Net Worth: 2017-09-01

Welcome to our fourth Net Worth review.

We matched our Zero Days for the month from last month with 10 zero days, which means we did not spend any money on over 32% of the days once again. Dr. SoS mentioned that this is still extremely good when you consider we had a long distance road trip (13 hours each way) to see her family including gas, snacks, and food each way. With the start of school, we also had the expense of a parking pass, activity pass, school portrait fees, supplies, filling the school lunch accounts, and new school clothes.

We were really tight on cash last month. This took some budget squeezing and added a little stress, but our net worth increased by 6.3%. This was due to our diligence in paying our debts and the recent upward surge in the stock market.  Let’s dive into the numbers and then follow with an explanation of each.

NET WORTH: 2017-09-01
Cash Savings $9,546.13 -4.8%
Cash Back $576.29 10.8%
Brokerage $34,556.50 7.6%
Retirement $430,043.47 3.0%
MOST 529 $2,733.99 6.3%
House $317,699.00 0.1%
Cars & Boat $51,520.00 6.5%
TOTAL ASSETS $846,675.38 2.2%
Credit Cards $9,213.70 -6.6%
Car Loan $24,300.00 -2.4%
HELOC $35,500.00 -0.6%
Mortgage $198,801.12 -0.6%
Student Loans $221,019.39 -0.1%
TOTAL LIABILITIES $488,834.21 -0.6%
TOTAL NET WORTH $357,841.17 6.3%

Here is additional information about each of the categories shown in the table above.

Cash Savings
Our total cash and savings accounts are down again continuing a trend that began in February. We do not have much more that we can go down, so now is time to start going back up!

Cash Back
We did not spent much last month, but our cash back is up another $56.36 from just paying for gas, groceries, and our utilities on our cash back credit cards. When you pay your balances every month this is FREE MONEY! One trick that we use is to pay off our credit card balances every Friday. This makes the credit cards much more like cash transactions and helps prevent overspending. If you do this and find one week that you do not have the cash to make the payments, then you need to stop spending until you can pay off the balance. The great thing is that you probably have another 45 days or so to get it paid.

This account is up $444.82. I made a $39.82 profit from a trade, $405 from the increase in stock value.

I earned $1,215.73 after commissions and fees last month with my trading. Due to a bounce back with our stocks we are up again this month with an increase of $12,499.06 from last month.

MOST 529
This account is up $161.68 from our monthly deposit of $150 plus the increase in value of the Vanguard Aggressive Growth Portfolio where we have our money invested.

As homes on the lake around us sell for more and more money our home value is steadily increasing. This month the estimate is $450 more than last month.

Cars & Boat
Normally these depreciating assets decrease in value month after month with the increase in miles driven, but for some reason all the cars went up in value and only the boat went down in value with a net value up $3,165 since last month. Is the used car market up in our area? It must be.

Credit Cards
We spent very little money last month and I made a point to pay off any remaining balances on the last day of the month. We have two cards with 0% interest and our American Express Blue card had some pending charges that hit after my payment, but that is our total balance due.

Car Loan
I made my monthly payment automatically and we are now down to only 40.5 remaining payments.

HELOC (Home Equity Line Of Credit)
Dr. SoS and I had a heart to heart about this account this month. The great thing about the HELOC is that, similar to your mortgage, per IRS Publication 936, you may be able to claim the interest on your taxes. Even with the equipment purchase we made last month, we nearly have the entire amount to pay off this loan from my cash brokerage account. I like making trades in the stock market and increasing my brokerage account balance, but this account comes with a monthly payment of $288. Now that we are looking for any and every way to reduce our monthly expenses, it may more sense to pay off this loan and just continue my trading in my retirement accounts instead.

YES! It took six years, but we are finally down under $200k! This loan matures on 11/01/2028, so we only have 134 more payments or 11 years 2 months of payments remaining!

Student Loans
If you have student loans and a mortgage, and depending on your situation, you should usually pay your student loans off first. Depending on how much money you make, per IRS Publication 970, you may be able to claim the interest on your student loans on your taxes. Unfortunately, we exceeded the married filing joint income limit of $160,000 several years ago, so that has not applied to us. I wish I knew what I know now about personal finance five years ago when I refinanced the house. The good news is that once our house is paid off, provided we apply that payment to the remaining student loans, we will pay them off equally as fast.

As of the first day of September, we are up to a net worth of $357,841.17 from August’s total of $336,638.17. The amazing thing is that if we had all our debts paid, not only would we be rolling in the dough, but we would have a net worth of $846,675.38. This is why you save your money, stay out of debt, and do whatever you can to avoid student loans, kids.

If you have any questions about any of this, please let us know. Until next time we will keep saving and hopefully do some more swimming! Thanks for reading!

Mr. SoS

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