Friday, October 12, 2012

Been Awhile

It's been awhile since I've blogged about my personal finance situation.  Things have been going well over the past few years.  We've received raises and a couple promotions and generally are better off than we were a couple years ago.  There's been some saving and some buying.  Some traveling thrown in there as well.  But all in all our net worth has fortunately continued to rise.  Although I haven't been around to give frequent updates here, you can see from the Net Worth IQ in the sidebar that we have been doing well growing our wealth.  So I plan on updating this site a little more often.  Mostly will be updates on how things are going but also some opinions of different personal finance issues.  Today I'd like to update on how we've been growing our net worth over the past couple years.


We've been making an effort every single month to put away money in some sort of investment.  My wife and I both have retirement accounts through work in which we contribute to every single paycheck.  This is automatic.  This has probably been the greatest contributor to our net worth increase over the years.

We also invest money as we can in taxable accounts.  I have latched onto a new strategy for investing and have started building a nice portfolio of dividend growth stocks.  I invest in companies I know and understand who pay out increasing dividends year after year.  Along with the stocks we try to put some money away into fixed income mutual funds.  These funds invest in bonds that may be less risky than the stocks.

Paying Down Debt

We continue to pay down our house and other debts such as student loans.  My wife was in a car accident where we ended up buying a new car after and we took out a loan to help with this.  After a short period of time I was also able to pay this loan off.  We also put a sun room on our house.  We financed this and each month make a payment towards this loan.  So overall I think our actual debt level has increased because of the sun room purchase.  But each month we scratch away at this total and eventually we will bring this down to zero.


It's important to save every month.  We keep an emergency fund as well as saving for short term expenses that I know will occur such as medical bills, insurance bills, vet bills and other random bills.  This money is kept in money market accounts.  While we aren't really earning much interest on this cash, I believe it is important to continually save in case we need it in the future.


So over the past couple years our net worth has naturally been increasing.  This will happen as long as you focus on increasing assets and decreasing debts.  The biggest gains have come from investing in retirement and taxable accounts.  We will try to continue this progress going forward.