I feel like each month moves faster than the last! March has taken it's run and we are now through our first quarter of the year! How are you doing on your 2017 goals and resolutions? My update should be up next week for my March check in! We had a lot of fun this past month.
Fun things we did in March
I got to do a fun 3 hour conference called the Parent Challenge, where I got to see radio personality's Kendra and John Smiley talk. I ended up buying three of their books and am almost through the first one already! They had some great ideas on parenting for my kiddos and we are working through them!
We had a wide range of weather here, which is usual for us. We were able to get out and play at the parks as well as go sledding one day. Although the snow didn't last, I was happy to get to use the sled that we got the girls for Christmas!
I got to give my first financial talk to the local chapter of the Rising Tide Society. This month, their meeting was on "Budgeting and Financial Freedom". It was great getting to meet some new small business owners and talk more about finances with them.
Finally, we got to go on our first of four family vacations this year! I actually made a video about it and did a post detailing our budget for the trip and gave some tips here. Here's the video, in case you wanted to see the highlight reel instead:
Why I post my net worth updates publicly
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!
What Happened to Our Net Worth This Month?
March had no negative numbers at all! We saw investments eek out some growth, cash grew a little, even our cars held steady this month! Overall, we had a fantastic month despite all of our activity. Part of it was getting back our tax refund to help prop our cash value up since we did do some extra spending this month.
Net Worth - March 2017
- Home Value - $160,000 - Holding on to this number since our appraisal was done before our refinance (August 2014). Roof update: we have finally contracted with a roofer and are getting our roof done for about $8,200. We haven't had to write the check yet, but will hopefully get this accomplished in April.
- Roth 403b - More growth! Had a nice bump that the company put some extra in for years of service as an extra contribution, so that helped move this number up higher! Love that extra money!
- Traditional and Roth IRA's - Barely eek'd out a positive here. We put $45 a month into this account to help it grow since we've cancelled Sling and Netflix this year.
- Auto Value - I don't get how my cars are worth more this month, but whatever, I'm sure it will go down again next month... For now, I'll take it.
- Cash Money - This month we saw an increase. Here's the run down:
- Sinking Funds took an $2400 hit due to paying for some work reimbursable dinners my wife will get back in April, medical visits, and paying our 6 month premium for auto insurance. I did talk to my insurance agent this round and ended up getting some savings as well as possibly getting a back credit for having our term life insurance bundled. We will see how it pans out.
- Groceries weren't as bad as last month, but we were over by $90. We only ate out twice, which would have brought it down almost to even, but we are barely scraping by here right now. I will definitely be going out and buying more meal planning options to get us caught up for April.
- Medical expenses were a pretty big whammy this month, coming in at almost $500. We have cash flowed it and are moving forward though. Still need to start funding my sinking fund for this expense category though. Maybe April?
- We spent a little over $400 on our first vacation this year and came in just over budget, but should be good with the changes we've made to our additional vacation budget! You can read all about it here.
- Emergency Fund Savings - No news is good news here. Just added almost another $14 in interest into our account this past month. We will be diving into this pretty soon as we are going to be getting our roof fixed soon.
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 $425! 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, 2017 : $102,049.03
March 1st, 2017 : $107,176.04
Total Growth YTD : $5,127.01 (5.02%)
Last Year's Growth: $18,336.16 (21.88%)
Take Away for the Month
March has been a stellar month even though it was mainly our tax refund keeping us in positive territory. Thanks for reading and letting me know how you are doing, it means a lot to me! I love doing these updates because they really force me to look into our spending and talk it over so that we actually understand more about it on a monthly basis. It seems so freeing!
How did your March go? Were you as busy as us? The weather should be even nicer next month!
Here are some of our articles that were posted throughout March in case you missed them.
We went to visit the Dancing Horse Show in Delavan, WI. I share some tips I learned while we traveled and share our vacation getaway.
Learning to manage money can come from many different places. Read Cody’s story about how his upbringing helped him to learn to handle money better.
Learning about money can be a daunting, boring task for some. This book does a great job breaking down those barriers. Check out my thoughts here.
Samm Burress shares her story of how she started her home business and shares tips on things she does daily to grow it. Check out her encouraging story!
So you want to be an online entrepreneur? Check out these lessons I’ve learned in my journey with over 9 different businesses I’ve been a part of.
Matt & his wife have been getting gazelle intense about paying off student loans. Check out the strategies they’re using to eliminate their debt so quickly.
Replacing a roof is a big purchase especially when it comes up sooner than you expected. Check out the steps we are taking to research and replace our roof.
The cost of raising a child can be extremely expensive. Check out these 3 ways you can save money on everyday things while still raising your child well.
February is the shortest month of the year, yet it’s still easy to not keep those resolutions. This year, I’m checking in monthly about my goals to become more accountable.
Are you ready to finally take control of your finances? Let my budgeting spreadsheets help!
Just fill out the form below and I'll send you the link to get the same exact budgeting spreadsheets that I use each month!
Included in the workbook:
- Monthly budget form
- Breakdown of savings form (for your sinking funds)
- Overview of your financial plan
I've been using these same forms since August 2011 and have grown my family's net worth 500% tracking our money using these forms!
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- April 2017 – $99,927.31- Net Worth Update (-$7,248.73) - May 3, 2017
- Be The Parent – Seven Choices You Can Make to Raise Great Kids by Kendra Smiley Book Review - April 26, 2017