You may have noticed that my articles have gotten fewer and further between. I truly enjoy writing on Stapler Confessions, and now that I’m typing up another Net Worth Update, I realize now much I missed doing these.
The pace of life has quickened, however, and the demands on my writing and internet time have shifted to my professional online presence. Sure, I still re-cover lamps and cut rugs myself, I have yard sales and sell stuff on Craigslist and Facebook Yard Sales. But I haven’t made the time to write about it.
I have loved clearing out the clutter in my home recently, from jewelry to clothing to stuff. I’ve found that, with less clutter, my mind is freer to focus on the areas that bring me joy. I’m not looking at junk that I intend to re-sell or fix or re-purpose. I’m not looking at a stack of magazines to read.
Decluttering my home has decluttered my psyche.
To that end, this is probably my last Net Worth Update. I’ve sold out.
Yup — I’ve sold out! And I’m thrilled.
I haven’t been giving Stapler Confessions the love and attention it deserves. The guilt of not posting has weighed on me. I love to write here, but I loathe finding images, making a pin, promoting it in social media, messing with updates and broken servers, and all the rest of the junk that has nothing to do with writing about frugal living and free batteries.
I believe that the buyer will take good care of the site, and grow it so more people can benefit from the scrappy thriftiness hidden in these pages. I hope you will get even more from it, too.
With that said, let’s do the numbers!
Instead of comparing our current finances to my last Net Worth Update, I’m comparing the numbers to my very first Net Worth, in November, 2013.
Here it is:
November 2013 v. October 2016:
Three Year Net Worth Update:
Cash: -$20,067. Womp womp. I know, that sucks. The 2013 balance includes some savings for anticipated tax payments, and cash has flowed through our hands in the past three years as well. Most recently, to buy a new (to us) car.
Credit Cards: +$3,879. This is good to see. I mean, why do we have more money on credit cards?! We don’t carry a balance from month to month, but why is almost $9,000 going through our hands each month? (Some of this was business spending, but that doesn’t account for a $3,800 increase)
Loans: +$477,054. That’s called “buying a house in a booming real estate market.” To give you some perspective on this, our original mortgage was $517,500. That tells us that, despite becoming deeper in debt, we have paid down $40,446 in the last three years (and little bit more, once payment on this blog comes through!).
Investments: +$25,359. Combined with paying off $40,000 in debt, this is not too shabby.
Property: +$602,842. Yup. All the red above adds up to this green at the bottom. Smaller cash reserves and higher debt, but significantly higher assets. Zillow tells us that the house has already appreciated $55,000 since we bought it, but I use the actual sales price in our Net Worth calculation because it’s more reliable.
Net Worth: +$127,200. In three years, with two layoffs and one new baby. Not. Too. Shabby.
Q4 Goals (and beyond):
- Pay Off a Student Loan: I’m being selfish and using the proceeds from the sale of this blog to pay off one of my private loans — the 3.5% loan.
- Maintain a positive net worth: I don’t need to explain this, do I?
- Build a healthy safety cushion in my business account: Some of my recent business success resulted from an attorney who had to go on medical leave. She transferred several clients to me. It’s a sad reminder of the solo practitioner’s need for a financial safety net if the unexpected occurs.
- Eliminate Non-Mortgage Debt by 2020. This is really ambitious, but that’s why it’s a goal. $169,000 to go …
- Pay Cash for Major Purchases. I hope we will never take on debt again. I hope that we will pay cash (again) for our next car, pay cash for an addition on our house (we would like to have a garage), and pay cash for our children’s college educations. That last one might be a stretch, but I can dream!
In preparation for losing my goal-setting and accountability framework in Stapler Confessions, I signed up for a “Get Out of Debt” Mastermind through Jackie Beck, the talented, debt-free, entrepreneur behind The Debt Myth. It involves monthly check-ins on debt-payoff progress; and I hope it will keep me on track. When I need some frugal wisdom, I plan to stop on by the vibrant community in the Mr. Money Mustache Forum.
How about you — how do you keep yourself financially accountable?