Welcome to another rousing net worth update – that was a fast month!
While I wish I had something big and juicy to share with you all today though, I’m afraid May just wasn’t that exciting in terms of finances this go around… In the baby dept, yes (he’s now finally sleeping more and gained over 5 lbs!), but we’ll save all that for BeingAParentIsSexy.com later ;)
I did, however, do my yearly check-in with our old realtor this week to get a better sense of our house’s worth. As you know I don’t really like using Zillow or other automated sites since for some reason my house tends to spike all over the place, so instead I rely on our realtor to run actual comps as if we were about to put it on the market *today*. And since he was the original person to sell us the house, he already knows the ins and outs so it literally takes him 10 mins every year.
(I don’t like to pester him more than that since he’s doing us a favor and knows damn well we’re not ready to sell it yet ;) Though, when that day does come, we’ll of course be knocking on his door to help us seal the deal – which is why I’m still comfortable asking him ever year)
At any rate, after reviewing the comps together (“comparisons” of recently sold similar homes), he pegged our house at “maybe” $310,000. That’s up from $300,000 last year, and then $285,000 the years before that. A nice increase of $25,000 in two years, but still a far cry from the $360,000 it once was, and, unfortunately, what we once paid for it (ugh…).
But while it just “may be” $310,000 now, I think it’s best to stay the conservative route and keep the house at $300,000 just in case. I’d much rather get a nice surprise later than I would a let down ;) So we’re going with what makes us most comfortable here, which is really the point of all this tracking stuff to begin with. Everyone has their own version of what belongs in a Net Worth (some don’t believe your house should even be in it), but always remember that it’s all for YOU – not anybody else. It doesn’t matter what neighbor Joe or blogger Jane thinks of your system – what counts is that it’s set up the way YOU feel is best for your situation (and the one that keeps you most accountable).
So take all this stuff with a grain of salt – even this post you’re reading :) If it helps you, great! If not, no hard feelings. You just do YOU. And speaking of bloggers and net worths, allow me to pimp out my Blogger Net Worth List again to y’all. It’s a perfect example of how differently people track their money, and from all over the world too! It’s quite fascinating (not to mention voyeuristic ;))
At any rate, that’s the only real thing that’s new here lately finance-wise. I’m almost ready to share our new investment strategy once some funds clear at our new Vanguard home (all our investment numbers below will be a bit skewed until things settle) but for now I’ll have to leave y’all hangin’…
Oh! Also, be sure to check out this post over at Frugal Fringe too when you’re done here: How to Compare Your Net Worth to Others (Without Being Rude). You can see where your worth compares to others across the country (US) based on some official studies. Here’s a sneak peak below – looks like I’m in the 75th percentile – woo!
A Closer Look at May’s Numbers:
CASH SAVINGS (-$1,348.42): May was a good month comparatively in the cash flow department… I’ve scheduled us to lose roughly $2,000/mo at the rate we’re currently going (ie me not taking on more business or a 2nd job to spend time w/ family and focus more on the projects I actually care about), so technically we’re ahead here ;) It’s all temporary though until the wife goes back to the work force after 6 years off (getting a PHD) – in which case things will do a complete 180. And if not, well, I’ll get back to hustling 24/7 again! I’m not that much of an idiot, haha…
529 College Savings (+$95.53): No new funds invested here this month, however, I just learned we may be getting a little money from an old inheritance on my wife’s side, so if that’s indeed the case we’ll more than likely put it towards Baby Nickel‘s 529 plan – that way he can catch up a little with Baby Penny :) You like those nicknames don’t you?
IRA: SEP (+$58.68): As mentioned above, these retirement numbers will be skewed since our funds were in and out of the market in May – it should all be set and in action again here in June which I’m looking forward to.
IRA: ROTH(s) (+$1,088.11): Same with this bad boy too – though we still got a nice gain considering!
IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (+$1,537.20): Another nice increase for not being in the market fully this month. And a LOT easier to manage/look at now that we’ve killed our IRA test! Merging all these accounts into one alone feels great again – good riddance…
(I know I said last month would be the last time I’d show the results of this crazy test, but I’ll let ‘er ride one more time for the fun of it… I no longer have any of these accounts)
- IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $79,141.43 **The leader every month for two years
- IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds only): $73,199.26
- IRA #3 (Managed, ALL different funds): $74,024.92
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$190.00): So it appears my wife’s Toyota has gone UP in value over $600 in the past two months, haha… how does THAT work? Either way, we’ll leave it there since if we were to put it on the market today, we’d of course use KBB’s value when coming up with the sales price (which we’d sell ourselves via Craigslist). As for my dear Cadillac, she topped out at $1,500 before being too old to be tracked anymore apparently, so it’ll be left at that :)
Here’s how they break down:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $1,500.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $7,154.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Gonna stay at $300,000 for another year! Unless the market does something crazy, or our circumstances change and we need to sell it for some reason sooner. As you know it’s been our rental property by default going on its second year now (our same renter renewed, woo!), so we’re trying to make the switch from “home” to “business” which is starting to sink in more… And will of course also affect what we do with it in the future as well.
MORTGAGES (-$665.76): Only $698.25 more to go and we’re NO LONGER UNDER WATER!! Ahhhh!!! It’s never been that way since the month we BOUGHT the place, haha…what a mess… It’ll also mean we’ll finally have equity for once too! What is that??? :) I cannot wait. Only took 7 years…
Here’s how our dumb mortgages break down:
- 1st Mortgage: $272,741.52 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
- 2nd Mortgage: $27,956.73 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%
To check out all previous net worths we’ve tracked here (over 6 years worth!), click here: My Net Worth Tracker. I finally went through the archives and pulled out all 70+. Probably the best 3 hours I spent on this site lately – it was fun! :)
How did you guys do last month? Anything fun and exciting go down in your hood?
PS: Sorry it took me so long to get this out this month… please accept this apology.
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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Wow! Congrats on being so close to being above water on your mortgages! While you might already be there, once you hit your number of $300k I’m sure it will feel even better! Now to get enough equity to be able to sell without bringing money to the table to pay realtor fees, etc.
That’s the goal!
Hey J Money,
Sorry if I’ve missed it but why have you not refinanced this property? Right now you could probably refi at somewhere around 4%. Although you don’t have equity, you could use HAMP or another federal program. Have you looked into this? If you’ve already discussed this prior, forgive me!
No prob – great catch :) The good news is that we actually HAVE refinanced already a few years ago (https://budgetsaresexy.com/2011/05/we-refinanced-our-mortgage/), but the bad news is that it then prevented us from doing so again due to however those rules are now set up :( And since we’re so underwater, we’d need to bring tens of thousands of dollars to the table ($90k last I checked) to make it happen. Which of course is a no go (though I was scheming about it at one point! https://budgetsaresexy.com/2013/01/my-new-refinancing-plan-brilliant-or-stupid/).
So sadly we’re stuck with what we have at the present time, but considering it used to be 6.875% AND interest-only (ie no $$ towards principle!), it’s hard to complain much :) Again though, I like where your head is at!
I’ve been way behind on my blog reading, but do I remember that you have two houses now? Why don’t you do a little debt shifting and get a better rate? Do a cash out-refi on your current home at 80% LTV (owner occupied will get a better rate than an investment property), then you can easily refi the rest of the debt on your old house. (If you don’t have two houses, ignore me.)
We’re actually renting our 2nd home so we only own 1 – the now rental :) I don’t know when the next time I’ll be up for buying again, but you never know! Appreciate the idea at any rate.
I think it’s great that you’re paying off your mortgage and not just walking away from it like so many others chose to do. I hope you are rewarded one day by huge gains on that thing! Then it will all be worth it.
I would NEVER walk away… J. Money’s always pay their debts! (cue Game of Thrones music…)
Ohhhhh! Zero on the mortgage, how very exciting!!
Sounds to me that you went up $2000 and “maybe” $12,000. I agree with staying conservative. We just bought our house and have made several improvements so it looks like we’re just spending money left and right. Once we’re done with our kitchen project and adding central air I’m going to bring someone by to give us a realistic price. The house next door is for sale for 30% more than we paid for ours last August and ours is the better property, so we’ll see. I’m pretty sure they over priced their property but that will be a great gauge for us when it finally sells.
Indeed… I know some people that put their improvements into their net worth too, and it boggles my mind. Just because you paid $20,000 to redo a bathroom doesn’t mean it’s going to automatically increase your house value by $20k! So much better to get a professional in there (and/or realtor) to see what’s realistic like you mention.. Or just leave it off completely and go super duper conservative for a nice “surprise” later :)
Very nice to being at the point of getting back to nearly being above water on the mortgage! I shudder to think where we’re at on ours, though we were somewhat sheltered from the downturn so I don’t think it is too bad. Our month was good, more of the same and throwing all we can in our SEPs. :)
Congrats on this month’s uptick J$ (and thank you very much for the shout out to the Frugal Fringe post)!
J.Money your slacking on the net worth man, 449K is not enough. (You have two kids for christ sake) HA. Good ol’ sarcasm and I’m curious to find out what vanguard funds you picked since I’ve been with them for over 10 years now. Your net worth is killer, keep it up.
Those kids are definitely doing a number though, no joke!
Looks like I’m somewhere in the 45.5% percentile on net worth. I wonder how much that would change if the ranges were representative of only people my age.
You’d be in the 99.999% percentile ;)
I admire you for always sharing these updates. It’s really amazing!
Thanks Natalie, I appreciate that. It’s sometimes harder than others (ie when I lose money!!) but I think it paints a realistic picture of someone’s financial life so I continue to do so no matter what the situation :) I learn by seeing REAL numbers, so my hope is others do too.
Awesome! Congrats on being even on the mortgage, it’s always nice to knock out a big milestone like that.
Congrats. It’s certainly moving in the right direction.
I commend you for staying conservative on the home value. We value our home at the tax-assessed value in our net worth calculation, despite knowing that it’s worth at least $50K more currently in the market. It keeps us from assuming we have more than we know we do…and hungry to keep saving more to increase that “padding”.
BTW: I find it so gutsy to share your net worth with us. Bada** really.
Thank you so much – I’m glad you get something out of them :)
And badass to YOU for only putting down the *tax-assesed* value! I’d lose another $40-$50k too in that scenario – wow.
You are doing awesome, but really starting to see the results of the true net worth killers – children. Our graph looked very similar to yours until my son was born, then it went sideways. Which is an important lesson to all those without children, you need to absolutely kill it on your savings before you let the killers into your home. They do a ridiculous amount of damage financially. It’s a good thing my son is cute and makes me laugh otherwise I would be tempted to sell him to a circus or something. ;-)
Good job increasing your net worth and getting out of being under water on your mortgage.
I knew I should’ve stuck with a Toyota.
Your Ferrari is a tad bit sexier though :)
Still looking good J$! The KBB car values have me puzzled too, not sure how older car values tend to fluctuate so often.
Woo! Another great net worth monthly breakdown! Looks like the rumors of having babies being pricey is true! For now I’m liking seeing my net worth go up pretty steadily, it’ll be a big adjustment once we add a baby to our family and all our money goes towards diapers and little tiny clothing!
Yet another reason to save your a$$ off in the meantime, as Shannon mentioned above :) It’s a good place to put your money too!
Nice increase, J$! I only count our retirement accounts as assets for now (keep cash separate) and then of course all of our debts as liabilities. Our NW increased by $5,407.32 in May because a stable job = less need for extra cash reserves. We paid off a credit card in May (and another in June!) and also opened up Steve’s first IRA which we plan to max out for 2014 once the credit card debt is totally gone (October-ish?). He’s a few years older than me and we want to get his retirement savings up to speed while paying down my student loans.
All good stuff happening and as of May we’re at 58% of our annual net worth increase goal! Here’s to an awesome June for us all :)
Work it, girl! You guys are on fire! (And congrats again on the dream job :) You deserve it)
Paying off the mortgage is a huge undertaking especially if it’s large and you’re on a low income. It’s probably not something I’d be brave enough to do. Well done on you for climbing that ladder.
Congrats! Despite our income decline, ours went up about $1200 (yay retirement savings, lol). Buying a new car hurt though…
Congrats, especially on the mortgage! You are putting the rest of us to shame :)
Not in the cash flow department I’m not :)
Glad you won’t be underwater soon. Good thing you learned how to swim. ; ) Cool. Throw yourself a party! I know you mentioned the Net Worth Tracker but I think starting out it would be cool to have a J. Money template PDF for the info mentioned above. Is that in the works?
Oh yeah? You mean like a “Enter all your info in these posts here to calculate your net worth” type thing? I might be able to arrange that :)
Okay,. I wasn’t going to comment, but I had to let you know that I L-O-L so hard at the “apology” note. I MUST send that to my husband when the time is right. :) :) Bought our house at the tippy, tippy top of the housing bubble. I don’t even LOOK at Zillow to see how far we’ve fallen. In a way it doesn’t matter to the extent that it’s not like we’re going to walk away from it. It is, what it is. However, I do think about the hit we’re mostly likely going to take when we move soon. But I like to say that won’t matter either because we’ll be rolling in cash money, baby!! …assuming things work out as planned…and I like to think big. :)
Well that’s exciting!! You’ll have to tell me what you mean by that later if/when it happens :)
And yes, DO send that “apology” to your husband later – it’s hysterical!
We are selling our rentals and that’s going to bring our net worth down a bit. Our value estimate were close, but we didn’t account for all the fee and taxes we’d have to pay. Ugh… Anyway, I think you probably should undervalue your house by 5-10% to account for those.
Great job with the net worth.
Fees kill you :( I bet you’ll feel a lot lighter w/out those rentals though! Are you doing it mainly for a peace of mind type deal?
Good man paying off that mortgage when so many others just walked away. I hope there will be a J. Money dance party gif for next month when you finally have equity in the house ;)
“Walk away” isn’t in my vocabulary, good sir!
But “animated j money dance party gif” is :)
Paying off mortgage is awesome! Congratulations on that. You did a great job. My aunt in Australia gets hard on paying her mortgage.
Haha yeah – that’s all changing for sure. Time to get minimalistic up in here!