Happy September everyone! I know it’s not Fall yet, but there has been a drop in the humidity here in Halifax, and the leaves are already starting to drift slowly off of my neighbour’s giant maple tree and into my backyard. Somehow the weeds are still growing though, which has thrown me into this weird limbo of raking the leaves so I can weed. I feel like I should only have to do one of those at a time.
August was a busy month for me. I camped, spent a weekend in New Brunswick, and hosted a family of four for one week. I also freelanced a fair amount, bought a new camera, met up with Jess during her visit to the East Coast, and hosted a bunch of Game of Thrones viewing parties (R+L = J at last). When I had a spare hour here, and there I worked on my bathroom, which is progressing painfully slow because of my self-imposed limit of $200 per month spent on renovation supplies.
I also managed to get my real estate agent to estimate a reasonable listing value for my home (it went up!) which gave my net worth a healthy boost.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how my net worth faired in August:
Can I just take a moment and do a happy dance that my net worth is over $100,000 for the first time in my life? I know that it’s just a number and doesn’t mean anything, but to me it’s the cumulative total of years of diligently putting money into my RRSP, paying down debt, and saving money for a house.
I also briefly toyed with the idea of stopping my net worth updates after $100,000 because at some point it might become unrelatable and people might start hating on them, but for the time being, I’m going to stick with it. I’m also going to write a detailed breakdown of how I got here, and what my net worth is made up of (home equity, cash). But that’s another post for another day.
(If I say “my” below, I mean “our” because my husband and I have combined finances, including retirement savings.)
Net Worth: $100,706 (+8%)
8% is a huge jump for me! I’ve been diligently improving my house and paying down my car loan, and this is the result! Let’s look at my liabilities first:
Consumer Debt: $0
I have eliminated all consumer debt! The lack of unexpected expenses in August helped with that!
Car Loan: $8,575 (-17.34%)
This month I was able to pay $1,798 off my car loan. I thought I’d be able to pay off more, but some freelance income was a little late being paid out. I’m still sending $712 per month of my budgeted income towards this debt, plus 50% of my freelance income. I’m finally over the biggest hurdle of any big debt payoff: getting into the five digit range of debt remaining. At this point, the pressure is on, I’m incredibly impatient to get rid of this debt, and I’m throwing almost everything I’ve got towards it.
I’ll write a dedicated update on paying off this debt later in the month.
Mortgage: $240,729 (-0.26%)
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 paying down my car loan and investing.
I heard back from my real estate agent, and she suggested my home could be expected to sell for $285,000. This is an increase of 1.79% in value, which is pretty conservative considering Halifax real estate prices rose by 3% in the past year, and this house is in an up and coming neighbourhood. But I like being conservative! That’s better than being overly optimistic and then being disappointed when we go to sell!
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. With the new-to-me car, 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: $26,607 (+2%)
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 and I’ve been investing in them since I was 24. 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: $2,038 (+15%)
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 some day be early retirement or early mortgage payoff fund.
Emergency Fund: $8,675
I’m letting my emergency fund sit a little under $10,000 right now while I shore up some other accounts but I plan to top it up soon.
Reno Fund: $2,290 (-9%)
I had to dip into my reno fund for some home maintenance, but since I’m not touching this account until my car is paid off, that’s no big deal.
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, taxes, etc.
Previous Net Worth Updates
One year ago my husband and I had been living in our new home for one month. I’d just painted my office, and my net worth was $64,400. That means my net worth has increased by $36,300 in the past year! I think that might be a new record for me. I had a shiny new mortgage debt of $248,000, and my retirement savings were sitting at $14,050 because I’d very temporarily borrowed $6,000 from my RRSP to cover closing costs.
In 2015 I was just returning from a trip to Ottawa that had caused my net worth to drop a little to $36,000. The stock market was struggling, and I was getting pretty depressed with throwing money into my retirement account only to have it disappear, but I kept at it because I knew it was only temporary. My house down payment fund was a humble $7,600.
In September 2014, three years ago, I had a net worth of $24,500 and was gunning to hit $25,000 before age 25. My emergency fund was fully stocked, and my RRSP was closing in on $5,000, and I had a crazy $5,700 in my travel fund in preparation for my trip to New Orleans. That means I’ve improved my net worth by $75,000 in three years.
How was your August? Are you secretly looking forward to the cooler weather and calmer social schedule like me?