At the beginning of 2014, I set a New Year’s Resolution to grow my net worth by $10,000. I ended 2013 with a net worth of only $1,216. It’s three months into the New Year, so I thought it would be a good idea to track how well I’m doing so far. As of March 31st, I have a net worth of $7,722. That’s a gain of $6,506! Whoot whoot! I’m 65% there!
Not so fast! Sure, the numbers look great so far. But, there’s more to the story than that. Right now I’m stashing cash to sell my house. It’s a little deceptive to say I’m that far towards my goal, when a large chunk of that will be spent over the next few months to remodel a bathroom, replace some windows, and finish out a laundry room. So, how do I know where I actually stand?
Luckily when I set my goal of gaining $10,000 in net worth, I also broke that goal down into three steps:
1) Grow my 401k by $5,000+
2) Pay Down $2,000+ Debt through “Regular” Payments
3) Put at LEAST $3,000 (but hopefully closer to $5,000) towards Debt Repayment
Ah, yes. As you can see, my plan wasn’t about stashing $10,000 in the bank. Sure, that would be great and all, but I’ve got “bigger fish to fry”. I’ve got debt to payoff! And a retirement to save for! So, how am I actually doing so far?
1) The 401k: I currently have a balance of $10,155 in my 401k plan through work. I ended 2013 with $8,891. That’s $1, 264 in growth so far this year, or about 25% of my plan. Which is right where I should be at the end of the first quarter.
2) Debt Payments: I ended 2013 with $78,512 of debt, including the mortgage, a car loan and a student loan. I currently have $77,192 of debt, which is a decrease of $1,320. I planned for $2,000 in regular debt payments, so I’m 66% there already.
3) Extra Debt Payments: $0. I won’t actually start on this until after I sell the house (or after I feel comfortable with where I’m at with the house). Technically, I think some of the amount in #2 should actually go here, since I tend to round-up on my monthly payments. Splitting hairs just makes it difficult though, so I’ll just leave it all lumped together and say I’m 0% on this one.
In reality, only $2,584 has gone towards my “mini-goals” of growing my net worth by $10,000. Still, that puts me right at 25% of my total goal. Breaking it down this way makes it easier to see where I’m truly at on my goal, without clouding it with the money for the house. That being said, I’m hoping I can walk away from the sale of the house with some cash to throw at my extra debt payments. I won’t know for sure though until the deal is done and the papers are signed.
It’s good to know that no matter how I break it down, I’m still on track to make my goal for 2014. I love it when a plan actually works!
– Cindy W.