Four Years of Numbers

Well it seems hard to believe that in a few short days this blog will be four years old.  Where did the time go?  Anyway I thought it might be a bit useful to do a little review on how I got here and the journey to freedom 45 (so far).

Net Worth Growth [%increase from last year]

Nov 2006 – $76,500
Nov 2007 – $201,300 [+ 163%]
Nov 2008 – $219,000 [+8.8%]
Nov 2009 – $281,400 [+28.5%]
Nov 2010 – $370,000 [+31.5%]

Total Growth over Four Years = $293,500

Yet those aren’t the greatest numbers to show progress since they also include my house value increasing which I really didn’t do much to get.  So let’s look at the investment net worth and mortgage pay down progress.

Investment Net Worth Growth [%increase from last year]

Nov 2006 – $31,500
Nov 2007 – $47,200 [+ 49.8%]
Nov 2008 – $50,900 [+7.8%]
Nov 2009 – $87,400 [+71.7%]
Nov 2010 – $116,900 [+33.8%]

Total Growth over Four Years = $85,400

Mortgage Balance [% decrease from last year]

Nov 2006 – $150,000
Nov 2007 – $144,900 [- 3.4%]
Nov 2008 – $138,500 [-4.4%]
Nov 2009 – $128,000 [-7.6%]
Nov 2010 – $86,900 [-32.1%]

Total Reduction over Four Years = $63,100

So there are few interesting lessons from these numbers.  First off your investments do not grow on a linear basis and you will have your bad years like 2008.  The point is to keep up your contributions and get past that first $100,000 in investments after which you will actually feel like you are making some progress.  So don’t panic over a bad year and keep your eye on the long term, you might get lucky and hit a rebound like I did in 2009 that makes up for it.

Another interesting point I noticed out these numbers is that if you decide to pay down your mortgage without the occasional lump sum payment you will be at it for a VERY long time.  As you can see I only made limited progress for the first few years and then picked up steam by 2009 since I started doing some extra payments.  Now the progress is significantly easier since more of my regular payment is going to the principle rather than interest.

I also find some comfort that out that total net worth growth over 50% of that number came from our actions as a family.  So that would mean we have averaged savings of $36,600 per year over the last four years.  Going forward I expect that our savings will increase, since my wife has taken on a few extra kids in the daycare and my school board income, but predicting exactly how much we will save is difficult.  Why?  I have some sources of variable income for example income from ads on this blog and decreases from other decisions like only working 80% at my day job.  Life happens so I don’t panic over adjustments to the plan.  If I were to guess an amount for 2011 I would guess in the range of $45,000.

So do you track your financial progress?  Is so, how have your % improvements been over the last few years?

3 thoughts on “Four Years of Numbers”

  1. First off, congrats on such a milestone. You have given readers a great source of personal financial information to go to on a daily basis and I commend you for four years of solid contribution.

    Wow! You’re doing awesome. I think you’re absolutely right when it comes to the mortgage. Putting down lump sum payments when possible can really make a huge difference in getting one’s financial ship in order.

    I think it’s great that you monitor your progress to such detail and readers can see exactly how you’ve progressed by staying focused on your goals.

    Great work and keep it up!!!

  2. Glad you are back, Rat… kept your blog on my favorites list for months after you went MIA.

    Tim, I get the sense that you and I are very similar in many ways… except the kids part. 🙂

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