How We are Growing Our Net Worth – September 2018
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At the start of every new month, we publish an update on our family’s net worth here on The Money Sprout.
Tracking our net worth is a great tool that helps guide us towards financial independence (FI).
Over the course of a month … we try and grow our assets. This includes our stock portfolio, cash, emergency fund, and even our kids college savings accounts.
At the same time … we are also working to decrease our liabilities. For example, we have two car payments we make every month and a mortgage.
The gap between how much in assets we have compared to what we owe is our net worth.
Some months our assets go up … which raises our net worth. Other months we rely more on paying down our liabilities. Every little bit counts!
Here is our latest monthly net worth update.
How We Track Our Net Worth
Before we move on to reviewing our September 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 September?
September 2018 Net Worth
As of September 30th, 2018 – our net worth is $665,545.
Overall, that is a very nice 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 September 2018 increased by 1.59% compared to August.
August 2018 Net Worth = $655,118
September 2018 Net Worth = $665,545
Net Worth Change = +$10,427
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 September our investments continued recent trends and rose again.
Overall … our investment assets rose by over $5,000+ in September compared to August.
August 2018 Investments = $506,680
September 2018 Investments = $512,125
Investment Change = +$5,445
That is another solid gain of 1.07% in value of our investments in the past month!
The majority of these gains were from increases in the stock market.
Our current cash balance 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.
August 2018 – Cash = $6,345
September 2018 – Cash = $6,160
Cash Change = ($185)
Overall our cash declined by $185.
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 increased this past month compared to August.
August 2018 – Home Value (est) = $338,718
September 2018 – Home Value (est) = $341,660
Home Value Change = $2,942
After a couple months of dropping in value, our home value rose by almost $3,000.
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 $5,000 last month. The cash balance we carry decreased by just ($185) and our home value rose by almost $3,000.
Overall our total assets rose by just 0.98% since last reporting … which was a nice little increase.
August 2018 – Total Assets = $851,743
September 2018 – Total Assets = $859,945
Total Asset Change = +$8,202
Overall this was a very successful month for growing our assets.
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.
We have a 30 year mortgage on our home with a rate of 4.375%. If we paid the minimum (our mortgage payment) each month … our home would be paid off in 18 years.
One way or another … we plan to not be paying on a home for another 18 years.
We will either continue to pay a bit extra on the balance each month or downsize into a smaller home. We may even do a combination of both.
Eventually we will likely downsize into a much smaller home in order to reduce our housing expenses … which currently makes up 38% of our monthly spending.
If we could go back about 10 years, my wife and I would have purchased a much smaller home. We made a mistake and bought a home that was way too big.
We could have lived comfortably with a 1,000 less square foot than what we have now. That move alone would have saved us thousands and thousands of dollars every year.
August 2018 – Mortgage Balance = ($175,125)
September 2018 – Mortgage Balance = ($174,663)
Mortgage Balance Change = +$462
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 $121 to our payment.
We currently have two car loans.
Our “family vehicle” (a van) has a very low 1.56% interest rate. This liability is referred to as “Car Loan #1” and will be paid off within the next 12 months … hopefully sooner.
The second liability is referred to as “Car Loan #2” and has several years before it will be paid off. The awesome thing about this loan is that it is 0% … so we are not in a huge rush to get it paid down.
Although I wouldn’t mind getting this debt off our books for piece of mind.
During September … we saw another nice drop in debt on both of our auto loans.
August 2018 – Car Loan #1 = ($3,639)
September 2018 – Car Loan #1 – ($3,236)
August 2018 – Car Loan #2 = ($13,036)
September 2018 – Car Loan #2 ($12,790)
Total Car Loan(s) Change = +$649
In total, our car loans pushed our net worth higher by almost $650!
Credit Card Balance
Almost every purchase we make (I would say 95%) is done so using a travel rewards credit card.
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.
Just in the past year, we have earned almost $10,000 towards future FREE travel. Check out our Travel Rewards page for up-to-date information on our pursuit for travel hacking.
Our goal is to take a family trip to Hawaii in the next 3 years using these travel rewards.
August 2018 – Credit Card Balance(s) = ($4,825)
September 2018 – Credit Card Balance(s) = ($3,711)
Credit Card Balance Change = +$1,114
Our credit card balances fluctuate a lot month to month. During this past month’s snapshot, we managed to payoff a good chunk of our credit card debt.
Note – The balances shown above are at a point in time and don’t reflect the amount we spend in a month.
Since last reporting – our mortgage balance dropped, both auto loans dropped, and our credit card balances went down.
The result of these decreasing liability balances is an increase in our net worth!
Collectively our total liabilities decreased by over $2,225.
August 2018 – Total Liabilities = ($196,625)
September 2018 – Total Liabilities = ($194,400)
Total Liabilities Change = +$2,225
When it comes to growing your net worth … decreasing your liabilities has the same impact as increasing your assets.
Net Worth Summary
We plan to keep these net worth posts updated every month.
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 3.5+ years.
For example, our first ever net worth report was posted back in March 2015 … which was 3.5 years ago. We reported a net worth of $434,984 back then.
Now we are over $665,000 in new worth … which is a sizable increase in less than 4 years. We also realize the huge gains in the stock market have helped us grow our net worth.
Looking out into the future … my wife and I have a FI Number somewhere between 1.25 and 1.50 million dollars.
So we are getting close to 50% of the way. If it were possible to repeat the past 4 years, then we could reasonably hit our FI target within the next decade.
I’m sure that isn’t going to happen as the stock market can’t keep on chugging like it has. But you never know. And if it does drop … then we can certainly load up on quality stocks and investments at a discount!
Do you track your net worth? How did your September net worth totals turn out? What steps are you taking to widen the gap between your assets and liabilities?