I thought I’d finish off the year with some financial highlights. In no particular order:
- Net worth went up – Our overall net worth went up 14.5% from last December to this December. I stopped posting monthly updates on this only because I felt it was getting repetitive and things weren’t changing all that much, but this was nice.
- Our home value (theoretically) stabilized – I use a combination of values to estimate our home value, including our assessed value, what the bank believes the assessment would be if we refinanced, Zillow, and recent neighborhood sales (I used to include CyberHomes but they seem to have gotten out of the business of providing free estimates). We were actually down about 3.5% at one point but the last few months have shown a slight improvement, so we ended fairly flat. After several years of losing lots and lots of value, even a flat year has to be considered a positive!
- Retirement went up – Through contributions and market gains, our retirement funds went up over 10%.
- Health care cost estimates were right on the money – We estimated $1,500 in out-of-pocket costs and are going to hit the mark within 1-2% which is great!
- We paid off one student loan – December marked the final payment of one of my wife’s two student loans. This was paid off over nine years early!
- We still have one loan – My wife has a second loan. For now, we’re not working to pay that off early simply because the rate is under 2% and the monthly payment is very low. I’d still like to have it paid off before the 2020 due date, but for now, I can live with it.
- We decided to work on the mortgage – The payment that had been going towards the loan will now go towards the mortgage to pay that down faster. My goal is (and I know circumstances change) to have the mortgage paid down before our first child goes to college, which should occur in 2027. The 30-year mortgage is set to run to 2037, so we’ve got some work to do!
- We’ve started planning for our second child – As previously announced, we’ll be having our second child in June 2011 if everything goes according to plan. This will mean more changes in our household and to our personal finances.
Could have been better but could have been worse.
Here’s hoping for a great 2011!