I haven’t calculated my net worth since August of 2010. That was a long time ago. Before I bought my house, even. So things have probably changed.
Unfortunately, I can’t find any files after March of 2009. I have no idea what happened there, and it’s a little embarrassing that I have managed to (most likely) inadvertently delete all of that data.
However! I do have a new net worth calculation! This time, it includes my house and my car, things I didn’t include before. And fun things like my mortgage.
And the good news is that my net worth has increased since March of 2009. I’m up about 10%. That is awesome news!
I’ve decided to start tracking slightly differently than in the past. I’m tracking the big things, not the little things. Gift cards, cash, the change jar, none of those things are being calculated. I don’t carry much cash, so that’s no big deal. Gift cards have value, but it’s not worth spending the time calculating that information. And I still can’t believe I would count the money in my change jar every month.
I don’t plan to calculate my net worth every month. I don’t think that’s all that telling in the first place. I think the tiny shifts here and there aren’t as important as the big picture. I’m not a person who does regular trading in the stock market. My theory on savings is “set it and forget it.” With some key exceptions, of course. I have a 401K plan through work and a Roth IRA that I automatically invest in. I have some money in mutual funds that is being managed by a broker, though with his upcoming retirement, I’ll have to decide what to do there. He is a friend of the family who I trust and who doesn’t treat me any differently due to my age or due to the small amount of money that I have invested. I hope his successor does the same. However, he’s in my hometown and got licensed in Maryland for me so he could continue to manage my portfolio. I may have to move to a new broker here anyway.
As compared to my pre-house calculations, there are some estimates here – my car and my house. For ease of pulling data, I’m using Zillow to pull my home estimate. I honestly think (and hope) that it’s a little low, based on other sales in the neighborhood, but it’s the easiest way to pull and it’s at least a realistic estimate. I would much rather estimate low than estimate high. As to the car, I’m using the Kelley Blue Book trade-in calculation, because if I do get rid of it, that’s going to be the route I take, again for ease. Sure, I might get more money from selling it privately, but trade-ins are just so much simpler. Plus my car is 10 years old. It’s not worth that much and I plan to drive it into the ground anyway.
So that’s that. I really had no idea what my net worth was going to look like. I do need to work harder. I’m not saving as much as I would like. My retirement contributions are good, but I should just be socking away cash in general. Time to start paying more attention to the day-to-day expenses.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.