September came and went so quickly that it's already almost a third of the way through October and I'm just now getting this out. Here at home, we had the Sandwich Fair, school is in full swing, I got to celebrate my birthday, and I got to end the month with FinCon. So many exciting things, so little time.
So, this month was a big jump for us, why? 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 This Month?
This month, we saw a 15.27% growth overall in our net worth! Woah! Leading the growth, was our home value, which grew by a smidge over 12%. It hasn't been updated since May, so that's most likely why the big one time jump. Our investments grew only a little by 0.38% this month. But growth is growth, no matter how small. Here's how the number broke down:
Net Worth Numbers - September 2018
Home Value - +$21,675.31 (+12.01%)
$202,100 - Our mortgage company finally updated their number this month since holding it since May. This number is interesting, because usually Zillow is higher. Zillow grew last month for our value, but now trails the mortgage company. Zillow rose a little to $193,133 from $189,638 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 - +$30.63 (+0.14%)
Very small gains here as we had to cut back our contributions to start getting our emergency fund built back up. Looking at this number, we are actually a little down when you take contributions out.
Traditional and Roth IRA's - -$6.92 (-0.001%)
Our IRA's were flat this month with a 0.001% loss compared to last month's 2.44% gain. The markets were flat.
Kids Brokerage - -$0.17 (-0.02%)
Minor down month here this month. Overall, we are way ahead of the old high yield savings, so nothing to worry about here.
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Kid's College Fund - +$210.24 (+11.36%)
This account is still small and with our $200 per month contribution, it is growing rapidly. Still, we had $10.24 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 - +$44.66 (+4.05%)
It's a constant bounce back and forth in this account, although, year to date, we are actually down 16.58%. This is off the low of over 20% down. I mainly only check this account when I update for these posts lol.
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 - -$324.00 (-4.28%)
Big down tick in auto value this month. Must have hit a milestone in our mileage or maybe it's because the next year of vehicles came out, not sure. Cars have been running pretty well this month with the exception of a couple minor things that we'll be addressing in the upcoming months.
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 - -$1,039.50 (-57.97%)
We have moved most of the money out of the main accounts and have them working for us. This is a good thing.
Here's how our bigger expenses played out:
- Sinking Funds did great this month as we only spent $389 this month compared to $712 last month. The heaviest hitters this month were medical ($152) and auto maintenance ($126).
- Groceries were better this month. We spent $703 this month compared to $846 last month of our $625 budget. This month, we spent $100 in dining out. Talking with people at FinCon about their monthly grocery budgets, I'm thinking our budget is a bit low. We might have to revisit this come the first of the year when we go over our annual spending for the year.
Emergency Fund Savings - +$63.34 (+0.63%)
Only a small gain this month, due to us having overspent a little on our trip to the wedding we visited at the end of August and also an escrow shortage that we had to cough up a little bit for. Hoping that October will be smoother and we'll be able to make a bigger dent in the balance. We are currently at 48.77% to our 6 month fully funded emergency fund.
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 - -$633.19 (-0.48%)
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 164 more payments if we don't pay anything extra on the house. We finally ticked up to 0.48% being paid off per month after a few months of being at 0.47% each month, love seeing the growth, no matter how little.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2018 : $129,092.91
October 1st, 2018 : $160,733.71
Total Growth YTD : $31,640.80 (24.51%)
Last Year's Growth: $27,043.88 (26.50%)
Take Away for the Month
Hoping for another up month, but mainly hoping to get more funds into the emergency fund over the next month. Hope you all have a great October!
Here are some of our articles that were posted throughout September in case you missed them.
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!
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