Hi, my name is Steve and I used to post more articles on this site... This post may be coming as a surprise to you and I'm sorry that I was not very communicative about dropping off late last year. In fact, my last update was in September 2018. A lot has happened since then. I hope this post will get you caught up and we can move forward from here.
So, in September, we actually hit a high for our net worth that we haven't quite recaptured since. The reason for that high? Our mortgage company valued our home way too high for one month, throwing all my numbers off. The very next month, they then moved the value back down most of the growth. In fact, if you were to take that month out of the equation, it would almost be a straight shot up. The month after we hit $160,000, we dropped down to $146,555. From there, we've only had one down month, which was January 2019 which is when the markets basically had their shakeup. Including that downturn from January, we've averaged about $1,422 growth per month since September.
So, these past 6 months represent a loss, let's dig in to the numbers.
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 The Last 6 Months?
Over the past 6 months, we saw a -3.51% decline in our net worth. This was almost exclusively due to the mortgage value spiking for one month. If the value had been correct, I'd be reporting a 4.42% growth. In the markets, we are still down other than the kid's college funds. We make our biggest contributions currently to them so, it's propping our investments up to be flat. We've been hard at work growing our emergency fund with it growing by about 22%. Lastly, our mortgage is almost 3% closer to being gone!
Here's how the number broke down:
Net Worth Numbers - September 2018
Home Value - -$12.800.00 (-6.33%)
$189,300 - This number has been pretty consistent since October 2018. I think it could swing a little in either direction since we have seen a few comparable houses sell for a bit more recently. Zillow has an estimate a little lower at $182,753 but shows a range between $174k to $192k. 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 - -$46.05 (-0.21%)
This has remained basically flat, although we are down a little bit. We are only contributing 1% of our pay right now as we focus on building up our emergency fund again.
Traditional and Roth IRA's - -$531.51 (-1.80%)
Since we are not making contributions here, this is purely where the market has been over the last 6 months. We are just holding steady and riding the markets currently.
Kids Brokerage - -$3.32 (-0.36%)
Overall, this account is doing well since inception considering it's up almost 10%. We don't add to it very often, only when the girls get gift money or extra money to put in there.
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Kid's College Fund - +$1,210.92 (+58.77%)
When you factor in the $200/month contribution to this account, it's only really grown by about $11. But, considering everything else is not quite back yet, I'm happy that we still have some true growth in the last six months on this account.
Brokerage Account - +$52.46 (+4.58%)
Year to date, this account has really bounced back for us. YTD, we are up 26.36%. This is good since last year was such a bad year for this account. We don't contribute anything to this account except for reinvested dividends. We are just holding and have no plans to sell currently. We are still about $200 off our high for the account. At that point, I'm not sure what we'll do with it.
Auto Value - -$316.00 (-4.37%)
I believe this is just car value doing their thing. Not expecting this to go up. Guess that's why you don't put much of your net worth in your cars. They don't hold up over the long run. We buy used, usually 4-5 years old and pay cash for it. Both vehicles have held up reliably since we purchased them and it really is nice not having a car payment each month to worry about.
Cash Money - +$759.06 (+100.71%)
I don't really look at this portion as a real growth indicator for us. It's mainly our month to month spending plus our sinking funds.
Here's how our bigger expenses played out:
- Sinking Funds did great this month (March) as we only spent $77.45 this month. This is not typical for us to spend so little out of our sinking funds. We will take it.
- Groceries continue to be a tough spot for us. We spent $909.11 this month of our $625 budget. This month, we spent $205 in dining out. $625 is more of a goal we shoot for and I don't hold it hard and fast like other things.
Emergency Fund Savings - +$2,196.86 (+21.79%)
I like seeing this growth in our savings, but I also know that it could be higher. In fact, when we had to reconcile our sinking funds to bring them even at the beginning of the year, we had to transfer over around $1,600 to cover mainly auto maintenance and medical costs that were negative. So, I guess overall, we are kind of up $3,700, but had to spend some of it on emergencies. Anyways, with cutting down on our investing and putting more into savings, we are now putting $765 per month away. We still have a ways to go to get completely funded, but we are now almost 62% funded of our $15,000 goal.
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 - -$3,836.69 (-2.90%)
Yay! We are averaging almost $640 towards principal monthly! Another payment in the books and that much closer to our 15 year payoff. I actually calculated it and we are now down to 158 more payments if we don't pay anything extra on the house. We finally ticked up to 0.50% being paid off per month.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2019 : $142,419.73
April 1st, 2019 : $155,092.82
Total Growth YTD : $12,673.09 (8.90%)
Last Year's Growth: $13,326.82 (10.32%)
Take Away for the Month
When you keep plugging away and keep to the plan, it won't fail you. Keep working hard to make your net worth grow as well! Have a great April everyone!
Here are some of our recent articles in case you missed them.
As a homeowner, you take pride in your home and want to keep it clean and in good condition. Hiring professionals to handle your home repairs is necessary from time to time, but that can also get expensive. So here are some money-saving tips for homeowners who want to be more proactive in keeping up with those jobs around the house. And since there are many parallels between home maintenance and car maintenance, you’ll get some bonus tips on how to apply these ideas to your vehicle as well. Fix Problems ASAP The first thing every homeowner – and car […]
September was a stellar month with a very big gain for us overall. Check out how we did it inside!
Another big up month this month, led mainly by our investments. But, in reality, our growth is driven by continuing to live on less than we make and saving and giving the rest.
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)
- March 2019 Net Worth Update – $155,092.82 (-$5,640.89) - April 2, 2019
- 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