Never in my life has this been the case. Growing up I never had more than $500 to my name and I always spent it. And once I got to college, forget about it. I got into the red even though I worked all throughout college, simply because of my loans. Today I am thrilled to report that for that past week or so I have had a positive net worth!
My total net worth right now is $348! While that may seem like a tiny amount, it’s the first time in recent memory that it’s been out of the negatives so I’ll take it! Right now I have enough money to my name to completely pay off my remaining debt and still have a tiny bit of money left over. Of course, I would be financially crippled and probably end up right back in some sort of debt as soon as I had to put gas in my car if I did that. So for about the next month I will remain in debt.
However! Let’s get back to this positive net worth thing. It’s something I am very much digging. I’ve been wondering lately about staying motivated through the next phase of my financial journey- saving for early retirement. Debt payoff comes with a very real rush of excitement. Watching balances drop is motivating and rewarding. It feels good to know how you earned that money and to get one step closer to freedom.
I’ve been reading a lot lately that saving doesn’t come with that kind of rush. It’s much more passive than getting out of debt it and it’s something that takes longer (generally speaking). If I can retire by 40 (and that’s a big if), I’ll be saving for 13 years. It’s going to be hard to stay amped for 13 years!
I think this net worth thing will be helpful. Watching it grow seems similar to watching a debt balance drop. If I have a good month of freelance or catering work, I could watch my net worth spike the same way a good month now means a huge blow to my debt. I’m looking forward to that part.
Having a positive net worth is also pretty damn inspiring for me. I want to keep it here, in the black, forever and ever, Amen! I know someday I will probably buy a house and have a mortgage, but outside of that I never want to have significant debt again. It’s too hard and limiting a way to live. I am motivated right now to grow that little number into a bigger and stronger number. Having a larger net worth means more security, less likelihood of getting back into debt and getting closer to early retirement. That’s some serious motivation for me!
I’m also thinking more seriously about my money goals for the rest of the year and the next few years. Even though I’m very close to being debt free, I am not financially stable. I plan on growing my emergency fund by more than double to give myself a much bigger cushion. I want to get serious about investing. There’s a whole huge wide world of money out there, extending far beyond debt payoff. It’s exciting that I’m so close to it! To really being immersed on the other side of this personal finance blogosphere of ours: managing money responsibly and investing in a future with money.
My whole life up to this point has pretty much been a life without money. I’ve always had just enough and very occasionally, not quite that. Heading into positive-net-worth-land means leaving that old lifestyle behind. I’m so glad of it. Worrying about money is an all consuming nightmare. I understand of course, that plenty of people without debt worry about money. Being debt free doesn’t erase that completely. But it sure as hell is a start! I can’t wait to reach the day of double whammy awesomeness: debt freedom and positive net worth. It’s going to be a game change, a very welcome game change.