2011 Financial Year In Review

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.

How did you do in 2011?

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11 thoughts on “2011 Financial Year In Review

  1. We got out of consumer debt in 2011- of course then we went back in with 1 yr SAC financing on repairs to our basement. BUT my basement hasn’t flooded this year, and we’ve had the cash to pay if off completely the whole time.
    We also managed to pay $0 in credit card interest in 2011 while still getting about $300 in credit card rewards. Those are my two biggest wins.

  2. We did really well in paying off our debt this year. We have equity in our house and we know that when we sell it, we’ll at least get what we paid (based on comps). I try not to stress too much about everything else. We’re saving and we’re a long way off from retirement. If I start to freak out now, I’ll never get any sleep!

  3. You’ve broken down the year very precisely. I don’t have our numbers ready yet, but I suspect we will have similar loses and gains. The value of your cars was a surprise. It’s nice when there is an increase.

  4. We are about the same. Our mortgage refinance really helped us, but the stock market did not. Remaining flat really stifled our gains. 10% for you is a good thing though!

    • It is nice but 15-20% is my goal at this stage in life right now. It would REALLY help if my employer would start kicking back into the 401(k) match. Any time now!!! 🙂

  5. Good job in 2011! I’m surprised that the Pontiac went up in value. I’ll have to see if mine did too. 2011 was an important year for me as well. It was the first year we were able to max out most of our retirement funds – 401k, Roth IRA’s. We’re looking forward to starting off 2012 with a refinance of the home as well.

    • It doesn’t hurt that with a commute of 2 miles each way plus the fact that it’s not our primary family car, the Pontiac only got a few thousand miles added to the odometer!

  6. A bit of an increase is better than a slap in the face! Happy New Year, MB, and here’s to a great 2012! 🙂

  7. We are up about 10% as well. The stock investment and property price dragged down the portfolio, but we keep contributing and saving on the side. Hopefully 2012 will be better.

    • Sounds like you’re doing everything you can do, now we just have to wait for the dividends to pay off!

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