Where in the world did January go? It seems like just yesterday was New Year’s Day and now we are quickly approaching Valentine’s Day. I do not have much to share for the month, but we are certainly making progress at increasing our net worth.
Monthly Net Worth Update
We increased our assets by $1,638.30 during the past month. We enjoyed an increase in every category except our depreciating vehicles.
We are still using YNAB and we still LOVE it. One of the features we like is the Age of Money calculation. This roughly calculates how long you have your money before you spend it. At the end of January our age of money was up to 39 days. This is huge and means we officially broke out of the paycheck to paycheck cycle. We managed to increase our cash by $396.91 in the past month. I believe we can do better, but this all depends on planned future home improvements.
Cash Back/Gift Cards
I am beside myself. Each Xmas, we receive a $50 McCormick & Schmick’s gift card from one of our parents. We save this gift card to use for our Anniversary in October. Somehow, we lost the gift card we received in 2018, so I had to remove $50 from this category. Even so, this category increased by $403.75 in the last month.
This section will increase quite a bit over the next couple months. We signed up for three new credit cards. One will pay us $150 for spending $1,500 in the first three months of having the card, which we already accomplished. The other two will pay us $200 each for spending $500 on each card in the first three months. I believe we can accomplish that during the month, which should be an increase of $550 total.
Something is going on because we are finally up $770.30 for the month. It would be great to see this get back up to the original $11,337 that I threw away in this speculation.
We know we are outliers in the personal finance community with how we treat our retirement. This is true in a couple ways. First, we currently focus on paying down debt more than investing. Second, although the stock market continues to hit new highs each day, we remain sitting on the sidelines. That said, I still contributed $874.27 to my retirement last month. One change is that I plan to increase my contribution by my annual merit increase that should arrive in March.
This account increased by a whole $0.07. The current balance will not even buy a single schoolbook. Dr. SoS and I need to decide what to do about the future education of our kids, but right now they are on their own.
No change in the value of our house over the past month. The average estimate of our house is $344,640 and the median list price in our zip code is $312,000. I feel pretty confident in our current estimate of $310,000 and plan to keep it at that amount for the duration.
Cars and Boat
We realized a large hit to our cars and boat over the past month with the estimated values dropping by $807. The total new value is $34,520. We could almost sell both cars and a boat and buy a Tesla Model 3.
We paid off an additional $2,433.60 in the last month across our three debts.
We continue to pay off our credit cards weekly. YNAB helps ensure we always have the money to pay off the cards because we only spend what we have in our checking account. It is an amazing feeling!
We only have 11 more $600 payments until no more car payments. We plan to bank the car payment after paying off my car and saving for a used Tesla Model S.
We have 8 years 10 months (106 payments) to pay off the $161,776.21 balance paying off $1,323.75 against the principle last month, which is $3.44 more than the previous month! One other change is that we are taking over paying our home owner’s insurance and property taxes this month. This way we can earn interest on the money we save to pay those two massive annual bills.
We have 23 years 1 month (277 payments) to pay off the $203,841.06 balance paying off $519.85 against the principal last month.
One thing new that I began calculating each month is our savings rate. The Financial Independence (FI) bloggers always talk about how if you can increase your savings rate, you can reach FI even faster. This prompted me to figure out how we are doing.
I contribute to my work 403b, which is like a 401k but for non-profit companies. We also max out our HSA each year. We save 10% of our household income into these two accounts. In addition, my company matches about 3% of our household salary. This means that with the match we are saving about 13% of our household income.
We are also paying down debt, which is a form of saving. We currently pay 26% of our income toward the principle of our debts including my car, our home, and Dr. SoS’s student loan. This means that our total effective savings rate including debt payments on principle is 39%. This is good, but I know we can do better. I would like to get this up into the 50%+ range. The first step will be to deposit my entire raise into my 403b.
As of the first day of February 2020, we are up 0.66% to a new high of $618,033.94 from our net worth of $613,952.04 in January, and up 12.38% from our net worth of $549,932.03, from February 2019. Our current net worth keeps us in the top 27% at 216/787 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!