Finance

October Networth Reflection

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October Networth Reflection

I’ve struggled to consider if I should post about my networth not because I’m afraid of a number, but because I whole heartedly believe that people are not defined by numbers, just as much as they cannot be defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or credit score. So before I dive into my personal networth, let’s talk about what’s behind the numbers.

Networth is not a reflection of your self-value

Networth is a number, not a reflection of self value. Your value as a person should not be defined by the outfits you wear, the dollars in your pocket, or the type of car that you drive. Yet, in today’s age we are constantly bombarded by those physical representations of wealth by celebrities. We attribute greatness and success not by the friendships or family we have, but by the latest gadget we attain or by the latest car model we drive.

We are considered “less than” if we do not adhere to these outwards reflections, though inwardly we seek peace, tranquility, and a life free from loneliness and stress that not all of our lattes can fill. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but honestly I’ve felt like this before.

Okay…rant over…

More Ranting: My Honest Reflections on 6 Months of Blogging

The Nitty Gritty of Networth

Let’s discuss the definition. Networth is simply defined by Investopedia as “the value of everything you own, minus all your debts.” The reason this is important for me personally is not to define my self worth or value, but to have a measurement of achieving a goal. Let’s say you are hoping to lose 10 pounds, but you lack the ability to measure your weight loss so you purchase a tool like a scale. The number on the scale and those fickle fluctuations don’t mean that you are any less awesome; the number simply represents progress or regression towards your weight loss goal. In the same way, networth shows your progress, stagnation, or regression in your financial goals.

Related Article: How I paid off $65k in student loans

Networth Calculation Motivation

After I paid off my student loans, my husband and I had some really crazy ideas.

If being debt free of our loans and credit cards was possible, how much more attainable was retiring early? We started getting involved in reading about this possibility by reading inspiring blogs by Mr. Money Mustache, watching videos by Mike and Lauren, and started reading on our own. We got addicted to the idea of investing, but we needed direction so we sought out research and perspective from books from the library or Amazon. Our favorites so far ( but always increasing ), Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin, Simple Path to Wealth, Millionaire Next Door, Intelligent Investor.

Check out some other amazing personal finance books recommendations by Arrestyourdebt.

Suddenly, retiring early didn’t sound like a pipe dream for some rich people who had piles of money hanging around but attainable and actually realistic for us. We realized we don’t actually need to stop working forever and that our time could be better spent doing the things we really care about. We also realized we didn’t need a million dollars to retire as long as we were frugal, considered our health costs and lifestyle, and had a realistic plan about our withdrawal rates.

Madfientist has a really great post about safe withdrawal rates here. I would also recommend reading up on Madfientist’s post about How to Access Retirement Funds early here.

So how are we doing with our retire early goals?

Our Networth Calculation

This year we had some heavy hitters when it comes to finances.

Graduate school, international adoption, and home fence and gate replacement have racked up some hefty bills, but thankfully we have been able to cash flow a majority of these expenses. Of course, we all have our weakspots and travel, eating out, and home maintenance are part of the mix.

A favorite among personal finance bloggers like Ellie Mondellie  and many others is an app or desktop software called Personal Capital which tracks networth, cashflow, and budgeting amongst others. There are so many other ways to calculate networth like online calculators from Bankrate however Personal Capital seems like a very straightforward way to review our investments. So I started using the app and I like it much more than Mint’s version of Networth calculations.

Related Article: How I Saved Thousand’s Using These Mint.com Hacks

All in all, our assets exceed our liabilities.

So between our house, 401(k), brokerage accounts, checking and savings accounts our networth is around…

$81,201.53

That’s pretty awesome. Am I a Millionaire? Nope? Am I close to being retired? Not really, but I’m closer today than I was yesterday. Now, I’m not really counting life insurance and that number doesn’t include a TSP account. If you add this account however, it’s closer to $110,201.53. I just haven’t added this because it’s under my spouse and I can’t remember the exact balance.

So basically, our networth means that our debts aren’t killing us and we are free to continue looking into investments towards reaping a higher return on our saving. There’s a really great video about Vanguard Index Funds for Beginner’s that I would highly recommend watching. I won’t go into detail about which investments we have because I’d like to do a more detailed look into reviewing investments in a later post.

There’s a great tool called Networthify that also gives a brief overview of calculating your networth and time needed to retire here.

Reflection Conclusion

We’ve calculated based on a number of factors that we’d like to start retirement in about 15 years which is based off of our current savings rate, our annual average spending, an annual return of under 5% on our investments, and other life factors. My goal is to retire and focus more on my business and family. But we will all have to see if our goals change in 15 years or if we can even reach this goal sooner!

What are your financial goals? How can I support your journey?