My Eighth Net Worth Overshare

Did anyone catch the full moon on Christmas? It was the first one since 1977, and will be the last one for 19 years. Pretty wild, right?

My family took advantage of the warm weather and drove down to Plum Island, my hometown's local beach, to watch the moon rise. There were a lot of other families there, enjoying the bright orange moon beams from behind the patches of dark clouds.

My mother snapped photos from her tripod. And my sister and I attempted to set our intentions for the New Year in a full moon ceremony (burning folded pieces of paper that listed things we wanted to let go of).

As we drove off the island, past dozens of tiny cottages sprinkled throughout the marsh, I couldn't help but wonder what my life might be like during the next Christmas full moon.

19 years from now I will be 50.

What will I have accomplished?

Where will I call home?

Life passes while the majority of us are waiting for things to get better. But it's possible to write your own future. And build a life on your own terms. That's why I track my net worth.


Spreadsheet of Assets and Debts

Income

In many ways, 2015 was a year of rebuilding. I've rebuilt my career, replenished my savings, and added new streams of revenue. In the past, I've been guilty of focusing too much on frugality. But this year, I channeled that energy into earning more. And that's how I earned an extra $10,681.71 in 2015.

Expenses

Other than my busted September budget, I've managed to keep my monthly expenses around $2,500 or less. I want to reduce my food & drink spending in 2016. And maybe explore some cheaper cell phone plans. But otherwise, I'm pretty happy with my expenses.

Cash

You know what's crazy? My opinion about cash has really shifted over the past year. Right before I quit my job last year, I was only holding about $2,300 in cash and $18,000 in my brokerage account.

During those four months of part-time work, I had to sell some stocks to because I wasn't earning enough to pay my bills. I don't want to do that again. And that's why I'm building 6 months of expenses in cash ($15,000) for future emergencies.

Investments

For the past few months, my investments have mostly been on autopilot. I haven't added many new assets to my portfolio. But that will change once I've met next year's first two financial goals.

A few months ago, I started using Personal Capital to monitor my net worth. And I love seeing all my accounts in one place! Plus, it's great to see a clear breakdown of how much I'm paying in investment fees.

Note: If you sign up for a free account through my affiliate link above, I may receive a small bonus. And your support helps keep Cashville Skyline running. So, thank you!

Home Value

Nashville's property values continue to climb. And the city's predicting 33-37% residential property value increases during their next tax appraisal in 2017. Many of the largest gains have been seen over the past two years in East Nashville.

Over the next year, we're hoping to tap into our home's $125,000 in equity to finally renovate the basement. It's something we've been talking about for years. And the demand for Airbnb listings has never been higher. Plus, I'm hoping my parents will visit more often if they have a free place to stay.

Other Assets

The value of my 2006 Toyota Corolla has been steadily declining every quarter. But with only 76,000 miles, I'd love to drive it for another 10 years. I've minimized wear by consistently working less than 5 miles from my home. And I don't plan on changing that.

With my office transitioning to partially remote, I should use my car less than ever in 2016. Also, I'm planning to buy a nicer bike and use public transportation whenever possible.

1st Quarter 2016 Goals

1. Max out Roth IRA ($5,500)
2. Save six-month cash emergency fund ($15,000)

Readers: How did your net worth change over the past year? What are your net worth goals for the New Year?

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Discussions — 29 Responses

  • Income Surfer December 28, 2015 on 7:41 am

    Nice work Kate. We did see the full moon, but it was partially obstructed by haze and low clouds. Our 2015 was pretty status quo, but I think 2016 will be a “rebuilding” year like yours. With all the changes I’m expecting next year…..and taking a super long trip……my net worth goal is to be equal to our current net worth in 12 months. Time will tell. Happy New Years!
    -Bryan

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Income Surfer January 10, 2016 on 10:39 am

      I’m sending positive thoughts your way, Bryan! I’m sure your family can reach those goals, even with the changes you’re anticipating. Happy New Year!

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach December 28, 2015 on 8:34 am

    You past year sounds like my next year. I’m actually calling it a rebuilding year. And I agree with you the emergency fund is the best place to start. I never want to be caught without a huge cushion ever again. Congrats on such a successful year! Hope next year is the same!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 10, 2016 on 10:37 am

      So awesome, Tonya! The greatest thing about a rebuilding year is looking at your progress as the months pass. You’ll make progress more quickly than you expected, especially with your side hustles and amazing savings habits. Happy New Year! 🙂

      Reply
  • Mrs SSC December 28, 2015 on 8:41 am

    It is always nice to see the end of the year look much better than the beginning – it means you are moving forward. Sometimes I get bummed out on a month-to-month basis, it can feel like you are moving slowly forward or even backwards. We see 2016 as a plodding ahead year – with the constant threat of layoffs, we are just trying to fly under the radar and keep saving as much as we can. Hopefully it is an uneventful year!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Mrs SSC January 10, 2016 on 10:35 am

      I totally understand that, Mrs. SSC. Month-to-month comparisons can be frustrating. Especially when you feel like you’re not making progress. Or you’re moving in the wrong direction (like I was last fall). It’s awesome you’re trying to look at the big picture. And celebrating what you’ve accomplished. Worrying about layoffs can be stressful. You’re smart to keep saving!

      Reply
  • Hannah December 28, 2015 on 12:36 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had a tremendously successful year! I like to see a stout cash balance too (though we keep ours in a savings account instead of checking).

    I saw the full moon while taking my son mini golfing on Christmas Day! It was really fun 🙂

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Hannah January 10, 2016 on 10:24 am

      Ooo, nice! Mini golfing under the full moon sounds really fun. It feels really good to beef up my cash. But I’ll probably cap it around $15K or so. Looking forward to investing more ASAP.

      Reply
  • Cat@BudgetBlonde December 29, 2015 on 4:50 pm

    Nice job! It’s great to see your net worth increasing like that. Ours is still solidly negative due to student loans, but we’re about done with having it decrease since hubs is basically done with school now. Yay!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Cat@BudgetBlonde January 10, 2016 on 10:22 am

      So exciting, Cat! It must feel amazing to almost be done with school. I know you’ve both worked super hard to push through it.

      Reply
  • Steve Miller December 30, 2015 on 10:30 am

    Congrats on the increase income stream and 200k+ net worth. Cheers to 2016.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Steve Miller January 10, 2016 on 10:21 am

      Thank you, Steve! Happy New Year! 🙂

      Reply
  • The Vagabond December 30, 2015 on 12:51 pm

    Great increase in the past couple of months! Awesome! Like you, the increase in our primary residence has helped us a lot. We’re almost in the exact same place this month. Because we’re prioritizing rental income a bit more this year, we expect things to grow more slowly net worth wise, but the safe monthly retirement income is going to shoot way up. Good luck in 2016!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore The Vagabond January 10, 2016 on 10:20 am

      Nice! It’s definitely encouraging to see real estate investments pay off. I’m hoping to add rental income into the mix by the end of this year. Best of luck with your rental income this year!

      Reply
  • Quentin December 30, 2015 on 12:52 pm

    Nice article, and you look good to be 31. I would not have guessed that, maybe mid 20s. Thanks for different ways to invest to earn more income.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Quentin January 10, 2016 on 10:17 am

      Haha, thanks Quentin. I’m always looking for ways to diversify my income and investments.

      Reply
  • Gandolfo Beneventi December 30, 2015 on 3:44 pm

    keeping my month expenses under 2500$, I am not sure it is possible, my average monthly expenses are 2980$,
    only thing in my budget what I can cancel is gym, but that is wort thing I could do to myself. I like how you think about emergency funding, that is very important aspect which only few understand, hope you will manage your 15.000. Nice earnings this year, hope you will continue same or even better in next year.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Gandolfo Beneventi January 10, 2016 on 10:16 am

      Thanks so much for reading, Gandolfo! I agree that canceling your gym membership might not be a smart move. I constantly struggle with exercise and knowing I have a gym I can go to every day is worth $31 a month, even when I’m not using it.

      Reply
  • The Net Worth of Personal Finance Bloggers January 6, 2016 on 10:12 pm

    […] Cashville Skyline @ $211,527 […]

    Reply
  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich January 9, 2016 on 8:55 pm

    Awesome job with your net worth this year! I’m hoping to get mine up to $75,000 by the end of 2016, but we’ll see how that goes.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Mel @ brokeGIRLrich January 10, 2016 on 10:06 am

      Thanks, Mel. $75,000 is an awesome goal. I hope life on the road has been treating you well 🙂

      Reply
  • Brian Robben January 16, 2016 on 1:42 pm

    That’s amazing you earned an extra $10.6k in 2015, way to go! Keep working hard and I’m positive that number will be even higher at the end of 2016!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Brian Robben February 1, 2016 on 8:30 am

      Thanks so much, Brian! I’m hitting it hard this year. And I hope to increase that number significantly.

      Reply
  • Quit Work For Life January 31, 2016 on 11:12 pm

    I think you’re right on the money keeping 6 months of expenses in cash. It’s a good strategy for retirement too, I think I’ve seen suggestions to keep at least a years expenses in cash so that you are not forced to sell off stocks at a bad time.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Quit Work For Life February 1, 2016 on 8:03 am

      My attitude about my emergency fund has really evolved over the past couple of years! And you’re totally right. I would hate to be forced to sell off some quality stocks at a bad time just because I needed the money.

      Reply
  • Elise February 5, 2016 on 4:16 pm

    Our net worth definitely took a dive in the pooper. It was mostly due to the market dipping recently, so I’m not super worried. For this coming quarter my goal is to finally kick my student loans to the curb and then start tackling the last big of debt I have remaining from an old business.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Elise February 9, 2016 on 8:52 am

      Those are great goals, Elise! Good luck with your student loans. And everyone’s portfolios have taken a hit lately. So I totally feel you! But it’s important to stay the course and keep investing.

      Reply
  • Thomas @ i need money ASASP! February 14, 2016 on 10:03 am

    Whoa! A 33-37% increase in your home value is crrrrraaazy! Around my city its in the 5-10% range that even that’s pretty great. It used to be flat for a while. Makes it tough for new buyers though.

    Its also crazy to see how fast a car depreciates. I’ve never really tracked the value of my car in my net worth. I always considered it a “sunk cost” or an expense.

    Reply
  • Financial Samurai February 14, 2016 on 7:22 pm

    That’s definitely a nice increase in your home’s value! It’s not as crazy here in SF at a 15% increase. But, I think good things are coming to an end this year and we’ll be flat.

    Time to save lots of money!

    S

    Reply