Net Worth: April 2013

unicornWell the last 30 days have been anything but normal  for the Ninja household. I don’t know if you keep up with MANteresting at all, but the media gods had favor on us last week. It started with this BuzzFeed article, which snowballed in to a few dozen more articles being written about us and a buttload of traffic. We had over 60,000 visits on Wednesday alone.

MANteresting popped up on E!, Yahoo, I did a few radio interviews, and even got a call from MTV2 about a potential feature on a show they are producing. Needless to say, it’s been a wild freaking ride. I mean we are over a year old now and already had a great media go around, showing up in CNN, ABC, TechCrunch, etc. I thought our 15-minutes of fame had long passed, but wouldn’t ya know it, we got a breath of fresh air. During one of my interviews this last week a Bloomberg reporter asked:

Reporter: Do you feel like there is a strategy or approach Pinterest could take to even out the overly feminine tone of the site?

Me: Yep. Buy us out.

Well guess freaking what! We got an email from Pinterest after they saw the article and they offered to do just that!!!! That’s right, we got an incredible, quasi-life changing, offer. It’s all a little surreal and we can’t say much (stupid lawyers), but TechCrunch reported some terms of the deal here. I can’t say anything else 🙁

Okay, now that you got April Fooled it’s probably time I move on with this Net Worth post. Here’s how things shaped up for us in March…

A$$ets:

Cash: $94,650; +$2,812

That $100,000 goal is so close I can taste it. Thinking right as summer rolls around we can quit saving and start having a little more fun, and begin investing for the short-term. Maybe up our retirement contributions, travel, buy a unicorn. The possibilities are endless when you have a nice cushion.

Roth IRA: $38,255; +$736

And the markets just keep on setting records. How high will they go is the question. It’s tempting to not just reallocate my funds so my paper gains turn in to realized gains. Maybe I’ll do that, but for now I’m just planning to stay the course and continue investing in good times and bad. Seems to have worked out so far, and that’s contributing during the worst economy since the Great Depression.

401Ks, IRAs, etc: $58,307; +$2,097

401K, dollar cost averaging, blah blah blah. The accounts went up last month. YAY!

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $1,600 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Every time we swipe the card we get some airline miles. Good thing too considering I’m writing this from Palm Desert, CA. We cashed in some of those miles to spend a week in California for Girl Ninja’s spring break. While you’re at work this week, just remember, I’ll be eating as many california burritos as possible, while laying on the beach, and having Girl Ninja feed my grapes.

2013 Q1 is a thing of the past. I really can’t complain as it’s quickly shaping up to be our best year ever. We jumped up another $5,861 last month, putting us at an overall NW of  $189,612. We’re up over $25,000 since the first of the year. It’s pretty insane, but I’m not complaining 😉

You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: March 2013

It’s always a good month when the stock market hits an all time high. I graduated college in May 2007, just a few short months before the economy took a dump. It sucked watching some of my first 401K and Roth IRA contributions drop significantly in value, but if you stay the course, things always seem to turn around. When ya take the emotion out of it, one can’t argue with the long term performance of the markets.

Enough about that, on with the update:

A$$ets:

Cash: $91,838; +$1,554

Less than five-figures from hitting our $100,000 goal. We’ve been spending a little more freely lately, which reduced the amount of cash we could have theoretically banked. Since we are in no rush to buy a house (not with a crazy Seattle Bubble), I’m cool spoiling ourselves from time to time.

Roth IRA: $37,519; +$443

How much higher will the markets go before things flatten out? We’ve seen a lot of upward movement, especially in the last 18 months. Fortunately, I don’t really care what the markets are doing. I don’t let emotions get in the way. Like my wedding vows, I invest in goods times and bad. I might not make millions in the short-term doing it, but I will over the long-haul 😉

401Ks, IRAs, etc: $56,210; +$5,904

My 13% 401k contributions kicked in for the first time last month. I get an extra 5% match from my agency. We FINALLY gained access to Girl Ninja’s old 403b retirement fund from her time in California. It’s been 18 months. This added a healthy $4,500 to our NW last month. Freakin’ love that girl. I’d marry her so hard again if I could!!!

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $1,817 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

I told Girl Ninja for Valentine’s Day I’d like to get her a nice down jacket for skiing. We headed off to REI to find the perfect jacket. She then, pulled out her jedi-mind tricks (which typically means she just batted her eyes a few times and smiled real big) and walked out with not one down jacket. but two! I don’t know how that girl does it. It’s incredible really. Anyways, like I mentioned before we had a bit of a costly month, Valentine’s Day definitely didn’t help 😉

The first two months of 2013 are in the dust, and it’s been a heck-of-a run. Our net worth jumped up $7,764 last month which makes me one happy camper. This puts us at an overall NW of  $183,751. 

We’re up over $20,000 since January 1st. It’s crazy. I don’t get it. But I definitely wont complain about it. Let the good times roll.

You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: February 2013

candy corn unicorn

According to reports, this years Super Bowl advertising rates were $4 million for a 30 second commercial. I decided to calculate how much air time I could have bought during last night’s big game, using the gains from this moths net worth increase. The result… 0.05 seconds. That’s less than half the length of time it takes for you to blink your eyes. CRAZY!!!!!

Let’s see how this translates in to real numbers.

A$$ets:

Cash: $90,284; +$2,028

I’m super pumped we broke the $90k threshold this month. Hopefully it wont be but a few months before we hit our ultimate goal of $100,000. How crazy is that?!

Taxable Investment Account: $0; No change

Like I said last month, we wont be investing in my short-term account until after we have bought a house and get a better handle of what our future financial situation might look like. For now, cash is king.

Roth IRA: $37,076; +$1,163

The markets have been very cooperative lately, and each time they are, my net worth gets a healthy little bump. There’s nothing quite like making a G on the side, especially when I didn’t have to lift a finger to do it.

401k: $50,306; +$3,483

I’ve been investing 10% of my salary in to my 401k each month. My agency matches 5%. Girl Ninja throws 5% in to her 401k, which also receives a 5% match.

We’re fortunate to be in a financial position where we can worry about how much we should put in to retirement, instead of how we are going to put food on the table. We don’t ever want to lose sight of how quickly our situation could change, and the responsibility we have to manage our money wisely.

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $1,680 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

It would have been one cheap month for us if I could throw out the last week of January. We went a little “ski happy”. Girl Ninja and I both picked up new-to-us pairs of skis and we got her some boots and poles. We also hit the slopes up a couple of times, and man oh man, lift tickets aren’t cheap. Only got about 4 weeks left of solid skiing before spring conditions set in. Could be expensive, but it’s well worth every penny if you ask me. Love me some mountains.

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So how much does this add up to? Or better yet, how much would a 0.05 second Super Bowl commercial cost? $7,109 to be exact . That gain puts us at a total net worth of $175,987, which would buy us a 1.3 second commercial.

Hey now we’re talking, I could at least say the words “Punch Debt In The Face” in that amount of time. You think I’d get my money out of that ad?

You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: January 2013

I’m including a unicorn in every NW update from now on

Happy Net Year. No that’s not a typo, just my lame attempt at making a terrible joke. While December is typically a very expensive month for households, we managed to make some serious gains and push our net worth up five figures last month. This makes me cry tears of sweet joy.

A$$ets:

Cash: $88,256; +$8,730

While we did make some pretty serious strides since last month’s update, $2,000 of this was robbed from our taxable investment account. Since we are three steps in to the house hunting process (hiring a realtor, getting pre-approved, and touring homes) I transferred our cash holdings out of the short-term investment account, and put them back in our standard checking. We’ll keep growing this beast for a few days, weeks, or months, until we know exactly what the purchase price and closing costs of our future will be.

Taxable Investment Account: $0; -$2,000

Accidentally not investing this money in the stock market was fortunately a good decision. I didn’t feel bad about taking from it to beef up the savings account. Fear not dear friends, we will be short-term investing before the year ends!

Roth IRA: $35,913; +$1,800

Nothing quite like making money when you didn’t actually do anything besides watch some virtual account magically increase. It’s probably the second greatest thing in the world. The old TV show Salute Your Shorts being the first.

TSP (401K): $46,823; +$6,571

We finally got off our lazy butts and started tracking Girl Ninja’s 401k funds. She had $3,330 sitting in some mutual funds that I almost never looked at. After a little due diligence we got online access and was able to import that information into Mint. Woohoo. We also are in the process of rolling over her old 401k from her San Diego job to an individual IRA. Those funds aren’t account for yet since they haven’t shown up online. Hopefully by next month we can officially include that $4,000 addition 😉

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $2,115 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Still can’t believe just a few years ago I owed $28,000 to that old hag Sallie Mae. Haven’t missed her one bit and have no plans to cross paths with her in the future. Last time I tallied our total Christmas gift shopping expenses were $707. This means Girl Ninja and I will be making some donations in an equal amount to some charities and organizations very soon. We also went skiing yesterday and the experience isn’t cheap, but it is well worth it.

Since the markets were favorable, and we started including Girl Ninja’s 401k, we were able to move up $168,878 which is a $15,243 increase over the previous month. This is definitely the biggest single month jump we’ve ever had. It’s a great start to 2013 and I wouldn’t mind if the trend continues 😉

p.s. Tomorrow’s post will be a detailed chronicle of Saturday’s Seattle house hunting journey. Here’s a sneak peek of a $379,000 house we walked through…

Now do you get why we don’t even want to see houses that start in the $200,000’s?

;

You can see all of my net worth updates here.


Net Worth: December 2012

I’m including a unicorn in every NW update from now on

Tis the season to update my freaking net worth! My love for the Christmas season is a lot like diarrhea… I just can’t hold it in. I’m actually rocking out to N’Sync Christmas as I type this.

Sure, this is one of the more expensive times of the year, but ya get what ya pay for right? Time with loved ones, sweet gifts, vacation from work. That’s priceless if you ask me!

Welp, it’s time to take a look and see how we did last month.

A$$ets:

Cash: $79,526; +3,057

I don’t know why, but for the last three+ years I’ve been tracking my checking account and savings account separately. That’s pretty silly since it is all the same. Cash. From now on, I’ll just be mashing those accounts in to this one section. Only seems logical.

According to the budget I made back in January we should be able to save about $2,978 each month. Eleven months later, that prediction is still pretty darn accurate. We’ve had some expensive months, but we’ve also had some lucrative ones. Can’t complain as long as we’re generally moving in the upwards direction.

Taxable Investment Account: $2,000; No Change

Well this is awkward. So remember how I blogged a week ago about finally throwing my taxable investment cash in to a Vanguard fund. Apparently I never completed the purchase order. Which means I never actually made that investment. Oops.

After reading through the comments of that post, and learning about some of the potential negatives of the fund I picked, I need to rethink where I want to invest this money. I still might stick with my original plan, or maybe I’ll finally suck it up and learn how to actively manage my accounts. For now, it’s still just sitting as cash though.

Roth IRA: $34,113; +$438

My Roth IRA is up about 13% on the year which is pretty exciting. I’m quasi-fortunate that I graduated college right as the economy tanked. Only one of my five years of Roth contributions were at the peak of the market. Hopefully this will mean over the course of my career, I’ll see some pretty great returns on these early investments. Suck economies for the win!

TSP (401K): $40,252; +$1,107

My TSP has returned a 9.29% return on the year. Last month, Wall Street cooperated again and helped push this account in the positive direction. One day this account is going to have seven figures in it. That’s gonna be dope!

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $1,803 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Whenever our Credit Card balance is under $2,000 I am a happy camper. It’s a little crazy how much we use this little piece of plastic, but might as well get some airline miles out of the deal if we were gonna spend that money anyway.

I’m cringing inside a little at what our balance might be this month, with all the Christmas gifts we’ll be buying and fun things we plan on doing this month. 

This leaves us with a total Net Worth of $153,635 which is $4,102 more than 30 days ago. We wont be hitting our 2012 Net Worth goal of $170,000, but we have legitimate reasons for falling short (which I’ll be blogging about shortly). Overall 2012 has been good to us and we hope to keep those good vibrations rolling in to 2013.

p.s. this is what happens when I’m going potty and have money in my wallet and my iPhone within reach.

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You can see all of my net worth updates here.


Net Worth: November 2012

I’m including a unicorn in every NW update from now on

Is it November already? Seriously. when did that happen? I swear Y2K was just last week. We did something exciting last week and opened up a new account (see below for more details), but other than that October was a terribly boring month for us. Let’s get to it.

A$$ets:

Checking Account: $5,504; (change not shown since money is constantly in and out of this account). My freaking landlord hasn’t cashed October or Novembers rent check yet. Our lease agreement says I have to pay him $40 a day, every day I am late on rent. So does that mean I can charge him $40/day every day he doesn’t deposit one of my rent checks? Never thought I’d have to beg someone to take our money.

Savings Accounts: $70,965; -$1,970. Although this drop may look depressing at first, it’s really not that bad. I had to pay a $2,000 bill to a developer that has done some work for us on MANteresting (this running a business stuff gets expensive). I also took another $2,000 and put it somewhere a little more exciting, see below for details.

Taxable Investment Account: $2,000;  +$2,000. It’s been a long time coming, but I finally manned up and started investing for the “short” term. Well kind of. Technically I haven’t invested anything yet, but I DID open up the account and transfer money over. I’ll be heading to a USAA blogger conference even in San Antonio this week and am going to pick the brains of some of the CFP’s they have on hand to make sure I have a good plan. It’s about time I start saving for my 35 year old self. 

Roth IRA: $33,675; +$4,583. Of course I make my $5,000 annual Roth IRA contribution right before the stock market takes a huge poop on itself. I know all you dollar cost averaging people are gonna chime in right now, but I don’t wanna hear it. Haha. Still feels nice to check off another year of funding the ol Roth IRA.

TSP (401K): $39,145; +$429. Even with a less-than-stellar performance in the markets my 8% contribution and full 5% match helped my 401k move up ever so slightly. It’s gonna be crazy to think one day this account will have six zeros after it. The sooner, the better.

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $2,153 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month) Just a bunch of small expenses here. I did mean to use a $400 airfare credit I had saved to buy a plane ticket for Girl Ninja, but like an idiot. I totally forgot about it and paid with my credit card. Didn’t realize until it was too late to switch payment forms. That’s my stupid tax for the month.

Last update our net worth shot up over $12,000. It was pretty incredible. This month, not so much. We’re now sitting at  $149,533 which is an increase of $139 from the previous update. Haha, doesn’t quite bring me the same amount of joy, but whatever. It’s not a drop so I can’t really complain. 

p.s. Is anyone else depressed it’s starting to get dark at like 4:30pm? Summer…come back!!!!

You can see all of my net worth updates here.

I can buy anything I want.

As I logged in to Mint to give the ‘ol bank accounts a quick check, I realized something. Girl Ninja and I can pay cash for virtually anything we could ever want (excluding a house). Too be honest, it’s kind of humbling. I don’t feel like we can buy a 2013 Porsche Cayenne, but the reality is we could buy two. When the crap did that happen?

I guess this isn’t too surprising because if you DON’T feel like you can buy a Porsche, you DON’T buy a Porsche. Not buying a Porsche leaves more money in my bank account. Simple stuff.

That my friends is called financial peace. It’s been a long journey. A journey that started with a negative net worth of $28,000 and an annual income that was only slightly more than that. There was no windfall or inheritance. My boss never doubled my salary overnight. It wasn’t always easy; I sold my motorcycle to buy GN’s engagement ring because I didn’t want to take money from my savings account.

Sometimes making good decisions hurts. Bad.  

We are impatient people. We selectively forget it took us four years to accumulate our student loans, yet we complain when they haven’t been paid off in six months.

Patience, grasshopper.

You didn’t get in to debt overnight, and you wont be getting out of it overnight. Stay the course. Make wise decisions. Live within your means. Then one day, you’ll be able to buy anything you want.

p.s. part of me wants to go buy a Porsche now. 

p.p.s. Come win $200 over at MANteresting.