Net Worth Review: April 2009

Another month, another check of the net worth. I’m going to break it down a little differently this month, into the four major categories that I track.

Overall, we had a positive month. There was a bit of a damper because of falling property values.

Here’s a breakdown of our major categories:


  • I use a combination of Cyberhomes, Zillow, and recent sales to estimate the value of our home. I also take out estimated costs that it would cost to sell our house (e.g. real estate commission) which I believe gives me a true picture of what we’d walk away with in the event we sold our house.
  • Cyberhomes dropped it over 10% this month, so we saw a significant drop. With the recent sales, it is probably pretty close to reality, but it still stings.
  • I normally would report a percentage change, but at the moment we’re hovering around even, so this would be pretty meaningless. Suffice it to say, it isn’t reporting well.


  • I know some people don’t consider autos as part of their net worth but I do. I take the Kelly Blue Book value of the car, adjust it based on ‘for sale’ of similar cars, and subtract out any auto loans.
  • We have no auto loans, and the KBB value actually went up slightly for both cars (showing the escalating demand in the new car value).
  • Overall our net worth on autos went up 2% for the month

Current Assets

  • This is where I track all liquid assets such as bank accounts, non-retirement brokerage accounts, money markets. I also track against that any non-mortgage or auto debt. In our case, this consists of student loan debt and whatever balances we have on our credit cards since last paying them off at the beginning of the month.
  • The stock market did very well, leading the charge for a 28.5% increase in this category.


  • This consists of all vested 401(k) balances and Roth IRA balances
  • Again the stock market led the way, and this category went up 16.5% for the month.


  • Assets went up 1.4%
  • Debt went down 0.26%. This was our smallest reduction in many months. But, with my wife leaving her job, we added some additional cash on hand versus making some extra debt payments. Also, the debt payments will slow down quite a bit, since we had been using a good portion of her salary to make extra debt payments.
  • Overall net worth (including property) went up 5.3% for the month. Overall it’s up 6.2% for the year.
  • Overall net worth (excluding property) went up 16.5% for the month. I mention this because it shows what a drag property was. Overall, this is up 23.3% for the year.

Goals for the month:

  • Adjust to a full month without a second income
  • Purchase most everything left to buy for the baby
  • Make Mrs. Beagle relax more to get ready for next month, when the baby is due!