Net Worth Update: $848,665.47 [Surprise Increase of $57,000?!]

Okay, I don’t know what happened in Jan to change the tides (I only look at my $$$ once a month), but that was a nice surprise out of nowhere!

Apparently it was the best January in 30 years?!

Whatever happened, I believe it wipes away one of the bigger losses from the past few months… (*goes to double check* – yup! $60,000 drop in October, and $61,000 loss in December! So now it only feels half as bad! Haha…)


And for paying everyone so quickly too! Another wild, and most welcome, surprise to close out the month… Amazing what happens when you actually put people first ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Not gonna miss any of that drama now that Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy changed jobs and is no longer at the mercy of those imbeciles… I hope they can get it all squared away so history doesn’t repeat itself! Great time to AMP those savings if you’re still connected to them! (Also – thanks for your service!!)

Here’s how January’s Net Worth went down:

[NOTE: These reports are shared to better start discussions around money and to share *real life* financial numbers… Some months we’re up, and others we’re down (a lot lately! Haha…), but it all gets displayed in hopes of giving you a little more perspective on stuff. Here’s report #132.]

CASH SAVINGS (-$2,444.28): You like how I just advised people to amp their savings more while I’m here losing mine??? Haha… But the truth is that sometimes your blog makes a lot of money (like last month) and then others not as much :) And I’m no longer the Super Hustler I used to be where I’d do anything to make it up… A nice perk perhaps of having your eggs in order?

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN (TSP) (+$1,681.56): This area was a fun one to see, though! And I’m still digging how the % points are always so much higher than the other investments because of how small the balance is there comparatively :) I wonder if the *timing* of when my wife’s furloughed contributions hit had anything to do with it too?

BROKERAGE (+$4,095.73): Back over the initial $50k we deposited last year – woo! Our first foray into non-retirement accounts in an attempt to diversify more, even though it’s still invested in the same fund our others are, haha… (VTSAX)

ROTH IRAs (+$11,002.07): Nothing new happening here except for the market doing its thing… We plan on maxing these puppies out as soon as we get the A-OK from our accountant so I don’t F it up again like last year 🙃

SEP IRA (+$43,280.03): Same deal here – nothing new added or paid attention too, but should also get a filling up along with the Roths later this month. Here’s a snapshot of how everything’s been going since switching over to Vanguard a few years ago:

vanguard returns - jan, 2019

(All funds are in VTSAX – Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund)

CAR VALUES (-$100.00): And then last we have the cars… just slowly dwindling down until all that’s left is a pile of metal! But so long as that pile of metal gets us places – and safely – I am one content guy ;)

Though we did start test-driving minivans like I think I mentioned last month, and I gotta say – the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey were actually pretty decent! I can totally see myself creeping by in them, windows down and hip-hop music blasting, haha… That wouldn’t be weird at all, right? RIGHT???

Here’s a breakdown of what we currently rock from Kelly Blue Book (valued at the lowest range of “FAIR” condition, just to keep things super conservative, and also because I know more dings and scratches are still to come ;)):

  • Lexus RX350: $7,322.00 (fully paid off)
  • Toyota Corolla: $2,306.00 (fully paid off)

Total change in net worth: (+) $57,515.11

And then here’s a snapshot of how the past 12 months have gone for better perspective… As you can see, it certainly hasn’t always been on the Up and Up!

net worth - last 12 months

And my kids have net worths too, of course ;)

Here’s the latest numbers on those, along with a fresh selfie of Baby Dime and I before bed the other night… He’s happy because he found his penis in the bathtub (sorry, but true!).

baby net worths jan 2019

And that’s Jan!

How’d you guys do?? I’d imagine pretty well if you didn’t pull out of the markets! Anyone cross a major milestone and want to shout it out from the rooftops??

As always, spreadsheets and tools for those new to the Tracking Game are below, and if you’d like to see any of the previous 130+ updates of our net worth, you can find those here –> J. Money’s Money

Happy Feb! Fresh new month for hitting goals and killing debts! 💪

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. Dave @ Accidental FIRE February 4, 2019 at 6:28 AM

    That’s one happy baby. Sure finding his “little guy” is nice and all, but I’m guessing most of that smile is seeing the Jan numbers. Just sayin’ :)

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 6:37 AM

      Haha… we’ll see if he inherits the $$ gene!

  2. DNN February 4, 2019 at 7:55 AM

    J Money,

    Glad to hear that your $ gUaP $ has increased. Yesssssssssssssssssiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrr! :-)

    That alone should keep you inspired on writing lots and lots of content. And talk about the government shutdown, one thing a lot of people don’t realize is there’s unlimited earning potential online to get serious $ gUaP $ from affiliate marketing and blogging alone working just a few hours a day from the comfort of their home or laptop as long as they have an instant connection to the Internet. There’s more than enough money for everyone to earn online. And the government shutdown has inspired me to make more money online just like you. I’ve heard that putting $10k in an IRA for 5 years and letting it sit for 20 years automatically makes you a millionaire tax free. Is that true? Lastly, do you have a projected online revenue goal to achieve by the end of 2019? :-)

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 9:42 AM

      No projected goal really – kinda just go with the flow these days :) I still want to hit $1 Mil by the time I turn 40 (end of this year!) but since I’m not doing anything specifically to push myself there I don’t think it’ll happen, haha… I agree with you though that there’s unlimited potential online for $$ making! It’s super flexible too, like when you’re not in “hustle mode” like I am at the moment :)

  3. Allie Loot February 4, 2019 at 8:41 AM

    Hey J Money!
    Came across you on Afford Anything Podcast. Miss you on there!

    My move to VTSAX is paying off. Dumped $212k in an IRA and up $6k in January.

    I don’t see your home equity counted in your net worth. Is it because you rent or you don’t believe in factoring primary residence in the equation?

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 9:43 AM

      Welcome to the VTSAX club!

      I used to include my mortgage/house value here when we owned, but you’re right – we now rent (happily!) thus not applicable anymore :)

  4. Paul February 4, 2019 at 9:03 AM

    Net worth posts are my favorite posts. The way things are going though I feel like we will be limping right there with you to your quest to 7 figs. I was at one point up to almost 500k NW, now I keep hovering around $400k no mater how much money I put away in my i401k. (Although most of this is using Zillow’s low ball algorithm for home value, if personal capital would use redfin I’d prefer that one, Zillow is consistently 30K lower than redfin and fluctuates by over $50k depending on the time of year…)

    Hopefully Ill be able to max my Roth out this year, I always have an excuse to not it seems. I know, I know, I’m pretty much the worst. But between my wife and I, we put away about $75k combined a year into out i401ks. Just that post tax money always seems to find a different home…

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 9:44 AM

      Hard to hate on you when you drop $75k a year into investments!! Be proud of that one man!!

      Is there a way in Personal Capital that you can just *manually* add in your house value so you can control it more, or no?

      1. Paul February 4, 2019 at 12:10 PM

        There probably is but since that money isn’t liquid its not like it really matters that much. Ego mostly at that point.

  5. Millionaire Mob February 4, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    Market bouncing back helps. Benefit of buying dips is huge. You continue to motivate me with my savings! Nice work J

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 9:45 AM

      Thanks man! Glad you’re enjoying these posts :)

  6. Joe February 4, 2019 at 9:52 AM

    Great job! Nice beard too. Our net worth increased a bit. It was a nice change from the last few months, but I’m still pessimistic this year. Good to see the kids’ net worth increase too. Awesome.

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 11:38 AM

      First time I’ve grown my beard out in the *winter* vs *summer*, and I gotta say – a much smarter move, haha…

  7. Betsy February 4, 2019 at 9:57 AM

    The Sienna package with the DVD player has (or had, for a few years) an RCA input that can be used with video game systems with a simple RCA-HDMI converter. My husband realized this as we drove cross country and we stopped to buy the new NES classic.

    Lots of people say minivans aren’t sexy, but those people aren’t playing Tetris in the backseat!

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 1:16 PM

      HAHAHAA SOLD!!!!

  8. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life February 4, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    I used to hold Treasury notes in my old puny Roth and I changed that to VTSAX too January was fine for us, but I say that every month as long as we still have jobs and bring in income. We’re investing steadily and keeping our focus forward. We ticked over a tiny midway milestone this month.

    I’m confused though, you mentioned under the brokerage category that it’s your foray into non-brokerage accounts but you’re still invested in VTSAX? Where can you invest in VTSAX that’s under brokerage but also not a brokerage? Am I reading that wrong?

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 1:19 PM

      Oops – that should be “non-RETIREMENT” accounts :)

      And yay for your mini milestone! it all adds up to the BIG milestones!

  9. The financial tech February 4, 2019 at 10:56 AM

    Nice increase ! I should calculate mine again after a bad year on the financial side. I guess I am on negative side ….

    1. J. Money February 4, 2019 at 1:22 PM

      Some people prefer to check in once a quarter or maybe once/twice a year, but I find doing them monthly keeps me better on track and “in the know.” Although I also use my net worth as a “budgeting hack” too, so if you do your finances separate it may not be as important for you to check-in on your investments :) Sometimes it’s nice just letting it ride and knowing long-term you’ll be good!

  10. FIREat40 February 4, 2019 at 11:04 AM

    Congrats! That’s an amazing increase! The market was really good to us in January as well – net worth up nearly $52,000!

  11. Chase February 4, 2019 at 10:53 PM

    January was very below average for our family.

    Taking a pay cut to change jobs in December is starting to catch up to us, plus going over budget on a couple categories all makes for a pretty negative cash flow month.

    Here’s to Feb being better!

    1. J. Money February 5, 2019 at 5:34 AM

      I hope so! I’m rooting for y’all!

  12. Shawna February 5, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    I hit a milestone this month! $200k, woohoo!!! I started at $60k when I first started tracking in June 2015.

    Thanks J. Money for getting me on the net worth train :)

    1. J. Money February 5, 2019 at 1:42 PM

      Rock n’ roll!!

      Gets easier and easier from there :)

  13. Financial Samurai February 5, 2019 at 5:34 PM

    Dayum! That’s a big increase! How good does it feel to be so rich?! I shoulda invested more in the dip, but I didn’t want to deal with the stress.

    Hope the kiddos are doing well.

    1. J. Money February 5, 2019 at 6:04 PM

      You tell me! This is like a sliver of your pie :)

      1. Financial Samurai February 5, 2019 at 11:40 PM

        Ah, if I was so rich, I wouldn’t still be blogging and doing some consulting! Alas, gotta save my pennies to provide for my family.

  14. Jim February 6, 2019 at 12:04 AM

    thanks for the update…. out of curiosity, how did you mess up your Roth last year?

    1. J. Money February 6, 2019 at 11:51 AM

      I maxed out our IRAs before waiting for my accountant to say it was okay to do so… First time I did that in 10 years, and of course it was the first time we weren’t allowed to contribute since we made too much! (I had sold a website that year which pushed us over)

  15. Andy February 7, 2019 at 6:35 PM

    It was a bumpy 2018 for sure. Nice to see the gains in January. I used to be in the VTSAX club but Vanguard just changed Total World to Admiral shares. Instead of just the U.S. now I have the entire world in one fund at a very cheap cost(VTWAX). Grats on your networth! Looking forward to watching it in 2019.


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