A 19% increase in Net Worth! And reached my $100k goal :)
True I’ve had this goal for 2 years now, but still – I accomplished it! I don’t place this out there to brag or show off or anything, but more to prove that patience and hard work really DOES pay off.
When it comes down to it, there’s nothing all that complicated about it:
We save more, spend less, and we bank a $hitload into 401(k)s and IRAs. It’s not the easiest thing to do at times, but it’s still simple.
If you were around for last month’s update, you’ll notice a rather large theme going on here with our 401(k)s. Some of this has to do with an issue of tracking this from months ago (now 100% fixed), but most comes from my 2 month challenge of setting the contributions to 90% of my paycheck! I’ll describe it more below, but unfortunately I’ve had to quit this as I ran out of extra funds ;) Next month’s update won’t be nearly as glamorous, but for now, I’m flying high!
Here’s how July’s net worth breaks down:
CASH SAVINGS (-$797.65): For the last
two four paychecks I’ve been contributing 90% of my paycheck to my 401(k) in hopes of maxing it out while everything’s still low. I had to stop contributing for a few months, so this is also making up for lost time. In doing this, however, I literally only got $69 per check and had to dip into my remaining $2.5k side savings to pay the bills and stay “on budget“.
As I mentioned though, I finally ran out of extra money and now it’s back down to 30% until I can finish maxing it out (which should be pretty soon). If at all possible, I highly recommend you maxing out yours too! Or at least up to the company match (3%, 6%, etc). Taking advantage of the perks given to you is one of the easiest ways to build up that net worth and invest in your future.
EMERGENCY FUND ($0.00): Our $10k is still tucked away (and left alone) in our Money Market account. It’s mixed in with other funds so I can’t determine exactly how much interest is accruing on this Emergency Fund in particular, but it’s definitely adding up.
ROTH IRAs (+$2,056.14): I haven’t been able to blog about it yet, but I finally maxed out my Roth IRA! I’ve been slowly applying money made off this blog into it (as well as other funds, like the recent cashing of my bonds!), and I’m happy to report it’s another goal to cross off the list. And since the economy is doing a lot better, along with Operation Buffett, I can already see some healthy upticks.
401(k)s (+$17,927.09): So that’s what 90% of my paychecks + a happy market looks like ;) There’s nothing else much to say about it, so I’ll just reiterate what I’ve already been saying: Patience and automation pays off! Spend a few mins & consider upping your 401(k) contributions a % point or two.
SAVINGS BONDS (-$749.74): I finally did it – I cashed in all my savings bonds! When it came down to it, I just couldn’t take the measly pennies accumulating every month so I used it to help max out my brokerage Roth IRA. Plus, I was afraid I’d lose them one day (they were in paper form) and I didn’t feel like holding on to them any longer. Had I known it only takes 15 mins at a bank I would have done it much earlier!
AUTOS WORTH (kbb) (-$450.00): I always expect this category to go down, but the last too months have resulted in $350+ losses over the previous $50 amounts. Not sure what’s going on, but it’s really out of my control anyways :) Here’s how they line up this month:
- Pimp Daddy Caddy: $3,045
- Gas Ticklin’ Toyota: $10,185
HOME VALUE (Realtor) ($0.00): This will remain @ $300k (the price our realtor set it at) until I hit him up again later for another review. He’s the master in our particular neighborhood, and has been selling (and living in) in this area for 20+ years. I keep an eye on Zillow & Redfin.com on the side too to see what else is happening out there. Zillow just fluctuates so much that it drives me crazy. It currently has our house estimated at $370k+?! Up from $340k last month. I don’t get it.
CREDIT CARD (car loans) ($0.00): Still at Zero! The previous debt here was an “auto loan” that I happened to charge on my credit card – effectively setting my interest @ 3%. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but the method works well if you know what you’re doing and don’t have outstanding debt lined up. I’ll leave this category in until I’m tired of looking at it ;)
MORTGAGES (-$75.94): We’re still eager to refinance our first mortgage, but unfortunately we’re still too under water to get on it. So in the meantime we chip away with any extra money we have left from our “house budget”. Here’s how they breakdown:
- Mortgage #1: $287,150.36 – 30 year fixed, interest-only @ 6.875%.
- Mortgage #2: $62,818.34 – Maxed out HELOC w/ 2.8% interest.
Another month gone, another update done! How’d you all do? Anyone come across something crazy last month? Whatever the case, remember to judge your success off of YOUR goals only. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s really the only thing you have control of. If you don’t already, try tracking your progress every month and look back to see what works and what doesn’t :)
*My budget has now been updated.
*And so have my sidebars.
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!