I am excited to write this post my friends. You have all read my journey, probably over and over again on different sites. The reason I have so much excitement is I am really seeing results of my hard work over the years. I have pushed myself to learn new things, make financial changes, and earn extra money all while spending quality time with my family and holding a full-time job. It hasn’t been easy. There have been many sleepless nights along with quite a few times I wanted to pack it up and just leave it all behind. But cooler heads prevailed. I looked back at my work and my goals. I want to become financially independent one day and the tools and skills I am using now will get me there. I have never shared my net worth and I won’t give the full number, but I wanted to share where my net worth has come from. I hope this inspires some who are really looking to change their lives.
Where I Was Six Years Ago
I can’t believe it has been so long, but alas here we are. Six years ago, I was deep in financial trouble. I had well over $70,000 in consumer debt, not including our mortgage. I had a jetski loan, car loan, and over $50,000 in credit card debt. I was making poor choices, which resulted in a lot of stress and personal turmoil. Luckily for me, six years ago my wife kicked my ass in gear and told me to make a change. She backed me 200% and provided the support I needed to get it together.
Six years ago kicked off my debt killing journey. I worked very hard to earn more money, find side jobs, reduce my spending, reduce my expenses, and pay off my debt. It took me four years to rid myself of the debt. I was paying credit cards off left and right. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. While I was working to pay off my debt, I also wanted to learn how to grow my wealth. Like I wrote the other day, I realize now that paying off my debt was how I was working toward building my wealth. When you are in a large negative, then seeing that number get close to zero is powerful.
When my journey started, my net worth was at -$75,000. This was the $70,000 in consumer debt I had, plus the $5,000 our mortgage was under water. This was during the Great Recession. Either way, that number sucked looking at. I hated it. Seeing so much red was really disheartening.
Six Years Later And…
Two years ago, I finally hit $0 in net worth. Most people would look at that and say it sucks. I look at it as a huge achievement. Seeing $0 for my net worth was a positive for me. Being competitive and not accepting the fate debt dealt, I wanted to grow my wealth substantially. I started this blog back in August of 2012. It was a month after my last credit card was paid off. This blog gave me access to many people’s financial ideals. It really helped me learn what I could do. I setup my first Roth IRA at Betterment a month later. I started contributing up to the match with my 401k. I even jumped back into the business fray and launched my freelance and website management company. It has been a wild ride for sure, but all of it was to help me grow my wealth.
As I made more money and saved a ton of it, we realized we needed to get out of our neighborhood. It was not where we wanted to raise our son. We finally closed on our house two months ago and I was able to put 20% down with no issues. This gave us instant equity in our home and a very positive net worth. I have not stopped yet. I finally just opened up a Motif Investing account, so I can start investing in some dividend stocks outside of my retirement accounts. I am really excited about it and really wanted to do it sooner. I have many money goals and I think I can get closer to them with some more passive income.
Our Net Worth is…(drumroll)
Well, I logged into my Personal Capital account this week and I was happy to see the progress we have made. All said and done, our net worth between myself and my wife is over $140,000. Now, for those on their way to $1 million, I applaud you. I am on my way toward that goal myself. I have been so busy over the past two months so I hadn’t checked the net worth. There was a feeling that ran through me when I saw the number. Going from -$75,000 to over $140,000 in six years feels good. It shows my plan is slowly working. It also shows what you can do in just two years. We pushed it hard and added over $140,000 just in the last two years.
I only share this with you to show it is very possible to get out of debt and start building wealth. I don’t want to toot my own horn because I still have a long way to go and this is just a blip in the bucket. I plan on ramping up our retirement savings, then building a healthy investment portfolio where I can access my cash when I need it. If you are in the dark tunnel of debt, then remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will eventually see that light and the whole financial world will be at your finger tips. Don’t ever give up looking for the light in the dark tunnel. Don’t quit and continue pushing on. There is nothing special about me. I learned my mistakes, made changes, and now am on my way toward financial independence.