Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016 Net Worth Update

I can't believe this year is almost over! Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving and I truly have a lot to be thankful for. I'm thankful for family and that I was able to travel and spend time with them and I'm thankful for the modern conveniences that make travel possible that we often take for granted. It's nice to stop and think about this as things can get a bit crazy around the holidays. With November behind us, it's also a natural point to stop and check out how we are tracking towards our financial goals and net worth.

In November, our net worth grew by $10,000 to end at $590,607. $600k is totally in sight! December tends to be one of the more expensive months, but a lot of our big gifts have already been purchased so it will be interesting to see where we end the year.


Our cash balance stayed pretty flat this month. In addition to buying some Christmas gifts we spent $1,800 on some home repairs and paid some extra towards our mortgage. This coming month we have some smaller home repair expenses coming up but should be able to increase our cash balance a tiny bit.


This is where the real action was for November. For the first time in what seems like several months, our investments grew by more than just our regular 401k contribution amount. Most of our investments are in IVV, the iShares S&P 500 ETF, which was up 3.4% for the month. Our overall performance lagged slightly because we do have some bond investments that didn't fare as well. I made some small allocation adjustments to move some bonds to more international stocks since we've been wanting to shift more to international equities but that was less than 2% of the total portfolio.

One exciting piece of news that came out this month is that my employer is improving the company 401k match starting next year! The company contribution is already very generous and there are a lot of reasons why they made the change that I won't get into but it's exciting to know that we'll be able to sock away even more next year thanks to additional company contributions.


Nothing to see here, really. We are still saving for a new car and my car continues to get closer to hitting 200,000 miles. I think I may have decided to replace my car with something slightly less expensive than the upcoming Tesla Model 3, but still have plenty of time to decide. What got me thinking about this was realizing how much $35k (starting price for the new Tesla) represents when our home isn't yet paid off and also seeing some pretty amazing used cars for sale under $15k. Nothing should be changing in our garage this next year either way, but that's what I'm currently feeling.


Our home value from Zillow stayed pretty flat as well, which makes sense since this time of the year tends to be pretty slow for real estate. There are currently no homes for sale in our neighborhood and a slightly larger home just down the street just sold for $505k so the estimate of $447k still feels to be in the right range. As I mentioned earlier, we paid a little extra on our mortgage again bringing our total principal payments for the year to just over $17,000. My wife and I are still deciding on our 2017 goals but think we should easily be able to pay $20,000 in principal next year and are looking to set a stretch goal for this.

While we've always paid extra on the mortgage, 2016 is the first year in our current home that I feel we've made a decent dent in the mortgage. I'm excited to see more of our payments going towards principal as we whittle away at it and can't wait to get the balance below $200,000. Our latest projection shows that we have just over 6 years left to pay off the mortgage but that date has been creeping forward as we continue to pay extra.

We've tracked our net worth for some time now, but breaking it down and reviewing in detail each month like this has been helpful to me this year. As shown above, we've come a long way but still have a ways to go. November was a great month in many regards and I'm looking forward to December.


  1. Oh man I really want a Tesla Model 3 but I am in the same boat as you. There are so many other things that I could do with cash besides put it into a depreciating asset like a car.

    Awesome job with the positive new worth update!!!

  2. Thanks, Mustard Seed Money!

    Hopefully it's a long time before I need any new car...maybe a gently used Tesla?

    I also stumbled across a crazy article in WSJ the other day about how so many new cars purchasers are rolling negative equity into their purchase from their trade-in...depreciating asset indeed.

    WSJ link