Net Worth Update: $709,372.08 (+$21,000)

Heyo! That time again to check in with your money and see where you’re standing! AKA the best time of the month – NET WORTH DAY! Who’s with me?? :)

We personally hit a brand new milestone over here crossing into the $700’s for the first time, but what’s even more exciting if I’m being completely honest, is the rapid growth of our new Spavings Account! Haha… I haven’t done jack to make the stock market rise as it’s been doing every crazy month, but I have been working hard paying attention to all those spavings up in here! They’re beautiful! :)

(Okay, it wasn’t that hard keeping track of it all, but still – it’s shiny and new! Ooh look, a squirrel!)

Here’s a current snapshot of our account:

spavings account nov 17

If you recall, last month I was inspired by The Lady in Black to start keeping track of all these “savings” you get in life that really aren’t savings, but more so “spavings” (a mixture of “saving” and “spending” i.e. fake savings! Like when you save money by spending money!), and in an attempt to try and see how much I can save over the months, I’ve decided to physically bank it in hopes of maxing out a Roth IRA.

After the first two weeks I saved $35.68, and over the past two’ish weeks I’ve amassed another $92.68! Which is either good or bad depending on how you look at it, haha… (but let’s go with good, okay? It’s much more fun that way ;))

Unfortunately at this rate it looks like it’ll take 43 months to pull off a maxed IRA ($5,500), so I’ll probably start throwing in other “free money” I come across as well to help speed up the process here – similar to what we did with my old Challenge Everything experiment where we tacked on found money on the street, random bonuses/cash back checks, birthday and Christmas money (sorry Mom!), etc.

So huzzah to both Spavings and Net Worthing! But let’s get back to the meat and potatoes here…

November’s Net Worth Break Down

[This marks net worth update #109 for us, which we’ve continually shared since Feb of 2008. It does get a little weird the higher our money gets here, but seeing someone else’s money so transparently was what got ME to start paying attention to my own finances 10 years ago (and in fact is the reason this blog exists!) so I continue to share these in hopes they have the same motivational effects on YOU. Just click away if they annoy you!]

CASH SAVINGS (+$1,930.78): A nice comeback from last month when we LOST $2,000! So really they just end up canceling each other out :) Next month’s report will be much juicier if a pending deal goes through, but until then mums the word. (Or ‘moms’ the word? Who’s hiding the word?)

*NEW* SPAVINGS FUND! (+$128.36): My favorite part of the month, as we’ve since discovered! Technically this should be folded under “Cash Savings” above, but again I’m just so excited about this that I wanted to separate it out so I can easily keep track and be motivated each month… Not unlike why we’re keeping this $$$ in a *separate bank account* too – so it doesn’t lose its charm and get intermingled with everything else going on! It helps to track some of this stuff separately so you can appreciate it more :)

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$652.05): This is my 2nd favorite section, now bumped from the #1 slot it previously held before Spavings kicked it out. And it all stems from my wife’s new’ish job she took last year when going back into the workforce again and helping us become DIKS! Dual Income, Kids :) Her paycheck helps cover the ridiculous costs of living in the DC area here, but it’s her TSP investments that really turns me on. Free matching of contributions and great funds to choose from – a win/win! TSPs are similar to 401(k)s btw, only for government employees.

ROTH IRAs (+$3,800.36): A nice jump here too, although again nothing to do with me as we haven’t contributed anything lately… I’m not gonna say what I always say here even though I’m tempted (mmmmarrrkeettt crassssshhhh commmingggg – damnit!) but let’s just say we all better be prepared :)

SEP IRA (+$14,245.47): Same with this hunk a meat too. Nothing new added and just riding along the market… (we’ll be doing a major investment here soon though once our taxes are finalized for the year as it all ties into how much I’m legally able to contribute to my SEP. Another similar tool to 401(k)s btw, only for those who are self-employed and which don’t come with any free matches, womp womp.)

Here’s a snapshot of all our money with Vanguard since marrying them a few years back (we’re fully invested into VTSAX):

vanguard returns

CAR VALUES (-$68.00): Nothing much exciting going on here either. Just the cars doing what they do naturally – depreciating! Here’s a look at what both our cars are currently worth per KBB (haven’t had the energy to look into minivans yet – we still have time before Babygeddon, right?? RIGHT??)

  • Lexus RX350: $11,447.00
  • Toyota Corolla: $3,707.00

CAR LOAN: (-$472.76): This side of the coin IS rather exciting! $400+ chipped away every month we go here, and if all goes well with what’s up my sleeves this will be all wiped away by next month! And if not, because you know – I just totally jinxed everything here – we’ll just keep going as-is as I’m perfectly fine holding onto debt that we can pay off at any given point in time. Even though I hear you debt-haters snickering over there! ;)

And that’s it for November! A Spavings/Net Worth milestone!

Here’s a broader look at how the past 12 months have transpired as well:

net worth past 12 months

And then here’s the kids’ net worths which shant be left out either. Soon to be THREE reports – ack!

kids net worth 11-17

Hope your month went exceptionally well too! We’ll return next month with net worth report #110, but as always the takeaway here is quite clear: invest as much as you can now, and then be as lazy as possible and let TIME do its thing from there. There really is no magic to it!

As always, you can find the full list of my net worth updates here, and then of course we’re still tracking over 400 other $$$ bloggers’ worths over at Rockstar Finance as well: Blogger Net Worth Tracker. I’m currently #110 on the list, dropping down two slots since last month.

Here’s to a fiscally fruitful December!

j. money signature

PS: Winners of the $500 Christmas Stimulus will be announced on Friday!

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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. Accidental Fire December 6, 2017 at 5:35 AM

    Congrats man, it must be thrilling seeing that number 7 pop up as the first digit! And as a fellow DC area resident, your comment about it being ridiculous as far as cost of living is an understatement. The other night I went out for a group run sponsored by one of the local breweries to just have a good time with some people and get some running miles in. The beer I had afterwards, which was kind of mandatory since it was sponsored by the brewery, was $8.00. Was it good? Yeah…. but I left feeling like a failure of a personal finance blogger!

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 6:48 AM

      Not a failure at all! That $8 there hits three main categories of a budget for a triple win: Food, entertainment, networking (business? :)). I’ve cut out a lot of nonsense over the years, but the one thing that’s always remained is not feeling bad for spending to hang out with friends… It’s not optimal, but I could come up with a list of 78 things that are worse and at the end of the day $8 is tiny in the grand scheme of things. It’s when you get drunk and start spending $80 on drinks when it causes concerns! ;)

      1. Accidental Fire December 6, 2017 at 8:40 PM

        Great way of looking at it, thx for the perspective.
        And back in my twenties, spending $80 on drinks was actually a lighter night. Thankfully those days are gone!

        1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 6:26 PM

          Haha same here!

  2. Ms99to1percent December 6, 2017 at 6:28 AM

    Congratulations for hitting the 700’s. Soon enough you will hit the million.

    That graph nicely showcases how your Networth has really taken off in the past couple years. Keep up the good work!

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 6:53 AM

      The crazy part is that I haven’t changed much over the years either – most of it is just maxing out my retirement accounts every year and letting the markets do the rest :)

  3. Mrs. Adventure Rich December 6, 2017 at 6:31 AM

    What a month! With the market going absolute BANANAS, we saw a decent bump in our Net Worth despite some higher cost items in November. Thanks for the motivation to keep tracking!

  4. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance December 6, 2017 at 6:50 AM

    Skyrocketing equities are a beautiful beautiful thing. May they continue for ever and ever. Maybe in a couple of months you, me and the rest of your readers will all be millionaires!!! I can always dream right?

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 6:55 AM

      Haha… I won’t be excited until after it comes back from the impending crash :) Although I’ll admit it *would* be cool to reach millionaire status before hand so you can always say you were a millionaire even if just once!

  5. Mustard Seed Money December 6, 2017 at 7:09 AM

    You are absolutely crushing it. Quite the increase for the year plus having a third child for 2018. You are blessed :)

    My wife and I saw our net worth increase by 30% this year and hopefully it can continue to increase this last month. I’m hoping for a 33% increase. It also helped that we saved nearly 65% of our take home pay and maxed out our 401k and IRA to get the 30% increase

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      Hell yeah it does!! haha… my savings rate is all kinds of jacked ever since having kids. The only thing that saves me is all the investments compounding :)

  6. PaulM December 6, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    I’m with you and just waiting for the crash to come. Of course these things never seem to come as planned but I wish it would happen already and we can assess the damage and move on from there. One thing I’m afraid of is that the longer this rally continues the longer the downdraft may take and with time being the most important commodity, it would really be a bummer when the bear market comes, it hangs around for awhile.

    I’m just holding the course because when I try to time the market I inevitably get burned. I learned that lesson the hard way. Congrats on reaching that 7 handle!

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:27 AM

      Haha yup! I’m done with trying to time anything myself too…

  7. Amy @ Life Zemplified December 6, 2017 at 7:33 AM

    Looking good J! Over $100k increase in 12 months is awesome. I hope your pending deal goes through so your next report is even better. And of course, we’ll want all the juicy details. ;)

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:28 AM

      Believe me – it’ll be hitting the interwebs :)

  8. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance December 6, 2017 at 7:48 AM

    Congrats on a great month! Looks like it’s one step closer to the millionaire status!

  9. Apathy Ends December 6, 2017 at 7:57 AM

    I am one of those people that find motivation in watching these Net Worth updates – 21k in a month is amazing, especially when you aren’t contributing to some of the accounts that blew up.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:30 AM

      Oh good, thanks for telling me so! I get comments from time to time from people who think I’m showboating, so always trying to be cognizant of how it comes across and do my best to keep things genuine and transparent without being an a-hole :)

  10. Budget on a Stick December 6, 2017 at 8:06 AM

    Wow! You just keep chugging soon you will be a 3/4 of a millionaire! ;)

    We are wondering when the next crash is coming but just keep plugging money (automatically) in to keep ourselves from doing something stupid.

  11. Leo T. Ly December 6, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    It’s great to see your money grow to new heights and let the market do all the work. I have been reading your recent net worth reviews and I was wondering if you set any net worth goals to achieve on an annual basis?

    It seems like $100k increase on an annual basis is quite achievable. Then again, when baby number three arrives, every time hing can go out the window.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:33 AM

      Nope – I suck with planning/goal setting and the only thing I force myself to do every year is just max out my retirement accounts (Sep & Roth). As long as I do those two things I know I’ll be fine forever, so anything extra that happens from there is just gravy :) (And honestly since kids cash flow has been a much harder area for me than in the past, so there’s typically nothing extra being applied)

      1. Margin of Saving December 10, 2017 at 10:49 PM

        I’m on 3 right now and I haven’t noticed a big increase in spend. Put them in hand-me-down clothes and you’re done. It’s the lessons when it gets really expensive. Or (I’m not there yet) when they all start asking for iPads and other expensive gadgets. But by then you can make them write articles or proofread!

        1. J. Money December 11, 2017 at 5:50 AM

          Haha… Damn good idea right there ;)

  12. Mrs. Kiwi @ December 6, 2017 at 8:14 AM

    Net worth update #109, wow, that’s dedication. And yay for the new category: spavings! Slow and steady! Congrats on the growth.

  13. G December 6, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    I’m up to $373,00. I was hoping to hit $375,000, as it’s a nice round number, but didn’t happen.

    I wanted buy something on Black Friday, so I bought $2,500 of ETFs. Good for the long term, but bad for now because that’s right when the market started going down.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:35 AM

      HAH – love that!!

      We’ll see your $375,000 next month I bet :)

  14. Paul December 6, 2017 at 8:28 AM

    Into the 700s, Wooooooooo. I’m calling $1M no later than the end of 2019. Unless of course there is a crash, then probably $500K for a while then once the corner turns again $2M!!!!!

    I love these posts because they force me to evaluate myself every month too. Almost hit my year end goal of $200K cumulative in my 401k and IRAs. if only I had the padding to flop the remaining 4800 into my Roth I’d be at $201k before the year’s end… Usually I do that before April. However, as of January I set up an auto deposit since I always find it hard to meet my Roth max (due to procrastination).

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      Good job on automating that – I keep telling myself I’m going to but never do :( Always afraid I won’t have the money or something crazy will happen so I tend to do it all in one fell swoop every April… I really need to change that.

  15. Single Income Life December 6, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Congrats on another killer month! I’m so grateful that you continue to post these NW updates every month. Your blog prompted me to start tracking ours every month (thanks for the template!) and we’ve been steadily increasing since.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:39 AM

      OH GOOD!!!! Love to hear this!

  16. Franklin Bach December 6, 2017 at 8:34 AM

    Awesome figures!. I’m really looking forward to your year-end NWU and the percent growth over 2016. Based on this years trend, all boats are rising for the loyal readers.

  17. Joe December 6, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    That net worth slope is awesome. It’s pretty amazing how it kept going up this year. Nice job!
    I spaved $5,680 with travel hacking alone this year. I just calculated it.
    The good thing is that I recently contributed $5,000 to my i401k. That’s not too shabby for spaving.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      You’re a Spavings Pro :)

  18. Lily @ The Frugal Gene December 6, 2017 at 9:06 AM

    Wahoo!!! Congrats J$!!!

    “$500K for a while then once the corner turns again $2M!!!!!”
    Aha I agree with Paul.

    We should get a life update with these – how’s the family? How’s the blessed and expecting wife doing?

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 9:45 AM

      oooh, I like that!!

      That would actually meet the whole “your net worth is not your self worth” mentality too – I’m making a note to remember for next month :)

      Wife is finally out of the nauseous stage with the pregnancy so feeling MUCH better now (and we can finally see a bump!), and then I’m hustling hard over here to try and free up as much time/work as possible so that when he/she pops out I’ll be ready to be a full-time stay at home daddy :) I’ve done a good job getting my nights and weekends out of the way now, so it’s all about tackling that 40+ hour work week haha… If i can get it down to 15-20 I’ll be set. (And halfway retired!)

      1. Lily @ The Frugal Gene December 7, 2017 at 12:53 PM

        Great to hear J! The flexibility of being a blogger paired with a stay at home parent role is a sweet set up!! I might just do the same some day if I’m lucky enough

  19. Dave @ Married with Money December 6, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Awesome progress! We’re close to 200 right now which will be good to feel that first digit change. Still have a long ways to go though haha

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 1:14 PM

      Have to hit $200k before you can get to $300k and $500k and $1,000,000 :)

  20. GYM December 6, 2017 at 11:26 AM

    Congrats into the 700’s!! Your millionaire net worth post is going to be epic!!! You’ll be in the millionaires club in no time.

    I love net worth voyeur posts (and I’m sure everyone secretly does because otherwise there wouldn’t be the rockstar finance directory!)

    I forgot, were you guys going to find out if baby is a boy or girl? ;)

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 1:17 PM

      My wife now knows what the sex is but I still do not :) Holding out to see how far I can go so it can be a surprise!

  21. Mike @ Balanced Dividends December 6, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Great progress. As you mentioned, it’s amazing how powerful staying the course (contributing to tax-sheltered accounts and others as needed) and then letting a well-diversified portfolio do the rest can be for your returns.

    VTSAX is a solid fund – a one stop shop for most investors. I recall in prior conversations you don’t have any international (i.e., non-US in VTSAX’s eyes) holdings / exposure – is this still the case?

    Regardless, the vast majority of the large-cap companies in VTSAX – despite being “US-only” – are multinational organizations with exposure to non-US markets.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 1:19 PM

      Yup yup – that’s exactly my thinking really regarding international (you’re correct we only have VTSAX). I might change to a 3-portfolio model later with some international and some bonds because it probably is smarter in the end, but right now I’m cool all-in w/ VTSAX…

  22. OMGG December 6, 2017 at 1:04 PM

    According to Kelly Blue Book my 2005 Pontiac G6 appreciated $700 last month. Color me skeptical.
    My goodness your investments are roaring and that SEP IRA is super lucrative. Thanks for sharing and being so transparent. I’m tryna be like you when I grow up.

    1. J. Money December 6, 2017 at 1:20 PM

      Hah! You have a blog so you can be just as transparent too! :)

      1. OMFG December 6, 2017 at 11:47 PM

        Duly noted and touché.

  23. Josh December 6, 2017 at 2:55 PM

    WOOT! WOOT! Congratulations on the roll over to a leading 7! That’s awesome. I was hoping to hit $150K by the end of the year, but it looks like I’ll be coming in at “only” ~$140K for the year. But with a start of about $100K last Dec., I’ll definitely still take a ~40% increase! :D

    Like you, I’m kind of just waiting for this inevitable crash to come so we can hurry up and get through with. There are a number of different indicators that say we’re at crazy valuations right now, but as I’ve also heard and read, bull markets don’t simply die of old age. There has to be some sort of catalyst. With the dot-com crash, people were investing in companies that weren’t profitable. And with the housing crisis, banks were knowingly lending mortgages to people that couldn’t pay them back. So you don’t have crashes just out of nowhere.

    All that being said, there are of course some things on the horizon that could be the catalyst. War with N. Korea of course being a big one. The impeachment of Trump being another. John Oliver has noted that similar practices as the housing crisis are now taking place with car loans. And of course we have loads of graduating students that are in debt up to their eye balls.
    ( . This ad still makes me laugh.)
    Or of course there could be some other black swan event that I’m not thinking about.

    Until then, let’s enjoy the Christmas rally that typically comes this time of year, and any further gains until such an event comes about, and just let the market do its thang. ;-)

    1. J. Money December 7, 2017 at 6:07 AM

      Aahhh yes, good point about needing a catalyst! And even better Debt Ad haha… One of my all-time favorites :)

  24. Done by Forty December 6, 2017 at 4:34 PM

    Nicely done! Crazy how the market has been helping so much this year but, I have a feeling that as the market giveth…

  25. ZJ Thorne December 6, 2017 at 10:06 PM

    Years in the game definitely looks great. I’m glad you keep doing this as folks on my end of the spectrum can be helped by the example of what it could look like later. Intriguing secrets being hinted at???

    1. J. Money December 7, 2017 at 6:07 AM

      Great! I’m glad it’s helping! :)

  26. Dividend Diplomats December 7, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    J –

    Congrats on that $700K breakthrough. Pumped for your funds to spit out quite a hefty dividend check this month for you – surely to add even more shares and future dividend income from the funds, just awesome. Also – anxious to read about the deal… I know you’ll keep us posted!


    1. J. Money December 8, 2017 at 6:29 PM

      You’re always so good at remembering those dividends! I never even notice them unless I happen to look at that part of the account, haha… I guess that’s why you’re a “dividend” blogger and I am not :)

  27. Kris December 7, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    Great job going over the 700K mark. Yeah the market has been going bonkers lately since my retirement accounts have been going up drastically which also means my net worth saw a spike. Makes you think when is this bubble going burst.

  28. Chris Pennington December 8, 2017 at 8:39 PM

    Congrats on $700k! We crossed the $150k mark on 11/30 which was one of our BHAGs for 2017.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. J. Money December 11, 2017 at 5:59 AM

      BOOM! Beautiful!

  29. Greenbacks Magnet December 9, 2017 at 6:08 PM

    Great post. I like how you show the monthly change and percentages. You inspire me to always keep going. I try to stay motivating by posting my own experiences on my blog at Congrats on a job well done with achieving your milestone.

    Greenbacks Magnet

    1. J. Money December 11, 2017 at 6:02 AM

      Glad you’re enjoying them!

      That % change was a more recent add over the years from another reader of this blog :) Never thought to do it until it was brought up but it really puts things in even more perspective!

  30. Will R December 26, 2017 at 7:08 PM

    Which company do you have your SEP-IRA with?

    1. J. Money December 27, 2017 at 7:09 AM

      Vanguard :)

      All my stocks/retirement accounts are with them. Super low fees and excellent customer service.