How We are Growing Our Net Worth – July 2018
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Besides publishing monthly dividend income reports, there isn’t much I love more than posting about our net worth updates.
Each month, we publish an update on our family’s net worth here on The Money Sprout. Tracking our net worth helps my family stay focused with our personal finances.
The path to financial independence (FI) that my wife and I have chosen is directly tied to things like our net worth and the amount of passive income we are earning every year.
Almost every single month month … our net worth usually grows. Every once in a while we will see a slight dip in our net worth … but over the long term it is a constant and stead path up.
We published our first net worth report 3.5 years ago and have seen it grow by over $200,000!
Here is our latest monthly net worth update.
How We Track Our Net Worth
Before we move on to reviewing our June net worth numbers, I would like to mention how we are using our Personal Capital account to do most of the work.
We are tracking our net worth through this free account. This tool has made it possible for us to easily track our net worth at a moments notice.
So how did we do this July?
July 2018 Net Worth
As of July 31st, 2018 – our net worth is $635,786. That is a sizable increase of over $10,000+ in net worth in one month.
As a result of these increases, this is the highest our net worth has ever reached and we hope to continue this trend through 2018.
We managed to pay down some debt last month … which was a good thing. And our assets increased … which is always fun to see.
Our net worth in July 2018 increased by 1.65% compared to June.
June 2018 Net Worth = $625,489
July 2018 Net Worth = $635,786
Net Worth Change = +$10,297
A high level breakdown of our assets and liabilities are detailed below.
We always report our net worth with 3 main asset categories that include – investments, cash, and home value.
Note – We currently do not count our automobiles as an asset and they are only found in the liability section of our reports.
Below you will find a breakdown of each category for last months checkup.
Our investment category includes a dividend income portfolio, 529 plans for the kids, 457 account, emergency fund accounts, IRA accounts, Roth accounts, and any other retirement account we have opened, etc. We have been building these assets for the past 10 to 15 years (depending on the account).
These equity investments are currently (and likely will always be) our highest valued asset. There isn’t a day that passes that we are not working to make this asset grow … despite what the overall market is doing.
During July our investments saw a large increase compared to last month. Overall … our investment assets rose by over $14,000+ in July compared to June.
June 2018 Investments = $472,181
July 2018 Investments = $486,363
Investment Change = +$14,182
That is an incredible 3% gain in value of our investments in just one month!
The majority of these gains were from increases in the stock market.
Our current cash includes all of our checking and savings accounts. We don’t usually carry a high cash balance and like to move it into the stock market to purchase income producing assets. However, it is also important to have some cash on hand in order to cover unexpected expenses.
June 2018 – Cash = $5,714
July 2018 – Cash = $3,657
Cash Change = ($2,057)
Our cash balance dropped by over $2,000 … which may seem like a big deal. However, we have been paying for summer vacation trips … which is where the majority of these funds went.
Note – When it comes to cash … I find it a very inefficient way to build wealth. That is why we put it to good use whenever we can.
Reporting home value in our net worth reports is good and bad. For example, we use Zillow to estimate on our home value. This is simply an estimate at best and may not represent the actual value we could sell our home for. That is the bad part of reporting it on our net worth.
On the other hand, it is such a huge asset that not reporting it would skew our net worth results. We currently owe about 50% (maybe a little more) of the value of the home. That is a significant part of our overall net worth in my opinion.
The estimated value of our home dropped this past month compared to June.
June 2018 – Home Value (est) = $345,310
July 2018 – Home Value (est) = $341,123
Home Value Change = ($4,187)
This was one of the largest drops in our estimated home value we have seen in a while. Again … these are just estimates of our home value and nothing I will get that concerned about.
Our biggest asset class (stocks) rose by over $14,000 last month. The cash balance we carry dropped by over $2,000 and our estimated home value declined by another $4,000.
Overall our total assets rose by just 0.96% since last reporting … which is a nice jump in one month.
June 2018 – Total Assets = $823,205
July 2018 – Total Assets = $831,143
Total Asset Change = +$7,938
Overall this was a very successful month for growing our assets … despite seeing our home value drop so much.
There are 3 main liability categories that we will report on. The first and largest is our mortgage balance. Then we have our credit card balances … which is how we pay for almost every purchase we make.
The last category is our car loan(s). We plan to have one of our vehicles paid off completely by next summer. The other vehicle is a 0% loan … so we are in no rush to pay extra on that one.
One month at a time … we are working to pay down our mortgage debt. Fortunately, we have a reasonable mortgage rate and a monthly payment that doesn’t completely hold us down.
We have a 30 year mortgage on our home with a rate of 4.375%. That isn’t too bad of a rate, so we don’t normally pay any extra on the mortgage.
If we could go back about 10 years, my wife and I would have purchased a slightly smaller home. We made a mistake and bought a home that was too big. We could have easily raised our 3 kids in a house that was 1,000 less square foot than what we have now. That move alone would have saved us thousands and thousands of dollars every year.
Over the past several months, we have been considering downsizing our home to something smaller and less expensive. We are continuing to look for smaller homes in our area … but it seems that the housing market is booming so homes don’t stay on the market for very long.
For now … we will continue to just pay our mortgage every month and watch the principal shrink little by little.
June 2018 – Mortgage Balance = ($176,142)
July 2018 – Mortgage Balance = ($175,684)
Mortgage Balance Change = +$458
Each month we make a mortgage payment, our principal drops by a little bit more each month. This past month we got a boost by adding another $21+ to our payment.
At the start of last year (January 2017), we took on a lot more debt after buying a second car … which I will refer to as “car loan #2”. My 16+ year old vehicle finally died, so I needed reliable transportation.
The good news is that we were able to purchase a new vehicle that gets over 35 mpg with a 0% financed loan. The bad news is that we took on $17,000+ in debt and a second car payment. I fully expect to drive this car for 15 years or eventually sell it to my son when he starts to drive.
As far as our other “family car”, we have a very low rate and are on year #6 of the loan. We refer to this as “car loan #1”.
Since our rate on this vehicle is 1.56%, we haven’t paid too much extra on it. While we are anxious to pay this loan off, we think we could make a higher return from investing the money.
During July … we saw a drop in debt on both of our auto loans.
June 2018 – Car Loan #1 = ($4,527)
July 2018 – Car Loan #1 = ($4,207)
June 2018 – Car Loan #2 = ($13,528)
July 2018 – Car Loan #2 = ($13,282)
Car Loan(s) Change = +$566
In total, our car loans pushed our net worth higher by over $550!
Credit Card Balance
Normally, our credit card spending is the biggest area for improvement when it comes to debt.
We never (ever) let our credit card payments slip past their due date. Paying interest or late fee’s is a complete waste of assets.
June 2018 – Credit Card Balance(s) = ($3,519)
July 2018 – Credit Card Balance(s) = ($2,184)
Credit Card Balance Change = +$1,335
Our credit card balances fluctuate a lot month to month. During this past month’s snapshot, we had $880 more in short-term credit card debt … which is no big deal really.
Note – The balances shown above are at a point in time and don’t reflect the amount we spend in a month.
One of the things I absolutely lover about credit cards are the travel rewards we are starting to bank. Check out our Travel Rewards page for up-to-date information on our pursuit for FREE Travel.
Now into month 11 of our credit card journey, we have banked over $10,000 in future free travel!
Since last reporting, our mortgage balance dropped a little – as expected. We also saw a nice dip in car loan debt – which was also expected.
Our credit card balances also saw a good decline as we worked to pay off the balances of all our cards before they were due.
Collectively our total liabilities decreased by over $2,300+.
Remember … growing your net worth is not just about increasing your assets. It is just as important to lower your liabilities at the same time.
The larger the gap is between your total assets and total liabilities is the key to financial independence and something my family is working towards.
June 2018 – Total Liabilities = ($197,716)
July 2018 – Total Liabilities = ($195,357)
Total Liabilities Change = +$2,359
Net Worth Summary
As promised … we plan to keep these net worth posts updated every month now. Not only does it keep us accountable in how we save, earn, and invest … it is great motivation when you see growth like we have over the past 3 years.
For example, our first ever net worth report was posted back in March 2015 … almost 3.5 years ago. We reported a net worth of $434,984 back then. Since that time, we have managed to grow our net worth by over $200,000!
How awesome is that?
Looking out even further … my wife and I have a FI Number somewhere between 1.25 and 1.50 million dollars. So we are $600,000 to $900,000 away from that goal. Which means in 10 to 15 years we could hit our target.
Of course … I would like to speed that time-line up … a bunch. But it at least gives us a number to shoot for.
Do you track your net worth? How did your July net worth totals turn out? What steps are you taking to widen the gap between your assets and liabilities?