Wake up, wake up, wake up… it’s the 1st of the month…
To get up, get up, get up…. so
cash your checkstrack your net worth and get up….
Welcome to the 1st, yo! Best time of the month in finance-land :) Get to update the ol’ net worth and get re-energized. Even if nothing too sexy is going on with your money.
I’ll tell you this much though. If it hadn’t been for running the numbers yesterday there’s no way in hell I would have caught my mortgage company applying my payment last month ALL TO PRINCIPLE instead of the bill itself accidentally! Ack! I logged in to update the new balance in my spreadsheet and saw it had dropped by $2,000 and was like “What the what? Did I win a prize? Did I get some overpayment refund?”
Nope. My mortgage company just f’d up and I had approximately 1 day to fix it before the nasty grams (and fees) started showing up… And I know it was their error because I still had the e-receipt showing I had applied the $$ correctly!
But the biggest reason I didn’t get screwed? I pay all my bills 1 month in advance. This gives me 30’ish days of padding in case stupid crap like this happens (or I’m the one doing the stupid crap!), and you only need to get it set up that way once (ie pay a lot of money up front to be a month ahead) and then from that point forward you’re always ahead. You just pay your bills once a month like normal. I highly recommend it :)Anyways, a quick call to the bank fixed the error and now all is good in the world… though seeing $2,000 back on the mortgage wasn’t fun – hah!
Here’s how June went down…
(If you’re new here, we post our raw #’s up every month to open a dialogue on REAL money and hopefully motivate you to track your own along the way. You can find a few ways to easily do this down below if you’re not sure how)
CASH SAVINGS (+$1,107.38): Second month of being in the positive! No daycare anymore and my hustles growing are all helping immensely. And a stark contrast from how much I’ve been LOSING over the past two years. In fact, I keep meaning to add it all up and see exactly what that # is but I think I’d vomit ;)
BROKERAGE (-$0.17): Nothing too special going on here. My dividend stock test over at Motif Investing lost some money last month, but my Acorns account went up by $18.68 helping to even it out.
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$30.60): Nothing great going on here either – we won’t be adding anything until the end of the tax year again once we see if we can max this puppy out again. I tend to do it in one lump sum each year rather than broken up into monthly investments even though I prefer that (dollar cost averaging). Business income is just too shaky to be able to tell 100% if we can rock it – though you guys seem to always convince me anyways :)
IRA: SEP (+$391.28): Same deal with this guy – one big ass chunk each year invested and then the rest sitting and growing (hopefully) nice and steady. Back at my 9-5 it was all dropped in per paycheck maxing out that 401(k) and getting those matches. One of the biggest things I miss with a real job!
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$6.00): It’s always funny when these #’s go up :) Because really they’re not supposed to…. But I guess Kelly Blue Book knows more than I so I just copy and paste the values they tell me each month and figure it’s as best of an estimate as I’ll get. Except for Frankencaddy down there. He’s def. worth less than what KBB says so I just slap on a $1,000 sticker as I’m confident she’d at least get that should we put her on the auction block ;)
Here’s both of our cars values:
- Frankencaddy: $1,000.00
- Plain Jane Toyota: $4,833.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Still steady at $300,000 which it’s been for a cple years now. Every handful of months we ask our realtor to value it for us and it doesn’t look like the economy has changed much at our old place in Maryland. Though I guess that’s better than it getting worse, eh?
MORTGAGES (-$702.07): $700 knocked off almost every single month! The power of rounding up to the nearest hundredth and just moving right long… I don’t think we’ve ever just paid the bare minimum payment in the 8+ years we’ve had a mortgage. Probably for the good since we don’t know the difference of the “extra” money we could be having ;)
Here’s the break down of our two mortgages (unfortunately we can’t refinance):
- 1st Mortgage: $265,624.70 (30 year conventional @ 5.5%)
- 2nd Mortgage: $26,116.89 (HELOC @ variable 2.8%)
And that wraps up June!
Here’s how the past 12 months have gone:
And here’s how our little nuggets are doing :)
(Nothing new added here for either)
How did your month go? Reach any cool milestones?
For those new to tracking your net worth, here are a few of my favorite ways to do so:
- The “Money Snapshot” spreadsheet – a simple Excel template I created for my clients
- The “Budget/Net Worth” spreadsheet – the Excel template I use
- Mint.com (free) – a lazy automated way ;)
- PersonalCapital.com (free) – another lazy automated way, only with cooler tools and more focused on investments. See our review here: Why I Use Personal Capital Almost Every Single Day
And for all the voyeurs out there, you can always see what 160+ other bloggers’ net worths look like too on my other site: The Ultimate Blogger Net Worth Tracker. Use it to see what others are doing to help you grow your money faster!
‘Till next time, friends…
PS: You can also find all 90 of my own net worth updates here: J’s Net Worth over 7 Years
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 catch on the mortgage, that would have been a ugly story to tell after the fact I’m sure. June was a busy month getting a lot of things settled, but cash positive so I’ll take it.
Yeah dude – would have ruined my “never been late” record! :)
Congrats on the cash positive territory – good position to be in, even if only by a few bucks.
Just goes to show you can’t trust the banks to get anything right! And, that you always need to keep an eye on the numbers yourself.
Slight upswing on the income side of the equation here so very happy about that!
Can’t believe the year is half over already!
Right?? It’s going to be New Year’s again soon – hah!
That’s a good catch on the mortgage mess up. Good thing you pay 1 month in advance, that’s a great policy to follow. Hard to believe the year is already half way over, seems that Christmas was just yesterday.
Way to kick it as usual, my friend, and good for you for eagle eyeing that mortgage screw up! :-)
Great catch on the mortgage. A buddy of mine set up his mortgage and extra payment through auto pay online. A few months later he started receiving mail asking if he was having trouble making payments and that he was months late in making a payment. Every penny he’d paid was sitting in an escrow account and not being applied to anything. Oops! Makes me want to handle everything manually with my future mortgage. I’ve heard too many screw up stories!
Yes – the pitfalls to automation if you don’t pay attention!
I like to manually pay the big ones myself not only for those reasons, but also to make it sting more haha… Nothing motivates you to pay off your debts more than sending large ass chunks of $$$ to it! Though sadly the same can’t be said with quarterly tax payments. Those never have an end date ;)
Hey great job on the 2K. I am going to be down for the second month in a row. Thankfully I forgot to save my May update when I did it so it will only look like I am down over one month :) The markets weren’t very kind to me and I lost my employer RRSP match (stupid oil patch), and we put well over 20k into our vacation property but hopefully in a years time it will only be a small blip on my NW graph.
Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading about it!
True that with the “blips” – always stings more now than later when looking back. It’ll make th “look how far I’ve come!” part better too, haha…
Hope you get those matches back! They’re magical
Great month! Our mortgage company has been messing up, too, when we put extra toward early mortgage payoff. Once month they messed up and didn’t apply anything to our actual amount due that month. Luckily we caught it just in time to not pay late. It kind of seems like certain mortgage companies use some antiquated systems, or maybe it’s just that early payoff isn’t that common (or favorable for the company).
hah – probably the latter ;)
Kalie – most mortgages banks use very antiquated software because it is also very stable. It’s true in a lot of industries. Newer products come on the market, but they are unstable and no one wants their financial info on an unstable platform. So the companies stick with the old school programs that require a lot of human supervision but don’t crash.
I’d love to develop some really cutting edge software for mortgage servicers. It would take a while to get people to adopt, but it would rock!
Good to know. Makes sense.
I sometimes think those f-ups are more on purpose to get some late fees and penalties out of you. When you caught it they were probably like “Doh!” Love the $6 appreciation on autos :)
The crazy thing is that they didn’t seem to care when I told them it was a glitch on *their* side. I showed them the proof and everything from my email receipt, but they kept acting like it was on my end. I didn’t really care as long as they fixed it, but I told them it’s probably something good to look into in case it effects OTHERS too! Hopefully it didn’t.
That is amazing you pay your bills 1 month in advance. You are not messing around my friend! It thought I was doing well just paying them on the first each month whether that is the due date or not. Way to one up me!! ;)
Congrats on the growth!
Hey, that’s a fine idea too!
I am amazed your investments were up this month. I was on track for a great month and then the Greek debt crisis hit.
Huh… well, I did run it one day sooner than normal so maybe my accounts hadn’t been updated yet? If so it’ll surely be reflected in the next update – hah! I ignore all the news on purpose :)
The bank used to do the same thing to me also. I would send in the payment on the 16th monthly, because all the banks have the 15th as the cut off date for the previous month. They would put the money towards principal only..because get this..it wasn’t close enough to the first of the following month. After a few months headache.. I switched to sending it out on the 30th since the electronic delivery time is one day. I hate banks, they will do anything to screw you over .
The crazy thing with this particular situation is that my receipt clearly shows $18xx.xx towards the bill, and the $135.xx towards principal! So it’s not like they’re system didn’t capture it the right way, ya know? So weird.
Aaand the “FrankenCaddy” continues to pay dividends as you don’t have a car payment….and folks can’t resist running into it… This car was a going “hustle” for a while…but nothing lately….Do you continue to drive it? My vehicle is coming up on 13 years old and I’m trying to decide whether to “upgrade” OR make some needed repairs and go another 13 years….Perhaps a recent pic of the Caddy….
Hah! I literally JUST took it to get a state inspection and decide if it was time to sell once and for all or keep, and fortunately it passed so I have another year of enjoying it :) It’s been 12 months since the last crash if you can believe it! I don’t drive it much (1x a week for about 10 miles) but I really enjoy driving it and doesn’t cost that much to keep around. I just filled up the gas for the first time in 3 months haha…
I’m not sure how much you like your car or not, or how much these repairs in question cost, but I’m typically for extending the life as much as possible until it’s a no brainer not to. If I ever need to put in $1,000 or more into my Caddy it’ll be the end of the road for her. *tear*
Actually the vehicle in question is a truck. It’s coming up on 100K miles. I just put rear brakes on her myself …$35 in parts. But now I need to do the front brakes….Gonna need rotors and calipers as well as new brake pads….and while I’m there I by as well put new wheel bearings in as well….I’m figuring this will run around $350 if I do it myself and a considerable amount of time. Just in time for the truck’s 13th B-day….I’m torn, if I make the commitment I will have stellar brakes BUT will have a 13 year old truck with !00K miles….
100,000 is still pretty young depending on what manufacturer it is! I’ve had Hondas and Toyotas go for 180,000+ miles. Though of course you’d have to be comfortable w/ it breaking down at any time, haha… always a trade off eh? :)
Great article j! I appreciate your net worth updates articles. Starting in August I am going to finally calculate my net worth. I am kind of dreading it a little bit, which means I definitely need to do it! Thanks for the inspiration.
Oh wow – good luck man! The first time is the hardest but you’ll be amazed at how easily (and motivated!) it gets afterwards. Just gotta face the facts and peel that bandaid off to get going! :)
I’ve seen a precipitous drop (more than 10% in the past 6 weeks)… My funds with Betterment have been battered by the international stocks taking a beating, but the worst culprit is my home value (Zillow), dropping by 8.5% in only 6 weeks. Not really sure what’s going on with that. The Uber income isn’t what it was during our busy tourist season, but still helping nonetheless. Pretty sure I’m done picking up precious metals until I see some kind of return on them (down 29%, but dollar cost averaging all the way down!) and ramping up my LendingClub account instead. I like seeing that money roll in that isn’t directly correlated to the stock market!
It’s nice that you’re spread across so many different areas like that :) I know a lot of people who are “all in” with precious metals who’s banking on the world coming to an end soon, haha… I think it’s still smart to have some in your portfolio though. I do myself, but mainly accidentally as I happen to be a coin collector as well :) It will be hard to give up some of my silver coins in an apocalypse when I know they’re worth so much more! But I guess at that point it really doesn’t matter anymore, eh?
I noticed the snapshot was taken June 25th. With the recent large market swing, I wonder how different it would look as of June 30th.
June 25th? I did run the #’s a day earlier so it very well could be lower now, but not a whole week! Haha… what “snapshot” are you referring to?
Congrats! Our net worth actually declined by $8000 thanks to estimated quarterly taxes ($4500) and some market declines. But it’ll rebound in the next 20 or so years like we need it to, lol. :-) We’re around $462,000 right now. :-)
It’s all about that long play! :)
I used to include all my quarterly tax $$ in our net worth too, but then took it out cuz it just drove me bonkers seeing it go up and down and up and down all the time, haha… And since it wasn’t *my* money anyways anymore (enjoy it, IRS!), figured it didn’t make sense to be included going forward. Gotta stick with what you’re comfortable doing though :)
Well done! Our investments took a beating this month, but our cash position improved temporarily. Next month we’ll pay for me sticking my finger in a blender, our roof repair, and hopefully the start of our kitchen remodel (fingers crossed). With all our spending I think I need to figure out a new strategy for passing you on the net worth tracker. How much is plasma going for these days ;)
Ouch! Figuratively and literally! :)
Hi, universal coincidences? just finished reading the section of T Harv Ekers book on the the importance of tracking your net worth (something I have never done) and then this morning your email drops about net worth.. how many more hints does the universe need to hit me up with??!
So I just started my net worth tracking after reading your email..
and although it looks really sad right now, the good news is
a) it will really easy to log some improvement
b)the only way from here is up
thanks for the inspiration
YES!!! LOVE HEARING THIS!!! You are a bad ass for taking in the signs and doing something about it – way to go :) I guarantee you’ll be glad you did later.
You’re my favorite person of the day.
You know how much I love to see the cash savings go up! How long do you think you will have the luxury of no daycare? Do you guys think your wife’s potential income will offset daycare expenses down the road?
Just a matter of months, really. I know for a fact that my wife won’t accept any job that doesn’t at least cover daycare and then some. She’s eager to get back into the workforce but not *that* eager :) I’m kinda hoping for one of those places which have built-in daycare on campus or something. How cool would that be? Or maybe a stipend of some sort? I’m probably living in dreamworld, haha…
Well happy first day of the second half of the year! Where has the year gone to?
Excited to do my net worth tonight but not excited to see the numbers. June was a pricey pricey month! We’ve also saved up enough to do a kitchen reno. Which will drop our cash numbers but hopefully raise our home value.
Good catch on the mortgage company mistake. Pretty scary!
J, I’m curious why you have a SEP IRA vs. a solo 401K (or even a SIMPLE IRA). Have you written about it?
The simple answer is that when I went to set it up years ago my accountant told me the SEP route was the best in my situation so I’ve just set it up and then let it ride. But it seems from many of y’all (I get asked this question every other month :)) that perhaps I need to look back into the other options! Haha… So it is on the list, but for some reason I haven’t been motivated enough to do something about it?
I’m just curious, do you take the latest monthly statement for your calculations or the actual end of month balances?
I’m down about 5K this month in my 401K and we have similar amounts in similar Vanguard offerings.
I’ve been getting my balances from the last day of the month for my accounts so everything is “synchronized” and was wondering how you managed to eek out a slightly positive gain in your SEP IRA.
Going from exactly the month of June, it looks like VTSAX was down about 1.6% so you should have lost a little bit there. That’s why I was wondering if you were using the monthly statements vs getting the actual balances on the last day of the month like I’ve been doing.
Great question indeed! Yes, usually I run the #’s on the last day of the month (sometimes the day after too), but this time I did it a day early cuz of time constraints. So apparently I picked a helluva day to do it – hah! I literally had no idea what was going on in the world as I try my best to ignore the news so I’m sure my $$ is down just like everyone else’s. It’ll all be accounted for by the time the next update comes I’m sure.
We’re at -$66,531.56 (-$3,270.74) overall.
Boy, houses are expensive! As a first time homeowner, we’re picking up things that we didn’t know we needed! So down a little bit, but focused and ready to keep rocking it! This one will look odd in the monthly change because of the house.
Assets: $297,722.37 (+$230,893.33)
Car Values: $8,068 (+$17)
IRA: $12,930.35 (-$256.08)
401(k): $33,614.33 (+309.90)
Cash: $8,109.69 (-$7,070.98)
Home Value: $235,000.00 (+$235,000.00)
Liabilities: $364,253.93 (+$321,270.07)
Car Debt: $3,923.13 (-$180.11)
Unsecured Loan: $3,602.12 (+$3,056.74)
Student Loans: $104,285.12 (-$160.31)
Credit Cards: $18,520.54 (+$223.60)
Mortgage: $233,923.00 (+$233,923.00)
Some big additions in those calculations!
Home ownership ALWAYS costs more than intended. And you usually only figure it out once you’ve bought it – hah. Congrats on it though :)
I enjoy setting everything to auto-pilot (max out 401k / IRA) and just forgetting about it. No willpower, no missed money from my paycheck. Set it and forget it.
A good idea for sure, but don’t forget about it too long as you’re likely to get some errors like my mortgage one! Always good to poke in on them and make sure things are humming along nicely.
What an odd mistake by the bank. When should a customer ever have the option of not paying their monthly interest, and paying only principle instead? Weird.
Good on you for being so on top of it though.
That’s a great catch. We have two “account” numbers we can pay to when we do ACH through my bank (PNC). One is called “Regular Mortgage Payment” and the other is “Principal Only.” I make sure to put in capital letters “PRINCIPAL ONLY” because I was worried they would apply it to my regular payments, but in reality, it would be much worse if they did the opposite!
Our NW will be very high next month since July is a 3 paycheck month for us. Let’s keep killing that mortgage!
Oooh nice! I miss 3 paycheck months! :)
Nice catch! Once when I tried to pay extra on my student loans, they advanced the payments. So when I logged back in my next payment was due in like a year. Who would want that?? Oh, the student loan company, of course! They said that their accounts were set up that way by default.
I still use the old YNAB spreadsheets where we live off of last month’s income. Being able to pay all the bills at the beginning of the month is AMAZING! There’s only a couple of stragglers that bill after the first and are due within the month that have to be dealt with along the way. (Water bill – I’m looking at you!) I partner this with a physical calendar that has all the various automatic payment due dates on it so I can plug them all into my spreadsheet check register and I know for sure I didn’t forget anything.
We actually have a positive net worth! When we started tracking in the fall of 2013 it was about negative $42,000, and now we’re at a positive $6,000! Unfortunately as soon as I paid off the vehicle I mentioned a couple weeks back, my kid wrecked it. Yay for insurance! :)
Oh jeez, haha… kids ;)
Congrats on the nice turnaround though! Negative to positive is a damn good one!
I would run a mortgage amortization and see how much I would save by putting that $1100 you saved on the mortgage. Of course, you may have a plan for that money but I loved putting big chunks on my mortgage when I had one. I saved $140,000 in interest when I paid it off early (house was $119k)
I used to love doing that too :) And then my business income got all wonky and kids came along and all of a sudden my cash reserves were dwindling – hah. So now I’m focused on building that back up before applying any extra to debt/investing goals. I did have a sweet run of paying an additional $2,000 off almost every month for two years! It was addicting watching that principle go down!
Haha I love the $6 increase on the cars. I haven’t even checked mine in a while…I’m assuming it’s still freaking low. I had a killer month!! Just put a bunch of money into a brokerage account, started a Betterment account, AND rolling over my retirement funds into an IRA from my ex-teaching job!!
Nice! That’s a fun position to be in. Getting everything organized and dumping in $$ like that. Congrats, my man.
Nice to see positive numbers. It will be an interesting month for new worth updates for sure (and maybe next month too.) Ours went down about 5K due to the recent market moves. Your list has over 160 bloggers now! Wow. I will mosey on over and take a look.
For sure – I’m not even going to log into my investments until the month is over, haha… it’s crazy out there!
And I think we just hit 170 this week – woo! Lots of bloggers giving up the goods!
hi J Money! I just read this and I was wondering what you did with your plan in your previous article: https://budgetsaresexy.com/2011/08/which-mortgage-do-i-pay-off-first-my-1st-or-2nd/
Did you do half and half? or focused on the bigger amount… thank you!
hah – an oldie but goodie!
I ended up going with the smaller loan which excited me more :)
you can read more here, along w/ pretty graphs!
good luck with your own payoff if you’re getting started!
Great job on another successful month for you my friend! You have inspired me to start doing the same with my net worth too! I’ve been tracking privately for a while, but starting to make a blog post each month makes me start to go more in depth and I think that’s a good thing! Thanks for the motivation, one day I’ll be where you’re at!
Rock on! Always good to track it for sure, whether privately or publicly :) Shoot me over a link once it’s live and I’ll add you to our Blogger Net Worth Tracker over on Rockstar Finance!
That’s great that you pay ahead one month on all your bills. I have actually done it by 3 months as a form of emergency fund.
I only have one payment not on auto pay because the bank holding my loan only seems to accept them if you have a bank account with them. Anyway, I ran out of envelopes and ‘missed’ my payment last month, but no panic because I’m well ahead!
By the way, that’s a nice looking chart!
There you go!
And thanks – just checked out your chart over on your site too – congrats on tracking it all :) Site looks nice and clean/pretty too – I dig it.