Welcome to the January 2024 edition of our net worth tracker, where we’ll track our net worth month over month. I first started tracking our net worth at the time this blog was started, which was at the beginning of September 2019. I started by creating the Net Worth Baseline report.
You can view Previous Net Worth reports HERE.
January is over, and we’re already a month into the new year. 8.33% of the year already gone. Winter finally arrived, and we had one day of light snow. That’s enough for the schools to close for the day around here. We ended the month with temps in the 70s.
Financially, January was a pretty flat month. It started a little rough but leveled out towards the end. That’s better than what I expected, so I’ll take it.
Previously, I would go through my month and go over the highlights. These days, I’m doing it a little differently. Unless you convince me that you want to hear about my month, I’m not going to talk about it.
January 2024 Net Worth
Here’s how January compares to last month:
January Account Breakdown
Let’s take a quick look at what happened in January.
Monthly Blurb: This is where our paychecks get deposited. All our income goes into this account and then gets transferred to the proper accounts as set by my budget. As usual, I do the net worth report before transferring money to the appropriate accounts.
It was an average month for us both in terms of income and spending. We brought home a lot less money than last month, so that’s the main reason this is negative. December is typically our highest take-home month because we cash out the dependant care savings account.
Our spending was about average this month.
Investment Cash (-$4,471.34)
Monthly Blurb: All of our cash left over at the end of the month is transferred here and is considered part of our savings rate.
This is where our leftover income usually goes, but I funded our Roths for 2024.
I’ve been saying for a long time: “I’m waiting for some opportunities to come up in the housing market.” Well, I finally put an offer in on a house. I’m not sure it’s going to go through, but that is the second reason investment is down: the earnest money.
I put a bunch of money in a CD in February 2023. Fortunately, nothing too exciting popped up while that money was locked away. That money is now available in my savings account.
I didn’t reinvest it because rates have fallen and aren’t as enticing as they were a few months ago. Also, seems like there might be some opportunities in the housing market.
Remaining Cash Accounts (Emergency and Sinking Funds) (-$5,867.86)
Nothing exciting here. Just the usual. Taxes were paid this month. Now, we are back to saving up for our property tax bill for when it’s due early next year.
January ended on a positive note. Barely. The markets were hitting record highs by the end of the month, but that’s the same thing they were doing last month, too. In between was the shakey part.
Normally, this is all market performance here, but this month, the big increase is because I contributed to our Roths.
Overall, that’s a gain of 2.68% between the 401k and IRAs.
College Fund (-$101.39)
The college fund is invested just like the IRAs in mutual funds. However, it didn’t quite make it back to positive territory. The college fund was down by 0.14 percent.
Net Worth ($5,644.90)
January started pretty lousy but ended up rebounding, just barely toppling over into positive territory. Some of the retirement accounts didn’t quite make it and ended in the red.
Our expenses were about the same as last month, which I’m going to say is our new average. Inflation has taken its toll. We mostly kept our expenses down but had a few car maintenance items to take care of.
In total, our net worth crept up. We had an increase of approximately 0.52%.
The year started out on the right foot. Last year, in 2023, our net worth increased every month, then we had three negative months in a row from August to September.
We’ll see how the market performs this year, but it would be nice to have the first half of the year be positive.
Accessible Net Worth (-$10,976.78)
Monthly Blurb: This is the money we are able to put away, not including the tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Our income was average, and our expenses were about average this month. Our accessible net worth decreased, though, as a result of our earnings and putting a bunch of money into the Roth IRAs.
Status: None, as usual. They’re a burden, so I avoid them. The cars, the house, they’re all paid for. Student loans…never used them. Credit Card debt? I only use one, and it gets paid off every month, and often I’ll pay it off multiple times per month. Just depends on how many times I think about it.
January and February are very boring months for dividends. Just waiting till March gets here.
Last year was the worst I’ve had since 2017, and I have a lot more invested than I did six years ago. Let’s see how 2024 goes.
The interest rate in my savings account stayed the same this month, at 4.35%. Right now, the Feds don’t plan on raising the rate as long as inflation stays in check. There is talk about when to start lowering the rates. The Fed hasn’t said anything, but that’s the talk in the news.
I track my savings rate in order to help keep my feet to the fire so that later I can be Gone on FIRE. As a bonus, you get a glimpse into my cash flow by looking at the income and expense rows.
A couple of years ago, I had to adjust the savings goal to 50%. In 2022, we barely missed that goal! We met the goal in 2023.
As a result of meeting the goal in 2023, I raised the bar to 55%.
In January, we missed the 55% goal, but we were over 50%.
Starting in February, we are saving for a car. We plan to put $2,000 aside each month for the rest of the year.
As a result, we are for sure not going to make the 55% goal. However, I’m going to keep track of two sets of Savings Rate numbers. One as if we didn’t spend the money, and two, as if the money were spent. The later is what you will see in the spreadsheet.
Of that 50% we are spending, Housing and Daycare alone eat up over 30%. We give 10%, so that means we are living on 10% or less for everything else.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for daycare, but these Texas property taxes kill me.
The good news is that the state legislature passed a bill in July 2023 that gave some relief in paying the bill this year. My taxes are lower by a significant amount compared to the previous year.
Daycare has been decreasing every year, and we only have about eight months left of full-time daycare. It will mostly be gone at the end of the summer. Hopefully, we can get our savings rate up above 50% when that happens, and we have enough saved up for a car.
I wonder what other expenses will pop up once daycare is done.
Here’s how we did this month.
Right now, our only source of active income is through our full-time jobs.
This is what an average income month looks like for us.
Our expenses were above average this month. We did have some car maintenance but no unexpected expenses, and mostly kept the rest of our spending in check.
Here is a quick breakdown:
1) Home Escrow ($700.00)
The normal amount we put aside every month to pay for property taxes and insurance
2) Giving ($933.68)
The usual 10% we give every month. Plus 1% that we started to give on top of that.
3) Cost of living ($3,010.96)
This includes all our bills (Gas, Electric, Water, Internet, Phone), transportation, food, shopping, car insurance, and daycare. Home insurance is paid for out of our Home Escrow savings account. Like last year, we are going to drain our dependent care account at the end of the year in one lump sum. Doing it that way is less paperwork for us.
In January, we had average expenses.
December 2023 Vs. January 2024 Expenses
December and January were very different months in terms of finances. We spent slightly more in December but also made a ton more.
Hopefully, February will stay smooth, and I won’t make any more impulse purchases. Other than saving for a car, we do plan on spending some money on the house.
The Roth IRA contribution is done, and the money has been transferred to the proper accounts.
Aside from the 401k, which is on automatic contributions from my paycheck, it’s the beginning of the year, so I’m not completely sure how the other goals are going to turn out.
So far, we’re looking good.
We’ll just ignore the savings rate goal.
My goal of 12 articles this year is in the works. I’ve actually been working on some content for this site other than my net worth reports!
I posted one article in January and have more posts planned. I plan on publishing one every month for the rest of the year. Take a look and let me know what you think.
I’m doing a reading goal again this year with only two books. Last year, I read 2, and that seems like a good amount for me. I’m done with the first book (Crucial Conversations), and I’ve started reading the second book (Good to Great).
And then there is my physical health. I didn’t get to where I wanted in 2021, 2022, …or 2023, so we’ll continue to try again this year. I want to lose fat, and part of that is going to be by eating healthier. January has been hit or miss. I’ve been working on getting rid of all the sweets left over from last month.
January 2024 Roundup
The month of January was another good. Nothing too unexpected happened, just a couple of days off school for the kids. And not because they were sick! We remained relatively healthy, which is always nice
The weather was overall nice, especially considering it was January. We had a few icy days, but the power stayed on, and it was over quickly.
I continue to be excited as we continue into the new year. As always, there’s really a lot to be thankful for.
Stay tuned for next month’s New Worth update!
- 2 big items not included in my net worth:
- House & Cars – Their value will be added to my net worth if and when I sell them.
- 2 accounts not included in the net worth total (even though they’re listed):
- 529 – This is my money for my babies. Consider it their net worth summary.
- Home Escrow – This is Uncle Sam’s money. We don’t mess around with Uncle Sam and his money.
- Total income only includes our active income, which is currently our full-time jobs.