Time to get naked with our money again! :) I swear these months just fly by…
A good reminder to put those game plans into action so you can use the power of time to build your net worth for you! That’s a key ingredient right there, I’ll tell you what. And better while you’re young and nubile too so you don’t have to work so hard once those wrinkles start coming up ;)
But a good good month indeed over here – a steady increase without much hooplah. Our investments did what they’re supposed to do, our cash went up by a little bit, our kid’s college account got plumped up some more, not much to complain about today! Unless you’ll allow me a few “blehs” for getting a dang $45 parking ticket last week! 7 minutes late to the meter ‘cuz I was running my mouth like a chatty Cathy to a few friends – that’s $6.43 a minute!!
Here’s how the month of February broke down :)
MONSTER CASH (+$651.87): A little extra cash to pad the ol’ savings account. Biz was a little better this month than last, and we opted out applying it to our mortgages just yet while we hunker down and figure out our moving plans… Figured probably best to do that first, eh?
GOLD & SILVER : In case you missed it last month, we decided to take this section out of our net worth tracking since it became more coin-related than it did bullion (aka straight up gold or silver). So because it’s now more of a hobby over commodity investments, I thought it better to be nixed. Though it’s still a nice pile of worth shall I ever unload them one day :)
529 College Savings (+$864.61): If only this was a pure market uptick! Haha… That would be quite the aggressive portfolio :) Instead, $850 of this can be attributed to us draining Baby Money’s savings and throwing it into here as part of our $2,500/year goal. What the heck good would it do in his savings when he can’t even talk??
IRA: SEP (+$97.27): This one on the other hand is 100% market driven… 28 days and only goes up a hundred, booo… but better than my Traditionals two spots down! In a bit this SEP will get much larger though, as soon as I file my taxes and learn how much I can save by contributing money into here – I love that part of the tax game!
IRA: ROTH(s) ($1,433.74): Same here – not touched at all and LOVING that increase! I’ll take that all month, every month :)
IRA: TRADITIONAL(s) (-$1.83): I lost $2.00 – ACK!!! Someone save me!! Haha… Nothing other than that to report ;) Here’s how these three break down a la our IRA Test.
- IRA #1 (NOT Managed): $67,559.29 **Still in the lead
- IRA #2 (Managed, USAA funds): $64,522.10
- IRA #3 (Managed, ALL funds): $65,199.46
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$416.00): Bleh. But to be expected… Soon one of these guys may go bye-bye too when we upgrade cars, so we’ll find out 100% if the prices here meet reality ;)
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $2,178.00
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $7,761.00
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): Sill the $285k we adjusted it to a year go when a similar place in our community sold. A far cry from the $360,000 we spent all those years ago, but at least we only owe $313,000 now! We’re getting there!
We went back to chipping more away at this and staying the course on our $2,000 extra Payoff goal. Though that’s gonna change here in the future though once we get our future plans locked in…. More on that later.
- 1st Mortgage: $280,467.00 – 30 year conventional @ 5.5%
- 2nd Mortgage: $30,944.24 – Maxed out HELOC @ a variable 2.8%
Another month down! How did you guys fair this month? Better/Worse? Any big or juicy plans coming up in the future? Keep on hustlin’ out there!
PS: When we hit $500,000 free beer for all!!
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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My net worth, at least as measured by my taxable accounts, is slowly trucking on upwards. The market seems to be moving up and every month I’m throwing more money in the pot. Kind of a slow and steady wins the race sort of thing.
That’s the way to do it. All adds up and compounds over time!
Any improvement is good. I do not include my car in my net worth because I will drive it until it is worthless and it would be the very last thing I sold if times got rough.
This month I have decided to leave my home, appproximate value $200,000, out of my net worth because I am going to live here for decades so the house isn’t really part of my retirement plan.
My net worth is now a negative number but it is a very true number. My net worth is NEGATIVE $8,824.
So do you take out your mortgage(s) too then? Or you’re all paid off?
It’s an interesting way to look at it all as “for retirement” – haven’t heard that route before :) I consider it more of a “financial snapshot” so I know where everything is.
I did not qualify for a traditional mortgage because of a lack of a seperation agreement stating how much of the proceeds of the same of the marital home I would be receiving.
I have a HELOC instead. As of today I owe $18,800. That is what is keeping me from starting to agressively save for retirement
I met a nice elderly gentleman at my bank the other day. I was depositing some rolls of change and he asked to buy my nickles and quarters. The pennies don’t interest him. He explained that he is a coin collector and visits my bank to buy rolls of coin every other day. I hope he found something interesting in my few rolls. Is this you in the future?
YES!!! I love that guy – super smart! :)
It probably will be a good month for me when I finally calculate everything :) Just curious, is the DC real estate market bouncing back at all? I know supply is getting pretty low where I live and is starting to stabalize/drive up the market. Hopefully the same will happen for you soon! If you get out from underwater would you sell rather than rent?
I think it IS getting better here, just being super slow. Which I’ll take any day, of course :)
Yes, the plan is to rent it out first once we move, and then when we build up more equity and prices bounce back (*if* they bounce back) consider selling then. Right now I’d offload it in a heartbeat, but who knows how I’ll feel later once it’s an “investment property”… Maybe I’ll actually enjoy it for once?
Hope you hit $500,000 soon…I’m looking forward to a nice cold beer!
You just reminded me that I forgot to do my March update. Thanks
It’s interesting how people calculate net worth in so many different ways. I include our home and cars, where I know some people don’t, but contrary to your approach, I do not include the balances of the 529 accounts set up for our kids. I guess I look at it as their money, even though they’re only 3 and 1, where I look at net worth as money available for the family if I were to liquidate all assets (not that I would ever plan on doing so), and even the 529 balances would be off limits. Just goes to show there are many different approaches.
Yeah, I used to keep it out but then realized if, God forbid, none of my kids go to college and/or they get scholarships and never need to touch it, it would all still revert back to us and we’d cash it out after paying heavy penalties, of course. We “own it” until it’s needed to be used 18+ years from now, in which case it’ll start to be drained along with our net worth numbers, haha…
Oh! And I also didn’t want to attach it to my baby anymore in case he grows up thinking it’s all his and thus doesn’t need to work hard/etc… A parent mentioned that to me earlier and it’s kinda stuck. But who knows, I change my mind a lot ;) There’s def. not a right or wrong way to this stuff.
If they get scholarship, you would not have to take penalties to take it out. For every cent in scholarship money, you can take out an equal amount without penalty from the 529.
Oh really??? That is very good to know! Wonder if it’s across the board or only in some states?? Adding to my list to research further, thanks :)
We were up almost $10K this month, a little over 2%. =)
Woo! Half a million, eh? You’re halfway there!!!
Congrats on the $5K increase! We had a pretty good increase of around $10K. Hopefully this continues!
Our savings increased by $8K over the weekend, tax refund!
March is going to be a nil savings month because we want to pay off our car loan.
What kind of beer? :D
Only the finest: PBR ;)
I understand what you’re saying about removing the coins if it’s more of a hobby, but if worst came to worst, you know you could dump some of those silver coins for some quick cash. I would still consider them an investment, J.
True true, but I’m also trading/selling all my pure silver/gold bullion for more “collectible” coins instead. Like those in the 1800s and hopefully soon 1700s! Granted some of them are made of gold, but for now we’ll see how this settles in. Technically you are right, though. Any assets should go in the net worth.
Nice! I track my net worth, I view it as an indicator of my overall financial health and whether I’m building wealth or not. I don’t do it monthly though. I do mine once a year. throughout the year I focus on the activities that I know will contribute to it (debt reduction, savings, investment, etc). I might start doing it more often though, maybe quarterly or twice a year.
“I view it as an indicator of my overall financial health” – yup! Exactly what it’s good for. I just can’t wait a year cuz it’s so freakin’ fun for me to watch! :)
Great job! We are up a little bit, but I’m not done calculating yet. It wasn’t a great month like January because the stock market was going all over the place.
I just had to tell you that I love receiving your posts in my email. They are fun, relevant and just help me to keep motivated towards my goal of financial balance. :D Thanks for all you share!
Awwww, way to make my day!! Thank you for telling me that! It really motivates me to keep going, seriously. You’re awesome :)
Wow, I wish I was your kid! He is going to be set up nicely for success.
I agree with Matt, the gold should be considered worth, but I’m VERY biased :)
Great job J. It is fun to watch your net worth grow! Mine is still down in the low 20’s, but I’m only 28 so I have time on my side!
Roth IRA-kickin’ a$$ and takin’ names! I bow at the altar of JMoney!!!
Congratulations on the awesome progress! I’m living vicariously through your monthly report and praying to the Net Worth Goddess that you hit $500,000 soon. I’ll be looking for my invite to the Beer Fest. (Oktoberfest anyone?)
Congratulations again and heartfelt applause!
Haha, thanks!!! And hopefully one day you won’t have to live vicariously through me either and YOUR net worth will be just as sexy!! You can do it, my friend! :)
@Jose, I like your approach. My net worth isn’t all that great (but can only go up!!!) but I think you have a nice way of looking at it. Checking in and making sure you’re doing the right things, as far as your journey goes, is so smart.
Your comment just sort of leapt out and smacked me up-side the head. Thanks for sharing.
Great Post. I love your transparency about finances, most people shy away from divulging so much information. I would love to be in your position five years from now, although I am not sure I would be so transparent.
Thanks for showing us the nitty gritty of money!
Thanks man, it was articles like these that got me hooked into the blogging world to begin with :) So figured I’d do the same when I launched my blog, and here we are 5 years later!
In your table, you have quite a large sum of money sitting in cash. Did you ever think of investing a part of that money?
No, not investing because we max out our SEP Ira and both our Roths every year (which equates to $35k+), but yes to using it toward other things. Particularly with paying off our mortgages faster so we can refinance. Or perhaps investing in different business ideas (over stocks). Only thing is that I promised my wife we’d keep at least $66k in there which equates to about a year of expenses for our family (I’m self-employed so never stable), which helps put those other wishes to bed more ;) But I never count anything out – I feel like if you’re always just doing what makes sense at any given time, you’ll be fine no matter what you do with it…
I commented last month about a possible refi. We are going for it…15 year 2.75% no cost with firstib.com. We are throwing a chunk of cash at it to keep the payments down.
Have you gotten a quote of what PMI would cost you if you were to refi? PMI sucks, but it might still be lower then your 5.5% loan and you could get it removed if housing bounces back. (It is already up a bit from last year, so maybe your 285K is a bit better now)
Oh awesome!! Way to lock that in!! No, we haven’t gotten an exact quote, but it would still be lower than our current payments – just a matter of paying down a big chunk still to even get to *that* point… We’re not done considering it yet though, just more on pause :)
Hi J. Money,
IRA and 401(k) are not an option for investing. Either or both are a must.
You don’t gotta tell me twice! :)
That’s a pretty nice increase. Mine only went up $3K in Feb but I expect a bigger gain this month because I have a lot of US stocks and the US dollar appears to be moving higher relative to the currency I calculate my net worth with :D With the stock market at all time highs it’ll be interesting to see what kind of gains, if any, we can get from investments this month :0)
What currency are you currently using to calculate? That’s fun! :)
Canadian dollars :D
Love the post. It’s great that we can encourage each other on along the way! Keep up the good work! Consistently tracking this all the time is a great encouragement to others, especially for me. Thanks for taking the time to keep us updated.
It’s what drew me into the whole blog world – seeing others finances so open like that :) Glad you enjoy it too!
I think I might say this every month, but I feel like I’d go crazy if I tracked the value of a stock portfolio that frequently. Either way, congrats. That’s awesome
Haha… no, you haven’t said that before but I do get what you’re saying :) Before I tracked my net worths I never paid attention to it much. On purpose for that reason! But now it’s too much fun for me not to – it doesn’t faze me anymore when the $hit hits the fan.