Our Net Worth – Then vs Now

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Great story when you told us about your epiphany about money late last week.  How have you implemented a plan?

We've placed an increased focus on our Net Worth

Big Guy Money, Little Guy Money, and Little Lady Jr.

Thus far in this blog, details have been pretty vague in terms of what the Big Guy Money family has done, and frankly the reason is because we’re still trying to determine what we’re comfortable divulging.

The Little Lady and I really enjoy our privacy, but at the same time we think it’s extremely important to remain as transparent as possible in order to encourage to strive for similar goals in their situations.  Today we’ll walk through just how far the Big Guy Money family has come in just over 2 years in hopes that others will begin or accelerate their journey to Financial Independence.

End of Year 2011

Assets

$6,5852 Vehicles (1997 Ford Explorer, 1999 Hyundai Tiburon)

$6,904BGM and The Little Lady 401k accounts – combined

That’s it.  No savings, nothing else to speak of.  January 2012 was the month that we set out to CRUSH a majority of our non-mortgage debt.

**I just want to make a quick side note that these net worth numbers are run NOT including any home equity.  Yes, a home is an asset but it’s incredibly hard to get to your equity (even harder since the housing crisis hit in 2008-2009).  Since it’s a place you live and not an investment, I prefer to not include it in our net worth.

Liabilities:

$2,932 – Car loan – 7.75% Interest

Yes, one loan for two vehicles.  Figure that one out!  Oh, and there were some medical bills also tossed in with the loan.  Get this though – the original loan was taken out on the Tiburon way back in 2003 and was at 7.75% interest!  That’s 8 years worth of payments without receiving a single vehicle title!  Does that make sense?  If it does, let me know because once I understood what we had gotten ourselves into, I was completely embarrassed..

$2,931 – Co-signed debt consolidation loan – 5.5% Interest

You’re quickly going to recognize a pattern with our liabilities at this point in our life.  In order to pay off credit card debt (that we thought we had already consolidated but ran into a shady debt consolidation program – more stupidity on my part), we had refinanced our house to access the equity.  However in our brilliance, there wasn’t enough equity in our house to pay off all of the debt.  One more thing – as you can see above, the bank didn’t view us as fit to get the loan by ourselves, so we had to have the loan co-signed.  Ugh..  I’m feeling ill.

Approx $4200 personal loan – 0% Interest

I covered this loan in detail in a previous post.  This was the remainder of what we owed Grandpa and Grandma BGM after they paid off the loan from our third car.  What hurt even worst is we had to pay $7,000 to pay the loan off, but were only able to sell the car for $3,000.  :(

$9,699 Student Loan Debt – 3.375% Interest

Probably the least idiotic of our debt.  Well, unless you consider the fact that neither of us actually got a degree!  It’s true – I’m taking classes right now to finish my degree.

$1,858 Assorted Medical Bills

Not much to say I guess.   These were the bills that we were most often threatened with being taken to collections due to missing monthly payments.

$2,500 Overdraft Protection Loan – 21% Interest

Yes, you read that right – 21% interest!  This is one of those ways that banks make money.  They count on suckers like the BGM family to max out the loan, make a payment to clear some room under the limit, then spend right back up to that limit.

…Yep, there’s more…

$2,690 – Various Credit Cards – Various Interest Rates

More credit card debt.  We consolidated this, but we actually did go through a legit credit counseling service that worked with our credit card companies and negotiated lower payments/rates.  Just for the record, these credit cards included 3 (Three!) Capital One Credit cards, a JCPenney card, a Walmart card, a Maurices card, and a Target card.

Summary

If we’re computing our Net Worth at this point, we’re at $13,489 in Assets MINUS $26,810 of gut-wrenching, soul-sucking debt for a Net Worth of -$13,321

It’s really important to note, from our re-marriage in early 2009 through the end of 2011 – a 3-year time period – literally no creditor would loan us more money.  My point is our negative thirteen thousand dollar net worth was after we had paid our bills on time for 3 full years.  I do not have any data that goes back further.  The debt at its worst was much more.

Now that I’ve developed an eye twitch, let’s talk about today

*Updated with numbers through the end of February 2014.*

Assets:

$13,000 – 2 vehicles (1999 Hyundai Tiburon, 2005 Ford F-150)

$49,764 – ING Direct, BGM’s 401k and Roth IRA, The Little Lady’s Rollover IRA and Roth IRA

$1,798 – HSA (I LOVE HSAs)

Liabilities:

$4,916 – Small loan on the F-150 – 1.83% (will be paid off by the end of March September)

$7,946 – Student Loans – 3.375% (Plan to pay off at the end of 2014)

Summary:

Our Net Worth Journey

Our Net Worth Journey

Assets ($64,562) minus liabilities ($12,862) = Current Net Worth of $51,700.  That is a difference of $65,021 in 25 months.  Yes, we’re bringing in more than we ever have, but we’re making conscious decisions with our money.  We live well below our means and are choosing to not live like the financial zombies that Americans are conditioned to be.  Not only have we increased our net worth, but we’ve cut the sheer time that it takes to pay bills.  No longer are 10-15 different payments going out per pay period.

Why Are We Telling You About Our Net Worth?

The reason we’re sharing this is not to say “Look at us!!!  Look at how well we’re doing!”  Please don’t take it that way.  We are sharing our failures in hopes that 1) So people that are in a situation like we used to be can see the process work and have hope, and 2) That we can help motivate people to get out of the hole that they’re in.

I probably won’t do another net worth breakdown again, but I thought it was important in terms of pure numbers that you understand the position we were in and how irresponsible we were, and also how far we’ve come.  If you’re looking for a voyeuristic view on financial bloggers’ net worth, check out Rockstar Finance’s Ultimate List of Blogger Net Worth.

We’ll start talking about some of the changes we’ve made in future posts.  Please use the ‘Contact Me’ link in the menu to get in touch if you’re in a situation where you could use some financial or budgeting advice.  This isn’t just lip service – I do want to help if I can.  I’m not a certified financial planner, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! (I didn’t realize how old those commercials were until I noted that half the people have no idea what I’m talking about)

Until next time….

-The Big Guy

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