December 2016 Net Worth Update (+$4,662 3.1%)

December 2016 Net Worth Update (+$4,662  3.1%)December 2016 Net Worth

Background

Here is our December 2016 Net Worth Update. I started documenting our net worth in June 2016 (June 2016 Net Worth Report) and determined it to be $127,575.  We saw our Net Worth rise to $153,960 in December (an increase of $4,662).  This is some continued 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.

Methods

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.

December 2016 Net Worth Overview

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

Following the December 2016 Net Worth Overview table there is a breakdown of the individual categories of our net worth. December was a below average month and our net worth was somewhat stagnant when compared to recent months.  The biggest gain came from our retirement accounts as the markets rallied in post-election certainty.  I was excited to see sizable net worth gains this month with the rise in our investment accounts and debt payments  See below for more details on each of the categories.

Emergency Fund

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

We have focused on setting aside at least $100 per month to keep building up this fund. This month we were able to put away $143. We currently have $15,000 in our emergency fund. We are getting 0.55% on the money held in this account.   We are capping our emergency fund at $15,000 and diverting the monthly contributions elsewhere.

Checking Account

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

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.

Home

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

This month the home value remained unchanged at $225,000. The gain came from making our standard monthly payment which reduced the principal of the loan by $796. 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

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

In December I continued my usual contributions to my 401k plan. I always make sure its enough to get the full employer match.   Our retirement accounts continued to generate nice gains in the second straight bullish month.

Pension Plan #1

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

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 employer contributes 3% which is equal to $1,000. The employer will contribute $250 every three months into the account for a total of $1,000 on the year.

Roth IRA – Retirement Account

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

This Roth account is held through a robo-advisor account. I’m currently not contributing to this account as I want to start building up additional cash reserves to increase our financial flexibility.

Wife’s Retirement Plan

 403(b) – Retirement Account

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

Similar to the 401k, my wife’s retirement plan had nice gains. Both retirement accounts are invested in roughly the same asset allocation so we end up with similar percentage returns.

Pension #2

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

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.

Car #1

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

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 $10,526.

Car #2

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

For Car #2 we started with a 60 month auto loan for $18,774 at 2.8%. We continue to make progress on the car loan this month. 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

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth
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

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth

We did it!! We paid down the final $480 on my wife’s student loans.  This has been our primary area of focus for going on 12 months now and achieving this goal is a great feeling.  I’m excited about not paying any additional interest on these loans, but I’m even more excited about the additional cash flow

 

We freed up an additional $280 in cash flow by eliminating these student loans.  This $280 provides even more financial cushion for us.  It also allows u

Credit Card

December 2016 Net Worth, Assets, Liabilities, Net Worth
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 December 2016 update.

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