February 2007 Financial Status / Net Worth Update

Net Worth Chart February 2007

About My Credit Card Debt
Newer readers may be alarmed by my high levels of credit card debt. In short, I’m borrowing money for free and keeping it in safe investments while earning me interest. Along with other things, this helps me earn extra side income of thousands of dollars a year. Recently I put up a detailed series of posts on this 0% game. So please, don’t worry!

Summary
While we are still recovering from the hit when we converted our Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, this month was one of our strongest yet. First, the stock market continued upwards and our portfolio followed passively. Second, my wife got a healthy bonus from her job in January. Third, I renewed some advertising contracts on this site. Fourth, we had less unexpected expenses stemming from personal events than in previous months.

We are now at $42,992 in net cash and $50,335 in total non-retirement assets. Our mid-term goal of $100,000 for a house-downpayment is still in reach, especially with recent developments… The job search is going well and it looks like one of us (hint: not me) will be getting a big raise soon. This has been in the works actually for a while, but we had a few worried moments here and there. Now all the pressure is on me!

You can see all my previous net worth updates here.

Comments

  1. Darn good progress this month! I can’t wait to see what type of progress you’ll be making once you find a steady job…

  2. Speaking of your house downpayment goal, on your Carnival post I read some of the entries, and saw a couple interesting ones on the Searchlight Crusade page dealing with the question of saving for a downpayment vs buying now. If you haven’t already read it, I’d recommend it.

  3. Nice – your getting near 5 digit monthly increases and your not even working yet. Looking pretty good.

  4. So with your cash savings, you are targeting that for a house which is why you are 50% in cash even though no model portfolio has 50% in cash? Where have you put your cash (high yield savings account if memory serves, but also treasuries?)

  5. I am amazed at the rate you are going up in your personal net worth. Good job.

    When I calculate my net worth, I leave out vehicles! Coz those damn vehicles are a liability!!

  6. heather – yes, the cash is for emergency savings + house downpayment. I may or may not use all of it, but that’s the goal.

    I think most model portfolios exclude short-term savings goals. My retirement portfolio has a time horizon of 30+ years, while my cash has a time horizon of less than 12 months.

    Some people include emergency savings as part of their “official” asset allocation, and some don’t.

    Sri – Yes, the car is kind of like the human appendix of this blog. It once served a purpose as it was an extra car and I was trying to track my assets more accurately from month to month, but now I just have to figure out how to phase it out.

  7. Car should absolutely be included in the net worth. Especially as it is fairly easy to quantify a value and it can be sold to raise cash. This is true if you “downsize” the vehicle, sell a second car or if move somewhere where you don’t need one.

  8. I guess you know this already, but if not US News & World Report in today’s new issue includes MyMoneyBlog among 9 “All Money Talk, All the Time” blogs cited in a box along with an article about financial advisers. Congratulations.

  9. cibaknife says:

    Jonathan – excellent job this month. Your blog inspired to start tracking our net worth, and I look forward to your updates each month to have a figure to work towards in relation to my own progress.

    I include our cars because I could drive down the street to Carmax and sell either of them right now for ~ the KBB trade-in value. That would be cold hard cash, in my hands. Sounds like an asset to me. Sure, they have associated costs each month, but I feel those are reflected in the amount we are able to contribute to savings after those car costs are taken into account. I suppose this could be looked at differently if you had a car on your hands that would be hard to sell.

    Of course, this assumes the car is paid off with a clean title. Check and check.

    Again….great job this month.

  10. I had only scanned US News very briefly when I sent my post. Now I’ve seen that you are the lede to the article. Double congrats.

  11. Great Job..buddy… Sorry my healthy bonus and raise is going towards paying for the wedding…. on the side note.. thanks for the link to verizon..got that reduced by 8%. and oh I just hustled comcast for a reduction of 35% on my cable and internet bill resulting in additional $432 savings for this year…

    Reading this blog keeps me motivated….
    Later

  12. There’s nothing wrong with including physical assets as long as you value them properly, just like there’s nothing wrong with excluding them. It all washes out in the end, and it’s the the month-to-month changes that really matter.

    Thanks mike!

    Glad I could help Girish!

  13. That is just great! 8% is inspiring! Good luck on the job hunt and congrats on the news on the big raise as well!!

  14. Hey Jonathan -

    If I am reading this correctly, you’ll be in the Feb 12th issue of Newsweek: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16965325/site/newsweek/

    Good Job!

  15. Hey Jonathan, I love the site. I feel like we have a lot in common. I’m in physics grad school right now and liking it less and less as I go. I wanted to let you and everyone else here know about another blog I visit and think it really insightful about finances on the national level. It?s http://www.optimist123.com/ Maybe if you check it out and think it’s as surprising as I found it you can write about it on your blog and help spread the word.

  16. Is this a breakdown of your family’s asset (e.g., you and your wife) or just you?

    I didn’t realize you can put money into a 529 when you don’t actually have a kid….

  17. Girish,

    Any specific tips you can give on the Comcast thing? I called them and tried to get any type of reduction after a post by Jonathan last year and thought it would be no sweat since I am normally very good at these types of things, but I talked to a few people and got nowhere. Absolutely no reduction, even when I said I would have to cancel my account. Any suggestions? Maybe I just need to try back and hopefully get some different agents on the phone…

  18. SavingEverything says:

    This may be a naive question… but, can you mathematically explain where the total non-retirement assets are located in your spreadsheet to equal $50,355 ? I see Roth and ira’s at ~73k. Is this $50.3k assets found under your pillow in precious metals???

  19. SavingEverything says:

    nevermind…. i see… cash + 529 + car + brokerage.

  20. you should only put your car in the asset column if you do not rely on the car as primary means of transportation (i.e. to work). realistically, you could put high value items on the asset column, too, b/c in a pinch the pawn shop is down the road offering 1/3 of going value.

  21. I followed your advise and got lots of 0% interest loans–$149,100 to be exact. The money is earning 5.25% APR for a year with the min monthly payments of $1,500(approx) coming out of my take home pay.

    Oh yeah, and my credit score went from the 790s to the 690s….no such thing as free money

  22. $149,100!!! Dang, that’s a lot of moolah. Good luck.

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