What a contrast from last year’s December review when we were hovering around $64k. Pretty crazy how 1 year makes a difference, eh?
But as I’ve mentioned time and time again, consistently saving and sticking to your goals is all it takes! Well, that and the stock market cooperating, but we don’t have control over that like we do our personal finances ;)
What I’m most excited about in 2010, though, is that we all have another chance to contribute to our 401(k)s and Roths! WOOHOO! Can we say Money, Money, Moneyyyyyy! I know not everyone cares for them like I do, but they really are the key to my success so far (well, that and not shopping, bringing in some side income, & getting rid of debt). Those two guys alone account for almost $40k in my savings – $16,500 401k contribution, $16,500 employer match, and $5,000 Roth. It may not be sexy in a general sense, but it sure is when you see your net worth increase like that! Hot girls like money, right?
December 2009 Net Worth break down:
CASH SAVINGS (+$2,592.31): Nothing much to say here except it was nice while it lasted! Haha… we’ve done an excellent job of increasing our extra cash in the past few months, but come next month it’ll soon break even or possibly turn red. That’s because I’m doing the whole Max out my 401(k) fast by contributing 90% of my salary for a while :) A while being when I a) run out of all this money saved up in my savings, or b) hit the $16,500 limit – whichever comes first. I’m not joking around this year, baby!
EMERGENCY FUND ($0.00): This will stay put @ $10,000 unless we need to dip into it at some point (which would suck, of course, but that’s what it’s there for). We have enough extras in our personal savings accounts as well we can hit first, but knowing there’s $10k sitting there (earning interest) for a rainy day sure does feel good!
ROTH & Traditional IRAs (-$82.63): I’m not sure how we lost a little here, but no matter as we’ll be pumping in more now that the new year has come around. Def $5k in my personal Roth, and then we’ll see what we can do about upping the Mrs’ too. We’ve already xfered over 2 accounts of hers into USAA (a Roth from PNC & a Traditional from UBS), so next on the list is to convert the Traditional into a Roth – which is a very cool change for this tax year! I’ll be writing about it soon, but for now you should check out a recent article from the LA Times on converting.
401(k)s (+$5,367.51): No additional contributions on my behalf, BUT we did see a $500 jump in dividends, as well as a nice $4,600 in market increase. Come NEXT month though we’ll be seeing some purrty numbers!!! I’ll be contributing 90% of my salary again ;)
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$975.00): Well, my Caddy is now 17 years old and keeps on tickin’! I did see a weird light come on a few weeks back though, so I’m hoping all is kosher when I bring it in for a check this weekend. The idea of having car payments again blows! Here’s where the values stand:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,970.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $9,135.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): This will remain @ $300k (the price our realtor set it at) until I hit him up later for another review. He’s the master in our particular neighborhood, and has been selling (and living) in this area for 20+ years. I keep an eye on Zillow & Redfin.com as well, but they fluctuate so much that I never can tell what’s real and what’s hype.
CREDIT CARD (car loans) ($0.00): Still at Zero! The previous debt here was an “auto loan” that I charged on my credit card – effectively setting my interest @ 3%. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but the method works well if you know what you’re doing and don’t have outstanding debt. Here’s a post I did on the 4 steps to mastering your credit card too if you want to know how we keep ours paid off at $0 every month ;)
MORTGAGES (-$167.15): Another month of paying extra towards our principal! We still screwed with refinancing, but we do what we can to weather the storms and keep moving forward. Even an extra $20 or $30 cuts cuts down your interest payments! Here’s how our mortgages line up:
- Mortgage #1: $286,884.69 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
- Mortgage #2: $62,656.03 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.
And that wraps up all of 2009. Very, very pleased with how it came to a close, and excited to see how 2010 pans out too. I can’t wait to say we’re millionaires! That’ll still be a good 10+ years away, but ya gotta start somewhere ;) Doesn’t it seem like every year goes by faster and faster anyways? Now tell me – how did your finances round up for 2009? Hope you experienced awesomeness as well!
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)