Has anyone noticed that the stock market has been a bit crazy over the last few months?
Fortunately, this stock market dip was more than offset by a positive bump in the value of my primary home, based on an appraisal commissioned as part of a HELOC loan application (which was DENIED! Ugh, more on that later).
In total my net worth increased by $37,999 over the last two months and now stands at $580,499. Here is a more detailed breakdown:
#OperationCrushStudentDebt started off with a bang! We paid off $10,264 in loans during March – saving us $58/month FOREVER! It feels incredible to finally start tackling this debt monster.
We paid off this large chuck thanks to the following sources of funds:
- $1,764: Budget surplus from March
- $3,300: Money I set aside money for this purpose prior to initiating #OperationCrushStudentDebt
- $1,000: Selling collectables I had laying around for years – won’t miss them either!
- $1,000: Cashing out money I used to have in PredictIt.com
- $900: Cashing out income generated by our rental property
- $2,300: Tax refund
This level of debt reduction was unusually high, in the future we hope to pay off around $3,000/month. If we are able to stick to our plan, we’ll pay off our remaining in student loans by November 2019.
We had an appraisal completed on our primary residence and the valuation came back at $445,000, a $35,000 increase in value. This percentage of growth is small relative to other parts of the Washington, DC area, but I’ll still take it!
This type of increase is rare for me, since I only update the value of our homes for net worth purposes after an appraisal or if a comparable home sales clearly warrant it.
This increase feels a little less spectacular when viewed in the context that we have put $20,000 into the property over the last year to replace our water heater, install wood floors, and fix our A/C unit. I’m a true believer that owning is much better than renting in many areas of the country … but this is a topic for another time.
Our other property, the rental, keeps going strong, generating $137/month in cash flow (plus equity). We haven’t had to do any repairs on this property since June 2017.
Ms. DINK and I continue to max out our employer-based retirement accounts at $1,545/month. Additionally, I receive 10.5% contribution from my employer, which adds $1,214/month.
In total $4,304/month is being added to our retirement accounts each month. Despite this, our retirement accounts dropped in value. Woof. As our accounts grow the market will continue to have a greater impact on our account value relative to our contributions – it’s tough to get use to that idea.
We continue to be mainly invested in Vanguard Index total market index funds when possible. For our employer-based plans we split our investments in low cost S&P indexes (70%) and international stocks with minor exposure to emerging markets (30%).
We encountered a number of large one-time expenses over the last two months that hurt our ability to crush student debt in March. Many of these were outside our control, but others were personal choices.
We plan to be more diligent in the future about limiting one-time expenses that are under our control, but we don’t want to become so inflexibility that we miss great life opportunities (especially travel). As they say &@*% happens … no sense worrying about it.