The Don’t Complain About Money If You Do This February Net Worth Update

by Evan

Net Worth Update

On January 18, 2011 I decided to start a new way to track my net worth.  I created a private spreadsheet and zeroed out my net worth.  This way I can share my progress each month, going forward without revealing how much is in my savings account, 401(k), etc.

What assets am going to include:

What liabilities am I going to include:

What is missing?

  • Credit Card debt – Don’t have any except a revolving AMEX account so no reason to put it up
  • Checking Accounts – Always changing and moving kept low on purpose so no reason to track it
  • Cars – I have no idea why people count cars as an asset.  Its transportation not an asset.
  • Jewelry – I joke that The Wife’s hand is worth more than my car…but there is NO way anything is being pawned/sold so why list it as an asset?

In the twelve days since my original post my net worth has increased 2.67%!  I’ll take that kind of gain inside two weeks.  A good portion of my gain was split between a principal payment of $500 towards the evil auto loan, and a tiny bump in cash accounts.

People Shouldn’t Complain About Money If They…

I often have thoughts that aren’t entire posts so I will throw them in my status updates.

I don’t often talk to friends and family about their money situation, nor do I really want to open that line of communications with most people.   However, it is hard to bite my tongue when people complain about money when…

  • Their monthly lease is $500+/month
  • They belong to a gym that costs $150/month
  • Have an iPhone or similar smart phone that costs $120/month
  • Go out Boozing 4 times a week
  • Often eat at restaurants that cost $250/meal
  • Stop for Starbucks 4 times a week at $5 a pop ($80/month) – from Serendipity Smalls
  • Gamble more than you know they can stand to lose

I am not a “budget” person, but the basics of personal finances are simple it doesn’t matter if you make $46,000 or $460,000; if you spend more than you make then good things are unlikely to occur.  I am not saying people shouldn’t buy/do these things, rather all I am saying is that it is hard to listen to bite my tongue when they say to me “I am broke” on their $120/month phone while driving their $650/month car.

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Kevin February 1, 2011 - 1:25 am

The one thing I disagree with is the rent > $500/month. If there’s one thing I don’t like to go cheap on, it’s where I live. There are lots of factors such as: Safety, Proximity to Work or School, Liking Your Neighbors, and more.

I’m willing to pay a good amount of money to feel safe walking from my car to my door (this would be multiplied probably 5x if I were a female). I also life 1 mile from work, which saves time and money on a commute. In Dallas, $500 gets you a small crappy apartment in a place I wouldn’t be comfortable spending time after dark. I’m happy to pay $830 a month for my rent.

Evan February 1, 2011 - 9:03 am

I don’t think I mention rent and $500? I said Lease for a car.

Kevin February 1, 2011 - 9:09 am

You said: Their monthly lease is $500+/month

I took that as a lease on an apartment, probably because I can’t even imagine paying that much for a car. It never even crossed my mind. 🙂

Thanks for the clarification

Evan February 1, 2011 - 9:12 am

That’s funny because I couldn’t ever imagine getting a place to live for $500 a month since I live in a such an expensive part of the country.

Investor Junkie February 3, 2011 - 9:02 pm

$500 a month in NY? Yea right! Sign me up! You would only find apartments in which you share with someone the place.

Ron February 1, 2011 - 7:39 am

Great list but try finding a decent place to rent with a family of 7 for under $500! Maybe in a “van … down by the river.” LOL!

Maybe the $500 should be a baseline for a single person in middle America and add $150 for each person in the household after that. But the closer you get to the coasts, the more it costs to rent or buy anything.

I would ADD:
–have an iPod with 8000 songs
–take fabulously expensive vacations because they’re so stressed out
–spend every dime they make … plus some

Evan February 1, 2011 - 9:05 am

I never said rent I think Kevin is making things up lol.

OOOO love the vacation one! “Yes, Evan I need and DESERVE to hit up Southern Greece…my life is so hard”

krantcents February 1, 2011 - 1:55 pm

To answer your question about people and complaining about money, it is a question of choices. In many cases, bad choices! It is easier to complain then to do something about it.

JoeTaxpayer February 1, 2011 - 3:34 pm

Funny, I prefer to talk percents as well.
And for savings, multiples of income. e.g. I just saw we passed 12.5X income as our retirement savings on way to 20X goal.

Evan February 2, 2011 - 10:27 pm

It makes it feel more substantial and keeps anonymity…”Joe” lol

BeatingTheIndex February 1, 2011 - 4:47 pm

Add to your list the following:
complaining about how big your mortgage is then followed by digging a pool in the backyard adding ~40k in debt to the outstanding mortgage!

Someone I know did exactly that.

Evan February 2, 2011 - 10:27 pm

Woah…that would KILL me inside lol did you say anything?

BeatingTheIndex February 3, 2011 - 6:30 am

I kept my thoughts (a lot of them) to myself! it’s his money after all right?

Kris February 1, 2011 - 6:45 pm

Look forward to seeing your net worth increase! (2.67 percent in a month is pretty sweet.)

People so love to complain, but so hate to alter their lifestyle… I have given the same advice over and over and people still spend and justify their spending.

Evan February 2, 2011 - 10:28 pm

2.67% in 12 days! Hell yeah.

Don’t you hate when someone asks you for help, YOU GIVE IT, and then they ignore it…

Sandy February 2, 2011 - 12:45 am

For a split second I thought you meant the rent too but I know you live here in NY with me, so I figured it was the car.

I have one to add to the list.

Don’t complain if you sit on your ass all day doing nothing to change your situation.

Evan February 2, 2011 - 10:31 pm

I can’t believe I left that one out, Sandy. That is one of my biggest pet peeves! I get so annoyed…if you hate your job re-do and send out your resume…if you hate your weight go to the gym…if you hate your debt come up with a plan to pay it off

Jaymus February 3, 2011 - 2:01 am

I’m with you on the iPhone thing.. I know a guy who complains about being broke all the time and blatantly asks people to buy his coffee all of the time because he can’t afford it. Then, he sips it back while playing with his iPhone.. c’mon man.

Evan February 3, 2011 - 2:28 pm

WOW that would irritate me to no end!

Lisa February 3, 2011 - 6:31 pm

Great article. I do VA home loans and I have clients that come in all the time with $1000 car payments wondering why they don’t qualify for a home purchase. I totally agree with your “don’t complain about money if they” section. Starbucks is lets say $5.00 a trip. Going to starbucks is $35.00 a week. So expensive! Make coffee at home and buy a thermos. So much cheaper and it tastes good!

Funny about Money February 5, 2011 - 9:58 am

Oh, on a CAR! Duh…i also thot you meant rent.

Unless you can make it a business write-off, it’s hard to see why a person would lease a car anyway — all the way around it’s a bad deal. But in these parts, monthly payments on a five-year loan for a mid-range sedan are likely to be around $500. If you live in a part of the country where you must have a car to get around (which is probably most of the country) and you can’t save up enough to buy a car in cash, you’re kinda stuck with car payments.

But Starbucks? Out with that!

Evan February 8, 2011 - 10:30 am

“Unless you can make it a business write-off, it’s hard to see why a person would lease a car anyway — all the way around it’s a bad deal.”

Funn you say that. I have a good buddy who owns his own business (cool tech/home business) ALWAYS bitches about cash-flow, has a $575 car lease when I questioned him about it he provided the standard “but its a write off for the business.” UMMM YOU ARE THE BUSINESS! IT IS LIKELY A PASS THROUGH ENTITY!

brokeprofessionals February 5, 2011 - 4:21 pm

Ok good…..I have not broken the cardinal rules you mentioned above. I will have to contact you soon to complain about my finances (j/k).

That said, I agree that there is generally a large disconnect. Sometimes I wonder how people live the lives they do, then I remember: credit card debt. As much as I hate my student loan debt, at least I do not have any credit card debt (knock on wood). I also do not consider a car to be an asset. Sometimes I feel like it is just a liability.

Evan February 8, 2011 - 10:32 am

I am glad you haven’t broke those rules, but I am SURE you have met some people who have lol

I don’t my car either…I never really understood why anyone would.


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