What up, what up! Another month locked up as we continue on tracking our money :) I swear it feels like we do this every week?
Lots of good stuff going on around here though, particularly with these two things:
1) The wife’s supplemental income @ $1,500 a mo.
2) Our major mortgage payoff of over $3,000 this month!
More on that in the details below, but first I have to address something else that’s new with the graph over there – the inclusion of the 529 account now ;) After reading this below email I got from a fellow reader and letting it – along with other stuff – marinate all month, we decided it made more sense indeed to be included in our net worth from now on. Here’s what the message said:
“For the 529 you say that if baby gets a scholarship/free ride then you’ll potentially allocate the money to baby #2 (etc.). If baby #1 has been responsible for tracking and even managing the money for a while, it could seem punitive to take the money back (even if it’s going to a sibling). At the extreme it would be like “you did well and got a scholarship, so we’re going to punish you for your good behavior and take away the money we said was yours”. So while I absolutely think the savings account belongs in baby net worth, I wonder about the 529 being in the net worth if there’s any possibility it won’t really be his at the end of the day.
Anyway, that’s my 2 cents. I wanted to point out what it might look like from the baby’s (future) perspective”
That hit me hard. The last thing I’d ever want to do is upset (or punish, in this example) my kids for doing REALLY well in school/etc, and I agree that you can’t allocate someone money for handfuls of years and then take it back later. Now we could always dedicate *other* money from our savings to go towards their 1st home or car or something like that instead (like, say, you give everyone $XXXXX to be used for starting their life out in the priority of school first, then house/business/etc), but either way the money in the 529 is to be used strictly for college stuff. If not just to avoid all the penalties.
Also? The money as of this point is technically OURS. As many of you pointed out when we were discussing this stuff… It only becomes our kids’ when/if they need it. If I leave out the 529 account, why not leave out savings too then since most of that will be going to someone/some place later too? Haha…. Okay maybe that’s not the *exact* same thing, but it does help nix my original theory that it’s better to get it out of our net worth now than later in 18 years and “take the hit” then. That’s just stupid. Who knows what the future will bring?
So we go back and include it into our net worth for the future… Thanks for all the opinions everyone, I really do consider them! :)
Here’s How November’s Money Broke Down:
MONSTER CASH (+$1,325.42): This is due to two incredibly awesome things this month: The wife bringing home a $750 biweekly paycheck now while I’m a stay-at-home dad two days a week, and then a nice uptick in business the last week of the month which was a delightful (and much-needed!) surprise. Without it we would have taken a loss in income vs. expenses this month.
GOLD & SILVER (+$8.48): A small uptick for the month, but will be much lower next time as I’m about to trade-off a few of my silver bullion rounds (1 oz circles of silver which look like coins but aren’t) for some older, COOLER, coins instead. Like a 20 cent piece from 1875 (did you even know they existed??) and a “Capped Bust” half dollar circa 1836 :) Which also features, as the name suggests, a partial bust of a woman! Haha… How come coins aren’t like that these days?
**NEW** 529 College Savings (+$2,528.96): The 529 only actually went up $28.96 this month, but since we took it out of the baby’s net worth and added it into ours this month, it’s technically showing a $2,500+ increase… That happened last month when we first invested in it ;)
IRA: SEP (-$197.81): The loser of the group this month, haha… And one of the only accounts that consists of hand-picked investments from yours truly ;) I never said I was a pro though!
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$769.70): This IRA’s a lot better to see… and also contains a smattering of hand-picked stocks too, but mostly index funds for the portions we allocated into the Mrs’ account. She’s a much more conservative investor in case you couldn’t tell ;)
IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (+$2,296.35): This one hasn’t been touched in over a year as far as new investment money’s concerned, and actually never WILL either since we choose to max our Roths instead every year… The only thing that might change is me condensing all 3 accounts here from our test into one main one and just letting it ride from there. Here’s how they’re all fairing now though:
- IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $63,468.49 **Still in the lead
- IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds): $61,068.15
- IRA #3 (Managed, ALL funds): $61,765.91
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) ($77.00): Two months in a row going up! Haha…. lame. (Unless we happened to be selling them this month ;))
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,175.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $8,609.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Nothing new in this arena either. Still at the same $285,000 we priced it at months ago when a neighbor sold and we dropped the value from $300k (what we thought was conservative back then) to $285k just to be safe. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a homeowner, it’s that it’s better to have GOOD surprises than BAD! So we’ll be keeping it lower for a while unless something major (in the good or bad department) changes.
Now this category CERTAINLY changed! Over $3,000 paid off this month – woohoo!!! Operation Mortgage Payoff is back in action, ladies and gentlemen! At least this month! ;) It’s hard to tell what the future will bring w/ all my online businesses/projects since it’s so unpredictable, but we take the wins when we get them and then honker down when the storms hit… And right now it’s looking pretty damn sunny out! Here’s how our mortgages break down:
- 1st Mortgage: $281,973.91 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
- 2nd Mortgage: $36,332.69 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%
That’s it for this month! We were usually gonna have Baby Money’s net worth being updated here every month along side his daddy’s, but since the 529 is gone from it now, and his savings will pretty much remain stable for a while, I figure maybe we’ll only add it up when a change happens? What do you think? Or would you prefer to see it every month even if it’s the same and boring?
Regardless, I hope YOUR month was just as sexy this time around! Take some time to brag about it down below in the comments where we we’ll congratulate you and not judge! :) You always have a safe home here anytime you want to pimp or bitch about your money. We know it’s not “acceptable” in the real world for some reason, so stop by here anytime my friends…
To a good December!
PS: You know who *else* is having a damn good net worth increase this month? Those two lucky POWERBALL WINNERS!! I wonder how they’re coping with everything right now? :)
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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Congrats on the jump this month! I think it makes sense what you did with the Baby’s 529 but if he ever reads this website he’ll know it was initially intended for him. Might want to clear that up with a comment and have it just be for college for whoever needs it :) You know, for when he finds your website down the road.
Nice, we had some nice growth, too! Managed to get over $400K this month =)
Yeah, I agree with Lance. “For baby” in reality would mean “for college.” I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. There is an off chance that baby may decide to join a rock band instead of going off to college. Then what? Don’t set yourself up later for the “it’s my money, you said” conversation. Do exactly what you are doing by tracking it as any other investment. If baby doesn’t go off to college or if he gets a scholarship you’ll find that you’ll have an extra bump for retirement or a gift, not an entitlement, for baby.
I wish the US could go back to putting images of Lady Liberty on our coins. Don’t get me wrong, our Presidents did some pretty cool things, but in my opinion the most beautiful coins produced all had lady liberty. I guess the good news is I can always get the Walking Liberty design on the ASEs.
Awesome job! Any thoughts on bringing the baby money tracker back online? We’re having ‘discussions’ and that page really helped!
Good move to put the 529 College savings line as part of your total net worth. As for adding the Baby Savings account line every month even if there isn’t a change, why not?
Good job! Our net worth is going well also.
“Also? The money as of this point is technically OURS.” <<< My thoughts exactly.
Ditto what Romeo said.
After I received an appointment to the United States Military Academy (West Point), I did not feel entitled to any potential savings my parents had stashed away for my education. I think the author of the message you received is extremely selfish to think that the child deserves YOUR savings regardless of a change in the situation. I’m glad that you were able to think beyond that and remember that the funds are yours and for planning purposes.
Nice job, always look to your posts for inspiration. Mine increased as well but mainly due to house value increasing once again (up over 25k the past couple months)
My net worth only went up about $1900 this month. Doing a kitchen renovation (paid in cash) that’s sucking some of my liquid funds. But it’s all good. In the last year my net worth is up right around $100,000. And this from a widowed mom of two.
Good job on a nice November!!
How did you get the value on your cars to go up? Cars are depreciating assets, even if you place no additional miles on them the value ought to drop, if you do add miles then it should drop more.
I use Edmunds as they provide an free API which I wrote a macro in excel which updates the value of my vehicles based on their specific options whenever I refresh the calculations, I have never seen the value increase. My wife’s car is a model year older than mine but I add more miles per month then she does, my car always decreases in value more than hers.
I considered publishing a spreadsheet based on the Edmunds API, however to handle every cars options etc., it would pretty much be emulating their website and the only value would be an automated number in Excel, I did a lot of hard coding to get my values.
If anyone is interested in a specific formula for your own car let me know and I can send you an excel spreadsheet for your car.
Ok – first off, it really DOES seem like you do a net worth update every week, so weird.
Our net worth also went up because of a huge mortgage pay-down this month. We are living out our own Operation Mortgage Payoff!
I’m sure I missed it… but which loan are you paying the extra on?
That’s awesome! Great worth this month!!! Way to go on the mortgage!
Question. And this is may be dumb, or you may even have covered this already. But why don’t you take out $ from the monster cash and pay off the 2nd mortgage? Are you saving the monster cash for something else, or just watching it grow? Seems to me like the less amount of money you have going out with interest accumulating will in turn grow your monster cash back to the same amount you had within the next couple of years (could totally be wrong about it) Love the blog!!
This month I went well over $91k in the net worth category, so it was a pretty stellar month for me too :D
Just think, 12 more months of those $3000 mortgage pay downs and the 2nd mortgage will be gone!
Nice Net Worth! My net worth went up a whole $965.21! Woohoo! lol. I am just happy it keeps going up with school draining all of my funds (no school loans). Come January I plan on taking all 8-week condensed courses so I will have to pay tuition every other month. I hope I can budget enough for it, because I am now planning on doing a dual bachelor and master degree at the same time! I don’t know what the heck I am thinking at times :)
Dpong well, J; really proud of you :).
Hot damn! Well done, sir!
You guys are doing great! I talked to a financial planner and they wanted us to add 30-40k to the 529 now. That’s a lot of dough. Baby RB40’s 529 has about 10K in there now and I’m going to add 10k this month. College is going to be super expensive when he’s ready so I think it’s best to put as much in as we can now while it’s early.
It would be great if he can get a full ride, but how many people really get that?
Lots of great comments/questions today guys – thanks! Always enjoy seeing what you have rolling around your heads :)
@Lance @ Money Life and More – Haha, how cool would that be? Will blogging even be around then? ;)
@Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies – Hot damn! Every time I try and catch up with you you shoot even higher :)
@Romeo – Well I’ll still probably give the money to my kid(s) whether for college or not, but who knows what will change from now ’till then… I’ve already changed my mentality in 30 days! Haha…
@Brian – I know right?? I’m def. with you there. The older coins are just so much cooler.. and more classic… Maybe they just got *too* classic for engravers? ;)
@Bobby – Crap! Yes. I think about it at least 10 times a week but can never find the time to do it :( But I promise I will get to it and blog about the update as soon as that happens… Sorry for slacking!
@K.K. @ Living Debt Free Rocks! – I guess I could do that, eh? I’ll mark it to review again next month.
@Michelle – Well congrats to you too then :)
@Jessica O. – I think it was the right move for sure… I haven’t wondered abou the decision since I made it a week or so back (unlike the first one).
@Matt – Nice job on West Point! That’s cool! I don’t think the author of that email meant anything harsh w/ entitlement since she was just giving me another perspective on it, but I do agree it’s not good for kids to expect stuff and plan around it. I’ll have to make sure to do a good job of setting expectations up sooner than later when it’s time.
@Jeff @My Multiple Streams – Wow, well that’s nice! Do you believe it truly goes up like that though? I never do… I just ignore all places that say so to err on the safe side, but in theory they could very well be right.
@Christine B. – Yeah girl! Work it!! An increase of anything is better than a decrease in any month anyways ;)
@Jay @ effumoney – Oh cool, that’s pretty neat. I just follow what Kelly Blue Book says in any given month as that’s what I’d be using if I were to sell it as a private party (which I would). I don’t actually believe it went up, but if I’m going with those numbers whenever the day comes to sell, I like it for my net worth. Does that make sense?
@Samantha – COOL! We believe in the same mission then – I like it :) I’m gunning for our 2nd mortgage first and taking the emotional play over the financially better one. Just ‘cuz it excites me more and pushes me forward (plus, the idea it’ll be gone faster is even better!). I wrote about it in detail here if you’re interested. And then before that I blogged about which I should do to get readers’ reponses too. You can find that post here.
@Janine @ My Pennies My Thoughts – Thank you!! It feels so good! :) Did you have a great month too? Hope so!
@Emily – Thanks! And you’re right, it is kinda dumb to keep it all in cash but ther are reasons for it :) Mainly emotional ones. A) My wife feels more comfortable having cash on hand over less debt (specifically 1 year’s worth of expenses, which covers $66k of it), and B) The rest will be used to max out my SEP IRA at the end of the year once I find out how much I’m able to put in (it’s based on my business’ profit for the year). Anything on top of those #’s usually goes towards one-off expenses or our mortgages. A deal I made with my wife :)
@Cassie – Woohoo! Congrats to both of us! :)
@Financial Black Sheep – Wow, that’s pretty hardcore! But will totally pay off in the end, both literally and figuratively :) And having no debts on the othe side will also be huge! So keep it up!
@maria@moneyprinciple – Thanks, friend! :)
@The Happy Homeowner – Thanks!
@Joe @ Retire By 40 – Man, that’s so much! I couldn’t “lose” all that so early on like that, good for you guys… You’ll be done and growing that $ before we even have our first $5k in it! Haha… As long as both our kids are prepared for when the time’s right though, I know we’ll both be happy. They’re growing like weeds!
I think by the time Baby Money is college-age the landscape will be different. As in cheaper. As it is, if you choose correctly now and do things a little bit differently than a typical “college experience” your kid will be able to pay for it himself with a part-time job! And no debt.
Wouldn’t that be something ;) But I probably would egg him on to do the “college experience” cuz I got so much out of it myself and wouldn’t change it for the world. At least if you’re talking about living on campus, going to a 4-year college from start to finish, etc, etc… Not saying the other routes are wrong or worse or anything, just that I was really pleased with my experience and would thus like to pass it on to my spawn. I love it that I now have spawn! :)
Congrats J! that is a bad ass month. Even without baby’s 529 getting “transferred” over to you that is a 3%+ gain month over month!
Yup! They’re nice months to have, and remember!, for when the going gets tough ;) Hope you had a great one too!