Steadily climbing :) Which I’ll take any month. As long as it continues to go up daddy will be very very happy! Although I do already miss the days of $10,000+ increases…
That’s the price you gotta pay when you get rid of your 9-5, though! The cash flow just isn’t as sexy when you cut your income down like that ;) Which I’m still nowhere near used to.
The funniest part is that I feel just as busy, if not more, than when I WAS working! How crazy is that? I pretty much substituted Love Drop for my 9-5 now so fingers crossed it continues to grow so we can eek out a small salary.
Other than that major change in this month’s recap, everything else seems to be going well. I finally took some of your advice and paid down our credit cards to get them to $0.00 again. As you can see, we pulled some of it out of our Emergency Fund which had been sitting pretty for 3 years now. It kinda stung, but financially it just made the most sense. My goal of nixing the c/c debt in 2 months failed about 6 months ago ;) Here’s how last month played out…
Net Worth break down: January, 2011
CASH SAVINGS (+$540.96): Not the most exciting increase, but at least it IS an increase! If only those jerk-offs would pay me my last paycheck from 12/15!!! Arghhh… I’ll be blogging about this soon, just you wait.
EMERGENCY FUND (-$1,648.21): Yup, the first time in 3 years we took money outta here. It kinda feels wrong pulling from this fund since credit card debt isn’t really an “emergency” per se, but at least it got us to finally wipe them out and move on with our lives. I’m hoping this drop will motivate us to build it back up to the full $10,000. I know I can pull from my “work for myself” stash (of $40,000) if ever we wanted to, so it’s not the end of the world.
ROTH IRAs (+$828.95): This is relying 100% on the market fluctuations – we’ve got no current plans to add to these this year unless our income takes a major shot of adrenaline. It’s a good thing we were maxing out when we could! Two straight years ain’t too shabby ;)
401(k)s (+$2,451.02): This is currently tied to the market as well right now. ALTHOUGH I still haven’t told you all my secret yet! I’ll have to add it to my future blog posts to do, but I’m basically getting F’d out of money still owed to me here too! It’s a $hit ton, and I’ll actually be filing an official complaint with the Department of Labor today. Fingers crossed…
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$550) : So this is the second month in a row these cars went up in value. How is that possible?? It doesn’t make much sense, but since KBB is what I’d use to sell these guys whenever the day comes, I’m continuing to use their valuations. As crazy as they are sometimes… Here are the current values:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,970.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $10,180.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): The same $300k our realtor set it at last year. It’s possible it’s changed a bit over the months, but for now we’re gonna keep as-is until I talk with him again. Our neighbor’s house had an offer of $297k not too long ago too, so hopefully it’s still in the same ballpark.
CREDIT CARDS (-$2,471.85): Free again, at last! And this time we’ll be keeping it that way ;) We’re still gonna keep using them for easy budgeting (seriously, I love credit cards for that!) but this time I’ll make sure to pay larger items w/ cash so I’m not tempted to keep a balance anymore. We’ll see how that goes.
MORTGAGES (-$152.26): A little more knocked off every month! The whole “rounding up to the nearest $100th” is really helping. Easy to keep track of, and easy to pay bits and pieces off as the months go by. Here’s how our mortgages are looking these days (and believe me, they don’t make me happy either):
- Mortgage #1: $286,419.05 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
- Mortgage #2: $62,088.87 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.
Alrighty, that’s it for this month. Still got a ways to go to get used to my new financial lifestyle, but so far I’m enjoying the trade off :) It’s amazing how much happier you can be even though your income gets cut in half.
Hope you all are finding success this year too! If you’re tracking your own net worths (and I really hope you are!), let us know where you stand this month. We can all motivate each other :)
PS: My “Sexy Goals” have also been updated in the sidebar. Currently there is only 1 in there – to reach a net worth of $250k this year. Not anywhere as aggressive as the past few years, but it’s something to strive for :)
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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If I recall correctly you are in the DC area. Now I dont know how accurate Zillow is on their Zestimates for property values….but we have seen our Zestimate change by about $45k in 6 months (for the worse). Each month it continues to go down, so I wonder if you want to keep that in mind when tracking your networth for you real estate. When I track mine, I actually only track it by the price we bought it for, so the monthly change doesnt matter as much to me.
My net worth didn’t jump anywhere near $5k but I had a good $700 increase this month which I will take! now that I’m contributing regularly to my 401k I’m seeing that increase every month (thank goodness the stock market is bouncing back) and I’m hoping to have my credit cards paid off by summer! It’ll be nice to see a big fat zero in that column too!
Looks like you had a pretty sweet month J$. Glad that things seem to be working out for you even though you jettisioned the traditional 9-5 workplace. Good luck with the DOL and filing your papers – I’m sure getting what you’re owed will be a relief.
For someone who is essentially ‘unemployed’ in the traditional sense, having an increase in net worth of over 5K is pretty impressive. Our net worth stayed about the same, with all the expenses we’ve had for the house and all. After we close, it’ll start ticking up again!
I bet it felt good paying off that credit card, eh? Sucks that the money had to come out of your emergency fund, but it’s awesome that it’s paid off now. I’m looking forward to that this year :)
I go with Jonathan! Pretty impressive for someone who is “unemployed” so to speak. Congrats!
Looks great man. No increase is boring. That is all good.
I know the feeling about the drop in income. My wife has been out of full time work for 10 years now and was laid off from her part time work 1.5 years ago. The full time change was our decision, but the part time was not. We are still chugging along though.
Awesome progress for having lost your job. You made more progress while unemployed than most Americans who are employed. However, comparing finances to the average American isn’t really setting the bar high.
Nice work! Agree w using the e-fund to pay credit cards (think of what holding that e-fund instead costed over time). Glad to hear you’re busy during your transition – must mean the money’s on it’s way!
I’m down by a $1000 this month. But considering that I use zillow for my home value which dropped by $11,000 in the past month, I’m actually pretty happy with the month’s results.
@RT – Yeah, I used to track ours like that too (the amount we paid for it – $360k), but since we paid at the peak it didn’t make much sense to us anymore. We then tried Zillow but it fluctuated like crazy (up a lot some months, down a lot others) so we decided to stick to realtor’s estimate. I’d like to compare everything again in a few months though as it’s been set at the same amount for a while now.
@Mercedes – That is awesome Mercedes, you should def. be proud of yourself :) There was a time I couldn’t even save $100/month! I can’t wait for you to knock off that debt too – keep on going!
@Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog – Thanks bro. You’re right – it’ll be nice having all that money that people owe me, it’s starting to get ridiculous :(
@Jonathan – Good luck w/ the close! That sounds exciting :)
@Cassie – Eh, it felt better the very first time we got debt-free but yeah it felt pretty good this time too :) I really never looked at it as credit card debt in my head since I always had the money to pay it off (if that makes sense?). At least now I’m not getting charged interest :)
@DoNotWait – Thanks!
@Jake – Isn’t it interesting that we can keep pushing forward despite the challenges thrown our way? That’s what I love about life – we always have to adapt and find ways to get things done no matter what’s going on. I hope she’s able to find another good part-time job, my friend :)
@Will @ HackingTheBank.com – Haha, no doubt.
@Darwin’s Money – Time will only tell :)
@Jennifer Lissette – Woah, that IS impressive! So you pretty much had a $10,000 increase in funds then, eh? Congrats!
The net worth is looking great considering you gave up the 9-5.
I don’t mess with the home value all that much either. We are not planning to sell anytime soon so I just pick a number that I’m comfortable with. :)
That’s a good way to think about it :) Tracking your net worth is really only for YOU, so if you’re not comfortable with the way you’re doing things it doesn’t make sense. Keep rockin’ it!
I’m in the “who cares about home prices” camp as well. Until you sell it, which may be many years away, that home is a negative cash flow asset. As far as financial instruments go…that makes it virtually worthless.
Plus, homes tend to appreciate/depreciate as fast or as slow as virtually every home in your area. It isn’t common that you can sell a home, and buy the same home but for cheaper down the street, locking in a profit. Any gain is just eaten up by the rising price of the home you’d purchase next.
Great Job This Month! I always love to see your updates and isn’t it amazing when you are credit free :) I also got a chuckle out of the increased value of your vehicles, but hey an increase in value is absolutely an increase in net worth. I should totally start posting my changes from month to month at Financially Digital
You, are an INSPIRATION. I’m going to sit down with a bottle of wine over the weekend and spend a few hours reading back over your blog. Thanks :)
J, thanks for sharing. I enjoy seeing networth posts, and at the same time, I fear doing my own publicly and keep things hidden. Have you experienced anybody ever throw rocks at you for your net worth post?
Now that you are out in the open, do you feel any different sharing your net worth?
@JT McGee – Yup! That’s the problem. I’d like to be able to sell super high and then buy super low – can’t you just make that happen for me? ;)
@Nunzio Bruno – Yes! Start posting them :) Although the most important is for you to be first tracking it. So as long as you’re doing that and you know where you stand, then the rest is just for your fans, haha…
@Halee – Wooo! Glad it helps you! I’ll join you in the drinking of wine this weekend too ;)
@Financial Samurai – That’s an excellent question my friend, and so far the answer to that is No. No one’s given me too much $hit for posting up these net worths before, but every now and then i get a “man you’re an idiot! you should be doing XYZ instead” but as we know that’s par for the course ;) I think your net worth updates would be pretty drastically different than mine though, so it would be interesting to see what would happen if you started posting. You def. have a loyal fan base which should keep things tame :)
As for feeling different now that my face was exposed the other day – yeah, it’s weird :) And way more scary/real. I haven’t decided if if that video post was a one time shot or not, but either way I can tell you that I feel more alive and vulnerable at the same time. But I like that – it’s much better than being bored.
good call on clearing your credit card!
You realize you actually have a negative net worth right. You only have cash and an emergency fund because of your line of credit. Networth doesnt include retirement accounts because of their lack of liquidity. The only equity you built in your house you financed so even if you sold it your net worth wouldnt change, except for 5% sales fee so you would lose money. youre in debt but at least youre in debt and have so sort of retirement set up.
I don’t subscribe to the idea that retirement funds don’t count in your Net Worth ;) What if I had $5 million dollars in there? I’d still be in debt? Nah…those are assets in my books whether they’re liquid or not. I can cash out at any time if I wanted (and pay the taxes/fees and wait however many days to get it) which would then = cash. But that’s not to say my way of calculating it is “right” – I actually don’t believe there is one true way to do it, it’s all up to the individual to determine what they want to get out of their net worths.