Net Worth Update: $636,893.40 (+$4,600 and Correct This Time!)

[This is part of our monthly Net Worth Series where I share our real life #’s with the world. Seeing this from other bloggers was game changing for me when I first stumbled across the PF world, so I’ve been sharing ours every month here in hopes it helps motivate you too. This is net worth update #112.]


Hey hey! Another month, another net worth update! And this time I promise I won’t screw it up like last month’s when I thought I had an extra $20 G’s that I didn’t – womp womp…

Nothing screams excitement like having to tell everyone you goofed up and were actually only up $700! Haha… But this time, I swear – we’re up $46,000!!!  4,600 :) And as you can see in the chart above, we were busy this month…

  1. We finally maxed out our SEP IRA for the year (we always wait until we run our taxes to do it)
  2. We finally maxed out my Roth IRA for the year (also on the back burner until tax day)
  3. We finally stopped the Acorns experiment after 2+ years. I still very much love and recommend ’em, but my minimalist side finally won over and decided that streamlining our accounts was more important than some extra investing on the side. Especially since we don’t have a problem with that area in money (if you’re just starting out though, or need an extra push, def. check Acorns out!)

Outside of those moves, the month was otherwise pretty boring… But a boring we like to see with investing, eh? Slow and steady increases is the name of the game!

Here’s how the whole month went down…

CASH SAVINGS (-$20,143.40): A big hit this month, but fortunately we have something to show for it – more $$$ in investments :) So really it’s just a transfer of wealth, only into areas that give you a much better return down the line! Not that we have plans on siphoning out any more cash in the near future … A big savings buffer is key when you’re self-employed.

BROKERAGE (-$656.44): Bye-bye Acorns! We’ll miss you! But not to fret, we’re still investing and will continue to sing your praises far and wide as we move along here…. Y’all are still one of the most genius apps in my eyes – helping people invest so easily by rounding up their spare change like that! It’s genius! And if I weren’t so tied to Vanguard or merging all my accounts, I’d have happily stayed along for the ride… And not to worry, we didn’t blow through the money you helped us save up over the years – it’s just moved into our Roth IRA with all our other VTSAX money :) Thanks for the good times!

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$467.87): My wife’s new job continues to pay dividends! Every month we see a nice chunk of around $500 go in, and every month I kiss her for helping add to our financial security and moving us away from a single-income family :) It’s had its trade offs like moving back to daycare and other extra expenses (the DC area is not cheap!), but overall it’s been a big help for our family, and even more so for her career. Now if only the gov’t can figure out their upcoming budget and quit dicking around!

ROTH IRAs (+$6,746.52): $5,500 of this was from our extra infusion maxing it out, and the rest was from the gains from the month. A far cry from being 100% gains like previous months (we got spoiled!), but a nice increase nonetheless :)

SEP IRA (+$17,429.87): Same with this puppy too. About $13,000 was added money, and the rest market gains. Here’s the latest snapshot of how our funds have been performing since moving over to Vanguard three years ago:

vanguard returns 4-17

CAR VALUES (+$283.00): For the 2nd month in a row, our car values have gone up – which is of course weird. This time around it looks like my Lexus got a boost more so than the Corolla which saw gains last month. But of course at the end of the day none of this matters until it’s time to sell them :)

Here are their current values according to KBB:

  • Lexus RX350: $12,996.00
  • Toyota Corolla: $3,770.00

(And if you missed it, here are my thoughts on our Lexus since now owning it for about 9 months… A handful of them are pretty surprising!)

CAR LOAN: (-$464.07): Throwing a little extra towards it every single month! My plan was to have it all paid off by the end of the year, but the more I stare at our cash savings the more I don’t mind seeing this debt here :) I guess you can say we’re getting charged for the security of having a nice buffer, as financially stupid as it may seem… But hey – at least we’re aware of the situation, eh?

And that wraps up April’s numbers!

Here’s a look at how the past 12 months have gone down…

net worth last year

And then here’s the latest numbers on our two kids’ net worths:

kids net worth

Btw, my youngest just turned 3 over the weekend, and I tried out Paul’s idea of getting family to help fund his 529 vs bringing more toys into the house ;) Only 1 person went for it, but hey – that’s $20 more now than my son had before! Haha… So big thanks again, Paul. I’m going to continue to try it out as future birthdays and Christmases come along and hope that everyone eventually gets the hint ;)

How’d you all do this month? Anyone hit any major milestones? Anyone retire early?

I talk to my boy Steve every week who pulled his cord back in December (at the ripe age of 35 – that bastard!) and he’s like a little kid in a candy store… Just living it up every day! Thanks for being an inspiration for us, buddy :)

To see how other bloggers are doing, check out our Ultimate Net Worth Tracker over at Rockstar Finance, and if you want to see my own journey over the past 9 years, you can see every last update of our net worth here.

As Biggie once said…

net worth - biggie

(Shout out to Candice Marie for this brilliant rendition)

j. money signature


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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. Liz May 1, 2017 at 5:43 AM

    Way to go J, looks like a good month! I only calculate net worth quarterly, and I hit a HUGE milestone last quarter, but I’m just continuing to chug along. What the market givith, the market can taketh away! Also my mortgage payoff fund exceeded 60% of my goal amount for paying it off December 2019, so now I’m on to my stretch goal for the year of having it 70% funded. I’d love to move that payoff date even sooner if possible.

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:44 AM

      Ooooh nice!!! That seems encouraging!!

  2. Mustard Seed Money May 1, 2017 at 6:39 AM

    Any month that has a positive net worth is a win in my book!!!

    I think you just earwormed me with the Biggie lyrics. I’ll have them floating in my head for the rest of the day :)

    Not that I mind too much!!!

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:45 AM

      You’re very welcome, then :) Can never go wrong with Biggie!

  3. FullTimeFinance May 1, 2017 at 7:05 AM

    Slow but steady wins the race. It looks like a decent month for you and those investments will pay dividends (rim shot) down the line.

  4. Band of Savers May 1, 2017 at 7:35 AM

    I love the first day of the month!! Its so exciting to get to see how the month ended up going. unfortunately I haven’t ran through all of our numbers yet but I should have my post about how our month went up in a few hours. I had to check in here first, but now I’m off to calculate!!!

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:46 AM

      Haha… it’s always more interesting looking at others’ than our own :)

  5. Jason May 1, 2017 at 7:43 AM

    Looking good. Onward and upward. I do have a question for you. When/if would you ever value your websites as part of your net worth b/c they are part of a larger business enterprise?

    1. G May 1, 2017 at 9:09 AM

      Valuing a small private business is difficult until you have an offer in hand for someone to buy it.

      1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:52 AM

        yeah, i partly don’t include it per what G mentions, but also because it’s more fun to pretend it’s not there so I’ll get a nice bump later when/if it ever sells :) so I guess technically all my net worth reports are wrong and much lower, but better than the opposite! haha…

  6. K.P May 1, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    The transparency you give has so much value. Thank you for what you’re creating.

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:52 AM

      So glad you’re finding them helpful, K.P.!

  7. Apathy Ends May 1, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    The next accounting error will go in your favor and you will come back and tell us you are up 20K

    Looks like a great month – keep rocking

    I am also curious about the previous question on valuing your site

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:54 AM

      Scroll up to see your answer :)

      Although I should have mentioned that valuing blogs do have a rhyme and reason, but is always contingent on having an interested party for them of course.. Unlike houses they pool of buyers are wayyyyyy lower. Especially if you care *who* is buying it and what they want to do with it (have you ever seen a blog sell and it get BETTER?? ;)).

      1. Ms. Montana May 1, 2017 at 1:16 PM

        I got an email a few months back from a blog I really liked back in the day asking if I could add a link to one of their posts. And I thought, “Sure, no prob!”…..Until I read it. It was perhaps the most ill advised affiliate posts I’ve ever seen. Super sad. I’m not sure I could dedicate that much of my life to a project just to see it become a dangerous spammy site that hurts my readers. I’m sure the blogger got a big payout, but that would be a tough thing to watch. =(

  8. K May 1, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    I love your blog btw, however I don’t agree w your car’s value adding to your net worth. It’s only worth what someone would pay for it… How do you figure the increase in value being a depreciating asset? No bank would use it as collateral. I think it inflate your bottom line just a smidge.
    And that’s just my 2¢.( Hehe)

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:55 AM

      I agree they shouldn’t be appreciating, but on the other hand if i were to list them up for sale today the prices would be reflected as above. And if, say, next week they go down again and it’s still on the market, well, the price will change then as well. At least if you priced them according to KBB which is how I’ve always sold cars over the years…

  9. Paul May 1, 2017 at 8:38 AM

    I feel you on the government budget thing. I’m a contractor so its a little different for me but I was contracting with the government during the last shutdown. I think it went on for 2 weeks, I can’t remember the exact amount of time. It sucks for govys in that the paychecks stop but rest assured, every single time it has happened the congress approves back pay, some of the guys nearing retirement told me that this happened in the 80s I believe, same deal, back pay. So if I were you guys I would be routing for what is essentially a free paid vacation.

    Also, my idea works best at Christmas or gift giving situations where the adults get presents too. Grandparents will never not get toys, and usually in my experience the largest toy they can possibly find. This idea really works best when the 529 money is in lieu of a gift for an adult. They still get to give gifts to the kids but instead of some BS wallet or flashlight they give you a check for 529s.

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:57 AM

      YOU ARE FULL OF GOOD IDEAS!!! Will add that to my repertoire – thank you, man! Seriously, the “gift” issue has always plagued me since coming across minimalism… And this is just the most brilliant idea I’ve seen yet :)

      1. Paul May 1, 2017 at 2:41 PM

        NP, I also realize that everyone has their own ideas about higher education. For some its not a priority. My Mom and Dad for instance, they are divorced (for perspective), My dad who is a PhD highly values education, I have 4 kids and he has given or is in process of giving each of them 25K , that goes into their 529s. My mom who has a high school diploma but is self employed, values entrepreneurship more (but I suspect this is her convenient way of cheapening out). My mom has contributed 0 dollars and 0 cents thus far to their 529s. Without my Dad’s help we wouldn’t be anywhere near the numbers we are currently at. If they all have 25K by the time they are 5, that should give me 2 doubling periods which under ideal circumstances would mean they should each be at a minimum have 100K and that is without our contributions. Since I am going to basically brainwash my kids into thinking they can not stop school until there is no more degrees to obtain, this money will come in handy. I personally value education and entrepreneurship highly, I see no reason they can not do both in their lives.

    2. Bonnie May 1, 2017 at 1:14 PM

      Now that is a cool idea and, for some reason, one I hadn’t thought of. I am SO into cutting down on gift giving these days. As for grandparents never not buying toys, our first is seven months old and our DIL has begged us not to overdo toys. I am going to try my hardest to comply. I bought a big Tonka that he can’t play with yet because they were such a part of my boys’ childhoods. But that is all I’ve bought so far.

  10. G May 1, 2017 at 9:13 AM

    I thought it was going to be low this month, but the stock market came through in the end. Up $6,500 to $326,000. I’m just waiting for the stock market correction to knock me back down. The longer it takes, the bigger it will be.

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      You’re right on that one!

      (And best to have a pile of cash handy as well to scoop them all up when cheap when everyone freaks out, as they always do :))

  11. Team CF May 1, 2017 at 9:19 AM

    You’ve certainly been busy this month shuffling money around. Still pretty good growth for the month!
    P.s. Cool that your cars are increasing in value :-P Try to keep that up for 3 months in a row ;-)

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      Haha – if that were to happen then I’ll know it’s user error for sure :)

  12. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor May 1, 2017 at 9:20 AM

    It’s exciting to see that net worth climbing! And it’s so sweet how you and your wife seem to support each other and appreciate each other so much. It’s so tempting to fight or compete about money but it sounds like you’re a great team.

  13. Walnut May 1, 2017 at 9:32 AM

    I’ve been reading for 5+ years and your net worth updates have always motivated me to push a little harder. I’m happy to say I’m within 100k of catching up to you. Keep on motivating all of us to put a little extra cash in savings and investments!

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      Very cool!!

      You’ll have to let me know when you pass me (and then kindly buy me a beer to cry into :)).

  14. Brian May 1, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    Happy Birthday to your youngest! His college savings is looking good, Hey $20 is better than more legos to step on. :) Keep rocking!

  15. Dads Dollars Debts May 1, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Thanks for sharing. I agree it is motivating to see. We saw a 15K jump in March (finally making it into a positive net worth territory) and a 5K jump in April.

    I still have not been able decrease spending and that has killed us (emergency roof leak this month!). However, in May we are trying a low spending month (low for us where normal is $14-16 K a month!). I am hoping we can get away with spending only $2K on life outside of bills. Normal is closer to $6K. Will let you know how it goes in an upcoming post.

    1. J. Money May 1, 2017 at 11:02 AM

      Woahh $14k-$16k/mo? You guys living the good life, or paying down massive amounts of debt? Super interested in it if you haven’t blogged about it yet?

  16. Mrs. Picky Pincher May 1, 2017 at 10:14 AM

    Hahaha, don’tcha hate when you miss numbers? I have to check mine three times! Great job increasing that net worth. :) It sucks to have less cash on hand, but I’m sure you’ll see some great returns on those investments. :)

  17. Mike B. May 1, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Nice month J$! Don’t mind the boring positive months one bit; better that way then anything else in my book. Especially since you’ve got 100% accuracy on the numbers. Smooth sailing!

  18. Primal Prosperity May 1, 2017 at 11:38 AM

    I’m with you on the minimalist approach and less accounts to manage. I used to work for the Feds and lived in DC for a few months… yes, very expensive… but I really enjoyed the experience.

  19. Chris May 1, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    I hit a major, major milestone this week. My net worth went over $1 million for the first time ever! It’s pretty darned exciting. I’m 10 years away from retirement, my house will be paid off in 4 years and 3 months, and things are looking good. Still careful with money (I’m a widow, so not a 2 income household), but I still prioritize travel for us and taking care of others. Besides myself, I have 2 teen boys, two other teens live with us (friends of my son who had no other decent alternative) plus this next school year we’re hosting an exchange student. You can imagine my Costco bills!

    So anyway, I’m stoked and happy to share here, because it’s not the kind of thing you go discussing with most of your friends and family in real life.

    1. Bonnie May 1, 2017 at 1:17 PM

      Kudos to you! I’m about 10 years away from retirement too with nowhere near $1 million. Good job, especially with all those teenage mouths to feed. :-)

    2. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:03 AM

      Holy crap man – you are killing it!! Well done!!

      And yes – ALWAYS a safe space to share this kinda stuff, we eat it up here, Mr. Millionaire :)

  20. Jax May 1, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Spreadsheet day is my favorite day of the month!

    Zillow readjusted their algorithms last month which led to a sharp decrease in the “value” of my rental property, and subsequently a huge decline in my net worth. It seemed like their previous estimate was close to what similar houses were selling for, but this new estimate is probably more realistic. It’s only an on paper loss, though, as I have zero plans to sell.

    1. Paul May 1, 2017 at 2:44 PM

      WTF, is that why my house dropped from 620 to 580… I’m not selling right now either but when I do Ill have to go in and add a bunch of stuff to my list to plump up its value. Realistically I could sell for 600 so 580 was kind of a shock.

    2. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:05 AM

      This is why i never used Zillow or other sites for that – changed way too randomly every month so just stuck with tapping my realtor friend once a year to evaluate for me. Years later it payed off for him too when we eventually sold and got to put his price evaluation in action. He was only $1k off in the end! :)

  21. Joe May 1, 2017 at 12:25 PM

    Great job with your IRAs. They are doing really well.
    I’m streamlining a bit too. Last month, we moved Mrs. RB40’s IRAs and Junior’s 529 to Vanguard. Also I closed out Loyal3 and Digit.

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM

      Nice nice…

      Did you end up closing out Digit cuz of the new fees or just out of streamlining more? People were def. upset w/ that action, even though it was saving people gobs of money :)

  22. Mr. Tako May 1, 2017 at 12:57 PM

    Very nice net worth growth J. Money!

    Especially good job getting money into those IRA’s! Congrats!

    I need to shift some IRA money around, and finally convert a 401k to a traditional ira. Meanwhile, the dividend train keeps rolling ahead and paying for our early-retirement.

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:09 AM

      Glad to hear, my brotha…

      The conversion stuff is annoying, but luckily it’s only a one-time thing which is nice. And even more so, when you can get out of dumb high-fee funds and into those of your own choice!

  23. Mrs. BITA May 1, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    I started reading, saw the -20k and was looking forward to reading about some sort of large juicy purchase. How disappointing (and terribly sensible) to find that all you had done was move money around. I felt cheated : /

    Good month all around J$!

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:09 AM

      Haha… better you than me :)

  24. Tonya May 1, 2017 at 6:49 PM

    Congratulations to you! I’m feeling ugh. Ours was so great last month but that’s because our short-term savings account was looking good. But then I had to write a big fat tax check, womp womp! Keep on keepin’ on…

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      Exactly the reason I don’t include tax $$$ into our net worth anymore :) I used to hate watching it go out every quarter and feeling stupid! So now it’s just saved in a completely different account that i forget about until tax time and then cut checks right out of it from saving throughout the months. Def. did the trick :)

  25. MyMoneyDesign May 1, 2017 at 7:43 PM

    Congrats on another great report. I was hoping that we were going to find out that the missing $20K was invested in some more upgraded bloggie-type stuff! LOL

  26. Alaska49 May 2, 2017 at 3:37 AM

    Biggie needs to spell check his quote…..I think he probably wanted to use the word ’cause, short form of because, not cause without the apostrophe…..two different words. For example, “When the market drops by 200 points, it may cause you some pain.”

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:12 AM

      Hah! Prob user error… Biggie sure pronounced it correctly in his rap :)

  27. Debbie May 2, 2017 at 4:58 AM

    Congrats. on another great month! We had setbacks. Emergency vet bill $1000, HVAC repair $500, new tires for car $500, H&R Block $300 (complicated tax situation–first time we’ve paid to have our taxes done in years), higher grocery/entertainment bills (had out of state guests for a week). Just put our big fat tax refund into Vanguard for 2017’s IRA’s. Just curious, is VTSAX (love the low .04 fee) your only Vanguard investment? We have some $$ in it too but also have some in a moderate growth fund (.14 fee is still very low). Didn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket.

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:14 AM

      Most people I know have it in 2-3 different Vanguard funds (to diversify into bonds and/or international) but I like having it all in one biggie for max growth potential. Too young to worry about preserving cash w/ bonds and what not, but that’s just my personal opinion. Totally good to spread it around a bit if it makes you more comfortable :)

  28. ZJ Thorne May 2, 2017 at 8:44 AM

    I am also eyeing the government shutdown with some worry. Only “fixing” the problem a week at a time is not wonderful. My temp work is for them and if it vanishes, it would be a damper on my plans. Especially as I have some big overtime plans in May.

    Nevertheless, I’ve been tracking my net worth for a year because of you and your helpful spreadsheet. It’s made a big difference in my financial life. I’m also now looking for new ways to grow because of you. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:15 AM

      So glad the spreadsheet is helping you :) It was actually built off another that I found myself almost 10 years ago! So we all keep passing it forward while tweaking along the way!

  29. Shane May 2, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    My Net worth increased from $130,934 on April 1st to $133,836 on May 1st. + $2,902 for the month!!!

  30. Freedom 40 Plan May 2, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    Solid gains – way to max out the SEP and Roth!

  31. Dividend Diplomats May 2, 2017 at 9:55 PM

    J –

    Almost to $650K, LETS GO!!!! Big dividend month in June is looming for ya, so hopefully that’ll be a nice little add to the infusion to the portfolio. Hoping by June you’ll cross the mark sir! Thanks for the inspiration, looking forward to kicking the auto loan out of the way on my end, nearing close to $320K net worth.


    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM

      You’re gonna beat me on that loan paying :) I’m prob still a year away or so until i finally just pull the trigger… I like all the extra cash laying around!

  32. Andy May 3, 2017 at 9:27 AM

    Great job J Money! I am 10k behind you and it is my goal to try and keep up with you. Thanks for keeping me motivated!

    1. Andy May 3, 2017 at 9:38 AM

      This month I am at $627,414.78. See you next month!

      1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:17 AM

        nice!! You’ll be passing me in no time :)

  33. Owen @ PlanEasy May 4, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Congrats J.Money. That 9.3% return is pretty sweet. I noticed you don’t have a real estate or mortgage in your net worth numbers. Are you a renter?

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:18 AM

      Indeed I am!

      (And loving every moment of it)

  34. stephanie t May 4, 2017 at 6:19 PM

    Also my fav post of the month! I really like watching penny & nickel’s accounts grow and it makes me realize just how darn sensible getting $$$ instead of yet another toy is. (tho’ a big a$$ Tonka truck is good anytime, imvho)
    Thanks for keeping me inspired and going!

    1. J. Money May 15, 2017 at 11:19 AM

      well don’t let it fool you – we still have wayyyyy too many toys than they need, but at least we’re working on saving for their future at the same time! :)

  35. GordonsGecko May 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    Nice job, man. Adds up really quickly. It’s amazing just how quickly. I just recently hit the double mark from where my investment portfolio was at 12/31/2013. Did a quick calculation and that’s an annualized increase of over 22%. Of course that includes all of my contributions, but it’s still a great number to see!

    I recently got my girlfriend to join me in tracking her/our net worth together. She’s not someone who will read a finance blog, but her response was “WOW! Surprise and happiness!” when I told her that her net worth had increased 14% since she started tracking it as of 8/31/2016.

    Good times!

    1. J. Money May 17, 2017 at 11:10 AM

      YES!! Good times indeed – she’s lucky to have you :)


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