Goooooood morning, people of the internet! What’s shaking? How’s your life? Money? Kids? Wives? Lovers?
Had a fun, restful, weekend for me over here and almost forgot to check on our finances for the month – the horror! But alas here we are, net worth update #113 in a row, and the slow climb continues onward :)
It’s funny, they say there’s no such thing as a get-rich-quick plan, but I gotta say – the months and years move pretty fast, don’t they? I swear it was just the other day when I first started saving my money, and then BAM – 10 years flies by and that money’s transformed pretty sizably! I think they need to call it “get rich what-feels-like-quickly planning” instead :) Doesn’t it sound so much more exciting than “personal finance”?
Anyways, all that to say that nothing really juicy happened this month with our finances, but I’m damn glad younger J. Money had the whits to get the plan started all those moons ago…
I thank you kindly, sir!
Here’s how May went down:
CASH SAVINGS (-$212.43): Not the best, not the worst. Probably splurged a little too much on our weekly getaway when we dropped off the kids and decided to take a little road trip. We’ve stopped buying each other anniversary gifts for years now, and instead like to visit small country towns for a day or so and just enjoy each other’s company (and some fine dining, as well!). We accidentally skipped last year’s trip, so I guess we were trying to make up for it :)
THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$479.94): Grow grow grow, little TSP account!! You’re making your new family very proud! Can’t believe it’s already been almost a year since you entered our lives, I should go and kiss mommy for bringing you home!
ROTH IRAs (+$1,357.40): Don’t worry, we love you very much too, our little IRAs… it’s just you’re more grown up now and don’t need as much attention as your little sister, TSP. We’ll continue to pay attention to you and feed you though! Soon you’ll be as big as your brother, SEP IRA!
SEP IRA (+$4,732.29): Hello there son!!! Okay, enough of that talk, haha…. We love all our accounts the same, and they continue to grow right alongside the markets even when we don’t contribute an extra dime. Which is the beauty of investing, really. Put it in once and it’ll continue working hard for you no matter what you do (or don’t do) in the future! Even though of course you keep feeding them because you prefer not to have to wait the 60 years for you to be able to touch it again.
Here’s a glance at how the majority of our funds have performed the past few years since moving them to Vanguard:
CAR VALUES (-$560.00): Finally, they start going down again! The last two months have seen temporary increases for some reason, but this go around they dutifully drop as they should. Cars aren’t assets, but they still serve a damn good purpose. Especially fast ones :)
Here are the values of our two cars per KBB.com:
- Lexus RX350: $12,745.00
- Toyota Corolla: $3,461.00
CAR LOAN: (-$465.15): All negatives are positives here! Threw another $300 or so against the principal this month in an effort to speed up the process of paying it off. Still not in any sort of rush (we love having more cash than necessary in savings), however, don’t want it dragging on year after year either. I reckon it’ll be gone by this time next year unless something crazy comes up.
And that’s May for ya!
Here’s a screenshot on how the past 12 months have gone:
And then as always, our little boys’ net worths (every time I post these I’m reminded of Jason Fieber’s article on how he was worth more as a baby when he was in debt, haha… So crazy to think about, but also so true! Unless your net worth is greater than $0.00, you were technically worth more as a baby!):
(BTW: We started contributing $50/mo towards each kids’ 529 accounts now… I can’t tell you for the life of me why we haven’t been doing this over the years, but for whatever reason it just popped into my head the other week and I set it up before I could forget again. We’ll probably need to jack it up to $1,000/month with how ginormous tuition is growing, but hey – baby steps ;))
That’s it for me, how’d you guys do? Anything crazy one way or the other? Anyone win the lottery or get robbed or start dating a millionaire?
Slow and steady gets awfully boring sometimes… Maybe I need to revisit the highs and lows of our Blogger Net Worth Tracker that continues to grow. We’ve now got over 300 bloggers in there ranging from -$532,304 to $5,000,000!
Either way, keep marching forward… We’ll be back in another month reporting our numbers, and it’ll feel like it just happened! Put time to work for you!
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!
Thanks for the reminder! Net Worth has been the key metric for me that I was missing in my earlier life. But now, things have gotten so automatic for me, that I have stopped keeping the detailed track that I should! This is kinda good (due to the fact saving/investing is so automatic), but this is piss-poor planning. So thanks, I am going to get things caught up and get my net worth out there!
I would say that’s a fine excuse :) There are worse reasons to not track it!
Looks like you had another awesome month and YES the TSP is Amazing. It’s one of the hidden gems in the government that I feel like most people don’t fully appreciate. Especially when some people within the government have never worked in the private sector.
Anyway awesome job this month!!!
Another awesome month! Nice job for at least investing $50/month into your kid’s funds, it’s better than most! It will be awesome for them when they understand just how helpful you have been!
Good luck on getting that car loan taken care of!
Just got over a third of a million dollars this month. $333,333.33
we are doing ok all things considered (wife still on maternity leave/partial paychecks, hospital bills flowing in)
Our Net Worth is still going up, but not at the same pace it was before
Kids do that too wallets – get ready :)
Looks like another solid month. We had a good May too. What do you think of the Personal Capital upgrades? I’m digging the new dashboard.
I hear it’s nice!
I still haven’t converted over and still rock my spreadsheets :)
I also only have one main fund i’m invested in so the investment tools can’t really show me much haha….
Hit 225k! 1/4 of million seems a lot more realistic now that we are so close! One of our cars is still going up!
Biggest news is I finally dumped my old brokerage and got everything retirement moved to vanguard.
Just need to find a new home for the 529. Lots to think about thanks to chief mom officer
GOOD JOB!!! Very smart on the Vanguard route – one of the best things I ever did w/ my money.
Good work J, congrats on a solid month. Onward and upward!
It’s been a busy month for us as we try to figure out and finalize our 529 plan account strategy with our second kiddo having arrived. We plan on investing on a lump sum basis for them to max out the growth and accrued tax benefits up until college. We’ve concluded the lump sum amount will be $40K, at least that’s the plan now.
Damn good plan too, I might add. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that because most people don’t have $40k+ sitting in savings, haha, but if given the option I’d MUCH prefer doing one lump sum and then kicking back from there… Love it.
Is “attneion” J.Money’s #covfefe ? Haha
I was amazed looking back that I hit 150k this month after barely reaching 100k this time last year. It’s great to see the little snowball start rolling faster and faster!
D’oh – where’s my editor when you need him ;)
Great update, thanks for sharing. As someone with a relatively new blog, it’s fun to see someone who’s been at it for 10 years! Can’t wait to hit Zero Net Worth later this year and actually start building wealth.
We all start at the same place :)
Congrats on the nice boost in your net worth! It’s so inspiring to see how your net worth has grown substantially over the years. Frugality and careful planning does pay off! Best of luck with the new month of June! =)
I think the max write off is $2500 per, for state only in Maryland. but I also believe you can carry balances forward. If you can swing it the max benefit to you would be $2500/year/per child. I’m just trying to get $50K in each account by by 10 yrs. Then I’ll just contribute the $25/mo minimum or nothing at all… If I get at least one doubling period after that it should give me $100k each.
The real crime is, I keep hearing that state schools purposefully deny in state kids because they make more money on out of state (think cap on in state based on county stats also). That should be criminal. But again, I am just basing that on hearsay. It could very well be parents of children that didn’t get in need to transfer their anger away from their child… Just considering the source of info and the inherent potential for bias… I would love for it not to be true but since colleges are businesses, it most likely is accurate.
I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth moving our VA 529 plans back over to MD again or just losing the savings and avoiding the hassle, knowing we’ll be back to VA again within the next year or so (God willing). Or maybe I’ll just create a new MD account and then merge it with VA’s later? I hate having so many accounts open though…
(can’t chime in w/ that latter part of your comment as I don’t follow news/gossip on it much, but i’ll let you get to the bottom of it and then school me :))
I wouldn’t even bother honestly for just a year or 2, especially if you aren’t maxing. You may end up forgoing 20 whole dollars over the course of a few years. Not sure that is even worth the time to fill out the paperwork…
And yeah, IDK first hand on the school thing either. Its just that in 1999 when I started college pretty much anyone who had a GPA of 2.75 or higher could get into any UofMD school…now I am hearing about kids on the honor roll being denied. Like I said though, until I experience it first hand its all hearsay to me.
My car also seems to fluctuate up and down – I don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense.
I can’t remember, do you have your cash savings in a specific account or accounts, like a higher-than-normal interest savings account?
I finalized my move to Vanguard in May – Yay! – and took a bit of a hit in fees, so my climb wasn’t as high as I’d have liked but every little bit helps.
We have our savings in our regular USAA account that offers a tiny bit higher interest rate than others the last time i looked, but I tend to stay away from the rate chasing game as I like to have as many accounts under one roof as possible. I’m also sure that our savings won’t stay in one spot forever, so I’m not worried about missing out on a few bucks.
Great job! I am very happy to see the steady progress, J$. This is how my NW also snowballed and soon you will start seeing double comma’s on the net worth wondering how did that happen! Also happy that you are seeing the benefits of a more stock heavy portfolio:
Every step you take, every move you make, every “bond” you break, I may NOT be watching you, but continue to make ka Ching!
Here’s wishing you continued great success in this journey.
“Every step you take, every move you make, every “bond” you break, I may NOT be watching you, but continue to make ka Ching!”
HAH! Comment of the day right there ;)
Great job building that net worth, as usual! Our May was surprisingly great, considering that I switched jobs and won’t get a paycheck until June 15. Yikes! But we met most of our budget goals, so that was great. We weren’t able to overpay on student loans, which sucked, but that’s what happens. :)
If not being able to overpay is your biggest problem, I’d say you’re doing pretty good :) Congrats on the new gig!
Nice update! We calculated ours last week and were shocked to see that our net worth has been going up by an average of $20,400 per month over the last year. That’s far more than we made in the same 12 months. Between market gains, our contributions and the crazy real estate appreciation happening where we live, it was a recipe for “Mo money”!! If we see the same kind of increases over the next 5 years (which I’m sure we won’t), then for retirement we should be able to just sit up on a balcony and throw money at people as they walk by.
oh $hit – that’s awesome man! what a position to be in!
Congrats on the continued growth its fun to watch.
We recently started not doing anniversary gifts either. We would totally rather have an “experience” together instead of giving each other gifts. Last year we spent the whole weekend in Niagra Falls, quite fun!
May was a good month for me. A raise and my birthday and my net worth up $3.670! Happy birthday to me. The crazy thing is it took me 48 years to get hit 100K and just one year later, I’m at 150K. My little savings snowball is growing. :)
The first $100,000 is the hardest!
Thanks for sharing! And congrats on an increase for the month. May was similar for us – we saw increases, but nothing too significant.
Alan and I don’t give gifts to each other either, but take time to do things together. Experiences and time together > gifts. Sounds like you had a great getaway!
This is amazing! We are finally at the point where we are thinking about investing more strategically. We have a nice chunk that we can invest right away, and then are finding a good number than can be invested monthly. Also, you are the bajillionth person to recommend Vanguard. Score!
haha yeah – we’re an obsessed bunch over here :)
Great job! Keep at it. The years really flies by. If people would just invest and save, they’d be a millionaire before they know it. I’m sure you’ll be there in less than 10 years.
May was good for us. Slow and steady.
Excellent progress all around J$. I think this post has inspired me to give all my accounts names. They certainly all have personalities already (my savings account is the solid one. probably won’t do anything great with his life, but can always be relied upon in tough times. My individual stock account has such enormous potential, but might be bipolar. Her highs are so high, but she also hit rock bottom in a flash. Such mood swings! etc.).
We had a most excellent May – it was our lowest spend month since we started tracking, and it is clear that we’re going to blow past our $160k savings target for the year. We’re already at $133k. Wheeeee.
Schiller PE is now over 30 on the SP. Take some profits from those unrealized gains!
I have no idea what that is, nor do I care to all the way :) I just throw money in and let it ride…
Killing it! Awesome work. Those net worth increases for the past 12 months are impressive. Still have a lot of time left to go this year for more increases. Cheers!
Damn!! So close to $650K, crazy what the market has been doing.
For the 529 plans – do you wish you would have started them even before they were born and then transferring to their name when they were? Thoughts on that?
Nice work there J, keep it rolling in the right direction. I’m getting closer to the $350K mark.
Nah, I’m cool with how we started them once they were born. I’m not organized/hardcore enough to pre-plan all that stuff :) We didn’t even know if we’d be able to have kids as the first one took over two years and we started getting checked out! (Though interestingly enough, the 2nd one came on Try #1.. NUMBER ONE!!!)
haha, hilarious and that makes sense though, why start it “unless you know” one is on the way. Good deal.
I can’t figure out the car thing either. Ours seem to fluctuate by a few hundred dollars each month. Last month my car’s value went up, so I’m curious to see about this month. Maybe less people are buying, and they lower the price to entice people into dealerships? Or maybe KBB’s algorithm is funky.
Great job this month!
That growth in your Vanguard account is awesome. Gaining six figures in about a year must feel pretty great!
It does! And I’m going to try and remember it for the years we lose 6 figures as it’s unavoidable :)
Net Worth: $735,340 Up $10,808 this month. Loving it. The accounts from my NW that I count for retirement now total more than $512,000.
I haven’t been able to get out as much this year with my rehab and surgeries on my knee and ankle. A fair portion of my income earmarked “discretionary” has been piling up.
So I’ve been putting a lot of it into my retirement/brokerage accounts.
I mis-calculated some automated transfers I have set up for the rest of the year to meet my savings goals and inadvertently deposited about $1,000 more than I had intended to (for the year, I.E. I’ve pretty much met all my savings goals for the year already). I don’t need it now anyway, so I am just going to “let it ride”.
I’ll take all of those kinds of first world problems! :)
I would think so :)
Congrats J$ on a successful May. Also, thanks for sharing your progress with everyone. I track our net worth in January and July. I am looking forward to checking our progress next month.
I really enjoy reading your Net Worth updates and your progress is amazing. But I am wondering why you don’t include your Blog? It is probably one of the biggest assets you have.
Probably :) But businesses boom and crash all the time, so to me it’s not stable enough to really count on. I look at it as my day job and then any $$ from offloading it a nice parting bonus! (Though FYI I did sell a minority stake in it last year to my business partners which added to my net worth already)
Something’s wonky as you just crossed 500K recently, oh wait compound awesome interest is really taking a hold on your portfolio. I always knew I like the word compound the first time I heard it. IT really is amazing to see almost 27% of the vanguard portfolio based of investment returns.
Sitting at $634,000. Trailing by $9K. Thanks for keeping us on our toes and trying to keep up with you.
Haha…. keep going! I’ll pop open a beer on your behalf once you cross us! :)
Wow nice update. I am new here but I like that you keep the updates going. It motivates me to keep my goal of a million by 45 on track. What sorts of assets do you have in place that enable you to add to your net worth?
One million by 45 – great goal!
Assets – almost all of my money is invested in index funds which keep growing and being re-invested in itself (as well as as yearly contributions by me maxing out my IRAs every year).
At some point we’ll prob diversify some more, but right now I’m enjoying the simplicity :)
May was definitely good to me. I’m closing in on down $10K in the negative net worth arena. This is happening while I also spent money on a decent bed to alleviate some of my pain.
You’ve definitely inspired me. Hopefully I can destroy the debt and get this snowball really rolling. I’m down to one card with debt on it when I had 3 such cards two months ago. Progress!
Nice ZJ!!!! Imagine all that money you’re using to pay off debt going right to savings/investing?? You’re so close! :)
Working through the inheritance still. Everything is slowly falling into place, no idea at the moment what my networth currently is.