May 2017 Net Worth Update

May.SNWWelcome to another installment of our Statement of Net Worth updates!

I have been slacking on posting lately, I apologize for that. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to share with my readers so I’m hoping to get back in to posting once weekly. Also, I’m on Instagram! Please follow me @networthnegative.

We have made a nice recovery from last month’s decrease of $3,354 with an increase this month of $3,011!

I’m excited because I don’t foresee us having any more decreases in our Net Worth for about another year. I am considering the Central A/C replacement in March of 2018, and we will be buying a used car that same month because our lease for the Equinox is up 3/31/2018.

But, I digress. On to the breakdown!

Statement of Net Worth. May

Assets

Only one decrease in assets this month which is the Dodge Dart depreciation. Quite a sizeable decrease though. $268 in only one month!

You may have noticed that the Savings – Tax CD account name has been changed to Savings – Car Ins. I mentioned to you guys in a previous post how I was unable to put anything extra toward debt for a few months because we were recovering from our car insurance costs. Well, now I have made a plan to contribute an equal monthly amount to this account automatically so that we will be able to make our car insurance payment in one go. We also charge this bill automatically to our credit card and earn 1.5% cash back on it. Winning all around!

The car insurance is due 5/11/2017 so we will have a ginormous decrease in this account next month. Sad face. We are being charged an exorbitant amount due to having our son on our policy and then we recently discovered 1 error on each of our credit reports so we are working on getting those errors fixed and then we will shop around for different car insurance quotes. I heard a quote today: “Your insurance company isn’t loyal to you, so don’t be loyal to your insurance company! Shop around!” I do love my agent though, but he’s not worth $2,020.32 for full coverage on 3 cars for 6 months. Sorry, Chris!

Liabilities

2 liabilities increased in value this month and that was the CP Credit Card and Navient. The CP Credit Card continues to be a problem. We went on a bit of a spending spree for my birthday (April 5), and we spent a lot this weekend attending my best friends graduation (flowers, parking, gifts). My card has been put away since the day after my birthday, but my husband still has his and refuses to be cooperative.

Many of our credit card transactions are restaurant visits for us. I like to think that I’m doing much better about cooking dinner at home every night, but the credit card statement says otherwise. Also, my husband is a fan of picking up the check when he has lunch with friends much to my chagrin. His generous spirit needs to be reined in.

As for Navient, this was an odd increase this month. Typically we see over $100 increase each  month but this month it was only $87! I think that may be due to the timing of the month when I’m writing this post. It’s the earliest I think that I’ve ever been able to give an update on our net worth since I changed both our student loans to autodraft on the 1st instead of the 3rd of the months.

Overall, we see an increase in net worth of $3,011 and that brings our Net Worth for 5/2017 to $(67,713). Our record highest net worth was in 11/2016 of $(66,969). I’m sure we can beat that next month! We have only had 2 consecutive months of net worth increases since we started tracking in 10/2016 so having consecutive months of increases in our net worth will be another goal.

Coming up in May:

Fully funded baby emergency fund – $1,000

Drastic decrease in Savings – Car Ins

0 increases in liability accounts???

Thank you for reading and following our journey!

XOXO,
Dolores

April 2017 Net Worth Update

It’s time for our Net Worth update for the month of April!

We were finally able to get 100% of our April bills paid on the last day of March, which is our goal. The reason for the delay in releasing our net worth is because I have to wait for the payments to post to our student loan accounts so we can have the updated balances. We have signed up for auto-pay on both of our accounts so that we can save the additional .25% on our interest rate. Every bit helps! My husbands comes out on the 1st of each month and then takes a few days to post, while mine comes out on the 3rd of each month and posts immediately. So our net worth updates will typically be around the 4th of the month or so.

On to the update!

Statement of Net Worth. April

Assets

The decreases in our Dart, Checking, and Savings – Reg account are typical fluctuations. The checking account is a holding place for our spending money, and the Savings – Reg is a holding account for our bill money. Since all the bills were just paid, the Savings – Reg is pretty low at the moment and just beginning to accumulate money for May bills which will be paid on 4/28/2017.

The only decrease that is unexpected is in the Savings – Emergency account. We had to use $800 of our $1,000 emergency fund to take out tree that fell in our yard during a windstorm. There is only a $275 decrease reported because at the end of March we had $525 left over so it went back in the Emergency Fund. At this point any excess remaining after we pay bills will first go toward getting our Emergency Fund back up to $1,000 and then toward a liability account: either CP Visa or Personal Loan which both have an interest rate of 9%. More about that later.

Liabilties

We have some pretty drastic increases in value in our Liabilites accounts which I’m not proud of, the most of it being the CP Visa account. While you only see an increase of $106, this is an increase reported despite this account receiving $400 in payments since our last update. That means we spent about $500 on the credit card this month. We obviously need to put the credit cards away again.

Our Navient account increased by $135 this month, which is a bit more than March and February ($100 and $101 respectively). This account is increasing in value due to my Income Based Repayment Plan payment amount of $90.61 not being enough to offset the interest that accrues each month. We have a goal of sending this account an additional $175 per month, focusing on the account with the lowest balance and highest interest first. I believe we can start doing this in May.

The huge increase in our Home Depot account is due to buying a new furnace under a 0% for 24 months financing plan. The hope here was to save money on our gas bills, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen because 70 degrees on the new thermostat feels so much colder than 70 degrees on our old thermostat, so the heat has been turned up to 74 at times. We have been working out the kinks of getting on a schedule where we have the heat turn down to 62 degrees when we aren’t home and when we are sleeping, but the kids were on spring break and my husband was on vacation this week so there was a whole lot of turning the heat up going on. We will see how it goes, though.

Our Capital One increase is due to fluctuations in regular monthly bills that are put on autopay, and is currently carrying a balance of $1,609.53 toward the 0% balance transfer for the HHR we transferred to our son.

Overall, we have a decrease in net worth of $3,354 which is to be expected due to adding the debt for our new furnace. Our net worth is now (70,724) which is just a bit lower than our all time low in January 2017 of (70,620).

Coming up….

We had planned to do a 0% balance transfer this month for the Personal Loan but I haven’t received an offer from Capital One to do so yet, so I’m just waiting for that invitation. Funny they seem to come every other month but once I am counting on using one, it’s nowhere to be found! Once we receive one we will move forward with transferring that balance.

All about our furnace replacement – and an extra repair that needs to be done which was found at the time of installation!

Medical bill negotiation – Compassionate Care Success!

Student Loan Breakdown – Look for an upcoming blog post displaying the balances of each of my 11(!) student loan accounts and the plan of attack.

As always, thanks for reading and talk again soon.

XOXO

Dolores

Small Scale Home Improvement Goals

 

I have mentioned previously how I am trying to increase not only the value of our home so that it can help our Statement of Net Worth but I am also trying to increase our intrinsic value of our home.

My goal here is to make the home as comfortable for us as possible so that we stay here as long as possible. We however are not going to go overboard with a $15,000 kitchen and bath renovation! I have listed a few small things that we can improve over time that will not break the budget but will make our home so much more enjoyable.

Dishwasher

The dishwasher has been broken for quite some time. It is old, clunky, and doesn’t wash dishes all that well. I have gone through different phases of rinsing the dishes really well before putting them in the dishwasher to washing the dishes and then putting them in the dishwasher to rinse and sanitize.

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One day, I went to throw a load of laundry in while the dishwasher was running, and realized it was raining in the basement!! The dishwasher was literally pouring water through the floor and through the ceiling of the basement!  And it was falling directly in to my laundry room sink so I had never noticed because I had never happened to go in to the basement while the dishwasher was running. What makes matters worse is that the water was raining right next to an electrical box. We were risking our home every time I ran the dishwasher and I even didn’t know it.

New dishwasher: About $500

Floor

I have tried to get the dishwasher replaced before with a tax return a few years ago but learned that the laminate flooring was actually built up around the dishwasher. We were told by the Sears installer that we would have to completely rip up the floor in order to put a new dishwasher in. Which I’m kind of okay with because look at this floor!

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It was like this when we moved in and it’s probably damaged due to the leaky dishwasher.

We have original hardwood throughout the house so you would wonder why they covered it up with a fake wood sticker, but my husband pointed out that it was probably so the transition to this added room would match.

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Ripping up a whole floor is way out of our budget, though. I was told by another handyman that we could actually lift up the counter top, swap out the dishwasher and then put the counter back down and re-caulk it. That will be the plan, and I would like to of course replace the flooring (cover it up) at some point with a realistic tile like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Armstrong-CeraRoma-16-in-x-16-in-Cliffside-Beige-Groutable-Vinyl-Tile-24-89-sq-ft-case-A6207161/202709126

Approximate cost for flooring materials for approximately 124 SF: $300+

Garbage Disposal

I would really like a garbage disposal and I think it would make my life easier because my family is constantly throwing scraps in the sink with their dishes as if we have one!

http://www.homedepot.com/p/InSinkErator-Badger-5-1-2-HP-Continuous-Feed-Garbage-Disposal-BADGER-5/100091168

Garbage disposal: About $100

Speaking of the laundry room sink….

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This thing is dark and scary looking. Especially with our old washer that used a ton of water! Sometimes it would get clogged and I would have to reach down in to the murky depths to clear hair and lint out of the drain while imagining dead mice and other scary things that I might be touching that I couldn’t see!

When we bought the house, the hot water faucet was broken, and when we swapped out the old washer and dryer my husband had a hard time with the pipes because they are so old and corroded.

I’d love this one:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/BigTub-Utilatub-Combo-40-in-x-24-in-Polypropylene-Single-Floor-Mount-with-Pull-Out-Faucet-P-Trap-and-Supply-Lines-in-White-28CF/203155730

New laundry room sink and faucet: About $200

Interior Doors

We have old fashioned bedroom and bathroom doors with the old fashioned doorknobs, the kinds that screw on to a square pole. Our door handles are completely stripped out so they go flying off their poles and sometimes they go missing.

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My daughter is taking advantage of the situation by using it as a way to lock her door. This is a safety concern however; if there was a fire we would have to bust her door down!

Not to mention the bathroom door. Our husky, Aspen is a bit claustrophobic. We tried kenneling him and he would poop and pee in his kennel and pace and try to chew his way out, and actually broke a tooth! So we tried leaving him in the bathroom while we were gone to work and school for the day. He pooped and peed and paced in there, too and it would take forever to get the smell out of the house, and well, this happened:

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We have since discovered if we leave him loose in the house while we are gone and make sure that our house is completely dog proof all he does is take a nap on the sofa (where he’s not allowed) and looks out the window. I just have to sweep off the sofa every day, and I’m okay with that.

I found some really great door handles on Amazon for $12. Similar door handles with privacy locks run about $30 at Home Depot.

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We were advised by the handyman that we could fill the old door holes, sand them down and repaint them so they look nice, and drill a larger hole for the more modern door handles . This would be ideal since our house is very old, these doors all have very odd dimensions, however I’m not sure if that idea will work on our bedroom door. It has a weird block of wood that I’ve never really noticed before, and I’m not sure what that’s all about.

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Cost of modern-izing doors: Unknown! My handyman quoted me a price of $75 per door and then promptly stopped answering my calls. I also don’t know if I need new doors, or if the ones we have can be salvaged so I can’t even make a good estimation of what that would be.

One of my best friends advised me of an app called ThumbTack where you can list the work you need done along with pictures, and handymen will bid to do your work for you! I got some quotes for doing that work but then we had to go to the funeral in NYC so I haven’t followed up on them yet.

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And finally, the furnace and air conditioner. I have a HVAC company coming out today at 3pm to give a quote on a new system through Home Depot’s 24 month 0% interest financing. If the system costs $4,000 this will increase our monthly bills about $175 a month but I have faith that it will make our electric and gas bills so much more affordable. Also, it increases our value of the home because it will be more comfortable and the heat will reach to all the rooms in the house.

Our air conditioner is from the 1980s and our furnace is much older than that and they are both very inefficient!

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*UPDATE*

I originally wrote this post on March 11, 2017 and today is March 21, 2017. The HVAC Company did come out and quoted us $7,100 for both the furnace and the air conditioner. This would have increased our bills $300 a month for 24 months which I was sure we could afford, but my husband talked some sense in to me.

He said that right now everything is perfect, but we should figure our bills on what we could afford if one of us lost our income. That’s a huge factor because with Home Depot 0% financing, the fine print is that if you are ever late on your payment, or if you take longer than the 24 months to pay off your purchase, then you agree to pay your regular interest rate amount retroactively, back to the date of the original purchase! I already knew this of course, but I hadn’t thought so far as to think “What if something happens?”

So long story short, we decided to just go with the furnace for now. The cost of the furnace alone is $3,852 and will get us the Wi-Fi thermostat installed which will also help with the cost of cooling in the summer because we can change the heat and AC from our phones, and also set up schedules with the app.

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Shannon over at financially-blonde.com often asks what our “sacred cow” is. You can only have one, and I think mine is home improvements and/or 0% financing. I know that this will decrease my net worth quite a bit, but having a comfortable sanctuary to come home to is more important to me. And, as long as we always keep that buffer I think the risk we assume when taking on a new loan is minimal.

Finally, here is a repair that we have finally accomplished! Meet our old bathroom sink, Mr. Sink Face.

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Oh, how I hated Mr. Sink Face. I hated it because there was no cabinet space, it was bolted to the wall and sloped downward so everything slid off of it (phones, toothbrushes, soap dispensers). My son, who has Spina Bifida couldn’t lean on the sink to support himself while brushing his teeth and washing his face. It was hugely inconvenient.

When we got our income tax refund my husband and I split it in half to use on each of our “sacred cows”. His is travel, mine is home improvements. We each had $340 that we put in a cash envelope.  I posted the job for the interior doors on Thumb Tack, but we know that didn’t work out. In the meantime, I saw someone on one of those Facebook For Sale groups selling a vanity with attached sink for $75! I quickly jumped on that, talked her down to $70, got my husband and his friend to install everything, and now we have this:

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I am in love.

Do you have a sacred cow? Tell me what yours is in the comment section!

As always, thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Dolores

Blessings Abound

I am an aspiring minimalist and own very few items. I don’t purchase clothes or shoes for myself unless I absolutely love them. I also am very savvy at shopping sales and never pay full price for anything. If I have to pay full price that makes an item 75% less attractive to me!

It’s not unusual for me to go through a purge and start cleaning my closet and home of things I don’t love anymore, and I did that this past weekend.  I donated books that have been sitting around for years to my local library and I have a basket in the dining room where I collect items to be donated which I took to Goodwill.

The great thing about working at the dance studio is I have to pass the library on the way there. I stopped in last Saturday when I made my donation and looked through the personal finance section and saw lots of books that I wanted to read! Unfortunately time didn’t allow for my to actually check one out, but I hope to do so this Thursday or Saturday. Also, the dance studio is located across the street from Goodwill so I can drop off our unwanted items there very easily and regularly.

I think we have all heard the advice to sell unwanted items around the house for help coming up with funds. Since I am a little behind on bills I decided to do just that, and I had some gems around the house that I was having trouble letting go of, but I went ahead and  listed them for sale on my local Facebook Buy Sell Trade page and couldn’t be happier.

blessings-about

I sold 2 pairs of jeans that fit a little too large and just made me kind of sad every time I would attempt to wear them. The colors were adorable and I had shoes that matched perfectly but they were baggy in the thighs and fell down my butt. 😦 They got me $15.

I sold a brand new pair of Nikes that I bought for my daughter for gym class, but she never had gym last year and refuses to wear sneakers (girly girl problems). I got $20 for those.

I sold another pair of Nikes that were a touch too small for me which made me upset because I loved them so much and I wanted them to fit! I even put water bags in the toes and froze them over night in an attempt to stretch them out, but no dice. Those got me $15.

I sold an Ann Cherry waist trainer that I was so sure I wanted over year ago and cost $50 but was way too small on me. I kept it for a while for thinspiration but it was just gathering dust and looking ugly in the closet. I got $20 for that.

So, this is all money now that can go toward catching up on those bills at the end of the month! Great news, right?

I have found that when I bless others, blessings come my way. Read what happens next…

Yesterday I got an email from the dance studio very apologetically asking if I could come in to work this Saturday (it was supposed to be my off weekend). I said, “Absolutely! I have nothing better to do.” There’s $50 more toward bills.

Today I received my paystub and found that my check was $50 more than I anticipated due to being refunded for a payroll error for the last 2 weeks. I still don’t have my new normal paycheck amount, but based on this week’s paystub I’m thinking I might bring home $25 more a week from the changes I made to my health insurance for 2017. Great! I’ll find out for sure next week. In any case, $50 more toward bills this week!

I got home from work today and had a check in the mail from the bank where we originally had the Dodge Dart financed. A refund of $21.55 for loan over payment. This will be $25 more toward bills!

Have you ever found unexpected money once you decided to get serious about your debt? Have you been blessed when you decided to make a donation to charity? I’d love to hear about it!

A Very Merry Weekly Recap

Just in time for the New Year I have decided to take a new direction with my blog, which is more of the direction I had originally planned in my first blog post.

I recently heard an interview in which Andrew at familymoneyplan.com stated that he didn’t try to blog about how to get out of debt, but how HE got out of debt. That really hit home for me. I have been slow at posting lately because I struggled to come up with detailed, well thought out, informative posts for my readers when my mission was to document THIS family’s journey to have a positive net worth.

So, going forward I will document our wins and losses as I always planned to do.  Let’s start now.

12/21/2016

Today I was in touch with our credit union to request the interest rate reduction on our personal loan, and was advised that we could transfer our loan for our Dodge Dart from Huntington at a 4.49% interest rate to the credit union at a 3.99% interest rate.

Christmas has us just a little “short” on bills. I say this even though we never pay our bills late. My strategy as the family accountant is to save our paychecks all month long, and on the last pay-day of the month we pay all the bills that are due the following month regardless of their due date. So at the end of December, we would have been $650 short on paying 100% of all the January bills, so I would have to pay 2 of the January bills on 1/8, and those 2 were due 1/10 and 1/11. No big deal, but I don’t like when this happens! It’s a signal to me that we have mismanaged our money this month.

When our credit union told me the terms of the new loan agreement, the payment amount dropped about $40 a month but mostly because the term is now 60 months. On the old loan our terms were 54 months. Also, our first payment will not be due until 2/4, so we are skipping the January payment. The financial side of me knows that it’s a bad idea to skip a payment and to extend the loan, but in the short-term it really helps! I figure once I catch up and pay off things that are costing us more money in interest I can work this down quickly.

We also added GAP insurance for $399 since we owe more on the Dart than it is worth, so we will see the balance owed on the car go up again this month.

I have also created a list of all the loans we have currently that cost us interest.  I have a plan of attack which basically amounts to the debt avalanche method (paying off highest interest first). Whenever I start thinking about these plans I get excited and carried away and start planning the next debt, and the next debt until I find myself planning budgets for 3 years in the future! I’m not joking!

There is some marital discord because my husband wants to buy a new home because the one we are living in now is really a starter home. I would like to stay modest in the home that we have and spruce it up to our standards. I also want to buy rental properties, but my husband wants us to be in a better home first. I can’t plan too far in to the future (ie: past 10/2017) because at that point I would really like to be throwing all I can at my student loans, and my husband would like to pile up money for a down payment on another home. I usually do go with what my husband wants first, because as long as he’s happy then I can go about doing what I want! What do you think the best course of action would be? The more I have been thinking about it, I start to think that maybe we can halve our savings between a down payment on a new hone, and paying off student loans. But I have also heard a saying, “If you aim at many targets you’ll miss them all’, which basically means to focus on one thing at a time.

It’s killing me not to be able to look ahead. I guess all we can do is take it one day at a time…And I’ll continue with the small home improvements here and there to make our humble abode ever so slightly less cumbersome.

12/22/2016

Today was No Spend Thursday and I started the day off by buying a $2.12 Extra Large coffee from Tim Horton’s because I knew I had a big shipping project to work on at my first job. Then, I went to my second job at the dance studio and bought crackers and a soda for $1.50 with $2 I found in my husband’s pocket while I was sorting laundry 😉 So we had a tiny bit of a fail for No Spend Thursday and it was all on me!

12/23/2016

I’m writing this just before noon in my PJs sipping on a coffee from a Santa mug. I’m going to have a busy day today. We need to:

  1. Grocery shop for Christmas Eve dinner
  2. Put up the Christmas tree
  3. Finish wrapping the Christmas presents
  4. Clean house

Luckily only one of these costs money! Christmas Eve dinner shouldn’t be too bad since I coupon a lot, I have a lot of the stuff I need stockpiled, and some stuff left over from Thanksgiving. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  1. Small Turkey Breast
  2. Ham with Pineapple
  3. Stuffing
  4. Mashed Potatoes
  5. Macaroni and Cheese
  6. Green Bean Casserole
  7. Hawaiian Rolls
  8. Apple Pie & Chocolate Pudding Pie
  9. Watergate Salad (made by my mom!)

An update from Future Dolores: Christmas Eve dinner cost about $50, and we got all our goals accomplished this day. Win!

12/24

One of our big splurge events happens on Black Friday. This is when we give ourselves the green light to go ahead and buy things that we really want if they are on sale. Some of the things we bought this Black Friday were:

  1. An electric fireplace for my daughter – $38 marked down from $70 (the heat doesn’t quite reach up to her room in our old drafty home)
  2. A pair of boots for myself and my daughter – $20 each, marked down from $80 each
  3. 4 pairs of leggings for my daughter – $5 each marked down from $20 each
  4. 2 boxes of Tupperware – $10 each
  5. Decorative baskets – $10 (I have a thing for baskets and boxes)
  6. 2 double slow cookers – $20 each

I can’t remember what my husband and son got!  Anyway, last night we had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and I was finally able to use those double crock pots for the first time. All other Thanksgivings and Christmas Eves in this home we have had disposable tin foil pans laid out along the table and I would be stressed out trying to time everything so it got done at the same time. This year I was able to cook the stuffing and green bean casserole early and just throw them in the crockpots on warm. In the other crock pots I put the mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. I wasn’t too worried about the turkey and ham, but then my mom came over with her Christmas gifts, and what did she give me? A 3 pan warmer! I was a little disappointed at first because I really liked my slow cooker set up better, and my mom comes to all the holiday dinners so there’s no way I could get out of using it without hurting her feelings – but then I discovered that it perfectly fit our turkey breast, ham, and dinner rolls!

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The picture doesn’t do it justice; I snapped the picture quickly before my phone died, but Christmas Eve dinner looked so beautiful and stayed warm for everyone to get seconds and thirds, including my nephew who couldn’t make it until 8pm due to work. Truly a wonderful Christmas Eve.

I hope your holidays were just as great!

XOXO,

Dolores

December 2016 Net Worth Update

Hello, World and welcome to our December 2016 Statement of Net Worth!

statement-of-net-worth-december

This month we see a decrease (egad!) in our Net Worth because we bought a 2013 Dodge Dart. Buying cars is definitely a learning process for us and I expect we will get better as time goes on. This was an expense that we expected and did plan for. The car was for sale for $10,000 and we negotiated with the dealership to get the price down to $9,400 which I thought was awesome. We were aiming for $9,000 but there was really nothing wrong with the car so we went ahead and paid that. BUT my husband really wanted a warranty added on to the car. We disagreed about this so we came to the conclusion that we will go ahead and get the warranty because he really wanted it, and I would feel terrible if something happened to the car where we needed the warranty! It cost $2,495 and was added on to the loan, which automatically makes it cost more. I really wasn’t happy about this! But we went ahead and added it to the loan and we are using it as a learning experience. I have an ongoing note of the repairs that we get under this 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. If the costs don’t exceed $2,495, going forward we will know to opt out of the warranty for future car purchases and just hold that money aside in an Emergency Fund especially for car repairs.

I looked up the car value using Kelly Blue Book and I believe I selected excellent condition, and sell to a private party. Dealerships are always more expensive but we aren’t to the point yet that we are ready to risk going to a private seller. I might attempt it when I buy my daughter’s VW Beetle in 2018. Scott Alan Turner had some good ideas on how to achieve this: Look up the cars you want on your preferred search tool, and then arrange for the seller to take the car to the dealership for an inspection. If everything is up to par then you go ahead and buy the car. If everything is not up to par, you and the seller both know what cards are on the table and you can perhaps negotiate the price even lower if you are still interested in buying the car. If not, you’re out the cost of the inspection but that’s a small price to pay because you avoided buying a lemon. Plus, you could save thousands by going to a private seller. Just look at our deficit for the Dodge Dart: It is worth $7,524 had we purchased it from a private party and we owe $12,526… Stupid warranty. Grr.

On to our regularly scheduled breakdown:

Assets

­The value of our home went up $477! Great news, but nothing under our control, just the fluctuations of the housing market.

The HHR went down in value $46 which isn’t a big deal, but what will be a big deal is when I sign this car over to my son it will be coming off our Assets resulting in another $2,000 decrease in net worth! I really don’t want to hit $(70,000)!

In regards to the Christmas Club and Vacation Club accounts, my husband and I have agreed to make a New Year’s Resolution to increase the automatic transfers in to these accounts from $5/week to $20/week! That will be super helpful come Christmastime next year, and should allow for something of a vacation eventually.

On to the ugly…

Liabilities

This was the first month of our increased principal payment due to the regular monthly payment amount due dropping from the escrow adjustment last month. So our mortgage decreased $124 instead of only $95 in November.

We will be scoring a 5.5% interest rate reduction on our personal loan later this month due to our credit scores increasing 2 letter grades in 1 year, so that will help take more off the principal until I add this to my Capital One 0% balance transfer I have planned for April.

Some awesome news is that we paid off my 401(k) loan last month! I left it on the spreadsheet to reflect the 0 balance, but I’ll be taking if off next month. I can’t wait for the day when we have more asset accounts than liability accounts. Maybe in April when I  transfer the personal loan to Capital One.

I made my first Income Based Repayment Plan payment to Navient this month, and my balance actually went UP $161! How heartbreaking, right? There were some hiccups with autopay which was supposed to start 11/3 and then again 12/3 but they never drafted, so I had to call and make the payment myself. I’m going to watch next month and see what the balance increases to and then increase my payment that much. It stinks I’ll have to pay that much extra just to keep from falling deeper in to debt, but if I had done it years ago I wouldn’t be paying compounding interest on the balance now. I have to draw the line somewhere! I can’t choose to wait for the 25 year forgiveness to save me because my balance will have grown to $81,000 by then and all of that will be counted as income on that tax year. Plus, I just want it gone. I really want to pay this off.

Home Depot went up a little bit because we purchased a leaf blower, the expense of which was offset by my payment. This will actually be going up quite a bit more in the next month or 2 because I’m planning on updating the bedroom and bathroom doors in our home. I’m doing a bit here and there to try to not only increase the value of our home but increase OUR value of the home. I am trying to make it as comfortable and accommodating as possible so we are happy in it as long as possible.

Our Capital One account balance has decreased $351 thanks to $275 coming of for the 0% HHR payment, and other miscellaneous balance changes that happen month to month since we have many of our bills on autopay and pay it in full each month.

And here we have our December 2016 Net Worth amount of: $(69,580)! A decrease of $2,611 from November. Whomp Whomp.

Fun Facts:

This month we have started a New Month Resolution called No Spend Thursdays! I have been inspired by Youtubers who engage in No Spend Months but I really can’t imagine going that long without spending! Another Youtuber suggested to start out small by having a certain day of the week where you don’t spend anything. That’s Thursday for this Family!

Exciting Changes Coming Up in January:

  • Increased principal payment to personal loan due to interest rate reduction
  • Increased auto transfer of $20 to Christmas and Vacation Clubs

I really wish this month had more success to share. I love that this blog and the monthly updates keep me accountable.

Talk again soon!

XOXO,

Dolores

November 2016 Net Worth Update

Welcome to our November Net Worth Update!

This has been a great month with some exciting changes. I am happy to report our Net Worth grew $356 in the month of October, and I would like to explain what happened to help contribute to this change. First of all, on the fateful night of 10/4/2016 I jammed all of our numbers together, assets and liabilities in to very rough estimates. For 11/1/2016 I have actually researched each number.

You may have noticed I’ve changed the look of the Statement of Net Worth so that we can now see the current amount, previous months amount, and the amount of change. Also we have some “fire” editing to show which assets have decreased in value and which liabilities have increased.

statement-of-net-worth-november

Assets

I get our home’s value from zillow.com, and for some unknown reason our home decreased in value over $1,400! There’s nothing I can really do to control that except for work on my home to try to inch the value up over time. A house recently sold a couple doors down for us that was in really poor shape, so I may see this number fall even more in the coming months.

For the HHR, I get the value from Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) and select the year, make, model, mileage, and mark it as good condition. Last month I went through all of the questions and was told the car was in good condition, so I’ll be going with that from now on, and then I select the tab for a private sale. We are up $191! I didn’t expect that. I thought it would fall by bits and pieces as it ages.

I have the real 401(k) amounts now. My husband had no idea what his log in information was! We were going to update his elections to a Target Date Mutual Fund because he had never made a selection (I can’t preach too much there; I just learned to make my own selections after reading 99 Minute Millionaire by Scott Alan Turner) but his company automatically put him in his Target Date Fund so that was cool! Now we are working with real numbers!

Our checking account always looks sad and will typically be less than $100 because this account is a holding place for our spending money that’s how much we usually have allotted for any given week.

Our regular savings account is equally sad when you guys see the balance because we have just paid every bill in one big chunk after saving up for the entire month.

Our Christmas savings is now in our regular savings account waiting for presents to be bought. We are thinking about upping our contributions to these “club” accounts (Christmas and Vacation) from $5 a week to $20 a week, but that’s still in the talks. These automatic contributions come from our spending money.

Liabilities

Our mortgage went down just a little bit thanks to interest. There is an exciting update here as well! Our mortgage payment is actually going down $30 because of an escrow recalculation, but we are still going to keep sending what we have always sent. Doing this will shave 5 years off the mortgage and save up $12,000 in interest over time!

You may notice the HHR loan says $0.00! That’s right! We paid it off with a 0% balance transfer to my Capital One account for 12 months. Speaking of Capital One, I failed to include this account on my very first Statement of Net Worth because I figured if I pay it off every month it’s not a “real” liability. Well, now it’s going to be carrying the balance of the HHR and I have a goal of transferring the personal loan to it around April 2017 if I can score another credit limit increase (my score is 3 for 3 currently. I’d say odds are in our favor). So, now I send $275 ($3,259/12 months rounded up to the nearest $25) to pay that off within 12 months. Yay!

The CP Visa should really be a lot better. We send this debt $100/wk and seem to use it up as soon as we pay it. Hopefully next month is better, but I’m not sure with the holidays coming up…

Rent-a-Center has been paid off. Another 0% interest success story. The chest freezer is all mine!

Navient. Ugh. This is the main reason why doing these reports are so good for me. I get to actually see how much this debt grows when I don’t have to pay anything on it at all. My payments have recently been increased from $0 to $100 starting this month actually, so it will still grow if I don’t give it more money, but at least not by as much as it has been. I really dreaded logging in to Navient and getting the new balance but I’m really glad that I did. It’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. Someday I will go Gazelle Intense on this loan!

Great Lakes is my husband’s student loan and this one only grew because I estimated his balance last month and I have the true balance now.

Vermuelen’s and Home Depot are coming down as expected, but I plan to use Home Depot again in the near future for either interior door replacement (our bedroom doors are very old solid monstrosities and the door handles keep coming apart; my mother in law was stuck in the restroom for a while when she came to visit over the summer), or replacing the bathroom vanity which only has a floating sink at the moment (my son could use a supported sink because he cannot stand, and the added storage space would be great). I expect the charge to be less than $500 no matter which option we go with.We are still in talks of which of these 2 options will add the most value to our lives. Do you have an opinion?

The Capital One has of course increased $3,188 because it has absorbed the liability of the HHR.

And there we have our new Net Worth Negative amount of: $(66,969)!

Some exciting changes coming up in November:

  • I will be receiving my first pay checks for my side hustle at The Jackson School of the Arts
  • I just sent off $400 from our escrow adjustment to pay off the 401(k) loan
  • My first payment (ever!) to Navient will post this month
  • Our first increased mortgage payment will be sent 11/30/2016

Fun Facts:

  • If our Net Worth continues to grow at the rate of $356 it will take us just under 16 years to become Net Worth Positive!
  • Our Net Worth grew 0.5% this month

I really enjoyed this chat and I hope you will join me next month for our December Statement of Net Worth and join me every Saturday for tips on how I save money!

Talk again soon!

XOXO,

Dolores