It’s been a few months since my previous net worth update as a single girl, but since I’m going to be combining finances with my new husband in the near future, I did one final check to see how I did.
Since October 2012, my net worth went up by $23,000 across all of my asset categories except my spiffy little Honda hybrid. (Sadly, my car couldn’t keep appreciating in value like it did in previous updates.) Not shown in this chart is that through monthly, dedicated saving into a joint wedding savings account, husband and I were also able to pay for our entire wedding in cash. Last year, we were on a quest for a rewards credit card that we charged all of our wedding expenses to and paid off in full each month, and in return, we were able to get 4.5 *free* round-trip flights from L.A. to D.C. over the holidays. (I think that was the easiest $2,250 we ever made/saved :)).
WHY MY NET WORTH WENT UP
1. AUTOMATED SAVINGS
The biggest increases recorded were across my investment vehicles. Wherever I can, I try to automate my savings into various accounts such as my 401(k), my Roth and QQQQ, and my wedding savings account (not shown here). It’s significantly easier to part with money you never have a chance to get attached to. I also made sure to make sure I contributed enough to my 401(k) to achieve the maximum company match possible, which is 10%(salary) at my company.
2. HAVE A PLAN TO SAVE/INVEST EXTRA INCOME
When my annual bonus came in, it was so tempting to splurge on something useful or fun, but it’s also important to reign in these impulses and have a plan for the money before it sits in your account too long. For me, I decided to split the difference! Half of my bonus was sent to my Roth IRA and the other half went to my wedding account to fund a fun ziplining/snorkeling/rappeling/sight-seeing adventure in Mexico for most of my family and some friends. Worth it! We were able to have our cake and eat it, too!
3. INVEST WHERE IT MAKES SENSE FOR YOU
In my first two years out of school, I paid off all my debt and saved up a $15,000 emergency fund through smart planning. Since at the time I had no debt, my emergency fund can cover 10 months worth of expenses, and savings account interest rates aren’t keeping up with inflation, it didn’t make sense for me to keep adding to it. The increase you see is strictly from interest accrued on the account monthly. I decided to start dabbling in the stock market. First, I purchased 1 share of Apple ($715), watched the stock decline ~$150, and got smarter and started investing in more boring but stable companies with long histories of growth. In March, my investment account was averaging about a 15% return, but now it’s holding steady at 6% which is still pretty reasonable to me. Obviously if you have debt or you don’t yet have an emergency fund, these two things should be priority! After that, look into starting a Roth IRA if you don’t have one (find my previous post on Roth benefits here) before moving on to other investment options.
WHERE DOes i.b.w.t. GO FROM HERE?
Now that Mr. Budget and I are legally a married household, we’ll be working to merge our finances and work toward the future together. This means that our wealth is shared, debt is shared, and future money decisions will also be shared. Mr. Budget still has about $18,500 in debt to pay off so one of our top goals is to agree on and stick to a debt payment plan to blast it all by this time next year. I’ll keep you posted! As for future net worth updates, I think we’ll keep those coming, too! Expect the next one to look very different.
How is your net worth progress or debt payoff plan going? Got any tips for me or questions about my numbers? Let me know! I’d love to hear!