Well, 2020 started out relatively normal. And then all of a sudden, it was anything but. I didn’t blog much (which has been the case the whole time I’ve been a blogger), and when I did blog, a lot of it was covid–centric.
We were so fortunate in so many ways this year, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this. This year was hard for millions of people in this country alone. While the pandemic and everything else that came with it definitely impacted our lives, we still were lucky enough to get to 2021 healthy and employed.
As I’ve done in past years, I’m going to share some changes in various parts of our net worth for the year (2020), and muse on what may have impacted these categories of assets/liabilities.
Total cash (checking and savings): went up. Which is good, since I’m continuing on the cash hoarding path a bit during the pandemic, even as interest rates on savings accounts continue to drop. The biggest impacts to these numbers are related to the pandemic: a decrease because I worked fewer hours, so I took home less money than I would have; and an increase because daycare was closed for months due to covid, and they didn’t charge us for that time, so we spent less this year on childcare. Now that daycare is back open, that expense is back as well. But hopefully I’ll be able to put in more hours at work to get more done and get paid more! Looking ahead this year, there will be a few changes to our childcare spending: my son will be moving up to the next age group, which costs less due to different teacher to student ratios. And, assuming regular in-person school happens in the 2021-22 school year, my daughter will be starting kindergarten and will no longer need full time daycare. She may need afterschool care, but we’ll see what’s available.
Investments: went way up. We contributed to our HSA, 401ks, Roth IRAs, and 529s. Technically the 529s aren’t “ours” (they’ll go to our kids when they’re ready) but for now since they’re categorized as investments in Mint, we’re calling them that. We contributed the maximum allowed for our HSA. We contributed beyond getting the match but NOT maxing out 401k. I increased my percent contribution by the same percentage as my raise, which kicked in right when the pandemic happened. We maxed out our Roth IRAs for 2019 in 2020, and, assuming the numbers look right, we’ll be doing the same this year (max out Roth IRA in 2021 for 2020). If it turns out we made too much for a Roth IRA (which I doubt), we’ll contribute to a traditional IRA. Just need to crunch the numbers. We put some money into both kids’ 529s but nowhere near the max. I only just recently increased our contribution amounts slightly when I was writing this review, since I had forgotten to do it and only remembered when rereading last year’s post.
Car values: went down. Which makes sense, as cars tend to depreciate in value. But we didn’t do a lot of driving this year once the pandemic started. So at least we saved on fuel and maintenance. I do feel a little silly that we bought a car in 2019 with the plan to do a lot of travel to family, and then in 2020 basically never go anywhere besides the grocery store and work. But hopefully it will be safe to visit family soon.
Home Value: went way up. The two assets that saw the most growth were our investment accounts and our home. Which seems ridiculous, but apparently home prices are going up a lot recently all over the country.
Mortgage: amount owed went down. And then we refinanced our mortgage right at the end of the year, so hopefully we’ll make good progress this year!
2020 Net Worth summary
Overall, our net worth went up quite a bit. As I mentioned above that was pretty much because of our retirement accounts/investments and our home value.
Looking ahead to 2021
I’m trying to remain hopeful for a better year. Already glad knowing my parents have gotten their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and hopefully the rate of vaccinations will increase, and we can get this pandemic under control.
Financially, we’re just going to continue on our working/saving/investing path. No big changes planned as far as I can tell. Here’s hoping for health and wealth in 2021!