Net Worth Update: $840,243.99 (+$37,000)

Happy Net Worth Day!

As I was updating our numbers this month, it dawned on me that I have now tracked my net worth every single month for 10 years straight now. TEN YEARS!!! That’s 120 net worth reports in a row – crazy!

And in fact, a week from today is actually this blog’s 10 year anniversary too, which is a whole other win for someone who could barely hold down a job for 10 months no less 10 years, haha…

We’ll get to all that next week, but today we celebrate our *Net Worth Anniversary* by going back in time and pulling out the very first report we ever published!

Back when I was a nubile 28 year old with no kids, no wife (I was engaged), no responsibilities outside of our too-big-for-us mortgage, and when I was pretty much doing the bare minimum at my 9-5 while doing the absolute maximum out at the bar scene ;)

Here’s what past J$’s finances looked like a decade ago:

net worth - jan, 2008

Not too bad, all things considering? Some hefty debts there with the car loan and credit card, but at least there’s some investments that help make up for it! Haha… And I see some pretty creative tracking there as well with the “condo investment” listing (i.e. a loan I gave my brother where I apparently tracked the payments back to me vs just putting them back into savings?) as well as the calculating of “home equity” instead of just listing out the home’s value in one section and the mortgages in the other. (Which I later corrected to better give me a fuller picture of things)

Here’s a clip from that first report too… When my mission was to hit that elusive $100,000 – the hardest milestone of all!

401k: My favorite category of all time :) What’s not to love about company matches, direct deposits, and tax benefits? If all goes as planned, this will be my 3rd year of maxing out my 401k! I have been more than blessed w/ generous company matches, so it would be absolutely asinine not to participate. I expect this category to go up at least $2,375 each month, markets willing.

And it would have been ass-inine of me to not participate in that retirement plan as they were matching 100% of contributions up to the legal limit of $15,500 – all fully vested from day 1! Which meant putting in $15,500 myself, and getting a free $15,500 in return – just like that (!!!). You’ll notice the cash losses at the top of that chart there which were due to me jacking up my contributions to like 90% and living off of less than $100 a pay period until I fully capped out, haha… Who in their right mind *wouldn’t* go after all that free money??

(Answer: 95% of my colleagues, womp womp… No one understood just how insane it was, and by the time they did our company was on the path to imploding and people were scrambling to find new jobs…  (Long-time readers might remember the ordeals back then, from paychecks not clearing to some of us eventually taking our employer to court – all of which I do not miss one bit, ugh… (though I do miss those sweet matches which are non-existent in self-employment! ;) ))

Ten years later we’re still maxing out our retirement accounts too! It’s been the backbone of our entire net worth all these years, and even if that was ALL we ever did we’d still be sitting pretty… That compounding adds up!

But alright, out from the past now and back into reality… Time flies when you’re nerding out!

January’s Net Worth Breakdown:

[As always, these reports are shared to better start discussions around money, and to showcase a *real life* financial snapshot which is so often hidden in this world of ours. It’s the #1 thing that drew ME to money blogs all those years ago, so it’s something I’ve committed to doing myself to further keep the motivation and love of tracking going… So without further adieu, welcome to net worth report #121!]

CASH SAVINGS (+$810.63): Woo – it’s up and not down! Which is a big win, considering it’s one of the only areas you actually have control over when you’re so invested in the stock market, haha… And thank goodness this report only covers January, as Friday was a WHOPPER of a market crash – wow! I haven’t seen numbers like that since the 2008 era – remember pages like these??

market meldown clipping - 2008

SPAVINGS FUND! (+$61.85): Another month, another socking away of spavings! I.e.  “spending savings” where you have to actually spend money in order to save money, haha… Here’s a list of some of my spavings from throughout the month, plus some random money I threw in like found change on the ground or gift cards that I used, thereby saving me from having to spend the money:

  • $1.00 Panera rewards
  • $30.15 USAA dividends
  • $3.00 Starbucks free coffee (a perk of being a regular!)
  • $1.00 Panera rewards (a regular, who cheats on ’em w/ Panera ;))
  • $1.70 – bagel made at home instead of usual purchase @ Panera

(The rest of the list literally involves nothing but coffee or bagel-related items, so I’ll spare you from the boredom, haha… And while I initially thought I’d be applying all this money towards an IRA, I’m actually considering using it for something more fun/experimenty like with bitcoin or something? Since it’s all “free” money and I wouldn’t feel as bad losing if it came to that??)

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$1,098.33): Another great bump here, this time courtesy of Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy! Her ol’ retirement contributions and matches are piling up, and though her job is not nearly as secure as it once was w/ all the administration changes, we’ve made it another month and will continue being thankful for each future one granted to us as well… She loves her job, but it’s getting shakier by the day.

ROTH IRAs (+$8,046.57): A nice bump here too, all due to the markets… And again before the major crash on Friday. Thankfully none of it really matters if you’re not touching the money for decades, but for those soon retiring or cashing out it can most definitely sting :( We’ll have to see if this is finally the start of a downturn, or if it’s yet another finicky one-off that we’re so accustomed to seeing.

SEP IRA (+$27,922.77): Same goes with this bad boy too – nothing new added, and is fully dependent on the market! It’ll soon be time for our yearly maxing out though, which will help us reallocate some of those cash reserves we’ve piled up from the sale

Here’s how our investments have fared since moving everything over to Vanguard (we’re fully in VTSAX – my favorite “lazy” portfolio of choice!):

vanguard returns

CAR VALUES (-$646.00): Another usual dip, as tracked through Kelly Blue Book ( Here are the present values of our two cars, which may or may not change come baby #3 ;)

  • Lexus RX350: $9,801.00
  • Toyota Corolla: $3,130.00

CAR LOAN: (+$0.00): I know this doesn’t belong here anymore now that we fully paid it off (woo!) but I can’t help staring at it so I’m leaving it in for one last month before taking it down, haha… It’s the little things in life!

And that’s January!

Here’s how the past 12 months have gone for a more broader picture:

net worth - 12 months

And here’s how our kids’ net worths are faring… Mainly just some changes in market prices:

baby net worths

Now a *LIFE* update!

A lot of you liked this part from last month where we balance out all the $$$ talk with more of the stuff that actually matters (i.e. living!), so we’ll go another round here and see how it goes :)

Baby news: Super healthy and growing!! We had a scare last week and had to head over to the hospital for 24 hours to be monitored, but fortunately the problem was mommy-related and not baby-related, although of course it still sucked for the mommy, haha…. (she’s all better now though!)

More baby news: it comes out in THREE MONTHS – ACK!!!! I’m ready but also NOT ready at all, haha… it’s always been so far away and now he/she is almost here!

Speaking of he/she news: I finally caved and found out what “it” is :) My wife did not enjoy the fact she had to keep hiding it anymore, so in an attempt to be a good husband I welcomed the news and now the cat is out of the bag… Though I’m thinking I may just put it *back into the bag* as far as this blog here goes, and try to milk the fun secret even longer, haha… You guys wouldn’t hate me too much for not spilling the beans, right?

In Time/Work news: I’m officially used to my new schedule now since selling Rockstar, and it’s loaded with about 80% of awesomeness and 20% of unease, wondering how best to use my free time :) I thought I’d be able to just “be” and relax for a third of the work day, but I keep catching myself getting antsy whenever I’m not doing something productive, so it seems I still have a ways to go on that whole work/life balance front (probably due to years of over-hustling!). Of course, the whole problem goes away in three months when the baby boy girl (ack – almost slipped on that one) comes out, so for now I should probably just keep my mouth shut and try to appreciate it as much as I can… I will say I’m loving hitting inbox zero every day now instead of every year, so that’s something! I also created an “art center” for my kids in the middle of the work day when I was tired of seeing their supplies scattered in 13 different places, so I am finding ways to cope :)

Book deal – I’ve also been contacted a couple of times this month for a book deal! I’m not quite sure I’m ready to take on *that* level of project as yet, but it is always fun to think about… I might be reaching out to some of y’all later if I decide to move forward in hopes of getting connected to a good agent out there, but for now it’s sitting on the “make sure you REALLY want to do this!” pile before taking any next moves, haha… I want to stay productive, but that’s a whole other beast!

The updating of… I’ve also been spending more time updating and creating some new pages on my resume site to finally get everything into one main spot, not unlike my kids’ art supplies. I now have an updated press page, a projects page, a failures page which y’all are already familiar with, and then lastly an updated consulting page as I’m starting to pick up more of that stuff too. It’s amazing how you can condense a decade worth of work into just a handful of bullet points! It’s a fun exercise to try if you’ve never done it before :)

A charity idea? Lastly, I’m batting around a pretty wild philanthropy idea that I think can be SUPER helpful for a best friend of mine, but I’m anxious to put it into action because it’s a much longer (and crazier) play than I’m used to… But it IS fun and CAN do some loads of good for him, so maybe I just pull the trigger and put it out there to the world? Where I’ll either be laughed out of the room, or called a super genius? Haha…

And that’s a wrap! Money + LIFE… Two of the best things!

Let us know what’s good in your life lately, and of course if you have any questions whatsoever with these updates, just pass them on over as you know I’m an open book.

I don’t have the answers to everything, but I DO know that tracking your money is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself, and I’m so glad I started those fateful years ago…  If you’re new to the site or $$$ management in general, I’ve listed a few of my favorite tools for tracking net worth below.

Here’s to a great new month, and making each day count!

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. Lily @ The Frugal Gene February 5, 2018 at 6:03 AM

    Great month J$! Did we get a lotto pool going for the gender of the baby going? More than a few PF bloggers with new baby news this month. Heaven must be holding a big sale :)

    We took our net worth screenshot before the market drop too. Almost half tempted to recalculate but there’s no psychological benefit to that.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 7:15 AM

      Haha yeah – can’t track it TOO much or else you’ll drive yourself crazy :) Once a month is more than enough for me.

  2. Ms99to1percent February 5, 2018 at 6:28 AM

    Looks like by the time Baby Dime is here, you might be a millionaire! Great work, congratulations!!!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 7:17 AM

      Haha… just in time for him/her to take it all away ;)

  3. Mrs. Kiwi February 5, 2018 at 6:39 AM

    Wow, ten years of tracking, that’s a big milestone! But major congrats on all the awesome life changes you’ve made. Good luck deciding on the charity idea, it’s always good to give back!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 7:15 AM

      Thanks! I’m 95% certain I’m going to go for it so you’ll probably be hearing about it soon :)

  4. Accidental FIRE February 5, 2018 at 6:43 AM

    Wow – from $58k to $840k!! That’s so awesome man and shows what hard work and discipline can do. Kudos!!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 7:16 AM

      Just trying to catch up to you! :)

  5. OMGF February 5, 2018 at 6:59 AM

    Thanks for letting me know the market is having some bad days. Got some plans for this tax refund and the market is on the list.
    Glad your wife and baby dime are well. Personally, I like being surprised and wanna find out when baby is born. Plus I’m really hoping you make Dime the kid’s government.
    Life is busy over here with the business. And Chicago is meting out cruel and unusual cold again. Oh, and I managed not to cry at This Is Us last night.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 7:16 AM

      HAH!!! That’s hard to do!! :)

  6. GTRetire February 5, 2018 at 7:42 AM

    Another great net worth update. You’re almost a millionaire. :))
    And by the way, thanks for the spreadsheets! Useful material!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:08 AM

      Glad they’re helping!

  7. Mike @ Balanced Dividends February 5, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    Congrats on the continued progress, J. Also glad everyhing is ok on the home front.

    As OMGF mentioned, Chi-town is a tease…warm weather in the 40s/50s for a day and then back down another 30-40 degrees. Yo-yo weather.

    Also, good to hear you’re able to enjoy some extra available time after the sale. As you mention, you’ll be busy enough in ~3 months, so keep the inbox zero’ing and art brokering in the works!

  8. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance February 5, 2018 at 7:54 AM

    Good news all around: for I’m the net worth to the baby and the potential book deal. A $200k increase in net worth sounds awesome!

    One hope you will accept the book deal because I look forward to seeing your book!!!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:10 AM

      Thanks, friend :) one day, perhaps!

  9. Leo T. Ly February 5, 2018 at 7:56 AM

    I remember the days during late 2008 and early 2009. I am still torned. On one hand, I would love to buy stocks on sale. On the other hand, it will mean that my portfolio will get a five or six figure hit as I am 100% invested in the stock market.

    Enjoy the time being a father of two. Once you turned to being father of three, you’ll have almost no free time at all.

  10. Budget on a Stick February 5, 2018 at 8:21 AM

    Awesome month and crazy awesome when you are able to look back 10 years! Glad the baby and wife are doing well. We just hit 8 months with the youngest…don’t think I can ever do this again (sooooo tired).

    I think I can speak for everyone when I say, “Can we have your book now plz?!”

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:13 AM

      Yeah, the sleep part is the worst – def. not looking forward to that!

  11. G February 5, 2018 at 8:42 AM

    My returns got up to almost 8% and then finished January about 6%. Now, it’s about 3% YTD. That’s still fantastic given that the historical yearly return is 6-7%. It would normally take about 6 months to do what the market has done in about 5 weeks.

    If you saw a market snapshot December 31 and then today, I think everyone would be pleased.

    I got up to $398,000 and was hoping for $400,000, nice round number, but as usually happens, my round number eluded me again. I finished about $394,000.

    And now I’m down to $391,000, so we’ll see what happens this month.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:13 AM

      let’s go for $500,000 by the end of the year :)

      1. G February 5, 2018 at 2:17 PM

        That’s the goal. My assumption is that I’ll finish at $499,950, and be questioning how many hamburgers I could have cut out of my diet to make up that $50.

        1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:35 AM

          haha… that would be a good problem to have, though!

  12. Rocky February 5, 2018 at 8:53 AM

    Not a bad way to start the year! I look forward to February’s update as the sky is starting to fall according to every financial writer on the major media pages haha.

    I know you love the TSP and what it’s done for you thus far but if your wife leaves government employment would you keep it or roll it over? I’m preparing to roll mine over now after leaving it alone for a few years and just wondered what your outlook is.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:15 AM

      Oh yeah – we’d roll it over for sure. Not really based on the funds or anything, but more so just so we have more control over it and to keep our $$$ nice and condensed (it would just go into a new Vanguard account). So I’d be right there inline with you :)

  13. Bernz JP February 5, 2018 at 9:03 AM

    Congrats on your blogs 10 year anniversary. You’re getting so close to that millionaire status. May I ask how long MrsBudgetsRsexy been working for the government? I noticed that her TSP has the highest positive percentage change. Not sure if she’s contributing the max amount allowed. When I was working for the government, I started with 3% and after one year I went all out and were maxing it out.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 9:22 AM

      Nice!! She’s only putting in 5% for now, and has been there for a little over a year which is why the %’s are so high (it jumps “a lot” because there’s not a lot in there :)). If we get past this current scare of job security we might start jacking it up more, but for now just doing the bare minimum to soak up all the matching rewards and using her paycheck to cover a portion of our overall bills. We do max out the FSA dependent care stuff though which saves us $$$ on daycare – it’s awesome!

  14. Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom February 5, 2018 at 9:11 AM

    I am SO encouraged by how far you have come in 10 years! It really goes to show that little by little, every contribution really does add up! In the future, I can’t wait to see where we are even in just two or three years. We have only looked at our net worth starting this year. If only the market continues to be nice to us all…

  15. fin$avvy panda @ February 5, 2018 at 9:27 AM

    Lol to your “And thank goodness this report only covers January, as Friday was a WHOPPER of a market crash.”

    I had the exact same thought when I was updating my numbers! I even planned on using numbers on feb 1st but thought it wouldn’t be accurate. Well, time for me to update mine too!!

    And about your hospital trip, I’m glad to hear everything is all good :)

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 10:40 AM

      Thanks!! hope your $$ is going well too! :)

  16. Jody February 5, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    Is the fancy green Investment Returns Since Inception a graphic you put together or is that something on the Vanguard site I haven’t yet discovered?

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 1:53 PM

      It’s a Vanguard thing! Look for the tab “Performance summary” the next time you’re logged in, which is right next to “Balance overview” and “Recent Activity” – it’s an awesome area :)

  17. Joe February 5, 2018 at 11:34 AM

    Everything is rolling right along. It’s amazing how far you’ve come in 10 years. Congrats! You should get on the #HowWeChanged program at They are looking back over 10 years.
    I wouldn’t take on too much. The baby will make life extremely busy for you guys.

  18. Mr. Tako February 5, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Congrats on the steady march to $1m there J$. You’re making steady progress!

    Pretty soon you’ll join the millionaire club, and then it’s multi-millionaire club after that!

  19. Andy February 5, 2018 at 12:38 PM

    Congrats! You’re almost there. Ignore the market noise and stay the course through thick and thin. Your new kid will sway your attention away from the noise anyway. :)

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 1:53 PM

      This is definitely true!

  20. Megan February 5, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    First, please look up the definition of the word “nubile”. I think you may find that it does not really apply to you. ;-)

    Second, congrats on your 10-year anniversary!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2018 at 1:54 PM

      What?? I’m not a a girl who has reached sexually maturity??? oh man….

  21. Izy Berry February 5, 2018 at 1:25 PM

    401K. This is amazing. Congrats!

  22. Fully Franked Finance February 5, 2018 at 2:12 PM

    Wow – how did that happen? 10 years?? Congrats on keeping up the momentum over this time. I first started checking out your blog a few years ago, can’t believe how that time has flown!

    Nice little rocket on your net worth for the past few months – amazing how having a bigger base makes your net worth grow even quicker.

    And great to hear your baby (girl??) is growing healthy and strong – is anyone ever really 100% ready for a baby, regardless of how many times you’ve done it before? Exciting times!!



    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:36 AM

      Haha probably not, good call :) Awesome you’ve been reading the blog for a few years too – didn’t know that! Hope your blog/$$$ is going well too!

  23. Sean @ Frugal Money Man February 5, 2018 at 2:41 PM

    That 401k match is KILLER!

    Congrats on getting with a company that truly values their employees financial future! I would also agree on another thing…

    It seems your Net Worth may have increased “a little” since 10 years ago;)

    Good stuff man

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:44 AM

      It was a great company, and perk, while it lasted :)

  24. JoeHx February 5, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Yay for baby! I have a baby due early / mid April. Excited, but the finances + diapers make me nervous!

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:46 AM

      Very cool!! Congrats man! I’ll now have someone to talk to in the middle of the nights :)

  25. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life February 5, 2018 at 5:25 PM

    It’s funny, we all seem to be hitting a ten year milestone for something or another this year/month! (me:, Joe Udo:

    I particularly like that our overall net worth growth has been absolutely solid over this time, may it stay that way!

    So glad that mama and baby are safe – I’m so excited for you that it’s just three months away. You’ll be glad of that 20% free time ;) Are you going to take some official time off?

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:52 AM

      Thanks friend! Going over two read those two articles next :) Yeah I’ll stop writing for a couple of weeks and just load up some guest posts while we’re welcoming him/her home, but you know how it is – will have to check in for at least a little each day to make sure the internet hasn’t exploded ;) I’ll be a LOT less stressed about it this time around though compared to past times as I’ve only got one main site to monitor now – woo!

      1. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life February 6, 2018 at 1:36 PM

        We’ll text you if it explodes ;) And yay! Perfect timing with the sale and the baby coming and all that so you can really enjoy this one.

  26. Scott February 5, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    Its gonna be tough sticking to Ben Franklin’s schedule once the new baby arrives!

    Your net worth tracking inspired me years ago, and I have done it monthly ever since. It really does keep you focused.

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 6:57 AM

      Very nice! So glad you got into the rhythm of it man – that’s great :)

      And oh yeah – that B. Franklin schedule will be taking a nice break for a few weeks there, haha…. Old’ Benny didn’t do much with his own kids/raising from what I hear, so it def. calls for some adapting ;)

  27. Ms ZiYou February 5, 2018 at 5:53 PM

    You’ve made fabulous progress over the years. And your tables has only changed minimally!

    Tracking for 10 years is epic, I hope to get there one day, only 5 more years to go!

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 7:01 AM

      hey – 5 years is pretty dope too, you’re definitely on your way!

  28. GYM February 5, 2018 at 9:06 PM

    Congrats on 10 years of net worth updates. You’ve come a long way in 10 years!!

    That’s cool you found out if baby dime is a boy or girl- so exciting, glad mama and baby are ok and best wishes for the delivery!!

  29. Kris G February 5, 2018 at 9:13 PM

    I can’t wait to hear what you are having! I’m betting boy…. My husband and I left it for a surprise for our first child, then when we found out baby number 2 was actually 2 and 3, I insisted on finding out before . I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the house for a while when they arrived and needed to be ready!

    1. J. Money February 6, 2018 at 7:02 AM

      woahhhh, twins??? you are a strong and brave woman! Haha…

  30. Chris @ Duke of Dollars February 5, 2018 at 11:01 PM

    10 years man how freaking incredible is that! It goes to show just how starting to track something can turn it around – keep it up!!!

  31. Prudence Debtfree February 6, 2018 at 1:12 PM

    I didn’t know that you were expecting baby #3! Congratulations!! I have heard that when the first two are the same sex, the chances of the third one being that sex as well are 80%. (We supported that stat by having 3 girls.) So I’m going to guess you’re having another boy:)
    You’re getting might close to a million bucks! That has got to be an exciting thought. I suspect you’ll reach that milestone sooner than you think.

    1. J. Money February 7, 2018 at 6:29 AM

      I’ve heard that stat a lot too! And my wife’s family also proves that as she’s one of 7 girls (and only 1 boy – hah!). Hard to complain though when God blesses you with so many beautiful babies :)

  32. Kris February 6, 2018 at 2:53 PM

    Great job J$, getting closer to that the million dollar mark, woo-hoo!!! Glad to hear everything is going well with baby #3. Get ready for another round of sleepless nights my man!!

    1. J. Money February 7, 2018 at 6:30 AM

      Ugh, I know – that’s the only bad part of it all! I am gearing up for a lot of Ted Talk and podcast listening though haha… It was the only way I kept sane w/ my last one who took OVER A YEAR to finally sleep through the night! I was getting all kinds of smart with each 2 am walk around :)

  33. J at Their Money Goals February 7, 2018 at 8:01 AM

    So proud of you, J! I’ve been following you for a long time, and you’ve come so far. I can’t wait to see you hit $1m. You’ve been an inspiration to me and are one of the reasons I started my blog.

    I’m glad to hear that Mrs. Budgets Are Sexy and Baby Dime are okay. Looking forward to learning whether Baby Dime is a girl or boy. You can spill the beans. We won’t tell anyone. :)

    I vote yes on the book deal. A book on the ins and outs of money from J. Money would be EPIC.

    Keep being awesome, my friend. I wish you much continued success!

    1. J. Money February 7, 2018 at 3:20 PM

      Hey, thanks for the love!!! Cool you’ve gone and started your own blog – I hope you really enjoy doing it and it helps speed up your $$$ as well! Laying it all out there for the world to see def. helped me pay attention to my $$ more haha…

      going over now to check it out – thx for dropping by!

      1. J at Their Money Goals February 8, 2018 at 5:48 AM

        Thanks for the support! I’d love to know what you think (especially if I’m doing something completely wrong haha).

        1. J. Money February 8, 2018 at 1:01 PM

          I don’t think you can every do anything too wrong in blogging – there are no rules! Unless you’re not having fun – then you’re doing something wrong ;) But I remember loving how clean and minimalist it looked when I popped on over there, as well as the sharing of your real life #s – so def. keep that up! People love it, obviously! Think about sharing raw stories and tips/fails too from over the years outside of the debt stuff – the more you can push yourself the better chance of people sticking around and sharing :)

          1. J at Their Money Goals February 8, 2018 at 10:10 PM

            Thanks for the tips, J! I appreciate you checking it out.

  34. Leslie February 7, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    How do you find out the equity of your house on a monthly basis? I have a home and I know what it was worth when I bought it, but don’t know how to find out the change. Thank you for sharing your info! It’s very motivating!

    1. J. Money February 7, 2018 at 3:26 PM

      Excellent question! The answer is that you really never know until the day you go to sell it, however depending on how conservative or not you are you can estimate it a number of ways: by using sites like (I never liked it as it over-valued mine all the time, but i know people use it),, taking an average of both, asking a realtor to price it every now and then (that’s what we did – we asked our realtor once a year and then updated it then – and when we went to sell it it was only $1,000 off!!), or just using what you paid for it as a baseline and *not* updating the value over time. But of course every month you pay your mortgage the equity will grow due to the principal payments – so you still win in that case :)

      Lots of ways to track it, but those are the most common I’ve seen over the years. Hope it helps!

      1. Leslie February 7, 2018 at 3:59 PM

        Thank you! You removed tracking your house or you sold your house and don’t have one to track? It should be part of my net worth? Or do I just put my equity there instead of the home value?

        1. J. Money February 7, 2018 at 4:26 PM

          Sold our house and went back to renting :) (and loving it!)

          Some people don’t believe it should go into your net worth, but most people do – including myself – and so in that case you’d list the *value* of your house in the assets column, and then the *mortgages* on the house in the liabilities column. Doing that effectively gives you your “equity”, only you’ll be able to better see the two sides of the equation.

  35. Bryan February 9, 2018 at 7:28 AM


    I would be lying if I didn’t say this little market dip has me a bit anxious. Being 100% invested in VFIAX makes me thinking of switching to VSMGX (60/40). It’s disheartening to see a year’s worth of gains evaporate. That being said, I’m still going to stick with it. I may just switch to VTSAX when the market gets back up. I’m noticing VFIAX makes about .10% better gains but also .10% sharper declines than VTSAX. However, VTSAX edges out slightly better over the long term (10+ years.) Yet both John Bogle and WB like the 500. Anywho, thanks for listening and thanks for the awesome blog that has helped me change my relationship with $.


    1. J. Money February 9, 2018 at 7:03 PM

      I’m glad that your $$$ relationship is better :) And you’re not alone in feeling anxious with this stuff – we all freak out at times! Just matters *what you do* about it, and even more so what you *don’t do* haha… But we all have our own strategies, and really you can’t go wrong w/ either of those funds you have listed in my opinion. Just keep adding to it!

  36. Dividend Driven February 10, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    Congrats on your net worth. I think this month though we might see a slight decrease in our net worth with this market volatility. Good thing we are long term investors. :-)

  37. ZJ Thorne February 13, 2018 at 12:26 PM

    I love seeing the difference that 10 years can make! Glad to hear that your wife and baby are still doing ok. I hope you’ve gotten better at just being. It seems to be a lifelong journey away from “needing” to be productive all the time.