Net Worth Review: June 2009

June was another positive month for our net worth. That’s three months in a row that we’ve seen an increase, which is the first time we’ve seen three consecutive monthly gains since a four month stretch between November 2006 – February 2007!

Property –I use a combination of Zillow and CyberHomes. I make a small adjustment based on what I’m seeing things sell for, and I remove 7.75% for expected selling costs. For the month, the value stabilized, which is a rarity, actually going up a small fraction. I’m not sure how long that will continue, given that Michigan will most likely see further battering with the GM bankruptcy, but we’re not going anywhere, so no big deal here.
Autos – The value of our two cars has held pretty steady the last couple of months as the used car market has heated up. We saw a modest decline, but nothing unexpected.
Investment Accounts – We had a good month, going up slightly above 5%. Still for the last 12 months, our investment account balance is down over 35%. Still, I feel like we’re hopefully in a good re-building mode that can continue the positive strides made.
Cash Accounts – We continued to slightly add to our cash accounts raising another 2.66% for the month.
Retirement Accounts – Our retirement account went up 7.6% for the month. The total value is down roughly 14.5% over the past year. My employer stopped matching, but we’re still contributing 10% of my salary at this time. Unfortunately, we’re not maxing out our retirement, but I still feel like we’re moving in the right direction.
Mortgage – Nothing special, just the monthly payment. Our mortgage is a 30-year loan at 5.875%
Car Loans – We paid off our car 11 months ago and we have no outstanding car loans!
Credit Cards – This is the balance that’s accrued since the last statement. We pay our credit cards off every month. We have a little lower balance than last month but still quite a bit higher than usual (as evidenced by the increase from 12 months ago) simply because of the added costs of our newborn.
Student Loan 1 – This is the loan that had a higher balance and a higher interest rate. After paying the car loan off, we concentrated our debt payment on this loan. We’ve paid 60% of the balance from a year ago, which just thrills me to pieces! We got a decent chunk down this past month as a portion of our federal tax return went to paying it down.
Student Loan 2 – This is the second loan but it is at a very low interest rate. We make the minimum payments on this loan. After Student Loan 1 is paid off, we’ll have to decide whether to snowball the payments toward this loan, or switch to something else (such as the mortgage, investing, or adding even more to our retirement)
Overall, our net worth went up 8.2% for the month, and is down 24.8% from a year ago.
I think it was a good month. I’m still extremely happy with how we’ve transitioned into a single-paycheck household. Our next challenge will be to add the month-to-month costs of a newborn into our budget.
I think we’ve made some great strides and am keeping my fingers crossed that we continue to positive momentum built over the last several months.

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Baby Beagle Has Arrived!!!!

Sorry for the lack of posts but it’s because Baby Beagle has arrived! Baby Beagle was born on Tuesday, May 26th at 10:56pm. He was born happy and healthy! There was a brief period of not eating or keeping food down yesterday (and a trip to the ER by nervous first time parents), but today he is doing great!
No matter how many times people explained what a life-changing event this was to be, there was no way to prepare for the joy and love that filled my heart when he entered this world. He is truly a blessing from God.
I’m taking a bit of time to enjoy these first few days with my wife and son, but will be back to regular blogging before you know it, and will share more details about our new little happy bundle!
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There Is Nothing Like Great Friends And Family

Our friends and family have come through in so many ways for us during my wife’s pregnancy. Here are just a few of the ways:

  • Both my mom and my wife’s mom threw us a baby shower
  • Aunts and uncles helped towards the baby showers
  • My sister-in-law helped with the baby shower, got some great gifts, and talks all the time about her excitement to be an aunt
  • A great friend of my wife’s who is gifted with photography took maternity pictures that turned out wonderful
  • Friends and family were very generous with gifts, advice, and support
  • My co-workers offer support and encouragement every day
  • My dad, and the rest of the grandparents-to-be, who is so happy to watch when thinking about his soon-to-be grandchild
  • My father-in-law spent an entire weekend at the house working with me to transform an office into a nursery
  • Even fellow bloggers and Money Beagle readers have offered support along the way, some who don’t even know it just by the fact that they’ve written some very helpful (and money-saving) posts
  • I’m sure there have been countless other occasions that aren’t coming to mind but have meant the world to us

Quite honestly, it’s been an amazing experience and we’re so happy for the support and the help we’ve gotten along the way. Just the little things such as people asking how we are or making sure everything is progressing means more to us than words can express.
We’re still waiting on Baby Beagle and there will be many things to learn (like the gender!), but one thing for sure is that Baby Beagle will be well loved and cared for by everyone that has been there for us. He/she isn’t even born yet, and the love and caring is well established.
To everybody that’s been there for us along this journey, all we can say is this:
Thank you so very much.

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