[Morning! Here’s a financial snapshot of one of our readers of the blog, Corrine – who also fancies herself a good spreadsheet (or four) like any good finance nerd out there ;) What a beautiful thing to have your epiphany *early on* in life! Congrats Corrine!!]
Hi J. Money!
I really enjoy seeing these snapshots… they are super inspiring!
I’d like to share my experience tracking money as a young person who is just obsessed with all things finance. I’m 24, and I graduated college somewhat recently (May 2017), but I did work part-time through most of college. I am extremely lucky that I graduated debt-free thanks to my scholarships combined with my part-time work and the generosity/financial planning of my wonderful parents.
I started officially working full time in May 2017 and have been tracking my net worth diligently since December 2017. I currently make $50,000 (up from $38,000 this time last year!) after a recent raise in August and this is the most I have ever made.
I am at a post-tax savings rate of about 27%, with 13% of my post-tax income currently going to my ROTH IRA and the rest going to my other savings goals (future house, travel fund, emergency fund). I also contribute 10% pretax to my company’s SIMPLE IRA with an additional 3% employer match, and I contribute $50 per month to my HSA.
Before tracking my net worth, I had been working part time for 4 years and had only ~$4,000 to show for it (I also had very few expenses in college — I have no idea where all my money went, lol). Once I started really looking at what I was doing with my money, I doubled my net worth in ~6 months. My current net worth is $35,000.
I currently live with my boyfriend of 3 years, and we share expenses such as groceries and rent 50-50. We are planning to rent until we get married and figure out exactly where we want to live long term (we plan to buy a house and settle into a permanent location within the next 2-3 years).
I am a huge fan of spreadsheets and wanted to provide a little explanation of the trackers I use:
(click to blow up bigger)
My “Financial Summary” is essentially where I track my net worth at any given time. Anything is green is an asset, and anything in red is a liability… and anything that is black is an account that fluctuates frequently (such as my primary checking) so I don’t include it in my overall calculations.
I keep a balance in my checking (“Spending”) that is always higher than my cumulative credit card balance, since I pay for everything on credit cards to collect rewards. I have never paid interest on any of my credit cards since I have all bills set to auto pay from my spending account.
My “Net Worth Over Time” tracker is really just so I can ensure that I am consistently moving up! I really enjoy looking back at it to see how far I’ve come. I received an inheritance of sorts ($10,000) in October 2018 which accounts for the big jump there which I threw into a 2 year CD for my future down payment on a house. I also got a bonus at work that month which accounts for the rest of the jump, and needless to say, that was a wonderful month!
The only dip in net worth I have had in my entire duration of tracking was when I bought Hamilton tickets for my boyfriend and I in June 2018… it was a pretty big splurge that I dipped into my travel account for, but I have absolutely no regrets since that is what it is there for. Why earn money if you can’t treat yourself sometimes? The other one was when I bought my new-to-me car in April 2019 (and subsequently forgot to add the car’s value to my net worth, lol – I fixed it the next month).
The “Wealth Ratio” came from you! I saw you do it in a blog post quite some time ago and loved the idea. I’ve been tracking it since and I find that it really helps hold me accountable.
[Editor’s Note: The Lifetime Wealth Ratio tells you how much money you’ve saved over your lifetime compared to how much you’ve *earned* ;) You can get a quick estimate of this by dividing your Net Worth by your Total Income found on your Social Security Statements. The closer to 100%, the better!]
I also recently started using EveryDollar to track my spending so I have a screenshot of my budget from there. The only thing that didn’t fit in the screenshot was the $30 (~1%) I donate to a rotation of my favorite charities each month.
I’m currently working on getting my emergency fund to 6 months of expenses and increasing my post-tax retirement contributions to 15%. I would also like to be able to max out my HSA in the next year or so.
That’s it for me, thanks for reading!
Not too bad right? Especially at 24?! I had approximately $4.00 to my name at that stage and couldn’t care less about finances, haha… It wasn’t until 3 years later when it finally dawned on me that I should probably be paying attention ;)
So good job, Corrine! And thanks for sharing with us today!
To share YOUR financial journey with us, pass me a note and we’ll try making you famous too ;) In the meantime, here are some other snapshots we’ve featured in recent months – hope they help!
- Jimmy’s History of Personal Finance
- Jana’s 10 Year Journey to Debt Freedom
- Miguel’s Multi-Millionaire Journey as an Immigrant
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!