Net Worth Update: 2007 Recap

When 2007 started, we had defined two financial goals for our family.

The first goal was to reduce our non-mortgage debt by 100% and the second goal was to increase our net worth by 35%. Throughout the year I provided monthly recap posts on the progress towards our goal and this post will highlight our final results.

Non-Mortgage Debt
You might recall that as we began 2007, our only non-mortgage debt was a balance transfer that we had with American Express.

The funds were sitting in our online savings account earning us interest and we were paying the minimum monthly payment. As the year progressed and the teaser rate was about to expires, I decided to transfer the remaining balance to a new attractive offer that we had received.

When we made this decision to utilize a new balance transfer offer, we agreed that we would not reach this goal as we preferred to keep the funds in our savings account until the new teaser rate expires in October 2008. As of right now the funds are still sitting in our HSBCDirect savings account earning interest.

Increase Net Worth
After surpassing our goal of increasing our net worth by 25% in 2006, we had set a more aggressive target with an increase of 35% for the year 2007.

We started off very well in 2007 and by mid-year we had already increased our net worth by approximately 20%. In July we experienced the first monthly decrease as the stock market had taken a hit over the last week of the month. Even though we had a decrease, we still expected to reach our goal.

However, during the month of July and early August, we decided to make a few home improvements that we had been contemplating. While we had already saved the money for the replacement windows, we decided to make a few additional improvements at the same time out of convenience.

Since we had not saved the money for the additional improvements ahead of completion, we had a decision to make on how to pay for the home improvements. After much discussion, we decided to use some money from our savings to pay for the improvements and then replenishing those funds over time.

With the decrease in our savings and a relatively lackluster market over the final months of the year, we failed to reach our net worth goal for 2007. We were still able to increase our net worth by a considerable amount, particularly when we consider the improvements that we paid for in our home, so it was not a complete loss.

Plans for 2008
With the teaser rate for our balance transfer set to expire in October, we will again be planning to eliminate all of our non-mortgage debt. At the present time we do not have any plans of extending this offer again but will continue to evaluate any offers that we receive throughout the year.

Even though we missed our goal to increase our net worth by 35% in 2007, we will keep the bar set high and make another attempt at increasing our net worth by 35% in 2008. With the major home improvements having been completed in 2007, we should not have any reason to deplete our savings this year and will have a good chance of reaching our goal.

When it comes to our family finances, we like to set aggressive goals for ourselves as we have found that the challenge can be very rewarding in many ways.

Here is to everyone enjoying a healthy and prosperous year in 2008!

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