About Jenny

Jenny is a wife, mother, grandma, artist and accountant living and working in western North Carolina.

Our financial house of cards…

As I begin my new job, with a substantial pay cut, I find it’s time to examine our financial house of cards. One of the tools I’m using to do this is maintaining a solid picture of our family’s financial net worth. Using the provided financial net worth spreadsheet, I’ve pinpointed* our financial net worth.

As of this writing, our net worth is negative. When I began this project back in December (before being laid off), our net worth was $-16,000. As of this month, we’re at $-11,000. We’re on track to go into the black sometime in 2010 (exactly when depends on a lot of variable factors).

Unfortunately, my 401K lost a lot of value last year, as did our house. Our car has been driven into the ground (ha ha!) due to long commutes and visits to family – so paying off the loan was particularly nice as we owed more on the car than we could possibly recover if we were to sell it. We had a windfall this spring, and opted to spend about 1/2 of it on debt reduction (the other half helped make up living expenses while unemployed). As we head into this new job I have, we’re in position to begin tackling (very slowly) the remaining debt we have. This is hampered by the overall trend toward raising rates on credit – even when you’ve done everything right (as we have).

I expect I’ll revisit this issue every few months just to see what our progress looks like.

*Pinpointed is probably the wrong word: I’ve estimated the value of our car using Kelley Blue Book for value; I used Zillow to find a value for our home. All other values are based on balances as of this morning.

3 comments to Our financial house of cards…

  • Poppa

    This looks very useful. Note: The URL you have for the spreadsheet has an extra ‘http//’ in it.

  • Poppa

    Another note: Look carefully at Zillow. I put in our home and got the the value for a house a few doors down the street as the addresses were offset.

  • I fixed the link – thanks for pointing it out! I also had to dig around to find a value for our home (it was pointing at one down the road). My theory on the Net Worth spreadsheet is that it’s a tool for figuring out if you’re making progress – and so if my numbers for my car, and house, and such aren’t “spot on”, it’s okay as long as they’re consistently generated so that it’s possible to actually spot trends.