Net Worth Voyeurism: $221,941.10 (Down $1,300)

March 2011 Net WorthWhelp – there goes my 9 month record of positive increases! And to think it was all because I loaned my friend that $5,000 last month ;)

Technically, as long as I get all that money back, we’re really UP about $500 and change! But until it’s back safely in my account again we gotta keep it out of the ol’ net worth.  Only the here and now get accounted for cuz it’s the only thing that’s certain right now. Yessir…

Other than that little nugget from the month, the other stuff that pops up is our increase of our emergency fund money again (gotta get that back up to $10Gs!) and the fact that my 401k funds are apparently better picked than our IRAs, haha… Up almost $2k in one, and down $2k in the other!  That’s pretty interesting cuz usually it’s all either going up, or it’s all making its way down.  But it is what it is, I suppose.  Just a funky turn in this month’s investments.

March’s Net Worth Breakdown:

CASH SAVINGS (-$2,575.76):  We did pretty good this month when all things are factored.   Getting better at being more frugal these days, and if we weren’t counting the $5k I lent out we’d have a nice little increase in this department :)  So definitely on complains here.

EMERGENCY FUND (+$800.00): Did a nice repayment back to ourselves! Almost have of the $1,600+ we took out the other month to finally wipe away our pesky little credit card balances that were remaining stagnant. In another month or two we should be back to the original $10,000 we started at this year. (And really have no plans of touching it again unless a *true* emergency happens.  Whatever that may happen to be…)

*NEWish –> SEP IRA (-$187.01): Boooo… 1 month in and already losing money! But it’s much more exciting having the money invested than it is on the sidelines – aka a money market account.  The only money I want sitting safe and sound is in our emergency funds and checking accounts.  All retirement money is ordered to be as aggressive as possible since we have years and years until we actually need to see it again. It’s not the best plan for everyone, but it def. makes sense for us

ROTH IRAs (-$2,028.95): Double Booooooos…. some months you got it, and others you don’t.  We’ve stopped contributing to these accounts since we maxed ’em last year, so really at this point it’s totally up to the market Gods. We don’t plan on putting any more in for quite some time. All extra money will go directly to our new SEP account – mainly for the tax benefits :)

401(k)s (+$1,918.04): Same deal here.  100% on market drive right now until I get the rest of that $20,000 that’s owed to me!!! Arghhhhhh… oh!  Quick update on that by the way – I got re-back in touch with that lady from the Department of Labor, and she’s currently reviewing all the paperwork I sent over so we can work on the next steps of action. Which will pretty much be me giving her the final A-OK to officially reach out on my behalf to retrieve all that money.  It’s a lengthy process from what I remember, but as soon as they start on it it’s documented and in the hands of the Government! Which has a lot more power than yours truly ;)

AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$450) : KBB is at it again!  Last month we were down a few hundy, and now we’re UP a few hundy.  Strange strange stuff if you ask me.  But I gotta list it as I see it, since these are the prices I’d be going for if I was in the process of selling them. And the little blue book has never steered me wrong in the past!

  • Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,695.00
  • Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $10,605.00

HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Same ol’ boring stuff here — still set at the $300k our realtor appraised it for a while back. I’d been meaning to hit him up for a newer quote, in the event we get serious about renting it out and/or selling it again, but just haven’t been able to get to it  yet.  Maybe by next month’s update?

CREDIT CARDS ($0.00): Nice and empty like the way it should be!  I still use our credit cards to pay for everything each month, but I just make a point to pay ’em all off so there’s never an outstanding balance anymore. Which means no interest, and a lot of simple budgeting!

MORTGAGES (+$319.53): Back to cutting it down some every month :)  And we *may* be looking into refinancing again after all these years!  Got a pretty good lead on something, so I’ll have to keep you updated.  If it all pans out, we’ll be saving an extra $300+ every month! Which means this number will be even more sexier every month going forward.

  • Mortgage #1: $286,257.29 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
  • Mortgage #2: $61,983.67 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.

Done and done!  March was a bit crazier than normal, but we’re still on the right path and humming along nicely. Somewhere down the line we’ll get that $5k back and our update will be a bit more exciting that month ;) Here’s to a successful April!

PS: Are you guys making sure to track your progress too? How’d ya’ll do last month?

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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!

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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.

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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. Stephanie April 5, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    I use edmunds for the value of my car. And I also sometimes get increases in my car’s value. It is a bit confusing. I wonder how they determine a car is worth more, even after it’s been driven longer/is older.

    As for the rest of my net worth, between tax refunds, FSA reimbursements, and a performance sharing bonus at work, combined with a big extra payment towards my debt, my net worth is looking pretty good :)

  2. Matt April 5, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    I’m still a little behind you but I’m creepin on a come up! We’re focused on an aggressive savings plan at the moment waiting for my wife’s expected lay off in May or December :( so we’ve chilled out on the investing for the time being. But we’ve agreed that when/if everything works out (i.e new job or the place stays open) that all that extra cash will be split between a vacation and paying down on the house…if we stick to our plan we should have that sucker wrapped up in about 5 more years WOOT!

  3. Diva April 5, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    My networth improved positively 13.69%! Love it!

  4. Ashley @ Money Talks April 5, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    you are doing awesome J. I only track my net worth quarterly… and i haven’t done it yet for the first quarter… but I’m sure it’s fairly stagnet. It mainly depends on the real estate market and well, you know how that’s been going.

  5. Wade April 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    I have recently started to keep diligent focus on my monthly budget, but have yet to calculate my net worth. It’s something I am considering doing to help me add to my financial goals.

    @J.Money – It looks like you are doing a good job at steadily increasing your net worth. Keep it up!

  6. Jon | Free Money Wisdom April 5, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    My Acura is up 10% for the month! All the Japanese automakers shut down their production over in japan, thus the crazy jump in value. Good luck finding a Toyota or Honda this year! Thanks for the financial update J. Money, always so cool to see the inner workings, you got some balls!

  7. Jennifer Lissette April 5, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Your car probably went up this month cause it’s a Toyota. With the recent disasters in Japan, car companies can’t produce enough parts to keep up with their usual stream of production. As a result, car dealerships are actually running low on Japanese cars. Both of my cars are Japanese and I saw nearly a $1000 increase in value this month.

    As for my net worth, I’m up five grand this month. Very exciting stuff. Our house has been dropping like a stone on zillow since August and this was the first month that it stayed still. So even though I took thousands out of savings to fund a three week European vacation (we’ve been saving for years for this), my net worth still went up!

    My husband and I are in the process of diligently paying down our mortgage to get it out from underwater. I really can’t wait for the time when we can refinance… both so there’s a lower interest payment AND so I can get a professional opinion on the value of our home and stop letting zillow give me a heart attack every month.

  8. Sarah Smith April 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Glad to see you’re diving right into the self-employed investment lifestyle with your new SEP IRA! We recently opened one for Julian, since he’s self-employed. I had never even heard of it til our CPA told us to open one for tax benefits. I’m so into it now!

  9. Jenna April 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Definitely lost money last month between traveling to SXSW and buying a new bed.

  10. Steph April 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Slow and steady, my friend… slow and steady…

  11. J. Money April 5, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    @Stephanie – No details huh? Gonna make us guess how much it’s at? :) haha… yeah car stuff is kinda confusing, but I guess it really doesn’t matter until the day you go to sell it. Which I hope is never for me! (unless it’s cuz it dies. then that would just suck)
    @Matt – WOW that would be hot! congrats! And sending good thoughts over to your wife too on her job situation. It definitely makes life interesting, that’s for sure.
    @Diva – Wooo!!!! Good job :)
    @Ashley @ Money Talks – Haha, that I do… and wish I didn’t since it would mean I’d be renting again ;) Now hurry up and do your net worth!
    @Wade – Thanks Wade, and happy to hear you’re starting to stick to it yourself, I think that’s important. Even if it changes a little big each month, at least you can tell how it’s trending in general. If it’s going down every month we know there’s a problem ;)
    @Jon | Free Money Wisdom – Ooooooh that would make sense if that Japan stuff is true, although kinda sounds like an urban legend ;) haha… either way, an interesting theory, thanks for sharing my man.
    @Jennifer Lissette – Hah! Well I guess Jon above was right then, haha… damn you guys are smart. Congrats on the huge uptick! I hear ya on that solid number for your house value too – always the hardest to value accurately. Keep it up! :)
    @Sarah Smith – YEAH! Me too! Never heard of at ALL until last month – crazy. And oh so hot as you’re finding out too I’m sure ;)
    @Jenna – That would do it!
    @Steph – That’s what she said, that’s what she said… ;)

  12. Bobby April 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    March was my biggest jump since I started tracking the progress. Getting my income tax back was REALLY nice.

    I love hitting those milestone numbers. No 100g’s yet but I’ll get there eventually!

  13. Jason @ April 5, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    J – one thing to be aware of when dealing with KBB (I know this since I used to work with pricing in the auto industry), is that they have inflated auto values. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re trying to sell your car, since you can pull out the KBB price for the car and tell the seller “Look, I’m selling you a car below KBB cost!”. It’s a trick the dealers use all of the time. So, this was a bit of a tangent, but something that your post reminded me of :)

  14. J. Money April 5, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    @Bobby – Keep workin’ it yo!
    @Jason @ – Haha, always appreciate a little insight :) Esp since I buy and sell cars off KBB myself. Guess it’s ingrained from childhood – my dad used it for everything before even the internets! (*gasp*)

  15. Rob April 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    J, it’s perfectly acceptable to consider any loans you’ve made as an asset. I wouldn’t lump it in with any of your current list items, but adding another one wouldn’t hurt. It will also help you track repayment.

    Also, is your cash savings really just in cash? Maybe you should consider putting that money into an investment account of some sort. You’re losing a lot of money to inflation.

  16. J. Money April 9, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    You know, back in the day I did count loans as an asset but this time I thought I’d just keep it out of the equation since it’s 100% “live” if you will. When I get paid back I’ll just lump it back into the cash I have :)

    As for “cash” – part of it is literally in a savings account, but the rest is in a money market for now. I’m cool with that as I have enough invested away and I like the comfort have having so much liquid. Will probably reconsider once I get a better handle on self-employment stuff though. Good points you bring up, thanks!