Every month we like to figure out our net worth to keep track of our progress towards meeting our goals. We share these numbers here to keep ourselves accountable, and for our readers to follow along with our journey.
What is Net Worth?
If you are new to tracking your net worth, start with the post, How to Track Your Net Worth. Your net worth is all of your assets, minus your liabilities. Since Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I combine finances, I track our net worth as a couple. I enter our numbers into an Excel spreadsheet once a month, usually on the 14th or 15th. For the purposes of these posts, I will be sharing a summary of our numbers entered into a Word table.
Here is our net worth as of November 2017:
What’s included in our net worth?
We have many different retirement, checking, and savings accounts, as well as a number of different credit cards. I total up the numbers for these different accounts, and add them to the appropriate category on our table, rather than copying the entire spreadsheet with all of our different accounts. For the Kelley Blue Book value, I always use the dealer trade-in amount, since that is a more conservative estimate of what our cars are worth.
For those of you wondering about all our different accounts, here is a list:
- Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs, 403b, Roth 401k from old job)
- Cash (personal checking accounts, joint checking, savings accounts for down payment for house, emergency fund, vacations, gifts, exercise equipment, taxes)
- Cars (2013 Subaru Impreza and 2007 Toyota Prius)
- Credit Cards
What’s not included in our net worth?
Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I are both public school teachers. We have been contributing to the Teachers’ Retirement System, and will continue doing so throughout our careers. We have decided not to include this in our net worth summaries at this time, but may change our minds about this in the future.
Why so much cash?
We have been saving for about two years for a down payment for our house, and have opted to keep this money in cash because of our shorter timeframe. We also are building our emergency fund and our (now depleted) vacation fund. Once we build our house, we will continue to keep a small bit of savings in cash, and invest the rest.
This Month’s Progress
Last month, we were up over $7,000. This month, we are down $232.
Why the big change?
This month we did not receive any extra income (from coaching or the health insurance buyout), but had a lot of extra expenses.
At the end of October, we had two weddings to go to. Between the hotels and the gifts, we spent about $1000.
I also used some of the contribution money that I received back from transferring my membership to an earlier tier status in the retirement system last year to buy back four summers of prior service.
I brought my car in for scheduled maintenance, and learned that I needed new front and rear brakes. Yikes! That was another big expense we were not planning to pay for.
Luckily, we had money set aside for the weddings and buying back the prior service. We paid for the car repairs with money from our emergency fund.
Goals for Next Month
Next month, I hope to see a positive change in our net worth again. We have been saving money for Christmas, so even though we’ll spend a bit on gifts, it won’t impact our budget at all.
We will receive a nice check from coaching, and I will continue receiving a little extra in my paychecks for helping students with their homework after school.
We are going to continue saving for the house, adding to the emergency fund, and building our vacation fund.
How are you doing with your goals?
Illusion of Scarcity Worksheet (PDF)
Download this free worksheet and start paying yourself first.
- Budget for financial obligations and recurring expenses
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