What’s Your Net Worth Anyway? (August 2018)

$163,155

I’m fortunate. With a 99-year leasehold valued at $170,000 and a small inheritance I received in 2014 that I’d thrown into index funds, my assets put me well ahead of recommended net worth milestones at 30. Naturally, it’s not as simple as that because I’m also no financial wizard – I’d only stopped accumulating consumer debt recently, and I still have moments of weakness. As it stands, here are the real (and embarrassing) numbers: I owe $13,661 on credit cards and $16,569 to family. I’m $30,230 in debt, and I’m not making fast progress on it. I’m hoping to do a series of net worth posts so you can all keep me accountable. Right now, I need help.

The assets add up nicely. The $170,000 home plus my $22,877 RSP bring me to $192,877. I have $500 exactly in chequing, and my wallet contains… let’s see here… $8, change, and a coupon for free pizza. Here are the milestones I’m working towards.

First, I want my assets to total $200,000. Then, I want my net worth to total $200,000 through debt elimination. I know I keep pushing this back, but my goal is a “debt-free 33”, and I need a good money tribe to keep me moving forward. If you’re on an FI journey too, I’d appreciate the encouragement.

My net worth is $163,155 at 30.

Where are you?

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Are You Paying For Bragging Rights?

NO ONE EDIT

Looking back on my 20s, I wish I hadn’t cared about oneupmanship. I wish I hadn’t spent thousands on PlayStation media so I’d have a higher trophy count than my friends. I wish I hadn’t bought and drank so many terrible beers just to boost my numbers on Untappd. I wish I cared less about what people thought of me, and actually started working on me. For most of my life, I’d been paying for bragging rights. Maybe you have too.

Companies thrive on this sort of thing, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. Almost every luxury good is a sort of stab at oneupmanship. The newer car, the shinier gadget, the cooler features, and the status symbols of the world all conspire to take money out of our wallets. On one level, it might be keeping up with the Joneses (which we already know is bad), but if we’re being completely honest, sometimes we buy things to grasp at better social standing or to make others jealous. I’m guilty as charged. I used to buy $300 shoes, $900 dinners for my friends, and $250 bottles of wine – always in misguided attempts to seem better than I was. Now, I struggle with debt… and it’s all my fault.

Things are better now. Since starting this blog, the only status symbol I care about is my net worth. My shoes are now $20. My dinners are now meatloaf and beans. Bottles of wine only show up when I get them free from work. I just organized a bachelor party and ixnayed the limo for a cab. The PlayStations got sold off or gifted. I often take the bus. Somehow, in spite of all this voluntary deprivation, I’m happier for it! A weird thing happens when you become frugal: Where I once was only able to afford one pair of shoes, I could now afford 15. The more frugal you are, the more wealthy you feel because you suddenly have so much buying power! It’s a weird paradox, but it’s one worth believing in. Don’t ever spend money to impress people. People don’t give a shit anyways.

If you’re gonna spend money on oneupmanship, one-up yourself. Invest in your goals. Build up a bigger nest egg than you ever thought possible. Learn new skills. Better yourself, but not so you can compare yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy, even when you’re on top. Can you imagine how stressful that is? Always striving to maintain a false sense of superiority through spending money? FUCK. THAT.

No one’s better than anybody else. If you truly believe a $30,000 watch or a shiny car is the only thing making you a better person, we’ve gotta have a talk. Even if a glowing beacon above your head broadcast “I SPENT $30,000 ON A WATCH” 24/7, that’s not a great message to send. You don’t seem rich and impressive. You seem desperate.

Stop bragging. Start saving.

Get rich.