I managed to accomplish three big financial goals in 2018: I paid off the last of my revolving credit debt, I made $200-plus in dividends and I hit my goal of $60,000 net worth. (I was hoping to be well over $60,000 but with the markets dropping like they did, I was lucky to hit $60,000).
Where I fell short: I failed to put my Betterment account on automatic because I thought I needed to maintain a little cash flexibility throughout the month. Turns out, I’m not as disciplined as I thought I was. To my surprise, Betterment, which I’ve been with for two years sent me a year-end wrap up (see below). I got to see just how horrible a job I did trying to save on my own steam, not putting Betterment on automatic
Even looking at it in black and white I can’t believe that I only managed to deposit $100 last month and I fell nearly $2,000 short of what I did last year ($1,701 to be exact). I took a major step backwards and prevented myself from being significantly going over the $60,000 mark going into the new year.
No more hoping for anything, only planning. So, I’m planning to beat that $4,145 in 2019 by having $350 automatically deposited into the account.
Betterment Year-End Summary:
December Deposit: $100
Total in 2018: $2,444.00
Total in 2017: $4,145.00
Okay, time for the net worth update. But first I want you to know that I only post my net worth to keep myself accountable and to hopefully motivate just one person to continue or start their journey toward financial independence.
- SEP IRA: Continues to get hit hard and reached a low of $7,490 before coming back a little toward the end of the month. My $100 deposit brought it up bit.
- Traditional IRA: Once again, my monthly deposit was eaten up by market declines. But I now have well over 100 shares of FSKAX (Fidelity Total Market Index Fund) that I’ve been buying at a significant discount for a couple of months. When the market decides to turn around, I’ll be in a great position to reap the rewards.
- The E/Fund: No reason to hit up the emergency fund this year so all it did was grow. I’ll be going into the new year with my savings account fully funded. Next year will be more of just staying the course until I have a full year of my monthly expenses saved.
- Stocks (taxable): This account continues to do be all about the dividends and 2019 is all about doubling and then tripling those dividends.
- Bonds: This account is doing great and will officially be kicking me more than $25 dollars a month in interest by February. Treasury direct is currently paying 2.83% interest on all bond purchases over the next five months.
- Business account: This account never reached its potential. I used it as piggy bank to help a couple of people throughout the year. While two of the three people paid me back, the other has not. However, I’m comforted in knowing that I won’t be lending money to this person ever again.
- Credit Cards: This monkey has been off my back for a few months, but I’m still getting used to not having to pay it down. Looking forward to using cash back rewards to fund my savings and investment accounts.
It is a fight to build wealth, no matter where you are in the process. Everything around us conspires to take money out of our hands. But you must fight the good fight. Continue to save, invest and grow your net worth even when it seems impossible.
Save your pennies (copper) until they become dollars (cotton)!