The Beginning: Beard and Net Worth, Month 1
I have been inspired by J. Money at Budgets are Sexy to post my net worth for the whole world to see (which means the three other people who have ever read this blog up until now.) He has a great post detailing the rise in his net worth over the past 8 years. He's tracked his net worth publicly every month since his very first post on the subject in 2008.
Now, since this is Beards and Money, I can't stop at net worth. Gotta show you the beard, too. So in this post I'm going to lay everything out. What assets we have, what debt we're carrying, and our net-worth goals. Then, I'll show you the beard as it sits today. It's a little frizzy right now from the cold, dry Prague air and a serious lack of conditioning from our inability to learn the Czech word for conditioner.
We're starting from a pretty good place, with a much higher net worth than the average couple our age. That would be great, except for the fact that the average net worth of people our age is abysmal. So it's a low bar. I'm also starting pretty far into beardom. I've had some form of beard or goatee for the past 20 years, but I have only recently started on the "yeard" journey. There is still much time to go.
My net worth
Ok ... let's start with the net worth. Below is a snapshot from our Mint.com dashboard.
Let's start with the bottom line: $130k. Not bad. Like I said in the very first post, we didn't make completely idiotic decisions in our younger years, and I got a little lucky with some of the bone-headed ones. The blog Money Relationship lays out the average net worth by age. Those in Mrs. Beard's and my age group average a paltry $51,575 net worth, so we have an above average head start. At our current savings rate, we're on track to breaking 7 figures by the time we're 65 years old. Of course, we have different goals. We plan to retire within 10 years, which would put us somewhere in our mid forties. That means we'll be upping the savings rate dramatically and hopefully watch that net worth number climb like crazy.
Our assets come mostly from our house and retirement accounts. We have an absolutely huge and fancy 5 BR, 3 BA house with a giant yard and 2-car garage in a fairly up-scale neighborhood. It's worth about $240,000, thanks to good ole southern low cost of living. The investments are a little over $75k in a couple of different places, all tax advantaged. I also own some valuable collectibles that have sentimental value, which is why we haven't cashed them in. They keep up with inflation, at least. No worse than gold bricks.
The largest loan we have is the mortgage. It sits at a little lower than $160k. I also have a car loan for an older vehicle for about $5k, and my student loans total an eye-popping $50k. We paid Mrs. Beard's student loans off years ago.
We have three credit cards, but only one has a balance. It stands at almost $6k, but we plan to pay that off soon. Notice that stack of cash sitting up there. $12k in low-interest checking account. You guessed it. That credit card payment gets destroyed in a few days. There's a big check in that cash balance that hasn't actually cleared yet, as of this writing. Once it does, then we can say goodbye to credit card debt.
You might suggest just killing the car loan, too. That's the plan, but it has to wait until next month. We're living in Prague, Czech Republic right now for the next four months, and maintaining two households takes some cash. I'll tell you that story some other time, but what I can say is it's a pretty good deal. We're getting paid to live and travel around Europe. Yes. It is pretty awesome.
So there it is. Now, what are our goals. I've already discussed the short term goals in a previous post. Here, I'm just going to lay out our net-worth goal for this year. By the end of 2016, we are shooting for a net-worth around $200,000. That sounds a little crazy, and it is a little ambitions. But I think we can do it.
How about that beard?
It's gotten long. I've had a well-trimmed shorter full beard since about October of last year. In January I fully trimmed for the last time and have let those glorious whiskers grow nearly wild since then. My wife trims off the crazies about once a week, but otherwise I have done exactly what it takes to grow a beard. I stopped shaving.
Right now its in a kind of awkward place and has been there for a good month. I usually give up long before the beard gets to this stage and trim it back to business-friendly length. Since I'm hanging out in Europe for a while, I figured now was the perfect time to get past that awkward stage and reach supreme beard ass kicking awesomeness. For the quantitative folks, that's 10 cm or about o.5 inches worth of beard. Let's see where it is next month.
So what is my beard goal for this year? By the end of 2016, I will have a glorious yeard.
I plan to accomplish both goals by sticking to my Beards and Money principles: (1) I will continue to not shave, and (2) I will continue to not spend all of my money.
What are your goals?