Gooooood morning you crazy Thanksgiving’ers and Black Friday’ers! Y’all make it in one piece this morning? Still hungover with food and/or alcohol and/or deals? Haha… Well lucky for you the weekend’s almost here and it’s time to relax! :)
Before you do though, I thought it would be fun to answer some of these survey questions I found over at Kiplinger’s the other week, and see how our answers compare. It was originally created for the whole presidency race that’s obviously now done and over with, but I pulled the most financially-based questions out from ‘em so that we can play our own little game here ourselves.
Here’s all 8 below. I’ll answer first, and then you do so afterwards in the comments, cool? Let’s go…
- Overall, are you financially better or worse off today than you were four years ago? Better! Four years ago today we had a net worth of exactly $63,566.66, and right now our net worth is exactly $325,990.16. A 500% difference! And a crazy easy question to answer when you’ve been tracking your money every month like we have :) Always fun to look back on when things are going up! Haha…
- Is your employment situation better or worse compared to four years ago? Better! Four years ago I was dreaming of a life where I could blog full-time for a living, and after years of hustling my ass off here we are sitting in my boxers and blaring Kanye West as I type to you ;) Though I’ll admit it’s not *totally* as perfect as it sounds… There are definitely times I miss going into an office and not worrying about taxes or health insurance or even stability for that matter… But overall, yes – definitely blessed to be better off than four years ago and I hope you guys are too!
- How does your annual household income compare to four years ago? Hmm… That’s a GREAT question actually. And honestly I think it’s about the same? Back then we had TWO full-time salaries going on from both the wife and I’s 9-5s, and this blog wasn’t generating much of anything. So if we add those two salaries together back then – $50,000 from hers and $75,000 from mine – we’re at around $125,000 in total. Which is almost exactly the same as how much I bring in now off all my online stuff, even though all our 9-5s are gone… Pretty wild eh? The biggest *difference* here, other than where the money’s now coming from, is WHAT WE DO WITH IT ALL! Instead of spending it all willy nilly and enjoy life as we were normally doing back then, we now save and invest a ton more, as well as nixing more of our debts like our mortgages. Something we would have never considered back then. So sometimes it’s HOW you apply this income that’s more important than the income itself.
- Are you spending more or less on housing compared to four years ago? BOTH! I’m spending less overall in terms of the actual mortgages themselves over the years since we’ve refinanced both of them within the past four years, but we’re now throwing MORE money against them in order to pay them off quicker too. I’m sure they’re going for an overall view of the situation though, so for that I answer Less :)
- How are your investments performing compared to four years ago? BETTER! But that’s not saying much considering back then we were about to get killed with the market crash and all that! Haha… so if this was “worse” then we’d have much bigger problems on our hands ;)
- Are you spending more or less on groceries and gas compared to four years ago? MORE! I don’t need to check any budgets or spreadsheets to know that, haha… gas is a ton more and so are groceries! But what are you gonna do?
- Do you have more or less debt compared to four years ago? LESS! Thank goodness… We no longer have any car payments or credit card debts racked up (we still budget with credit cards but we pay them off in full every month), and over the recent years we’ve been pummeling away at our mortgages with my extra $2,000/mo goal… If I were to guess, I’d say we were at least $50,000 less in debt than we were back then. That’s not too bad?
- Are you saving more or less money compared to four years ago? MORE! About $75,000 more in cash, and about $215,000 more in investments if I compare our net worths from back then and now. Pretty amazing when you look back! (Though I should probably factor in the fact that back then I was just tracking it all under *myself* over BOTH the Mrs and I, so that would probably shave off a good $15k or so in savings since she brought a nice pot to the table there too)
So that’s our situation over here :) I don’t blog about it to brag or get my jollies off or anything like that – had we taken a 4-year snapshot earlier in my life I’d be singing a whole other tune! haha – but just that it’s important to track this stuff and then remind yourself (hopefully) how far you’ve come over the years. And if you’re going backwards, to then kick it into high gear and get back on top of things again! There’s no better time to start than today, baby!
What do your answers look like to these questions above? Are you generally better or worse than 4 years ago today? I hope y’all are on the up and up!! I’ve got faith in you! :)
PS: Here were the results of the 5,570 people who participated in this survey by Kiplinger’s… It might make you feel better if you answered “worse” to most of these questions above ;)
(Photo Credit: jontintinjordan)