Quarterly Net Worth Update – December 2017

Welcome to my fourth quarterly update which details my net worth and cash flow as at the end of December 2017 as well as the goals I have set for myself for the next quarter. I’m a bit behind schedule on getting this out due to all the recent changes in moving and settling into our new home.

net worth update decemberIf mine is the first personal finance blog you have come across firstly I am super humbled by that and secondly you might be thinking this is kind of strange putting the info out there for the world to see.

However, it is a fairly regular occurrence with bloggers to either track their net worth or report their monthly income. For example, J.Money over at Budgets are Sexy has been tracking his net worth for over nine years now and so have a bunch of other bloggers that you can check out in the Rockstar Blog Directory.

I debated whether I should post this or not as I was not sure about how the information would be received, particular here in Australia where ‘tall poppy syndrome’ can mean anyone who seems to be doing ok can be shot down in a hurry.

But my view is that if you have come to my site which is about becoming financially independent in order to retire early then you must be a little bit open-minded and willing to discuss what can be a taboo subject.

Why I decided to go public

The reason why I think so many other bloggers have felt comfortable sharing their net worth is that they want to show you that early retirement is an achievable goal and not just some pie in the sky idea that you can only dream about.

It also helps to highlight that the wealth that you see in movies or magazines is in reality not how most people that reach financial independence actually live.

Mr 1500 days provides an awesome article over on the Rockstar Finance website that details why bloggers share their net worth so openly and my fellow bloggers sum it up far better than I could.

So for me, I decided to go public for a couple of reasons.

  1. To keep me accountable.
  2. To help me to stay motivated and see my progress over time
  3. To know there is an end in sight to the daily grind of my day job

So what is net worth anyway?

The simplest way to work out your net worth is to add up the value of your assets and then subtract the amount of your liabilities.

So examples of assets are things like how much any property or cars you own are worth, the size of your share/stock portfolio, how much savings you have in the bank and the value of your Superannuation (retirement savings).

Then your liabilities are those things that you owe so this can include mortgages, personal and car loans and credit cards.

The juicy details – my net worth figure

Total Assets – $1,982,777

This is down by a considerable $577,394 from last quarter. This is due to the fact that in this quarter the sale of our principal place of residence settled so the value of that is no longer included. Of course our liabilities reduced as well due to paying out the loan on the property.

As I mentioned back in March our portfolio was very heavily skewed in property. So our plans to have a more balanced portfolio is slowly making some progress..

Our new principal place of residence value is included in this figure. Some people choose not to add it but I personally still see our mortgage free home as an asset.

Total Liabilities – $826,483

In previous reports, our liabilities figure has been on the scary side. And while it is still a meaty number it has been great watching the figure come down after selling one of our investment properties.

The loans on our remaining two investment properties are fully covered by the rental returns we earn meaning no money needs to come out of our pocket to fund these loans.

So that leads us to the all-important number.

NET WORTH – $1,156,294

Our net worth is down from last quarter by around $33,000. This is due to needing to pay stamp duty on the purchase of our new home as well as covering legal fees, removalists and everything else that comes along with a big move.

A lot of our net worth over the years has come down to making some smart decisions in terms of the properties we purchased.

The prices in Sydney went nuts recently so that is a lot to do with it. But we made some large sacrifices to make the purchases we did. And we chose dual income properties to help make it easier to hold the properties.

If we had that net worth and no liabilities it would be a pretty sweet position to be in and I could be joining the early retirees as I type this. We could sell everything, like in a campervan and retire tomorrow.

But since we have two young daughters we would prefer to have a family home for them. So it is a great feeling to know that we have our family home mortgage free to offer us that security.

Kick-Starting Some Goals

My goal last quarter was to pick up some regular retainer clients for my freelance copywriter business. I am pleased to say that I was able to achieve this. Which gave me some security in knowing I had at least $3,000 coming in each month.

This quarter I have two main goals. The first one is for this blog and I would like to consistently post at least once a fortnight. I know a lot of bloggers out there post 2 or 3 times a week but right now paid work needs to take priority and I have two little girls that deserve my attention too.

My second goal is to earn consistently more than $5,000 a month from my copywriting business. This is enough to ensure we are covering our day to day expenses and bills.

Do you track your goals? I would love to hear what you have planned for the next few months or if you have met any net worth milestones recently?

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  1. Like you, I feel the need to have a stable family home for security for the family. I know that the boys and I will always have a roof over our heads, no matter what happens. I choose to keep my home out of my net worth figure that I’m working towards in retirement. I figure that until you sell, that money is unavailable anyway, as you have to live somewhere. My house will probably end up being the deposit for Old Lady Frogdancer’s nursing home. 🙂

    1. Yeah I’m a bit up in the air about including the PPOR in the net worth figure. Our old PPOR where we lived in half and rented out the other half it made sense to include it but now that we have our family home it is not as relevant.

  2. Hi Cath,
    Congratulations on some obviously fairly big decisions ! Buying a house is painful and moving house even more so….especially with Sydney prices (and Melbourne prices where I live).
    Congratulations also on your overall Net Worth figure and thank you for the inspirational post(s).
    I know what you mean by having a net worth figure that suggests a stereotypical champagne lifestyle, yet the reality is not quite as opulent or extravagant.
    But, while it’s not a good idea necessarily to sell everything and live in a caravan, like you I take a bit of comfort in the fact that if I really wanted to I could. I find this thought empowering. I suspect that you do too 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment Matthew, glad you are finding my posts inspiring. And yes absolutely I agree it is very empowering to be in a position where you have some choice over your decisons.

  3. Hi Cath, congrats on your move and being mortgage free in your own home! That is a massive accomplishment in this country! You mention your portfolio is heavily property weighted – what other assets (if any) are you also investing in?

    Good luck with earning the extra income from your copywriting business, and great that you have your priorities sorted! The blogging is great, but you gotta put first things first!

    1. We have a share portfolio (well my husband does) investing in about 8 blue chip companies. I’m not super comfortable myself picking companies myself so going forward we will be going down the EFT path. Propery has been great for us but it simply won’t produce the income that the share market can for us in the shorter term so that’s where we are moving to from now on.

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