November 2015 net worth update (+1.1%)

31-Dec-2014 31-Oct-2015 30-Nov-2015 MoM YTD
cash $12,300 $6,600 $7,700 +$1,100 -$4,600
savings $47,800 $59,600 $62,700 +$3,100 +$14,900
investments $164,500 $210,800 $212,200 +$1,400
mortgage $143,000 $135,600 $134,900 +$700
net worth $531,600 $591,400 $597,700 +$6,300
taxable assets – debts $70,600 $51,000 $46,100 +$4,900
$ until FI* $811,300 $851,300 $826,900 -$24,400

*$ to FI=(average monthly spending over the last 12 months – mortgage payment)*12*25 + condo value – net worth

The stock markets seemed mostly flat overall for November, so this month came out nicely. (And I haven’t registered for January grad school yet, so those thousands of dollars haven’t come out.) It’s looking like I’ll hit my $30,000 in general savings goal in January, rather than in December at this rate. My savings rate was 63% this month.

It looks like I’m on track to have my smallest annual net worth increase since 2010 this year. My net worth went up $22,000 in 2010 and then about $78-79,000 in 2011 and 2012. My estimate at this point is that I’ll fall just short of $600,000 this year for an increase of $67,000 for the year. Pretty much all of that went into my retirement accounts. This year feels like it was all about being slow and steady and not concentrating on money, which is probably for the best to do every once in a while.

Expenses: I spent $4,469 in November including the mortgage or $3,622 without it. Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $519 Clothing
    • $126 Athletic wear: online shopping for some base layers and return from last month ($164). Final cost from this month’s items should be $167.
    • $22 Bottoms: 2 pair tights
    • $105 Dresses: some returns and purchased 8 dresses, 6 of which I returned. Cost of those 2 dresses I’m keeping is $174
    • $240 Shoes: 3 pairs of new flats ($110, $54, $77) to replace ones that don’t fit anymore
    • $26 Tops: two long-sleeved tops
  • $78 Entertainment/Social [average so far this year: $126, average last year: $211] – some cash (~$20) and eating out with friends ($55)
  • $0 Eating out by myself [average so far this year: $6, average last year: $18]
  • $15 Work lunches [average so far this year: $39, average last year: $147] – I was lazy during the short week…
  • $109 Presents – starting on my Christmas shopping. I’m now done with 4/9 people! And I did not finish the rest in November, oops!
  • $6 Housing miscellaneous – a couple light bulbs and some pins
  • $78 Cell phone – This is the first time I’ve paid for my cell phone bill other than new SIM cards since June 2013 thanks to a healthy stream of referral credits (thank you readers!). It feels strange to pay for it again. This covers the $25 activation fee on Cricket (oops at poor planning on that), $40 for the “Basic” plan which gives me 2.5 GB of data (more than enough as I’ve averaged ~200 MB over the last 4.5 years) and $9.99 for a Cricket SIM card. Next month, I’ll pay $35 to Cricket and a small amount to Ting for my last bill.
  • ~$100 Dentist
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $67 Toiletries [average so far this year: $48, average last year: $33] – Stocked up on bra washing soap, bought another cleanser to try, and bought a moisturizer.
  • $2,000 Shopping – new laptop (it was time to replace my 2011 model) and parts to upgrade my desktop computer
  • $102 Transportation: tolls replenishment (x2) and two tanks of gas

Yes, I’ve been spending a lot on clothing this year. But a) I can afford it while still having a healthy savings rate, b) I’ve been changing sizes a lot, which has resulted in not a good selection of clothes, and c) my overall spending for the year should still come in under (or around) last year’s. For example, I found myself getting dressed to go to an event with a closet full of dresses (about 10-15 that I’ve bought over the last ten years) and only one fit. I’ve remedied that now, so I’m hoping that I’ll manage to slow down my clothing spending.

Savings: $62,700 (up $3,100)

These funds are spread across a checking account that gets free ATM fees anywhere in the world, my current employer’s health savings account, a health savings account at my credit union, a bit of a buffer in my credit union checking account, and general and grad school savings accounts at Ally.

  • My grad school savings account is (as of October) at the amount I need it to be to pay for the rest of my grad school in cash, if necessary.
  • I’m contributing the maximum to my HSA this year.
  • The rest of the savings increase went to my general savings account, which I’ll be focusing on for the rest of the year.
  • Actions: I bought $10,000 of Series I Savings Bonds with part of my general savings account and transferred part of my grad school savings account somewhere else to get a deposit bonus.

Investments: $212,200 (up $1,400 or +0.7%)

This includes my pre-tax 401(k), employer 401(k) matching, my after-tax 401(k), my Roth IRA, and my taxable investments including stock index funds, Series I Savings Bonds, and ESPP cash/shares.

The change here comes from:

  1. Employer matching contributions
  2. A month’s ESPP deposits

It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for another round of 401(k) contributions. It feels like I just finished this year’s!

Mortgage: $134,900 (down $700 or -0.5%)

I’m just letting the regular, automatic payment go for now, until my cash savings is at the level I want and my 401(k) is fully maxed out for the year.

TOTAL: $597,700 (up $6,300 or +1.1%)

I ended 2014 with a net worth of $531,600, so I’ve seen a change of +$66,100 or +12.4% so far this year. I’m going to set the y-axis on this graph to $650,000 so we can see how my net worth grows towards that throughout the year. (Hah!)

I’m feeling lazy with the chart tonight. I promise one next month.


17 thoughts on “November 2015 net worth update (+1.1%)

    • Ting no longer has the North America roaming features that are important to me, i.e. you enter Canada now and your Ting phone simply doesn’t work, which is very frustrating. I’ve been “paying” about $28/month for my Ting service for the last couple of years.

      My original plan was to switch to the T-Mobile $30+tax plan that gives you 100 minutes and then unlimited texting and data. I was discussing it with a friend and they mentioned that Cricket has good roaming options in North America, so I checked it out. For $35/month after the auto-pay credit, I would get unlimited texting and calling in the US and 2.5 GB of data and then I can switch to the $45/month plan and have North America data roaming and only pay for that new plan for the days I’m gone. Once I realized that Cricket includes taxes in their listed prices, I decided that was the best option for me! A similar plan with AT&T costs $60/month.

  1. I’m glad ot hear Cricket wokred out for you. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it. Are you using an iPhone with Cricket? Did you need a new phone or use the same one from ting?

    • Yup, I’m using an iPhone 6S with Cricket. I bought it unlocked from the Apple Store and I was on Ting GSM, so I didn’t need to buy a new iPhone. It’s pretty cool how easy it is to switch carriers when yours isn’t quite ideal for you anymore.

  2. LOL — I don’t think a $67K increase in net worth on the year counts as “slow and steady.” ;-) But I get why it seems that way to you, because you’re such a rockstar saver! Given that you’re paying for grad school, your gains this year still seem completely great!

    • Heh that’s fair! It is smaller than the last several years though :) You’re right – I’m doing just fine considering that I took a couple months off unpaid and am paying for grad school. (Though I’ll get much of the grad school money back from my employer.) I’m an overachiever though and don’t do well with not hitting all of my goals!

  3. Great job with your net worth this year. 12% is huge. Keep at it and you’ll reach 7 figures really soon.
    On a side note, Mrs. RB40 always complain that clothing is so much cheaper for the men. I spend very little on clothing every year compare to her. Then again, I don’t have to be presentable anymore. :)

    • Thanks Joe! My spreadsheet shows I should get there in about three years, by the end of the year in which I’ll turn 30. The last few years have had amazing growth: from $54k to $132k in 2011, to $211k in 2012, to $346k in 2013 and then to $531k in 2014. The future is in my hands at this rate :)

      Yup men just seem to spend less on clothing. My boyfriend seems to spend more on random tech gadgets than I do. We find we splurge on different things, but our spending mostly balances out to be about even, which is really helpful to put each other’s splurges into perspective.

  4. I’m curious about the $ until financial independence. Why is the 2014 total the smallest? Is that a typo? Seems like you increased in most categories (except cash). Did you change your target for FI?

    • That’s a fair question! “$ to FI”=(average monthly spending over the last 12 months – mortgage payment)*12*25 + condo value – net worth.

      The reason why the 2014 total is the smallest is because my average monthly spending increased $267 between December 2014 and November 2015. When you multiply that out, that shows that I need an additional $80,000 saved in net worth versus December 2014 to have the same “$ to FI” figure. I haven’t saved that much this year, so the “$ to FI” figure has gone up. In December 2014, I spent about $4,400, so if I spend less than that this December, then my “$ to FI” figure should go down in December.

      The point of this calculation is to help watch how much my spending is going up/down, compared to my overall savings. It’s quite the moving target really at this point.

      • Ah, so similar to the Pop’s graph of years of independence at monthly burn rate. Makes sense. Looks like you’re still making good progress! I am often in awe of those of you who make so much and save so much. We do well on the saving side, but our income is (relatively) low. But early retirement isn’t my goal, so I’m mostly okay with that. I do fantasize about what I would do with my money if I made more and had more to give away. There’s so many places that could be improved by an infusion of $100k a year.

        • Yup, similar to their graph! This way is better for me to visualize since when expenses go up, I get further away. The number of years saved doesn’t seem to motivate me at all. Definitely still making process! The fact that it stayed stationary with spending increases is a good sign!

          I would very likely save less money if I made less and early retirement wouldn’t be as much of a possibility, so that is totally fair. It’s still important to track your progress and set goals, no matter how much you make or save! If you made more money, would you primarily save more, donate more, or spend more?

        • If we made more money . . .

          definitely save more! We are saving up for a house someday. Maybe spend a little more, tho I am mostly happy with our rate of spending. I would imagine the spending would mostly be on big-ticket items, like new furniture or a new laptop. Donating more would also be on the radar screen. So, a mix of all three, with saving and donating being higher than spending.

          I buy powerball tickets occasionally and dream about what I would do with large amounts of money. If I had $100k to donate every year, what would I do? My priorities shift and change over time, but I’d definitely focus some toward environmental causes and some toward poverty/early childhood issues.

        • Cool! I think it’s good to think about these things from time to time because you never know when something will happen and if you haven’t thought about it, you may not react as well as you could to a windfall event!

  5. I totally was going to ask why your FI# was smaller a year ago! But someone beat me to it and the explanation’s already given :) Makes sense. Congratulations on having had such a great year.

    • I get that question a lot, so I added a note below the table! Thanks! It’s super fun watching the net worth ball roll now that I’m many years into building my nest egg :)

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