This month marks exactly one year since I first tracked my net worth, so I’ve been anticipating this blog post all December, excited to see the change since only one year ago. If you’ve read my first net worth post, you know that my starting point was a net worth of $131. That being said, my true starting point (when I graduated college), was closer to -$9,000, per my rough estimates. 2019 has been a year of cleaning up more debt than I thought I had, increasing my income much more than I anticipated, learning how to travel unfrugally, moving to a notoriously high cost city, and intentionally inflating my lifestyle. Truly a crazy amount of changes for someone like me, but because I had plans for my money the whole way through, I saw gains in my net worth despite setbacks. Here are the numbers:
Pension: $5,016 (+382 since last month, +3,364 since last year)
Roth IRA: $2,103 (+540 since last month, +2,103 since last year)
457: $2,452 (+70 since last month, +948 since last year)
Emergency Fund: $2,978 (+200 since last month, +1,672 since last year)
Other Savings: $3,023 (+39 since last month, +485 since last year)
2019 Net Worth: $15,572
Total change from last month: $1,231
Total change from 1 year ago: $13,789
(a note about this total not matching the exact December 2019 Net Worth total in my blog post back then: I forgot to add my pension last year)
I knew the growth this month would be slower, due to my gift fund being drained for Christmas. But I’m pleased with this change, and pleasantly surprised it wasn’t much slower. Slow growth is still growth, and that is always better than the other way around.
Looking at the total change from last year, I’m satisfied. The number itself doesn’t blow me away at face value, but knowing that this included 3 summer months where I barely made any growth and even found out I had more debt than I thought, I am actually impressed overall. Plus, I’m finally at the point where my investments are earning me a significant (to me) amount of money monthly, so some growth in my net worth is actually passive and doesn’t come out of my own paycheck. It’s hard to articulate how amazing this feels, when I know just how tough it is to take money out of my pocket and set it aside for the future. It’s comforting to finally see some of the benefits of this, even if on a small scale.
2020 will be my first year entirely debt free. It will (barring complications) be the first time I’ll have a fully-funded emergency fund. So if things go as closely to plan as possible, I’m ready to see the rate of growth of my net worth increase in the coming year. I feel so grateful for all the change the past few years have brought me; I feel like I’m growing into the most powerful version of myself through the progress I’ve been blessed to make. I haven’t followed a specific strategy or program, but rather have been seeking information from so many different sources and finding my way as I go. It’s not about strict commitment to one idea, but a commitment to yourself and a willingness to become entirely aware of your own finances and what they mean for you, tracking it all along the way. And it works.
If you’re ready to start controlling your own finances, you can budget using my spreadsheet template here: