Homenet worthNet Worth: January 2013

Net Worth: January 2013

I’m including a unicorn in every NW update from now on

Happy Net Year. No that’s not a typo, just my lame attempt at making a terrible joke. While December is typically a very expensive month for households, we managed to make some serious gains and push our net worth up five figures last month. This makes me cry tears of sweet joy.


Cash: $88,256; +$8,730

While we did make some pretty serious strides since last month’s update, $2,000 of this was robbed from our taxable investment account. Since we are three steps in to the house hunting process (hiring a realtor, getting pre-approved, and touring homes) I transferred our cash holdings out of the short-term investment account, and put them back in our standard checking. We’ll keep growing this beast for a few days, weeks, or months, until we know exactly what the purchase price and closing costs of our future will be.

Taxable Investment Account: $0; -$2,000

Accidentally not investing this money in the stock market was fortunately a good decision. I didn’t feel bad about taking from it to beef up the savings account. Fear not dear friends, we will be short-term investing before the year ends!

Roth IRA: $35,913; +$1,800

Nothing quite like making money when you didn’t actually do anything besides watch some virtual account magically increase. It’s probably the second greatest thing in the world. The old TV show Salute Your Shorts being the first.

TSP (401K): $46,823; +$6,571

We finally got off our lazy butts and started tracking Girl Ninja’s 401k funds. She had $3,330 sitting in some mutual funds that I almost never looked at. After a little due diligence we got online access and was able to import that information into Mint. Woohoo. We also are in the process of rolling over her old 401k from her San Diego job to an individual IRA. Those funds aren’t account for yet since they haven’t shown up online. Hopefully by next month we can officially include that $4,000 addition 😉

Payments owed:

Credit Card: $2,115 (change not reflected since balance is paid off each month)

Still can’t believe just a few years ago I owed $28,000 to that old hag Sallie Mae. Haven’t missed her one bit and have no plans to cross paths with her in the future. Last time I tallied our total Christmas gift shopping expenses were $707. This means Girl Ninja and I will be making some donations in an equal amount to some charities and organizations very soon. We also went skiing yesterday and the experience isn’t cheap, but it is well worth it.

Since the markets were favorable, and we started including Girl Ninja’s 401k, we were able to move up $168,878 which is a $15,243 increase over the previous month. This is definitely the biggest single month jump we’ve ever had. It’s a great start to 2013 and I wouldn’t mind if the trend continues 😉

p.s. Tomorrow’s post will be a detailed chronicle of Saturday’s Seattle house hunting journey. Here’s a sneak peek of a $379,000 house we walked through…

Now do you get why we don’t even want to see houses that start in the $200,000’s?


You can see all of my net worth updates here.



  1. Hey Ninja,
    Is there a post or something that describes how you came to be mentioned in things like The New York Times and so on? Also, that picture is god damn brilliant lol

  2. Yep, that’s pretty representative of the Auckland housing market too. Our kitchen looks almost exactly like that, though I think the stove is slightly newer. According to council valuations our current house (on a full section of land) is worth three quarters of a million.

  3. Wow the cost of living differences between Seattle and where I live (just outside Richmond, VA) are pretty crazy. My house cost me $158,000 and is ~2200 square feet. It was a foreclosure but was by no means in bad shape. Of course you make much more than me to compensate, but the price tags alone seem crazy to me.

  4. Wow, that market is insane! There is zero chance I would pay the better part of $400K for that house… I can see why you are renting up there.

  5. That looks like a house that would be valued at $50k in Texas.
    You need to make a post on how you chose your realtor!

    • Agreed I have seen houses very similar to that around 60-70k in some of the better parts of town in Fort Worth, TX.

  6. That makes me so mad — how a house like that could go for that much money. Do people actually pay that kind of cash for something like that? WHY? That’s maybe a $20-30k house here in Indiana. If that.

    I forget — do you have family in the area? Why are you tied to this city?

  7. WOW! That house would cost next to nothing in some Ontario cities but in other the cost of the house would be about the same like Toronto maybe. All I know is that house prices in the USA and Canada are all over the shop. Where we live now they are so costly and if you drive 30 minutes away you can grab a huge house will land for a great deal. Great job with your January Net Worth.. would be awesome every month, I bet! Keep up the great work. Mr.CBB


    not sure if you’re a DIYer, but the two homes they bought in the Virginia area looked like the one above and they turned their older homes into something nice and fresh. look at their house tour tab.

    aside from your website, they are one of my daily reads! they also have tips on house hunting older homes; look for good bones, look past bad carpeting and look for potential (you probably knew that already).

  9. Holy Smokes! I’m glad I live in a cheap state. Of course I have corn fields to look at instead of Puget Sounds, but whatevs! 🙂 Good luck on your search.

  10. $379,000 for that porta-potty. Might be a good investment, because all improvements will add to its value. But I cant believe its worth that much in the state that its in.

  11. Eek! If my theory’s right, that house is probably in a good school district. We’ve seen houses here in Portland that are:

    1. Pretty and nice, not in a good school district — reasonably priced
    2. Blah to alright, good to very good school district — from reasonable to a little-inflated price.
    3. Pretty and nice and good (to very good school) district — $$$!!!

    We’ve seen some decent houses here but couldn’t consider due to their neighborhood elementary schools. They often stay on the market for a while. We check (I prefer this site) or Our agent once suggested to widen our search by referencing highschools, but almost all HS in Portland are rated 8/10 and above but there are elementary schools that are rated 3/10. Ack! Schools, particularly primary, influence real estate big time I’ve noticed. Plus, our kid is yet to begin kindergarten.

    I thought to throw this in as you’ve mentioned having kids in the future. Mixing in my kid’s education in our search for a home made the process take a bit longer. There are areas that my husband and I would live in if we were childless, but won’t just for having a kid. Crazy!

    • Everyone buying property should consider the school district (K-12, not just high school like you mentioned). Even if they don’t have kids, or if their kids aren’t school-age, or if the family does private or home schooling. It’s worth knowing what the school district is, because whenever you go to sell, the buyer will probably care.

  12. Wait, somebody else remembers Salute Your Shorts? That’s awesome.

    Less awesome than watching money grow though.

  13. 379K does not surprise me at all. Still (sadly) better than Vancouver which would be probably in the 500-600K range.

  14. Doesn’t surprise me at all, as a New Englander. What does surprise me is that you guys are planning to buy this year as a young couple without a real need for the space rather than spend a year saving another $100k and upping your budget $100k.

  15. You can get a very fancy house with a 2 car garage in my Canadian city for $300,000 and free health care comes with the residence card.

    I just worked out my net worth for the first time today and if it wasn’t for the equity in the house I wouldn’t have anything. I look forward to watching it grow although it will be at a much slower rate than yours.

    First time here. I found you on Wise Bread.

  16. Your unicorn is awesome. The $379k home is looks disgusting, however if that’s the only problem then it can be fixed. Maybe $25k would do the trick.

  17. I’m downright giddy at the rebound in the Seattle market, because it’s helped my net worth quite a bit over the past year or so. We bought at nearly the height of the market (2005) & are now back above water. Hot dog! 🙂

    We’re on the Eastside, and inventory is extremely tight here as well.

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