December has come and gone and now we are back to the grind after the holidays. I know I'm feeling a little bit of a slump right now since we've had so much down time to spend with family and just doing a lot of fun activities! We've been busy helping family with todo lists, we went to an ugly sweater party at a friend's house. We beat the shopping craze with the ability to let the kids have a sleepover at the grandparents while we got some shopping done. We celebrated many different of our Christmas traditions and got to enjoy some great family time in the process.
We made it to the holidays and celebrated 4 Christmas's and 1 Hanukkah in one weekend. For New Year's everyone but me was asleep by 1030pm and I stayed up to ring in the new year myself and was in bed by 1205. We got to visit the Morton Arboretum and see the holiday light show that they put on there, it was pretty neat.
If this is the first time you've stumbled upon my monthly net worth reports, I would like to explain why I choose to write them.
First, I love the accountability they force on me about handling my finances. I'm posting to be transparent and to really try to explain what happened over the last month that moved the needle for our family.
Second, I'm hoping to inspire and motivate others to reach to make their financial future better. I wanted to show that our journey is not all straight up success with no bumps in the road. Everyone has setbacks, but we can't let that get us down! We have to keep pressing forward!
December allowed us to finish up the year on a new milestone with our net worth and we had strong growth in the following areas:
- Markets were up to finish up the year and helped grow our investment portion of our net worth pretty well for the month.
- Vehicle value actually increased this month? Not sure why, but I updated my mileage towards the end of the month and won't complain although I won't worry too much about the values of our vehicles.
- Our cash grew due to having a third paycheck this month. We are debating a toy purchase that we will have more answers about in next month's update.
Net Worth - December 2016
- Home Value - $160,000 - Holding on to this number since our appraisal was done before our refinance (August 2014). We are still working to get our roof fixed with the insurance company and now that the roof is clear, I can reopen our claim. If you want to read the story, check it out here.
- 401k - Nice month for stocks as they grew pretty well. Glad they were able to finish strong.
- IRA - Had a nice growth month here as well.
- HSA - Same story, new month. We are just about done with this account. It has served us very well!
- Auto Value - Finally saw the bottom last month as I was pleasantly surprised seeing the value actually climb slightly this month. Not worried about it overall though.
- Cash Money - Had a great month, cash flow wise. This was due to having an extra paycheck like we do twice a year with our bi-weekly pay cycle! It came in late in the month, so we haven't really done anything with it yet.
- Savings - We were able to keep our account fully funded this month, so that's a win for us! However, we are going to have to balance our sinking funds since we underfund them and reset them in January and July. We will most likely use this money to do that and then rebulid our savings. I'm seeing this to be about $1,200 or so though, so it shouldn't take long to rebuild.
Home Mortgage - We keep seeing small chunks eat into this mortgage. We continue to just make the minimum payments, but with only having a 20 year mortgage, this moves down pretty quickly. This past month, our principal just topped $420! When we started, this number was only about $380, so that's extra money going towards our mortgage each month! I love seeing the principle grow each month to take out bigger chunks or our mortgage. Looking forward to the day we get to start putting extra money away towards this paying it down even faster.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2016 : $83,773.00
January 1st, 2017 : $102,109.16
Total Growth YTD : $18,336.16 (21.88%)
Last Year's Growth: $22,259.44 (35.42%)
Take Away for the Month
December was a great month for us and we have many things to be thankful for! This year, we've seen many new things happen with our life and we are very much looking forward to what 2017 will bring!
How did your December go? Have you set any New Years Resolutions?
Here are some of our articles that I wrote or was featured in throughout December in case you missed them.
- How We Saved $350 On Our Auto & Homeowners Insurance - My story on how shopping around to compare auto and homeowner's insurance can save you some great money.
- Save $10 a month – Right Now! Buy your own Cable modem - Guest Post from Mike Giles over at AvgGuyTech.com. He walked us through how to purchase your own modem instead of renting it from the cable company.
- Family Christmas Traditions: Celebrating on a Budget - I shared some of my favorite Christmas traditions that my family partakes in.
- How To Stay Focused On Your Goals When Disaster Or Impulse Strikes - A story about how when things go wrong, you have to take a step back and think clearly! We are still working through this situation currently.
- To Invest or Pay Off Student Loans First? How Would You Answer? - I tackle a forum question and weigh in with my advice and ask the readers to weigh in as well! Read and let us know what you think today!
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