January 2014 Balance Sheet

At the end of every month here on the Starting From Zero Blog I’m going to share an update of my net worth. Although it is not as important as the amount of passive income I am producing which will eventually allow me to achieve financial independence, I think it is still a good metric to use as it allows a good snapshot of my current financial situation.

Even though I started this blog this month I’m posting January’s Net Worth Report as that was the month I started tracking it in my own personal financial records. Besides, showing everything here on the blog from January to December just seems easier than a February-January schedule ;).

Cash Savings: $6590.88. This includes both my emergency fund, any additional savings, and all physical cash on hand. I have all these funds separated in different accounts but am combining them here for the sake of simplicity. The emergency fund makes up $4500 right now and I will be increasing this amount in the future as my living expenses grow.

Roth IRA: $6452.97. Haven’t made any contributions yet this year so this is just what the 2013 contribution has grown to so far.

Brokerage: $10,737.74. This is my taxable brokerage account where I made the majority of my retirement savings in 2013. As I plan on retiring early I am going to need to access some my retirement savings prior to the normal 59.5 withdrawal age for IRA’s and 401k’s.

Loyal3: $275.66. This account I started this year after reading about it from several different authors on Seeking Alpha (side note: if you are interested in Dividend Growth Investing and managing your retirement portfolio you HAVE to check out this site, it’s one of my main sources for stock research). Loyal3 is a relatively new start-up brokerage company that allows you to purchase stock commission free through company’s direct purchase plans. With Loyal3 you purchase stock in whole dollar amounts starting as low as $10.00(!!!) so it is really perfect for those starting out. I plan on sharing more on Loyal3 on here soon.

Thrift Savings Plan: $959.75. While the TSP is a great vehicle for pre-tax retirement dollars (and they now offer a Roth option!) it only offers index funds to invest in. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since using it provides a solid foundation for my retirement savings to go along with my individual stocks. I only briefly contributed to this when I first joined the military before stopping it (stupid as I missed out on a great bull market in 2012/13) to save up money to begin individual stock investing. I am starting contributions again next month at 4% of my base pay (using the traditional pre-tax option as a balance to my Roth IRA). All of my future contributions will be gong to the “C” Fund, a S&P 500 index fund.

Auto Worth: $6146.00. For this category I’m choosing to use the current Kelley Blue Book Value. I drive a ’04 Chevy sedan which although not as flashy as most single 20 something’s vehicles, allows me to not spend a whole lot on gas and insurance. I paid about $8000 for it a little over 2 years ago (KBB value of $9k) so it has already depreciated quite a bit.

Assets Total: $31,163.00. Holy S#!%! That was my first reaction when I started tracking this last month after seeing so many other financial bloggers out there doing the same. I was honestly surprised after only actively investing for a year and not really tracking the combined totals of everything.

Liabilities: $224.62. The only liability I have are my two credit cards which I pay off monthly so I never pay interest. Since I calculate my net worth on the last day of the month I just use whatever the current balance is on my cards (my billing cycle ends in the middle of the month). But rest assured, these are being paid off each month in FULL!

January Net Worth: $30,938.38. There were several ways I could have calculated this to increase it. I could have choose to add more assets such as personal possessions (laptop, clothing, etc.) but choose not as none of these really appreciate in value. I included my car in order to track it’s declining value over time and of all my non-investment assets, this would probably be the easiest to sell and get a price fairly close to the value depicted here.

Do you make a balance sheet/net worth each month/quarter/year, etc? Are there any other items you track on yours? Please feel free to leave a comment below!


  1. Hello 🙂 I like your blog a lot. It is very inspiring! Just one question: If I’m in Canada, can I still benefit from your blog?

    1. Absolutely! While the majority of my posts pertain to U.S. specific accounts such as Roth IRAs and the TSP, the principles of investing in value dividend stocks applies to everyone.

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