April 2016 Net Worth Update

April was a busy month. I’ve gotten comfortable in my new position at work, flown cross country three times, and as I write this my son is inexplicably singing a made up song about budgets to the tune of Lady Gaga’s Poker Face (I think he learned the tune from some kids show, but the excessive use of the word budget is probably my fault).

Despite tepid growth in the stock market, April was another pretty good month for our net worth. We finished April at $549k, or up just over $9k.

Our cash went up slightly, and we’re trying to decide on whether and when to make some large purchases we’ve been thinking about. We’re considering things like new kitchen appliances or a fence for the backyard, each of which would be several thousand dollars. As far as kitchen appliances go, the only reason we haven’t acted yet is because the purchase falls squarely in the ‘want’ category and not the ‘need’ column. All of the appliances are working, but if we replace anything we feel like we’d need to replace them all so that they match. More to come on this, but it’s in interesting conundrum to be in where we have the cash to buy something but our desire to keep the cash is, at some times, greater than the enjoyment we’d get from the purchases.

In the investments arena, nothing has really changed. Including employer match, we add 14% of my gross income to 401k each month. About one third of our investment growth this month was really just our regular contributions with the other two thirds being actual gains in the market. We continue to be primarily invested in stock index funds but did not make any reallocation changes in the month.

Our cars seem to be pretty much fully depreciated as the KBB value hasn’t changed in quite a while. My wife doesn’t put very many miles on her car, but I’m approaching an exciting milestone on my car (200,000 miles!). I’m thrilled that my car has lasted as long as it has and that it seems to have plenty of life left. It’s sad, but I do realize that my car is not immortal and will need to be replaced at some point. We’ve discussed a plan where we’ll be setting some money aside to replace it, but hopefully not for at least another two years or so. Naturally whatever we decide to replace it with will be bought with cash, I’m just hoping it lasts long enough that I’ll have the cash for the new Tesla that is supposed to come out next year.

Basically half of our increased net worth this month came from the real estate department. Houses have been selling quickly in our neighborhood, many for much higher prices than the estimate I’m using here, so this increase in property value seems justified. Ever since we got our mortgage, we’ve paid a little extra. Each time I’ve received a raise, part of the raise was allocated to the mortgage. My most recent raise has allowed us to pay a lot more than the minimum each month. This month and last month, we were able to pay ~$1,200 more than the minimum. We haven’t decided whether we’ll continue paying the mortgage at that level or not, but seeing the balance go down by noticeable amounts makes me happy, so we probably will until there is another specific need for the cash.

All in all, a great month and a great year so far. I feel that we’re on track to hit our goal of $600,000 net worth this year. We’ve come a long way…

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