Category Archives: Networth

Mid Month-ish Budget Check In

The race is on. With only 5 months left to the end of 2012 (wow) and my goal to exceed $200k in networth AND buy a new (used) car this year, I must watch my budget closely to get close to my goal. I always want to go *over* my networth goal (helps me hit next years goal and makes me feel comfortable that I can survive a few months if something, god forbid, happens to my job.)

Current Networth: $192,431 (remaining to save $7569 + $10k for 2013 cushion)

$3513 per month average savings is required to meet my goal.


Expected Liquid Income: $4200
401k Automatic Contribution: $2080

$1433 Avg monthly savings required from Liquid Income.

Rent: $660
Shopping: $575
Health & Fitness: $452 (Yr Supply contacts)
Fees & Charges: $50
Auto & Transport: $777 (paid off $600 of my $1800 DUI fine this month, plus insurance hike from $44/month to $125/month for next 3 years, sigh)
Food & Dining: $269
Travel $300
$3083 ($1117) 

So I already spent too much this month to hit the $210k goal. If I buy a car, my goals might be shot. Then again, I could theoretically make up for this next year, as it will be my first full year with a six-figure salary, and I can try to be frugal for the first six months to play catch up. I never like to assume I will have a job from one month to the next, though, so it’s troubling to purchase a car now and know this will keep me from my $200k goal (unless the stock market performs extremely well…)




2012 $200k Networth Goal in Reach

The $200k in 2012 networth goal seemed impossible in January, but I’m inching closer to victory. It doesn’t hurt that I just received a $10k raise and now, for the first time in my life, am making six figures in a FT position (I was making more on an hourly basis at a contract job previously, but this is still a big deal as it’s FT.)

I just calculated my current networth, and according to my records it is $190,586.49 — which leaves $9.4k or $1.8k/month left to save for the remainder of the year to hit my goal. I’m a little hesitant declaring success as $20k of my networth is tied up in company stock (private company exercised options.) That said, theoretically that $20k is worth quite a bit more than $20k right now, if I am to believe what the exec team says about the current value per stock. In any case, I’m considering it an investment like any other, and I still don’t have all of my options vested anyway, so until they vest I’ll just count those options as $20k, which is exactly the amount I spent to purchase them (well, plus a few hundred dollars to repay the loan to purchase them.)

So the big question is, do I buy a car this year or wait until next year? If I don’t buy a car this year, I need to at least put $700 into my current to make it save to drive.  I spoke to a car dealership and they said I’d get a whopping $400 to trade it in, so it’s probably not worth doing that. Maybe I’ll just donate it if I decide to purchase  a new(er) car.

Even though with my company stock and other savings I could theoretically be a  paper millionaire right now, I don’t feel like one. I’m still paying $650 a month in rent living with roommates and driving POSmobile. I wish my boyfriend made a decent income so we could move in together, but as of yesterday he quit his job and — although he plans to find another one — has not started to apply for anything yet. It’s a pain when a voice in the back of my head keeps telling me I’m stupid for committing to a guy who has $0 in savings and no job, but he makes me happy and if that isn’t worth more than a stable income and security, then, I don’t know what is…

That said, I still have my big $200k success to look forward to, that’s now within reach, as long as the stock market cooperates. With $50k of that in Apple, my networth value keeps going up and down and up and down. I still believe in the long run Apple will go up, but I probably should start to diversify a little more.

If I buy a car this year, I can either buy something cheap-ish… ie, the same car I have now but in much better condition with much lower miles for $7500… or a nicer car like a used Altima 2.5 or Mini Cooper or Camry Hybrid for $15k – $18k. In August, my insurance rates are going to spike thanks to that DUI I got last year — and I’m not sure how much that spike will be (I guess I’ll find out very soon.) So I don’t really want to get a nicer car because I’m thinking it would be smart to keep comprehensive coverage very low for the foreseeable future. I already cut my comprehensive so my monthly insurance rates went from $77 to $35. They’ll probably be back up to $77 or more without the coverage next month, but that’s my own fault. With that fault comes the reality that it probably doesn’t make sense to buy a car over $8k at this point.

Another option, which I’m considering, is moving to a place located on the local train line. My company is moving to a new office which offers a shuttle from the train station. Actually, that train station is my current local stop, but it would probably be easier to take a train from another station there then to take a bus. If I were to move by the train line I could get rid of my car entirely — which would suck because I like the independence of having a car — but would be great from a financial perspective. The train would also be free thanks to a company perk, so I could spend a little more on rent and still do better than having the car. I’d probably keep paying some insurance (since the SR-22 is a requirement for 3 years with the DUI on your record) but I’d pay the lowest possible since I wouldn’t actually be driving my own car.

Hmm. Anyway, lots to think about. Right now I’m so busy with work that I don’t have time to seriously contemplate moving and I’m struggling to find time to figure out what to do about the car situation. All I know is my current car is embarrassing to the point of I really shouldn’t be using it in professional settings, and that’s a problem, and that’s a problem I shouldn’t have when I’m making $100k and have $190k in networth, right? Still, I can’t bring myself to spend on a car when I know next year my goal is to have $250k networth by 30, and I’d prefer to get a head start on that if possible then buy an expensive item that will just depreciate in value.


June Networth Update: $174.5k (-0.78%)

It’s been a rough networth month for many of us, as the stock market, which was doing so well earlier this year, has decided to take a turn in the other direction. In May, my portfolio took a hit, as I managed to spend a bit of money on a few weddings (gifts, dress, shoes, etc.) I’m honestly surprised I ended the month just .78% down.

Assets: $181.628 (.43%)
Cash: $11,870 (124.56%)
Stocks: $113,634 (-2.33%)
Retirement: $52,735 (-3.56%)
Future Kids College Fund: $3389 (-1.77%)
Debts: -$7,087

Networth: $174,541 (-$1367, -0.78%)

In order to hit my goal of $200k this year, I need my account to increase $3637 in June, or 2.08% of my current networth.

$3637 Gain Goal in June? Here’s how…
$1125: 401k auto investment
$1500: savings
$942: growth on investment (.5%)

Of course, if my stocks don’t play nice, this could be an unfortunate month. But, the good news is, I am eligible for a bonus again this July (and again in September) which could help offset some of the losses from wonky markets.

Mission Impossible? $250k in the bank by 30

As I stare at my Net Worth of just $166,978 in May 2012, I can’t help but feel like my goal of $250k networth by the age of 30 (or, 17.5 months away) is impossible.

That’s $83,022 left to save, or approximately $4.9k per month for the next 17 months. Since I only make about $5k after taxes, that, indeed, is an impossible feat. At best, with bonuses, I make $110k per year pre-tax, which comes out to an average of $6k per month. Still, spending just $1.1k a month for the next 17 months and obtaining all of my bonuses is unlikely, and yes, pretty impossible too.

My only hope is that my investments perform extremely well, and not extremely lousy ($163,747 of my total networth is currently in stock-heavy investment accounts.) I’m concerned my stocks will see losses instead of gains in the coming year, which will completely ruin my hope to be anywhere near $250k by November 2013.

5% interest, 18 months = $176,180
5% interest + $10k per year, 18 months = $192,125
5% interest + $20k per year, 18 months = $208,070
8% interest, 18 months = $183,784
8% interest + $10k per year, 18 months = $200,304
8% interest + $20k per year, 18 months = $216,824
10% interest, 18 months = $188,913
10% interest + $10k per year, 18 months = $205,819
10% interest + $20k per year, 18 months = $222,724

According to Personal Capital, my investments are currently 15% up in the last 6 months. That may not last. I’d like to see my account go up 30% this year, as then suddenly my dreams of $250k by 30 start looking a bit more possible. If they could make 30% for 1.5 years going forward, even without adding a cent, I’ll be at $242,710 by November 2013. With $10k per year of savings, that would bring me to $263.6k by 30, and would be a huge success.

I’ll be tracking my progress as always, to report on how close or far from the mark my investments are putting me.

2012 Self Operating Plan to save $50k for $200k Networth

This is a big year in my networth saving. I hope to have $200k in all of my accounts by Dec 31, 2012. This will have me on track to $250k by 30; and $500k by 35. Somewhere between 30 and 35 I plan to get married and start having kids, so that will change the story a bit, but I don’t want to get married and even think about having children until I have $250k across my various savings and investing accounts.

Since graduating college in 2005, I’ve increased my networth from $10k to $145k. On average over the last six years, I’ve saved (or earned interest on my savings) an average of $22.5k per year (my income for the past 6 years has been $15k, $25k, $35k, $55k, $65k, $85k, and now $90k.) My goal these days is to save $50k per year, but that remains a difficult feat on my $90k salary. Lately I have been eligible for a bonus of up to $20k, and I hope to hit my objectives in order to achieve a $110k per year salary including a bonus.

In order to reach my $200k goal in 2012, I will have to be very strict with my spending. I’m not sure that amount of saving is even possible (unless the stock market rebounds) but my plan of income vs spending below will need to be followed spotlessly if I am going to achieve my goal in 2012. Continue reading 2012 Self Operating Plan to save $50k for $200k Networth

12 Goals for 2012

1. Networth = $200k (by 29, $250k by 30).
This is going to be difficult given I’m making $90k per year, and my current networth is $145k. With any luck the economy will recover a bit and my stocks will see me up to $200k, but I’m also going to make 2012 a super frugal year. Still, saving $2500 a month is only $30,000. Either I need some side income or a serious raise next year to hit this goal. I need to save $4166 a month to save $50k in one year, and after taxes I only make about $4200, so that’s not going to work.

2. Write and publish a (really good) business book
I already have a signed contract, so in theory, this one shouldn’t be so hard. Then again, I have 300 pages to write outside of a more than full-time job, in six months, and it needs to be really good. For it to be really good I need to interview a lot of people and that is what I don’t have time for… but if I can successfully achieve this goal of writing and publishing a book, I will, for once in my life, be proud of myself.

3. Lose 40lbs
My weight has become a huge issue in my life, and I haven’t had time to deal with it. I can’t believe I’m up to 170lbs (and I’m short at 5’3). This is going to probably be the hardest goal of all, but I need to do it if I’m ever going to be a healthy and happy person. Continue reading 12 Goals for 2012

CD is Free (that is, I closed my account)

Whether or not I keep an emergency fund is still TBD, but I did finally close my Bank of America CD that was earning a whopping .35% interest. I thought the cancellation penalty was 3 months interest, but, without doing the math it seemed to be more than it should have been — $230 fee on an $8k CD. In any case, I took the hit, figuring it’s better to have the money liquid in a high-interest checking account that probably pays a better rate than the CD with 12 months left on it.

So now, including a few other checks I cashed yesterday, I have $10k in my checking account. The question is — what to do with it?

$1.5k will go into my IRA for this year, so I max it out. That leaves $8.5k left. Since I have a 401k next year (no match) I’m tempted to try to max that out before thinking about an IRA, as I make slightly too much for a Roth and the traditional IRA tax benefits are available for an even smaller salary. I’m also tempted to take the $8.5k and put it into a high dividend ETF or split it up among dividend-bearing stocks. I’m further tempted to put a sizable chunk of it into AAPL, but that seems too risky vs diversifying across dividend paying stocks.

What would you do to invest or save $10k?

$100k in 2010? Accomplished!

Remember when I made a goal to have $100k in savings by the end of 2010? That seems like a billion years ago, and financially speaking, it was. While on one hand I can’t believe how fast time is flying, on the other I’ve lived about three lives between now and the end of 2009.

When 2009 was ending, I was working a job paying $60k per year. So working through the numbers, it seemed impossible to reach my goal of saving ~$50k in 2010… even if I was going to be extremely frugal. I figured I’d save as much as possible, but deep down felt my goal of hitting $100k in networth was just not going to happen.

Fast forward two months… I get laid off from my job and things are really looking bleak, at least in terms of my savings goals. I fall into a deep depression, start questioning what on earth I’m doing with my life, and after applying for a few hundred jobs start thinking about applying to work at the mall.

Then the skies parted. I landed not one – but two really solid jobs. A six month contract, paid hourly, at a large, global company and a freelance job on the side. Instead of losing a lot of money due to being laid off, I managed to make more than I had any year yet within the six months I was working my contract job. Part of that time I was traveling for work — so all my expenses were paid for as well, which meant I was able to save quite a lot.

The contract job didn’t last… long story short, the product I was working on wasn’t very good, so the company decided to shut our department down and had no need to keep me on as a contractor. By that time, however, the company I was doing some freelance work for was taking off, and able to hire me full time. I’m not making as much as I was at the large company, but I’m much happier working for a company with a product I believe in. Plus, I do have stock options which could one day be worth a lot more than any salary — though that is, of course, unlikely.

The chart above is a bit inaccurate because I’m both owed money and owe money… I owe on my freelance income as I haven’t paid tax on it yet, but I think I still broke the $100k networth mark in 2010.

It’s so strange to have $100k in the bank (/my investments.) It’s a lot of money, but then again, it doesn’t seem like that much. The houses I want around here are $2.5 million… and even the basic houses are $1 million — I guess until I have $500k in savings I’ll still feel a bit hopeless when it comes to money.

As far as 2011 goes, I’d like to end 2011 with $150k in networth. I wish I could aim for $200k, but that’s just not realistic given my salary. I’ll be updating on this goal as the year goes along. Once my taxes are done in April I’ll have a better idea just how much more I need to save this year to hit that goal.

It’s interesting looking at how much I’ve saved since Feb 2009…

September Networth: $77,434

Will I or won’t I hit my goal this year of a $100k networth? It’s possible. I’m at around $77.4k right now.

I need to be extremely frugal over the next four months to hit my goal.

As far as income goes, I’m expecting:

Potential September Income

Project A: $10000 pre-tax this month
Project B: owed $1600 + potential income of $3200 (pre-tax)
Project C: owed $300 (pre-tax)
Total: $14000 pre-tax… ~$9000 after tax.
I’ll prob spend $2000 this month on rent, food, insurance, gas, health, etc.

So if I can do +$7000 this month I’ll be at $84k.
That leaves $16k that I need to make in 3 months between Oct & Dec, or $5.3k per month after tax.
It’s possible for Project #C I will start a $5k-$10k per month contract for 1 month. That would help a lot! Project B will likely pay around $3200 pre-tax for part-time, though it’s not guaranteed. Project A is likely ending this month.
I plan to donate 10% of any income above $100k that I earn and 15% of all income above $120k, if I happen to earn that much, 25% of all income over $150k. It’s not much, but I like the idea of donating a portion of income I earn over $100k.