Net Worth Update: $296,797.00 (Up $12,000!)

Net Worth July 2012We’re back in action, baby! :)

Still a good $20k away from our peak earlier in the year, but a nice change from the downhill spirals lately too, haha… Our first positive cash flow in months!

And as you can see, most of the other areas didn’t do too shabby either. A couple quick notes before we break it all down here:

1)  We’re in the process of streamlining our accounts more to better keep track of things now that we know how we (as a family) work.  No more “me me me” especially now that we have a babe! :) I’ll be blogging about what all this means in a few…

2) We’re back to paying down the house an extra $2,000 a month again.  Last month was our first break from it since we started last year (I think I only ended up paying off $1,000ish extra?), and it feels good to be chipping a lot more away gain :)  Though now I have my sights on a potential new project too, which I will also be blogging about here in the next week or so…

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve got a TON of new things I wanna blog about now that I’m back from paternity leave, and it feels SOOOO weird having it all in my head still! Haha… I’m so used to unleashing it all as soon as it comes up :) That’s what blogging for over 4 and 1/2 years does to you – you can’t keep anything internal anymore.

Okay, now on to the break down from last month…

CASH SAVINGS ($738.29): A nice change from the past few months of *losing* a grand after a grand, after a grand, that’s for sure.  One thing that helped a lot was pretty much doing nothing except taking care of the baby last month :)  Plus having lots of food and gifts given to us to help out with the entire process too.  Also, business was pretty good last month and some of my other online projects should start bringing in more cash flow too now shortly. All good things to look forward to!

EMERGENCY FUND ($0.00): This is one of those areas we’re gonna do away with now.  It made sense for us to keep it when we didn’t have much savings and we had to make sure we had stuff stored away, but now that it’s been a few years and our worlds are all kinds of different now (in a good way!), we’re gonna start mashing all this up into one MAIN account going forward instead.  Which will still cover everything we need (like emergencies), but will be a lot more easier to stay on top of and not stress out a bit which is really the whole point here.  Look for more details on this in our future streamline post :)

PHYSICAL GOLD ($30.20): We’re gonna change around this department too, and make it more of a “precious metals” or “commodities” category rather than just gold.  I realized I had some good ol’ fashioned silver laying around too, as well as other semi-valuable coins, so I think I’ll keep track of all this stuff in more of a “group” area instead going forward in these recaps…

IRA: SEP ($1,525.72): Nothing new added here, just the market taking the reigns as always.  And this month we go up! :)

IRA: ROTH(s) ($1,702.67): Same thing here – just a little bit more added to the pot due to the upticks in stocks lately.

IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) ($5,785.68): Can you believe it’s already been a YEAR since we started this IRA Game thing?? Man… time goes CRAZY fast… and as you can see, we have a clear winner of the group too ;) I haven’t decided *when*, exactly, I’ll be merging them all back together into one pot again just as yet, but I do think the time is coming soon. I still need to talk to the fine folks at USAA and see what they think about all this first ;)  The ones they’re managing seemed to have performed the worst! (Or perhaps the fees they’ve taken out has eaten away at the totals?) Here’s how it currently breaks down:

  • IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $60,461.42 **Taken over the lead months ago
  • IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds): $58,322.24
  • IRA #3 (Managed, ALL funds): $58,670.98

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$241.00): All normal here, except my caddy went down exactly $1.00 this month, haha… so weird?? :)

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,114.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $9,187.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Last month we dropped the value for the first time in years from $300,000 down to $285,000, and I think it’ll remain pretty stagnant. At least until the market starts fluctuating a lot more again (or we decide to sell it or rent it out and see what the value is there from our Realtor).  It was a tough pill to swallow last month, but I feel like our numbers are a lot more accurate now which is really the whole point of me tracking all this stuff anyways – I don’t wanna be fooling myself! :)

MORTGAGES (-$2,589.45): Our hardcore house payments are back! At least for now :) It’s almost been a year since we’ve started that little challenge too, pretty wild stuff… So far we’ve paid out over $20,000 extra towards our mortgage, which means our plan of being done with it for good is still on track to being completed under 10  years from the point we started. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly do-able! Here’s what we currently have left:

  • 1st Mortgage: $283,966.11 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
  • 2nd Mortgage: $41,921.38 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%

And that’s all July wrote… Overall a MUCH better month than last, and we’re heading into August a lot more confident and excited. Sometimes you gotta go through the nasty times in order to appreciate the good ones, right? And I couldn’t be happier! Hopefully you guys are too :)

Who else had a nice growth in worth last month?  Anyone find anything surprising?

j. money signature
PS: If there are any new readers to the site seeing this right now, I hope you’re tracking your net worth too!!  It really is important stuff and easy to start doing! :)

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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. Edward Antrobus III August 1, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Maybe you should trade in the Caddy for an old Geo Prizm. Every month since I started doing my net worth calculations, mine has gone UP in value. This month is was $99!

  2. Lance @ Money Life and More August 1, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    I actually keep track of my net worth on the 15th of every month for some strange reason! I had a dip last month because I shelled out $4,000 for a new air conditioner but that was expected and I was OK with that. It is nice to see the stock market not losing this month too!

  3. Heather Stephens August 1, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    Congrats on the progress this month! I can relate to the benefits of simplifying and consolidating accounts and I need to be doing more of it in the coming months. I’m inspired by your progress on your mortgage and will have to talk to my husband about it soon! Have fun getting all your ideas out of your head. I look forward to reading them!

  4. Bobby August 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM


    Glad to see you back! I’m loving your monthly net worth updates; they are filled with so much practicality for the everyday reader who wants to make it rain with their personal finances. Congrats on the baby and keep it up!


  5. Em August 1, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    I am a new reader and I do not track my net worth! I’ve been thinking about it but just never did it. This has given me motivation to get it done. Thanks!

  6. Devan August 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM


    Congrats on the baby again. The wife and I have 24 more days until our little man due date. It will be our first as well. We were up 10k this month on our net worth thanks to the market performing really well. The Euro Central Banks preservation of the euro will hopefully further protect our equities and grow further. Just a gee whiz question, do you and your wife give to a charity each month or pay tithes to your church? We pay $1200 a month. I know most probably don’t pay tithes and but we pay faithfully. I know this is the reason why we’re blessed with good incomes and able to give my mother-in-law $600 am month towards her bills and still save and invest around 27% of our income. The biggest help will be when we have our little one, the $600 we give to my mother-in-law will be worth it because she will be watching our son for us so no day care :) Congrats again to you and your wife and good deal this week on the 12k gain.

  7. Joe @ Retire By 40 August 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    See, having a kid isn’t as expensive as people say. You don’t go out and spend as much money as you’re used to. We spend a lot less on ourselves these days and overall a kid is not that expensive. :)
    Good job in July!

  8. Brent Pittman August 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Interesting that you’ll cut out your emergency fund. I assume you’ll allocate your pile o’ cash into different categories?…look forward to your post on that.

  9. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager August 1, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Woot! Congrats on being up $12K!!

  10. 20's Finances August 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Nice – a great month overall. It is nice to see the stocks go up on these types of months. I always hate to see depreciation in my car and have a drop in stocks.

  11. CrystalH August 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    5.5% mortgage??? Refi is in the works right????

  12. Sarah August 1, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Would you include student loans in the net worth calculation?

  13. J. Money August 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    This was fun to put out there this month :) It’s nice to get down and dirty with the numbers every now and then!

    @Edward Antrobus III – Hahhaa… but then I won’t be pimpin’! ;)
    @Lance @ Money Life and More – Huh, interesting… I’ve always thought the 15th of every month was a pretty solid date, so maybe you also do too?
    @Heather Stephens – Thanks Heather! It’s pretty funny how you and I both are in the finance world yet still need to be working on our own situations all the time :) I guess that’s the way it all goes though, eh? A.B.T.! (Always be tweaking!)
    @Bobby – Hey, thanks! That means a lot. It’s one of the only things I’ve been adament about doing on this blog from the beginning (over 4 years now!), and I have no plans on stopping it anytime soon :) Seeing others’ net worths is what got me into this whole blog thing from the start!
    @Em – How wonderful :) Please do! And then it’ll give you another thing to blog (and ponder) about too ;)
    @Devan – GREAT question Devan, and I’m embarassed to say that no – we don’t tithe or give much to charity at the present moment :( Last year sucked me dry in giving back when we ran our *own* charity, Love Drop (we gave about 20+ hours of time a week to it, and raised over $90,000 in cash and goods in total!), and to be honest I haven’t thought much of it since. I would, however, like to get back on top of it and start setting aside more again in the near future though. It’s something I struggle with, and was the reason I started Love Drop last year – I need(ed) an organization I believe in 100%! So in the meantime I only give to those friends/family who ask me to suppor them in their own charitable endeavors, which comes out to about $100 or so a month… Thanks for getting me to think about this again though, I need it :)
    @Joe @ Retire By 40 – Agreed! Insurance costs and initial supplies aside, so far the baby isn’t taking much out of our wallets :)
    @Brent Pittman – Yup! Well, pretty much. We’re going to come up with a number that we want in cash reserves, and then piling it all in there and dispurse the rest appropriately. I’ll be blogging about it soon :)
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Thanks! Hope you’re up too.
    @20’s Finances – Yeah, it’s a big roller coaster with stocks but it’s all incredibly fun for me to watch as it goes all over the place :) If I weren’t so risk-happy there’s now WAY I’d be looking at these numbers every single month, haha… my parents only do it once a quarter and even then it takes a lot out of them ;)
    @CrystalH – If you can believe it, that 5.5% WAS the refinance! Haha… it used to be 6.875% ;) But when you’re underwater and no one is approving your refi’s, you have to take what you can get… so we’re happy w/ the 5.5 at the moment, but once we get equity-positive (and ENOUGH to be able to truly refi like a normal person) we’ll be giving it a shot again… For now though, it is what it is.
    @Sarah – YUP! I would most certainly include *any* types of debts or income in the net worth calculations. Everyone has their own preferences on them, and WHY they’re even tracking them to begin with, but for me it’s all about seeing that “snapshot” of my financials – the good, the bad, and the ugly. So if I owe anyone anything, or have something of great value sitting around (like a car, stocks, house, etc), then it all goes into my net worth so I can have as accurately a picture as I possibly can. For me, that’s pretty important. And it makes tracking the monthly updates even better knowing I’m not fooling myself anywhere!

    (If it’s too much for you to handle though, or you think it would get you to NOT do the net worth updates, then maybe try it without for a bit and see how you feel. There really is no right or wrong way in doing these, as long as you keep on top of them :))

  14. Nicole C. August 1, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Welcome back, J$ and great job on up 12k this month!
    I am curious that: Where do you park that big chunk of cash savings? I need some ideas on how to boost up the interest rates(right now is ~0.80% APY) of my emergency fund. Thanks!

  15. MoneyMateKate August 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Your net worth just went up one whole beatiful baby and he’s not listed?? You’re a daddy, you are definitely worth a whole lot more now…seriously, I’ll bet there’s some complicated actuarial way to determine that too, lol.

    I would love to start tracking my net worth, but I’m getting punished by the IRS with a 4-hr audit for being self-employed so I don’t feel like giving them anything else to question. I’ve got crazy legit money in the bank for someone in my lines of work, which attract flaky hot messes.

  16. Nicole C. August 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    I just read your response to Devan. I just want to say that you did an amazing thing in Love Drop. The most impressive one was you and Nate went on a road trip to deliver a car to Joy. I got tears in the eyes to see that happening. Hope to hear from you & Love Drop soon.

  17. StackingCash August 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Thanks for the networth update, even though it can make me jealous at times, it gives me some kind of reference point or goal I would like to attain. It also reminds me of the importance knowing my own networth to see if I’m progressing or regressing in terms of having financial security in the future. I think all PF bloggers should have a networth update, even if it was ambiguous and gave percentages instead of actual dollar amounts.

  18. Ornella @ Moneylicious August 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Hey J$,

    Glad you are back in action, man! Well, you are on top of it. I think your signature changed??? hmm…

    Your passive approach IRA is kicking butt. Index funds are much more cost-efficient. In regards to the USAA funds, it might be the fees.
    You may want to consider even active money management (different than actively managed mutual funds…not the same thing).

    Talk to you later!

  19. K @ Get Worth August 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Nice month! I haven’t kept my own records on net worth, I usually just check my Mint account. However, your post today (and Mint’s obsession with randomly duplicating my accounts) has inspired me to keep my own monthly records. Thanks!

  20. Khaleef @ KNS Financial August 1, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Hey J, I haven’t been able to check one of your net worth updates out in a while. I’m glad that you are still doing them, and that having a baby didn’t throw everything for a loop (for now ;-))!

  21. Sean @ One Smart Dollar August 1, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I nice uptick in the stock market and some timely purchases this month was kind to our net worth as well.

  22. J. Money August 1, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    @Nicole C. – You’re not alone, I’m afraid, friend. None of my accounts of cash are getting much play either :( Depending on how liquid or not you want it you can get into CDs or Money Markets and other like-minded funds, but in the general scheme of things it’s all gonna be low across the board until the main prime rates rise in this country… aka when the economy gets better ;) So right now a lot of us are out of luck in that department, but in others it’s awesome! (like getting a loan, buying a house, etc etc… rates there are super low too). And I will most def. let you know if/when Love Drop goes back into action :) That particular drop you mention happen to be one of our all-time favorites too! It’s been over a year since we did that, crazy, huh?
    @MoneyMateKate – HAH! I wonder if that DOES make me worth more actually, good one ;) And suck-ass on that IRS audit, man… that blows. You can thank all those assholes out there who game the system and thus makes all of us honest ones have to put up with these checks! I’m sure it’ll hit me any year now too – odds are against us small business owners :(
    @StackingCash – I’d LOVE it if all pf bloggers did! It’s just so incredibly interesting at the very least :) I imagine a lot of the “bigger” ones don’t though because they make a KILLING on their blogs and it would probably (but not appropriately) piss people off… I know a few that make $30,000-$50,000+ a month and wouldn’t dare put it on their blogs, haha… I’ll welcome that problem the day it comes :)
    @Ornella @ Moneylicious – Oh, that IS what those two second accounts are! They are actively managed funds that the team at USAA manually handles – not mutual funds that are managed like that (did I say that right?). Which is why I’m thinking it’s been losing more money over time – because of the fees they’ve taken out ;) But we’ll see when I get to speak to them on it… though I’m sure they won’t be able to talk purely off the record, especially knowing I’m going to turn around and blog about it! Haha…
    @K @ Get Worth – Good for you! It takes a handful of minutes more each month, but it’s totally worth having it all set up EXACTLY like you want it :) And having a soft copy on your computer ain’t too bad of an idea either – esp if you print them off each month and keep records (which I just reminded myself I need to do – it’s fun!)
    @Khaleef @ KNS Financial – Haha… “for now” exactly ;) See you at FINCON again this year, my friend? Give my love to Mrs. Khaleef!
    @Sean @ One Smart Dollar – Well done! Let’s see if you can duplicate it over and over again now :)

  23. Jennifer Lissette August 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I’m glad you’re back! Congrats on the new addition, I can’t wait to read about your experiences with fatherhood.

    This month was flippin’ fantastic, my net worth has gone up $75,000!!! How? I had my house appraised and it came in over 20% higher than zillow had estimated. So now I’ve got a sweet net worth, positive equity and tomorrow I sign to refinance my mortgage, taking my interest down from 6.25 to 2.75%! Yes, it’s been a fantastic month indeed.

    Now that our net worth is shooting up, my husband keeps trying to take over my spreadsheet. Apparently, it’s much more fun to track net worth when it’s on the rise!

  24. Evan August 2, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Woah nelly a 12K+ Month is awesome. Isn’t it weird that a loss half of that would feel doubly as worse as the gain?

  25. Ryan @ August 2, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Great site. I think I am going to start adding a net worth tracker myself. I think it will make some of the tid bits I talk about a little more trusted by visitors. Quick question though, where do you get the values from and do you specificly list the assets you invest in anywhere?

  26. MrsPoP @ PlantingOurPennies August 2, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Our nmbers are scehduled to go up on our blog later today or tomorrow, but we had a gain of $12K on our net worth in July! I’m amazed your HELOC rate is so low. We are focusing all of our extra money right now towards paying down our $38K HELOC as it’s our highest rate – 5.99%, but we’ve paid down $8.5K on it in the last two months, so we’ve got to keep chipping away!

  27. J. Money August 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    @Jennifer Lissette – Haha, that’s awesome :) Haven’t heard of an appraisal going in THAT direction in a while, congrats!
    @Evan – Oh yeah, you got that right. I lost like $15k the other month and it blew… although I am getting used to all the ups and downs now that I’ve been tracking it for a while now, so I only get pissed/excited for a day or so until I return back to normal ;) I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing either, haha…
    @Ryan @ – YUP! Go for it – at the very least it helps you stay accountable to yourself :) Not sure which values you’re talking about, but most of them come from just me logging into my accounts and adding them up, and our cars come from and house from my realtor or if a similar house down the street sells and I recalculate it myself. I don’t trust Zillow really as it’s all kinds of wonky in my neighborhood. Does that answer your question?
    @MrsPoP @ PlantingOurPennies – Nice work! We’re like net worth twins this month! :) Our HELOC is incredibly low cuz we got “prime minus something%” when we got it 4+ years ago… it was at the peak of the market and started at like 9+% but quickly went down when everything crashed and interest rates fell to a national record… and since they haven’t gone up at ALL over the years, neither does our interest rate on that loan ;) Either way though you and I both are trying to rid ourselves of it so we gotta keep on going for it!