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Welcome to my monthly net worth report! Since July 2017 I have logged into Personal Capital around the 15th of each month to update our net worth. I really look forward to this time of the month so that I can see how much it has increased (or decreased).
On September 1 we started our new goal of saving $100,000 to purchase our first rental property in cash, putting an end to our seven-month spending spree that we enjoyed after paying off our mortgage. This little spree involved replenishing the emergency fund we drained to make our final mortgage principal payment (I guess that one is not really spending), cash-flowing a trip to Russia to attend three games of the FIFA World Cup, updating a few rooms of our home, buying new furniture and lots of decor, buying a new lawn mower and finally buying a new-to-us truck.
Through it all, our net worth continuously increased each month with the exception of April 2018, but I am glad that those months of spending are over. I was so excited to start our new savings goal and have been diligently tracking our progress
I’ll take a moment to explain net worth and what Personal Capital is in case you’re new to all this, but if you’ve been around a while, feel free to scroll past this information.
According to Investopedia, “Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Net worth is a concept applicable to individuals and businesses as a key measure of how much an entity is worth. A consistent increase in net worth indicates good financial health; conversely, net worth may be depleted by annual operating losses or a substantial decrease in asset values relative to liabilities.”
Or to keep it simple, your net worth is the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
Assets may include your home, vehicles, investments and money in your bank accounts. It can even include art, jewelry, furniture, etc., though I don’t include any of those things when calculating our net worth simply because beyond checking the value of our cars each month, I just don’t want to take the time to figure up the value of every little thing we own.
A liability is the amount of debt you owe on these things. My husband and I no longer have any debt, but you could take a look at January 2018’s report (which I may add is extremely short for some reason). This is the last month where we had a mortgage balance, so when calculating our net worth, I subtracted our balance of $7,945 from our home’s value of $144,000.
Other than Debitize, this is the only financial tool I frequently use that I haven’t come up with myself (such as my free zero-based budget template). I could design a spreadsheet to track my net worth, but Personal Capital is so quick and easy to use that I just don’t see the point. Plus it’s free.
Personal Capital is an app that updates your net worth upon sign-in by connecting to your bank accounts, investment accounts and even Zillow, though I found that Zillow’s estimated value of our home fluctuated wildly almost month-to-month. Connecting your accounts is optional, so this is not something you have to do if you don’t feel comfortable with it.
It is good to keep in mind that some companies do not allow third parties to have this sort of access to their information, and because of this, I have to log into my husband’s retirement account and manually update the value on Personal Capital. Also, to get a good idea of the value of your vehicles, I recommend checking kbb.com and manually updating those amounts when you log into Personal Capital.
Personal Capital is now offering a refer-a-friend program for their free service, so it’s a great time to try it out. If you use this link and connect a qualifying investment account (taxable brokerage, 401k, IRA, 529, etc.) within 30 days of signing up, you and I both will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!
Let’s talk December! We have no liabilities since we have been completely debt free for almost a year (I can’t believe it’s been that long already!), so below are the assets that make up our current net worth.
- Cash: $21,756
- Investments: $77,444
- House: $150,000
- Vehicles: $10,888
Net Worth: $260,088 (+$297 from last month)
Considering we’ve been saving over $4,000 on average, it may seem strange that our net worth increased by not even $300 this month. Let’s break this down a little by zooming in on the changes our Cash, Investments
- This Month: $21,756
- Last Month: $17,241
- Difference: +$4,515
- This Month: $77,444
- Last Month: $79,317
- Difference: -$1,873
- This Month: $10,888
- Last Month: $13,233
- Difference: -$2,345
We finally sold one of our vehicles, which accounts for the $2,345 loss. We’re not saving the money we earned from the sale; it’s being spent on things my husband wants and needs for his new-to-us truck.
And we’ve lost almost $6,000 between our investments over the last 90 days, but since we’re saving over 60% of our take-home pay, we’re still coming out ahead.
Since this is the last report of 2018, let’s dive into the year as a whole!
2018 Net Worth Total
- December: $260,088
- January: $225,528
- Difference: +$34,560
- December: $0.00
- January: -$7,945
- Difference: +$7,945
- December: $21,756
- January: $8,932
- Difference: +$12,824
- December: $77,444
- January: $73,110
- Difference: +$4,334
- December: $10,888
- January: $7,431
- Difference: +$3,457
We started out the year with a mortgage, spent the next seven months traveling, doing home renovations, buying new furniture, home decor, a new lawn mower and a new to us truck, and saved over 60% of our take-home pay the last four months. Through it all our net worth consistently climbed, and we even became quarter-millionaires in August.
Most people don’t track their net worth every month like I do and choose to do it quarterly or every six months. Using Personal Capital turns this into a pretty passive process, but some people find logging into their accounts and manually tracking their net worth to be a somewhat therapeutic experience.
However you choose to do it, I highly suggest tracking your net worth if you’re not already. It’s so motivating to watch your numbers increase as you pay down debt and save money, and it’s great to be able to look back at the end of each year and see all the life you lived through those numbers.
Thanks for reading. Here’s to continuing to increase our net worth and improving ourselves along the way in 2019!