September 2016 Net Worth Update (+$4,552, 3.3%)
Here is our September 2016 Net Worth Update. I started documenting our net worth in June 2016 (June 2016 Net Worth Report) and the amount came out $127,575. We saw our Net Worth rise to $143,761 in September (an increase of $4,552). This is some great progress which we are excited about and will keep us on track to meeting our Five Year Net Worth Projection. We use these projections to provide targets/goals and keep ourselves motivated toward reaching financial independence. Lets get into the details starting with how I track the family’s net worth.
I utilize two methods for tracking my net worth. The first method is by using Personal Capital. This software is an incredible, free financial tool that combines all of your accounts in one place. Personal Capital provides insight into your cash flow, investment portfolio, and other methods to grow your net worth. Use the affiliate links above if you interested in Personal Capital and like the content on this blog. I know it has helped me get a better handle on my finances and grow my net worth.
The second method is through a custom Excel spreadsheet that I have created and modified over the years. It is nothing special and I have to update it manually which I enjoy doing. Now onto the nuts and bolts of my net worth.
September 2016 Net Worth Overview
Following the September 2016 Net Worth Overview table there is a breakdown of the individual categories of our net worth. September was an good month and our net worth made some nice progress. We were able to add roughly $1,800 in retirement savings account contributions and gains. The other main area of note is the additional money we were able to pay down of my wife’s student loan debt. The usual progress was made on all loan payments. See below for more details on each of the categories.
We have focused on setting aside $100 per month to keep building up this fund. We currently have $14,422 in our emergency fund. We are getting 0.55% on the money held in this account. Combine the contribution and minor interest payment and the account grew by $107 this month. Nothing exciting about this but it may save the financial day for us and keep us out of consumer debt if an unexpected cost arises.
The checking account typically hovers around $5,000, but has peaks and valleys each month depending on when we have our direct deposits and various withdrawals hit the account. We earn no interest on this account. This month we were in one of those valleys. I am chalking this up to the monthly variation in timing of our direct deposits.
This month the home value remained unchanged at $225,000. The gain came from making our standard monthly payment which reduces the principal of the loan by $789. We likely won’t live in this home long enough to pay off the balance and with the interest rate being so low I am not focused on aggressively paying it off. Current pay off date – November 2030.
We purchased our home in Summer 2012 for $186,000. Based on comparable sales and an appraisal when we refinanced, I am estimating the market value of our home at $225,000. The home loan is a 15 year fixed term loan at 3.25%.
My Retirement Plan
401k – Retirement Account
In September I continued to contribute less than my usual amount to my 401k plan. We continue to redirect the additional money toward my wife’s student loan debt. I still contribute enough to get the full employer match. We are in debt pay down mode right now.
Pension Plan #1
My current employer offers a pension plan where the employer annually contributes a small percentage of my salary into a fund. The employer funds this percentage quarterly. For example, say the 3% equals $1,000. The employer will contribute $250 every three months into the account for a total of $1,000 on the year. I am not eligible to receive contributions to this account until I have been with the company for six months (six month mark was mid-July). My August pay statements did not have any contributions to this account. The cause is that the payments come quarterly and I have not been eligible at the time of the quarterly payment. I expect the payment to come in late September or October.
Roth IRA – Retirement Account
This Roth account is held through a robo-advisor account. I have started to contribute $100 per month to this account and will look to adjust as needed. I didn’t like the balance between my pre-tax (401k and 403b) accounts and my Roth account. I want to see more tax diversification in my retirement accounts.
Wife’s Retirement Plan
403(b) – Retirement Account
Similar to the 401k, my wife’s retirement plan saw average gains this month. My wife has been back to work for a couple months now and the contribution to her retirement account have been a nice pickup.
My wife’s employer offers a pension plan where the employer annually contributes a percentage of her salary into a fund. The employer funds this 2.5% annually. For example, say the 2.5% equals $1,000. The employer will contribute $1,000 at the end of the calendar year. The plan also provides a very low return that is similar to the rates you would receive in a money market or savings account, approximately 0.5% annually. This return is credited to your account on a monthly basis which comes out to 0.125% per quarter. This month we saw the small, monthly return that we expected.
We own my vehicle outright so there is no monthly payment. A few months ago, I valued the vehicle on Kelly Blue Book (KBB) at $12,000. I have been assuming the value of the car decreases by approximately 1% per month (or 12% per year). The value of the car is now $10,849.
For Car #2 we have a 60 month auto loan for $18,774 at 2.8%. We recently refinanced this vehicle from a 4.8% 66 month loan. We also made the progress on the car loan this month. Also, this car saw the expected depreciation. I have been assuming the value of the car decreases by approximately 1% per month (or 12% per year).
Student Loan #1
This student loan is from my time in business school. I refinanced this loan at 3% and plan to pay it off over the course of the next five years. I was fortunate enough to have my undergraduate education paid for by my parents so there is no loan balance from that time.
Student Loan #2
This makes two straight great months with us knocking $1,092 off my wife’s student loan in September. This is our primary area of focus right now. We want to free up the cash flow associated with these student loans so we are only a couple months away from this being a reality. These are a series of loans that average out to 3.5%. We are focusing any extra money that we have in our budget toward paying down this loan. The monthly minimum is $280 and we were able to put an extra $820 this month. The goal has slightly changed to paying off this debt in December 2016. Previously we were shooting for November 2016. After looking at some of our other expenses in October and November, we decided to take an extra month to finish this loan off.
My wife and I use one credit card to handle the majority of our purchases. It provides 1% cash-back on everything and 5% on certain, rotating categories.
We roughly charge $2,500 per month on this credit card. We pay the balance in full every month. There is always some carry over month to month but we are never charged any interest.
Please comment below with your thoughts on our financial situation and the progress we have made with our net worth in our September 2016 update.