Happy 2018! Wow, 2017 flew by, and it was quite a year. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect for my net worth in 2017. What with being the new owner of a century-old home in need of some TLC, and trying to pay off an impulse purchased car (big news on that below!) I had no idea how my net worth would fair, how much it would increase, or if it would increase at all.
But 2017 turned out to be a banner year for me, net worth wise. I started out January of last year with a brand new, $18,000 debt for my Subaru Crosstrek, and big plans to increase my side hustle income, renovate my home and get that debt paid off.
According to the blog (god I love that I track so much), I started January 2017 with a net worth of $73,741. Now, 12 months later, I’m happy to report I’ve improved that number by $40,000, my most significant increase yet, for a total net worth of $113,209.
Here’s how everything shook out in December 2017:
(If I say “my” below, I mean “our” because my husband and I have combined finances, including retirement savings.)
Let’s look at each section below, along with where I was at this time last year, just for funzies.
Net Worth: $113,209
Last Year: $73,741
My net worth increased by almost three percent this month or around $3,000, which seems to be about par for the course for me these days. It would have increased more if a) I hadn’t slightly overspent on Christmas and b) I hadn’t had to call a plumber to replace our outdoor faucet which had finally given way and started a massive leak.
Seriously, you should have seen the size of the icicle I pulled off that baby. I sprung for a frost free faucet and an inside ball valve because hey, I’m fancy like that (also I’m afraid of burst pipes). Typically this is something my husband and I would have considered DIYing, but as it was three days before we were meant to leave the house for a week over the holidays, I didn’t want this project to be my first time soldering.
Consumer Debt: $0
We are consumer debt free at the moment, and it feels good.
Car Loan: $0 (-100%)
Last Year: $18,519
That’s right, ladies and gents, December marks the end of my car loan, meaning I paid off almost that almost $20,000 loan in under a year. We ended November with $3,454 owing on this loan, and I paid it off using a combination of budgeted income and savings. As with most of my major debts, once it got below a certain threshold I just wanted to see it GONE, so I raided my savings to make it happen. I’ll now reroute the money I was spending on the car loan towards rebuilding my savings. I’ve done this with every major debt I’ve had, and I don’t regret it at all.
I’m once again non-mortgage debt free, wahoo!!
Last Year: $245,739
My regular monthly mortgage payment is $1,089, which uncovers about $630 in equity. I’m not in a hurry to pay down my mortgage right now because my mortgage interest rate is just 2.29%, and instead I’m focusing on stockpiling boatloads of cash.
Now, you do not have to be a homeowner to build up your net worth, but in my specific situation with my modest mortgage, I have found that paying down my mortgage has boosted my net worth significantly. In 2017 I spent $13,068 on my mortgage, and I uncovered $7,544 was in equity. I also realized a $5,000 gain in market appreciation, for a total net worth boost of $12,544. Of course, I piled a lot of cash into the house this year, which I’ll break down in a future post.
Last Year: $280,000
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.
Last Year: $0
According to Canadian Black Book, my car is worth $20,634. I’ll update its value next month 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: $30,541
Last Year: $21,650
You know how everyone says that it the first few years of investing are unrewarding, but stick with it because eventually, that compound interest will start paying off? Well, it feels like this year is the year that I’ve finally noticed real gains in my retirement savings beyond my actual contributions. This year I contributed $6,600 to my retirement savings, and the rest of the gains are due to interest.
TFSA Investments: $2,816
Last Year: $525
I opened my TFSA investment account late last year because I knew I wanted to focus on building long-term wealth beyond my minimum retirement contributions. This year I dedicated 10% of my freelance income to this endeavor, which has allowed this account to grow nicely, and I’ve barely even noticed the contributions.
Emergency Fund: $5,688 (-32%)
Last Year: $10,037
Guess where I got the money to pay off my car loan? That’s right, my emergency fund. This account usually sits at $10,000, but it hasn’t in quite some time, as I’ve been letting it slide in the name of paying off the car loan. I pulled some cash from it this month to kill off the loan altogether, and next month I’ll focus on rebuilding it to its former glory. While my OCD tendencies mean I want to keep this account topped up at all times, I can’t deny the math, and the money makes more sense paying off my interest charging car loan than sitting in a savings account earning almost no interest.
Reno Fund: $90.32
Last Year: $1,063
I’ve managed to complete a TON of renovations in the past year (full list to come) but the downside of this I demo’d my renovation fund, no pun intended.
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
In January 2017 my husband and I had been homeowners for a mere six months and were about to impulse-purchase a Subaru Crosstrek. We had a net worth of $73,741, a stocked emergency fund, and a mortgage of $245,739.
Two years ago my husband and I were starting out our second year living in Halifax. We were already in full-blown save-for-a-house mode and had a net worth of $44,905. We were living in our small two-bedroom apartment with our two cats and dog, and slowly adding cash to our house fund, which sat at around $16,000 on January 1st, 2016.
Three years ago my husband and I had just moved to Halifax. He didn’t have a job yet, and I was about to start working remotely full-time. We had no debt and a net worth of $26,000. $7,000 of that was an RRSP, $10,000 was an emergency fund, and another $7,000 was savings to get us through the transition.
Hello, 2018, nice to meet you!
You can read all of my net worth updates here; those early ones are pretty hilarious.