Yet another solid month in terms of our expenses has us finally charting a good financial course again after the rough ride at the end of last year and into the beginning of 2014. With all the gifts between Christmas and a whole slew of family birthdays, plus the double whammy of a rebuilt transmission and a new car we had a tight few months. In addition, the market had been pretty rough on my accounts up until May. But finally the market has recovered and I’m back up.
For background on the methodology and definitions, see Net Worth: September 2013 Progress. I’m including the past two months for comparisons now, but the “difference” values are computed for the past month’s changes.
|Category||Mar 2014||April 2014||May 2014||Difference|
|Net Worth||$599,957.23||$600,277.24||$613,165.46||+ $12,888.22||+ 2.15 %|
|Assets||$992,582.92||$986,768.27||$993,845.74||+ $7,077.47||+ 0.72 %|
|— Real Estate||$601,406.00||$592,492.00||$589,385.00||– $3,107.00||– 0.52 %|
|— Investments||$355,650.46||$352,866.35||$364,260.68||+ $11,394.33||+ 3.53 %|
|— Cash||$10,526.46||$16,409.92||$15,200.06||– $1,209.86||– 7.37 %|
|Liabilities||$392,625.69||$386,491.03||$380,680.28||– $5,810.75||– 1.50 %|
|— Mortgages||$363,534.58||$357,838.35||$354,056.12||– $3,782.23||– 1.06 %|
|— Auto Loan||$24,890.31||$24,470.54||$24,049.23||– $421.31||– 1.72 %|
|— Credit Card||$4,200.80||$4,182.14||$2,574.93||– $1,607.21||– 38.43 %|
It’s good to see a solid gain this past month after a series of three months where we ended up getting nowhere. It’s demoralizing after such a great run in 2013, even though I knew we had lowered our expenses, gotten through our rough patch of emergency cash cushion spending and birthdays, and I’d been doing the rights things continuing to max my 401k, contributing to my wife’s IRA and paying down mortgage debt.
So far my prediction that the market would mostly move sideways has turned out to be true. As a result of that belief, plus my disgust at the PMI payments and relative high interest rate on our townhouse rental, I’ve been using free cash to pay down the principal on that loan. We put down a few lump sum payments to get rid of PMI and that should now be removed from our monthly payments. No more $40 a month going towards nothing! Citi played a little game with the PMI stating we needed to be below 78% LTV to automatically remove it, or they’d remove it when the mortgage schedule/amortization planned for it to go below 80%. Yeah, a tricky little clause there. Especially when my other two mortgages state they automatically remove at 78%, but you can submit a letter when you’re below 80% to remove PMI – not have to wait until the original payment schedule said you’d be below 80% (which is a few years out on this mortgage).
It seems Zillow is backing down on the estimated value of our homes. I can’t say I’m surprised – they were getting too high to be realistic. But it is causing a little artificial swing in my net worth here, and masking some of the great progress we’re making in paying down the debts. I’m still keeping our CX-5 at the same value for now, but once Kelly Blue Book starts to list our model year’s estimated worth, I’ll switch to using that to track. So I’m expecting a bit of a drop once that happens.