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Since it’s the first week in April, it’s time for me to run the numbers and check out our net worth as of the end of March. I can tell you right now, March was BUSY! Besides our first mortgage payment, we also made our last rent payment at the apartment, so we had to be tighter with our budget this month.

I hope the bigger screenshot of our monthly net worth is a bit easier to read. Austin made a suggestion last month, and I hope this change is something that works well.

Summary of March 2010 Net Worth

Summary of March 2010 Net Worth

Congrats again to my in-laws for their anniversary!

Checking, Savings and Emergency Funds (+3864)

This category includes all of our checking and savings accounts. Our main joint savings is used for our emergency fund and we have smaller savings accounts for vacations and car replacement. While I would love to have $3,864 more in our accounts, this snapshot was taken right before April’s mortgage payment. Still, we had a decent increase and so it’s something to be proud of.

We use ING Direct for most of our savings and have been happy with their customer service for the last few years since we’ve joined. We considered national banks, regional banks, online banks, and local credit unions in our search and ING Direct fits us well.

Retirement Accounts (NRY)

I’m going to update this as soon as my husband can get back access to his 401(k) account. Unfortunately it seems like he has problems with it every month as they require constant password changes and you can’t repeat passwords and all. Since it’s not ready yet, I’ll update this section later this week. Unless he lost money (which is highly unlikely), this will be increasing.

House ($0)

We’re keeping the number at $136,000. We’re basing this number on the appraisal, Zillow’s estimate, and local price we see going around here. Since we don’t plan on selling soon, we’re not too concerned in the short term for price.

Mortgage (+449)

As new home loaners, we have a responsibility to start paying down our new mortgage. In case you’re curious, it’s a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and it’s at 5%.

Why Pay Off Our Mortgage Early?

Right off I’m going to say that paying down the mortgage quickly is also peace of mind for us. We want to plan out our cash flow for both now and the long term.

I mentioned before that keeping a mortgage just for the interest deduction is crazy. You’re just sending over more money to your mortgage company instead of paying a fraction of the amount in taxes. The numbers don’t add up. By paying our mortgage earlier than the 30 years scheduled, we’re going to save tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

Following the mortgage amortization schedule, most of the money go towards paying interest in the beginning of your loan. As the mortgages draw to a close, the payments increasingly towards the principle owed.

Auto Property ($0)

No change with our cars. In case you’re wondering how I got the numbers I recorded in the spreadsheet, I’ve got the prices from Kelly Blue Book. We no longer have car loans, so they are assets. Every quarter I’ll update them to account for depreciation. I went to Kelly Blue Book this month and new amount reflects the depreciation. If you’re looking for tips on paying off your car loan faster, we shared our own family plan for getting it done.

Credit Cards ($0)

We pay off the balance on the card every month. We typically use the credit card for vacations and then pay it off when we come home.

Student Loans (-$103)

I’m proud to say that I made my goal and I consolidated my student loans before this month’s net worth review.  While consolidating is going to lower the required payments from $206 to around $150, I’m going to still pay $206/month on the loan. I’m asking myself, however, if this is enough. I’m looking at this student loan statement and I’m debating whether or not to get aggressive with it. One one hand, it’s my last non-mortgage debt and it would be nice to really focus and finish this off. On the other hand, it’s at a lower interest rate than my mortgage, so I may want to bump up my Roth IRA contributions.

I’ll definitely weigh the pros and cons and let you know what I decide. If you have any idea, please share them in the comments.

Net Worth Thoughts

Our focus will still be making sure we don’t have our monthly expenses increase due to lifestyle inflation.  It’s tempting with the new place to buy more stuff for it, but it just doesn’t make sense financially or practically. The only thing we’re hunting for is a good desk for me in the home office.

How about you? How are you doing in 2010 so far?

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About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

2 comments comments closed

  1. Elle,

    While I agree keeping a mortgage just for the deduction doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I don’t understand why you are speeding up the mortgage payment vs the student loans.

    Federal deduction of student loans is capped at $2,500 per year, There is no cap on the mortgage insurance. Why not pay down the student loans until you get to that $2,500 range and then switch to the mortgage?

    Just a random thought, and you had a much better month than I did!

  2. Thanks Evan for the tip! My student loans are below the $2,500 cap. I’m thinking of using a portion of my freelance income to redirect towards the student loan., but no definitive plan yet.