August is now behind us, summer is fading quickly as the days get shorter and we try to squeeze in those last chances to make lasting summer memories. School is back in session and at our household, we now have a first grader as well as a preschooler, so there is lots of pick ups and drop offs to schedule and coordinate. On the flip side, I'm now getting a nice 2 hour window to get a few things done alone. Hopefully, I'll be able to start squeezing in some more writing to go along with these monthly updates! Thanks for sticking with me during this transition time.
We spent the month doing a lot of fun activities before the girls started school. The girls got to go on their first train ride, we got to go to the Morton Arboretum to see these huge trolls and had a blast there. We got to celebrate Jenni's mom's birthday, among many other things.
We ended the month with a road trip that is still ongoing where we traveled to Georgia and are getting to see my cousin get married later this morning. On the way, we were able to stop by Financial Peace Plaza and visit the Dave Ramsey Show studio to see where Dave does his radio show. He wasn't there, but it was still great to go in and see it and talk to the staff. We even got a family picture in front of the studio here:
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 really explain what happened over our month that helped move the needle for our family. Second, I'm hoping to inspire and motivate others 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?
This month, we saw a 2.72% growth overall in our net worth. Our investments grew by 2.92% this month, which is awesome growth for us. The stock market drove more than half of our monthly growth this month. Here's how the number broke down:
Net Worth Numbers - August 2018
Home Value - +$0.00 (0%)
$180,424 - Our mortgage company held this number steady this month. This number is way below where Zillow is, which rose a little to $189,638 from $189,226 last month. I update this when my mortgage company updates it on their end as I feel it's still a conservative number overall.
Work Roth 403b - +$722.22 (+3.47%)
Even though we didn't see the huge gains that we saw last month, we still saw some very nice growth at a 3.47% growth for the month under last month's 4.83%.
Traditional and Roth IRA's - +$1,118.87 (+2.44%)
Our IRA's did well with a 2.44% growth compared to last month's 2.88% gain. The markets did well here as well, enough said.
Kids Brokerage - +$30.34 (+3.40%)
Another up month here as well. This account continues to earn more than we could ever earn in a high yield savings account. Not the biggest grower, but still nice for just being a passive investor for the month.
If you are looking for a great way to purchase stock or index funds with very little cost, consider using Stockpile. *When you join by clicking the image below, I do receive a small commission for referring you. However, you do get $5 free when you join with a new account! I hope you will consider trying it out!
Kid's College Fund - +$241.40 (+15.01%)
This account is still small and with our $200 per month contribution, it is growing rapidly. Still, we had $41.40 of pure growth this month, which is quite nice considering how much we contribute. Love seeing this account grow each month in our 529 account.
Brokerage Account - -$60.04 (-5.17%)
Well, we gave up most of last month's gains this month as the account dropped by 5%. This is pushing the dividend yield even higher as we continue to reinvest dividends. This account is just a play account for us and we do reinvest dividends from these stocks.
Long term, our dividend yields are over 8% from when we purchased, so our money is still working hard and we are dollar cost averaging in each quarter with the dividend reinvestment into these stocks. The best part about this account is it's small and it's more of a play account to us. It is a very small portion of our overall portfolio. Hopefully, we'll have better numbers to report next month.
Auto Value - +$90.00 (+1.20%)
An up month in car value, we'll take it. They go up slightly some months, but mainly, they go down in value.
We track our vehicle value for tracking sake, but we generally run our cars until they are useless for the most part. I have started tracking mileage as well and found that we drove our Impala twice the amount that we drove the PT Cruiser. The PT is just a commuter car for my wife though.
Cash Money - +$1,015.04 (+130.44%)
Our numbers are more in line with our normal cash balances as we had a little bit of time to get the $$$ moved around this month.
Here's how our bigger expenses played out:
- Sinking Funds did ok this month as we spent $712 this month compared to $457 last month. The heaviest hitters this month were medical ($179) and auto maintenance ($155).
- Groceries were better this month. We spent $846 this month compared to $935 last month of our $625 budget. This month, we spent $300 in dining out.
Emergency Fund Savings - -$98.81 (-0.98%)
The main reason we are down a little this month is because we have taken a road trip at the end of the month. Since we aren't putting anything into sinking funds for vacation, we knew that the money would come out of our emergency fund. We are currently down to 46.79% of our fund needed for our fully funded 6 month emergency fund. We scaled back investments this month tremendously to start being able to contribute more to our emergency fund again. That should add around $300 per month to what we are already putting away. On top of that, we were able to apply most of my wife's annual raise to this account as well, so that will bring in another $100 per month. Total, we should be able to put away roughly $600 per month to get this account built back up.
Even though we are stopping our investments for now, they should continue to move as the market does. We are trying to follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps and step 3 is to solely focus on building your 6 month emergency fund. So, we are going back to focusing on that step as we have had issues getting the fund built up while investing.
Our only liability that we have left is our home mortgage. All student loans, cars, and consumer debt have been paid off. Working to pay down the mortgage, we continue to refinance to shorten the term and lower the interest rate when possible to keep our payment the same. We are a little high on our monthly percentage for housing, roughly 33% of take home pay. This is one reason we're finding it harder to get to the 15% savings towards retirement. Through pay raises, we'll lower that percentage and build back up to get away from it being that high in the future. And, we always have the option to refinance back up to a longer term in the future if things get hairy as well.
Home Mortgage - -$631.41 (-0.47%)
Yay! We knocked out over $630 this month! Another payment in the books and that much closer to our 15 year payoff. I actually calculated it and we are now down to 165 more payments if we don't pay anything extra on the house.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2018 : $129,092.91
September 1st, 2018 : $139,446.93
Total Growth YTD : $10,354.02 (8.02%)
Last Year's Growth: $27,043.88 (26.50%)
Take Away for the Month
Glad to see the steady growth again this month. Hoping to continue the growth next month. Would love to get my emergency fund back up considering how much it's dropped off this year. Anyways, I hope this report has helped to inspire you to take control of your money and get started tracking your own money. Have a great September everyone!
Here are some of our articles that were posted throughout August in case you missed them.
July was another up month, even though our emergency fund got creamed. Find out all about it here.
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!
Latest posts by Steven Goodwin (see all)
- September 2018 Net Worth Update – $160,733.71 (+$21,286.78) - October 9, 2018
- August 2018 Net Worth Update – $139,446.93 (+$3,690.43) - September 2, 2018
- July 2018 Net Worth Update – $135,756.50 (+$1,338.43) - August 1, 2018
- June 2018 Net Worth Update – $134,418.07 (+$1,089.72) - July 1, 2018