It’s check-in time!
Holy hell, has it been cold in MN. We hit the lakes for some ice fishing this past weekend with air temps between -13 and -19 out on the ice.
Some Random updates from the AE household
- Basement finishing has stalled for the most part. I am planning on getting back to it after my ice fishing trip next week. Stay tuned to my Twitter account if you want to see some Walleyes (hopefully).
- We have a mobile baby that is starting to stand without holding onto something. Walking will be coming in the next few months. Wish us luck.
- We are working on our 2018 goals (I am late again – we have a pretty good idea what is going on but there are a few open questions).
For anyone that has not seen this done before, I hold myself accountable by posting my net worth progress for everyone to see. I firmly believe there is more value in setting and tracking goals, but like to check in on our progress quarterly. See all the past updates on my Net Worth Tracking Page
On to why you probably came here:
2017 was an amazing year for us financially despite all the costs that come along with having a child (Ooooffff – Child Care).
I had to start hiding some of the middle columns to fit in the page, moving forward I will show our very first update, each year end and the current year.
Breaking Down our Net Worth progress this Quarter
Another quarter of evidence that our ball is picking up some momentum on its own:
- Just under a $19,000 Increase in our Net Worth (11.26%).
- Just over a $14,000 Cash/Investment Jump (11.55%) – my 401K powered a big chunk of this gain
Year over Net Worth Year Jump (RECORD YEAR!)
Comparing to the end of 2016
- Net Worth went from $116,731.61 to $187,638.06 (60.74%)
- Cash/Investments jumped from $88,188.42 to $137,834.41 (56.29%)
Granted I have only been tracking this for about 2 full years now, but I know 2016 was our previous record and we definitely beat it!
The above increases are not sustainable as our nest egg grows, but definitely a good year on the Net Worth and Cash/Investment balance.
Even More Stock Market Power
Our 401Ks returned over 22% in 2017. Great year, and glad we put the work in over the last few years to take advantage of that growth.
I thought my 401K might hit $50K in 2017, but it blew by that and ended at $52,118. I will be maxing out in 2018!!!
You can see sizable jumps the last three-quarters in the chart above, making a huge difference already. Another real-world example of why investing in your 401K is so important. Especially for Millennials – start now!
Student Loans are under well under 10K now, it is really tempting to raid our Emergency Fund and finish that off. Might be happening in early 2018.
Not a lot to complain about!
Mrs. AE can’t access her 401K for the first 6 months of her new job.
I increased my withholding for December to make up for this and we are taking Mrs. AEs contributions out of her check and putting them in our Emergency Fund. As soon as she gets access in March we will set up her withdrawal to catch up for 2018 and pay ourselves from the Emergency Fund. Since we are deffering some of her 401K contributions to next year she may max her 401K out.
Q4 Goal Check-In
Our Q4 goals were to get back to our pre-baby saving levels so I will use that as the template for our Goal tracking.
Return to our Pre-Baby after-tax savings rate (39%)
- Passed! Last I calculated it was closer to 40%! Our raises starting May 1st are the only reason we were able to bridge this gap. I have also found we are spending less on evenings and most weekends with a baby (helps cover the insurance/daycare costs). The allocation has changed slightly (not contributing to Mrs. AE’s Roth IRA, but my 401K contribution is up a ton. I also upped Mrs. AE’s allocation another Percentage point after writing about what 1% can do.
Student Loan Payments
2018 will be the last year this goal shows up!
- Passed! Continued paying down my student loans at an accelerated rate (2x original monthly payment)
- Fail! Extra $125 student loan payment every 2 weeks (this used to be our emergency fund contribution). Assuming daycare ate this. Might try to get back to it by EOY
Pay off our hospital bills
- Fail! I split the last bill into 3 payments and we will make the last one in January. So a fail but only by a month
Grow Combined income by 6%
- Passed! Combined with our 5% and 6% increase in May, Mrs. AE’s new job puts us over the top of our goal for this year! She is getting a 9% bump for the move along with some other perks that could push this even further. Year to date we are up 9% combined over last year!
- RockStar Feature – I was featured on Rockstar Finance for my “The 401K Sundae” post! 3 straight quarters and hope to continue that trend.
- FinCon! – I went to FinCon and it was an amazing 4 days. Check out my FinCon recap for more info
- Traffic – The Rockstar bump helped again! Pinterest is fighting me every other month as well. Q4 was slower on the income front but I haven’t been pushing that at all.
- Guest Posts – Started hosting guests posts again, I do have a few minor requirements but if you are interested shoot me an email.
How was your 2017 Financially?