Net Worth update: Xmas card edition

Christmas Card

I haven’t updated my Net Worth since May.¬†I was under the impression random internet strangers (you) stopped caring about my net worth because, well, why the crap would you care about my net worth? That said, at least one of my frequent commenters (Bob), has requested numerous times I post an update on the Ninja household finances. So this one’s for you, and only you, Bob…



Cash: $27,623; +$5,330

Nothing to write home about here. Five thousand dollars more cash seems nice up front, but spread that out over 8 months and it becomes significantly less impressive. We are three months in to navigating life as a one income household, which obviously will limit our ability to save mega cash like before. It would be silly to think a $32,000 pay cut wouldn’t sting a little.

Roth IRA: $59,384; +$3,188

Haven’t contributed a dime myself, but the improvement in the market over the year has yielded us an extra $3,000. Not complaining ūüėČ

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $104,338; +$14,255

Feels so good to finally break six figures in this category, it’s only taken me…what… seven years… haha. I throw 10% in to my 401k and my agency matches 5%, for a total monthly contribution of 15% of my gross salary.

Taxable investment account: $16,835; +$2,740

Even though this represents my smallest financial gain in terms of actual dollars of my various assets, it’s the one I am most proud of. In March I opened up my first short-term investment account with a $14,000 one-time contribution. I added another $2,000 a few months later, for a total of $16k in contributions. Basically this account has earned me $100/mo since I opened it. How sexy is that?¬†Answer: SUPER SEXY!!!!

Home equity: $80,000

Once a year I ask my real estate agent to appraise our house at what he thinks we could reasonably sell our property for (not some inflated number that makes me feel good). If he’s right, Girl Ninja and I have about $80,000 in equity in our house. If he’s wrong, well, I guess I wouldn’t¬†know since I’m not planning on selling my¬†house anytime soon.


Credit Card: $2,973 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Nothing too fun here. Just standard household expenses and a ton of gifts for Christmas. Love this season, even if it can be quite expensive. Money well spent in my books.

Taking all the above in to account, this makes our current net worth¬†$285,207. Which is about¬†$30,000 more than last update. I’m not mad at all considering we again, lost one income, gutted our entire upstairs to the studs, and got some pretty quartz counters in our kitchen.¬†

Oh and as an added bonus for making it this far, here is a sneak-peak of the Christmas card I’m sending out to friends this year (the picture at the top of this post¬†is Girl Ninja’s doing and clearly inferior)…

Christmas Card

You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: May 2014

gonna be may

What kind of sorcery is this? Seriously, how can it be May already? The upstairs remodel is plugging and chugging along. Got the whole floor gutted over the weekend and the electrician is coming over this afternoon to start running electrical to all the¬†new outlets and recessed lights. Exciting (and expensive) times for us, but I can’t wait to see what it looks like when the facelift is done. Anywhoozle, here is how our money shaped up this last month (spoiler alert: April¬†sucked)…



Cash: $22,293; +$2,770

This cash gain will be short lived after all the bills are paid. April was one of the most expensive months we’ve ever had with Spring Break, basement waterproofing, new windows, and a ton of other expenses. Our credit card bill right now isn’t pretty, but we’ll get to that in the “obligations” section ūüôā

Roth IRA: $56,196; $1,146

My investments have seen better months, that’s for sure. Hopefully the popular saying is true “April¬†showers, bring May flowers money.”

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $90,063; +$187

Like my Roth IRA, pretty much all of these accounts were down, but thankfully my contributions and 5% employer match brought about a net gain. I really don’t understand why more people don’t take advantage of free company matching when it’s offered.

Taxable investment account: $14,095; -$70

My initial investment back in March was $14,000. So while I am down about $70 over the last month, I’m still “up” $95 on the whole.¬†It would have taken me 12 months to earn $95 in interest if I left these funds in my savings account.

Home equity: $75,626

As long as there are no significant market swings in our area (which there has not been) I plan to just increase my home equity amount by $400 each month. That is the amount of our mortgage payment that goes towards principal. This way I don’t have to try to decipher the insanity that is a Zillow valuation.


Credit Card: $6,500 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Ouch, just typing that hurts. Our credit card bill is triple its normal monthly value. I’ll be paying this sucker off, in full, before any interest accumulates so my cash reserves will take a pretty gnarly hit. Perhaps it’s time I ask the boss if overtime is an option. Haha.

Taking all the above in to account, this makes our current net worth $251,773. Which means we lost about $2,000 last month. Hopefully we can get upstairs finished without totally breaking the bank and make May a positive month for our finances! 

Lastly, here are a few recent Nova pics (6mo old)…



You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: April 2014

We are in California¬†for a Spring Break baby moon bonanza. We miss San Diego dearly and sometimes we wonder if we made the right choice in moving to Seattle. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up back down here one day…when we are millionaires and can afford it. Haha.

I should be back with “non lazy” posts next week, but for now enjoy a net worth update…


Cash: $19,523; -$20,866

No, that is not a typo. Our cash reserves took a $20k hit last month. Fortunately it was for good reason. $14k went to our new taxable account, and $5,500 to this years Roth contribution. Don’t worry, I didn’t go on an epic spending spree ūüėČ

Roth IRA: $57,342; +$6,755

Like I said, $5,500 of this was from my contribution, but the other $1,200 was pure profit baby. Booyah!

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $89,876; +$1,908

I’ll take any gains I can get in my retirement accounts, especially when it’s a $2,000 improvement in 30 days. Can’t wait to have $100k in just 401k’s

Taxable investment account: $14,165; +$14,165

As I’ve referenced a few times, we recently opened a taxable investment account. We went with a vanguard 2035 target fund, VTHRX. Had the account for three weeks and it’s already made more money than this money would have for a whole year if we left it in our savings account. It will be fun to see how this performs over the years.

Home equity: $75,226

Zillow is going gangbusters since we bought our house. I know it’s not accurate, but I sure don’t mind when it’s inaccurate towards a higher selling price. Haha. My hunch is we could walk away with anywhere from $75k to $100k if we sold tomorrow.


Credit Card: $2,996 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

March was a very expensive month for us. We’ve had skylights installed in our upstairs, trees taken down in our backyard, and a French drain installed in our basement. It’s crazy and expensive, but at least it’s not a completely sunk cost as we are building equity by making our place less sucky.

According to math, this makes our current net worth $253,136. Which puts us at a more modest monthly gain of $2,410. The major house project expenses are coming to a close so hopefully these last few months as DINKS will be profitable ;). 

And here is my obligatory monthly picture of Nova…


You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Screw being a millionaire

Ninja Mansion

When I graduated college, at 21 years old, I really only had one goal for myself in regards to my personal finances.


But here I am, seven years later, realizing that I don’t actually care about being wealthy.

I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Ninja, you’re a hypocrite. Some of your posts definitely seem like you’re all about building wealth.”

After all, I haven’t been shy about sharing how we’ve…

…averaged a 50%+ savings/investing rate since we’ve been married.

…rented out a room in our home to help bring in extra income.

…increased our net worth a silly amount each year (up $70k in 2013)

Meh, you say tomato, I say to-MAH-to.

You see, we aren’t saving an obscene amount of our income, living frugally, or investing in our retirement accounts so we can reach the coveted millionaire status.¬†That couldn’t be further from the truth.¬†


Instead of talking about money, let’s talk about physical appearance as related to fitness. At 6’2 and 175-ish pounds, I tend to be a little leaner than most other men my height.

But make no mistake, I don’t ski, take Nova on walks, or coach high school tennis so that I can be in better shape.¬†Instead, I’m fortunate to be in decent shape because I have a proclivity to do active things; like ski, go on walks, and play tennis.

I care more about the cause, less about the effect. 

The same is true for our money. I never want to lose sight of what is important. I have an innate desire to live well below my means, and save or give away my excess. This was true when my household income was $38,000 a year, and is still true today at $120,000.¬†I don’t measure my value by my net worth, square footage, or income.

So while yes, I do think I’ll be a millionaire one day, please let me make it clear: I don’t care to be a millionaire.¬†

I just want to be a good steward of the resources God’s given us. It just so happens stewardship often begets wealth building.

Name our baby, get $100, and a net worth update too.

Now that we know we are having a boy it’s time to get to naming him.¬†If you have come across a cool boy name recently hook a Ninja up and drop it in the comments. Need you to get those creative juices flowing since I probably wont get my way and name our kid Sir Awesome. And if we pick your name, I’ll even give ya a $100 of our own money (sent via PayPal) ūüėČ

Alright enough baby talk, let’s get on with the Net Worth update…


Cash: $32,454; -$651

Wasn’t expecting anything too exciting here since we paid off a $5,000 credit card bill last month. The holidays and travel weren’t cheap, but they are some of my favorite things to spend money on.

Roth IRA: $48,279; -$1,940

What a lame month. Can’t win them all.

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $81,702; -$1,560

I’m sensing a trend here. Cash is down. Roth is down. Why not lose money on the 401ks and IRA’s as well?

Home equity: $73,826

If we sold our house today I think we’d reclaim all of our down payment, but probably not much else. I plan to only increase this amount by $400 each month since that is how much our mortgage lowers by when we send off a payment.


Credit Card: $1,678 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

I love it when our credit card balance is under $2,000. Aside from our mortgage, we use our credit card for payment on virtually all of our expenses. Have a few home expenses coming up (tree service, skylights, and electrical work) so probably will have some higher balances over the next few months.

Not a great month for us by any means, but when a lot of your net worth is tied up in a market that hasn’t performed the best, what can you expect? I’ll tell you what you can expect.

A decreasing net worth. Haha.

We’re sitting at¬†$233,583. Which puts us down about $1,500 from last month. Pardon me while I go throw a mini temper tantrum.¬†

And for those of you who care, here is a recent pic of my main mistress Nova…



You can see all of my net worth updates here.

Net Worth: January 2014

Ringing in the New Year means it’s time for a new Net Worth post. Twenty-Thirteen was the best year yet for the Ninja household. We made some major gains across the board and couldn’t be happier. With a baby on the way, 2014 wont be as stellar. We will be going from a two-income household to flying solo on my income mid way through the year. It’s been a fun ride, but all good things must come to an end right? That’s what I hear at least. Will be posting our updated annual budget/spreadsheet for 2014 in the next few days. For now, enjoy a boring post on how our net worth has changed.



Cash: $33,105; +$11,356

I think this was our biggest cash gain of the year and it couldn’t have come at a better time; The holidays aren’t cheap. I got paid out all the overtime I worked in Europe and even received a little year-end bonus. Don’t anticipate another cash gain like this coming any time soon… unless of course one of you is feeling awfully generous.

Roth IRA: $50,219; +$1,118

Apparently the markets are at all time highs. Which apparently means I can make four-grand in a month (between Roth and 401k) by doing absolutely nothing. Daddy like!!! Now I just have to figure out when I’ll be making my 2014 Roth contribution.

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $83,262; +$2,861

Nothing exciting going on here. Just your standard 10% contributions (with 5% match) and a healthy gain from the stock market. I seriously don’t get why more people don’t take advantage of employer sponsored retirement plans.

Home equity: $73,426

If we sold our house tomorrow, this is how much cash I would expect to walk away with after all fees and taxes have been paid out. Zillow says our home went up a couple grand over the last thirty days, but I’ll probably only change this value once or twice a year unless the market drastically changes.


Credit Card: $5,000 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

We pay the balance off at the end of each month. We’re looking at a $5,000 bill for this upcoming cycle. Depressing, but this includes 10 days of playing tourist with GN in Europe (hotels, rental cars, etc), a ton of Christmas gifts, and quite a bit of dining out. Holidays are expensive, but in my opinion, it’s all money well spent.

Each year, since I began tracking my Net Worth in 2008, has gotten progressively better.¬†In 2014 we managed to swing a $72,047 total gain. That’s over $6,000 a month! This makes our new NW $235,014.¬†So thankful for the improvements we’ve had over the years, but never want to lose sight of what’s important and start thinking that the value of my assets reflects my significance as a person. It’s just money after all.¬†

And just for kicks here is a shot I snapped during Nova’s first walk last week ūüėČ


You can see all of my net worth updates here.



A trip, a dog, and a Net Worth update: December 2013

Girl Ninja made it to the Netherlands!!! This is great news for my sanity, potentially terrible news for our wallet. We spent this last weekend meandering the streets of Bruges Belgium and fell in love. Such an awesome city with even more awesome french fries. Yum.

We also picked our puppy last Thursday. She comes home to us in two weeks! Meet Nova, named after one of our favorite restaurants in San Diego, Pizza Nova. You can also call her Dog Ninja.

Dog Ninja

But it’s the first of the month so this isn’t going to be a post about my travels or our dog. Nope, it’s time for that boring thing I do every thirty days called¬†updating my net worth.¬†Enjoy…


Cash: $21,749; -$2,752

We had to pay our $5,000 credit card bill last month so it obviously took quite a bit of cash to do so. So while the $2,800 loss might look painful, it’s not as bad when our credit card bill dropped by twice that amount.

Roth IRA: $49,101; +$1,648

What a great year to be in the stock market. As long as you didn’t freak out and sell off during the recession, you’re probably just as happy as I am right now. You wanna know what I was doing while the markets where tanking? Staying the course and weathering the storm.¬†I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the trend of the market has always been up. ALWAYS.

401Ks, Traditional IRAs, etc: $80,401; +$3,436

It’s both crazy and silly to think that Girl Ninja and I were able to bank $5,000 to our Net Worth by doing absolutely nothing. I clicked a few buttons a couple of years ago, and now we just get to kick back and let nature run its course. Nature was very good to us last month. If you haven’t started investing yet, get off your butt and do it!

Home equity: $73,018

I’ve decided to change things up a bit. Last month I had a line item for¬†home value¬†and another line item for¬†mortgage debt.¬†I’ve decided that is stupid. I see no point in including my mortgage debt since it changes very little each month. Really didn’t want to report the same boring thing each month.

Instead, I think having a single line item for our home’s equity is sufficient. If we were to sell our house tomorrow, the balance listed above is what I would expect to walk away with. Probably wont change this balance much unless the markets are doing something significant.


Credit Card: $1,103 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

This makes me so happy. We haven’t had a sub $3,000 credit card bill since we bought our house. My new motto to saving money is leave the country. I’ve been gone since November 1st and as a result haven’t spent much on anything. Woohoo!!! Still have two more weeks before I head home. Hopefully can keep things under control when I return.

2013 has been a record-setting year for us in the Ninja household. As long as nothing drastic happens over the next 30 days, we’ll have increased our Net Worth more than $60,000 this year, over 50% of our gross income. That’s so insane to me. Our new NW stands at¬†$223,175.¬†

I’m speechless.

p.s. You can see all of my net worth updates here.