Happy December! I can’t believe there’s only one month left in 2017 – yet I still have a long list of to-dos! It looks like I won’t be completing them this year, but on the other hand, those to-dos remain on that list because I’ve been hustling my butt off to make 2017 my highest earning year yet – by a long shot.
November was a busy month freelance-wise, at work, and in my personal life. I managed to buy all of my Christmas gifts, decorate for the holidays, bring in well over half of my gross income in freelance earnings and host three separate families visiting for weekends. On the renovation side, we started an exciting renovation on my office that I can’t wait to share once it’s complete in January.
Between the added income on the freelance side and the added costs of Christmas on the expense side, November could have been a slow month – but it turned out ok. Check out how my net worth changed in the past 30 days here:
I increased my net worth by about $3,200 in November, which seems to be the norm these days for me. The most exciting improvements came from paying down my car loan and contributing to my investments, which I’ll go into more detail below.
(If I say “my” below, I mean “our” because my husband and I have combined finances, including retirement savings.)
Net Worth: $110,596 (+3%)
In November I increased my net worth by $3,200. Not my biggest increase, but still respectable. These days most of my net worth increase comes from paying down my car loan, which is rapidly approaching zero.
Consumer Debt: $0
We are consumer debt free at the moment, and it feels good.
Car Loan: $3,454 (-34%)
In November I took another $1,754 off the car loan, bringing the total down to $3,454. I love this phase of paying off a loan, where every month I’m cutting down the loan by huge percentages. It’s heartening and makes me want to throw every last cent at that debt until it’s gone! Every month I pay $685 from my budget towards the loan, plus about 50% of my freelance income. Either way, this loan will be gone by the end of 2017.
Mortgage: $238,830.69 (-0.25%)
I bought my home in July 2017 for $270,000. The home hadn’t been maintained properly for several years, and there were a ton of relatively inexpensive upgrades that needed to be done. As a result, the homeowner opted to sell the home for less than it was worth rather than negotiate and coordinate all of the work to be completed pre-sale.
We’ve completed most of the work within the last year (for about $5,000), and according to my real estate agent, we could sell the home today for $285,000, or $15,000 more than we paid.
According to Canadian Black Book, my car is worth $20,634. I’ll update its value once per year to reflect wear and tear on the vehicle. I’ve never included my car in my asset mix before, because it was a beater car that wasn’t worth much anyway, and we needed it, so it’s not a very liquid asset. My current car is a Subaru Crosstrek, and I include it in my net worth because while it is essential to our lifestyle, a car of this caliber is not necessary, and we could easily sell this car and downgrade to a beater again if we needed to.
Retirement Savings: $29,916 (+2%)
So close to $30,000! I’ve been saving for retirement since I turned 24, and every month I contribute $550 to my RRSP which holds Tangerine Investment Funds (the Balanced Growth Fund, to be specific). The Tangerine funds are considered an excellent, low-fee option for beginner investors. If you’re interested in investing for your future but you’re confused about how to get going, this is a great place to start! If you sign up and use my Orange Key: 38939199S1 you’ll receive a $25 bonus!
TFSA Investments: $2,687 (+10%)
A big jump in my TFSA is a little bit due to my freelance income but mostly due to the markets. Every month I contribute 10% of my freelance income to my TFSA which also holds (surprise!) Tangerine Investment Funds with the same asset allocation as my RRSP. This account is my emergency fund on top of my emergency fund but might also someday be my early retirement or early mortgage payoff fund.
Emergency Fund: $8,368 (0%)
My emergency fund usually sits pretty at $10,000, but I’m letting it slide a little in the name of paying off the car loan. Once my car loan is paid off, I’ll top up my emergency fund.
Reno Fund: $71
My reno fund is officially depleted thanks to purchasing a hot water tank last month. I budget $200 per month for small DIY projects, and this account will start growing again once my car loan is paid off at the end of this year. Having a car loan has put a damper on my renovation funding and schedule, so I’m excited to get rid of it and get back to doing renovations.
If you’re doing the math, you know that there is some unexplained money in my net worth. I’ll tell you where that money is: in my planned spending account for taxes, mortgage payments, gas, the internet, etc.
Previous Net Worth Updates
I didn’t do a net worth update last December! I think that is the first one I’ve missed in five years! Fortunately, I can consult my budgets to see that I had a net worth of $71,000 at this time last year. My retirement fund was sitting at $18,557, and I owed $246,360 on my newly minted mortgage.
At this time in 2015, my husband and I marked our first year of living in Halifax for the second time. My net worth was sitting at $42,000. This net worth was mostly made up of our retirement savings ($13,000), emergency fund ($10,000), and our house down payment fund ($15,000). Little did I know in just over six months I’d be pulling the trigger on my first home!
Three years ago I was gearing up to make the big move to Halifax. My net worth was at $28,000, and I was saving a ton of money for the move, an upcoming trip to Paris and for my husband’s potential unemployment. My retirement account was just starting to bud with $6,500 in it, and my emergency fund was sitting at a solid $10,000. I remember feeling like I was just starting to get my financial footing.
Four years ago I was debt free! But just barely. I’d just paid off my car loan the month before. My net worth was small at $7,300. $2,300 of that was my emergency fund, $1,000 was in the form of a travel fund, and I’d just started saving for retirement with $250 in that account.
In the four years that I’ve been tracking my net worth I’ve added $102,000 to my net worth. Not bad! You can read all of my net worth updates here; those early ones are pretty hilarious.
Tell me about your November? Did you make progress on your goals? Does it look like you’ll reach your financial goals for 2017? I want to know!