Net Worth Update: $503,939.92 (Half-A-Million Mark!)

What’s up money lovers!

You’re now looking at a half-a-millionaire, woo-woo! We’re going to Disney World, baby!!!! (Haha yeah right, you know how expensive that is?? ;))

I will be popping bottles though, specifically this one here:

old bottle champagne

Ironically it’s the same bottle my wife and I picked up to celebrate the purchase of our first house 9 years ago which to this day has never been drunk. I feel like it’s kinda fitting as to how far we’ve come :)

On a more serious note though, it’s been quite the ride in getting here! A lot easier in some ways as once you get investments going they just keep making money on their own, but man it can sure take a while… And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve sweated/cried/laughed/and sweated some more throughout the process ;) You sure gotta WANT IT, that’s for sure, haha…

Take a look at what a journey it’s been:

net worth journey

You can see how fast (or not) the money has grown in some years vs others – either due to the stock market or personal/family decisions… It’s never a straight line one way or the other, that’s for sure! And we’ve documented all 91 months throughout the journey here on the blog too which is cool :)

But here we are, over 8 years since pulling my head out of the sand, and I gotta admit it smells much prettier outside. And the crazy thing is, my lifestyle isn’t that drastically different than it was before. Outside of being happier and more stable, of course.

You’d think that after all those years of saving and cutting back that your life would be miserable, especially watching everyone ELSE blow through it all, haha, but the fact of the matter is that the more financially stable you become, the more confidence and happiness you receive. And it’s not like you still can’t spend money if you want to – you just do it way more consciously. And the beautiful part is that once you figure it out *once* it sticks with you forever! Even as life changes!

So today is more of a celebration for ALL OF US who have made that commitment, and everyone before us that has shown us the way. After all, if it wasn’t for either, none of us would be reading this right now :)

So let’s get down and celebrate!! By dissecting the numbers from last month like true nerds! Haha… And if your boss isn’t looking, I give you permission to take a swig of the bubbly as well, shh…

How May broke down… An increase of $7,923.75

CASH SAVINGS (-$967.65): Not what we’d like to see, especially after going on about the power of managing your money well, haha, but it’s true life and some months are better than others :) This loss mainly comprised of some medical bills needing to be paid, as well as a drop in business income.

DIGIT SAVINGS (+$418.03): On the plus side, Digit’s stashed away an extra $400 for us! So it’s not a total loss… Most of you are already quite aware of them since I talk about them often, but for all new people here you could read about why I love them so much here. I’m even on their board of advisors.

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING (+$237.26): While pretty much on autopilot these days, last year’s Challenge Everything mission continues to pay dividends. We’ve now saved almost $3,000 since switching over to Republic Wireless alone, plus another few thousand from cutting down other recurring expenses throughout the same period. And that’s the whole trick of it all right there: shaving *recurring* expenses vs one-time ones! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

BROKERAGE (ACORNS) (+$17.88): A couple more dollars invested in this account here too. All automated, and all awesome (thanks Acorns!). It’s a nice feeling knowing you’re investing money every time you swipe your card :)

IRA: ROTH(s) (+$1,728.91): I haven’t followed through with my plan of making monthly deposits into our Roth IRA yet (mainly due to the cash situation above), but it is on my list and hope to get into the habit again shortly. So any gains here are strictly off the market doing its thing…

IRA: SEP (+$6,729.32): Same here, as well. Nothing new invested, yet still climbs up! It’s actually pretty scary how easy it is :) (And also true of the opposite happening too, haha… we can’t forget that time we lost $51,000 one month and $23,000 another! All within the past 9 months!)

Here’s a snapshot of how our investments have performed since moving it all into Vanguard two years ago… We’re fully invested in VTSAX btw (Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund):

vanguard returns may 2016

(Look at all those dips!!)

AUTO VALUES (-$240.00): Just another month per usual here… No one ever had cars that APPRECIATED! :) Here’s how they break down per KBB, except for my Caddy where I put a flat $1,000 rate on it as it’s been pretty banged up lately:

  • Wife’s Toyota: $4,103.00
  • Jay’s Frankencaddy: $1,000.00

LIABILITIES: ($0.00): Nada, zilch, nothing. Doesn’t mean it’ll always remain this way, but for now we’re soaking it up :) Especially after offloading our house earlier this year which officially got rid of our last debts. (We’re currently renters now and loving it).

And here’s been the ride just over the past 12 months:

net worth last year

Again – it’s never a straight line one way or the other! Just gotta keep the head down and hustle strong… We’ve technically only improved by $14,000 this year – hah.

And then the boys’ net worths:

kids net worth may 2016

Nothing super special going on here either as we haven’t added anything into them lately…

And that’s net worth update #91! The 3rd most special one so far! (With the $50,000 and $100,000 milestones being the most exciting since it’s when you’re getting your momentum going and figuring stuff out :) Even though $500k takes a helluva lot longer!!)

As always, you can see all udpates we’ve done over the years here, as well as stalk 200 other bloggers’ net worths over at Rockstar Finance’s net worth tracker – where you’re bound to find someone you relate to. Which is really the whole point of sharing this stuff. To keep you motivated and to show all the different paths in reaching these goals!

And I do hope your path to freedom is going well too :) Remember that it doesn’t matter so much where you are *today*, but rather *where you’re going* tomorrow. And tracking your net worth helps to light the way…

To the next step!

j. money signature

AKA Half-a-Millionaire

(Visited 481 times, 2 visits today)
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.

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. The Green Swan June 3, 2016 at 5:28 AM

    Congrats on the milestone! I hope you and the wife enjoy the bubbly!

  2. Hermann June 3, 2016 at 5:31 AM

    well done bud. such a good feeling when you hustle hard and you achieve something set out years ago. 1million up next ;)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:27 AM

      That’s the plan! :)

  3. John C @ Action Economics June 3, 2016 at 5:47 AM

    Very cool Congrats J$! This is the major pro of tracking your networth both privately and publicly, you have the ability to look back and see how long it took and look back at your challenges knowing the actual data, which btw around 8 years for $500K is pretty damn good! Mrs. C. and I just broke 200K, slowly but surely. We’re building some real momentu, probably in another 5(ish) years we will be joining you in the 500K club :).

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:30 AM

      I’ll pick up another bottle to hold onto for you then :)

      And yes – def. cool to be able to go back through the months and watch the progress! It’s amazing how much changes over the years, both in terms of life and in money, and most of it we forget unless it’s documented.

  4. Brian @DebtDiscipline June 3, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    Congrats J$! A nice milestone. Nicely done. Your first graph says it all, look how far you have come. Let’s hope the next 8 years are even better!

  5. Ed Mills June 3, 2016 at 6:06 AM

    Congrats, it’s always nice to hit those goals and marks. I bet $500,000 sounded almost impossible five years ago, didn’t it? Don’t forget that the next half million shouldn’t be as hard as the first since the portfolio will be doing A LOT of the work. Enjoy the ride, the lifestyle, and, most importantly, the family.
    Two high fives and a bear hug, Ed

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:32 AM

      Thanks dude! Just trying to catch up to your Trillionaire plan! ;)

  6. Kim @ Needing The Dough June 3, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    Congrats on the milestone!! You’ve worked hard for this. Enjoy the it!

  7. The Finance Smith June 3, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    Congrats on reaching the half-a-million net worth milestone!

  8. Elliot @ Our Growing Wealth June 3, 2016 at 6:42 AM

    Wow, nicely done, amazing work! Enjoy that hard earned bubbly!

    I love reading all these Net Worth updates from fellow personal finance bloggers, it just goes to show what can be done. Wealth and riches are there for everyone, you just have to grab your slice of the opportunity! Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get the chance to celebrate in style as well and join the club!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:32 AM

      There’s plenty of room for you here – just keep on going strong! :)

  9. Thias @It Pays Dividends June 3, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Congrats on finally hitting the number! It is nice that the market didn’t crash for once when you got close to it! :) You both better pop open that bottle tonight! I’m expecting a celebration much like a baseball team winning the World Series, multiple bottles, goggles, and a lot of spraying!

  10. Jaymee June 3, 2016 at 7:25 AM

    I’ve been following your networth updates J$ and everytime I read it I gain a little bit more courage to want to publicly post my own networth on my blog :P as a reader of your blog, I’m seriously inspired by seeing your networth improve every month.

    Congrats on half a million! That’s crazy awesome xD

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:37 AM

      Awwww, thanks Jaymee! It’s okay if posting it online publicly is too uncomfortable for you (it probably would be for me too if I weren’t anonymous!), but what’s important is that you’re tracking it FOR YOURSELF at home :) You can get just as motivated and inspired by doing that, no need to share online unless you want to.

  11. Apathy Ends June 3, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    The curse is over!

    Maybe the markets will stop being drunk now that they are done messing with you

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:38 AM

      Haha for real!! I’m kinda waiting for something to blow up the next few days ;)

  12. Lindsay @ The Notorious D.E.B.T. June 3, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    Congratulations, what a milestone!
    (BTW – LOVE the idea of a Frankencaddy. I hope to have a Frankentruck some day…)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 7:39 AM

      Haha that would be cool! Maybe they can get together one day and make Frankenbabies ;) (FrankinMINIs??? Oooooh!)

  13. Matt @ Distilled Dollar June 3, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    Congrats! We’re hoping to hit those first two milestones in the next few years. I can only imagine what 500k must feel like! Plus, its been a long time coming!

  14. Mike @ Blogsofstuff June 3, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    Great work J-Money! I really appreciate the part about selling the house. I try to explain that a house is not an investment to people and they look at me like I am crazy! It’s all about cash flow baby!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:20 PM

      Haha yeah – you gotta only release that nugget when they’re open and ready to talk about it… It’s like trying to convince someone to vote for another political party or change religions :)

  15. David June 3, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Congrats to the half-millionaires!

    I’m about 3 years away myself depending on our friend the US economy.

    Any guesses on how many more years until you get to $1M?? (or how many months you might dip below $500k before you get there?

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:23 PM

      Probably about 100 months of dipping below and then hopefully MUCH less time in hitting $1M :) But nah, haven’t calculated it out recently… I think the last time I did it said I’d be around 44 when it happens. Which is oddly enough 8 years from now!

      1. Darrell Stempke June 7, 2016 at 4:30 PM

        Let me do the math for you! Give me an estimate of how much you’ll add to your retirement accounts each year, what you feel is a fair nominal return on the market and I’ll play with the math for you! Also, if you remind me what your annual expenses are, I’ll tell you when you might retire, too!

  16. Jover June 3, 2016 at 8:08 AM

    I’m in sight of $100k, and hopefully reach it sometime this summer. Took a hit recently when KBB devalued my car by over $2k overnight AND the darn thing needed 4 tires. But as you said, it’s never a straight line! The overall trend is way more important.

  17. Amanda @centsiblyrich June 3, 2016 at 8:09 AM

    Congrats on half a mil and thanks for sharing! Though it does take a while, and there are a ton of ups and downs, you just gotta love the beauty of compound interest!

    Like you, we have all IRAs in VTSAX, but don’t have that option for the 401k, so we do the best we can on that one with the low cost index fund options offered.

  18. Michelle @ These Two Things June 3, 2016 at 8:10 AM

    Congrats! This is so inspiring to me. I’m just starting out on this journey and doing it with a weak currency. Reading your blog, and others, inspires me to keep going. Thank you!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:24 PM

      That’s the best way to stay motivated!! And exactly why I read everyone else’s blogs too! :)

  19. Latoya @ Femme Frugality June 3, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    That’s amazing! And I could only imagine what you said about feeling more happier and confident as you watch your money grow. To outsiders looking in, yeah, it may seem like deprivation…but once you’re in it, you realize how much better it is to be on the side of “having” vs “not having”. Way to go, J Money…cheers!

  20. kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor June 3, 2016 at 8:14 AM

    Huge congrats! And I love the irony of your champagne that was purchased to celebrate your home purchase. The story is coming full circle. That’s awesome!

  21. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar June 3, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    Awesome! That’s some huge stuff. We’re only coming up on quarter millionaire, so seeing someone this far ahead is really inspiring. Knowing that someone has gotten there lifts the burden of “can I do this” and changes it to “how do I do this”.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      And you know what? We all have to cross quarter-million status before we hit the half-a-million one too! And then one day the epic $1 million!

  22. Coolkit June 3, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    Rock On! Awesome Awesome. Congratulations. This is true happiness. Nothing compares to it, it isn’t bought or sold. Bottle this feeling – I know I did! I open this bottle any time I feel lethargic or come up with some idiot excuse that might derail my quest to the million mark. Godspeed to the million!

  23. Franklin B June 3, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Nice update. Why wouldn’t you consider monthly rent as part of debt since it replaces a Mortgage?
    Also, Based on my college writing checks experienced, your savings rate needs some focus. My two kids cost $110K (public) and $170K(private) respectively, and the last one had a scholarship to offset some of the tuition, not other expenses.
    Keep up the good work. I enjoy sharing my morning coffee with you every day.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:28 PM

      I don’t count any cash flow items in the net worth as it’s all reflected in our totals anyways (if we blow $10,000 a mo on rent for example, it would show up in the net worth!). Plus if you include rent you might as well include food and clothes and then it looks more like a budget :) I just track it as simply as I can to get an overall snapshot of it – though others do it differently.

      Kids college costs – oh yeah! We def. gotta get back to that shortly, just having a tough time ramping up our personal savings at the moment. We just found out something that will help change all this though, so look out for a post shortly on it!

  24. Steve @ Think Save Retire June 3, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    Woohoo, a big congratulations, J! The half million mark is an awesome achievement, and the best thing about saving money is investments grow exponentially, meaning it won’t take you nearly as long to reach the million dollar club as it did for you to reach a half million.

    Let’s start pouring! :)

  25. Rachelle June 3, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Tiny Net Worth Person has a question…

    Does anyone add in their estimated pension amounts? I have a pension that won’t grow anymore and I know what my monthly payout will be when I retire.

    Or do you stick with personally held accounts… The pension is vested in case that matters when answering.

    1. Ms. Montana June 3, 2016 at 10:22 AM

      I think you get to calculate it any way you like. We have a military retirement that we currently receive and will till we both die. It’s value would be around the $450-500k mark, but we don’t include it. (our net worth is $530k right now). We do include our personal home, most because we don’t have a mortgage so that $160k saves us about 9k a year in rent (after property tax, insurance and maintenance). We include our rental homes values, but not the cash flow (although the cash flow is greater than 4% of the value). Obviously we add in our investments and cash. But not cars, or any other personal property.

      My point is, the number is for you. So calculate it however it makes sense to you and is the most helpful.

      1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:32 PM

        Yup, agreed with Ms. Montana :) It all depends on the reasoning for tracking your net worth. I don’t put any cash flow into mine so personally I wouldn’t add it in (though it would still affect my net worth if, say, I invested the money!) but of course receiving thousands of dollars of month is huge and AWESOME so it’s a great thing to have for sure. And I know some people who only track *cash flow* as they’re focused on early retirement and figuring out how much they need to cover expenses, etc… to them that’s the highest priority. (And of course you can track both things too)

  26. Justin June 3, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Big congratulations! I remember the half million dollar mark as more exciting than hitting a full million. The half million is the first really big milestone.

    Years to a million? I’m guessing 4 or 5. Here’s to 2020? :)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:33 PM

      I’ll take that! :)

  27. Fervent Finance June 3, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    Congrats J$ – enjoy poppin’ bottles!

  28. Seeking Saturdays June 3, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Congratulations! I know what you mean on the struggle over time to keep saving. It’s great looking back after a while seeing your Net Worth grow but man, right in the middle of the journey sometimes it does feel like it takes forever if you’re watching too closely (like watching water boil).

    Love the update though! It’s been fun hearing your outtakes on the M.O.N.E.Y. podcast also. Haha.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:34 PM

      Haha thanks! It wasn’t too hard for me to mess up and have lots to pull from, haha…

  29. maria@moneyprinciple June 3, 2016 at 9:25 AM

    Well done, Jay! I knew this will happen this month. Here is to the next half million (in the first instance, of course).

  30. Financial Slacker June 3, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    I like the phrase above,

    “And it’s not like you still can’t spend money if you want to – you just do it way more consciously.”

    For me, that’s the most important part – being intentional in what you spend and what you save. Blindly spending money month after month will keep you from ever reaching your financial independence / retirement goals.

  31. Kyle June 3, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Well done J$! That’s very exciting, I know you’ve been agonizingly close to the half mil mark for a long time. I’m glad you finally made this milestone!

    I actually want to thank you, I’ve been tracking my net worth for a year now because of your updates! I’m so glad I did, there’s no way I’d be where I am now if I wasn’t keeping track of my progress. Now I can look back and see where I was One Year Ago for as long as I keep tracking it.

    It’s crazy looking back at how far I’ve come… some months my net worth only went up by $600, others by $6,000! I’m currently at $44,000, which is 2.4 times what I started with last June. My retirement funds now have an entire year’s worth of expenses in them! That sounds like chump change compared to a lot of bloggers but it’s good progress for me.

    Again, thank you for posting these updates. They’ve really helped me get on track with my own net worth records, which itself has helped me make great strides! It won’t be long until I pay off my last student loan, and I can join you with 0 liabilities.


    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:36 PM

      Woahhhh rock on man! That is so cool to hear!

      So so powerful this stuff for sure… Glad you took the step to start tracking and that it’s all paying off :) I’m betting it hasn’t really screwed up your lifestyle much either, huh?

  32. Lisa O June 3, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Congrats on the milestone ~ keep up the good work…it inspires us all :)

    Hope the bubbly was worth the wait!

  33. Kyle June 3, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    I just want to add that I think it’s really appropriate that you’re celebrating with a bottle you already had on hand. Not only does it have more personal meaning to you, but also you’re not spending any money! Incredible.

  34. Rose June 3, 2016 at 9:48 AM

    Inspiring and motivating for all of us to keep at it!

    Now I am ready to re-evaluate and kick butt again. Automation is great, but I need the thrill of new accomplishments or maybe I just need to get away and travel and let it build up all on its own? That’s what automating your savings is for anyway, right?

    CONGRATS on reaching half a million – has a nice ring to it:)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:38 PM

      Haha yeah – if you went to sleep today and then woke up in 5 to 10 years you’d have a BUTTLOAD saved up, but then on the other hand you don’t want to rush it because you want to LIVE!!! So def. a balancing act of both saving and spending, but also good use of your *time* too… I’d give it all back if I could revert 8 years ago and still keep all lessons learned and family and all that stuff haha… time is much more precious!

  35. Keith Schindler June 3, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Congratulations, Dude!

    Isn’t it awesome to see those figures rise? So, you’re a Half-Millionaire! Way cool!

    I’m working on my second million. Yeah, I gave up on the first. :-D

    All the best and keep the good stuff coming; oh, and buy that second bottle of champagne, in prep for the next mile stone!

    Talk at ya later! Shin

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:40 PM

      Haha, you know it brother.

  36. ZJ Thorne June 3, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Congratulations on the big milestone! Tracking the changes is so powerful. I’ve only been doing this for 2 months and already have some powerful information. Keep growing, friend.

  37. EL June 3, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    J. I knew it buddy, the market Gods bumped you up. 500K all jokes aside is a great accomplishment, good luck.

  38. Dr. J @ MedSchool Financial June 3, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    A Big Congrats to the J money family on achieving this mile stone!

  39. Jack Tripper June 3, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Congratulations on your milestone! I think the quest to 1 million will be quicker because of your diligent investing.

  40. Derek June 3, 2016 at 10:31 AM



    I guess the next half mill will come faster than the first half? Right?

    You know what they say, “The first million is the hardest.”

    1. Jack Tripper June 3, 2016 at 10:54 AM


      You’re right. I always see this comment on the bogleheads site. Other say once you hit your first 500K the next 500K will be quick. The power of compounding!!! :)

      1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:40 PM

        I’m going to trust all of you here and if you’re wrong you’re gonna owe me some beers :)

  41. Lisa Hoashi June 3, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Woohoo! Really, truly impressive. Congrats. And thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  42. Michelle June 3, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Great job!! Congrats!

  43. Joe June 3, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Congratulation Jay! You must feel awesome right now. That’s a huge step. I love breaking things down into chunks. You’re half way there and you’ll keep making progress. Soon it will be 2/3 of the way there and then 3/4. Nice job!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:43 PM

      Thanks man! Actually doesn’t feel all that different than before really, at least on a day-to-day level especially since I didn’t do anything impressive lately to increase it (was all the markets! Haha…) but yeah – def. feels better than the opposite :) Even if it all goes away one day I can always say I made it once, right? As you can too!

  44. Broke Millennial June 3, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Big congrats!!!! This is really awesome!!! I’ve mentioned before that you inspired me to start tracking my net worth (just not publicly) and I’m so glad. Seeing that number tick up is so motivating.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:48 PM

      Awesome! I had forgotten that if you did so thanks for telling me :)

  45. Mike B June 3, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Congrats J$!! What an amazing thing to have accomplished on your own too! I’m inspired to track my net worth too.

  46. Dividend Growth Investor June 3, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Congratulations on becoming a half-millionaire! Due to the powerful nature of compounding, you will likely get the next 500K much faster than the first!

  47. PhysicianOnFIRE June 3, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    How did I know the markets would be down today? This post! The ultimate jinx.

    What bottle will you pop when you hit $1 million? It’ll come sooner than you expect.


    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:49 PM

      Is it down today? Haha….

      Then all of this is now a big fat lie :)

      1. PhysicianOnFIRE June 3, 2016 at 4:30 PM

        They mostly rebounded. You’re still a hemimillionaire. Party on, J!

  48. Linda @ Brooklyn Bread June 3, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Wow – well done. Nothing more inspiring than looking at real progress – both your own and other people who show you how it’s done… a little at a time.

  49. Tawcan June 3, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Woohoo! Half way to $1M, you can almost do the Dr. Evil $1M gesture. :D

  50. FinanceSuperhero June 3, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Major accomplishment, J! You deserve a celebration.

    I’ll never forget the look on my grandfather’s face when my grandmother opened up a statement in the mail and proclaimed that they were “half millionaires.” It was a good feeling to observe that moment, so I can only imagine how you are feeling.

    Just curious: do you have a target date/expectation for the magic million figure?

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:51 PM

      Awww very cool!! I’d love to see that in action too :)

      When I told my wife she was like, “I thought we were already at half a million?” #FAIL

      (As for hitting $1mil – the last time I calculated it it said I’d hit it in 8 years, but I have a feeling it will be a lot sooner than that :) Unless I go and do something really stupid – which is always a possibility)

  51. Janine June 3, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Congrats! That’s amazing! My hubs and I just crossed six-figures this month and I’m so excited to celebrate! Next up 1/4 of a million!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:52 PM

      Rock on! I shall cheers in your honor then tonight too!

  52. Sylvia @ Miss PF June 3, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Congratulations! I enjoy following your blog and look forward to reaching this milestone in a few years as well! Thank you for the inspiration, J Money!

  53. Erik June 3, 2016 at 2:19 PM

    I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and felt compelled to give you shout out. Well done! Your tracking net worth journey has inspired me to follow in your footsteps. Two years ago I was worth -$70000, today I stand a +$80000. By the end of this year, I am hoping to reach that $100K milestone.

    All the best!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:53 PM

      Wowwww you are doing so great!! That’s a delta of like $150,000 – impressive! Much more than I’ve jumped in the past two years, you should be proud.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:55 PM

      Hey, there are many ways to reach the same goal! You keep beating me so I can keep pushing myself to catch up! :)

  54. Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries June 3, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Dude! That is freakin awesome man!! Congrats. I think I will hit 400k later this year which will be huge for me.

    Keep pushin forward!!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:55 PM

      Hell yeah dude – $400k is no joke! Way to go!

  55. Ty @ Get Rich Quickish June 3, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    You’re gettin rich quick’ish boss!

  56. Harmony@CreatingMyKaleidoscope June 3, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Congrats!!! Thank you for the continued inspiration. You’ve come a long way in eight years. It gives me hope that we will be able to meet our own goals in the 5 1/2 years we have left before our target date :)

  57. Financial Samurai June 3, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Big balla! Congrats J! You should try to take a 100,000 $1 bills and make it rain in the living room!


    1. J. Money June 3, 2016 at 3:57 PM

      If you come to my house and film it I’ll do it :)

      And then it’ll go viral and make us millions of more dollars so we can have even MORE money to make it rain with! Get on that next flight out!

  58. amber tree June 3, 2016 at 4:54 PM

    Congratz on breaking the 500K barrier… For sure, we will open a fine bottle s well when it happens.
    Nice that you save money for baby Penny and Nickel. Best gift ever! We do similar…

  59. Kevin @ The Debt Journey June 3, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Congrats dude!!

    That is awesome and well deserved! Drink up and enjoy!!


  60. Captain Dividend June 3, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    Amazing progress. 1 million is right around the corner now. :-o
    I can’t wait just to hit the 200k mark. One day maybe I’ll be drinking the champagne.


    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      Gotta hit that $200k before you can hit $500k or $1000k! Keep going!!

  61. CoffeeIsMyPlasma June 3, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    Congratulations, J Money! What a huge milestone! I read your blog religiously and it never fails to motivate me. Enjoy the champagne!

    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:25 PM

      Thanks!! Really appreciate you reading it :)

  62. Derek June 3, 2016 at 9:28 PM

    Okay, I gotta double post on this one…

    Wife’s Toyota: $4,103.00
    Jay’s Frankencaddy: $1,000.00

    I can’t even!!!
    It’s so awesome that your cars are worth so little. So, so, awesome.
    I love it.


    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:28 PM


      I have a feeling this is going to change as soon as one of them dies (my wife is ACHING for a minivan!) but I’m riding it out until that sad day comes ;) I don’t really care how fancy or not my car(s) are, but I do actually want to be *excited* by what I’m driving for sure… No offense to minivans or their sexy drivers.

  63. Get FIRE'd asap June 4, 2016 at 1:46 AM

    Nice work and congrats on reaching that significant milestone. Maybe I’ve missed it but do you have further targets in mind? I’m guessing the half mill is just a stepping stone on the way to a greater target.

    And why can’t all financial reports be as fun as yours? Wouldn’t it be great if the Federal Budget or Apple’s end of year financials were as easy to read?

    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:32 PM

      I would love that!! And actually read them too, haha…

      My only main target is to hit Financial Freedom one day :) I’ll have to cross a million dollars in order to get to that point (*ahem* thanks kids!) but I try my best to live in the moment so don’t focus on it too much… for the greater, or the worse!

  64. Tonya@Budget and the Beach June 4, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Congrats!!! Seeing your numbers just 6 years ago compared to where they are today gives me massive motivation! I never thought about adding my car to my net worth! That gives me about another 5k. Woo hoo!

  65. Tre June 4, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Congrats! It’s great to see how your net worth has grown (and sometimes fallen) over the last 8 years.

  66. AA June 4, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Congrats, J! Huge inspiration you are!

    Question I’m really hoping you or any of your smart readers (since you have many!) can answer for me: Are you planning on buying a home in the future? How do you plan on saving your money for that? Will you use some of your investments or change your savings strategy?

    The reason I ask is I currently rent, and keep debating the whole buying vs renting situation. Renting seems to win every time for me at this point of my life. Living with a partner, no kids planned, and love living downtown close to work, where I can walk during the Summer months. I also only have 5% saved for a downpayment, and think it’s best that I continue saving more (I have my 6 month emergency fund saved).

    If you were me, would you continue saving in a savings account or start investing to hopefully get a better return, knowing that I probably won’t buy for at least a few more years? I contribute to a defined benefit pension plan and am 29 if that means anything.

    Thanks so much for your help! So appreciated!

    PS The M.O.N.E.Y show just isn’t the same without you! But I’m sure Paula will keep rocking it.

    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:38 PM

      Great questions indeed, friend!

      (Glad you liked the podcast too – I do miss it a little but not enough to return :))

      To me lifestyle comes first, so personally I’d say where you’re happy and enjoying life for as long as you continue to do so. It seems that might change as the years go by if you’re already looking to own (which is totally cool, of course!), but yeah – the more saved up the better of course in a perfect world :)

      I don’t know what others do, but for short-term stuff like that (1-3 years) I’d just keep it all in a savings account. Basically to preserve it and keep it super liquid so you can do whatever you want with it whether it’s to plop down for a house or a different goal if you end up swapping it out. To me it’s not worth he extra few dollars of xfering money around and what not, but it’s def. smarter to do financially at least if you only care about that.

      Over all though, it’s great you’re thinking so much about this and not just jumping in because everyone says so! No shame at all in staying renting or buying or doing whatever you want – so long as it’s truly what YOU want and not what someone else wants ;)

      Thanks for reading the blog!

  67. The Personal Economist June 4, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    Wow congrats J, that is a serious milestone. Enjoy!

  68. Hank June 5, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    You’re an inspiration like always, J – even if I “hate” your net worth updates! j/k

  69. KevanderHolyfield June 5, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Nice work, J! That must feel good. Seeing your progress over the last eight years is a huge motivator for someone like me who’s really only one or two years into my financial awakening and is just starting out where you were in 2008.

    I am finally moving beyond the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle through a combination of side hustle and spending control, and what you said really resonated: “…but the fact of the matter is that the more financially stable you become, the more confidence and happiness you receive.” This can’t be stated often enough!

    Part of the spending control has been finally getting over the ‘sunk cost’ fallacy with my old car, selling my used/super-high-maintenance Subaru and picking up a used/hail-storm-depreciated Honda that gets much better gas mileage. After all those issues with the Subie, I could cover each dent on the Honda with a Jackson and still come out ahead. Actually, that gives me an idea for your next ride once the Frankencaddy dies (in 2033…).

    Back on the topic of NW, Personal Capital has been an incredible resource in simplifying the picture for me. Thanks for the monthly motivation and resources!

    1. J. Money June 6, 2016 at 12:40 PM

      Rock on man – way to get yourself on the right track over there!!

      It’s going to suck BALLS losing my Caddy when its time comes to an end… It’s super hard to find a car I really ENJOY driving for such a low price! And the next one will have to be kid-friendly so I have a feeling I’ll be ponying up a little when that fateful day comes :(

  70. Linda June 5, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Congrats on the half million milestone! I’m pretty sure I’ll be jumping up and down from excitment when I hit that milestone. I’m hoping to hit $100k by the end of the year!
    You’re a boss, J.Money!
    Oh, and how awesome is that first chart from the beginning of your journey?! Super cool. I’m glad you’re taking us readers along for the ride.

  71. Mortimer June 5, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    Hot damn, it is fun to watch you succeed. Thanks for letting us all be financial voyeurs and share in your success!

  72. timeinthemarketblog June 5, 2016 at 6:02 PM

    Congrats on the 500k! A few more years and you’ll hit the big 1M!

  73. Elizabeth June 5, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Sweeeeet! Congrats. Milestones are fun! ;)

  74. Beth June 6, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Congratu-fricken-lations! LOL Great Job!

  75. weenie June 6, 2016 at 6:24 PM

    Wow, congratulations – onwards and upwards to that one million! :-)

  76. Paul June 7, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    This has been a long time coming. Congrats!!!


  77. J. Money June 9, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    Thanks guys – really appreciate it :) Hoping y’alls journeys are going well too!

  78. MrSLM June 10, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Congrats on the big milestone and I wish you success on the road to a full million :) Funnily enough, we just hit the exact same milestone! I opted for a nice craft beer instead of champagne though hehe.

    1. J. Money June 13, 2016 at 7:24 AM

      Congrats!! :)

  79. Finance Guy June 11, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    You’re doing a great job and I applaud you for engaging your readership on this important topic.

    I just have a minor quibble with your f/s presentation. You don’t show any liabilities, because you recently sold your house and got rid of the mortgage. However, you’re still incurring housing expenses, right? They’re pretty much guaranteed, right? All you’ve done is changed the form, but the substance is likely similar.

    So, in reality, the liability is still there unless you decide to live in a tent. In this case, the liability should be the present value of all your future rent payments from now until you die.

    The value of owning a house is that eventually those house payments stop. But rent payments never do until you decide to own again. They are a claim against your resources, and given the size of the claim, should not be ignored. Doing so overstates your true financial position.

    1. J. Money June 13, 2016 at 7:38 AM

      Income and expenses don’t go in net worth calculations – assets and liabilities do. So things like rent, netflix, food, clothes and anything else you need to live are omitted here. Do they still affect your total wealth? Of course. The more you spend the less you’ll have to save or invest into assets later – thereby growing your wealth – but the cash flow stuff doesn’t go into your net worth, it goes into your budget. If you notice, you’ll never see monthly mortgage payments in someone’s net worth either – only the amount of mortgage *debt* they have as that’s a liability counted against your wealth.

  80. wealthfromthirty June 12, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    Congratulations on the awesome progress JM. It has been a delight following your journey the past year, good luck on the next 0.5mln!

  81. Sandi June 18, 2016 at 3:24 AM

    Do you know what stood out to me most about this list?! The value of your cars. This makes a very clear point that car loans keep you in a cycle of debt. My car is only worth abt. $4000 and paid cash. I was reading somewhere that most millionaires drive older cars like this because they make their money work for them, they don’t work for money. Most people statistically don’t get rich working for someone else either. Only when you start working for your own cause can you be rewarded, in so many more ways than just financially.

    1. J. Money June 20, 2016 at 7:12 AM

      Oddly enough you’re the second person who pointed out the car stuff here :) It def. helps! Though unfortunately we’re about to go back INTO debt w/ cars as it’s time to upgrade my hoopty to a more family-friendly ride :) But I’m cool with it – I know it’ll get paid off again now that I pay attention to my $$ more!