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.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.
17 Replies to “I Have a Positive Net Worth!”
Yayyyy!!! Such a good feeling. I do find saving less exciting – paying off my car was great, but now my goals are so huge – instead of trying to pay off a $10,000 car, I’m trying to save literally 100 times that amount for retirement.
Also, not that you’re looking at buying a house any time soon, but I found this post (http://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/02/23/rent-v-owning-your-home-opportunity-cost-and-running-some-numbers/) really interesting and it changed some of my views on eventually being a homeowner. As someone who’s not particularly handy, I kind of wonder if it would make more sense to rent long-term.
Thank you! I have read that actually. It made me think. My vague plan is to own a home and rent it out for part of the year while I travel. It’ll be passive income. I’m not particularly handy now but there are skills I’d love to learn and have in my skill set.
This is a wonderful report, indeed!
Thanks Isabella! Next report, debt freedom!
Congratulations! It is always a great feeling when your savings grows!:)
Thanks! I’m really looking forward to getting excited as my savings grows, the same way I get excited as my debt drops!
So awesome — congrats! We’re several years ahead in terms of early retirement saving, and net worth tracking definitely keeps us motivated, since you asked. 🙂
I’m taking my first steps into the early retirement pool. 1) become debt free! Glad to hear that there are other people who getting excited at changing numbers =)
That is fantastic. Keep it going. Setting monthly, yearly and long term goals can help you stay motivated even while saving. Setting a challenge to yourself such as I am going to save X amount by August. Then crush the goal and set a new one. Positive net worth must feel great. I should hit a positive number for myself around November, and most likely a positive number for my family (wife and I) by October of 2016. I want to be debt free by the end of 2018, but I am focusing on my 401k and IRA to take full advantage of less taxes which will equal a faster time to financial independence. Good things are in your future.
Thank you! I’m so ready to take the next step and start saving aggressively. I plan to max out my Roth IRA this year. Good luck on your road to debt freedom!
Reblogged this on johnjbowmanjraccountant.
Thanks for the share! And for stopping by!
Holy cow, this is amazing!!! So proud of you.
Thank you!! As you know, it takes dedication. But it pays off!
That’s awesome! Even if I consider my retirement and the equity in my house, I’m still around -50k!
Thank you! Your assets far outstrip mine though. I’ve got a whole lotta nothing to my name!
[…] don’t share my specific numbers here, but I will say that in May 2015 my net worth was $348, as evidenced by this blog post. I’ve increased that by over 100% and it is in large part because of talking about […]