Net worth time again, baby! Y’all still updating yours every month too? :)
This month had a little bitter sweet action going on around town. Cash and cars went down pretty significantly, at least % wise, while our mortgages and investments (yeah Vanguard!) improved quite the oppositely. With one main changing of the guards…
OUR HOUSE IS NO LONGER UNDERWATER!!!! OMFG!!!!
I’ve only been waiting 7 long years to say that ;) But what a beautiful day it now is… The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the next step is to get rid of the mortgage *completely* – how hard can that be? (Hah!)
These are the times you live for though :) The small milestones along the journey to freedom… Some are more fun to hit than others, but we all have to pass the stages and continue pushing forward no matter how hard it is. If this $hit was easy none of us would be on this blog reading about it!
Here’s How June Went Down…
CASH SAVINGS (-$4,738.49): This should be the last major dip for a while… I’ve restructured the way I’m tracking our cash for these net worths going forward (mainly in the rental check department), and soon I’ll be getting some of my payments owed more normally on a recurring basis. This is one of the downsides of working for yourself – your cash flow can get messed up while waiting for people to pay you! And when you’re having a less than stellar year of business, it only adds to the problem… But I ain’t hatin’. Hard to be mad when you’re chillin’ at a coffee shop while typing this out to y’all ;) Just a part of the game…
529 College Savings (+$236.51): Nothing new to report here other than the markets doing their thang, BUT I was just notified that we may be inheriting a little money from my wife’s late father, so depending on what that looks like we’ll probably plug it into Baby #2′s account. To help him catch up with Baby #1‘s total funds which is stated here in these numbers above… I have a feeling it’s gonna start getting weird deciding what money goes into who’s account when trying to play the “be fair to each kid” game… But I guess all good problems to have!
IRA: SEP [now merged with my old Traditional IRAs!] (+$7,655.66): This is now merged with our three old Traditional IRAs! Which was so cool that I was able to do to help cut down on the accounts to own/manage every single month. The only reason I had these Traditionals to begin with, other than to play the Crazy IRA Game, was because I needed to move over my old 401(k) once I got let go from my old job back in the day… I never had plans to add anything to these Traditionals since I max out my SEP and ROTH Ira every year instead, so as soon as I found out I could merge ’em with my SEP I was ’bout it ’bout it! I went from 5 investment accounts to two over night once I made that move to Vanguard.com… And so damn happy I did :)
Check out this section they have when you log into your accounts:
You can see SO EASILY how your funds are performing as time goes on! Pretty damn sexy! (You’ll see clearly the jump from when I cashed out of all my old funds and jumped all-in into Vanguard’s VTSAX in May. Compounded with the fact that the markets went up as well :))
Here’s the breakdown of what used to be in each account more or less to give you an idea… my Traditionals outweighed my SEP pretty heavily:
- SEP Ira: $85,000’ish
- Traditional Iras (old 401k): $235,000’ish
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$1,719.48): A nice uptick in the wife and I’s Roths as well. Nothing new added in here for either of us (we pour money in at the end of each tax year), so always nice to see when you don’t lift a finger :) I believe this is what they call “passive investing?”
IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) Sayonara! No longer around!
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$903.00): This will probably come as no surprise to those who have been following the adventures of my latest side hustle: Franken-Car. Haha… All those $1,000 checks its been earning for me has been nice, but it’s taken a beaten (quite literally!) in the form of overall worth. Though, for a car now over 20 years old, it can only drop so far ;)
The last few months we had it pegged at $1,500 flat since KBB.com no longer shows stats for it (booooo), but with its recent battle I dropped it down to $1,000 figuring I could at least get that if I tried to pawn it off one of these days… Physically it may be a tad ugly looking (I like to say it has character!), but the engine and mechanics are awfully good especially for its age (still hasn’t hit 100,000 miles!). So I’m pretty confident I could sell her for a cool $1 G if I really wanted.
Here’s how both cars stand presently:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $1,000.00 (down from $1,500)
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $6,751.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): This one stays still at a solid $300,000. If you recall from last month’s net worth update, our realtor pegged our house’s present value for 2014 at “maybe $310,000.” So we decided to conservatively keep ‘er at $300k and just be pleasantly surprised if we get more when it comes time to actually sell it. Which will be at the earliest next Summer as our current renters just renewed for another 12 months (WOO!). I don’t mind holding onto it and having someone else pay most of the mortgage off for us as long as it continues to run smoothly, knock on wood!
MORTGAGES (-$720.75): WE’RE NO LONGER UNDERWATER! WE’RE NO LONGER UNDERWATER!!! (I’ll never get tired of saying that – beware ;)). Finally, after 7+ long years, our mortgages have been paid enough to get us back to the break-even point again. Dumb crash of 2008… It’s still a pretty bad deal investment-wise when all is said and done, but we’ll take the win and look forward to greener pastures ahead :) At the very least we learned a very valuable lesson which is – never buy a house on a whim! Within 48 hours of seeing it! (And when you meant to RENT a 2 bedroom apt instead!) Crazy old J….
Here’s how our two mortgages break down:
- 1st Mortgage: $272,209.19 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
- 2nd Mortgage: $27,768.31 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%
Here’s a snapshot of how our last 12 months have been going:
Nothing *too* sexy the last 8 months, but a steady increase is always better than a steady decrease ;) And it’s all a part of the plan, as sucky as it may currently be (I’ve decided to not take on too much extra work to spend more time with the kids and only work on stuff I enjoy vs just for money. If we didn’t have a good financial foundation, or if my wife decided never to go back to work again, the picture would be MUCH different, believe me ;))
If interested, you can see all 6+ years of my net worth here: J’s net worth
How did you guys do last month? Still on track and crushin’ it?
Keep your boy posted,
PS: Want to see *other* bloggers’ net worths? Here you go: Blogger Net Worth Tracker
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)
Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!
Congrats on the increase and no longer being underwater on the house! Last month was flat/okay for us, but that was expected because of our wedding expenses. But those are over now!
Weddings def. do that to ya! Congrats again! :)
I think the biggest story in your net worth picture is the importance of investing and investing early. You have been up and down with your cash, especially with the the “change” kids and yet your net worth continues to steadily climb because of the money you have had invested for years. And congrats on the home breaking even (at least on paper)!
That’s a great take on all this actually, hadn’t ever thought of it like that before. You’re right – the investments keep pounding away despite all the changes to my wallet recently!
Thank goodness for the home value, 7 years is a long time to deal with the stress of being underwater on that. I need to do a net worth update. I think June was a little stagnant because I took a fab vacay.
A good reason to stay stagnant :) And even better it didn’t go DOWN!
Nice work! Can’t complain with steady increases. I am in the same boat. For me, the exciting news was the end of front-loading my 401k – now I have gone back to contributing 6% (my company match level) and will ride that the rest of the way to a fully maxed out 401k by the end of the year!
Nicely played, sir! And smart to not put in TOO much early on where you miss out on those matches too – so well done :)
Woo hoo!! Congrats on the house not being underwater and the renters renewing the lease. Those are both great pieces of news!!!!
Nicely done! Investments killing it and house on the positive side are two big win, wins for the month. Reaching our $100k in debt repayment mark was our big win for June.
Kick ass! $100k is no joke!! (And tell me that was cuz of school??)
Congrats on getting to the surface of the mortgage ocean!
And, out of pure curiosity, why do you wait to fill your Roth IRA’s at the end of the tax year?
‘Cuz I never know how much I’m gonna make being self-employed, nor how much taxes will be or the final # to max out my SEP ira which takes first precedent :) Back during my 9-5 days I’d be maxing out that bad boy super early! Get those funds working ASAP…
Ah, that makes perfect sense then. I’m not self-employed (insert sad ((yet determined)) face here) so I max out my Roth IRA ASAP.
Wow… I feel encouraged to start posting my net worth as well. Thank you for the nudge.
I hope you do! GREAT habit to get into regardless of the stage you’re in.
Woohoo! I’m hoping to be not underwater on my house very shortly as well. What a feeling!
Nice work! We didn’t put anything away in savings this last month (because we booked a big vacation for December), but were up $9k on the markets. I’m getting nervous that stocks are so frothy, but we’re in it for the long haul.
We are hot on your tail. Net worth of $417k here!
Yeah you are! Getting close…
I worry about the markets topping out too every now and then, but it’s nice knowing we’d then be getting stocks/funds super cheap once they crash and burn so there’s a nice win there as well :) The worst is if you’re cashing out or retiring soon and need to start withdrawing :( But hopefully those people have been dollar cost averaging for many a decades so they’ve been reaping the rewards forever!
I’m looking forward to doing our net worth update this week. I only calculate ours twice per year, basically every six months. I’m expecting a solid increase since the markets have been doing well. And for the first time I’ll be able to record a “zero” for liabilities, since we paid off our mortgage this past February. Debt free living is awesome!
Yeah dude!!! That’s gonna be tight!!! I don’t know how you have the patience to go so long in between – I get so excited to run the numbers whether I’m up OR down, haha… just so much fun ;)
Thanks for sharing! And congrats on the house! Great news for you. As for me, I use a monthly budget in excel that update my yearly expenses and net worth as I go. I love seeing the progress (especially seeing those student loans go down)!
Our house is no longer underwater either! I TOTALLY understand that feeling….I was singing it from the roof tops!
As for your 529s….remember that Nickel won’t need his for 2-ish years after his bro. Best way to see if you are “caught up” is to see where Penny’s acct was when he was the same age.
That’s a good way to look at it :)
Congrats on being above water for the first time in a while! We did well on the net worth side (+15k) and it doesn’t even count the ~$8k check I’m waiting for from my previous company for vacation pay.
Oh my gosh, you bought your house on a whim!!
That’s why I love this blog.
It’s what started it all :) If I didn’t buy it we wouldn’t be chatting on this blog right now!
Ya know, I actually thought last night, “Oh! Tomorrow is Wednesday and it’s a new month, that means a new net worth update.” And then I gave myself a mental head slap for being such a money voyeuristic nerd getting so excited to see how your finances are trending.
About the college savings for both kids though. Here is what we decided with our two (I’ll use example figures for easy math): The first baby gets $100/month automatically deposited into his account. By the time we had the second that would be $2700, but we will call it $3000 because he got some birthday money put in there too from aunts and uncles. When the second baby came along, she also gets $100/month into her account plus any gift money specifically for her. If we get a lump sum to give to both, it gets divided in half. Baby #1 will always stay ahead, roughly $3000, because he is older. I figure it will even out when they actually need it because Baby #1 will touch his money first while Baby #2 is still saving. It’s kind of simplistic, but at least this way we don’t have to feel like we are deciding between the two.
That’s how we originally were thinking of doing it if it all works out actually – splitting it up like that. But then I feel bad cuz we had more money to invest back when baby #1 was born so we were pouring it in, but now money’s tight and can’t do so for quite a while… So it’s so tempting to just plop in the chunk to have #2 catch up more to #1 and then they’ll be close to even… But we’ll see. First gotta find out if we’re for real inheriting any :)
Nice work as always J, especially on not being underwater anymore! I’ve been meaning to taking care of moving our Traditionals and old 401ks into our SEP accounts. We don’t have a ton of accounts, but I’m all about ease so I just need to do it. Other than that, it was another good month of plugging away.
It feels a LOT better mentally – I highly recommend it :) And only takes a simple phone call! Unless you have tons of funds that need to be cashed out and then re-invested, etc (and depends on where you have them too – will take longer if across different institutions) but still can all be done on one call hopefully! Do it on a lunch break this week :)
Congratulations on your home not being underwater. I also bought in 2007 and it also took me about 7 years for my house to finally be worth more than I paid for it. The timing was terrible but what can you do…..
Learn a $hit ton from it ;)
Nothing wrong with slow and steady progress. And I’m a fan of the Vanguard personal return tab, too…much easier than trying to figure it out myself.
We stopped publishing our budgets & net worth updates a while back, but things are still going well. Slow and steady will hopefully win (or at least complete) the race!
Hey great job getting out of underwater on your house. I have an upcoming travel in october so, my expense will be more than I like for June and probably July too. The airplane tickets cost me a lot, so hopefully after July is done I can invest a bit more. Good job on your progress.
Just doing a quick review of things… And we still have a hefty amount of student loans (that I am grossly overpaying each month but are dying a very slow death). Until I can get those paid off we will continue to be negative. That reminds me it may be time for another rant about the lack of student loan education for borrowers…
“Grossly overpaying” Haha…. LOVE THAT. Keep doing that :)
Congrats man!! 7 years is quite a long time… 7 years ago I had just finished school and was enjoying my last summer vacation! That crash was brutal… luckily for me, I was too new to be affected by it.
Here’s to a more awesome next 7! I’m kind of digging this bull market right now, aren’t you? ;)
I dig all markets :) But this one is ofcourse less scary, haha… (until it pops again!)
Wonderful news J! Everything eventually goes up and to the right, well at least most things.
I bought a vacation home during that time and watched it implode. But the cash flow has always been good as a vacation rental property. But, you’ve spurred me to check out what my rotten child is up to now, and it seems like this area in Lake Tahoe is recovering.
That’s great news on the house. Personal Capital makes it almost too easy to track our net worth obsessively.
A much better thing to be obsessed over than others in life :)
Congrats! Thanks to our Roth IRA’s, our net worth went up $3000 too. We’re at $401,000 now, woot!
You’re so close to passing us!!! Keep going, friend! :)
Congratulation on the house. It’s no fun being under water. Our home isn’t under water, but it’s we still can’t get the price we paid for it. We probably have to wait a few more years until condos are in vogue again..
Great increase j. Perfect example of staying invested and the power of compounding. Hopefully you won’t sour on real estate for the long term due to the last crash.
First off congrats on finally being above water with regard to the mortgage. Seven years is a long time!
J, I have a question about the SEP-IRA. I recently opened one since I’m now in the US permanently and I’m self-employed. Do you fund yours a little every month and then top off once you have the final figure or do you wait until you file your taxes in order to know the exact amount and then fund it in one shot? I intend to max mine every year but unsure what’s the better course of action.
I do the latter – wait to the end and then throw it all in with one big chunk. Mainly cuz I never know what the amount will be, like you said.
But that’s just how I do it :) Other, probably more smarter, people might invest a little each month and do their best to estimate it so they’re dollar cost averaging all those investments. And can then square off at the end once taxes are ran. I just personally feel more comfortable waiting once everything is said and done since online income is so drastic sometimes. And don’t want to play the xfer around game and screw anything up.
Congrats, sir! Ours didn’t move at all last month, mainly due to some extra medical expenses (yum!). But we’re still moving in the right direction, so I’m happy about it.
Congratulations on being back above water on your house! I can imagine it must feel incredible :D
Congrats on the gains! I was up this month as well. I think changing my social circle to a group of financial bloggers has really been helpful. Keep up the good work!
HAH! I bet it has :) I learn a shit ton from other bloggers out there, it’s awesome. Also from my commenters here too!
I’m still trying to figure out the best way to approach 529 savings for my 3 kids. They are ages 5, 3, and baybay. We started the first 2 kids’ 529s at the same time, when 1st kid was 2 and the 2nd kid was a newborn.
But, 1stborn will in theory be going to college before 2nd born, so he needs more money in his 529. Less time to throw money at it, is my reasoning.
So I switched from putting the same amounts in each, to putting in more for eldest, less for 2nd, and even less for the baby since she has the most time before college.
And ya know? It’s not going to be perfectly even and fair. Life isn’t fair and it isn’t necessarily going to work out in perfect thirds. We will try to get them all through college to the same level of parental contribution, but I am not able to make it totally precise. Hopefully it’ll be enough (plus scholarships, plus their own damn contributions) to make it work.
I think that’s as good a plan as any :) I just love hearing that parents ARE saving money for their kids to go to college since so many people poo poo on the idea of higher ed these days… Yeah the costs are getting outrageous, but it’s still good education! Even as a self-employed man I still want my kids going to college… No way I’d be here today if it wasn’t for that degree and everything else life-related I learned throughout those years.
Congrats for not being underwater!!!
Again, congrats on the baby! We’re down $1800 this month. The real estate market is cooling off, and we’ve been hemorrhaging spending money since I had baby #3 at the end of April. We’ve been in survival mode and the name of the game is throwing money at problems as they arrive until I’m getting more sleep.
Oh well, those little baby cuddles are priceless.
How true that is my friend, how true that is. I’m just waiting for mine to start trying out for the NFL so he can hook up his ol’ pops for the rest of his life ;)
Ha! The car thing is hilarious. Good for you. I always admire people that drive older, beat up (yet reliable) vehicles. Ive known a few people who have a significant net worth ($4M+) and not one of them owns an expensive vehicle
I’m not sure I could hold out once I was a millionaire ;)
It might be best to not split the money up at all. Your second child might not need as much financial assistance for college as your first child. In this case, it would be best to devote most, if not all of the money into the first child’s 529. Then you can transfer what is left, unneeded, etc. into the second child’s 529 account.
With this plan, you are maximizing the benefit of the 529 money and minimizing potential penalties if child No. 2 does not need much help for college because of scholarships, or a different life path. If both children have an equal need for financial assistance, you can just make sure that an equal amount is dispersed to each at a later time.
yeah, that’s an idea too… so many different ways!