Net Worth Update #3 – January 2017

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I usually provide a net worth update at the beginning of each month but due to New Year’s and classes starting this semester I’m a bit behind on this update. But better late than never, right? You can find my first net worth update here and my second one here.

Alright let’s jump into the numbers for January 2017!

Money Market Funds
Ally Savings Account $15     (-$2,498)
Checking Account $640     (-$656)
Total Money Market $655     (-$3,154)
   
Tax Advantaged Accounts
Vanguard Traditional IRA $3,657    (+$1,485)
Vanguard Roth IRA $3,600     (+$117)
Fidelity 401(k) $4,717     (+$1,557)
Total Tax Advantaged $11,974     (+$3,158)
   
Non-Tax Advantaged Accounts
Loyal3 Brokerage Account $2,708     (+$635)
Vanguard Brokerage Account $10           (+$0)
Total Non-Tax Advantaged $2,718     (+$635)
   
Liabilities  
Student Loans $1,000     (+$0)
   
Net Worth $14,347     (+$639)

Progress

From December to January my net worth inched upwards by $639. The reason for the lackluster improvement was because I had to empty out roughly $3,500 from my money market accounts to pay for my last semester of grad school for this spring semester. However, I am planning on being reimbursed for this amount at the end of this semester by my current employer as they offer a generous tuition reimbursement program that covers up to $5,000 each year. 

Student Loan Situation

If you have been keeping track of my previous net worth updates to this point you’ll notice that the single $1,000 loan is still yet to be paid. I attempted to pay it using my new Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn travel points, but I was not allowed to pay using this card in the system. Luckily I was able to use the Chase card to pay for my tuition this semester, which will be enough to put me close to the $4,000 spending requirement to get the 100,000 bonus travel points on the card. As for the $1,000 loan I’ll likely pay it off next month.

Fidelity 401(k)

I’m still pumping money into my 401(k) at a rate that puts me on pace to max it out by the end of the year. My allocation is ridiculously simple in this account: I contribute to a fund that tracks the entire stock market as well as one that tracks the entire bond market. Dead simple and effective, not to mention the management fees are lower on these two funds than any other funds I have available to choose from.

Looking Forward

Once I graduate at the end of this semester I will no longer be tasked with paying for college tuition or loans ever again…what a relief. I will also be graduating debt-free, which is an added bonus. I have commuted to classes every year of college, saving me from paying for housing as well as the need to have a meal plan. I made this decision long before I even discovered the early retirement community simply because this approach to college made sense to me.

If I had to go back to my freshman year I genuinely wouldn’t change anything. I have met some great friends at my college and kept in touch with old friends from high school who attended different colleges within my state. I have had an awesome college experience and will be able to graduate debt-free with a positive net worth. I’m not saying this to brag at all, I’m saying it to show that it can be done. Students don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money on college and be saddled with student loan debt the rest of their lives to have the “college experience”. I love my friends to death but I wouldn’t trade positions with any of them to have the burden of their $40,000 + student loans.

Looking forward, I think 2017 will  be a big year, full of both change and growth. Even more so than increasing my net worth and pressing closer towards financial independence I hope to read and write more than ever. I have some exciting projects in mind I’d like to do with Four Pillar Freedom and I plan on making this a year of consistent blogging and creating meaningful content.  I’ll be sure to share my progress each step of the way.

That’s all for this month’s net worth update, thanks for reading 🙂


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9 Replies to “Net Worth Update #3 – January 2017”

  1. Bravo for such a low student loans balance! Debt’s not great but that low balance is worth celebrating. I love that your net worth is still in the developing stages; it’s easier to follow and see what you’re doing to grow it. 🙂

    I’m pretty sure our net worth is still negative. We’re in the process of paying off $60,000 of student loans in 18 months.

    Congrats on graduating debt-free; that’s quite a feat. 🙂

  2. I found your blog when a fellow blogger shared this in Facebook. For most average people like us, to be financially free, we must first be financially prudent. You are an inspiration and I look forward to your updates. 🙂

  3. I’m glad that I found this blog. Not only we share the similar goal but I also like the insights you brought up (fyi, I’m a Psyc graduate). I just turned 24-year old two months ago and also on my way to pursue financial freedom. Since financial independence is not a mainstream idea especially for the people at our age, this blog will definitely become my companion throughout the journey 🙂

    1. It’s awesome to have young people on a similar journey as myself stop by and leave comments like this – it’s encouraging! I hope this blog can provide you (and me) some value along your path to financial freedom 🙂

  4. Nice work here on getting some money into the market Zach! Would love to read your goals for 2017 as well

    Keep on onwards and upwards 🙂

  5. Regarding your 401(k), I’d be curious to hear how much you contribute to the total stock fund vs the total bond fund. I’m a bit older than you at 30 and all of my retirement funds are in the stock market. My reasoning is that I have 3+ decades before I will be able to touch this money and the stock market will give me the best return over the long haul.

    1. Great question. I personally allocate 80% to the total stock fund and 20% to the total bond fund. I definitely subscribe to the idea that you should be heavily weighted in stocks if you’re younger since you have more time to ride out the waves of the market. With that said, including bonds in a portfolio offers a bit of a smoother ride and for me personally I’m more comfortable with an 80/20 split as opposed to a 100% stock allocation. Thanks for the question! 🙂

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