December 2012 net worth update (+3.7%)

I’m going to try a new format for this: a table with the numbers, followed by some explanations. That way, you don’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the totals and it’s easy to do year-to-date and month-over-month comparisons :) I’m also removing the condo value and equity from these tables because I feel that knowing the amount of mortgage debt that I have is more important. I want to use these updates as a good big picture summary for myself, so I may fidget with them a bit over the next few months.

31-Dec-2011 30-Nov-2012 31-Dec-2012 MoM YTD
cash $10,700 $8,500 $12,100 +$3,600 +$1,400
savings $76,000 $27,000 $26,800 -$200 -$49,200
investments $36,800 $70,800 $74,000 +$3,200
mortgage $260,500 $259,600 +$900
net worth $132,500 $203,800 $211,300 +$7,500
assets – debts
$132,500 $154,200 $146,700 +$7,500

December was a pretty good month for income. No federal income or social security taxes on my paycheck added up to quite a nice little bonus. I took the last half of December off from logging into my bank accounts and blogging, which is why the checking account is up a bit. I’ve since moved that money into savings, which you’ll see next month.

Expenses: I would say that expenses were fairly normal for the month, at around $3,700. I can’t believe that I can spend almost $4,000 for the month and see my net worth go up by $7,500. College-me would be super jealous!

  • I paid about double the normal mortgage interest, but that’s because I paid two months’ worth.
  • My food costs are doing better – I got them down to “only” $300.
  • I actually went over-budget on presents, which I had not been expecting. I won’t be spending much on presents again until next fall though, so that’s not so bad.
  • I have auto payments set up using my online bill pay for my monthly HOA dues and sometimes it comes out on the last day of the prior month, so I adjusted my budget to take that into account. Now I won’t be (quite as) annoyed by it every month, haha.
  • I spent a LOT of money on clothing in 2012, which I’ll talk about in another post at some point.

Savings: $26,800 (down $200)

Reserves includes my auto insurance deductible ($1,000), renter’s insurance deductible ($500), and health insurance deductible (~$950), as well as 6 months expenses at $3,600 per month and the interest accumulated. I’m also keeping a condo section around for now to cover small things that I’m planning on buying for the condo. I’m not adding to it, but I’ll let it collect some interest. I’ve been spending it, which is why it has been going down the last few months.

Investments: $74,100 (up $3,200 or +4.5%)

This includes my Roth and Traditional 401(k), my 401(k) employer matching (fully vested as of October 31st), my Roth IRA, and my taxable investments.

The only contribution this month was November’s 401(k) contribution, but there was a good amount of dividends as well since it’s the last month of the quarter and the last quarter of the year. It looks like December’s 401(k) contribution should post next month.

This is really the only category that you can compare year-over-year since I used a good portion of my savings as a down payment on my condo.

  1. My 401(k) is up almost $24,000 this year, which is from my maxing it out ($17,000) and my employer putting in the maximum contribution they will, plus some market returns and dividends (almost $1,000 and more than double last year’s dividends!).
  2. My Roth IRA did pretty well in market returns this year as well. I made no contributions in 2012 since I was unsure of my income (I’m going to do that in January), so the change here was all the stock market and a bit of dividends. It is almost back to its peak, but it is now above the amount I put into it. Watching this account fluctuate has been much more nerve-wracking than watching the 401(k) since I actually know how much money I put in here, whereas the 401(k) is more complicated to calculate how much I’ve put in.
  3. I opened up a taxable account and bought my first Admiral Shares fund in it. That balance is up an astonishing 15.6% since I made the purchase. I (completely by chance) bought in at a low-ish point for this year.
  4. Overall, my investments are up a bit over 100% YOY. That will probably never happen again, but I thought was a pretty good event, especially considering that means they are up over $37,000!
  5. My rate of return for the year was 11.2%, which is quite nice to see after last year’s loss of -4.6%. The swings (both up and down) have been getting larger as the value of my investments grow. My total gain this year is about 4x the amount I lost last year.

Mortgage: $259,600 (down $900 or -0.3%)

The refinance closed in December and I now have a 5/1 ARM at 2.5%! That means that the amortization was extended a bit, but I’m sure I’ll get it back down again quickly and even if I don’t, I’ll still pay less in interest. I’ll talk about the refinance process a bit in another post.

Some overall stats for the year:

  • I made 5 regular mortgage payments, paying down ~$2,600 of the principal.
  • I made over $23,000 in extra principal payments.
  • I’ve now paid down about $26,000 of the original mortgage balance, or about 9%.
  • I have over 25% in equity in the condo.

I didn’t make any extra principal payments in December due to the refinance closing and my break from blogging and logging into my online banking. I’m about $4,200 ahead of the end-of-year mortgage balance goal of $263,769.89, so I’m doing pretty well so far with the mortgage payoff goal.

TOTAL: $211,300 (up $7,500 or +3.7%)

I started 2012 out with a net worth of $132,500, so I’ve seen a change of $78,800 or +59.5% this year. I estimate that I saved about $67,700 in 2012, which means that my net worth went up about $11,100 of its own accord. Investment returns, credit card dividends, checking and savings account interest payments, selling stuff, and the employer matching on my 401(k) account for 95% of that discrepancy.

December 2012 Net Worth Graph

8 thoughts on “December 2012 net worth update (+3.7%)

  1. Congrats on another great month and a great 2012! I need to build up my emergency savings more, going to try and get it to a full years worth of expenses by the end of 2013. I know I can get there but it’s more a matter of how good the investment world is doing. If it’s doing poor then I’ll funnel more savings to that, if it’s getting expensive then I’ll probably funnel it to my emergency fund. Congrats again.

    • Thanks! I don’t pay any attention whatsoever as to how the investment world is doing. That helps a lot to focus on the amount I’m going to save and figuring out where it makes the most sense to put it. All of my stock investments are for the long term, so I’m not worried about whether the market is “pricy” or not. Good luck with increasing your emergency fund!

  2. Amazing to see the YoY number. Investment returns really start to add up once you have a lot of savings.

    I really like the new format at the beginning of the post. Great change.

    • I love seeing the YoY numbers so much that I’m sad to start a new year! Agreed on the investment returns starting to add up. That is really, really cool and powerful to see.

      Hope 2012 turned out well for you guys!

  3. Nice work. It’s fun to look back at net worth totals from some date in the future, to see how things progress over time.

    I’ve been using NetWorthIQ ( for several years. I’m surprised more PF bloggers don’t use it. Although it’s not fully customizable, it has enough general categories that you can usually work something out for each category you want to track.

    • Thanks! It really is fun to look back, lol. I have historical data going back almost 10 years now! I’ve looked into NetWorthIQ, but I love my own spreadsheets far too much :)

      I love that you and your wife paid down your mortgage aggressively – I’m working on that as well.

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