;)

    @JoeTaxpayer – Haha – even though I agreed to it myself? I can’t blame the banks on that, I was the idiot who signed up for it ;) And I can afford it, so no hardship there unfort… BUT, after 2 years of trying to refi and couldn’t (the whole underwater thing doesn’t usually help your cause), I may have broken through. New post about it coming soon – and it will be a much better deal. *IF* it comes true.
    @Ruby – Well that’s what I like to hear now! Keep us updated on how it goes :) Maybe later you can do a blog post for me on starting from scratch and how it all went? Who knows… either way, you’re gonna be on the right track!

  22. B Kelly May 4, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    wow! to actually post your net worth for all to see is a sure sign of commitment… i’m going to do mine now in excel first.. and maybe one day soon i’ll have your courage. Thanks for the post!

  23. retirebyforty May 4, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    Thanks! April was pretty good overall, but I think we’ll be around -$500 in May. We’ll see how it goes.

  24. Jen May 4, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Thanks J Money, finally did my Net Worth for the first time and posted it on my blog. Guess I’m kinda starting at the bottom.

  25. Jesse May 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    I would recommend including a “liability” for your estimated quarterly tax payment. As you earn money each month, you set aside a portion in your Tax Fund savings and add a rough estimate of what you’ll owe to the Tax Liability line item (I usually keep it simple and just use a fixed percentage of revenue). When it comes time to pay, both of those items will drop together so you’re net worth calculation won’t jump around every quarter.

  26. J. Money May 6, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    @B Kelly – Haha, yeah it’s def. weird sometimes but I’m used to it by now ;) It’s what got me into blogging to begin with! I saw My Money Blog do it and I was blown away. Congrats on starting to track yours!!! That’s the most important part whether you share it or not.
    @retirebyforty – Unless you find a way to make $500 more on the ol’ blog ;)
    @Jen – Yeah, I saw that!!! Your GOLD asset is hilarious, I love it! haha… put you in my roundup this week – congrats! ;) (for starting to track it, not for making it in my roundup… although that is cool! haha…)
    @Jesse – I know, that was what I was gonna do but then it just looked funny for me – like I was doubling the amount of line items for the same thing. I think what I’m gonna do is try this for a few months and then revisit it again. And probably end up w/ exactly what you’re saying. I like to take baby steps ;)

  27. David May 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    refinance? 6.8% seems too high for today’s environment. why not use some of that cash savings to refinance into a 15 year?

  28. J. Money May 8, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Up until recently (and even now it’s up iffy) I wasn’t able to refinance as we’re too far underwater. Even w/ the new rules that came out a while back, we still weren’t qualified. I am in talks w/ our current lender, though, and it IS looking good so far, but I’m not putting too much stock in it yet until everything’s singed and dated. fingers crossed!

  29. myloverswifer May 12, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Wow…thank you Google Reader for suggesting this site.

    You have a great site going here…lots of practical information. I took your advice and calculated my and my husband’s net worth. It ain’t pretty…but at least we have a starting point.

  30. J. Money May 13, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    There you go!!! That’s usually the hardest part – well done :) You’ll have to chime in and let us know how it’s going each month when I put out the next one.

    Cool Google Reader suggested this site too!! Haven’t heard that one before, but I like it! :) Happy weekend my new friend.