PoP Balance Sheet – December 2014

Welcome to our December 2014 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Markets were pretty flat this month in our accounts, so most of the changes on the balance sheet from this month were from direct savings from our paychecks.  But below the December assets and liabilities, scroll down to find a quick look back on the change in our balance sheet in 2014.

So for the month of December:

  • Our total assets went up by $10.1
  • Our total liabilities went down by $1.5K 
  • Net worth rose by $11.6K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of December is $826.6K, which represents a 1.42% increase this month.

And for the details…



Stock Accounts

  • 401K accounts: $217.3
  • Roth IRA accounts: $150.7
  • HSA account: $9.0
  • Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $78.0
  • Total Stock Accounts: $455.0

Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)

  • Primary Residence $215
  • Investment Duplex: $130
  • Investment Residential Land: $80
  • Total Real Estate: $425.0 

Cars (values from Kelly Blue Book)

  • Car 2: $8.4
  • Total Cars: $8.4

Cash Holdings

  • Checking Accounts: $10.0
  • Savings/Money Market Accounts: $21.0
  • Total Cash Holdings: $31.0

Total Assets: $919.4 


Real Estate Loans

  • Primary Mortgage: $92.6
  • HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
  • Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0
  • Total Real Estate Related Loans: $92.6

Revolving Credit

  • Credit Card Balance: $0.2
  • Total Revolving Credit: $0.2

Total Liabilities: $92.8

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Net Worth = $826.6, up 1.42% from November


Closing The Books On 2014

We ended 2013 with a net worth of $624.4K, which means we increased our net worth by $202.2 (a neat little number!) in 2014, an increase of 32.4%.  Most of the increase was asset growth since we’re paying the mortgage down pretty slowly and that was our only non-revolving debt for the year.  That asset growth was definitely helped by some from appreciation in value (some real estate, some brokerage accounts), but over half of the growth on this side of the balance sheet was just us stashing money away every chance we got.

Here’s where we put money in 2014:

  • Maxed out 401Ks – $35,000
  • Employer matches on 401Ks – $8,355
  • Maxed out Roth IRAs – $11,000 (technically this money is waiting to be deposited since we’re not sure if we need to back-door this year)
  • HSA payroll deposits – $2,550
  • HSA employer funds – $750
  • Deposits into Taxable brokerage – $72,500
  • Total Stashed Away This Year – $130,155 (of which $9,105 was some sort of employer matching funds)

This total honestly astounds me.  We blew our savings goals out of the water this year (the goal was to put $50K into the taxable account after maxing out all the tax advantaged accounts), which feels nice because we know it’ll be a challenge to meet those goals in 2015 with all the planned spending on the kitchen renovation.  So we feel like we’ve gotten a bit of a head start on 2015 saving from the strong finish to 2014.


Tracking Investable Asset Growth

This first graph shows the growth of our investable assets (net of any liabilities against them), and shows the distribution of the various equity classes we hold. Pretty self explanatory.


How Many Years Of Spending Do We Have Saved?

Here I’ve taken the total of our investable assets for each month and divided it by the expenses (excluding our investment property expenses) for that month. The idea being that this shows how many years we could live off of those assets at that rate and gives us a better idea of what lifestyle inflation (or intentional deflation) can do to the relative value of our savings.


It fluctuates in a much bigger range, because in high spending months (like February 2013 when we spent almost $7K paying off our car completely), the denominator is so much bigger. Because of that, it’s the overall trend we’re looking for.

Early Retirement Locale Index

Mr PoP wanted one more way to understand more viscerally how much we have in “investable assets”, so we’ve come up with what we’re calling our Early Retirement Locale Index. The basic idea is that we know how many years of savings we have at our disposal if we were to continue living in south Florida. (That’s the chart above.) But using the “magical” 25 years of savings necessary for early retirement, where would we have to move so that our current investable assets would cover 25x our COL adjusted current spending? (Note, this is purely for fun, we’re not intending to move. Don’t worry Mama & Papa PoP!) If you want to follow along, we’re using this Cost of Living Index from Expatistan, and using the average of the two big cities in south Florida on the list (Miami and Tampa) as our current COL index, which gets us 172.5. Our city isn’t on their full list, hence the average – but maybe yours is. Then we’re solving this equation:

Current Years Saved/ 25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / COL S. FL

15.66/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 172.5

COL Early Retirement Locale = 108.05

… which brings us to Mexico City, Mexico!

We narrowly missed out on the Early Retirement Locale Index landing us in Jakarta, Indonesia, which feels like a good thing since there’s no way Mr PoP will be getting on a plane in Asia anytime in the near future.  =/

Oddly, though Mr PoP and I were married in Mexico and have been to Mexico other times, we’ve never been to Mexico City, and a metro area with 20+ million people has never really appealed to us.  But then again, an old friend of mine has been living and working in Mexico City for the last year or so, and she was pleasantly surprised with how she’s grown to like Mexico City.  Perhaps we need to take a look again at this city with mild weather, interesting historic districts, public transportation and North-America’s second-largest bicycle sharing network, and, of course, great Mexican food.  Just not sure I’d be able to get past the pollution problems to enjoy running and other outdoor pursuits…

  • January 2014 – Delhi, India
  • February 2014 – Quito, Ecuador
  • March 2014 – Kiev, Ukraine
  • April 2014 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • May 2014 – Madras/Chennai, India
  • June 2014 – Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • July 2014 – Bangalore, India
  • August 2014 – Yerevan, Armenia
  • September 2014 – Skopje, Macedonia
  • October 2014 – Brasov, Romania
  • November 2014 – Prague, Czech Republic
  • December 2014 – Mexico City, Mexico


How was your balance sheet in December? Where would your savings land you today?

36 comments to PoP Balance Sheet – December 2014

  • Congrats on your net worth increase over last year–that’s fantastic! We haven’t run all of our 2014 numbers yet, but it was a good year for us too. Our financial plan for 2015 is really just to stay the course. There’s nothing we need to modify, the approach will just be to continue our high savings rate and investments. Sounds rather boring, but, hey, it works for us.

    And, Mexico City could be a pretty nice place to live, though I really do love Prague… I think I could live there.
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted..December 2014 ExpendituresMy Profile

    • Stay the course is about where we’re at, too. Though with the kitchen remodel it’ll be more of a challenge to put as much away in 2015 as we did this year.

  • Sue

    Awesome year! Here’s to many more!

  • That is an amazing amount saved this year! Way to go!

    I don’t have any idea how much we’ve saved… I guess mortgage prepayment is like 24k, then 401k plus 457 would be 31k, 529s are 12k. And our savings are up by 20k since last January. oh, and another 12k from required retirement (including match). So how much is that? 87k? Unless I’m forgetting something you’re blowing us out of the water. (Actually, I did forget dh’s… 7.5k retirement including match, so 93k give or take.)
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Google in the new year!My Profile

  • Annie

    This post is so inspiring. My hubby and I are working out our 2015 savings goals; we make a bit less than you both but I can say that proportionately you both saved a lot more in 2014 than were planning. We should take a second look and see where we can agree to minimize in the coming year.

    Great post and congratulations on your reasonable lifestyle. You’ll be retired and doing whatever you want soon. Ultra marathons, anyone??

    • Thanks, Annie! I would LOVE to do an ultra marathon someday and that seems like a great post-FI hobby since I imagine that it’s hard to train that much and still have a M-F job.

      Good luck to you and your hubby as you set out your 2015 goals. If you see any low hanging fruit, why not try and trim it? What’s the worst that could happen? After a few months you realize it’s a bit too austere and add it back?

  • Woo, ~$121,000 saved this year is awesome! Do you think your net worth will surpass $1MM in 2015? :)

    Mexico City is exciting – you guys can finally retire in North America somewhere! I’m out of India and in Bulgaria this month.
    Leigh recently posted..December 2014 net worth update (+0.5%)My Profile

  • Wow! That’s quite an increase for 1 year. Great work saving all that money!

    The thing that would scare me the most about Mexico City would be the kidnappings. If you move there, I would do your best to look poor because “rich” Americans do get kidnapped there. I would prefer Prague.

    • Thanks, ND Chic! I think a lot of people are afraid of violence in Mexico, but my friend said living there she’s actually felt very safe and she’s lived in several countries outside the US since we graduated high school.

  • Wow, over $200k is so amazingly epic and extremely motivating – congrats, PoPs!! Mexico City is definitely interesting, though not sure if I could live there. Excited to see where the 2015 destinations will be as you move on up, so to speak! :)
    anna recently posted..Lessons Learned from 2014 and Happy 2015 to You!My Profile

    • 2015 should be interesting on the Locale Index since with the kitchen spending I bet we’ll be bouncing around quite a bit from month to month!

  • Wow that’s an impressive increase in your net worth. 32.4%, you should be really proud of yourself for achieving such number. Hard work is definitely paying off.
    Tawcan recently posted..Recent buysMy Profile

  • Wow! You saved so much congrats. That’s amazing! I love all the charts you use to show different ways to analyze your financial information. That is very helpful!
    Kayla @ Everything Finance recently posted..Reflect on 2014 for Better Financial Resolutions in 2015My Profile

  • I’m going to have to figure that magic to replicate your net worth growth from 5/12 forward because that’s about where we are now, and I was not predicting seeing anything close to your chart!

    Also, funny about your September 2014 location, Skopje, Macedonia, I was actually there that month! I wouldn’t retire there, though. Ohrid maybe, but not Skopje. That is one weird post-Soviet city. Still, I think the years of large men with guns-controlled borders might be over.
    Ryan recently posted..2014 Expenses, Part 2My Profile

    • In 2012, we definitely wouldn’t have predicted we’d be where we are today, financially, so who knows?
      There were a few things that quantifiably impacted our net worth growth in this time:
      1 – we both hit strides in our careers and started making more money over the past few years and we’ve been able to put more money away without decreasing our spending
      2 – the real estate we bought in 2009 – 2011 in Florida started really recovering in value – that has slowed now a bit, but it really did boomerang back a bit
      3 – the bull market was a lovely bonus

      But there’s also the blogging element that’s so much harder to quantify. We firmly believe that we wouldn’t have made this kind of progress if we hadn’t kept the blog and kept up with the pf community that provides real accountability. We were on our way to saving and investing before we started the blog, but both of us agree it might have been easier to let spending creep upwards when we saw our gross income grow a good amount.

      I know you just started blogging, but I hope it provides the same motivations to reach your goals that it has for us. Good luck in 2015!

      • Kind words, Mrs. Pop. Thank you. I had the same thought about the accountability aspect. Ah, and that Florida real estate makes sense. My parents looked at places to buy down there when prices were at their lowest, but didn’t pull the trigger.
        Ryan recently posted..2014 Expenses, Part 2My Profile

        • Yeah, we made 3 FL real estate purchases (2009, 2010, and 2011), and so far the 2009 and 2010 purchases have bounced back a TON, but the 2011 is slower moving.

  • EL

    That is how you demolish savings goals. Wow really impressed, 72K of new funds into taxable investment accounts in 1 year. I’m shooting for 10K this year in after tax accounts, and 18K in my 401K.
    EL recently posted..Milestones Achieved in 2014My Profile

  • Well done you two!! I always follow your month end reports and am always impressed by the way you are able to save. It’s certainly motivating for all of your readers. Here’s to a successful 2015!! Mr.CBB
    canadianbudgetbinder recently posted..CBB’s 2014 Top Posts and Blog Review!My Profile

  • Wow! That is so impressive! I love how you look into what city you could retire in with your savings… although I would’ve been tempted to cash in in November with Prague – I have some friends from that city who love it!
    Mrs. SSC recently posted..2015…. here we come!!!My Profile

  • That really is an incredible amount of money saved in 2014, and awesome growth as well! Great job on getting to Mexico City. 😉
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted..December 2014 Money Puddle and Spending ReportMy Profile

  • Just checking out your site for the first time. I really like it – nice work. And thanks for being comfortabel to share your spending & saving. It’s very helpful to see how others are handling similar issues. Congratulations on the great year!
    Sir Salty recently posted..Wilderness (Re)discoveredMy Profile

  • R & F

    Welcome to my feedly! My wife and I are South Florida inhabitants with 2 toddlers. Coincidentally, our net worth of 1-1-14 was 621K, and 802K on 12-31. Boo daycare. Lets hope the good times keep rollin. Cheers!