$430,000

I’ve been using Mint, not for budgeting, but to make logging into all of my bank accounts easier. I recently told it to use Zillow to calculate the value of my condo. That shot my net worth up to…

$430,000

(a bit of rounding here)

It really does feel like I’ve “won the game”, not that I can stop working forever, but I have quite a bit of financial freedom now. I’m 25/26 and the sum value of all my assets is over $400,000 and my income is in the high $100,000 range? I also think that Zillow is low by about $50,000 in how much my condo is worth, which would put my full net worth somewhere around $480,000 or about 11 years of current expenses. I’m going to continue counting only the purchase price of my condo in my net worth spreadsheet until I sell it, but it’s still kind of cool to see these numbers.

Also? I saw just under $1,000 in dividends across my investment accounts this quarter. (Note: I do re-invest dividends, so I just find this an interesting metric to watch increase.)

This is probably related to why I haven’t posted much lately – everything is just chugging along and not much out of the ordinary is happening. I’m not really discovering much new in relation to my finances lately either. I will have a post up at some point reflecting on two years of homeownership though!

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  1. #1 by nicoleandmaggie on June 24, 2014 - 8:00 am

    That’s quite a bit of money! Yay for chugging along!

    • #2 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 8:03 am

      I keep staring at Mint in disbelief! While also telling it that my condo is worth another $50,000. Real estate be crazy here. More on that in another post though :)

      I think I’ve officially mostly stopped caring about money other than graphs and not spending on stuff I don’t want! I may even be looking for a new job that could involve a decent pay cut! ;)

  2. #3 by nathankane on June 24, 2014 - 8:29 am

    Hi Leigh,

    I actually worked on Mint a few months ago as a designer, and I built another feature that may boost your net worth even more: tracking your car’s value with Kelley Blue Book. Just go to Accounts->Other->Car, and then provide your car details (Make-Model, etc).

    Should get a healthy increase; let me know if you have any questions/feedback.

    Nathan

    • #4 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:12 pm

      Oh, I have that enabled as well! It doesn’t add much because I can’t track my Treasury Direct accounts with Mint other than manually, which are worth about the same amount as my car (car is worth about $2k more).

    • #5 by Her Every Cent Counts on June 25, 2014 - 7:08 am

      I used the car feature in Mint — wish it had car quality in there as I think it’s over reporting my car value in my networth, but it’s a cool feature.

  3. #6 by Brent @ All About Interest on June 24, 2014 - 8:31 am

    My main issue with Mint is that it won’t link my main banking account due to rotating password questions. The only current work-around is to make all my passwords the same, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the extra security.

    You are kicking butt, especially at your age! Keep up the good work.

    • #7 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:13 pm

      My main issue with it is that their budgeting mechanism doesn’t jive well with what it looks like in my head. So I just don’t really use it for that purpose anymore and I’m happier. I know someone who actually switched banks because their old bank didn’t work with Mint.

  4. #8 by ML on June 24, 2014 - 8:32 am

    The FV (future value) of $430,000 discounted at the historic 3% average rate of inflation for 40 years (age 65, which will likely be 5 years from FRA, full retirement age, at that point) is $1,402,676. That’s just to stay even with inflation, no net gain in PV. At retirement, you will need roughly 20x-25x your annual expenses not covered by social capital–in savings ex home equity–to comfortably maintain your standard of living. You’re doing very well, but the game is far from over. You might find it useful to build a net present value personal balance sheet including the PV of your human capital instead of a net worth statement, which is a one-dimensional snapshot of current assets/liabilities. By better understanding the full PV of your human capital over a lifetime, you may in fact be encouraged to take classes, invest in your HC, and look for an even better way to earn a living. Good luck, hang in there.

    • #9 by nicoleandmaggie on June 24, 2014 - 7:17 pm

      Y’know, I somehow think she’s going to be fine, even without classes (which are highly unlikely to increase her pay) or a higher income.

      • #10 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:23 pm

        :) luck with a pre-IPO or doing really hot tech company is probably the only real way to increase my pay at this point or like five levels of promotions. I’m not sure what I need to “hang in there” from other than coworkers that are assholes. But having a small nest egg means you can walk away from them.

        • #11 by nicoleandmaggie on June 24, 2014 - 7:30 pm

          Yeah, you make more than most doctors and lawyers at this point. (And at your age, most of them are still in school!)

          Sorry your coworkers are assholes. :( I’ve been hearing that a LOT from women in Tech recently. Maybe my sister is best off staying in a big company that hires a reasonable number of women.

        • #12 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:45 pm

          I’m pretty sure the main reason I ever learned about FI was because of asshole coworkers, not from hating my job itself. Staying at a big company doesn’t really solve the problem – they still hire assholes. They do have HR, but it takes forever to deal with people and sometimes they’re just marginally asshole-y enough that they’ll never really get fired or no one will speak up for something to actually happen.

        • #13 by nicoleandmaggie on June 25, 2014 - 5:47 am

          I was just thinking about why she’s stayed with this company even though she’s underpaid. She’s only been in one group with major assholes out of the groups that she’s worked with and she was finally able to switch out into a different group. And she’s got tons of female friends who are all engineers at the company.

        • #14 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 6:53 am

          Having female friends who are also engineers at the company helps. That’s one of the bonuses of bigger companies! Most engineers also don’t worry that much about being underpaid and are more interested in enjoying their work. And we also don’t like to give up, even if it would make rational sense to do so.

        • #15 by nicoleandmaggie on June 25, 2014 - 7:29 am

          She’s definitely irritated that she’s underpaid though! (And she’s talked to management about it etc. and there’s definitely something gendered going on, but short of getting a job offer from a competitor…)

      • #16 by ML on June 24, 2014 - 7:25 pm

        n&m– you know, it think you’re right! My point is not that she or anyone needs classes–far from it. My point is that our human capital, esp when young, is our most valuable asset. We should invest in it any way we can. Over and out.

    • #17 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:21 pm

      “It really does feel like I’ve “won the game”, not that I can stop working forever”
      “which would put my full net worth somewhere around $480,000 or about 11 years of current expenses”

      I think you misread what I wrote. I’ve re-quoted it here. I’m not saying that the game is over, just that I’m doing very well. I mean, I could live off of my current assets for ELEVEN YEARS. That would put me at age 36/37. That gives me a TON of flexibility. Life isn’t about working until age 65 and then retiring and doing nothing. I see life a bit more flowy than that – working hard for several years, saving a bunch of money, to work a bit less hard later and always working in some form or another. I’m a bit taken aback that you’re trying to suggest that at 25/26, I should not feel content with the amount of money I have saved. How many 25/26-year olds do you know that have a net worth balance of just under $500,000?

      From your comment: “look for an even better way to earn a living” – I’m currently living off of about 20% of my total net income. I’m not really sure that I need to earn any more money. What I need right now is a more balanced and enjoyable life with a career I enjoy. I would actually prefer to earn less money and enjoy my life better. I don’t need to take any classes either – I have access to the internet and books and have taught myself plenty.

  5. #18 by ML on June 24, 2014 - 7:37 pm

    Sorry, don’t take offense, my remarks weren’t meant as criticism, and were no doubt infelicitous. You seem very disciplined and have done well reaching your goals. You’ll probably set new ones and keep reaching. That kind of striving doesn’t or shouldn’t stop at 65 either. It is helpful, though, to have enough funds when that time comes to support whatever life you’re living then–you’re well on your way. BTW, all I meant by looking for an even better way to earn a living is simply that there *always* is a better way, and having the flexibility you have rightly earned to look for it is very valuable!

    • #19 by Leigh on June 24, 2014 - 7:46 pm

      No worries! I was just a bit confused :) Thanks for stopping by!

  6. #20 by J @ the expat investor on June 24, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Hey Leigh,
    Your net worth is growing fast; I also use mint and use the zillow estimate also, even though I know it’s not that accurate, at least I got something to go by. You’re doing a great job and should be proud of yourself at your age.

    • #21 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 6:56 am

      Thanks J! I go back and forth on whether I should just use the purchase price in my spreadsheets or whether I should try to come up with a different price. I think at this point, I’m just going to keep it as is in my spreadsheets so that they only see variance from the condo value in the month where I sell, but I’m okay with letting Mint update the value automatically.

  7. #22 by StackingCash on June 25, 2014 - 12:45 am

    Eh gads! That is a significant net worth for your age, let alone the income which is steller. I’m surprised your coworkers have that kind of influence on you, unless they are your superiors. In regards to real estate, I feel the low interest rates are truly inflating prices, more so in my city than yours, however.

    I hate to see you leave your income, so many would kill for it. Don’t take it for granted, even with asshole cowokers.

    • #23 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 7:03 am

      I think that the low interest rates helped to bring property values back to 2007 levels, but now they’ve just taken off due to low supply and high demand. If only that didn’t also increase my property taxes!

      Oh, I’m sure most people would still kill for the income I’m hoping for with a different job, but it will be a decent pay cut from where I am now. I definitely don’t take it for granted and try to use it the best I can.

  8. #24 by John on June 25, 2014 - 3:12 am

    Leigh – As someone that is still in their twenties and who has recently bought and sold his first home already, I’ve got some mixed feelings about it all and I’m really interested in reading future posts on your home ownership reflections. Anyway, congrats on your progress and keep on chugging along!

    • #25 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 7:05 am

      Thanks John! I’m curious to hear your thoughts on homeownership as well! I definitely go back and forth on it sometimes, but I do love my place and I definitely love not renting. I think my primary concern is around the fact that I bought my place by myself and sometimes I think it would be nice to have bought a place with someone else.

      • #26 by John on June 25, 2014 - 2:30 pm

        I hear you on your wish to have bought with someone else. I think everyone buys under a certain set of assumptions and life is too transitory for those assumptions to hold true forever. The drawback for me was that I had to make a bunch of tradeoffs in order to afford something in the expensive city that I was living. Those tradeoffs included things like thin walls between neighbors, single paned windows, the neighborhood wasn’t where I spent my leisure time, etc. I would have thought that much money would have gotten me my dream home, but I realized it after a while that it was very much just a starter home. At least a major positive out of the whole thing was that I got to sell it for a major profit!

        • #27 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 6:07 pm

          That’s great that you got to sell it for a major profit despite not holding it for very long! If you had to make that many tradeoffs in order to afford something, I personally would have held off a bit longer in buying. When I first started looking at buying, I wanted to find something around $250,000, but I eventually realized that I couldn’t find anything in the areas I wanted to live at that price, so I ended up adjusting my price range and finding something I love that is in a better area (I bought my place for around $350,000). I also own a two bedroom/two bathroom condo over 1,000 sqft, which is enough space for both me and my boyfriend. It just feels a bit awkward at times because we didn’t pick it together.

          I grew up in a reasonably high cost of living area, so the prices where I am didn’t seem that crazy other than that I couldn’t easily afford a place when I first investigated the idea. To people from the midwest or other areas of the US where you can buy a 5 bedroom house for less than what my two bedroom condo cost, homeownership can seem really unattainable.

        • #28 by John on June 26, 2014 - 12:06 pm

          Yeah, I agree with you that it was a mistake making those tradeoffs although not all of them were perfectly clear to me until after I had bought. I plan on buying again in the future with a focus on quality, great location, and with the intent of holding onto the property forever. Lesson learned.

        • #29 by Leigh on June 26, 2014 - 7:15 pm

          Forever? I don’t have any intention to hold on to this condo forever. I just saw it being a good place to l live in for the subsequent 5 years or so from when I bought, to be able to ride out any real estate downturns.

  9. #30 by Her Every Cent Counts on June 25, 2014 - 7:09 am

    Congrats on all of your success! Have you paid off your condo too? I don’t understand how real estate counts in networth.

    • #31 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 7:25 am

      No, not yet! I have about $150,000 left on the mortgage. Real estate counts as an asset and is offset by the balance remaining on the mortgage. So here’s the formula for my net worth:

      Net worth = Checking accounts + savings accounts – credit card balances + taxable investment account + retirement accounts + condo value – mortgage balance

      So if my condo goes up in value, my net worth also goes up. It’s just tricky to calculate exactly how much my condo is worth without selling it, so I don’t plan on updating the value of it myself in my net worth until I sell it.

  10. #32 by Alicia @ Financial Diffraction on June 25, 2014 - 9:46 am

    That is massive! You’re such a rockstar :) I still cannot get over that you’re in your mid-20’s :)

    • #33 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 6:08 pm

      Me neither, sometimes I feel like I have to be 30 already since I’ve lived so much!

  11. #34 by FI Fighter on June 25, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    You are absolutely killing it! When I was your age, I didn’t even think about buying a house… let alone having it nearly paid off! A few more years of this, and I really don’t see how you wouldn’t be able to retire by 30.. or sooner.

    Keep up the fabulous work!

    • #35 by Leigh on June 25, 2014 - 9:45 pm

      A few more years of this would get me to 30 ;) It might be worth cashing out the condo equity at some point. Maybe not. I do still need somewhere to live after all! I don’t think that retiring around 30-32 is outright impossible at this rate, but I don’t really want to make too specific of plans quite yet :)

  12. #36 by NoTrustFund on June 26, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    Congrats, lady! Sorry your co-workers are a-holes. Nothing more powerful than money in the bank in the sense that you always know you can walk away if you really need to!

    • #37 by Leigh on June 26, 2014 - 7:13 pm

      Oh absolutely! I’m so glad I have this. I don’t feel remotely stuck at my job. It’s pretty awesome! I’ll probably end up using my last paycheck to finish up contributing to my 401(k) for the year, thanks to my nice savings account buffer that I can use to live off of for a few months between paychecks if I need to. I’m also debating taking a trip with some of my time off, which I haven’t really budgeted for! But it’ll all work out. My plan is to stockpile cash for the next few months until I get a paycheck from a new job and then I’ll take another look at my savings plan for the year (it’s really just paying down the mortgage at this point).

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