Welcome to June, y’all! How was your weekend? Get into anything fun?
We decided to go on a whimsical “let’s just drive somewhere for the day and see where we end up” adventure to celebrate my wife and I’s 7 year anniversary. It was awesome! And reminds us again how much more we prefer experiences over “stuff” – which is why we rarely buy each other presents anymore. More fun catching up on quality time and exploring :) And especially when you drop your kids off for a night – hah!
Oh, and something we came across during this road trip? An old “debtors prison” dating back to the 1800’s. Where they’d stick you right along side more scarier type of prisoners until you’re able to get out – yikes. Gotta pay your debts like a Lannister or else they catch up to you!
Anyways, let’s talk Net Worth shall we? The 1sts are always great for recapping the past and getting ready for a fresh new month. So if you haven’t reviewed your own $$$ lately, make a note to do so today and get ready to rock tomorrow!
Here’s how May went down… Getting back on top, baby!
(If you’re new here, we post up our raw #’s every single month to open up a dialogue on REAL money and hopefully motivate you along the way. Sometimes we have losses (5x in the past 12 months), and others gains (7x in this same period), but you keep pushing on no matter what and the dollars eventually trend upwards. This marks the 89th time of sharing our net worth to the world, and I can’t tell you how much just tracking it has affected our growth. Money’s a lot less scary when you stare it in the face every month, so get to recording it if you’re not already doing so.)
CASH SAVINGS (+$1,995.78): This is one of the best things I’ve seen all year! Finally, after losing soooo much of our cash reserves over the past 20-24 months, we’ve been able to start filling it back up again. It’s such a blessing. Most of the gains came from pulling the kids out of daycare in April, but fortunately the online hustles have started picking up as well which should lead to a few more months of positive cash flow in our future. As long as it’s not going down again though I’ll be one happy pup!
BROKERAGE (+$15.99): Nothing too crazy going on here, but then again we’re not actively adding much to it either outside of the rounding up of change through Acorns. We push all our money into maxing out our retirement accounts before we turn our eyes to this area. But it is nice to have this side pot going now just ‘cuz it’s accessible money compared to our retirement $. Not that I have plans of spending it anytime soon.
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$1,239.54): We’re back to leaving these guys alone too after maxing out my Roth the other month for the 2014 year. I like to wait until the end of every year to do it in 1 chunk to make sure we have the money :) And this last one was a shaky one, but y’all convinced me to pull the trigger anyways and I’m glad we did! So thanks!
IRA: SEP (+$4,932.13): Same with this bad boy here. Dropped in $10,000 the other month to max out, and now we’re back to waiting until the next year comes as well. Mainly since the amount we’re allowed to put in hinges on total business profit at the end of the year. It fluctuates way too much for me to feel comfortable forecasting it, so I just don’t and I stash extra money away in savings for when it’s time to dump in again. It probably costs me a bit in growth, but whatevs. Gotta be able to sleep at night, right?
Here’s the growth of our IRAs since moving them to Vanguard last year:
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$141.00): The only red we had all month! Damn you cars! :) But of course that’s the nature of assets on wheels. The only way for them to go is down! (Which is something to consider when you’re thinking of taking on debt for such a thing. This falls under the “bad debt” category as the “good debt” – if you have to choose one – are things that go UP in value vs the opposite. Not that it’s the end of the world to ever finance a car (I’ve taken out plenty of loans in my time), but just to double think it over and make sure it’s a fine plan for your goals).
There was one exciting thing that happened this month though with tracking our cars – I got KBB to do it for me! I don’t know why I never paid attention to it before, but KBB will literally email you once a month on the value of your cars if you set it up with them. I knew it existed, but apparently I liked spending the 5-10 mins doing both our cars every single month for 7 straight years because I was a genius… Oh well, at least I’m rockin’ it now.
Here are the values of both our cars:
- Frankencaddy: $1,000.00 (KBB shows $1,693.00 but I keep it at a cool grand due to its “character”)
- Plain Jane Toyota: $4,827.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Still at the same $300,000 it’s been for over a year now. In April we hit up our realtor to see if he thinks the market has changed much, and for the most part it hasn’t (womp womp). So we’ll keep it here at $300k for the next while until we pick his brain again later. I like to use him vs the Zillows and what not out there as he always seems more accurate.
MORTGAGES (-$699.37): It’s hard to comprehend, but we’re already $8,000 ABOVE water now! By just keeping things on rotation and paying down the balances each month. There was a time where our house was $75,000 UNDER water, so it feels damn good finally going in the other direction… Even if it has taken 8 years to get to this point – hah.
Here’s what’s left on our mortgages:
- 1st Mortgage: $266,182.70 (30 year conventional @ 5.5%)
- 2nd Mortgage: $26,260.96 (HELOC @ variable 2.8%)
And that wraps up May’s net worth!
Here’s how the last year has gone:
And here’s how our little nuggets are doing :)
(Nothing new added except for a $50 birthday gift to Baby Nickel)
How did you all fare? Anyone accomplish any of their main goals in May? Anyone become a millionaire? How about a thousandaire? ;)
As always, if you’d like to see all of our net worths over the years you can do so here, as well as what 150+ others’ looks like here: The Ultimate Blogger Net Worth Tracker. At the end of the day though, the only # that matters is your own. But it does help seeing what others are up to too :) Some have some good tricks up their sleeves, and they love sharing ’em with us!
‘Till next time, friends…
PS: Four ways to start tracking your net worth if you haven’t already:
- Use my “Money Snapshot” spreadsheet – a simple Excel template I created for my clients
- Use the “Budget/Net Worth” spreadsheet that I use – nice and colorful for the A.D.D.! :)
- Try automating it with Mint.com (free)
- Try automating it with PersonalCapital.com (free) – pretty much a juiced up Mint.com that better highlights your investments. You can check out our in-depth review here: Why I Use Personal Capital Almost Every Single Day
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)
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Nice work on those IRA’s!
Could you imagine the idea of a “debtors prison” prison in today’s time? Virtually half of our society would be inside of one!
no kidding on that one, ugh
This is your first net worth update in a LONG time that I was excited about for the same reason you’re excited and that’s the increase in your cash. I know you have been hemorrhaging it for a while, so it’s nice to see it move in the other direction! Daycare costs are really crazy! I am working on a plan for this couple and it’s tough to get them on track for where they need to go while both of their kids are in daycare, but then they make too much for one of them to stay home. The working parent equivalent of a rock and a hard place.
Thanks, friend :) It was def. a weird period from 5 years of straight growth and killer cash flow to turning the other way. I’m really glad we’re (hopefully) over that hump though. In the process of the past two years I’ve quit 75% of the work I was doing just for $$$ (which added to my hemorrhaging) and in a much better position “dream job” wise now. Risk and reward, baby!
Happy Anniversary! Good looking month. Our cash is moving in the opposite direction due to some recent events. Hoping to stop the bleeding soon. Here’s to killing it in June!
I hope June is the month it starts turning around for you bud! I know how non-fun it can be :(
Congrats on the anniversary and the nice bump in net worth. Our anniversary is coming up at the end of June. And man, those day care costs are a killer.
I am very impressed especially with your IRA J Money. By the way, I think I gotta be like a Lannister so that I would eliminate my debt and be debt free. Congrats J!
Great month! I think Zillow is interesting but it can definitely be inaccurate. We have the same exact type of house as our friends down the road, and Zillow has their square footage listed as twice what ours is, in addition to getting other details wrong. Good thing it doesn’t mean much. How often do you check in with your realtor on home value? Every month?
Oh no, I ping him every 6 months – 12 months. I hate feeling like a bother, so I do my best to leave him alone until some good time has passed or when we’re reconsidering whether we should rent it out for another year or try to sell it. He knows we’ll use him when it comes time to offload though, which is why he probably has no problem hooking me up :)
Nice to see you are back up again. It must be so awesome to be saving all that daycare $$ – it sounds like daycare in the US is crazy expensive.
After tracking it since January I’ve just published my first net worth. I umm’d and aah’d over it for ages ’cause it feels kind of like getting naked in front of strangers but it’s also good to have it all out there. We don’t have a Zillow equivalent in New Zealand (we have something similar but at $40 for a report it’s not something I’d want to be tracking each month) but I’ve found that just talking to local agents and watching the real estate sites you can get a pretty good estimate. Now to focus on growing those numbers!
Congrats! What a move! It’s def. scary just putting it together for YOURSELF for the first time, no less sharing it online for anyone to see, haha… So you get a double congrats actually :) I guarantee that $$ will rise a lot faster though knowing you’ll be publishing reports online! Makes you double think most your purchases! (And your readers will help motivate you and offer suggestion too – the best part :))
I’m drooling over that daycare savings. But then I wouldn’t be able to make my income so really it’s a moot point.
Sniffing half a million has to feel pretty good!
We were 3600 in the green this past month. Almost out of PMI for the house too. We might refinance with SOFI too at that point. I just don’t want to be paying a credit union forever and they’re just not flexible.
Well that’s pretty awesome! We can’t refinance unless we bring like $80 Grand to the table which will never happen, haha… so it’s nice that you have options even if you don’t activate them :)
And yes – that’s the caveat to day care savings. Kids @ home = no $$$ from one parent! Although in our case we already had no $$ from one parent so we didn’t lose a thing – hah. They’ll be back to some sort of daycare arrangement once the Mrs goes back to work, but of course no way that’s happening unless the $$ is a lot more than those costs (unless it’s a kick-ass job). I think we’re in a good position for now.
Happy Anniversary to you and the wife J$! Ours was last month as well. Nice work on the cash upswing – especially with it being the combo of savings from no longer having the daycare expense and hustling picking up. Our May was good overall, especially now that we get to save more cash in taxes due to making the switch to an S-Corp. :)
Yeah! Way to go with that move, brother. I still need to look into that stuff later.
Well done :)
when do you expect to get to 500K? In one year time?
All the best
It’s hard to forecast this stuff when a bulk of your money is in the stock market, but I’m trying to save at least $2,000 every month going forward now, so if the market stayed flat we’d hit that shiny $500k mark by the end of the year :)
Happy anniversary and congrats on the huge net worth bump!
Starting the month on $10, 630 AUD which is 19% up on the same time last month. Overall it’s a 96% increase on the start of the year.
Big month as I am going for an accounting cadet ship in a government agency. If successful I will quadruple my income whilst still attending university. Both money and lifestyle wise its a win/win and could set me up for life so its fingers crossed at the moment.
oh hell yeah! that would be brilliant! sending you some damn good vibes over there and hoping you make it! Great increase in net worth too!
Congratulations on achieving a positive month in your cash savings, hopefully not long until the big 500k!
Congrats on the positive addition! We’re currently making progress, but summer will be slow. We have a lot of expenses we have to pay for….sadness. Question your wife’s car is worth only $5K, do you pay for full insurance coverage on her car?
Yes, we currently have it fully insured (https://budgetsaresexy.com/2014/07/car-insurance-challenge-call-and-pay-less/), but now that you bring it up I’m wondering if it’s time to start reconsidering? It goes down so slowly over time that I never stopped to think about it cuz last time I did it was like $10,000 worth – hah! So thanks!
Oh man! The tides have turned- just as you start pulling in the Benjamins, we started hemoraging cash! Will we ever catch you?
Well done J$- you continue to be an inspiration!
That’s how life goes, right? Ups and downs and all arounds. Just gotta go with the flow and do the best we can :)
And btw – your tagline on your blog is HILARIOUS! Just had to tweet that, haha… you’re too much.
My husband and I do the same thing in not getting each other presents. We much rather plan something that requires us to do something nice for the other person.
I like it :)
Hey man! Congratulations on bringing that mortgage over the water. A lot of us got caught in that debacle. I’m also liking the investment gains so far this year. Slow and steady, right?
Congrats on the anniversary! Is it strange that im more interested in this “debtors prison”? This sounds like a cool thing that should exist. People would learn to clean up their act real quick. Someone should create a blog called that!! haha.
yeah! Haha… they talk a lot about debtors prisons in old books too, they were everywhere. And that was before the invention of credit cards!
We sold our condo at the highest that anyone has sold in a Hurricane Sandy zone. Bought a bigger house. No mortgage payment for a month and a half but we have a bit work to do. Things are lot better, no maintenance fee ($340/month), cheaper car insurance ($40 less/month), less mortgage payment with better rate ($400/month). Going to put the money into retirement and house maintenance.
wow, congrats on the sale! we will most def. NOT be getting a nice return when it’s our time to do that ;)
SO MUCH GREEN! Except for that one bit of red that found it’s way in. Dang car. :)
Update on me: No, I’m still not a millionaire. Thanks for asking though. Soon.. soon.
So much talk about prison overcrowding, Can you imagine if “debtor’s prison” was still a thing!
Congrats on the anniversary, and I agree experiences over everything else is the best. I’m looking to go on a cool road trip soon as well. IF folks don’t take at least 1 road trip every summer they are missing out on a lot of fun. Socking away 1,900 this month sounds greeeaat.
Looking good J. Money. Should be hitting $500k in the next couple months or so? That’d be giant milestone. :)
Just trying to catch up to you :)
Just remember that June is the beginning of summer.. AKA garage sale season. Get out there and find some things you can turn into cash or have your own sale. A house is easier to keep when it has less stuff in it!
A tip from a community wide garage sale planner- if there is a neighborhood wide type of sale- join it- if not, try and get a few families together! Put a listing on craigslist!
Yes yes YES!!!
I’m all about flipping good yard sale finds, and just having fun exploring and looking for things in general. You have to be careful not to pick up too much stuff for your own, but at least when you it can’t cost you much ;)
Just put together my Craigslist $$ Tracker that now tracks all the stuff I’ve sold on CL myself – some of which came from yard sales back in the day!
Nice, you’re sneaking right up on that half million dollar mark! We crossed the $200k mark last month, so I’m a rather happy camper right now :)
Happy anniversary! And great increase this month – how awesome would it be if that happened every month? ;) you’re so close to the $500k mark, that must feel so good.
Nice progress this month J. Money, it really is all about the little consistent steps. And great to hear you could celebrate a child-free anniversary! I’m completely with you on the time and experience vs gift thing.
I haven’t had any huge momentum on the net worth increases lately, but with a new job now and getting my 10 years ‘long service leave’ paid out, that momentum should hopefully start changing :)
Happy Anniversary….we no longer do gifts, but do something fun together or put that money towards an upcoming trip. Investments on our end are holding steady, which we’ll take. Have some large upcoming pocket drainers this month (June)…braces for Kash, Jr.. large dental bill for myself, large medical bill for Mr. Kash, vaccinations for all 3 Kash pups this month and personal property taxes due. Yikes….better get some side hustles on. :)
Just a note about your real estate…it is good to check it every 6 months…sounds like you’ve got a good Realtor. I am a Realtor myself and I re-run a CMA for us every 4-6 months…Zillow is not a reliable source at all. It only takes a second to update and re-run the Market Analysis, so don’t feel bad asking your person…I’m sure they’re glad to do it for you. I don’t know where you live, but our assessments and appraisals went hand in hand and that is no longer the case, so don’t use assessments for your real numbers. :) Cheers.
Thanks for the tips! And hope you sell at least 10 homes this month to cover all those expenses coming up ;) I was actually a realtor myself for a few months if you can believe it. Sold 3 homes and 2 referrals but hated being on call 24/7. Though I think I’d be much better at it now w/ more of an entrepreneurial mind. Back then it was just a job for me and I didn’t do everything you should as a small biz… Learned a lot though!
Missed last month, so this is a 2 month span:
We’re at -$63,260.82 (+$3,536.69) overall.
Some events over the past 2 months:
We’re buying a house! Appraised for more than we are paying, and we get to build equity and have a greater quality of life. NW wise, we lose a little to closing costs, about $1000.
My boss put me in for an extra $500 bonus at work, for all of the work I’ve been doing. More work to come, I’m expecting 60 hour weeks (still hourly). I’ll also be up for a promotion from ridiculously new guy to just regular new guy this summer, should be an extra 8-10%.
Any extra money is getting split between the cred card and the unsecured loan. I’ve almost paid off 1 card completely, and watching the loans come down has been motivating (even as we’ve added some to another card :/ ). After we close on the house, a lot of that extra cash is getting thrown at it too, in the same way. We have some things to get in the new house, but mostly we’ll be putting in sweat.
Assets: $66,823.04 (+$542.79)
Car Values: $8,051 (+$28)
IRA: $13,186.43 (+$279.64) Riding the market.
401(k): $33,304.43 (+2,575.31)
Cash: $15,180.67 (+$559.33)
Liabilities: $132,983.86 (+$93.90)
Car Debt: $4,103.23 (+$360.94)
Unsecured Loan: $6,658.88 (+$888.02)
Student Loans: $104,124.81 (+$657.91)
Credit Cards: $18,296.94 (-$1813.00)
I love that you have a decent chunk of cash stored up even with all that c/c debt. I’d do the same thing in that case so you feel more comfortable w/ a nest egg even though I’m sure you’re getting killed in the interest dept! But now with all those increases coming up you should be able to fastrack payments and knock all those nasty things out. Congrats on the home too – but get ready for more unexpected expenses to come from it :) There’s always something!
Awesome! It always feels wonderful to see the growth. Have you set yourself a specific goal as well? To hit a million maybe? That would be nice :) Thanks for updating it each month and sharing it. I think more people should focus on growing their net worth and not that much of pinching pennies. Great job :)
The next goal is $500k :) Then each $100k until we hit the biggie!
Reading your Monthly Net Worth Update is so motivating! I can’t wait for my Net Worth to be 6 figures and by reading your post, I know it is possible. I think May was a good month for me. My net worth is finally positive at $18. I know its not a large number but I was so excited to see it when I did my calculations.
That’s a GREAT milestone though!!! You have to reach that level before you can make it into the millions, right? :) Congrats. Don’t forget we’re all in different phases (and ages!) with this stuff.
Congratulations on a very good month. I’m glad you had a get-away (without kids) with Dr. Money : ) Our big news for May was that we had our 3rd anniversary of debt-reduction. We’ve paid off $123,000. On to year #4!
You guys are so SO inspiring. And just further proof that you can get out of debt if you actually focus on it! Congrats!
Way to go man, you’re almost at the Half-Million mark! What are you going to do to celebrate? (and don’t say “max out the Roth”)
Though most of it is tied up in our home value, using our Zillow home value (and I still think it’s higher than Zillow says, plus we are upgrading the kitchen, should be even more), we recently crossed the $100k net worth mark.
I probably won’t track it on the blog (too many family members have visibility), but it’s fun to finally be in the 6-figure club.
Yeah dude! Way to go! 1/10th of the way to millionaire status :)
As for what I’m going to do once crossing the half-million mark, that’s easy. Drown myself in alcohol and streak the blogosphere naked while lighting all my cash on fire, d’uh!
Yay! Congrats on having a great month! And, happy anniversary to you and Mrs. Budgets-R-Sexy. Mr. FW and I are celebrating 7 years next month :).
Hey J, thanks for the openness about your finances and congrats on a great month. I stumbled across your blog this spring and have started to employ your ‘Challenge Everything’ mentality. Long story short, after years of focusing on (finally) paying off student loan debt rather than building a safety net, I opened an Ally account and have been able to start saving in earnest (I might even be the newest thousandaire in the audience). Separating the savings from all other accounts and treating it like a ‘one-way street’ has been critical. To keep the ball rolling, I’ve picked up some work on the side, will pay off my last bit of credit card debt from grad school this month, and will have a two- to three-month safety net by the end of the year. A long way to go, but a late start is better than no start. Thanks for the inspiration and real talk!
YES! Way to go!! This is brilliant!
The “saving your money separately and NOT TOUCHING IT” is the key to really getting it all to grow. And it’s such an easy thing to do, right?
Congrats on all your success so far, really glad all this is helping you :)
That’s a pretty nice net worth jump. Great job! I love these posts, they are so inspiring for me to get my debts paid off. :)
Congrats on the anniversary and the big move up in the net worth. Double whammy!
Looks like it’s just cruise control for now. And bumping up against half a million. Life is good. :)
Congrats on the great gain! Looks like you are flirting with the half-million dollar mark. Have no doubt you’ll be there soon buddy. Best wishes and continued success on your personal finance journey! AFFJ
Better late than never.
Here is my net worth statement.
Thanks for sharing! Love seeing how other peoples money is going :)
Looks like you are making awesome progress to $1M. The amazing thing is with compound returns is that it will go exponential faster as your IRA’s continue to compound. Best of luck!
That’s the goal, my friend! Just checked out your blog btw – congrats on launching it :)
Quick question for you…where do you keep your cash? I see you have over $20k in cash. You may have it somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. So, if I’m blind and missed it….I apologize. What’s your opinion on cash? We’ve got a good bit in the bank in a savings account to just have it handy, but are making nada on it. I am thinking about moving it to a Vanguard account. Thoughts? Thanks.
It’s all just dropped in a savings account. Being self-employed where money fluctuates a lot, I need/want super flexibility to pull from anytime I need to, so I just save it all there and not worry about the pennies of interest I’m missing out on ;) I think for those who have more of a steady income or different ways to cushion an emergency more, it’s financially better to put it somewhere else to help grow more. Like a CD, etc. Just depends on your comfort levels and *what* the money is set up to do. I know some people who are saving for a house or other longer-term goals where they’ll even invest it all for 4-5 years before taking it out. Our comfort levels play a huge part :)
My goodness, sir. Well done #jealous. Seriously, it seems like you’re bustin’ ass to boost that net worth over the past year, so hats off to you. You may have said this in an earlier post so forgive me, but how do you typically allocate your investments in your IRAs?
I literally put every dollar of all my investment accounts into VTSAX – one of Vanguard’s index funds. You can see why here: https://budgetsaresexy.com/2014/06/lazy-one-fund-investing-strategy/
I used to play around with it all and try to do all kinds of strategies, and then I realized the more simpler – streamlined – way was best for me and my comfort levels. I don’t need to out perform everyone and their mother, I just want to be good overall and get an average return. And of course not have to think about it or second guess all the time :) It’s easy peasy now!
Now how did you get the monthly email from KBB? I cannot for the life of me figure it out! I would rather use NADA as that’s what our local dealers typically use, but hey I’m all about automation.
I went through the whole process of picking your model and year and all that to see what the current value of my car was, and then once I got on that page I saw some button that said “have these emailed to you” or something of that effect. Now I get a cple emails a month with updates (I thought it was only once but I guess I was wrong!) and all the same info is saved in it…. though prob good to update the mileage part every now and then.