Welcome to our very first Net Worth Update! It’s something that we only do about twice a year around our house. So it’s usually a fun surprise to see how our hard work has paid off. But this year we took a whole year off from work! We contributed $0 to our investments this year (so far) as planned. When we started, I wasn’t really sure how this might affect our net worth.
So imagine my delighted surprise when our net worth went up $50,000!
Here is why that is so crazy to me. I’m 33 years old, and have never personally made $50,000 in any given year from a job. Ever. I grew up in a family that would have spit soda out their nose at the idea of bringing home $50,000 a year.
My last job paid really well, $30k-$40k a year. But I worked every weekend, every holiday and at least 45 hours a week to bring that home. As did all my coworkers. Most people needed 100% of that money just to pay the bills. They were lucky to find a few thousand to set aside each year. So the idea that our net worth went up $50,000 while we…. um… traveled, hiked, picked cherries. BLOWS MY MIND.
My 8 year old is right. Compound interest is magic folks.
But beings this is the first time you all are taking a peek, let’s break this down for you.
1.Cash: Despite buying a few toys this year, taking a 6 week vacation, and doing 2 major remodels; our cash reserve is high. Perhaps a little too high, even for my taste. Part of the reason is that we haven’t quite decided what our next season in life is going to look like. We are keeping our options open and cash in the bank for the next few months.
Fun Money: You might also notice our fun money accounts. Mr. Mt and I have very different spending personalities. Like $2,000 vs $100 different. I don’t know what the heck to spend my fun money on. Mr. Mt keeps joking that I can just give some of it to him. He can take care of that: no problem!
Giving: Our giving account is earmarked for donations. We were whirlwind busy this summer and have just been giving our automatic $226 a month. Every month an extra $200 goes into this account and we use it for 1 time gifts. I love feeling like we can give spontaneous gifts without it touching our family savings.
Rentals: Our rentals also have their own checking account. All rent checks are deposited here, and repairs or improvements come out of it. Every month funds are transferred over to our personal checking to cover our monthly nut, plus some. We went a long time before we started taking income from this account in order to improve the properties and build up this fund. I like to see it around 10k. I feel like that will cover most things that could go wrong. Even if 3 or 4 all happen at once. So with the extra cash in this account, we might take on another project soon, or just start taking more income.
2. Kids College: We are starting to talk more about what we want to give our kids as far as college goes. I’ve held off investing more in the account this year, because I am toying with the idea of having my kids report their income and start Roth IRA’s for them once they turn 10. This lines up more with what I am trying to teach my kids.
3.Our houses: We own three right now, and got a great deal on all of them. We paid cash for our first home. For pricing, I used Zillow. It’s rather spot on in our area, if not a bit low. Then I took 10% off that price. I follow the markets here very closely because we always have our eyes open for the next deal. It would take about a day on craigslist to sell the homes for these prices. Two of our homes still have some projects we could finish that would push their value up even more.
4. Retirement accounts: Everyone has a messy closet somewhere in their house, right? Well, here is mine. I really hate paperwork, and IRA rollovers seem like torture to me. I didn’t even want to post some of these random little accounts, because I know I need to clean this up.
A million years ago, I went on a first date with a guy, and we stopped by his house to pick something up before we went to the movies. I waited in the doorway and he said, “Just wait here, but don’t go into the kitchen. It’s a mess.” So what did I do? Walked directly to the kitchen as soon as he was out of sight. People. It was nasty! Really, really bad. So bad, in fact, that as we drove to the theater in our separate cars, I ditched him. And never called him back. I know. That’s not nice. But I had never seen a kitchen that gross. In a nice home of all things!
So please don’t stand me up after seeing this. I figured by posting my mess, I might actually get it cleaned up before the next time you look in the messy kitchen. The Misc. account? It’s actually from an old employer, with a $20 maintenance fee, all cash. I know, I know. Feel free to roll your eyes now. This is what NOT to do. I just need to get childcare for a whole day and get it done. Which is perhaps why I haven’t yet. If I have childcare for a whole day, this is the very LAST thing I want to do! Hot date? Yes. Girls Trip? Yup. Fill out stupid paperwork? Um, no thanks. I’d rather hang out with my kids.
I’m really hoping that blogging makes me a better person.
So that brings our total asset to just over $700,000.
We have two mortgages on our rentals. House 2 has $38,000 remaining. House 3 has $98,000 left. I am happy to say that I never made a single one of these payments with our personal money. Never. Not once. We flowed the rental income into its own account and they take care of themselves financially now (and us, I might add). We haven’t started paying them off aggressively for a few reasons.
- We might buy another property at some point. I would rather pay cash (if possible) vs. pay these loans down then have to take out another loan (and pay all those fees again.)
- Our assets are already leaning very real estate heavy, and I would rather invest more in stocks than pay down the loans.
- We have very low interest rates, and the tax advantages on rentals are very favorable.
Once we are 100% sure what our next move is, we might start paying them down. Our monthly cash flow will increase by $700 a month as soon as they are paid off. That is the upside. It will a happen eventually either way. But it’s yet to be decided if it will be sooner vs. later.
We started this journey 14 years ago when we married. I never thought that I would travel through 27 countries, adopt 4 kids, or own 3 houses. And most definitely not have a 1/2 million plus net worth. We just kept doing all the little things right, and hoped they would add up to big things. I feel incredibly grateful for all the ways it’s added up, on the spreadsheets and off.