2011 saw a net worth increase for the Beagle household, though it was not as much as I’d hoped, coming in right around 10% from the end of 2010.
Every year since the downturn began, I set a goal for the value of the house to remain stable. It’s always gone down and thus been a drag on our goals, but I was happy to see that it actually went up about 2% in 2011. I use a formula based on a combination of the assessed value, the Zillow value, the bank estimated value, and comparable sales in the neighborhood. This is an encouraging sign.
The Pontiac G6 I own actually increased in value throughout the year if you believe Kelley Blue Book. Apparently the demand is pretty high. I don’t know if this is really true. The Buick SUV we own went down slightly, though less than I had anticipated, so that’s good. But the biggest value change we have here is due to purchasing our camper! I’m probably going to use a straight line depreciation for that rather than try to use Kelley Blue Book or a similar valuation estimator.
Cash / Investments
This was much lower than what I had anticipated for two reasons: The stock market performance did not do what I had hoped so our investments were lower, and we purchased the forementioned camper, which took money out of our cash reserves.
Again, because the stock market did not perform as well as I’d hoped, we underachieved. Our overall balance went up, mainly because of our contributions (10% of my income), so we continue to plug away and grow the number of shares we own.
We re-financed in 2011 which dramatically lowered our interest rate. We chose to include some of the closing costs in the loan. As such, our mortgage balance did not drop by what I had projected. The good news is that we’ll tip the scales back in our favor by June and the loan balance will be paid off by about $5,000 more per year than it would have been with our old loan.
We also have one student loan that we paid off the monthly payments, but no extra. It’s a low interest rate and low payment amount per month, so we decided to let it be for now. At some point, I’ll probably want to get rid of the payment, but for now it is what it is.
Again, we did OK. A 10% increase was less than I’d hoped, but it just shows that due to the size of our investment portfolios,namely the 401(k), that we’re largely at mercy of the stock market.
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