July 2013 net worth update (+9.4%)

31-Dec-2012 30-Jun-2013 31-Jul-2013 MoM YTD
cash $12,100 $10,900 $12,400 +$1,500 +$300
savings $26,800 $23,400 $23,300 -$100
investments $74,000 $104,600 $110,100 +$5,500
mortgage $259,600 $229,800 $211,700 +$18,100
net worth $211,300 $267,100 $292,100 +$25,000
assets – debts
$146,700 $90,900 $65,900 +$25,000

WOW! So July was far more amazing of a month in terms of my net worth than I thought it was going to be. My RSU vest ended up being higher than I had forecasted, the stock market ran up a bit, and my non-mortgage expenses were about 3/4 of what they were in June. So basically a perfect storm. This month is a new high for month-over-month net worth increase! The last new high was January at +$19,100. Based on my bonus amount, I was expecting this month to be about +$20,000, so when I started adding things up in the last few days of July and realized it could be +$25,000, I was pretty shocked!

On income: with my bonus, I surpassed the Social Security tax maximum income, so starting with my July paycheck, there is an extra $600/month to save, which I’m pretty excited for! I’m now anticipating my total gross W-2 income for the year to be over $190,000, but shy of $200,000. It’s crazy adding up how much my total tax liability for the year is compared to the last few years.

I’ve been using the Fidelity 2% American Express card for pretty much everything since I got it other than my Amazon.com purchases (those go through my 3% Chase Amazon.com visa). One of my favorite lunch places near work didn’t take it, nor does my electricity company, my insurance company, or the place where I got my bike repaired. I’m going to keep track of the $ amount of spending I do at places that don’t take it and I can’t get 2% with another card. I do like though that the card isn’t optimized for categories and is good for any category!

Expenses: I spent $1,500 in July ignoring work reimbursable expenses, which is much better than last month and much under my spending goal for the year (under $30,000 $24,000 in non-mortgage expenses). That puts 2013 so far at $16,870 or an average of $2,410/month. (This month brought the average down $150!) This would project forward to $28,920 – sweet, finally a projection under my target goal, inching towards my stretch goal.

Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $0 Clothing (go me!)
  • $126 Entertainment/Social ($151 average this year) – most of this was cash withdrawals, so it’s a bit skewed of a number
  • $77 Eating out by myself ($39 average this year)
  • $211 Groceries ($165 average this year)
  • $82 Work lunches ($80 average this year, $171 average last year)
  • $0 Cell phone (yay referral credits – I don’t have to pay a bill until December!)
  • $114 Presents
  • $31 Internet
  • $20 Household goods (dryer sheets and flashlight batteries)
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $33 Toiletries
  • $26 Shopping (stocking up on journals, a bigger flashlight, and watch repair)
  • $111 Fuel and tolls ($42 average this year so far, $38 average last year)
  • $95 Fixing my bike that I haven’t used in several years so I can use it again :)
  • $121 Travel (remaining expenses from July long weekend trip)

My credit card spending came in at the lowest ever this month and that number was around $800. (The other expenses numbers come from things that come directly out of my checking account.)

I blew all of my food budgets this month. I hosted some friends over for a BBQ and I went shopping hungry, so I bought about double the food and booze we needed. I don’t remember the last time I spent over $200 on groceries in a month!

I drove over 800 miles (if you include the miles on the rental car), adding up to about 1,500 miles between June and July. I filled up my gas tank twice in June and three times in July. I currently plan on staying put for the month of August and will be gone for most of September on my overseas trip, so I’ll probably otherwise stay put then as well. So I’m going to throw down the gauntlet and see if I can not fill up the gas tank until October. So long as I don’t drive to visit any out of town friends, I should be able to accomplish this. I estimate that I might not drive more than 100 miles between now and the end of September.

Savings: $23,300 (down $100)

Current breakdown:

  • $20,200 in an online savings account
  • $500 in a checking account that gets free ATM fees anywhere in the world (for a just in case backup)
  • $1,500 in a Chase checking account for 6 months ($200 bonus for opening the account!)
  • $600 Condo furnishing sinking fund
  • $500 in my new Health Savings Account (down $100)

I’ve decided that for now, I’m going to use the funds in my HSA account to pay for health expenses. I may re-evaluate next year, but that’s what I’m going to do for now.

Investments: $110,100 (up $5,500 or +5.3%)

This includes my Roth and Traditional 401(k), my 401(k) employer matching (fully vested!), my Roth IRA, my taxable investments including stock index funds and Series I Savings Bonds.

You might question my counting my Series I Savings Bonds under Investments vs Savings. I’m counting them here mostly because of their tax-deferred until maturity nature. I also consider them part of my emergency fund, but in reality my entire monetary (i.e. non-property) net worth is my emergency fund, so that doesn’t necessitate it being part of savings.

The change here comes from:

  1. 401(k) contribution from my June paycheck, including employer matching
  2. Market gains, more than making up for June’s market losses

Mortgage: $211,700 (down $18,100 or -7.9%)

My mortgage is a 5/1 ARM at 2.5%. Before the refinance, it would have been paid off November 1, 2038.

This was a pretty exciting month for the mortgage! The June paycheck savings went to principal with the July 1st payment. I also threw the entire net of my RSU vest at the mortgage and some credit card dividends. I had half a mind to throw enough at the mortgage to get the balance below $210,000 before the end of the month, but I decided that was silly. I also wanted to throw enough to get it below $200,000 out of my savings account, which was even sillier…

I estimate with the extra principal payments in July that the payoff date is now at January 1, 2036. I shaved 26 months of payments off with this month’s pre-payments! And I’ll save about $38 in interest on the August 1st payment based on these pre-payments. The mortgage balance is already ahead of where it needs to be by the end of 2013 to stay on track with the five year pay-off plan. In fact, I’m currently about $5,900 ahead. I’m currently planning on continuing to pay extra on the mortgage despite this though. I now have over 40% in equity and have paid down about 26% of the original mortgage balance.

TOTAL: $292,100 (up $25,000 or +9.4%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $80,800 or +38.2% 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. I’m currently projecting hitting $300,000 around August to October (this month’s increase brought my estimate in by a month) and $335,000 by the end of the year, for a total yearly increase of almost $125,000.

Interesting fact: my net worth increased by $78,800 in all of 2012. Seven months into 2013, it is up $80,800 or about 103% of that figure. 2013 is already my highest net worth increase year and we’re only seven months in!!

July 2013 Net Worth Graph

Lastly, to check in on the goals I made at the end of June:

  1. Apply for the Fidelity 2% Investment Rewards American Express credit card and start using it as my primary credit card. DONE! I did this at the beginning of the month and have been using it regularly since I got it.
  2. Throw the entirety of my bonus at the mortgage principal. DONE! This was SO satisfying!! With the 8/1 payment bringing the balance under $210,000, I can now feel it going under $200,000! :)
  3. Break 9 minutes/mile in my short (~3-6 mile) runs. (I’m trying to find the time to increase my distance.) PROGRESS! I did get down to 9:10/mile on a 3.5 mile run. I’ve definitely been improving. I only ran 5 times in July though. Things were a bit crazy.
  4. Improve how productive I feel I am being at work. PASS! This is hard to quantify exactly, but I definitely feel like I’m doing better.
  5. Read 3 books. FAIL! This was a miserable fail. I got through one book on the flight to my July long weekend trip and I’m still working on the one I started on the back. I’m almost done though!

Now for some goals for August:

  1. Bring my lunch 18 out of the 22 work days this month. (I’ve already done this twice!)
  2. Eat out by myself no more than 4 times.
  3. Finish all the planning for my overseas trip in September.
  4. Don’t fill up the gas tank.
  5. Run 5 times. Break 9 minutes/mile.
  6. Read 2 books (other than my Lonely Planet book and the one I started in early July doesn’t count…).
  7. Make it into work by 8 am 11 out of the 22 work days this month.

19 thoughts on “July 2013 net worth update (+9.4%)

  1. Wow. Nice stats. I have the exact same (within a few hundred $) ytd nw increase number, but I think I am a few years older. It’s fun to read a blog by someone similar age & income, who is saving a high percentage (pretty rare). It’s impressive how fast your savings are ramping up.

    As a lonely planet alternative, if you haven’t heard of wikitravel, it’s pretty handy for ideas. Where you going September?

    • Thanks! It is! I haven’t found anyone else with a similar age and savings rate who has a blog ;) FI Fighter has a similar savings rate, but he’s a few years ahead of me. He’s going the real estate route rather than the 4% SWR route that I’m hoping for. I hate that as my income has grown, I feel like I can’t talk about money anymore other than cash flow with my offline friend who also likes to talk about money :( It doesn’t help that I’m 1-3 years younger than most of my friends either…

      I love how the savings just seem to add up faster each month. Do you find that too?

      I have been looking at wikitravel as well, but someone let me borrow their Lonely Planet book, so I figured it was worth leafing through. It’s kind of nice to have a hard copy of something even in this day and age. I’m going to Japan, for ~2 weeks.

      I’m still in shock that my net worth went up $25,000 this month. In just one month. So crazy and cool.

      • Yeah, I read his blog too. I an so far not going the real estate route though, but am somewhat tempted. I have one friend who makes significantly more than me that I talk to about this stuff – but that’s about it, though because they make a lot more, my numbers feel a bit less meaningful.

        Yeah, I’ve reached the point where invested assets seriously contribute and things are speeding up (at least as long as the market is doing well – once it reverses… I shudder). This month was my best so far.

        I went to Japan last October/November – it was a great trip. This site has an itinerary planner, that is good for ideas: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2400.html. If you want any info on anything, I’m happy to provide if I have it.

        • Glad you had a good month too! That’s funny that you are within a few hundred $ on YTD net worth increase. I’m currently working on lodging for the trip. I’ll send you an email with some questions. I’m surprised at how many people I know who have been to Japan!

          Yeah I’m a bit worried as to what I’ll do when the market reverses its current streak… I’ve only really been invested in stocks since 2010 and as you can imagine, not by nearly as much as I am now. In fact, the more the market goes up, the more I feel better about paying down the mortgage than investing…

          I’m not really tempted to go the real estate route with how expensive things are in my local market and a variety of other reasons.

  2. You’re doing so well! I’m especially excited that you’ve passed the SS threshold and can avoid that taxation going forward. With the level that high earners get taxed, I’m very happy that you get this break.

    • Thanks! I’m excited about passing the SS threshold too – that’s an extra ~$600/month I can save! I also adjusted my withholdings to account for the amount I’ll itemize this year, which is another $100/month or so that I can save.

      In the past, I’ve hit the threshold in December and in October, so this is nice that I hit it so much earlier :) I’ll probably hit it a bit later next year though. Having a good $ amount of bonuses earlier in the year helps to hit it earlier.

  3. Wow! Hitting the SS threshold this early on is great. You are having such an amazing 2013 financially.

    I use our HSA to pay for all medical expenses too. WIth interest rates so low it just doesn’t seem worth it to save it. Can you put your HSA in something besides cash?

    • Yep, I was pretty excited about passing the SS threshold already :) It’s such a large chunk of change to save extra each month. That’s why I wasn’t so concerned about it going back to 6.2% from 4.2% – my income was going up far more than that, so it wasn’t a big deal.

      My HSA through work is backed by HSA Bank and has no monthly fees at all. So I could put it in any of the free ETFs that TD Ameritrade has. I might do that once my balance gets a bit higher. I’d like to have one year’s full costs available in cash at all times and it’ll take me most of this year to get there. So if the HSA plan is still the best one for me next year, I’ll probably invest my funds monthly instead.

    • If I invested part of my HSA money, I’d probably count the cash portion in the savings category of my assets and the invested portion in my investments category.

  4. WOW! You are kicking so much ass it’s not even funny… Congrats on the 9.4% gain in just one month! That’s unbelievable.

    The 2.5% ARM was also a killer deal… especially since you plan to pay it off before the 5 years. It didn’t take long for rates to explode upwards… I’ll be lucky to get 5.0% 30 year fixed for my next purchase… sigh. People were SMART to get in the last few years when rates were at rock bottom.

    • Thanks! I keep coming back and looking at this chart every once in a while :) August/September/October won’t be very good (insurance/travel/property taxes), but November will make up for that ;)

      I’m SO glad I refinanced back when I did now. Rates dropped a tiny bit after that and then just went up steadily. Even the 3% that I bought with looks pretty good now. I’m slightly kicking myself for not doing the PenFed 5/5 ARM when that was at 2.75% though because that can only go up two percentage points at the rate reset and then I’d plan on paying it off within ten years, which would be a breeze at this rate. (It’s looking like 3.5-4 years for payoff now.)

      5% sounds so high ;) That’s double my current rate! My required mortgage payment would be almost $400 higher per month with 5% versus the 2.5% that I have. Wow! Almost might as well have taken a 15 year fixed at the lower rates at that regular payment… Property values have also gone up so much that I’m not sure I would have bought if I’d waited a year. I might still be renting, which would be sad because I absolutely love my place. And I love owning. I love knowing I have no need to move, ever, if I so choose.

  5. haha, yeah I used to dread property taxes, insurance, etc. as well… Now, I just charge all that onto credit cards that give me travel points in return. So, I’m actually looking forward to those bills, for once ;)

    5% is high, but still a low rate historically. That’s a big reason why I’m so keen on tapping out all my mortgages now. I want to lock in the low rates. If this thing snowballs, I may be able to start buying using 5/1 ARM to get lower rates. I just have to be sure I can pay off the property in time…

    Glad you’re so stoked about your place. One day, I would like to own a residence too!

    • There’s a service fee to charge property taxes that is higher than the cashback I would get on a credit card, so it’s better to just pay via online bill pay from my checking account. Looks like my appraised value went up quite a bit for the next tax year. I’m curious to see how much the tax hike is.

      My parents like to talk about the interest rate they had on their first house in the 80s… So crazy compared to now.

    • Thanks! I haven’t seen my investments take that much of a hit this month so far at least. I’m not really that concerned though since I’m in the accumulation stage.

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