We experienced our first drop in net worth since August 2018. With the market going strong and increasing by 4% in the last month alone, you may wonder how we managed a drop in net worth. Followers of our blog and careful readers will notice the difference before we explain.
Monthly Net Worth Update
We are up in some categories, but down in others. Did you see where we spent our money above?
We made a big change in the past couple weeks that will significantly affect the cash we are saving each month. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Controlling Your Money With YNAB, after using Mint for the past seven years, we are switching to YNAB. We increased our Cash Savings by $804.90 in the last month and that is after buying a new garage door and spending an unanticipated $395.69 to help fix our oldest son’s car. I received three paychecks last month, so most of one of my checks went toward the garage door purchase.
Cash Back/Gift Cards
I cashed in $200 from our Citibank Double Cash card last month. We used the American Express Delta Platinum card to purchase our new garage door. This single purchase granted the additional 15,000 frequent flyer miles that I mentioned last month. The best part was that I paid off the credit card balance the same day the charge posted.
We plan to attend the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting in May 2020. Because we will travel with our young daughter, we wanted to stay at a hotel with a pool and other amenities for kids. I found a Hilton in our price range and when booking the reservations they offered an American Express Hilton Honors card. After spending $1,000 in the first 3 months they offer 75,000 Hilton Honors points. It also offers extra points when paying for our hotel stay using the card. I do not need another card, but free money is free money, so are free hotel nights.
Our cash back increased for couple reasons. The first is that I added in my Hilton Honors points to the category. I calculated these at $0.005 (a half cent) per point, which credit card gurus suggested. I also recalculated my Delta SkyMiles points at a more accurate $0.017 (1.7 cents per point). These changes caused the increase even after cashing out $200 last month.
We took another hit last month and our account is down to $2,320.93. The good thing is that the balance is so low now that going to $0 will not affect our net worth by a significant amount.
I increased my retirement and HSA accounts by $1,551.13 last month. I also had one options trade that I placed last week netting a small $92.93 increase.
If you paid attention above, you saw that we cashed out nearly all of our 529 savings last month. Our middle daughter Ms. O decided to go to cosmetology school. We agreed to pay for the amount of her tuition not covered by her student loan. This totaled $7,800. We withdrew $6,300 from the 529 and paid $1,500 in cash to cover the amount. Although this made our net worth dip, it was great to be able to do this for our daughter. Hopefully, she will make a million dollars and more cutting and styling hair and doing make-up.
We purchased a new garage door to replace the original solid wood garage door from 1962. Here is a photo of our previous garage door including rotting bottom, huge gaps, and peeling paint.
We plan to incorporate more modern features when remodeling the house. We chose a modern style and one unique to the neighborhood. Here is a photo of the new garage door. We used Overhead Door company. It seals perfectly around the entire door. Besides looking cool, a benefit is that the natural light from the windows shines through right where I store my lawn tools.
Considering a garage door increases curb appeal and generates roughly an 80% return on investment, we believe this was a good first step to many more remodel projects in the future.
Cars and Boat
My car rolled over the 60,000 mile mark and the value took a big hit. Overall, our cars are down $1,012 since last month.
We paid off a little less debt last month totaling $2,337.85, bringing our total liabilities down to a new low of $377,275.77. We cannot mark another line on our Debt Free Chart, but are able to remove a couple more marbles from our Death to Debt Skull!
With Thanksgiving hitting so close to the end of the month, we have a few pending credit card charges totaling $159.00 that I will be unable to pay until Monday. We love using credit cards with YNAB. We plan every dollar, so when we go to pay the credit card bill the amount is always available in our checking account.
With only 13 more $600 payments we only owe $7,800 until no more car payments. After that we will begin saving for Dr. SoS’s Telsa Cybertruck!
We are down to the last 9 years (108 payments) to pay off the remaining $164,420.27. It is crazy how fast the last 6 years went since we refinanced to a 15-year mortgage.
We have 279 more payments on this loan. We owe $204,896.50 paying off $516.67 against the principal in the last month.
As of the first day of December 2019, we are down 0.45% to $605,306.66 from our net worth of $608,049.73 in November, but up 11.97% from our net worth of $540,576.29, from the first of December 2018. Our current net worth keeps us in the top 28% at 218/787 bloggers on the Rockstar Finance Directory Net Worth Tracker.
We compile this information each month to keep us accountable and to hopefully inspire others to spend less than they make, save more, and make wise investment choices. If you have any comments or questions, please leave a comment or contact us directly.
Thank you for reading!