Net Worth: September 2014 Progress

The spending spree has mostly ended and we’re getting back on track, though a poor month in the market kept us from making great gains.

The Numbers

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 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 Difference
Net Worth $631,084.96 $647,718.57  $652,192.90 +$4,474.33 +0.69%
  Assets $1,008,608.51 $1,024,748.07  $1,024,061.34 -$686.73 -0.07%
    Real Estate $592,385.00 $600,387.00  $606,961.00 +$6,574.00 +1.09%
    Automobiles $24,175.00 $24,175.00  $24,175.00 0 N/A
    Investments $373,856.92 $385,750.06  $381,899.39 -$3,850.67 -1.00%
    Cash $17,591.59 $14,436.01  $11,025.95 -$3,410.06 -23.62%
  Liabilities $377,523.55 $377,029.50  $371,868.44 -$5,161.06 -1.37%
    Mortgages $350,636.90 $348,916.48  $347,188.82 -$1,727.66 -0.50%
    Auto Loan $23,208.09 $22,785.88  $22,365.62 -$420.26 -1.84%
    Credit Card $3,678.56 $5,327.14  $2,314.00 -$3,013.14 -56.56%

Analysis

The Month

Well, I managed to squeak out another gain this month, but based almost entirely on dubious gains in real estate values from Zillow. If you exclude that extra push, this would have been a down month – not at all surprising given the market (S&P 500 Index) dropped around 2.3% in September. You can see that took a dent in my Investments balance, dropping around 1% even after including contributions to my 401k and a lump sum contribution to my wife’s IRA. All told, we contributed a whopping $4750 to our retirement accounts this past month, yet we still lost ~$3850! Frustrating. That lump sum investment ($3,100) to max out my wife’s IRA for the year also partially accounts for the drop in cash. Our cash this past month went to paying off last month’s Credit Card balances and maxing the IRA. Hopefully we won’t be dropping any more and can slowly build up a little more cash cushion again. If we keep spending in check then I can use monthly surpluses to fund any additional investments we plan to make (like my son’s 529, or an IRA for me).

Nothing new on the auto loan or car front, we’re just paying the installment every month, stringing that out for the life of the loan since I’m happy to borrow at a 0.9% rate. The mortgages are also being paid off on their schedule, except we’re putting extra principal payments on the highest rate/lowest balance one for my wife’s old townhouse.

On a personal note, I thought that the hard times were behind us – we had a very busy summer finishing up remodeling and getting ready for our upcoming baby girl. Then life started to happen, and most of it is or has been bad news. In August I developed a horrible case of pink eye (first time ever) which came with a nasty flu that lasted for two weeks, and my wife and child came down with it as well. Then my father had what we though was an ulcer in his throat, and turned out to be an ulcerated cancerous tumor. We later found out that he has Stage 4 esophageal cancer, and he’s beginning chemo tomorrow. My wife is over 8 1/2 months pregnant and the baby is expected on the 14th. My mother in law is scheduled for a surgery for her Crohn’s on the 23rd. All in all, it’s going to be a rather tough month in October and continuing well into next year. It seems whoever came up with the old adage was right: when it rains, it pours.

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