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Apr 20

1st Quarter 2017 Net Worth Update! [+$16,671]

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NET WORTH UPDATE FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2017

It was an eventful first quarter!

In January I came home from my 6-month job overseas. There was a lot to do. Chores were one thing, building up my side hustles was another, and preparing for the birth of our second child was a major use of my time.

A windstorm a week before I came home left our resident backyard dead tree on its side! Luckily the house was fine and the only damage was to a metal shed. I mostly cut it up with handsaws as I thought the exercise would be worth it. It is now piled up in my backyard to be used for outdoor fires in the firepit. Well, most of it is, the trunk was ridiculously difficult to saw, so that piece of the tree is still lying there where it fell in the yard.

With our second child on the way, it was decided that we would buy a larger vehicle. We could have made our current family vehicle work, a Mazda3, but the increased utility of a minivan would be useful for both of our side hustles as well. I have made a rule that I don’t spend more than 10% of my gross annual income. That left the budget at $6,500. After some shopping around, we ended up picking up a 2007 Honda Odyssey with 137,500 miles from a private party for $4,600.

It was dirty, but that was cheaply remedied. I also, with the help of my father-in-law, replaced both sliding door center rollers. The rollers were worn out, causing the automatic doors to intermittently stop opening and return to the closed position. Each door roller was about $45 new on eBay and it took about 45 minutes each side. Those doors slide very nicely now. I think both the cleaning and the replacement of the door rollers have increased the value of the vehicle by $1000. To be conservative I have only listed it in my asset column as $5,200.

 


CASH Starting $10,358 Ending $12,546 [+$2188]

I try to have at least $10,000 in liquid cash in my accounts. It is not a firm limit, but a level I feel comfortable with. The exact amount fluctuates of course.

 


INVESTMENTS Starting $52,721 Ending $57,241 [+$4520]

I toned down my investments as I was building up funds to buy the family vehicle. My retirement contributions through work continued, but my Robinhood brokerage account investments were toned down. Investments go up and they go down. Just have to hold the course because investments are for the long haul.

If you have not tried Robinhood yet, I highly recommend it. There are no commissions for buying or selling a stock.

 


MORTGAGE Starting $65,345 Ending $64,600 [+$745]

Not much to talk about here, just the normal monthly payment without any principle contributions. This is my only loan. What a blessing it is to only owe on a small mortgage.

 


ASSETS Starting $177,158 Ending $186,195 [+$9,037]

The large jump you see in the graph is accompanied by an equally large drop in my cash reserves. This is the purchase of the Honda Odyssey with slight adjustments upward in value as I increased the value of it by a deep clean and minor repairs.

The rest is home appreciation. I really scored a great deal with this house, in 2014 I purchased it for under $100K – now it is worth at least 50% more! It was a huge driver of my total 2016 net worth, but I expect the price growth to slow down to normal levels now.

 


A NET WORTH OF $189,947!

A TOTAL INCREASE OF $16,671!

It is a 9.6% increase from the start of the year.

Any minor discrepancy in the total increase is just some money owed to credit cards, which is paid off in full every month.

To me, this is an amazing achievement for a gross annual income in the area of $65k and supporting my spouse and now two children.

While the side hustle snowball was just getting started, the wife scored an amazing deal at a local thrift store. We turned the $50 we paid for the lot into $1000 with some eBay and FB buying/selling page hustling. It more than paid for the monthly mortgage.

I could have just gone down to the car dealership and signed up for a monthly payment in excess of $500 for a slightly used minivan. How many people do just that when they want another vehicle? Not me. I also looked at private party sellers as that way there would be no tax, tags, and document fees. In my area, Honda Odysseys and the Toyota Sienna are high demand vehicles. This means they normally sell for above KBB or Edmunds say they are worth. By shopping around and buying a visually unappealing interior I saved thousands. This reminds me of the people that don’t purchase a house because of the color of the walls. Paint is one of the easiest things to fix, and dirty carpets in a car is similar.

This reminds me of the people that don’t purchase a house because of the color of the walls. Paint is one of the easiest things to fix, and dirty carpets in a car is the equivalent.These two actions, finding a big score thrifting and buying a vehicle under the common price of the area I live in, swung the net worth at least $2000 higher in my favor. That is 3% of my gross yearly salary, or about 11 days of the year – a week and a half of work. You add these big movements to dozens of smaller ones and you can really see the net worth jumping, even if you support a family on one average income.

These two actions, finding a big score thrifting and buying a vehicle under the common price of the area I live in, swung the net worth at least $2000 higher in my favor. That is 3% of my gross yearly salary, or about 11 days of the year – a week and a half of work. You add these big movements to dozens of smaller ones and you can really see the net worth jumping, even if you support a family on one average income.

People, it IS possible. It isn’t even that difficult. You just have to stop being a consumer and start thinking about ways to get what you want or need at discounted prices. Most of the time all you lose is the convenience, a service that so many people pay bookoo dollars for.

By flexing my frugal muscles I double my available dollars and every little green soldier will fight to bring my family towards FIRE.

How do you work towards FIRE?

Your well-paying job, frugality, and index funds?

A side business or hustle?

Something else? Let me know in a comment below.

4 comments

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  1. FIbythecommonguy

    Excellent accomplishments so far this year. Congrats on the near 10% increase YTD. Smart moves, side hustling, and keeping the urge to spend in check. I might have missed it, but did you sell the Mazda3? Look forward to following your journey.
    FIbythecommonguy recently posted…Taking Lunch to WorkMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Thank you so much! I neglected finances and investments for quite some time in my life, but luckily I kept out of a lot of bad debt. Even though I stayed mostly out of debt, I still spent all that I earned. Once I changed my mindset at the end of 2014/beggining of 2015 it is amazing how fast our net worth has increased.

      No, I plan on keeping the Mazda3. When we had out first child the wife used my Mazda3 as the family vehicle and I got her 2003 Mustang. I don’t like it too much, uses too much gas and not enough hauling space. Will sell that one once I clean it up a bit.

  2. Mr Defined Sight

    Great job!!! I have never heard of Robinhood brokerage. Have they been around for a few years? A person can save so much if there are no fees. I just worry about the longevity of those companies.

    I’m surprised the sellers didn’t attempt to clean up the vehicle before they sold it. Like you said, that is the easiest thing that a person can do. Great job on the finances!
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…Remove the Clutter and Find Some Cash!My Profile

    1. MrDD

      Robinhood really got going in the summer of 2015. I was accepted into the beta in September and have put money in, made trades, taken money out with no problems. It is a member of SIPC which provides $500k in account protection. I think the plan is to get a ton of members and then sell to a large stock trading house. Just my guess though. In the mean time, I am enjoying FREE trades.

      Some people just want things gone ASAP. I try to find those people when I am looking to resell or for my own use. I will never know how much it will save me over the course of my life, but I have a feeling it will be a substantial number.

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