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Kathleen, October 2013 Net Worth

This article was written by in Naked With Cash. 3 comments.


In Naked With Cash, seven anonymous Consumerism Commentary readers publicly track and analyze their finances on a monthly basis. For almost a decade, I tracked my own finances on Consumerism Commentary; now I’m sharing the benefits of public accountability with the participants. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series.

Kathleen is thirty-one years old, single, and living in Portland, Oregon. She loves her job, even if it isn’t very lucrative. Since her income was $33,000 last year, she’s looking to make more money from “side hustles” (like her blog, Frugal Portland) this year. To learn more about Kathleen, read her bio. Kathleen is on Team Sara, with Certified Financial Planner Sara Stanich.

Kathleen’s report this month, below, includes Kathleen’s progress during October 2013. You can read her September report here. Following Kathleen’s own self-analysis, Sara Stanich will offer thoughts from her perspective and Jacob Wade from I Heart Budgets will share his thoughts.

Sara Stanich, CFP appears courtesy of Stanich Group and Cultivating Wealth.

Comments and analysis from Kathleen

You’ll see a huge decrease in my mortgage this month. This is due to the generosity of my dad, who has decided to help his daughters by giving us the lion’s share of a small life insurance policy. “It’s what your mom would have wanted,” he said. That may be true, but holy cow, do these gifts have a huge impact on my bottom line!

This year was the first year I found out about property taxes. As a renter, I just assumed my homeowner friends were overreacting, but they were right! My bill came, and it’s $3,600! For a 930 square foot condo in a residential (no coffee shops within walking distance) semi-urban setting. Even better, it just got added to my mortgage, so before the generous gift, my mortgage went up significantly, not down.

Onward, upward. I like the way my numbers are starting to look.

Feedback from Sara Stanich, CFP

Onward and upward is right, Kathleen. Your numbers are looking good.

Have you set any financial goals for next year? In the new year, I’d like to see you grow your income and save more for retirement.

I know you have lots of business ideas and I can imagine your income really taking off. Increasing income from your own business would in turn allow you to save more for retirement.

Right now you are saving in an IRA, and the maximum contribution to an IRA is $5,500 per year. I know your employer does not offer a 401(k). As your side business grows, you can consider a retirement plan (like a SEP IRA or solo 401(k)) that is associated with your business. This will enable you to save much more for retirement.

This communication is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed. Any taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is not recommended. Any information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Be sure to contact a qualified professional regarding your particular situation before making any investment or withdrawal decision. Raymond James and Sara Stanich, CFP, are not affiliated with and do not endorse, authorize or sponsor any third party websites, their respective sponsors, or user comments found on this or other sites.

Feedback from Jacob Wade

It is great to see how your net worth is progressing, and what an amazingly generous gift from your dad (and mom) to help take quite a chunk out of the mortgage. Your net worth has increased over 200% since a year ago, you have killed all your consumer debt, and you are on your way down the road to being completely debt free. Nice work!

Here are my thoughts going forward: beware of lifestyle inflation. I know it’s a ridiculous buzzword that everyone uses, but here’s what I mean. On the big ticket items, I suggest you keep driving a cheap, paid-for car. I know a lot of people who get a little more money and all of the sudden their car is the biggest pile of junk ever. They seem to start nitpicking every issue and then they need to find a new car before “this one explodes.” Here’s the truth: You Don’t Need a New Car. Ever.

I know that’s not you, but it’s something to just be aware of so you can keep moving in the right direction. With the small stuff, I know you don’t have a budget, but don’t let the variable spending categories get out of hand. You know, food, entertainment, wine, etc. Keeping a soft budgeted amount for each of those will help keep money from leaking out each month, and keep that money working hard for you.

All in all, nice work once again, and keep ballin’!

Feedback from Luke Landes

I like the way your numbers are looking, too. That generous gift, which seemed to be more than half of September’s net worth, really propelled you forward. You reduced your mortgage by about $15,000 in one month — and that is normally unthinkable. And I get the impression that you like the way this looks on paper. Don’t lose this motivation — and don’t feel upset if you can’t replicate that 50% increase in net worth each month.

It would be good to see pieces taken out of the mortgage every month. So keep that momentum going.

Updated November 25, 2013 and originally published November 22, 2013. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Kathleen, FrugalPortland

Thanks everyone! I’m already sad this series is coming to a close. This year has been really… eventful. But I have enjoyed showing my finances to you all, and getting your feedback. I promise I am not going to buy a new car, Jake.:) I like not having a car payment!

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avatar Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions

Wow! Kathleen, you’ve done a great job increasing your net worth over the past year. Well done!

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avatar BillyBob

11% of your gross pay is going toward property taxes. I wish there were something that could change that statistic. In any event, it’s got to be nice to see your NW getting close to $50K.

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