Net worth progression from December 2017 to September 2018

Once a month I share my net worth.

Related: Net Worth Update #5 - August 2018

I do this as it’s motivational to see the progress other bloggers are making on their financial goals and, hopefully, to provide some motivation for others as well.

I shared my first net worth update back in April 2018 and have been sharing monthly updates since.

Here are my numbers for September 2018:

Cash Reserves
Savings Account$11,041    (+$16)
Checking Account$2,000     (-$868)
Total Cash Reserves$13,041   (-$852)
  
Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts
VTSAX$37,265  (+$4,347)
Brokerage Account$4,006    (+$64)
Total Non-Tax Advantaged$41,271  (+$4,411)
  
Tax Advantaged Accounts
401k$27,982  (+$1,739)
HSA$1,437    (+$288)
Roth IRA$5,557    (+$5,557)
Total Tax Advantaged$34,976  (+$7,584)
  
Net Worth$89,285   (+$11,144)

Progress

Here’s a look at my net worth progression since I started tracking it back in December of 2017:

Net worth progression from December 2017 to September 2018

Recap

From August to September my net worth increased by $11,144! That’s about a 14% increase from last month.

This increase is a bit misleading since I got paid twice in September. I get paid once a month and it worked out so that I got paid for August on September 1st.

September was another month with higher than normal spending, mostly related to moving. This month I moved with my girlfriend into a new place and we had a little Ikea excursion to finish furnishing the apartment (I ate their Swedish meatballs for the first time. Not bad.)

I also had my car shipped from Florida (an $1,100 hit… I don’t think there’s a further route in the US than the one my car took––south Florida to Seattle). The car has already started to pay for itself in the form of some beautiful hikes.

Hiking in Mount Rainier

I also opened up a Roth IRA account, one of the things I mentioned I wanted to do in last month’s update. I did this through Vanguard as I already have my other investments there (my 401k is also through Vanguard) and it took less than 10 minutes. I invested $5,500 (the annual maximum) into VTSMX (which is the same as VTSAX, except without the $10,000 minimum).

I went with a Roth IRA over a traditional IRA as I wouldn’t get a tax deduction from the traditional IRA and because I liked the flexibility of being able to withdraw my contributions penalty free.

What Drove The Net Worth Increase?

Like I mentioned above, the main factor in this month’s increase was the double paycheck. I also got most of my security deposit back from my previous apartment, so that was a nice little bonus.

The market was fairly flat during September so I didn’t gain much there.

Stock price of VTSAX during September 2018

Where Did My Money Go?

In addition to the $5,500 I added to the Roth IRA, this month I was able to contribute again to VTSAX. I hadn’t done so for a few months since I needed money on hand, but I added $4,222 as a lump sum buy on the 30th at $72.95 per share.

I first bought VTSAX shares in December of last year at $66.34 a share. Nine months later they’re already over $70 (about a 10% increase). The best time to invest is always today.

I also put in $1,738 into my 401k and remain on track to reach the $18,500 max annual contribution limit. Everything else went into my checking account.

Here’s my total asset allocation:

Net worth broken down by source (cash, stock, bond)

Where I’m Headed

Over the past few months I did a few small things that will have a big impact in the long-term.

In May I signed up for an HSA at work and then last month I invested the funds I had in there in SPTM (the HSA investments are managed through Ameritrade and SPTM is one of the only total market commission-free funds I found). This lowers my tax bill and provides tax-free growth.

In June I finally got rid of my awful no-interest Wells Fargo savings account from college and opened one up at Capital One (I’ve heard Ally is also good), where I’m getting 1.85%. Over these past few months I’ve made about $55 worth of interest.

This month I opened up a Roth IRA, which won’t lower my tax bill, but will provide tax-free growth. I’ve reached the max annual contribution for 2018 and will add to it again next year.

Overall, the game plan remains unchanged: save as much as possible, max out my 401k, and put all I can into VTSAX. The goal is to surpass the $100k mark sometime before the end of 2018 (🤞).

If you have any questions or comments or just wanna chat, you can reach me at ziadig@gmail.com.