2017 1st Qtr Net Worth & Savings Rates…Homerun!!

2017 is fully underway.  It is strange – at the start of the new year I had experienced equal parts excitement and depression regarding my quest for FI.  The excitement was based on a high due to the insane accumulation and addition of 100k to my 2016 net worth.  I was floored!  All the tiny boxes from my spreadsheet were filled in with various colors and calculations that could make even the most def tone numbers geek sing a solid Do Re Mi.  Beautiful.  And then the depression hit.  I flipped to my new spreadsheet with all its blank spaces and wondered if I could ever repeat what I had just accomplished.  Hmmmm… I imagine this must be what it feels like to be the Cubs facing opening day after winning the World Series last year.  Expectations.  They are the best and, sometimes the worst, motivator…

Chicago-Cubs-2016-World-Series-Champs-Ezra-Shaw-Staff-Getty

NET WORTH

So here we are 3 months in and I’m curious to see how things have stacked up.  Are you??  Well, I am pleased to report that so far they are stacking up quite nicely, if I do say so myself.  Here is how 2017 has played out thus far:  

  • JANUARY started the year out with a “bonus” of sorts.  It really isn’t a bonus at all but retro pay for having worked 3 years past our contracts end.  The bonus amounted to around 8k (minus taxes) leaving me enough money to fully fund my Roth IRA for the year.  Sweet!
  • FEBRUARY began my new position which required paid training bumping my normal 100 hour month to 115.  Not bad!
  • MARCH brought me $651 in tax returns, $743 for cashing in my savings bonds, and a great month for my side gig trading flight attendant trips…apparently no one wants to work during spring break!  March also marks the month my net worth hit 300k making me halfway to FI!!!

Shall we look at some numbers??  

Screenshot 2017-04-01 at 11.26.05 AM - Edited.png

It is so nice to see the new spreadsheet filling in!!  Perhaps from this it is obvious that I am not one who thrives well in black and white.  🙂

As far as reaching the same jaw dropping results as last year…I am on track for that as well!!  My end of the year NW was $263393 and my end of 1st quarter NW is $306453.  For those without a calculator that is a difference of $43060.  Um, yeah, I’m almost halfway to 100k already!!  It is with this knowledge that I have decided to push myself and try to reach 400k total NW by the end of the year.  It will be difficult, for sure, but I am throwing it out there as a goal to meet.  Making your goals public goes a long way in making them happen.  Accountability is huge but so is public shaming and embarrassment. 😉 That being said, should I not hit my goal, I have no plans to cower with my tail between my legs.  This goal is the absolute stars I am aiming for – I will be just as happy landing in the clouds.  Let’s face it, being debt free and halfway to FI, I am already there.

SAVINGS RATE

So what about the savings rate?  Last year was the first year I paid any attention to savings rates.  Until then, I had never considered how much you save compared to what you spend is exactly the calculation and measurement for FI success.  If I can earn more, spend less (therefore saving more), I am doubling down on a fantastic future.  Last year I aimed for 50% later realizing I was underestimating my savings and bumped it to 75%.  My actual savings rate for the year turned out to be 75.03% based on an average of my savings rate with (78.11%) and without (71.95%) 401k contributions.  I do not include my company match (9.3%) to these calculations as I have this weird hang up that I didn’t really earn it.  This is no way means that others should not include theirs,  it just isn’t my bag. Whatevs, to each their own.

This years savings rate goal has carried over from last year – 75%.  So far I have surpassed that due to the increase of income mentioned in the Net Worth portion of this post.  Here are the numbers…

Screenshot 2017-04-01 at 12.02.33 PM - Edited

My rate has fluctuated from month to month but the rate not including my 401k is currently 81.4%.  I have been asked MANY times how I can accomplish this rate of savings so, being I have many new readers this year, I feel the need to explain in detail.  The simple answer is to make more and spend less.  Right??  But my explanation goes a bit deeper.

  1.  The BIGGEST reason I can save so much is because the greatest expense in life is covered – I own my home outright so my monthly cost of living is cheap…dirt cheap.
  2.  I also am quite frugal when it comes to groceries (I love you, Aldi!).  Though I rarely go out to eat, when I do it is ALWAYS with a Groupon or some form of Happy Hour.  When I am flying, I pack my food for the entire trip and only in a blue moon will I eat at the hotel…even then the hotel bill is discounted 30% or more with our airline discount.
  3. Travel??  I fly for free or cheap and often my trips revolve around long distance hiking (CHEAP) and/or volunteering.

Here is the thing, even with this high savings rate and flourishing NW I am still WORKING my ass off to accomplish it.  A few years back I was in desperate need of motivation.  I had lost everything I had worked for and was starting fresh again.  It was terrifying (perhaps that’s why my blank spreadsheet freaks me out?!) and exhilarating.  I knew I only had one place to go and that was up.  If you are in debt or just getting out, do not take my today and compare it to yours.  I have been there and one day you will be here as well.  The point of all of these numbers is to hold ME accountable for MY today.  What are YOU doing for YOURS??

Until next time…

PS – It is clear I am on my way to achieving my 2017 financial goals, but I am proud to report I am still kicking ass at my personal goals…but, seriously, will I ever be able to do a big girl push up???  Ugh…2 months straight and I’m still a wuss!!

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52 thoughts on “2017 1st Qtr Net Worth & Savings Rates…Homerun!!

  1. Dang nice job over the past 3 months, you’re kicking some serious butt!! That savings rate is incredible. Not having a housing payment each month definitely makes a huge difference, and cheers to shopping at Aldi – not enough people take advantage of their low prices! I’m excited to see how your NW increases over the rest of the year, I’ll be cheering for you to reach $400k the whole way, keep it up 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Zach!! It is interesting to see it grow. I know you have also been tracking your progress since last year…sometimes I wonder where I would be had I started sooner?? When you see the numbers it really motivates you to keep pushing. You know those people that put a check made out to the for 1 million on their bulletin board? This is my version of that bulletin board. I don’t know exactly what is in store but I certainly know which direction I’m heading and I’m happy we are both heading the same way. 🙂 And, yes, 3 cheers for Aldi!!!

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  2. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    That savings rate is BADASS! I really do think there’s something to owning your home. 😉 Our rate is around 60% for March, which was good for us. If we didn’t have a mortgage that rate would be much higher.

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    1. 60% is AWESOME!! Plus you have more than one person!! But you’re right, in the end it really is all about the housing. Sometimes I calculate it multiple times because I keep thinking the rate is wrong. No – I’m just cheap in every other part of my life!! 😂 Of course, it helps not having kids. Little rascals are cute but they definitely cost some bucks!

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! 😊

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  3. Matt @ Optimize Your Life

    Nice work! That is an epic savings rate.

    We recently got an Aldi near us and it is amazing. I now understand why all the bloggers love it.

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    1. Thanks, Matt! Aldi is the second biggest life hack I have discovered in the last year. The first was the paid off home but the drop in my grocery expense rate compare to when I shopped at Whole Foods is INSANE!! I wish they would go public because that is one stock I would definitely buy loads of!

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  4. Sweet! Your 400k is my 300k and I really want to hit that but dammit travel is taking up a lot of money this year. I better enjoy this fricken Europe trip because it ain’t happening, at least like this, after this year. I do think owning your place is HUUUGE bonus! Congrats girl! Proud of you!

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    1. Oh yeah, girl!! You will have the BEST time – and more so because you worked hard for it. Putting it all on a credit card and paying it off later doesn’t give you the same appreciation as working for the trip…you know? As for the housing, obviously I am in a different market than California where renting is the norm, but the weather you have should more than make up for it!! Perhaps in a few years we can take our millions, buy a house and start a West Coast Grey Gardens/Golden Girls beach house!! 😉

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  5. TheRetirementManifesto

    3 words: “Crushing It, Cuz!!”

    Oh, and I’m surprised to learn you have a tail. No need to tuck it between your legs with a 75% savings rate!! Congrats on being a true example of what is possible! Good luck with the $400k goal, here’s hoping the markets continue to provide a strong “tail” wind!

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    1. Thanks, Fritz! As for the tail, I’m surprised you’re surprised!! 😉 But my tail shall wag free of tucking. Markets or not my goals just keep me motivated on the FI prize. It seems quite ludicrous that I can hit that number as my pay won’t be going up this year but you never know where money will come from. Make it rain, Money Gods!!!

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  6. Housing does make a huge impact. I recently reran our numbers with a save off house in the equation and expenses obviously dropped dramatically. I’m probably five years until payoff given we are balancing investments with mortgage. When it happens though our savings rate will pickup another ten percent at least.

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  7. Your savings rate is amazeballs! Way to slay those goals.

    I include 401k matches in my numbers because it’s an immediate vest. Anything with a vesting schedule remains out of my net worth and savings rate calculations until it’s 100% mine.

    I know that some people include principal repayments in their savings but that seems odd to me. I get the reasoning, but that’s not for me.

    Keep up the fantastic work!

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    1. I know, I know…but I just can’t! I’m fully vested but it just doesn’t seem realistic. I am happy with the current rate but just for shits and giggles I did a few calculations and it brings my total savings rate up between 2-3%. Not bad!

      As for the principal payments – no. It makes no sense! I know many would go against this line of thinking, but your home has as much value as what it sells for on the day it sells. Having been killed in the housing crash, I learned that lesson the hard way. For example, I bought 1 condo for 100k – it sold for 45k. If I was banking on that 100 I would have been shit out of luck. Another was bought for 169k – sold for 67k. 100k gone gone gone within 2 years of purchasing it. Ouch. So, just because you are paying your principal down doesn’t mean the value is going up.

      In the end none of this really matters. I love to see how people calculate their net worth and savings rates – what works for some doesn’t work for others and that is just fine. I don’t count my condo or car in my overall assets but next month I will be adding an exorbitant figure to include the value of my dog, Bubs. Let’s face it, she is priceless but, for the sake of accounting, I will value her to be well over 1 million. 🙂

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  8. Awesome job, Miss Mazuma! Thanks for sharing your numbers (I’m still trying to work up the nerve, so I appreciate those that are more brave than I). And you have a kick ass savings rate, girl! 🙂

    I was calculating our savings rate yesterday and asked my husband what he thought. We had differences in how we would figure it. Really, there are a plethora of ways you could go about figuring it. I’m trying to keep it simple to make it easier to calculate each month. And I am using company contributions, but wasn’t previously. I’m still on the fence on whether they should be included, so I totally understand why you wouldn’t include them.

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    1. Amanda, I soooo get it! It IS scary!! But, I think back to before I was blogging and the posts I read and how inspiring they were for me. People put it out there like it was no big deal and I so appreciated being able to look at everything from a numbers standpoint…no judgement included! Now it doesn’t bother me, but I feel once I hit FI I won’t continue to post the numbers. This is all about building upon my goal and motivating myself or anyone who wants to grow with me. In your case, as long as you know your numbers that’s all that matters!

      As for the calculations, you are correct – so many different ways!! Whatever you add or don’t add is a reflection of how you see the contribution. I feel like I didn’t “earn” my match so I don’t add it. Ty mentioned that since he is vested he adds his. Whatever you do is good for you…just keep on saving! 🙂

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    1. Thank you!! Have you ever noticed how the past seems like yesterday but, when you are excited about something in your future, tomorrow seems forever away? 5 years seems light years but I know it will fly by. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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    1. Haha – I tried again tonight! Only 2 semi good ones before I dropped to my knees. Instead of forcing it, this month I have increased my daily goal to 20 sit ups in the morning AND at night…maybe by the end of the month I can do 5 normal ones. Maybe. 😉

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    1. Right?! I mean, my FI number changes often but this is the middle of the road number. My safe zone. My current spending was just over 18k but I don’t feel that is sustainable for the future. I am aiming for 24k/year but that is living as I am now with a bit of wiggle room. So many factors could change between now and then but, for now, that is what I am comfortable with. I will still work after FI, just not so many hours! As I get older this job takes more of a toll on my body. I’m in constant need of zen time. 🙂

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    2. Right?! I mean, my FI number changes often but this is the middle of the road number. My safe zone. My current spending was just over 18k but I don’t feel that is sustainable for the future. I am aiming for 24k/year but that is living as I am now with a bit of wiggle room. So many factors could change between now and then but, for now, that is what I am comfortable with. I will still work after FI, just not so many hours! As I get older this job takes more of a toll on my body. I’m in constant need of zen time. 🙂

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  9. Miss Mazuma,

    Amazing results. But honestly, I couldn’t get past your opening picture and focus on the content. Huge Indians fan here and I was at Game 7. My nose was bleeding and you couldn’t see me in the background. By far the greatest sporting event I have been to in my life. Man…. But 2017 is a new season!

    Bert

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    1. Wow – good for you!! It was an INCREDIBLE game. Even though you are an Indians fan you can not disagree that it was such a great win for my home team. I can’t imagine the pressure they feel going into this season but that was one hell of a game no one will ever forget. Especially you having been there!!

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  10. I sadly do not love our Aldi’s that just popped up. But we are getting a 365 which I think is going to be similar (but owned by WF). Kind of excited about that.

    Congrats on surpassing the $300K mark in NW.

    So, I am anxious flyer who can’t make it overseas but really wants to. Best tip(s)?

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    1. Oh no – bummer! Is it that specific location or Aldi in general? I know it takes some getting used to. If you go for one thing and one thing only it should be the knock off girl scout cookies. 😉

      As for the flying, I hear ya! I, too, am very anxious on long flights. It is strange for me to sit on a plane for so many hours when I am used to being up and able to talk to the flight deck should I need to. One thing that has always helped me, even in the worst turbulence, is to know that the guys and gals flying the plane all have families. They want to get from point A to point B then back to their families just like everyone else on the plane. At some point you just have to trust that they will do the job they are meant to do. I know that isn’t much help but I hope it can put you at ease.

      Coming from someone who has been flying almost weekly for 15 years, you never get used to international flights. Thankfully, my airline only flies internationally to Mexico and South America. I have found that being super tired helps me to ease in. Also, most flights have tv’s on the seats so I watch movie after movie to pass the time. I took melatonin on my way home from Hong Kong but I had a cold so it was a miserable flight regardless. NyQuil? I think I will try that next time. Good luck and feel free to reach out at any time!!

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      1. I have never been to Aldi’s so I can only remark on my local one. but I will remember to look for the cookies there if I venture in again.

        Thank you so much for the tips! I do look at the flight attendants when flying and stay calm that way. If they don’t freak out then I have no reason to. but to hear you say that international flights make you anxious after 15 years flying weekly… trip out. actually puts me at ease too. I guess I just need to, “suck it up buttercup!” and jump on.

        I bought rescue remedy (works well, but small duration) and bring an ativan with me. Guess I should be good. Maybe some benedryl… can someone just knock me out until we get there?! 🙂
        I am hoping to hop from LAX to HI, stay for a few days, then HI to Tokyo. Breaking up the flight I think might help. Maybe. Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. FinancePatriot

    I am impressed by your numbers. And seriously, can you ever have enough Winking Owl?

    Have you thought about skipping the Roth and investing taxable instead? At 0% cap gains and dividend rates, taxes are no longer an issue for those heading towards ER.

    If you achieve FI, you will need to have a withdrawal plan. That’s why I say skip the Roth. I wrote about rescuing our Roth principal on my blog and why we did it.

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    1. Oh my! We just had a RSF meet up at my house with a blind wine tasting theme. Winking Owl won the red competition!! $2.89, baby!

      As for the Roth, I actually just switched to full time Roth 401k this year. Last year I did all traditional and the year before I split it. I’m kind of going back and forth based on different articles I read. Most recently, I read a post asking how much of your retirement is really yours. It made me think, 25% of my traditional (at this current tax rate) isn’t mine! I know I can convert it later but even when I am FI I don’t plan to quit my job – the perks are too good! Knowing that, I figured to switch to Roth for now and build that up a bit more. The good news is my match is 9.3% and goes to the traditional. So in a way it’s all diversified. With my cash holding at 2 years expenses I plan to eventually take some time off and convert some of the traditional to Roth during those years. But, again, should I read another post that sways me I’m not afraid to change my mind. I’ll definitely pop over to find that post. I love to hear everyone’s take on this!! 🙂

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      1. Yes, I have this bookmarked and have read it dozens of times. This is exactly what made me switch to all traditional last year. Then I read the post about how much was mine and it made me switch back!! Haha – whoever said it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind was spot on! I’m sure I’ll switch it again at some point. Are you listening to the podcast ChooseFI? Brandon gave an AWESOME break down of some of this method in the last episode. Check it out if you haven’t already. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t generally hold quarterly goals. I like to focus on yearly goals because it gives me more leeway. As a fund manager, I focus on yearly performance instead of quarterly performance. Doing so allows me to focus on the long term more.

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    1. Yearly goals are super if you are able to keep on track! I wish I was that confident in my drive. Tracking quarterly helps keep me motivated for the long haul. Since I am an hourly employee, checking in every quarter keeps me on target and pushing forward. If I’m behind I can add a few more hours to catch up. If I’m ahead I might slack the next month. I would hate to get to the end of the year and wish I’d pushed harder. I will say, if I was salary, I might not feel the need to track as often. Either way, the long game should be the focus so if yearly works for you that is awesome! I just need a bit more motivation. 😜

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  13. Color me humbled. I thought our 65-70% savings rate was impressive. But your savings rate is astonishing. GREAT FREAKIN’ JOB, Miss M. I love it. But don’t be too hard on yourself if your net worth isn’t $400K by the end of the year. I hope I’m wrong, but my spidey senses anticipate a 20% market pull back this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking the same! And I’m also weary of the housing market. I keep seeing properties list and sell within a week…my moms included! People are buying hot to trot and it is reminiscent of the market in 2005/2006. No way I’m getting swept up in that again. As for the saving rate, I think it is a bit easier as a single person. Granted, I have to keep myself focused, but the goal of FI is a big enough carrot for me to really justify each purchase. Nothing means more to me than reaching that goal. You guys have done an amazing job and have an awesome relationship to share those wins. Im keeping an eye on you guys for my after FI life and how to make the most of it. 😘

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  14. Hey there Miss Mazuma,

    First time stopping by, that’s amazing you save 80%+ of your income. I can’t believe that – motivates me to pay off my house!! (I could do it in 5.5 years, though not sure it’s the best move given my 2.625% rate!)

    Thanks for sharing – looking forward to joining your community

    Like

    1. Do it!! 2.625% is hard to beat but it is so amazing how fast wealth can build with housing, most peoples greatest expense, being paid off. 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment. Happy to have you here!

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  15. I actually had an 80% savings rate in March. I guess it helps that I had already paid for March’s lodging costs in various other months.

    You are killing it. April will be depressing as March included a little bit of work, some quarterly dividends as well as cashing out my vacation pay. There will be virtually no income in April almost guaranteeing a negative savings rate. 😀

    You are doing phenomenal, and I’m so glad we got to meet before I hit the road. 😀

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    1. Yeah for March!! See what having your housing paid for does for the savings rate?!

      I’m glad we got a chance to get together as well…next up? FinCon!! Enjoy your travels until then and can’t wait to here more stories from the road. 🙂

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  16. Wow you are killing it with over an 80% savings rate. I thought I was doing well with 75% but I can clearly learn from you and your frugal ways 🙂

    I will definitely be rooting you on as you reach for 400k this year. I bet you can do it!!!

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    1. 75% is AWESOME! It just little old me and half the time I am away from home with work so temptation to buy isn’t a problem or even a possibility! Thankfully I don’t like to shop online. 🙂 Thanks for the rooting – I can use all the cheerleading I can get…especially with Mr Groovy pointing out the market may soon drop. I am stuck in my “best case” mindset!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Money Challenge #18: Update Your Net Worth

  18. Amazing! 80% saving rate! That’s the way to go.
    Looking and tracking your saving rate is a great idea! I never thought of tracking it month-over-month, but it makes so much sense. Thanks a lot for the inspiration!

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  19. Wow this is great progress! Can I just say that I CANNOT believe we are done with the first quarter of 2017? Seriously, it didn’t even occur to me that we haven’t written a 1st quarter goals update.. until now (but who knows if we will actually write one!).

    I am really impressed that you pack your food for flights that involve a stay in a hotel – that takes packing your own lunch to a whole new level, your entire suitcase must be just food for each shift! And we all know the cooking supplies in hotel rooms are not really up to par – sandwiches? You really have some great self control with that considering how tempting room service can be.

    Mrs DDU

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    1. Right?! Where did the time go?? It doesn’t help that we have a HUGE calendar that takes up half the wall in our bedroom…we slash each day as it passes and they go by so quick!

      As for the food, I do carry a lunch bag which is made up of salads, pre mixed tuna in jars (bread separate so it’s not mushy!), home made burritos, almond milk/cereal, precooked veggie burgers, and an array of fruits. All hot foods are in foil wrap so I can cook them on the coffee burner at work. The rest is kept on ice in my bag during the day and overnight…NEVER trust hotel room fridges – they ruin your food! I have it all down to a science. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by – I hope all is well with you!!

      Like

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