February 2013 net worth update (+2.2%)

31-Dec-2012 31-Jan-2013 28-Feb-2013 MoM YTD
cash $12,100 $11,700 $11,800 +$100 -$300
savings $26,800 $36,300 $36,300 (same) +$9,500
investments $74,000 $77,600 $79,300 +$1,700
mortgage $259,600 $253,200 $249,900 +$3,300
net worth $211,300 $230,400 $235,500 +$5,100
assets – debts
$146,700 $127,600 $122,400 +$5,100

So, I think this is what a normal month looks like at this point in my career/financial life, a net worth increase of around $5,000! At this rate, I would hit a net worth of $300,000 in about 12-13 months with no bonuses!

Expenses: Going forward, I’m going to track non-mortgage expenses in these updates. I spent $1,350 in February ignoring work reimbursable expenses, which is about in line with my spending goal for the year (under $30,000 $24,000 in non-mortgage expenses). 2013 so far is at $3,820, which would project forward to $22,920. Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • -$55 Clothing (returns from January)
  • $228 Entertainment/Social ($136 last month, $216 average last year)
  • $2.72 Eating out by myself ($68 last month, $51 average last year)
  • $146 Groceries ($246 last month, $126 average last year)
  • $48 Work lunches ($49 last month, $171 average last year)
  • $117 Cell phone (paid my last Sprint bill, as well as my first Ting bill)
  • $8 Internet (lowered my speed to save $19/month and somehow it saved $42 this month!)
  • $238 Electricity (two months, working on lowering this for the next billing period)
  • $4 Household goods (rubber gloves, cleaning sponges)
  • -$10 Health (reimbursed the remainder of the money in my FSA, so future spending this plan year will just come out of cash flow)
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $5 Bathroom stuff (body wash, shaving cream)
  • $63 Furnishings (printed photos for DIY decorating, picture hanging strips)
  • $32 Fuel (yes this is my first fuel up this year!)

Groceries was lower this month because I only went to the store on two weekend trips in a car and a few smaller trips. I also kept work lunches around where they were last month :)

First month with the new cell phone carrier (Ting) has been good so far! In February, I paid a bill with Sprint that came just before I ported my number to Ting and the first Ting bill, which is why the spending was so high for this line item. Things should even out in March and then be zero for April, May, and June or so.

Based on all the items I eliminated from my budget, I was able to reduce my direct deposit from $2,500/month to $2,200/month AND throw an extra $1,000 at the mortgage from my checking account this month and then another $200 once things settled! I could probably reduce it to $2,100 to be honest.

Savings: $36,300 (same)

Current breakdown:

  • 2012 Roth IRA contribution
  • $500 Condo insurance deductible
  • $1,000 Auto insurance deductible
  • $9,500 Appliances replacement
  • ~6 months’ expenses

This is split between my rewards checking account ($5,000+interest) and targeted online savings accounts.

Investments: $79,300 (up $1,700 or +2.2%)

This includes my Roth and Traditional 401(k), my 401(k) employer matching (fully vested!), my Roth IRA, and my taxable investments. This increase comes from my January 401(k) contribution and matching, as my investments were pretty much flat in February.

Mortgage: $249,900 (down $3,300 or -1.3%)

My mortgage is a 5/1 ARM at 2.5%. Before the refinance, it would have been paid off November 1, 2038. ~$135 less was paid in interest with the February 1st payment (new mortgage) versus the December 1st payment (old mortgage). More of the regular payment should be going to principal than interest each month by May of this year!

The February 1st regular payment saw some extra principal funds from my January paycheck. I also threw some extra money at the mortgage near the end of the month when I realized just how much extra there was in my checking account with the budget adjustments. A final zeroing out of my February budget was done in early March and I threw another $200 at the mortgage. I also partially threw the extra bit at it early so that the balance would be under $250,000 for my net worth update :)

I estimate with the extra principal payments in February that the payoff date is down to July 1, 2041, shaving 5 months off of the amortization. I need to send an additional ~$31,300 in extra principal payments this year to stay on track with the five year payoff plan.

I now have over 30% in equity in the condo!! One of my stretch targets is 50% equity by the end of the year. I’m glad I refinanced when I did because mortgage rates seem to have dipped up again.

TOTAL: $235,500 (up $5,100 or +2.2%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $24,200 or +11.5% so far this year. I’ve set the y-axis on this graph to $315,000 so we can see how my net worth grows towards that throughout the year.

February 2013 Net Worth Graph


15 thoughts on “February 2013 net worth update (+2.2%)

  1. Nice work. 11.5% increase YTD is impressive.

    I’m impressed with how little you are eating out. Do you feel any healthier now that you are bringing your lunch to work so often?

    • Thanks!

      To be completely honest, my boyfriend pays if we go out to eat together. That’s our arrangement and then he gives me no money for my groceries to cover when we eat at my place. We probably go out once a week or so. And about $8 of my Entertainment spending this month was eating out with friends.

      I’m not sure that I feel healthier (that’s something that is hard for me to quantify), but I definitely feel calmer not waiting in the elevator rush at noon, not waiting in lines to pay for food, walking back to the office, waiting for another elevator, etc. Eating out on Fridays feels like a treat now. Eating out was a treat growing up, so I feel much better that it now feels like a treat again to me.

  2. Great job this month! I hate seeing the % increase go down, but as long as the total increase keeps moving along then I can live with that. I had a great start to 2013, and can hopefully keep it going the rest of the year.

    • Thanks! I actually don’t care about the % so much – I mostly just look at the $ amount increases. I love having a great start to the year to keep you motivated for the rest of the year!!

  3. Leigh, nice review and good job. I agree with you that the strong start can motivate you and also creates a cushion for the upcoming months.

  4. Great work!!! I don’t do much with my net worth tracking on a regular basis. I consider at year end and look to how I could make budgetary or lifestyle changes to improve it. I would also have to consider or factor in if there were any major events in a given year that caused a set back in achieving that. As we all know Life does happen.

    Plus I also have to factor in the market factors, when I have 85% of my assets in the equity market things can change in a hurry.. I’m up a lot these days… but honestly, I’m ready for a big pull back. I could go for a 20-30% pull back.. I’d love to buy some more at a lot cheaper valuation.

    I know you have a great motivation to pay off your mortgage in 5 years. But with the new lower financed interest rate, I would really consider directing that money to some sort of investment for that purpose. Surely the expectations would be that you would do much better than your mortgage rate in 5 years…

    Then you can either cash out the investments and pay off the mortgage in one or two big payments, or you will like the earning you are making on it and at that point just use that money to pay more of the mortgage on a monthly basis.

    Just some food for thought.

    I have a 3% rate on my mortgage and pay the minimum. I invest $500 a month in Vanguard ETFs that I plan to at some point cash out and roll that money into the mortgage. I think I have don’t much better the past year and a 1/2 doing that than I would have paying down the mortgage itself.


    • I like looking at it on a monthly basis, but I try to not peek at it throughout the month. since that’s really just the swings of the stock market when I only get paid once a month, at the end.

      85% is much more than my 25% :) I see why you don’t track your net worth all that often!

      I’m hesitant on investing versus paying down the mortgage now at 2.5%, but my firm resolve on that is that I’ll re-evaluate once a year. So my plan for 2013 is to pay down the mortgage aggressively after maxing out my 401(k) and frontdoor-only Roth IRA contributions. I should have the balance down to $175,000-$195,000 by the end of 2013, which is a big difference from the currently $250,000ish and I’ll re-evaluate then. I know that the math MAY work out better to invest, but for now, this is a psychological thing.

      • I very much appreciate your paying down the mortgage debt as a psychological booster as we all like to see those go away.

        However, also the way I have started to look at that in detail. The large gains in the market thus far the past 6 months. I am considering a shift to put some of that money into the mortgage. I am anticipating a market correction to come in the later part of the year. If that does happen I will shift back to investing more in my Mortgage pay off account.

        I have paid more mortgage down to around $115K already so I have much less debt load over my head.

        Keep up the impressive progress!!

    • I think you misread: “At this rate, I would hit a net worth of $300,000 in about 12-13 months with no bonuses!” But currently, I’m “only” at $235,500. Thanks though :) I can’t believe that $300k will very likely happen this year!! So awesome, at age 25.

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