Tag Archives: Debt

Frugal Portland’s net worth is up over 250% in one year!

My net worth is up 250% for 2012!

This is probably the highest increase it’ll ever be. I’m going to reset it next month, so that the percentages don’t get too crazy out of control. Please note that it is really easy to increase your net worth by 250% if you start near zero.

Still, I’ve come a long way in 2012.

Net worth for December 2012

Net worth for December 2012 – up 10% from November and 253.51% since January!

See, I’m worth a lot. Not quite worth putting a hit out on me, but worth a lot more than at the beginning of this year!

Here is the state of my liabilities:

Liabilities are just under $7K

Liabilities are just under $7K

Real progress has been made here, too!

So many good things are happening around here — I was looking at this the other day, realizing that the greatest thing about this chart (other than the fact that the credit card line isn’t a player anymore!) is that both of these debts are finite. I’m not going to finance a car again, and I’m not going back to college (though my fresh face makes people ask if I’m a student).

Now, if I buy a house, the liability chart is going to look all kinds of ridiculous, and the amounts I owe ($2628 on the student loan and $4125 on the car) are going to look miniscule by comparison. But that’s okay. I have to live somewhere, and if I can find something that doesn’t break my budget, then it’s better to pay my own mortgage than someone else’s.

I still don’t see my car as an asset, but as Jeff explained, assets are things that banks (or credit unions) can take away if someone doesn’t pay. So, it’s an asset until it’s paid off, I guess. The asset I’m much more interested in is the IRA, which, HELLO, is going to be maxed out for 2012. Unfortunately, not in 2012, but that’s why the IRS lets you contribute up until tax day.

I started 2012 in credit card debt, and I have nearly quadrupled my net worth in 12 months.

I think it’s safe to say that this blog played a huge role in my personal financial success.

So, thanks, everyone, for your advice, referrals, and kind words.

Let’s see what 2013 brings!

State of my Debts: November Check in

How is it November already?

October was spent a lot closer to home (minus Sausage fest!) but it wasn’t quiet. Sure, there was plenty of time for reflection, but that was amid the parties, the wedding, and the dancing. I also got to hang out with my favorite little dog for about ten days. He left a lot of fur, and I realized that while I am not ready for a dog of my own to visit at lunch every day for over a decade, I was happy to have the company (and the responsibility!) while my friends were on vacation.

Financially, October hurt. I had to buy new tires (fun fact: tires are expensive and not that fun to buy!) and somehow, through a glitch in the system*, I overpaid my credit card bill. So I was left with hardly any money, and had completely wiped out my emergency fund.

Also, I started thinking about buying a house. So I didn’t make any additional payments to my student loan. This is fine, because I am prepaid for at least two years, and I will need any additional (ha!) money that comes in to go directly toward paying for a home. If I decide to do that. If not, I can resume rapid payback momentum after I rebuild my emergency fund.

Here are the charts, though, they don’t look very different than last month:


November liabilities chart

November’s liabilities look a lot like October’s

The slope of the line is flattening, right? The part of me that really wanted all of this gone as soon as possible is disappointed in my progress, but the other part of me is more rational.

I need more cash on hand than I have. Both of these debts are on pace to be paid off, so I don’t have to worry. Going farther into debt with a mortgage sounds really scary, but it’s mostly that my parents are being so dang generous that makes me the most nervous.

Kids, right? Even when they’re past 30 they’re a money pit. But I know that their kindness will be repaid, and if I do find something I want to buy, then they’ll gift me the down payment. Now, even though it’s legally a gift, I will absolutely pay them back in five years. Hopefully less. I guess the part that scares me the most is that the chart above? The way it looks now? Is the best it will look for the foreseeable future.

But that’s okay. I have to pay each month for housing anyway. So if I find the right something, then it makes sense. And when I get a roommate, my parents will be repaid more quickly. These graphs will never be the same. On the other hand, I’ll get to create more charts in Google Drive, which is clearly something that tickles my pickle.

Want to see the silly net worth chart again? Me too.

Silly net worth chart

Silly net worth chart — up 221% since January!

State of my Debts: October Check in

October is here, and while part of me is sad to see the prettiest month in Portland pass, a lot happened last month that won’t happen this month, so it’s great to start fresh.

Last month, I flew to four different cities, and the one weekend I was home, I was dumped. So, here’s to October! To a quieter, more Portland-centered month. Filled with fun.

Here are the charts:


total debts

Total debt starts with a 7 now — here we go!

It’s going in the right direction, and it’s going at the right pace. I changed the colors on my chart to make it more aesthetically pleasing. You can tell that I’ve been focusing on the student loan and leaving the car loan steady at a ~$200/month payment. This visual shows just how effective snowballing/snowflaking/snowman building is with debt. One funny thing about student loans? If you pay more than you owe, your “next due date” gets pushed back to the next month. So every few months I get something in the physical mail from ACS telling me how big of an idiot I am for continuing to pay this back at such a quick rate. The last letter of that nature said I really didn’t have to pay again until November 2014. So, there’s a little comfort in that. It’s always good to know exactly what I’d do if I lost my job (move into my friends’ basement and stop paying the student loan!) but I’d prefer if I didn’t have to resort to that. I’ll definitely refrain from cash loans, too.

And now for my favorite chart. What do you get when you start with a very low net worth and start measuring percentages?

October 2012 Net Worth

net worth is up 230% since January!

The same sort of ridiculous numbers I’d get if I were to write a resume detailing sales growth in percentages at work — start-up numbers! This chart is much more rewarding to look at, if I’m in a mood where I need to pat myself on the back. And sometimes I am. Aren’t we all? The month-over-month percentage increases aren’t great, but I’m beating the market, I think. I’m still a solid investment.

State of my Debts: September Check in

All right, it’s everyone’s favorite time of the month! The beginning! Where personal finance bloggers overshare their financial information!

I love it, actually, and it’s only in this realm where I can be up front and honest about my situation. Also, I can make excuses. And I will. Like the one where I haven’t been paid for my part-time job for July yet. Oof. Then there’s also the … summer! Where I have enjoyed myself, dang it, and I’m not going to apologize.

Because just like there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no room for excuses when you’re trying to get your ducks in a row. They’re either lining up for you, or they aren’t, and I can lament spending money when I owe money, but what good will that do? Let’s talk about ideas that are better than beating yourself up over something you can’t change.

Oh, so, the charts:

September Net Worth

September Net Worth — I love the way these lines look!

Net worth is up .71% since August and 180% since January.

September Debt Snapshot

September Debt Snapshot — still needs work!

Total owed still does not start with a 7 yet — but it’s right around $8400, so it’s getting close.

Whenever that check for the part-time work arrives, it’s going straight to ACS. So is everything extra this month.

Goal is March 2013. I can get there. I just need to earn more, save more, and put more toward the student loans! I’d been really aggressive until recently, when I realized I’d been paying student loans with emergency funds. Now if that’s not a signal to the universe that I’m in need of an emergency, I don’t know what is!

So, the buffer in savings is back, and I’m happy to report that I’ll get back on track soon. Does anyone want a staff writer? I’m clearly awesome. :)


State of my Debts: August Check in

So, a few things have changed:

  • Since reframing the issue, I’ve changed the layout of the chart — I’m still keeping track, but the line goes up, not down.
  • Eliminated the “total” line as it’s redundant.
  • Shortened the time so that I can see only recent progress.
  • The red line is student loans, the blue line is the car loan (although there’s not an option in my Google spreadsheet to have the right data titles).

Every¬† month, I get closer to getting those lines all the way to the top. I’m excited about getting to the point where I start a new kind of chart — one that keeps up this linear momentum, but one that involves earning rather than paying interest.

Total owed is $8861.

It’s going to just keep the linear pattern and breeze right past the axis! This will be by March 2013, at the latest.

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