My Ninth Net Worth Overshare

Tracking your net worth is an excellent way to get a bird’s eye view of your finances. But how do you know if you’re on track? Well, it depends.

Reaching financial freedom means you’ve accumulated enough assets to support your current lifestyle indefinitely. The problem is, your lifestyle is probably going to vary significantly from your 20s through retirement.

Most of the time, I can get by spending about $2,500 – $3,000 per month. That’s $30,000 – $36,000 per year.

Many people use the “25 times” rule of thumb to determine how much they need. That means saving 25 times your expenses before retirement.

If that’s the metric I’m using, I’ll need to sock away $900,000 on the high end.

It’s an ambitious goal, but I’m not convinced it’s really enough. Especially when you factor in the possibility of future lifestyle inflation. Either way, I’ve got some hustling to do.

Excel Spreadsheet of Assets and Debts

Income

Have you checked out my latest side income report?

I earned $2,228.55 through a combination of freelance writing, social media consulting, blog advertising / affiliates, and dividends. However, I’ve stepped back on freelancing while I focus on some other projects. So I’m not expecting to earn anywhere near as much in quarter two. A reduced side income means I’m re-examining some of my expenses.

I’ve stepped back on freelancing while I focus on some other projects, so I’m not expecting to earn anywhere near as much in quarter two.

Expenses

I’ve realized making long-term, meaningful change is best accomplished slowly. Why? Spending habits are a lot like dieting.

Diets like slow-carb or Whole 30 often seem like they are working, but after a few months, I’m back to my bad habits again.

That’s what happens to most people. And I suspect it’s the same when it comes to making sudden and extreme changes to a budget.

Last week I deleted the Postmates app from my phone. It’s way too easy to order delivery from some of my favorite restaurants when I’m working from home, especially when I’m writing at night.

So I’m declaring May a food delivery-free month. I’m attacking my expensive food habits one at a time, and next month, I’ll take a closer look at something else.

Cash

What a difference a year makes! I’m really happy with the amount of progress I’ve made on replenishing my cash supply.

As you may remember, I emptied my savings account after quitting my job in August 2014 and I’ve been slowly working on rebuilding my emergency fund since January 2015.

I made the mistake of not keeping enough of my emergency fund in cash, so I was forced to sell some stocks to pay my bills that fall. It’s not a catastrophe, but being forced to sell stocks at a loss to pay your bills is far from ideal.

Speaking of emergency funds, I wrote this guide about where to stash your cash for MagnifyMoney.

Investments

My investments haven’t been super exciting lately. I’ve maxed out my Roth IRA for 2016 ($5,500) with a few different index funds. And the slow trickle of passive dividend income in my brokerage account is still pretty motivating.

Last year, I started using Personal Capital to monitor my net worth. I love seeing all my accounts in one place! Plus, it’s great to see a clear breakdown of how much I’m paying in fees for my various investments.

Note: If you sign up for a free account through my affiliate link above, I may receive a small bonus. And your support helps keep the lights on at Cashville Skyline. So, thank you!

Home Value

As more and more people continue moving to Nashville, home values in our urban core continue to climb. Zillow reports my neighborhood’s home values have increased by 18.3% over the past year. And they’re predicting another increase of 6.2% over the next year.

I’m pleased with these increases, but I try not to focus too much on it because I’m not planning to sell my home. What’s most important to me? It’s affordable, walkable to places I like, and less than 15 minutes from my office.

Other Assets

The value of my 2006 Toyota Corolla continues to drop, but it still has less than 80,000 miles! I’d love to hold onto it for another 10 years, so I try to drive it as little as possible.

2nd Quarter 2016 Goals

Now that I’ve maxed out my Roth IRA for 2016, I’m moving on to my next goal—saving $15,000 in cash for my emergency fund. I have $11,299.75 in a high-interest savings account, so I’ve got $3,700.25 to go. It’s a goal that’s definitely possible by the end of quarter two, but I may need to put off a few larger purchases (new bike, plane tickets, etc.) to achieve it.

Readers: Did you meet your financial goals this quarter? 

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Discussions — 36 Responses

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach May 2, 2016 on 8:02 am

    I never thought about adding my car to my net worth value. I’ll have to try that! That’s really cool the value of your home has gone up so much. Nashville seems to be a pretty popular area these days and I can’t wait to visit!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach May 14, 2016 on 1:41 pm

      I think I’m secretly hoping one day I’ll be able to sell my car and get around Nashville entirely through walking, biking, and public transportation. So I try to stay on top of my car’s value. I’m really stoked for you to finally visit Nashville, too! 🙂

      Reply
  • Millennial Boss May 2, 2016 on 9:37 am

    Congrats on your progress!! I’ve never tracked my net worth in a spreadsheet (only Via online software) and it never looks quite right. Need to see where I’m at and do it on paper. Thanks for the inspiration! Also kudos for keeping such low mileage on your car! I just sold my 2015 car with 33k!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Millennial Boss May 14, 2016 on 1:45 pm

      Nice! Tracking my net worth over the past couple of years has been so eye opening. Have you checked out Rockstar Finance’s master list of blogger net worths? I love popping over there from time to time for some added motivation 🙂 I’ve been really lucky with my car because I’ve always lived less than 5 miles from my office.

      Reply
  • John May 2, 2016 on 10:03 am

    What’s the plan for the credit card debt? I’d be inclined to borrow from myself, pay that off, then pay myself back before I would part with a penny of interest to a credit card company/bank.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore John May 14, 2016 on 1:46 pm

      I’ve already paid that off. I include the current balance on all my accounts in the interest of full transparency 🙂

      Reply
  • Brian @ Debt Discipline May 2, 2016 on 11:58 am

    Nice job Kate! Looks like steady progress. I like the big picture view of my money too, I’ll be sitting down this week to recap our April. We are slowly building our e-fund back up and saving in our college funds for our three children. Continued success!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Brian @ Debt Discipline May 14, 2016 on 1:48 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Brian! Your family has been killing it. And saving for three kids to go to college definitely isn’t easy. Cheers to a prosperous second quarter for us both!

      Reply
  • EL May 2, 2016 on 2:45 pm

    Good job on the net worth, just by tracking it you’re in a position to grow it. We all need motivation to keep going as the road to FI is not easy. 2016 will be a good year to grow dividends.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore EL May 14, 2016 on 2:00 pm

      Thanks, EL. I can’t wait to save $15,000 in my emergency fund so I can move on to more income producing assets. I love receiving dividends!

      Reply
  • Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog May 2, 2016 on 6:46 pm

    Congrats on the steady increase in net worth! I am currently carless in Washington, DC area. I’ve been considering moving and buying a car but I don’t want my net worth to take such a hit (for some reason I wouldn’t include the value of my car in my net worth).

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog May 14, 2016 on 2:03 pm

      I’m jealous you don’t own a car, Aliyyah! And I don’t blame you for not wanting to buy one. I feel like I’m constantly paying for things like replacing a tire, oil changes, and minor repairs. Then again, my car is 10 years old now. Hahaha.

      Reply
  • Tom May 3, 2016 on 9:46 am

    Very nice work and you are on a good way in terms of your net worth, I also added my car into my net worth calculation which is basically a spread sheet not online. But as I understood it right, where you refer to Cash basically this is split into 2 parts isn’t it as you mentioned your emergency fund.
    I personally don’t consider the whole as Cash, I split this part into Liquid and semi-Liquid as it will take at least 1-2 working days to transfer my semi-liquid cash into my real cash balance which is my salary account. But I think this is just another way to look at it.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Tom May 14, 2016 on 2:06 pm

      Good eye, Tom. Yes, I keep a small amount of cash in my checking account. And the bulk is in my high-interest online savings account. You are totally right about that cash not being completely liquid. In an actual emergency, I would use my credit card first. Then, I would transfer cash over and pay it off immediately. Thanks for pointing this out!

      Reply
  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde May 4, 2016 on 10:33 am

    Awesome job Kate!! It’s so true that money goals, like dieting goals only really happen one day at a time and slowly but surely and you’re so disciplined about your net worth overshares that I know that you are seeing these awesome results because of your commitment to the process. Congrats!!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Shannon @ Financially Blonde May 14, 2016 on 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the continued encouragement, Shannon! I keep thinking about our podcast interview and how little cash I actually had saved when I quit my job in 2014. I don’t regret my decision, but I definitely want a lot more saved up for future career transitions 🙂

      Reply
  • Mario May 5, 2016 on 11:03 pm

    Best of luck on cutting out food delivery. It’s so easy to get hooked on the convenience of it and even easier to make excuses for it. The steady increase looks great, though. Congrats 🙂

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Mario May 14, 2016 on 2:09 pm

      It’s so tough, Mario! Why does my house have to be in the Postmates delivery area?!

      Reply
  • Catherine Alford May 9, 2016 on 11:45 am

    Food delivery is a tough habit to kick. I hope you can do it!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Catherine Alford May 14, 2016 on 2:11 pm

      Totally, Cat. My sister’s coming today, though. And she’s volunteered to cook for me this month 🙂 I’m hoping the healthy, home cooked meals will help me ditch it for good.

      Reply
  • Chonce Maddox May 9, 2016 on 7:08 pm

    Congrats on the net worth increase. I know you’ll be meeting your savings goal soon enough! I’m working on saving a baby EF for right now to cover about 2-3 months of expenses, then tackling some more of my debt throughout the remainder of the year.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Chonce Maddox May 14, 2016 on 2:12 pm

      Nice, Chonce! An emergency fund of 2-3 months of expenses is a great goal. I have no doubt you’ll meet all your financial goals this year.

      Reply
  • Dan May 14, 2016 on 4:23 pm

    Ive never see a car included in a net worth statement. Maybe Ill add mine to cook my own books. It does seem like you are consistently increasing your wealth every quarter. Good for you.
    What are you going to do with that old 401k? I’d just get rid of it, its so small.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Dan June 18, 2016 on 12:44 pm

      Haha, it’s interesting how many comments I’ve received about including my car in my net worth. Good question about the 401(k). I’ve thought about just closing it and investing that small amount of money elsewhere.

      Reply
  • Tawcan May 19, 2016 on 12:37 pm

    Congrats on your progress. I don’t add car in our net worth calculation as it is too difficult to determine the value of a depreciation asset. That’s the same reason why I don’t include all my expensive camera gear in my net worth calculation either. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Tawcan June 18, 2016 on 12:47 pm

      Good point, Tawcan! To be honest, I don’t really have any other physical assets like electronics or equipment. With only 80,000 miles on my 2006 Toyota Corolla, I’m pretty confident I could sell the car if I needed to.

      Reply
  • Allan Liwanag May 23, 2016 on 6:35 pm

    I have been tracking my net worth for quite sometime now. It feels good to know what my numbers go up for the most part from month to another want.

    Congrats on your progress. I never really thought about adding a car to the mix of net worth. I might have to do that one of these days.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Allan Liwanag June 18, 2016 on 12:47 pm

      That’s awesome, Allan! Tracking my net worth over the past two years has really helped me gain control of my finances, too!

      Reply
  • Melanie @ Dear Debt May 25, 2016 on 12:43 am

    Ugh, I have a love/hate relationship with Postmates for this very reason! It’s too easy. Congrats on the progress!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Melanie @ Dear Debt June 18, 2016 on 12:49 pm

      Every time I think I’m done I get some kind of deal email — free slice of pizza or tacos — and I’m hooked again 😉

      Reply
  • Jamie Rohrbaugh May 30, 2016 on 1:44 pm

    Hey, I just found your blog. Love the transparency – it’s very motivating! Congratulations on your upward trend on the income report. 🙂

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Jamie Rohrbaugh June 18, 2016 on 12:49 pm

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Jamie! I really appreciate the kind words.

      Reply
  • Jax June 2, 2016 on 4:57 pm

    Awesome progress! Even though I own a car I try to pretend like I don’t- I try to walk to/from work every day and only use it for grocery shopping once a week. I haven’t quite gotten there yet-there aren’t really good public transport options for days when it rains and snows, but I am getting there!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Jax June 18, 2016 on 12:50 pm

      I’ve been trying to do that, too, Jax! Especially on the weekends. My neighborhood is pretty walkable, so I try to stay out of my car whenever possible.

      Reply
  • Greg July 9, 2016 on 9:13 pm

    Kate, you’re doing a great job! Nashville is a great place. I live in the western part of the state. I just wanted to give you something to think about. You might consider having your dividend paying stocks in your ROTH and the index funds in your taxable account. Not a big deal, but could save you a little in taxes each year. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Greg July 9, 2016 on 9:16 pm

      Interesting idea, Greg! I’ve actually thought about that in the past. I’m not earning a ton of income there, but it’s always nice to lower my taxes. Awesome to “meet” another Tennessean! 🙂

      Reply