Net Worth Update #2: $6,084

Last month was the first time I measured my net worth. I was in the red at -$1,042. Womp, womp!

In July, I took my first deliberate steps towards growing my wealth & achieving financial freedom. My playbook is simple: spend less, save more & invest for the long-term.

Let’s take a closer look at how July finished-up:

POST 4aCASH & SAVINGS @ $20,670 (+93.1% change)

Cash on-hand ballooned this month for 2 key reasons:

  • Tax rebate of $6,600 from the ATO, way higher than I had expected
  • Liquidation of my eToro trading balance

I’ll be using a large chunk of these funds to pay-off my student debt in full over the next few days, so I’m expecting this to fall sharply in-line with a drop in liabilities in my August report. This should still leave me with a comfortable amount of cash on-hand in case of any emergencies.

RETIREMENT @ $13,138* (-3.2% change)

In contrast, my retirement funds didn’t progress nearly as well… Not a huge deal as I’m focusing on paying-down debt at the moment, but not ideal either.

I don’t make any contributions to my UK private pension at present since I’m not working over there. The balance of my pension did in fact increase, but as I’m reporting in Australian dollars the GBP to AUD exchange rate change this month cancelled-out any gains.

* Not inclusive of UK state pension entitlement

It’s the end of the financial year in Australia and my super fund contribution for July was effectively wiped-out by tax on my contributions year to date. The ATO giveth with one hand & taketh with the other!

OTHER ASSETS @ $119 (-98.3% change)

I liquidated all share positions in my eToro account and will pool with funds from my savings & cash accounts to repay my student loan before next month’s report. I really enjoyed my time learning about stock investing & will probably get around to writing a review soon.

This just leaves Acorns as the single contributor to this pot. Over the past month my balance has nearly doubled to $119, as it continues to collect & invest my spare change without me having to lift a finger. If you want to know more about Acorns, check-out my review here.

STUDENT LOAN @ $7,819 (-31.9% change)

I’ve spent the last few weeks getting my ducks in a row: increasing my monthly repayment for July, liquidating stock investments & pooling them with my newly-buoyed cash reserves. I’ll have this paid-off by the end of the week. BOOM!

CAR LEASE @ $18,765 (-3.6% change)

Not much news here as I continue with the fixed monthly payments on the Jeep. Snore.

OTHER LIABILITIES @ $1,260 (-5.3% change)

The only item in this pot is my phone contract. Similar to the car lease, no news here, as I just continue with my monthly repayments. Snore. Snore.

TOTAL NET WORTH @ $6,084

Month 1 was a fantastic start, with a significant boost coming from a higher than anticipated tax rebate. This is going to go a long way in helping me to eliminate all of my student debt before my August report and free-up more cash to save & invest!

Moving from negative to positive net worth is a huge psychological step & it’s very rewarding to see some solid progress early-on in my journey. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Gen Y to FI blog & news about your own net worth adventures. You can post a reply below, drop me an email or message me on Twitter @genytofi.

 

Review: Acorns investing app

Score: 3/5 stars

The pros:

  • Packed with features
  • Low fees & great flexibility
  • Robust privacy safeguards

The cons:

  • Can be difficult to navigate the app

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Credit: http://www.Acorns.com.au

Every little helps, they say. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to saving.

But in a world of PayPal & contactless payments, gone are the days of spare change rattling-around in your pocket just waiting to be dropped-into a piggy bank. Or perhaps one of those really cool over-sized bottles…

But the team over at Acorns thinks they’ve found a way to overcome this very 2017 problem. They’ve launched an app that links to your bank account and then invests your spare change into the stock market. Pretty cool, eh!

It’s been featured on Wired, Forbes, ABC News… and now Gen Y to FI! It’s not just the markets that are hitting all time highs :-/

Yeah, pretty cool… but how does it work?

The key feature of the app is how Acorns automatically rounds-up what you spend to the nearest dollar and transfers the cash from your bank account without you having to do a thing. You can also make manual deposits into your account and set recurring payments if you want to give your pot a boost.

When you set-up your profile you’re asked to select from 1 of 6 portfolio funds with varying degrees of risk/return. You can drill-down into which holdings the fund is invested in & change your portfolio selection easily from the ‘Settings’ tab in the app.

Found Money is one of the latest features, where brands will give you a ‘Bonus Round-up’ for shopping with them. Everything from Asos to Uber. I’ve not personally used this feature yet, but it’s a nice little addition.

What’s also great is that it’s super cheap to use Acorns – just $1.25p/m for balances of less than $5k.

And is it safe?

The app & websites are both password protected, as you’d expect, but the thorough verification process also gave me more confidence in using Acorns. There’s more in-depth details on their FAQ page if you want to find out more.

So, does it cut the mustard?

I’ve already saved just over $100 in 2 months, which is approximately $600 annualised. Now that’s nearly an extra month of Super contributions by doing absolutely nothing at all!

However, the app can be a little difficult to navigate at times and some of the features are novel at best. But the beauty of this app is that even if I never click on it again, Acorns will still keep diligently working-away in the background without me having to lift a finger.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Acorns app, or any other similar tools out there. Just post below or get in-touch via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with a link to this super-trippy promo video they’ve posted on YouTube. Weird….

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Acorns Grow Australia Limited and have not received any direct financial benefit resulting from this blog post.