Here we are in the second installment of my monthly financial snapshot. If you missed last months report, you can click here to check out my first financial snapshot for June 2017.
July was a big month for us, as we (my Wife and I) started to talk more about our finances and started to be a lot more aware of our money and how we were spending it. We decided to join Costco, which paid for itself on the first trip and has drastically reduced our grocery budget since. In addition, we canceled our home warranty with American Home Shield this month, saving us approximately $60 per month, as well as our housekeeping service which will save us another $200 per month or so.
But before I get into some of the other decisions we made that will affect our long-term finances, here is our financial snapshot for the end of July 2017.
Takeaways from This Month’s Financial Snapshot
The most obvious and glaring thing to be noticed from this month’s financial snapshot is that our net worth increased by $24,436, a gain of 14.41%!
This gain can be attributed to several things. First, I updated the value of my personal residence using three separate websites (zillow.com, trulia.com, and homesnap.com) and then averaging those values. This alone increased our net worth by almost $20,000.
However, I also updated the values of our vehicles using KBB.com, which decreased our net worth by about $8,500. Netting that against the house, and we had a gain of approximately $11,500 just from updating the values of our house and cars.
As for the remainder of the gain, we received a small tax refund for my Mother’s Estate which I have split with my siblings. So even though there is a gain for that this month, that will get wiped out when their checks clear in August. I did add money to my investment accounts this month and paid off a large portion of our credit card bill from last month, but the vast majority of the gains in my investment and retirement accounts is attributed to market gains.
You will also notice a “Costco Credit Card” that has a balance. This was the only way we could purchase groceries at Costco, and that will be paid off after I receive the bill this month.
Finally, you will notice that I started investing with Acorns. Even though the balance is small ($93.41), this will continue to grow as we add to it each month.
What Happened to the Debt Snowball?
My goal was to put an additional $1,000 towards our debt snowball moving forward. Unfortunately, we were only able to add an additional $250 to the debt snowball. Not great, but ok considering the month we had. We had a cat that was diagnosed with cancer and we had to put him down this month. A portion of our Care Credit bill (well over $1,000) is attributed to his care and treatment. In addition, we spent money out-of-pocket on his care that depleted the amount we had otherwise allocated to our debt snowball.
The Plan for August
We’ve initiated several changes that you won’t see until the end of August when I prepare another snapshot.
First, I’ve upped our mortgage payment by adding 1/12 of a mortgage payment to each monthly payment. This will allow us to effectively pay 13 mortgage payments each year instead of 12.
One other thing we’ve done to further speed to process of paying down our mortgage is to apply for a 15-year mortgage. There are 22 years left on our current mortgage, and by getting a new mortgage in place, our payment will go up slightly, but we will also eliminate private mortgage insurance (PMI) which will save us an additional $1,200 per year. Not to mention, we will be on track to pay off our mortgage even faster.
I realize this is not in line with our overall debt payoff plan, but I really hate making a mortgage payment each month and would like to see that go away as soon as possible.
Next, I need to take a required minimum distribution this year for an inherited IRA. I will be withdrawing this money to pay off a portion of the Care Credit Card this month.
Finally, both my Wife and I have started listing items for sale on Amazon and Craigslist. My Wife recently sold some kids toys for $50, and I have an old flat screen tv and office printer listed for sale currently. Any proceeds I receive from the sale of these items will go directly towards paying down our debts.
Are You Tracking Your Personal Net Worth?
I’d love to hear from you about two things. First, is this type of post helpful? If so, please comment below to let me know!
Second, are you tracking your own net worth? Yes, no, sort of? Please comment below and let me know how your experience has been tracking your own net worth!