Happy Labor Day, friends! Hope y’all are getting into some good stuff today :) I will be too shortly, but first had to run the ol’ net worth numbers of course and see how the month ended. And boy did those markets rally! A $13k gain for us without lifting a finger. Talk about the power of investing!
I’ve also got a call set up today for my 4th (possibly) new money coaching client too. I’ve been having a blast since starting this the other month, and I’m learning a ton about human behavior and how we all think and deal with our own money in the process. It’s incredible how different we all are, yet our wants and goals in the end are relatively the same. Some of just just go about it in realllllly weird ways, haha… the “detours of life,” if you will :)
And true to what the vets told me when asking for advice, you never know what you’re gonna get on the end of some of these calls! My last one (client #3) was taken in a tattoo parlor by the guy – and not because he worked there or owned it. HE WAS GETTING A TATTOO! While literally on the phone with me talking about debt! Haha… I could hear the needle humming the entire time in the background, what a riot :) And before you ask, the tattoo was a gift.
But enough about me (for now). Let’s talk about another guy who randomly left his pay stub on the street for passerbys like me to find and look at (who wouldn’t?). I’m always on the hunt for fun cool stuff on my daily walks (last year I found a letter from a convict in jail to his “boo” crumpled up on the sidewalk), and this time we came across some fiscally sexy stuff – check it out:
Any guesses as to what this guy does? His taxes are low! I cropped out all the personal stuff like his name and partial social security number (!!!!) but I’m always fascinated by the income of others so thought you guys would like this too. The interesting part was that this guy got paid *daily* which leads me to believe it’s some sort of temp work going on. Though the yearly “to date” is quite high for that to be the case? Some months I feel like I only get paid $8.00 an hour to be blogging myself, haha…
Another reminder to KEEP YOUR PAPERWORK SAFE though! You don’t want randos like me picking your stuff up and doing who knows what with (blogging it to the world, perhaps? :)). If you don’t want to file it away, at least *shred* them so they don’t walk away into the wrong hands… The sad part is that I found another pay stub a mere 8 blocks away from the first one, and when I looked at that one too IT WAS FROM THE SAME PERSON! So either this guy really throws caution to the wind, or the wind literally decided to have some fun that morning… Either way, it’s not meant to be on the streets.
Okay, now to the numbers… Here’s how August broke down:
CASH SAVINGS (-$3,763.02): Another month of negative cash flow. Now weakened even more with baby #2 now going to daycare, ugh… That tacks on an additional $1,000/mo meaning we now pay more for day care ($2k/mo) than we do our own roofs over our heads! How crazy is that? Of course we knew it coming into the month so it’s not like it was a shock or anything, but still. Stings just as hard. On the plus side, this means the Mrs. now has her days back which means dissertation time and then soon another full-time income in the mix! WOOHOO! Sound the alarms!!! haha… Saying I cannot wait is an understatement ;)
529 College Savings (+$130.30): The rest of the net worth here is looking mighty tasty. Starting with our 529 college accounts that went up due to the market rising this month (we didn’t put any extra in, at least yet). We’ll be hearing soon about that inheritance on my wife’s side as well, so if that comes through we’ll be dumping it straight into here per the wishes of the relative who passed.
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$3,164.33): Our Roths also went up without any new money injected. We wait until the end of every tax year to dump in our maxes (since our income is so sporadic over the year), so we won’t have any extra contributions for quite some time.
IRA: SEP (+$13,109.38): BAM! That’s nice! If only we had tons of money to put in it last month while it was lower ;) But similar to our Roths above, we don’t inject any money here until the end of the tax year as well – even more so because it’s tied to business profit (which is lower than normal this year). I always set some aside to max out what we’re allowed to put into my SEP though, so regardless of the income at least it feels good to be able to invest into our future for many years to come. And I purposely put our $$ into accounts that penalize you for pulling it out early so it forces me to keep my fingers off it! You should consider it too if you have a problem letting stuff sit and grow over time…
Here’s the total return we’ve gotten so far since moving to Vanguard:
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$329.00): Another month of doing what cars are supposed to do – lose value every month… And for once Franken-Car hasn’t gotten into any accidents – a new record! ;) Here are the values of both our cars:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $1,000.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $6,362.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Still set at the $300k our realtor advised us it’s around when asked the other month. We don’t have plans on selling it anytime soon, but we’ll probably reconsider once it’s time to renew our tenant’s lease again come next year. I know real estate is primo importante when it comes to building wealth, but man. I just don’t like having something “out there” that can go wrong at any time, ya know? Feels like it goes against my wannabe minimalism ways too. I wonder how many true minimalists own multiple homes? Even as investments? Would be an interesting study to research!
MORTGAGES (-$678.33): Our equity is finally building again with each and every month! Two months ago we finally crossed that milestone of no longer being underwater anymore, and I can’t tell you how AWESOME that feels. It sucks that the $60k we’ve dumped into it over the years is probably gone forever, but at least we never have to pay it back again!
That’s the crazy part about homes/investments – the values can change all over the place even though it’s the EXACT SAME THING. Nothing happened to our house (except for upgrades!) to warrant it being worth more or less, but as the market and economy changes so does values slapped upon it. So even though you paid $XX for a house doesn’t mean it’s worth that anymore. Hopefully y’all were a lot smarter than we were though having bought it on a whim right before the crash – d’oh.
Here are the balances on both our mortgages:
- 1st Mortgage: $271,137.19 (30 year conventional @ 5.5%)
- 2nd Mortgage: $27,494.84 (HELOC @ variable 2.8%)
Here’s how the last year’s been going…
And that wraps up another month! I believe we’re now moving onto month #80 since first tracking this over 6 and 1/2 years ago – pretty wild huh? You can find every single one of our net worth updates here: J’s Million Dollar Journey
Hope this helps you guys! It’s my favorite thing to blog about here. Nothing’s more real than numbers in your account! :) And it’s great to be able to go back in time and track your progress (or lack there of) too. So hopefully you guys are tracking your worth as well.
If you are, how did you do last month? Better? Worse? Even Steven?
Here’s to a fantastic September everybody – keep putting those dollars to work!
PS: As always, feel free to check out our Blogger Net Worth Tracker too. 90 other bloggers share their net worths as well! From the negatives all the way up into multi-millions. It’s quite fascinating.
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)
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I’m going to guess that the gentlemen who lost his paycheck stub probably isn’t a lawyer since the watermark on the stub says Labor Finders.
Congrats on the increase in net worth. I’m more interested to hear how the financial coaching is going.
Haha yeah… though “labor” can be a lot of different things as I used to work for some similar temp places like that and you get all kinds of interesting gigs through them. Albeit no lawyering ;)
I’ll do some more write-ups on the financial coaching stuff as time goes on and I get my feet wet more. Right now my clients and I both are learning together and getting a feel for everything, but I’m already seeing some patterns forming so it’ll be interesting to see how things shape up. And how, over the months, their situations (hopefully) change for the better too!
Will be interested to see that write up. Out of curiosity, roughly how many clients have you had since you began? (If you’re willing to share of course).
Officially I have two clients now, but #3 and #4 say they’re ready to get started now so will probably be 4 here shortly. I think I’ll run into a cap with how many I can efficiently work with, but for now it’s all learning and seeing how it works :)
Keep us posted!
Hey! Gotta love the ability of negative cash flow months to be covered by market gains, especially since your income will be on the upswing with the Mrs. on the lookout for a new gig and you droppin’ some extra effort in growing a coaching practice to increase your $$.
That’s the beauty of diversifying your income/net worth growth. When the market goes down you have your income supporting you until it ticks up again. And income growth / spending cuts can help offset that. And when the market is kicking you can still increase your net worth even if you’re going through a couple months of cash flow crunch.
Good stuff J$!
thanks man, gonna go check out your site now – the url looks interesting :)
Thanks! Yeah, it’s my new podcast w/ my son. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as a young parent! We have a ton of fun.
Ha! Looks like this computer had my marriage website stored… probably should have looked first. Anyhow, yep, I’m pretty excited about this new project… :)
hey! it’s you! Haha… you’re launching stuff left and right over there :)
Haha! Yep! I’m having WAY too much fun! :)
Poor guy not killing it with only 8 hours worked.
Looking good J even with the daycare hit. September is shaping up nicely with the coach and Mrs. incoming kicking in. Rock on!
Thanks man… the daycare increase def. makes it tougher, but we keep telling ourselves it’s only a phase and just suck it up while it’s here, but of course some days are tough. Great reminders though of how important it was for us to bank all our extra money years ago while biz was booming! Never know what the future holds…
Sending positive vibes your way to land client #4 J! And what a nice jump in your SEP-IRA too! Wow.. $8/hour…I made that when I was sixteen and never looked back. I can’t imagine how hard it is for minimum wage workers nowadays.
Unfort. had to cancel call w/ #4 cuz I got super sick this morning :( Sucks…. brain is all mush.
Nice j on your increases. Steady and consistent gains, next thing you know you’re almost to half a million. Looking forward to reading more about your financial coaching, happy Labor Day.
Congrats on your growing client list!! I am so psyched that you have made yourself available to help people out like this, even from a tattoo chair. :-) And I am so happy that the tattoo was a gift, those things are pricey!
That was my first question ;) Outside of, “Are you serious?”
His taxes seem high to me, since it is 8 months through the year now and his earnings are only $4,260, looks like his on on pace to hit around $6,390. I hope this isn’t his only job, but if it is and he can claim himself, then it might have made sense for him to claim exempt on the federal withholding since he will not owe anything into them ($6,200 standard deduction + $3,950 exemption). I think if this is his only job he could certainly use the almost $200 the feds are holding of his money, At least it was his check stub and not his check that he lost!
HAH! True! I’d had to have taken it home to scan and then dropped back off! ;)
Good job on the awesome net worth increase this month!
For some reason, I’m always finding pay stubs in my yard. It’s rather annoying that someone is always littering in my neighborhood and it’s more annoying because their address is on there so I could technically go yell at them LOL
Is the goal of this to give you a sense of how close you are until retirement? I ask because it doesn’t really make sense to include your house if so unless you’re going to sell it and just rent from then.
No, the goal is to give me a good snapshot of my entire financial picture. What I’m worth today if everything was liquidated (though taxes/fees etc would certainly bring that # down).
I’m a big proponent of tracking stuff so you can compare over the months/years/decades, so the net worth is a biggie to me – regardless of how it’s calculated (the above makes sense to me, but others do it differently). The house debate is always a good one though, even if I disagree. It’s such a big part of our financial lives to be left out – especially if you’re then going to take away the mortgage side of it too.
That said though, our house listed above is already a rental (it’s our default rental property we own), and we will sell it one day so it does match with your caveat :)
Congrats on the new clients–how exciting! And, dang, daycare is expensive!!!! Also, who drops not one, but two, paystubs? I mean seriously.
I So hope he reads my blog :)
I kind of assumed that the guy with the pay stub wasn’t getting paid daily but just happened to only work 8 hours in that pay period. So maybe it’s a part-time job where he does one shift every second Saturday or something? And that would also explain the low taxes! I’m sure he’s got other income too since that’s not enough to live off.. Or maybe he’s a high school student and it’s just pocket money he’s earning.
Yeah, I cropped the part about him getting paid daily (it had all his personal info in there!), but you’re right – it very well could be a student hustling for the Summer! Even a college one like I used to do to fill back up my “spend money” back in the day.
Every time I see the phrase Even Steven, I’m always thinking wow nice thanks for the shout out, then I realize it’s an actual phrase people use. Cheers to Even Steven!
I bet you get a lot of search traffic to that term, huh? Though I have you beat – I get all kinds of variations of “sex” ;) Little do they know it’s going to have the opposite affect they’re looking for when they land on it! Haha…
Do you have an extra room? You could take in an au-pair to watch the kids at home. Usually they get an allowance around $100 per week, room and board. And they come from abroad so you could have the kids learn Spanish, or get a British accent!
We actually just talked about that! But don’t have the extra room, unless I move out of my office and work elsewhere – which wouldn’t be the worst thing… It’s tricky when we don’t know how long we’re living here any more though :( Still, we’re going to research!
This is just incredible! I too am thankful for the market’s performance because my cash flow has been negative the past couple of months. Looking forward to seeing you reach the 500K mark next!
You too! Though something tells me you’ve already long crossed it? :)
Speaking of increasing cash flow:
I would LOVE to start my own financial blog but I’ve heard a few online marketers say its a dead niche. Do you think newcomers can still find success in this area, or is the market too saturated at this point?
Actually just answered this question on my “ask J$ anything day” post – here you go :)
I don’t think any niche is “dead,” but I do think it’s important to figure out why you want to start a blog. If it’s for fun and to learn/grow/meet a ton of cool people, then I say start a blog on wherever your passions lie! You can never have too many people talking and sharing tips about money.
But if you’re doing it strictly for the money, well, finance blog or not there are a million and one other ways to make money, and much faster ;) Unless you happen to be incredibly talented and super lucky at the same time. I make enough money now to support my family, but you have to factor in 12 hour days for almost 7 years too – it’s not as easy as it may look. All that being said, of course it is possible. Even if you start right now. I start project/sites all the time from scratch in the personal finance world (as do other bloggers/entreprneurs) and there’s no way we would if we knew it was going to fail ;)
So I say you blog about whatever you want to blog about if you’re interested in it, and then see what happens from that point. Just don’t go into it thinking you’ll be quitting your 9-5 anytime soon regardless of the niche you jump into.
I am sticking to my budget or doing better than expected, which is super duper hard for me because I just want to shop for fall clothes! #GirlProbz. But following my plan feels so much better than new clothes, I have to tell you. Seeing my debt decrease faster and savings increase faster are two things that clothes could never compare to. I’m hoping this momentum keeps up in the months to come.
Just imagine once all your debt’s gone and you can increase our clothes budget! #HubbaHubba!
So… I’m a big creeper and looked up the company. Temp work in the construction/industrial field. The taxes seemed low to me, too until I read John C’s comment. He’s probably right.
And holy moly what a jump! Congrats on making the market work for you!
Creeper? More like Research Expert. That’s what I tell people I do when I’m … err… creeping ;)
Always great to read these and to see your progress. Lots of moving parts with baby expenses, periodic uneven income, etc., but you keep trucking along! Kudos to sharing this too – we’re not quite as open about this aspect on our blog – but great to see the details you always provide too on the changes from month to month. It just shows that nothing is instantaneous, and it takes dedicated, long-term commitments to building your savings over time to reach your goals.
Thanks man – you’re right on that, it’s always a long-term process with money stuff. Despite what the media and celebrities/lottery winners might have you think :) And no shame in all in not being totally “out there” with money stats on your site. If I was using my real name online I’d probably not do it either :) Gotta go with what makes you comfortable.
Looks great – hard to believe you’ve been tracking this for so long. I hope your wifey is doing well and can wrap up that dissertation quickly :)
Thanks! Hope your biz and kiddos are doing well too. They become new people every couple of months, don’t they? :)
That is quite the help from the market you got this month :) I cannot wait until I have that kind of increase monthly – though I’d say it’s a few years off.
I noticed you said you weren’t feeling well in the comments. I hope it has passed by now, but if not, get better soon! I make a mean chicken soup.
I wish you could hand deliver that soup! But fortunately things are much (much) better now, thanks for asking :) Have a great weekend!
Oh, that poor guy! I hope I never work for $8 an hour again.
I did ok in August; net worth gain of $1743 on a net income of $3361. I’m over $6000 now, which is a gain of +$25,000 in 14 months. On a teacher’s salary, that’s not as bad as it could be. I realllllllly want to get to the point where, when the markets go up, I make thou$ands in a month instead of about $100! I’m impatient. :)
You’ll get there :) Just keep in mind that when the markets do bad though, you get the large negative drops too (yikes). But if you sit still and wait it out 20-30-40 years it shouldn’t scare you too much. Keep on saving that $$$!
Wow, leaving your pay stubs at random places on the street? That is crazy!
Well as of yesterday, minimum wage in Michigan is now $8.15 an hour, maybe Mr Paystub guy should move to a place with higher minimum wages.
Man… I remember when $5.50 was min. wage! That makes me hella old, doesn’t it? (Though I did just use “hella” in a sentence, so I feel like that has to help me a bit :))
Those are some awesome numbers, J$. Your IRA jumped up hugely!
That is a lot of deductions on that paystub. I’ve never seen an American paystub so that’s pretty interesting. It’s a good thing it ended up in your hands and not some identity thief’s.. you never know what could happen. Hopefully that’s a part-time job of his or maybe a side hustle.
Yeah, I promptly shredded that bad boy too… though I did post it up on this site, haha…
Good stuff J$! I was hoping that pay stub would show some serious mad cash earnings. :D I used to work in the temp recruiting field (IT) and have lots of fun stories for sure.
I remember when I got my 1st job out of HS making around $5/hr. I was STOKED!
Yeah, cuz ANY money is better than $0.00 back then, haha… Especially when you have no responsibilities and can use that $$ for anything you want!
I LOVE seeing what people make. $4k for 8 hours? Am I reading that right?
No, that’s year to date haha…. try $64 :)
I love seeing this (not in a nosey way or anything). It’s extremely motivating. It helps people to be laser-focused. It’s fun to tweak things as you go to make things better. I like the “ditch everything” ideas you’ve been talking about. It’s good to check in and reassess. My family would disown me f I ditched anything though. LOL Getting extra money by couponing for necessities is my big bold move. ;)
That child care is killer! Glad everything else is on the up and up, though :)
I can only hope to track for this long! I want to be able to make such a cool area graph – mine is currently a single dot :P :D
Awesome progress, always enjoy the monthly updates!
We all start somewhere – mine was a dot too 6.5 years ago :)
I completely know what you mean when your house has lost value. We’ve pumped about 30k into our house (not counting mortgage and one-time payment to remove our 2nd mortgage), and we’re listing it for less than we bought it for 6 years ago. We bought on the way down (Sept 2008). We’re at least expecting to get our original down payment out of it to put on the new place.
Damn, good luck to you! Hopefully we’re getting our biggest financial boo boo out of the way now and are then set for the rest of our life :)
Seems like you are killing it with your net worth. Congrats! Hope you still keep going stellar.
Good job on the net worth J. Thats funny you found a pay stub on the street. Its further proof of the awesome savings rate we have here in the US. (Sarcasm) This guy is not contributing to a 401K. Most temp workers are not offered perks like that, and it is disheartning how corporate america is fueling the temp labor to save on operating costs.
It is sad when you don’t have access to 401ks and the like :( And even worse is when people opt out of them when given the chance!
“I wonder how many true minimalists own multiple homes? Even as investments?” — I could write a book about this!! I’m a wannabe minimalist (inching closer and closer to minimalism, a day at a time!) and I’ve learned (the hard way) that loads of preventative maintenance + awesome property management = minimalist / passive housing income. Getting there, though, is the hard part!
What about knowing there’s all these “extensions” of you out there though? Like, even with stuff automated and flowing nicely? I feel like that’s my biggest hindrence – with real estate and business in general. The idea that you own things scattered all around. I guess the opposite is no things or all in one place, but that’s probably even worse haha… unless that one place is a bank account/investment acct with loads of cash ;)
Our net worth zoomed up too, but it was because our current home’s value. Exxon is building a complex about 20 minutes from us that will be hiring 10,0000 people and the home prices around here are shooting up. Based on underestimating, we should be able to sell for about $285,000 right now (it was only worth $265,000 a few months ago).
I’m sort of worried because we just built this dream house in late 2012 for $261,000, but it could be valued for taxes at $300,000+ in the next year or two. If/when it hits $360,000+, we’ll need to move just because the $100,000 return would need to be snatched up and the property taxes would be more than $840 every month (almost as much as our mortgage of $990).
We already paid $7000 in property taxes in 2013 when we were at $261,000. This year will be around $7400 and I fought the appraisal office to be kept at $262,000 instead of $330,000 (ridiculous but what they were aiming for).
I’m betting that I have to fight the appraisal office every year and may have to call it quits and move in the next 5-10 years. We rather not though. This really is a nearly perfect home for us…
Well that’s cool that the value will probably go up even more! A good problem to have all things considered :) Can you tell Exxon to come build near our rental so we can finally get rid of? K thx bye.