Net Worth Update: $447,240.46 [Up $7,000]

Now that I’m back in action from babyville, I suppose we should go over some numbers, eh? :)

You can probably guess what’s going on with it all this month, but in a nutshell we pulled money from our nice pot o’ cash and used it to max out my SEP IRA for the 2013 tax year. Which had been the plan for that allotted cash all year long (and especially when I found out we’d be getting $11,000 back from taxes!). So that was $16,034 from our cash savings off the bat.

Next, we maxed out my Roth IRA which took another $5,500 from the pot. I had been going back and forth on this for a while, but ultimately just pulled the trigger figuring it’s better to make the “mistake” of investing a chunk now and dealing with it later, than having it disappear on Lord knows what over time and regretting it. Plus, I didn’t want to break my record of maxing it out over the past 5 or 6 years now :) We’re sitting on over $50,000 from all these yearly maxings now! It adds up! (The other $20k+ in that overall number you see up there, btw, is my wife’s Roth. I max hers out as well on and off when times are good)

Lastly, which you can’t really tell from that snapshot up there, we finally got rid of all those crazy Traditional IRA accounts and merged them into just ONE with Vanguard :) And as soon as the dust settles, I’ll then be moving that account into our SEP too for further minimalism! I had no idea you could do such a thing, but I love it!

I’ll also be cashing out of all stocks, funds, and everything else currently being held in my accounts real soon too. I just did a “transfer” to get everything moved over to Vanguard – Step 1 – which was also something I didn’t know you could do so easily (I thought you had to cash out first, then move, then invest it all over again?), and then Step 2 is re-investing into the new game plan. So look for that article soon here too, once we get that squared away this month.

Other than that (“other than” – hah!), everything else hummed along normally as with other months, and most of our net worth increase came directly from the markets performing okay. We’re still losing money every month as we’ve come to terms with, but I’m feeling really optimistic these days and have some other business changes in the works that I’ll be sharing with you guys pretty soon as well. I’m basically shedding even more stuff to free up time and re-focus on what’s important. I’m pretty excited about it!

For now though, here’s how Aprils’ numbers broke down:

CASH SAVINGS (-$17,906.52): As mentioned above, we took out over $22,000 to max out both my SEP and my ROTH Ira for the 2013 tax year. This should be the only major cash dipping we do all year long (fingers crossed anyways!).

529 College Savings (+$62.84): Nothing to report here really, other than we’ll be adding some extra $$ here towards Baby Nickel‘s future eduction when the timing’s right. I read from a financial planner friend that a lot of her clients just pour in all their kids’ college $$ into the same account, and then disperse/tweak it later once/if it’s time to start pulling from it. Which I had never thought about before as I always assumed you just had to keep creating new ones for each child? Another win for minimalism :)

[Update: Fellow blogger Matt brought up a good point to think about with this 529 merging idea: You may lose the opportunity to deduct more off your state taxes if you’re trying to max out contributions into your own state’s 529 plan (if that’s where you want to invest, of course). For example, in Virginia you can get $4,000 worth of tax deductions if you contribute that amount into their 529 plan (details here), which is fine if that’s all you’re planning on doing in the tax year, or less. If, however, say you’re looking to invest $8,000 into it ($4,000 for kid #1 and $4,000 for kid #2), then it makes more sense to open up that 2nd account so you can get BOTH $4,000 deductions okay. If you threw that $8,000 into the “mixed” account as mentioned above, you’d only benefit from $4,000 worth of deductions and lose out with the other $4k. So, something to think about…. And big thanks to Matt for pointing it out!]

IRA: SEP (+$15,747.76): Mmm mmm this looks good! Over $80,000 now in this puppy, all from yearly maxings over the years of self-employment… Which now crosses over the 3 year mark – pretty crazy.

IRA: ROTH(s) (+$5,802.89): Double nom nom nom!! (Or is that triple?). Maxing out this bad boy again also feels pretty damn sexy… I’ve gotta soak it all in too now since this only occurs once every year! Haha…. I can never max out any of my accounts regularly through the year since my business income fluctuates so freakin’ much (as does my life now, apparently). So I leave it all ’till the end of the year once all the facts are here, and then decide from there. All the while hoarding cash on the side if I’m so lucky to be able to have any.

IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (+$1,908.69): Say goodbye to our old IRA test! No more comparing the three accounts I dumped an equal amount of money in to see how they’d perform over time :) One that was totally un-managed, one that was managed totally by USAA, and the other that was also totally manged by USAA, but only had THEIR funds in it only – no one elses. For shits and giggles we’ll leave last month’s numbers here one more time just to show which account ended up doing better the *entire* three years. You can probably guess before looking ;)

  • IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $79,141.43 **Leader for two years running
  • IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds only): $73,199.26
  • IRA #3 (Managed, ALL different funds): $74,024.92

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$446.00): This is the only weird area of the numbers this month, but I’ve given up trying to figure out who KBB decides to increase value every now and then… Perhaps some famous rappers started pimping out Toyotas and now everyone wants them ;) According to my boy Deacon from, Ludacris still rolls around in his ’93 Acura with over 250,000 miles (it’s where he used to – and still does! – write his slick lyrics). So you never know!

Regardless, here’s the value on both our cars which we’re confident we could get close to if we decided to sell either of them anytime (in case you’re about to ask why it’s included in our net worth – I know you guys by now! ;)):

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $1,500.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $6,964.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Nothing new on this end either, other than being BEYOND ecstatic that our renter living in this dang house of ours just renewed for another year! Woohoo!!!! We’ll have to re-check this when it gets closer to another renewal time too, just to see if it’s finally worth selling again… perhaps by then we’ll FINALLY be over water. (Is that the correct turn for being the opposite of under-water?). This value, btw, comes from our realtor who ran the numbers months ago which is our preferred method of finding out what houses are close to being at. Since it’s their job 24/7 to sell them!

MORTGAGES (-$658.73): We’re getting closer!!! Now only $1,364.01 away from being even!!! I’m gonna party like it’s 1999 2009 2019 once we’re no longer underwater– woohoo!! Can nobody stop me, baby! Only took me 6 years to get here! Haha…. #LAME

Here’s how our two dumb mortgage break down:

  • 1st Mortgage: $273,271.43 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
  • 2nd Mortgage: $28,092.58 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%

And then here’s how our net worth progressed over the past 12 months:

net worth last 12 apr 14

I also finally put together a page where you can see ALL my past net worths all in one killer place: My Net Worth Tracker. I’m still in the process of digging through the archives an adding them up (I’ve tracked this for over 70 months!!), but I think you’ll enjoy seeing how it looks so far :) I threw up a huge ass graph up top that tracks my worth since starting it over 6 years ago, and it really paints a good picture of what happens when you stick to it and KEEP HUSTLING. We’re no where near the holy grail of hitting a million, but we’re inching closer with each year!

And you guys can too. Especially if you’re tracking your money like the good little boys and girls that you are. RIGHT??? :) If you need help figuring out what belongs in there, or what type of platform to use to track things, check out my new page here as I list a couple of ways to do things. Along with the route I personally take (spoiler alert: I use a spreadsheet!).

Also, don’t forget about that Blogger Net Worth page I started too, if you want to see what OTHERS are doing with their worth! Not only does everyone track things differently (helping you to determine the best route you think is best to go), but it also serves for some powerful motivation to see just how far some have been able to take it.

So. That’s what was brewing here in April for the Money Clan. I hope your numbers are looking good with every month too! You need anything at all, or have any questions, just leave ’em in the comments below and we’ll hook you up :)

To a million dollars!

j. money signature

PS: Screw it – here’s the graph of my net worth over the past 6 years. I can’t hold it in! :)

net worth tracker

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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. Mike Collins May 16, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    Love the chart showing consistent increases…keep building that mountain of wealth!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Thanks man. It’s funny, I know that things generally go up over time, but it really never hit me until I put this graph together. It’s crazy what one picture can do for you!

  2. Dave @ The New York Budget May 16, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Woo hoo! More love for Vanguard!

    Also, the past 6 year-chart is unbelievable! How satisfying is that!!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Answer: very :)

      Also, surprising… so used to living in the “now” that it’s hard to comprehend fully until you step back and look at stuff like this. So I’m really glad I finally got off my ass and put it together!

  3. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life May 16, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    WFM and LULU are doing some damage to my net worth right now, but all in all I feel like I’m in a good place. It’s really amazing how those ROTH max outs add up. So glad I started at 24.

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Damn straight. Even if you only maxed out your Roth every single year you’d be sooooo well off over time! With just *one* thing! Pretty crazy…

  4. Holly@ClubThrifty May 16, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    Fancy charts and everything!

    Great job on your net worth increase. =)

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      You know how we do!

  5. a terrible husband... May 16, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Awesome! From what I understand you increased your “human capital” by 25%, too. Or was that in May? :)

    1. a terrible husband... May 16, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      Actually, I think technically going from 3 to 4 is a 33% return… don’t want to short change you. :)

      1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        haha… now we’re talkin’.

  6. John @ Wise Dollar May 16, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Nice work J, especially on combining all your traditionals and moving them eventually for your SEP, I’ve got to do that for us actually. Congrats on being in year #3 as well, I cross #2 next month. :)

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Excellent! What type of work are you in outside of the blog? (Or is that your main gig?)

      1. John @ Wise Dollar May 16, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        My wife and I run our own marketing/communications business. She started it about 4-5 years ago and I quit 2 years ago to help her run it. The blog is just on the side, but helps us get clients too. :)

        1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

          Nice!! What a cool partnership you guys have going :)

  7. Grayson @ Debt Roundup May 16, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Now that is an inspiring chart J! Who doesn’t love seeing numbers go up in a pattern like that? Honestly, who? I guess those who are tracking debt instead of net worth…

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Yes, that would be bad, haha…

      You gonna show us yours now? (*graph*, that is ;))

  8. Mark Ross May 16, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Nice graph J! I think you’re going to do better in the coming years, so good luck!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      That’s the plan! :)

  9. Deacon May 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    I hope when you hit a Million Dollars that you still pimp the Caddy :). Glad to see things are continuing to move in the right direction.

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM

      Damn straight I will! If I can reach it until it dies out on me, haha… I don’t know which I’d place my bets on either ;)

  10. @freepursue May 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Woot woot! Nice to see the graph(s) going in the right direction. Hitting growth of 9X in 5 years’ time is amazing. You are a super earner, and more importantly, saver. Tough act to follow and we’re up for the challenge. High five to you sir.

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      I know it sounds cliche, but if I can do it you really can do it. There’s nothing special to me other than being a hard worker and looking for opportunities. It’s really just a matter of WANTING it bad and then taking action. Which you, and everyone else reading this, is already doing! :)

  11. Brad @ May 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Love the chart — what amazing progress! Now imagine what that will look 30 years from now!

    Have you considered what your optimal level of cash/taxable savings is? We struggle with the split between taxable savings and retirement savings and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Congrats again on the new addition and I enjoyed seeing the cute pics in the previous post!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Oh man, I’m not that smart to figure out the optimum levels. All I really do is just save as much as I can, and then max out as much of the retirement tools I can at the same time :) Which I love cuz you cant touch that money which doesn’t tempt me!

      I’ve been reading a lot of sites that know all the tricks with taxable stuff vs non-taxable though, and how you can convert this and that to milk the advantages even more (check out if you’re interested), so the good news is that there’s a lot of options you can do. Just hasn’t been a super big priority yet.

      Great question though!

  12. Brian@ Debt Discipline May 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Love the incline on the chart! Good stuff. Continued success J $ family!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Thanks Brian. Hope your numbers (and family) are looking good too!

  13. Shannon @ Financially Blonde May 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Your financial planner friend sounds like a smart chick ;-) Seriously, though, great work as usual building the Money Empire. Your consistent focus on building your net worth through your attention to spending, side hustling, minimalism and investing is an inspiration to us all. Great work!!!

    1. J. Money May 16, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      I was hoping you’d see that ;) You just helped my minimalism mind even more!

  14. Crystal May 16, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Way to go! I sold my 2005 Chevy Aveo for $3400 and bought a new 2013 Honda Fit for $16,356, so I thought our net worth was going to go down quite a bit, but the Honda Fit held its value when I drove it off the lot pretty well, LOL. We’re at $396,000 so far. I started tracking it in October 2009 when we were at $112,000.

    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      Rock on! You’re gonna catch up to me in no time :) Even though I still disagree w/ buying brand new cars, haha… But at least you’re financially smart and choose to do it for your own reasons vs most people, so I won’t give you much of a hard time ;)

  15. Sam @ May 16, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey and insights on your way to $1 million! Way to go. Damn sexy, too. That five year chart is incredible and inspiring. I’m looking to do the same. Haha. Got to get rid of the debt first, though! :)

    Keep up the great work, J. Money!


    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      You’ll get there – we’re all in different stages :)

      And you’ll see that we still have $300k in debt too! Dang mortgages…

  16. charles@gettingarichlife May 16, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Congrats on the newborn! Enjoy seeing your net worth increasing, perfect example how bear markets are an investor’s best friend.

    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      All markets are a man’s best friend depending on how you look at it :)

  17. Will Lipovsky, First Quarter Finance May 16, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Your Pimp Daddy Caddy… love it! I know a guy who owns a ’11 Mercedes and an ’80’s Cadillac. He hits the town in the Caddy far more often! He’s also great with $$$.

    And maxing out your Roth IRA! Woot, woot!!!

    I opened one when I was like 11 or 12 (Even then I worked like a grown man lol) and it’s been life changing to be honest.

    Thanks for taking the time to compile all this info. into one article! Peeking into your finances is inspiring to say the least.

    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      NICE!!! I was blowing my money on candy and baseball cards at 11 years old! Haha… Good for you for figuring it out much much sooner. Newest fan of your site, my man – keep hustlin’!

  18. Zac @ Money Journal May 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    I’ve told you before J-Money, but you’re an inspiration with these net worth updates!

    I’m right with you on the Roth IRA. Ever since I read FinancialSamurai’s post on the Roth IRA and did a few calculations myself, I have really kind of been on the “anti-Roth” bandwagon. Does that mean I don’t invest in one, though? Of course I do. Better to invest in a tax advantaged account of any kind than to save in a non-tax advantaged brokerage account or even worse, invest in nothing at all :)

    Welcome back on the saddle. Hope baby and Mom are doing great. And you guys boosted your net worth almost $7k in the process? That’s winning!

    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Thanks man! Yeah, I’d love to pull the trigger on the Traditional and then work on the converting process and all that, but man – I’m so far away from that “retiring early” mindset still that I just can’t do it. But I’m still going to keep it in the back of my noggin and as soon as I’m ready to change gears I’ll make the move then… Been engrained in my head that Roths are the way to go 100% that it’s interesting to hear/read differently! Though for 99.9% of people out there (aka the non early retirees) it probably still makes sense. Gotta love the different aspects of finance :)

    2. Mr. Minsc May 18, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      I like that nail biting 2008-2009 year. Shows perfectly that while it may seem like you’re spinning your wheels, sooner or later you’ll start climbing the mountain.

  19. Elizabeth @ Single Mom Debt May 17, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    To have only a mortgage as your liability. I hope one day to reach your status. The thought of being able to own a house at this time seems far beyond my reach. I remember when the rambunctious you had a hard time settling down to living under an army family’s status. ;)

    1. J. Money May 17, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Awww, you’ll get there! We’re all in different stages in life :) I remember thinking there’s no way I’d break $100k net worth or ever get out of my house too. Just gotta keep on plowing away and do the best you can to adapt as life changes. And then when you accomplish that goal, you’ll just replace it with another larger one so you’ll always be striving for more! Haha.. But that’s a good thing – we need dreams to keep us going :)

  20. Ricky Willis May 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    I’ve just come across your site through Modest Money and all I can say is it’s inspirational! I love how you are tracking your net worth and laying on the line for everyone to see. It’s a real motivator! Really glad I’ve found you and I will be following with interest!

    – Ricky Willis

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      Thanks Ricky – appreciate the kind words! Modest Money’s a great blog as well – thanks for stopping by :) Going over to check out yours now too.

  21. Scott May 18, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Thanks for the update. Except for the tallying up of all the baby expenses, this is my favorite part of your blog. You’ve done a great job! Once your wife starts working, this is going to get real interesting. What is she getting her PhD in? The whole baby tracker thing is hilarious to me for some reason. I hope you can keep going with that.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM

      Haha… sadly I’m afraid that ship has sailed. With popping out #2 it would just be a nightmare trying to separate out what expenses belong to whom, not to mention find the extra time to put into it. I’m glad you liked it though! I’m sure I’ll be tracking something else feisty again soon ;)

  22. No Nonsense Landlord May 18, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Great job on the NW increase. It all takes time, and in the beginning you can add a bunch from savings, so it is impressive. At some point, you will be to the point that you add quite a bit, but it is a small percentage of the pie.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 7:02 AM

      I’ll gladly accept that “problem” any time :)

  23. Mortgage Free Mike May 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    WOW! That chart is so inspirational! I might need to try one of my own, though there might be a few more “valleys” in it compared to yours.

  24. Sarah May 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    holy crap! Almost at half a million already! Way to go!! :)

    Also, J Nickel is so precious :) I hope he and J Penny are getting along, what a big adjustment :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 7:04 AM

      Aww, thanks!! I love those two boys like no other!

  25. The Wallet Doctor May 18, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Clear and very visual summary! It looks like things are going pretty well overall. Keep it up

  26. Evan May 19, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Wow! A $7K jump is pretty awesome! I have always been jealous how open you’ve been all these years. I don’t think I ever could be that open.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 7:08 AM

      Well, it helps being anonymous and not telling some friends and family about it ;) I just loved seeing bloggers do this before I even started my own 6 years ago, so I knew I’d be one of them too once I got going… Really helps keep yourself accountable when you know people are gonna look at it! Haha… But at least if you’re doing it at home for yourself it’ll help too :) I don’t think sharing your net worth is good in all circumstances.

  27. Christie May 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    I’m a little confused. Is there a way to separate out how much capital you put in the investments per year ? Any windfalls ? Or, is this 5 years of maxing out the retirement ?
    ~ Christie

  28. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    You can get a better idea by looking at the remarks next to the updates here:

    We did get extra money here and there during business booms and inheritances, but I’d say a solid 80% or more came mainly from maxing out both my ROTH Ira as well as my 401k/SEP Ira for 6 or so years straight now. And then having that money grow over the years in the stock market too.

    I actually just wrote a new post on how focusing on just one thing can do wonders to our worth – especially if it’s a “biggie”:

  29. Sean May 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    How old were you when you started? I have been trying to get rolling in the last couple months, and have a lot of spreadsheets that I created myself to track money, and after seeing your graph, I started mine. The first installment of tracking investment gains and losses as well as Net Worth came from reading your blog. Thank you for the motivation to start tracking these things!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Way to go man! That’s the PERFECT place to start, and what I recommend everyone doing no matter what their stage in the game.

      I started really paying attention to money around 26. And then shortly thereafter started tracking everything and created this blog – so really not that long ago in the grand scheme of things. So depending on your age you could really outdo me here if you’ve figured it out early :)