Net Worth Update: $314,246 (Up $5k w/ Loss of Cash)

Net Worth March 2012Whew! Was a bit scared to run the numbers this month with so much cash exchanging hands, but looks like we’re still good and on track :)

I’ve already blogged about a lot of this stuff, but here are a few of the major things that went down for your perusal… It’s funny how you can go months with hardly anything major happening, and then BAM! You got like 10 things hitting you all at once, haha… Guess that’s life, eh?

1)  I owed the Gov’t $6,000 in taxes — On top of the $30,000 I already paid throughout the year :(  So that really sucked, but at the end of the day it’s hard to complain when it also meant I brought home more money than normal too ;) So we’re all good…

2) I maxed out my SEP Ira with $22,000 — In order to not owe the Gov’t even MORE than that $6k above! (And also to keep saving for retirement since I no longer have a 401(k) to do so in since I’m self-employed… I miss that guy, though!).

3) We maxed out the wife’s ROTH Ira (with $5k) for the first time ever – wiping away another $5,000 in cash.  But it was a last minute thing when we realized that if things continue on the up and up, that we’ll soon *not be able to* invest anymore there due to income level capping (which is a good problem to have, of course). So we filled it up just in case, and took another hit on the reserves.

4)  I bought a solid gold 1 oz coin last month!  You can read the post for all the reasons behind it if you missed it, but basically I dropped $1,900+ on it for both investment purposes, and also for “world ending” hedging purposes ;)  It’s not enough to do much on either side of the equation there, but it did satisfy my curiosity for a bit, and now I have something cool to track over time… I don’t think I’ll be picking up any more though in the very near future. The next investment may be in the junk silver arena like my boy Kevin did over at Thousandaire :)  If you like that kinda stuff, check out his article – it’s a good one.

How The Rest of March’s Net Worth Broke Down:

CASH SAVINGS (-$28,214.86): The biggest hit since we started tracking these net worths, but obviously a lot of great stuff accomplished in the process. I’d be a bit more scared if our cash reserves were a lot lower than they were at the time ($100,000) and probably wouldn’t have done a cple of those major things I just listed above either, but the beauty of having so much on reserves is that it gives you ultimate FREEDOM!  Freedom to sit on it all and wait for an opportunity to hit, or freedom to use it to pay off debt later, or invest in something important to you (like a business?) or anything else you want.  So while it does seem at times that I’m an idiot for holding onto so much and not doing anything with it, you’ll now know why I tend to veer that route ;)  Cash is totally king in my books, and I’m all for being more safer than not in this department.

EMERGENCY FUND ($0.00): Holding steady here at $10,000 still!  Though the reality is we have a bigger E Fund here if you account for the cash in other savings/investment accounts too.  I should probably adjust these numbers a bit later on, but for now we’ll leave it be.  $10k is easy for me to understand – and allocate – properly in my head :)

**NEW** PHYSICAL GOLD (+$1,716.70): I love having new categories to track!  And this one’s even odder than usual since the measurement standard of “value” here changes so drastically throughout the weeks these days, and it’s not like I can just “cash in” at any time if I wanted to – making it even MORE illiquid.  But, on the other hand, it’s a real solid in-my-hands investment that’s not tied digitally to the world out there ;)  And since my good friend who also invests in these precious metals values them at “spot” + $50.00, I’m gonna go ahead and do the same here.  And the “spot” price for 1 oz. of gold at the time of me writing this is $1,666.70 (even though I paid $1,960 – yikes!), so add that along w/ the $50 premium and we’re looking at $1,716.70. Even though we’ll only find out the true answer here if/when I ever go to sell it.

IRA: SEP (+$21,815.35): A 200% addition to our original amount from last year! Haha… and the #1 spot where most of our cash went this month :)  But, as I already mentioned before, it saved us $6k in more taxes being owed, as well as pumping up our investments even more so I could play with more stocks that I love!  Which are also on the up and up lately – woohoo!

IRA: ROTH(s) (+$5,786.88): Up a solid $5k from our latest maxing of the Mrs’ IRA we just did – which covers the tax year for 2011.  Depending on how good (or not) this year pans out as far my self-employment income, we’ll decide again at the end whether we can afford to jack this up again, or if we  have to keep cool that round.  Either way, I love when we drop money here cuz we can never be tempted to spend it!! :)

IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (+$1,163.69): This is one of the only departments where we didn’t change anything this month.  The increases were purely from market fluctuations, and it’s nice to see them not going down like they had been for so many years… Here’s our update on the IRA Game too — the un-managed account is still in the lead!!  By even more this time, which def. helps convince me that there’s not anything TOO special about someone managing this stuff for you.  It hasn’t even been a year yet since we started this out, but I may call it a day in a bit and just combine the 3 accounts into the one un-managed one…. we’ll see though.

  • IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $61,515.88 **Still in the lead!
  • IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds): $60,132.76
  • IRA #3 (Managed, ALL funds): $60,694.20

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$413.00): I don’t know how these cars can go up, haha, but it is what it is… we use Kelly Blue Book values for all of this stuff (“private party” since that’s how we’d sell it later), and we’ll continue to do so even if it looks wonky from time to time ;)

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,312.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $9.440.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Same ol’ $300k as it’s been for the past 1-2 years!  I’m sure it’s adjusted up or down by now of course, but until we have another chat with our realtor, we’ll leave it be and just get a nice surprise when it comes time to sell or rent it out... I’m over trying to use Zillow – that place increases (and decreases!) our house by like $20,000 every other day – it’s crazy.  Hopefully they’re more accurate in your areas if you like using them, though, I just don’t trust ’em :)

MORTGAGES (-$2,562.97): 6 months straight of paying an extra $2,000 off – woohoo!!  And it’s def. getting harder, haha… I mean, I’m not gonna give up cuz I’m super excited to be paying these off within our 10 year goal here (and I’m also super stubborn!), BUT, I’ll admit it’s not the funnest thing to do in the world.  Especially as it barely feels like the debt’s going down at all :(  Just gotta keep in mind BIG PICTURE!

  • 1st Mortgage: $285,922.20 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
  • 2nd Mortgage: $48,925.90 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%

And that’s a wrap.  Lots of juicy stuff locked up and ready to head on into the new month… How’d things go on your end?  Y’all still killin’ it too?  Anyone have a major increase or decrease this month?  Let us know below so we can continue on the good chats :)  You know we eat this stuff up!

Yours in financial freedom,

j. money signature
PS: Remember when our net worth was at $60k a few years ago?  Crazy how time flies!  And that if you stick to your plan long enough, you get to reap all the rewards!  So don’t lose your passion, friends, YOU CAN DO IT!!

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  1. Alex April 3, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Awesome J$. That was a busy month for you and you’re up! I went up $6K last month…and my car raised in value as well…hmmm. Keep rocking it.

  2. Frugal Fries April 3, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    Wow, you had a kick butt month despite some rather large setbacks! Nothing major to report here–but still on schedule to cover the wedding!

  3. maria@moneyprinciple April 3, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    J, well done! This is really good progress. And can I share my prayer with you? It goes like this:

    ‘Dear Lord, may I pay loads of tax and have budgetted for it.’

    How much tax pay is a marker for your earnings; ok, there is the small point of us knowing what governments do with our taxes and ensuring that they don’t go to finance doggey wars but to support the ones less fortunate than we are.

  4. Michelle April 3, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    Looks like you’re doing good! My month was average, nothing great.

  5. Christopher @ This That and The MBA April 3, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Wow J. I do remember reading those posts and I was envious then. I’m flat out jealous now. So how about letting me in on these ventures? All kidding aside that is amazing. It has been great to read about it every month. With hard work there is great rewards, and running a site is hard work and very time consuming.

  6. Stephanie April 3, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Wow, those are some big fluctuations on Zillow!! My bank lets me pull the Zillow number in for a net worth calculation, and lately it’s been spot on. Our home was just reassessed, and the Zillow number has been within $2k in either direction of the new assessment for the past couple of months.

    Net worth here has been gradually increasing as we save money and pay down debt. I’m looking forward to our property taxes going down (it’s looking like we’ll be saving about $70-80 a month) and putting that extra toward student loans. Right now we’re 3 years into paying down our mortgage, and if we follow our debt snowball plan, EVERYTHING (student loans and mortgage) will be paid off in 10-11 years!

  7. Get Rich Point April 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Wow! That’s inspiring. I had a tough month and I think that the next two months are going to be tougher.

  8. Bridget April 3, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    haha I saw -$28K and was like whaaaat but it looks like it got put in all the right places ;)

    Nice work. I still don’t really get your fascination with that gold coin though lol

  9. Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple April 3, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Nicely, done my man!
    And wow, 66k to 314k in 4 years! Very impressive, keep doin’ what you’re doin’ because it’s obviously working :)

  10. Einstein April 3, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Very impressive, J – especially with all that cash on hand. Guess that’s life as a business owner – have to hold cash to keep your sanity!

  11. Jennifer Lissette April 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Down 7k this month. Between major dental expenses and my husband being best man in his only brother’s wedding (gifts and bachelor party get expensive), plus our house losing value on zillow, it was a harsh month for our net worth. But we’re in the six figures for the second month ever, so that’s exciting.

  12. Michelle April 3, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    I love reading that your net worth was 60k a couple years ago…gives me hope!! Looks like you’re doing awesome! Have a great day!

  13. Alunda @ My Take on Money April 3, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Wow, I’m really jealous. I’ve got a lot of work to do to get where you guys are but I have just been inspired! Keep up the good work….you guys will be millionaires before you know it. :-)

  14. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving April 3, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    I just posted my net worth update yesterday, it went up $729.05. It’s not a lot, but for our income, it’s awesome. Slowly making headway month by month, it all adds up. :-) Nice contribution to your SEP IRA, that’s gotta feel great.

  15. J. Money April 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Thanks guys – we’re all on the same path to financial freedom!

    @Alex – You too! Def. strange about our cars, huh? Maybe Toyotas just got more valuable! :) (Do you ride a Toyota too?)
    @Frugal Fries – Sometimes no news is good news ;) Glad you’re still on track! One of the most expensive things to pay for outside of cars and homes.
    @maria@moneyprinciple – Thanks Maria – I also send positive vibes your way that you’ll have to pay lots of taxes too ;) I have no idea where it all goes here in the U.S. to be honest with you, but I am glad to help out and contribute to society – I have no problems paying my fair share, even though yes – it would be good if more of it went to our less fortunate.
    @Michelle – I like having “average” months every now and then – it helps even out the crazy downs and ups throughout the rest of the year :)
    @Christopher @ This That and The MBA – Now you REALLY know what that entails, huh? Starting your own over there :) But you’re right – it all pays off over time – both literally and figuratively! And we all start out at 0 and have to work our ways up… it’s a cool ride.
    @Stephanie – WOWWW!! That’s great!!! What a killer plan – I love it :) And awesome your Zillow numbers match up more closely too – that would be nice!
    @Get Rich Point – I’m sorry to hear that :( I hope you can get out of the funk soon and start piling it up! It’s great you have a blog to share everything on – I know that helps me with stuff :)
    @Bridget – Haha, well a guy needs some toys every now and then, eh? ;)
    @Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple – Thanks! Hope your stuff is going well too bud :)
    @Einstein – Heck yeah you do! Nothing’s ever gauranteed in this world – whether you work for yourself or someone else :)
    @Jennifer Lissette – I hear ya – it can def. be frustrating on those down months, but at least these were all one-time events and you’re still on track :) I’m actually participating in a bachelor party this weekend, and also dropping some cash on suits and presents/etc, just a part of life!
    @Michelle – Thanks Michelle! You too! :)
    @Alunda @ My Take on Money – You can too my friend! We’re all at different stages of our financial lives right now, but we all start out at the same spot :) So see you here soon!
    @Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Damn straight it all adds up! I remember when mine would go up $50 a month when I first started, hehe… it all feels good, congrats :)
    @HP – Yeah! How cool is that? One of my dreams actually – to be featured in Kiplinger or Money Mag, so that was amazing to see :) Glad you like these updates, it’s alwsy refreshing to hear that people get something out of them. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. retirebyforty April 3, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I owe the fed about $6k too. I’ll do final review this weekend and see if I missed anything, but I don’t think there will be any big changes.
    It’s great that you total net worth made progress even with the big cash outlay. I’m interested in getting a bit of gold too, but I think the price is still too high.

  17. Ginger April 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Any idea on how to lower your taxes anymore? You know, your blog is what started me on both month updates and on the millionaire goal and just want to say thank you.

  18. brooklyn money April 3, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Congrats, J Money! I’m really interested in your mortgage paydown plan, as I’m about to get my own mortgage and am also thinking about trying to pay down a similar amount in a similar amount of time.

  19. Christa April 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Great job! Isn’t it fun to have physical coinage, too?

  20. Young Professional Finances April 3, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Looks like even with a “loss”, you guys still did really well! It’s inspiring to see your net worth still going up.

  21. Evan April 3, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Congrats J$ Very nice month.

    I am up 6.18% this month and over 100% since Jan of last year…super excited about that.

  22. Leigh April 3, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Wow, that’s pretty good! Your net worth updates are so motivational and make me wish that I was seeing $5k+ increases each month!

    Running the numbers always scares me a bit too when a lot of money moves around in the month, but I’m glad your numbers turned out okay!

  23. J. Money April 4, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    @retirebyforty – I think you’re right, which is the major sucky part w/ gold right now – too dang expensive. But I guess if you were to look back at all the years before us, everyone was saying the same thing too ;) So I figured I’d just jump in and let it be so I can experience the process. I guess only time will tell if that was a smart move or not ;) Plus, I don’t plan on getting any more anytime soon – 1 is enough to quench my curiosity.
    @Ginger – AWESOME! Good for you on getting started with them – they’ve really helped me put thingsin perspective over the years :) To answer your question on taxes, no, I don’t, haha… but my accountant IS pretty good about helping me wherever needed. I think it’s just part of the whole game – the more you earn, the more you usually pay in taxes (I say “usually” cuz I know a lot of millionaires/billionaires figure out ways to get around it more, but I don’t know what that entails really, or if it’s even an option for me)
    @brooklyn money – GOOD! Totally a smart move for sure, just takes a lot of sticking to your guns and really pushing forward. Which anyone can do if it becomes a high priority :) Not sure if you’ve checked out my post on it or not, but if not here you go – give it a read!
    @Christa – Yes! A ton of fun!
    @Young Professional Finances – Thanks so much :) Hope yours is doing just as well too!
    @Evan – Wowwww that’s great! Huge gains my ma, keep killin’t it!
    @Leigh – Awww, thanks :) I think tracking this stuff every month is super important, no matter how scared or not you may be (and there’s plenty of months where you get excited to do it too!). If there was anything I could go back in time and change, it would be to start tracking it all from day 1. It really encourages you to keep improving it even if it’s more phychological than anything else. Our minds def. work in interesting ways sometimes :)

  24. Mark April 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM


    After reading your daily blog for a number of months now I have finally taken the very first step in creating my own Net Worth spreadsheet. I have made attempts in the past but had always let it go since I was mostly concentrating on credit card debt. Now the credit card debt is gone I feel watching the Net Worth spreadsheet grow (hopefully!) each month will keep my interest for the long term. As one who prepares budgets for a living, I can’t tell you what a great tool they can be, regardless if it is for business or personal use. Just wanted to say hi and thanks, I enjoy your blog very much!

  25. J. Money April 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Oh cool! that’s great my man, always love hearing that :) Tracking net worths has helped me soooooo much over the years, and I have no doubt you’ll continue with it too once you start seeing that good progress. Keep it up brotha! And thanks for reading the blog!

  26. Renee April 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Yeah I’m killing it. Just not in a good way like you ;)

  27. StackingCash April 5, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    You said it yourself how time flies. Now combine that with your mortgage payoff strategy :) You will own your home outright sooner than you think! As for myself in regards to networth, we have been going on a shopping spree to update our home that we neglected for the last five years trying to pay it off first. Lately what we make is what we spend, so no networth changes. Funny that I live in Las Vegas and we are breaking even :P

  28. Devan April 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM


    I have just started following your website and the updates on the monthly net worths. This has inspired me to create my wife and I own net worth. We are -58K networth due to our house in Florida being way under water although we make good salaries – household income 150K and save around 2500 monthly and invest right at 10% of our incomes. I emailed you earlier in the week however haven’t heard back from you. Look forward to learning more from you website and blogs.

  29. J. Money April 9, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    @Renee – Awwww, well you will soon if you keep on managing that money well! Just a matter of time, my friend :)
    @StackingCash – Haha, that’s awesome. I can’t wait until we’re BOTH mortgage-free and can live a totally stress-free life forever when it comes to money!! I’m sure other things will pop up and piss us off every now and then, but once we knock out the beast of it all, I’d be more than happy to put up with issues fewer and more scattered around ;) All hail debt freedom!
    @Devan – Congrats bro! That’s great!! It def. seems like you’re on track as far as saving and making a lot, which are the two major things you can control – unlike the stupid housing market that has sucked both of our monies out. Never know when it’ll turn around though and go in our favor and then DOUBLE our net worth awesomeness! Haha… so keep it up :)

    As for your email – can you send again? I’ve cleared out my entire inbox so if you haven’t seen anything from me I either never got it or it went to spam or something, and I apologize for it! Send it over again, my friend.