[This is part of our monthly Net Worth Series where I share our real life #’s with the world. Seeing this was GAME CHANGING for me over 9 years ago when I stumbled across financial blogs, so hopefully it helps you guys out too!]]
‘Sup party people! We hit $600,000 – woah!
I’d like to thank my parents, all the readers here, the stock market, and especially J. Money for setting up this lazy system where he doesn’t have to do anything and it continues to grow. Thanks ol’ friend!
But seriously, I didn’t do anything special this month :) And you don’t have to either once on track! Some months the markets take off, and others it crashes and burns, but as long as you stick to The Plan and keep moving forward it will always work out in your favor long-term. Just about harnessing that *time*!
Here’s how January went down, numbers-wise…
But first, a moment of silence for Eric’s frugal phone.
Okay. Now on to the #’s…
CASH SAVINGS (-$103.86): The only red mark of the month! But similar to Eric’s phone up there, the fate of my old 5 y/o laptop wasn’t looking too hot either so I had to upgrade before my livelihood went along with it. So I blame you, sexy fast laptop @ $700! (Here’s the one I ended up going with if anyone’s interested: HP ENVY 13-ab016nr Notebook. Been a few weeks now and loving it! And is also apparently $100 cheaper now too, womp womp.)
BROKERAGE (+$31.34): Nothing too fancy going on here. Just Acorns doing its thing and rounding up my pennies for me. Up to $600.56 now after two years!
THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$444.44): Gotta soak up the benefits while the gov’t still offers it! Who knows what’s next on the chopping block, eh? (Joking/not joking :( )
ROTH IRAs (+$2,060.37): Nothing too special going on here… Haven’t maxed out our IRAs yet for the year, but that’ll be coming soon once we wrap up our taxes. Certainly in no rush to start blowing through our cash reserves again :)
SEP IRA (+$7,960.89): Same with this bad boy too. Over $400,000 sitting in pretty ol’ VTSAX fund just churning along nicely. Soon this will be plumped up too to max out my SEP for the year after tax time. Guestimating about $15,000 or so.
Here’s a shot of our performance since moving over to Vanguard and index investing:
CAR VALUES (+$8.00): Another wonky month of *gaining* when it should most definitely be losing, but whatevs. It’s what KBB says so it’s what we share here to keep consistent over the years.
Here are the values of both our rides currently:
- Lexus RX350: $12,959.00
- Toyota Corolla: $3,897.00
CAR LOAN: (-$542.69): A little more every month! In a weird way I get more joy out of seeing this go down than my investments up? Even though it’s a difference of thousands? Maybe ‘cuz paying it off is more of a challenge and *action* related? Either way, I don’t expect to have this debt for long so I guess I’ll enjoy it a little before it feels right to finally nix it all.
And that’s Jan! Here’s a graph of how the last 12 months have gone:
And of course to see all 9 years worth of net worths, you can check out this tracker here: J’s Net Worth Journey. It’s been a wild ride so far… and I suspect the same with your money too?
Oops, almost forgot our
babies kids’ net worths here… I guess I should probably change it to kids now that they’re 2 and 4, eh? (But babies are sooo cute and cuddly and smell so good!! I want another please???? But to magically avoid the first 3 months of utter sleepless chaos??)
Your turn! What’s your net worth looking like these days? Off to a great start this year or not so much? What do you predict for the next 12 months?
Say it loud and proud, baby – you know we eat this stuff up! And as always, if you need some extra motivation, head over to Rockstar Finance and check out the almost 300 bloggers we’re now tracking to see how they’re doing too… There’s a $$$ range for everyone!
Here’s to February,
PS: If you’re just getting started in your journey, here are a few good resources to help track your money. Doesn’t matter which route you go, just that it ends up sticking!
- The "Budget/Net Worth" spreadsheet - the colorful Excel template I personally use.
- The "Money Snapshot" spreadsheet - a simple Excel template I created for my former $$$ 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)
Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!
Congrats on another excellent month. I checked a few days ago and was happy to see we were up about 20k this month. Woot!
Also, you should check to see if you could get $100 refund for your computer. I bet it would be pretty easy. :)
D’oh. Just researched it and looks like they stopped doing ’em!
And what’s even more ironic is that they think one of the reasons is because of all the new tech apps out there that scan your receipts and then issue refunds on your behalf automatically. Like Paribus, which I was one of the first to review and promote here on the blog – hah.
On the plus side, yay for your new $20k! :)
Hey J- long time reader, first time commenting! Congrats on the milestone!
I was going to leave the same suggestion about the price drop protection. Even if you can’t get it through the retailer, if you paid with a credit card call them up to see if it’s a feature on your card too. There are restrictions of course, but it might be worth a 5-10 min. call.
Oh nice – i never remember about that, thank you!
Breaking new hurdles always feels great doesn’t it. Good job building up and getting ready for ER.
Nice! My net worth is off to a similar good start as yours in 2017. First, a quick shout out to Personal Capital. Love how easy it makes to track my net worth and my investments. January was going really well until these last couple of days in the market. Still up for the month, though! Any month where you get positive returns is a good one in my book!
Haha, amen to that.
Love your focus on those babies (they’re always your babies) college accounts. With one finishing college this year and headed to grad school, and another heading off to undergrad in the fall – getting people to start early AND stick with it is key! Such cool money lessons for them to learn with those accounts as they grow up too!
my secret plan is to get them to take over my blog once they’re old enough ;)
Always nice to get that shot in the arm as the market keeps climbing. Gotta take the good with the bad, but the good months or oooooh so great! Kudos to you for getting the system in place, paying yourself first!
Damn dude, you’re totally killing it. Congrats on hitting $600k. Huge achievement!
Wanna trade? :)
Love the report and sharing how you invest. I have been looking into the VTSAX/VTSMX funds since looking at the Rockstar Forum & your posts here. Congrats on also being able to fund the Roths so quickly too!
Oh nice! Yeah, tons of us $$ bloggers are obsessed with VTSAX, but still good to check around and see if it fits with your own goals/comfort levels, etc.
Keep it up J Money! Nice to see you push through 600k!
You are getting up into the range where compounding becomes truly magic! Without adding you could be in the 2 comma club in 8ish years!
We know you will keep grinding- but the extra dollars will roll in easier!
Fortunately/unfortunately I’m horrible with understanding future stuff so to me I’m still stuck in “beginner” mode although I’m now a decade into it, hah… I def. dont’ worry as much as I used to at least :)
Congrats on hitting the 600k milestone. I love how you report everything.
On my side, I had a little growth for starting the year but for 2017 I would like to hit the 20k.
Congrats! You have to hit $20k before you can hit $1 Mill :)
Really enjoy your blog. One comment: You have $67,000 in savings – WHY are you carrying car debt?
Keep up the awesome work on your finances and the blog. I have recommended you to my frugal son in college.
Rock on :)
CASH — I only recently came into it after draining our reserves all the way down to $5,000 over the years. So now just enjoying feeling comfortable again, especially since my online income fluctuates like crazy. We def. plan on offloading some of it into investments, but for now we enjoy the safety net :) I don’t mind maxing every last penny.
congrats, thats awesome!!
Question regarding your savings, is that a taxable account with Vanguard?? I’ve got a taxable account, Roth IRA and traditional IRA all with Betterment. Just got an email from them they are raising their fees from 0.15 to 0.25%! I gotta get my crap moved to Vanguard, just not looking forward to dealing with the hassle of the phone calls/paperwork and learning to rebalance accounts myself.
Haha yeah – that stuff is annoying. You might be surprised though how easy it is. I literally just did everything over the phone (and confirming emails and what not) and the Vanguard rep did most of everything for me. It was def. a mult-task/day project though.
As for cash – it’s all sitting in my USAA savings account. Or did you mean where all my investments are sitting at Vanguard? Those are all in my SEP and Roth IRA. My only taxable brokerage money at the moment is my $600’ish sitting in my Acorns portfolio. I still need to get better about that part. (Just so addicted to retirement accounts! And havent’ had much extra padding either ever since having kids – hah)
If you already have money with Vanguard they are very helpful with moving money in. I consolidated past employer stock into Vanguard and was eligible for their concierge service, which mean very little work / effort on my part. Yet another reason I ♡ Vanguard.
Oh yeah… that extra $8 for the car is awesome!! Who said vehicles depreciate in value?? Yours is living proof.
It’s nice to see what your VTSAX is doing. I have a pitiful fraction of what you are rockin so I look forward to seeing those results in the coming years.
J congrats on a great month! I”m a Government civilian as well. What’s even great for you guys once your wife is fully vested after 5 years she will be eligible for Government pension. You can google how the Govt pension formula works.
I’m actually finalizing Jan networth as we speak. Looking to capitalize on great month thanks to the markets!
Yeah!!! I started looking into that the last few months – def. good!!
Right now we’re just making sure she *has* a job still as all her projects got frozen and she’s technically not converted to a Gov’t employee yet :( Hopefully over the next 6 months before her trial period ends all that stuff gets worked out w/ the new measures getting passed every which way.
had a crazy Jan. one car went UP $131 and the other went DOWN $790!!!!!
Wha?? What car is that – a Hummer? :)
the Camry went up and the leaf went way down.
I know what you mean about the car debt. I definitely think our “primal” minds treat debt in an odd way (i.e. captivity?) since money is relatively new in our evolutionary journey. I think that is why, even if the interest rate is low, and the money is better invested elsewhere, and we can ‘calculate’ the benefits of keeping the debt, especially a mortgage, we still get a better feeling of being debt free.
Congrats and you almost had 600K in 2016? Imagine growing it by a 100K every year to keep up with the years, 700K 2017, 800K 2018. Keep hustling and motivating these slackers out here. LOL.
I’m trying man! I go back and forth from slacker to hustler these days, haha… My kids got me moving all over the place :)
Woop wooooop! There’s nothing like seeing the balance on a loan go down. :) It’s weird that your vehicles slightly gained value, but hey, that can happen sometimes I suppose.
We’re down about $6,600 on our student loans since we started paying them off in December. Mine will be eliminated in May (aw yeah) and Mr. Picky Pincher’s will be done a year after that. Let’s do thissss!!
Beautiful!!! You guys are gonna have SO MUCH money to throw to other dreams when you’re all done – can’t even imagine.
Here is my snapshot for 2017:
I’m up to ~$365k- $370k right now, but that includes 529s which I don’t feel like count. Really I’m ~265-270 of my own money. I feel like I’m dragging a boulder up hill with this mortgage. Sat down with my accountant and the goal for 2017 is to contribute $54K in my 401k, $5500 in my roth (can’t contribute to traditional), and $6750 in my HSA (but half gets used every year, 4 kids, need I say more). Other than Acorns I am not saving into a brokerage account. I would like to but psychologically I just can’t until this mortgage is gone. I want to actually own my house by mid 40s but at most late 40s. Challenging myself for a max of 12 years to make that happen
Nice!!! No shame in directing your money/energy towards something that really motivates you like that. I do the exact same thing so I support you 100%. I stopped including my 529s too in the reports, and then one day if we all have $$ left over there and need to convert or take the hit/etc it’ll all be reflected in our own $$$ then, eh? :) Same as other property we own like fancy rings/watches or even blogs. At least that’s my thinking on it…
If I convert it then I will count it sure, but in my heart I hope that either College is free at that point or if it is not, I hope that they just keep going in their chosen field till there are no more degrees to get (i.e. the 529s will be completely drained). I keep imposing on them that even though it may not seem like it now, school really is the best of it. Hopefully it sticks and hopefully they all achieve masters level or higher. Of course they could be like me and have no affinity for any one subject at that age, but I really hope not, because getting my master while I had 2 young kids at that time was hard.
Hell yeah man. Took my wife an extra 2-3 years to complete her PhD cuz we kept popping out kids!
Wow! You’re doing great! Congrats on hitting the $600k milestone. On to a million!
I’m pretty happy sitting at about $110k. Although I got a long way to go!
Hey J$$! Congrats! It’s impressive to see how fast this is growing now. It inspired me to start using your Net Worth tracker starting this month for 2017. Thanks!
YES!!!! One of the best things I love to see – good job! :)
Looking good my man. Keep on trucking!
Congratulations on hitting the $600k milestone! Now it’ll passively generate $2k a month, if we assume 4% withdrawal!
I haven’t done my net worth calculations yet, but I expect it to increase by a lot as I rarely spent in January!
Nicely done! We taking bets on the $700K mark? I’m going to crunch our numbers tonight. Looking forward to starting the year off right.
Congrats on the $600K mark! What an achievement!
I just crunched my and my fiance’s numbers, and we’re (still) in the negative thanks to car loans and student loans, but I paid a little extra off last month and we went up from -$19K to -$16.7K! Definitely off to a great start this year, and tax/bonus season is going to help tremendously. I predict we’ll be in the green within 6 months! Woohoo!!
Nice! I wouldn’t call $2,000+ in one month “a little” :)
Nice work man! Just think, that stack has a long time to grow :)
Nice! Can’t wait until my investments are built up enough to start doing the heavy lifting. My employer 401k match hasn’t hit the account yet from 2016 so that’ll be a nice bump.
This month’s victory for me was the y-axis on my net-worth graph (nerd alert) auto-adjusted to show $100k as the top value. It’s within reach! I can see it!
Hahahaha…. best comment of the day right there ;)
Well done J$! You’ll reach 1M in no time (2-3 years maybe?).
Skipping the first 3 month with a baby due to sleepless nights? You must’ve been very lucky, mine is 11 months and still can’t sleep good. Maybe I should tell her about my job and she’ll fall asleep faster :)
Oh man, i feel for ya…. Our 2nd kid wouldn’t sleep through the night until he was 1 and 1/2 – it was miserable. We took turns sleeping on the coach for almost a year :( So my thoughts are with you!!
Wow congrats on the $600k mark! What a way to start the year :)
I hit the $100k mark this month!! I started tracking my net worth in June 2015 (around the same time I discovered your blog…interesting!). It was just under $60k at that time. Sure, there was a mighty nice pay raise which definitely helped the cash reserves during that time but tracking my net worth also made me more motivated to max out my IRA, increase my 401k contributions, etc. So thanks J Money!
Helll yeah!!! That’s what I’m talking about!
I just redid ours net worth last night (I only really look twice a year) and was shocked by the growth. Housing prices in our area have shot up! But beings we don’t re-invest all the cash flow from our rentals, it will taper out. And my lopsided net worth growth will slow down. But the numbers are still kind of fun to look at.
Our net worth is slowly climbing, as usual, but we are in the process of selling our SoCal home, which will convert a very large asset to cash, and that is pretty exciting.
Yeah it is!
Check with your credit card company for your laptop purchase!
Some offer partial refunds for the amount of the price drop!
$600k is great. Congrats. You and JL Collins inspired me to start a slightly different journey on my site. I was tied in to the trading world for awhile and saw so many people who had very little money to their name ask for my advise. I was always honest with them but late last year I realized that none of these people should even think of getting involved with trading as 1 error can destroy their finances. Trading is the toughest, most manipulated and misinformed business out there. So, because of you and JLC I growing money monthly by investing (VTSAX).
Thanks and congrats once again.
Beautiful! And I agree – trading is no joke!
We finished January sitting at $-30,221, which is an increase of $6,024 over the end of the year, which was $-36,245! A few things happened:
1. We got serious about budgeting and paying off these darn student loans.
2. We got a $1055 tax return. Still, it is a growth of nearly 5k, even without the refund!
Very proud of the progress we have made. It has been fun to write about so far.
Something to be very proud of too – congrats :)
Got to love this weird rally we’re in. As you said, making money doing nothing at all. :)
Great job J Money. Our NW finally hit 6 digits last month! It seems like forever it was hovering around 80 or 90K. But looks like the steady student loan payoff and investment contributions are starting to bear some fruit. Can’t wait to get rid of our debt so we can increase that net worth even faster.
The first $100k is the hardest!!
Congrats on hitting the 600k mark. I just passed the $500k mark and im pretty stoked about it. Officially a half a millionaire!! hehe
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? :)
Congrats! I broke 400k a few months ago and hope to hit 500k this month.
I would love to hear your take on some of the investment apps there are out there. I swear by Mint for transparency with my money and CashFlow for forecasting, but haven’t found a great place to have investment savings above and beyond my retirement. Here are some of my experiences.
Discover Savings = 1% APR. I put the money here that i have earmarked for Car insurance, Home Insurance, and Property Taxes. Its a good way to earn a little interest on money that I may owe once a year or twice a year and allows me to budget better.
Lending Club – Currently have about 6k in two accounts – 1 is a roth and the other is taxable. I like the higher return but its not really liquid, so I am just getting that money be.
Stash – low monthly fee and allows me contribute small amounts weekly in ETFs based in theme (e.g. – electric and solar, tech, aggressive, etc.) I think its a dollar a month up to $5000, so that is where I am currently saving.
Digit – kind of like Acorn but instead of rounding they calculate average daily balances an transfer money out. I think it started to transfer too much money out of my checking, so I was just transferring it right back. I recently canceled it.
Motif – like Stash with thematic ETFs, but I didn’t like the fees and I didn’t necessarily have lump sums to invest.
Personal Capital – I just didn’t get the returns i wanted or expected.
Anything you recommend or like?
I use Digit and Acorns for fun, but almost all of my money goes right into Vanguard index funds to be honest. I like the simple/lazy/low key way of investing – I’m over all the fancy stuff :)
Looks like you had an eventful January. I stumbled on one of our accounts today and had to do a double take at the one month rise. One heck of a jump in the market and a sizable jump in the 1-2 individual stocks I still hold. In other news our youngest just obtained a savings account today. Now all members as of our household have a positive networth.
Hooray! Haha… next up – turning them all into bloggers! :)
We are up $42,000 (part of this is a bonus that should have been paid in December but was paid in January instead). We are now $41,000 away from a million!!!!!!! I’m engaging in a little mental game to see whether we hit $1,000,000 or my 2007 Corolla hits 100,000 first (it’s sitting at 96k miles). I like the connection — they are definitely linked as our frugality has paved the way for our success.
Damn good connection :)
Congrats!! You’re killing it. thanks for the motivation!
Wow! It feels like just yesterday you hit $500k! Way to go.
We are up big since the stock market has been on fire!
Highest net worth ever — even though I’m retired. :)
Funny how that happens :)
Congratulations on breaking through another threshold!
My net worth was up ~14% compared to a year ago, unfortunately most of that was due to pure savings, as opposed to any tailwind from investments. Still working on getting my money to work for me as opposed to the opposite. You can check on my actual net worth number via Rockstar Finance, I sent you a submittal last week ;)
nice! make sure to submit your blog into our new $$$ Directory we’re building out too :) We’ll be moving the Net Worth Tracker in there shortly:
Congrats on toppling another milestone! I hope the projects get unfrozen. This uncertainty is terrible. My 2016 ended with my net worth being much closer to zero than at the beginning of 2016. I was inspired by this series to start my own blog and pay attention. I’m still very much in debt, but at least heading in the right direction now.
Finally, someone who understands me (BudgetsAreSexy!). Keep up the great work and milestone achievements on the chase to lifetime happiness and freedom.
Like you, I’m also passionate about sexy budgets — as seen in my bj post. The toughest part of educating a young crowd (Millennial) is keeping people entertained enough to learn. Math is fun for some, boring for others. Cooking is fun for some, boring for others…and so on. Finance is the exact same. I’ve created a website (FriendsWithFinancialBenefits) to blog about sex&money… It’s a little cringe-worthy and funny, but hey I’m just trying to follow in your footsteps and help young professionals + students LEARN. Learning is a lifelong journey!!
Hahaha…. oh man, now THAT is a good blog name. Def. walking that fine line there but we need it in our $$$ world! I agree most of it all is too boring!
I guess it’s true… the second $500k is easier than the first $500k.
I totaly love seeing my mortgage go down, more than my investments going up! Not QUITE sure why that is…
Hoping to hit $100k this year!
I’m rooting for you :)
J Money –
Hilarious on the car loan, as I feel the exact same; my investments may go up a few thousand, but seeing my car loan go down by $270 each month is even more rewarding – probably because we hate those chunks and know that we want to get rid of it. Congrats on crossing $600K, as well, awesome to see.
Some crazy decisions with the house sale, moving, wife’s new job, selling the caddy, buying a Lexus and I imagine a whole lot more. It now looks as you start optimizing with the routine that all that short term craziness was worth it. Well done J.Money
I’m trying, man! Still struggling on the work/life balance, but I swear I’m going to figure it out :)
Congrats on the $600K milestone, J$. With your momentum, you will soon reach the double comma club. While I understand why you gave up on DGI after your $500 experiment for one year, you could have taken a long-term approach. It wouldn’t have hurt to continue the “experiment” for 5 years or more, to see how it pans out since you had so little invested. DGI is all about having a long-term mindset, and in my experience, it actually shines better in bear markets than in raging bull markets (where it can lag the index).
I hope you like the new Investing Series I started on this very topic: Dividend Investing vs. Indexing.
You could be right :) I just hate things lingering around and prefer to minimize all my accounts as much as possible unless I’m super passionate about them. Even my Digit and Acorns accounts i consider shutting down to merge more of my $$$, but i just like them so much haha…
will check out your series though – people do rave about dividend investing.