The roller coaster’s back on the up and up w/ +$7k this month!, Yup, that’s what happens when you get mad tax returns and then you find out your other half had a bit more money than you originally thought ;)
I knew she was frugal, but good Lord! After brief convo’s last month I assumed she had about $2k in her “do as i please” account. But nope, there was almost $9k!
Crazy impressive considering she’s in Grad School and not making much from her Teaching Assistantship. Plus, she got it past her frugal husband! haha…good for her. Maybe next month I’ll find another stash somewhere? I def. won’t be complaining, that’s for sure ;)
So that was the biggest “gain” of cash for the month, followed by our $6k back from taxes – of which most was split between the two of us. And what did I do with part of mine? Oh, I PAID OFF MY CAR LOANS!!! Aww yeahhhhhh, ZERO dollars on the ol’ credit card now ;) It was pretty hard parting with $1,300 all at once like that, but the feeling from being back outta debt is freakin’ awesome. Now just gotta work on those damn mortgages…
Here’s how Feb’s Net Worth breaks down:
CASH SAVINGS (+$12,300): So yeah….as I mentioned the Mrs. had even *more* money saved up that i missed on my last checkup – a whopping $6,500 more! Add that with a good portion of our $6k from taxes and some better budgeting last month, and it was a helluva good month. Most of this was a one-time occurrence, but I’m hoping we can at least increase our cash reserves by $1k every month.
EMERGENCY FUND ($0): Our $10k is still socked away in a Money Market just chillin’ and makin’ a little money on the side. It would be cool to see just how much extra it’s bringing in every month, but we have some other money mixed in with it at the same time so it’s a bit tricky to calculate. We’ll be leaving this at $10k for quite some time as it’s a great # for us.
ROTH IRAs (-$270): That would be MY part of it too since my Roth is invested in one of those Target Mutual Funds…pretty sucky over all, but I’m not allowed to complain about it ;) I would like to note, however, that my Roth is hovering @ $2800 down from $5400 a year ago…but that’s all i’ll say.
401(k)s (-$3,400): Yikesy Mama! Just keeps on a crashin’ without a care in the world. Sadly, this even includes my $1,250 worth of new 401k $ that got sucked out before it had a chance to play with the others. Although I am still waiting for some deposits that still haven’t been made… ho-hum.
SAVINGS BONDS (+$3): Every month brings a little joy into my life :) Haven’t added anyting here for almost a year now, but you can check out the breakdown of them all here.
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (+$400): Now THIS, I cannot explain. The only thing i can think of is that I calculated the Mrs’s Toyota wrong on Kbb.com last month, but I’m usually pretty good about that stuff. Maybe gas-sippers are going up now? Guess we’ll see what the next month brings…The breakdown of our car values are as follows:
– Pimpin’ a$$ caddy –> $3,595. Holding this value for at least 6 months now!
– Toyota Gas-Sipper –> $11,010. An increase of $400 in “weirdo” dollars.
HOME VALUE (Realtor) (-$3,500): After some more thought, I decided to ditch the idea of averaging out Zillow’s “Zestimate” with my realtor’s estimate. This made sense for two reasons. 1) – Zillow‘s estimate kept fluctuating every other day! It would be $306k one second, and $318k the next (it’s currently @ $324k!). While I’d LOVE to believe this, it just doesn’t seem all that plausible. And 2)I took the advice of a commenter and checked out redfin.com which averages out 3 different home sites to give you a better idea of how sites value the homes. And out of these 3, Zillow was by far the highest, with the total average coming to just below $300k.
Sooo, for now I think it’s wise to keep the value at $300k and hope for the best. I’ll then hit my realtor up again later and get a better update since I know he’ll continue to give it to me straight. Afer all, he’d be the one to help us sell/rent out the place so it’s in his best interest to be upfront from the beginning.
CREDIT CARD (car loans) (-$1,600): ZEROOO!!!! Yup, the cards are finally paid off after 8 whole months of chipping away :) The last time it was at zero was back in August when we paid off all 3 store credit cards. A post will be coming out shortly on this, but this $7,500 basically came from picking up my Caddy and selling my Highlander (i owed more than i sold it for) last year. It was more of a “loan” rather than your ordinary consumer debt, but I just happened to use a credit card to finance it all.
MORTGAGES (-$14.22): This was due to just random timing of me checking the accounts – we didn’t pay anything extra against any of our mortgages this month. Our 1st is still @ $288,000 (30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%), and our 2nd Mortgage @ around $62,800 (maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest). I do see us starting to pay them off though now that our budget is looking sexy again :)
That wraps it up for the sexy month of February. March should pan out pretty well too if all goes as planned (and if the market perks up on everyone’s behalf). I’m looking forward to having a few extra hundred now that i don’t have that $443 monthly car payment anymore! Oh and as promised, I updated my budget again to reflect how it all came together last month – I’ll continue to do so during all the roundups. Happy Wednesday everybody!
*The sweet & sexy side bars have been updated.
*And here are all the Net Worth Updates.
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)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!