March 2016 Net Worth Update

Apr 05

March 2016 Net Worth Update

Each month I review my financial position and determine how my decisions in the past month impacted the numbers. My journey from red to riches is going to be a long one, but it’s a journey that can be done. These net worth updates are meant to be a catalyst to readers that may be in a similar position to realize it’s possible to climb out of the hole.

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My net worth increased $3,486.42 from February to March.

YTD, my net worth increased $7,302.19. As a result, I’m ahead of my goal of $25,000 goal with some help from Mr. Market.

However, as I mentioned in my 2016 goals, I am removing the market impact from my net worth updates to better understand what my direct contribution was during the month.

Well, Mr. Market accounted for $1,593.54 of the increase in my net worth this month (for those of you that are curious, simply take Beginning Balance – Ending Balance – Contributions + Withdrawals = Market Impact for any investment accounts).

This means my net worth would have increased $1,892.88 if I remove Mr. Market (ie: this is what I can directly attribute to my actions).

YTD With Mr. Market:        +$7,302.19

YTD Without Mr. Market: +$5,976.76

Below is a summary of my financial position followed by some footnotes describing this past month.

2016 03 March Net Worth Update




Not a whole lot of action here.

The Opportunity Fund

I did not make any contributions so it was all market related. I own shares of six different companies in this account.


My 401(k) is mostly invested in two different Vanguard accounts. I contribute 6% to get the full employee match. This year is focused on reducing debt so maxing this out is not my primary goal.

Health Savings Account

Simply putting away $50 per paycheck.


For simplicity, I am using the original purchase price. This may be slightly overvalued based on similar homes being sold in my neighborhood, but I don’t see a lot of value in trying to pinpoint it.


You’ll notice I do not list my car as an asset, but I do list the liability for my auto loan. Some may say this is technically incorrect, but it’s my preference to not list it.

My primary reason for not listing my car as an asset? If I converted my $13,000 in cash above to a $13,000 vehicle, I would say I’m in a much worse state.

Here’s another three reasons. One, I don’t feel like coming up with some sort of depreciation schedule or reviewing KBB every month. Two, I don’t include other personal property in the calculation. If I list my car, I could make the argument I should start listing my computers, lawn mower, TV, table, couch, and other depreciating personal property. Three, I consider it a conservative practice to acknowledge the debt and not the value.


Student Loans

Throughout the year this balance will continue to drop as I send my army of money to war with my debt. I’m ahead of my payment schedule by several months on all loans and years on the primary loan I’m attacking.

Car Loan

Made the minimum payment in March, but still ahead on payments by a few months.


Ms. Red to Riches and I are making the minimum payment. For those curious, my portion of the payment comes to ~$55 principal and ~$140 interest.


Total Net Worth

Almost to that 0 mark! No more estimating when I’ll have a positive net worth. I KNOW I will be in the green in April. Even better? April is a three paycheck month and I will be receiving a tax refund to help propel me into the land of the green!



Overall, it was just an average month, but with the help of Mr. Market, it was a superb month. As I’ll discuss in my expense report next week, I spent a little more than normal due to an out-of-state trip and a few other fun activities, but still improving my net worth as expected.


How was your March?


  1. Nice progress… Almost in the green!
    Any plans to celebrate the positive net worth?

    Agreed on the car not being an asset. It depreciates so fast, and unlike companies, we can not use it for tax advantages. I do the same for the car, the computer, the photography material,…

  2. Having a stake in the market can always make an average month a superb month or vice versa. The key is simply focusing on reducing debt and other liabilities while increasing that passive income stream too. Net worth’s can rise and fall on a whim but sustained dividends are more predictable and reliable. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Brian,

    You must be feeling pretty excited approaching a big milestone like Net Worth going into the green next month. It’s great to stop by your site and read about your journey. Kudos to you for putting your story online in order that you can help others with it – that’s not only brave of you, but also inspirational.

    Good luck with your goal of being retired by 35, I’m sure you’ll do it with your positive attitude and unfolding plan. I wish I’d discovered all the FIRE related blogs sooner, my own personal target is to be FI by the time I turn 50 (just over 9 years off)…


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