Net Worth Update: $437,088.81 [Up $6,000]

Happy November Net Worth Day! It’s as if we do these every single month or something? ;) Hopefully YOU’RE doing them at home though, too. Nothing’s sexier than knowing where all your money’s at, yessir…

We had a pretty conservative month ourselves this time around, compared to our last one (if only every update we could climb $60,000!!). But I’ll take conservative over *losing money* every single time, that’s the worst… But unfortunately all a part of the game.

Here’s How November’s Numbers Broke Down:

CASH SAVINGS (+$163.97): Baaaarely made it into positive territory, but very proud that we did. Quite a change from just a couple of months ago when we were bleeding cash like a mad man. Hustling helps with praying, I’ll tell you that much!

529 College Savings (+$80.63): This will remain fairly stagnant until we start adding more money here for our little tikes… which is doubly scary, now that we’re expecting our 2nd one! Ack… I choose to not think about this much for the immediate future ;)

IRA: SEP (+$1,457.03): Nothing extra added here either, yet. We’ll have our one-time HUGE ass deposit come January/February though once we do our 2013 taxes… The amount I’m allowed to put in depends on business profit, and we’re expecting to be able to max it out at around $15,000 this year (which will come from the money set aside from those sites I sold this year).

IRA: ROTH(s) (+$1,006.32): This has been left alone too, for now. Depending on how the next few months go, we may or may not max out both of our Roths since money isn’t flowing in as much as it used to. But I’d hate to break my record of maxing it out for over 6 years now!

IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (+$3,134.83): Nothing new added here either – just the markets doing it’s thing… Here’s how my three accounts currently break down – as part of our 2-year old IRA Test:

  • IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $77,619.74 **Leader for two years now
  • IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds only): $71,915.34
  • IRA #3 (Managed, ALL different funds): $72,754.27

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$356.00): All losses from my wife’s Toyota – the Caddy seems to have leveled off on value dropping lately, probably because it’s now 20 years old, haha… It should be considered an antique soon, yeah? Here are their values:

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $1,837.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $6,069.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): We haven’t touched this since our realtor re-evaluated it over the summer when home prices started going back up (yipee!). I’m sure our house is at least worth a little bit more from what I’ve been seeing, but we’ll remain nice and conservative here since it really doesn’t mater much anyways until we sell it… Right now it’s being rented out while we rent ourselves in our new home state of Virginia. Which is going VERY well, btw, we love it here! Hard to imagine it’s already been 6 months now, jeez….

MORTGAGES (-$651.93): More getting chipped away every single month! It’s amazing how much MORE too goes away with a 30 year fixed over an interest-only loan like we used to have, haha… Then you add in all the rounding up we do every month (we round to the nearest hundredth, and then add an extra $100 on top of that to both loans) and it quickly falls off even more. It’s no $2,000 like it used to be every month, but that stage is unfortunately over for now… Life changes and we re-prioritize as we need to, right?

Here’s what’s left on both these mortgages:

  • 1st Mortgage: $275,889.71 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
  • 2nd Mortgage: $28,762.88 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%

net worth graph 2013

And that’s November! It’s pretty cool looking back over the year too, as you can see from that graph I added up above… That’s almost exactly a $100,000 increase this year! Love it. And even more so that we took that big ass fall in June, and still turned the ship around enough to get back on top… I didn’t like it at the time, haha, but it’s nice to look back and know it’s in the past ;)

Hope you guys had a decent month too! Let us know below what you’re looking at now so we can congratulate you (or, help you get back up and at ’em again :)). And if you’re not tracking your money at all yet, START TODAY!!!

Just grab a pencil and start jotting down all assets in one column, and all liabilities in the other. Then subtract ’em from each other (the liabilities from the assets), and voila! Your net worth appears. You can get caught up in what goes in there vs. what doesn’t, but just do your best and you’ll be fine. This number is only for YOU anyways – to help motivate you and watch your progress over time. No one else needs to see it, unless you’re crazy like me and start a blog around it all ;)

See ya back here tomorrow… And in another month for our next update!

j. money signature
PS: Saw the recent installment of The Hunger Games over the weekend – pretty good! As long as you can get past the whole “killing each other” part ;) Just make sure to watch/read the 1st one first though or you’ll be lost…

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PS: If you’re just getting started in your journey, here are a few good resources to help track your money. Doesn’t matter which route you go, just that it ends up sticking!

If you're not a spreadsheet guy like me and prefer something more automated (which is fine, whatever gets you to take action!), you can try your hand with a free Empower account instead (formerly Personal Capital)

Empower is a cool tool that connects with your bank & investment accounts to give you an automated way to track your net worth. You'll get a crystal clear picture of how your spending and investments affect your financial goals (early retirement?), and it's super easy to use.

personal capital dashboard

It only takes a couple minutes to set up and you can grab your free account here. They also do a lot of other cool stuff as well which my early retired friend Justin covers in our full review of Empower - check it out here: Why I Use Empower Almost Every Single Day.

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  1. Snarkfinance December 4, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Congrads on the steep climb since September! I calculate my net worth quarterly, which I find the right balance for myself (it prevents me from obsessing over it). It is an easy exercise that everyone should do at some point.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      That works! It’s good you know yourself well enough to space it out like that :)

  2. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction December 4, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    Great job – you’ve definitely had a good year!

    We are doing the same thing with housing – renting out our place when we had to move quickly, and then renting in the new town. It’s working well for us as well.

    I am curious why you haven’t switched your IRAs to all non-managed funds since you have a clear winner. Are the fees too costly to make the move worthwhile?

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      No, mainly I’m just lazy and don’t feel like pulling the trigger just yet ;) But I’m also considering moving all the money in all 3 accounts to just one or two Vanguard index funds, so I guess I’m waiting to make up my mind on that first and then do the switch all at once… but we’ll see.

      1. Chris @ Big Day Coming December 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        Hey J. Money. I followed the same sort of thinking myself. When I started working I had a 401k that was in Fidelity, so a great deal of my accounts are there now. And it’s been great, but I’ve been slowly starting to consider moving what I can over to Vanguard.

        Over time I’ve seemingly gone from picking mutual funds from my 401k more or less because they “seemed OK” without any hard numbers, then to picking index funds, and now to picking the lowest fee index funds and thinking I also should pick the broker who lets me do trades on them for free. Since I find Vanguard index funds and ETFs to be lowest fee, I’m considering moving my brokerage account and rollover IRA to them. Or maybe just my brokerage so I can just set up automatic investments and not worry that I’m eating so many fees just to buy in. Right now I basically wait until I have a good chunk of cash before I buy funds at Fidelity. If I paid $8 a month just to buy, that’d add up to a decent percentage off the top over time!

        (And don’t get me started on the lousy choices my current 401k gives me. Why can’t we all just have wide-open self-directed 401ks? I just want to buy VTI, or SPY or FSEVX or whatever S&P 500 index fund I can get, people! Instead I have to choose from a bunch of funds with high expense ratios and poorer performance than a simple index fund.)

        1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

          Oh jeez, haha… well, one of these days you’ll be able to move over everything into the sexy Vanguard funds of your choice :) I’ve been reading a lot of the Early Extreme Retirement blogs out there lately, and they SWEAR by Vanguard. One of them – now retired for like 30 years – literally has all of his money in just ONE of their funds. And the others have like max of 3 or something, it’s pretty hardcore. But also awesome at the same time as far as simplicity and always knowing *where* exactly to put all your extra money! A very interesting thing to consider…

  3. miranda@beyondworklifebalance December 4, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    So exciting to see your progress. It is inspiring and it IS possible. I’d love to see you write a post about setbacks and how to move past them. Sometimes, I think money management is like dieting. Counting calories, (or pennies) is fine up to a certain point until you can’t stand it any more and splurge on Godiva chocolate, wrecking both diet and financial good intentions. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Haha, indeed… not sure if you were reading my blog during the Summer or not, but we had a LOT of setbacks that I’m still dealing with ;) I called it the “Perfect Storm” because we lost a main income, my biz income got cut in half, we had a baby, we moved, and we were redoing our house all at once! Funny how things can just pile up at the exact same time, but thankfully it’s calmed down a bit over here :)

      1. miranda@beyondworklifebalance December 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM

        I did actually read those, and it sounded like a challenge. You certainly don’t have to moderate this post, or add it to your comments section.. but I guess this is on my mind over the past few weeks.. because I just realized that that is precisely what my post on my blog was about this week.(Shameless self-promotion! ha!)
        Backing up to move forward:

        I suppose the lesson is that sometimes life comes at us fast and furious and Perfect Storms are part of it too. All the more reason to have that handy-dandy emergency fund.

        1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 4:16 PM

          Yup! And you need those downs in order to truly appreciate the ups too :) I mean, it SUCKS in the process of it all, but once it’s in the past and you’re looking back, it’s a lot easier to appreciate it, haha… will go check out your post in a few – no problem for dropping the link here – maybe it’ll help others too?

  4. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies December 4, 2013 at 7:01 AM

    We had a slow and steady increase this month. Not exciting, but sometimes you just gotta grind it out, right? =)

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      Exactly. Not every month can be amazing!

      1. Kristie December 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Slow and steady wins the race. Yes, a bit cliche, but if I were to lay out all my numbers for you, I could prove it! Small savings turn to big gains, eventually! Keep up the good work, Mrs. Pop.

  5. Holly@ClubThrifty December 4, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Great job on your increase in net worth! Honestly, that’s something that I really need to start tracking. I wish I had the time to do everything that I want to do! =/ I don’t really know what our net worth is…I do have a vague idea though.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      Time? You guys could probably whip it up in 20 mins or less – if that. Especially if you just keep to the simple main stuff like what’s in all your bank accounts. It’s just a matter of copying and pasting the numbers, and then subtracting from each other! :) You can tweak it later…

  6. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel December 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    I love me some net worth increase. We had a good one in November too!

  7. The Warrior December 4, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Any month your net worth goes up is a good month.

    Like you noted, I think the biggest success was keeping your cash savings in the red. If, at the least, you guys can do that until your wife starts bringing in a few bucks, you will be in a good position once she does.

    Great job. Congrats on another successful month.

    The Warrior

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Yeah man, that’s the plan! 6-8 more months to go :) Though a new baby gets thrown in the mix too, and I also have to start setting taxes aside too next month, haha… ugh.

  8. Brian@ Debt Discipline December 4, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Looking good. I just started tracking my net worth last month, it’s really an eye opening it look at your big picture.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      Awesome – congrats! Now you’ll be able to look back at it throughout the months too and watch your progress – hopefully for the better! :)

  9. Tiffany December 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Congrats J! Looking good :-)

  10. writing2reality December 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Slow and steady wins the race… I mean, who wouldn’t rather be the tortoise instead of the hare. Just think of the shell! But I digress. Solid month Jay, with that home value and mortgages outstanding creeping towards being breakeven. I know the feeling of having an underwater rental (and wholly unintentional as well), so keep plugging away on this. From the looks of things, 2014 could be a heck of year with the plus one and the rental.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      I hope so! And that things are well with yours too you’ve got. I’ll be pretty happy once we can get rid of it, not gonna lie ;) It’s all about simplicity, baby!

  11. Chris B. December 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Smallish increase this month, just $3120. However, so far this year I’m looking at a net worth increase of $174,697, so I’m not complaining!

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      Nice! That’s what I’m talking about!

  12. Jennifer Lissette December 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    We’re at $588k this month. It’s amazing, between the gangbusters year the stock market had and the insane Bay Area real estate market have had, we are up $300,000 since 1/1/13.

    Next year may not be quite as profitable. My husband will be switching jobs, we’ll be adding baby #3, son #1 starts private school and these markets are more than due for a correction. I’m trying to not get used to these big numbers, something has to give!

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Wowww… so what you’re saying is that I was beating you in jan, but now I’m getting crushed??? ;) Love it. I need motivation to keep going!

  13. Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen December 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Congratulations on how well you’re doing! This month my net worth took a dip because of the house closing and all. Bye bye money when it comes to closing costs. We also have a few more weeks of house renovations going on so our net worth probably won’t recover for another month.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      You’ll be good once you start paying down the principal every month going forward :) It’s fun when you don’t even have to think about it!

  14. Micro December 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Kudos on the progress for the year. Given the drop you had mid year, it’s extremely impressive. Hopefully I can hustle well enough to have those kinds of gains in the future.

  15. Brad @ December 4, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Great work! It’s amazing to see that 2013 graph; what a climb since June — wow…

    I particularly like that you have so much in regular cash/taxable savings as so many people I see stick all their money in their 401ks and IRAs.

    I’ve been rethinking my Roth-IRA lately after reading this website:
    He has some amazing concepts especially as it relates to early retirement and keeping your tax levels almost to zero.

    1. J. Money December 4, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      YUP! I Love Mad Fientist – just met him the other week at our financial blogger conference (which you should attend next year, btw), great dude. Super down to earth and friendly :)

  16. Lance @ Money Life and More December 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Congrats on another positive net worth month! Our net worth is going up too, but not from increased assets as you know. Our student loan debt is slowly disappearing!

    1. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Keep chipping away, my brotha, you guys are gonna feel SOOOOOO good once it’s all gone! And then just think about how much you can then put towards saving/investing??

  17. EL @ MoneyWatch101 December 5, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Hey great month J. I see 500K in the near future for you. That’s amazing how the markets and hard work can do for your bottom line. If your in it, you will win big, and if your on the sidelines you will never win, to those people who are too scared to invest.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Amen, brotha. Can’t just hope and wish for change – you gotta go out there and take action!

  18. Joe December 5, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Great job!
    One thing you might want to consider is to front load Jr’s 529.
    The earning won’t be taxable and college will be super expensive in 16 years. Adding just $4,000 a year probably won’t do it.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      I know, I’d love to!!! Don’t have the cash at the moment to do so, but it’s def. on my radar once I get things flowing in again :) Great reminder.

  19. Steve December 5, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Just found your blog. I have been trying to get my wife to do a Dave Ramsey – esque budget for the last year or two and it sounds like she is willing to give it a try starting 1/1/14. That got me looking for personal finance blogs and stock investing blogs that were like this one, an individuals personal real world experiance. From the little bit I have explored so far, I am impressed. Still looking for something similar for those of us who do our own stock investing. I was telling my wife I would like to start a blog myself to document what we are doing and how it is working.

    We are actually really close to qualifying for the millionaire club in our early 50s. If we have minimal appreciation in our investments and our real estate, combined with what we put into savings and investments each month, we should break the 7 figure mark in 2014.

    My words of advice to those starting out, the key is to live below your means, save and invest as much as you can and start as early as you can. Do those 3 things and its hard not to do well financially.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Nice! Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by, appreciate it :) You should totally start your own blog! It can literally take 15 mins these days and it’s free (hit up, and you’ll be on your way sharing all your secrets in no time :) Can’t have too many pf bloggers out there!

  20. Josh December 6, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Hey J,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a good while now, and always particularly enjoy these net worth updates. Directly as a side effect of reading your blog, I started tracking my net worth back in May. While I can’t post gains as big as $100,000 since the beginning of the year, I am up about $9,000 since I started tracking it. As they say, you gotta’ start somewhere. Thanks J for being an inspiration!

    1. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      ROCK IT MAN!!! $9k is nothing small, good for you on a) tracking it and b) growing it. Glad you’re getting something out of this site – thanks so much for telling me so :)

      1. Josh December 7, 2013 at 2:47 AM

        You’re more than welcome! And thank you for continuing to keep an awesome personal finance blog.

  21. Nick December 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Dude?!?! Closing in on “halfa mil,” as my boys here in Beantown would say. Way to go!

  22. J. Money December 6, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Haha, thx man. If only I could sound as cool as y’all up there :)

  23. SS December 6, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    J. Money – Love your blog. Random question, why don’t you track the value of your home using Zillow. We can argue the accuracy of the ZEstimate, but its a good way to have a benchmark value when you update your net worth each month.

    1. J. Money December 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      I initially did track it with Zillow, but it seemed to fluctuate by like $20k every month (some up, some down?) and I couldn’t handle the craziness… No way that was correct. Though it was also like 5 years ago, so maybe now it’s better? I’ve gotten used to updating it only once in a while though, but prob would be better to do more frequently if you can find a trustworthy way to do so.

  24. Derek Olsen December 9, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Straight up P.I.M.P.I.N!

    1. J. Money December 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Thanks brotha :) Hope you and the Mrs. are well!

  25. Anne @ Unique Gifter December 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    You’re so close to net $0 on the house, which must feel fantastic after being underwater!
    100K in a year is one mighty fine increase, well played sir!

    1. J. Money December 10, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Heyyy you’re right! I didn’t even notice that, so cool!!! Hope your worth is going up too! :)

  26. cheryl December 16, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    My net worth is negative and until I make more money it’s not going anywhere :(

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      I’m sorry to hear :( At least you KNOW what your net worth is! That’s more than we can say for others out there. Keep in mind we all go through phases too, and that we all start from the bottom (and sometimes below bottom!). It’ll only make you appreciate the highs later on :)

  27. Jay December 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Great work! Do you plan to sell the old house now that you are close to right side up on it?

    1. J. Money December 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      Eventually, yes :) As soon as I won’t lose a lot of money from realtor fees and what not… I’m over that house.