We’re already a month into this journey we’re calling Debt Ascent, and it’s time for our second installment of updating our monthly net worth. In a welcome surprise, we were fortunately able to improve our NW by a shade over $16k in January, bringing up our total from just over -$147.5k last month to -$131.5k. While we only paid down our debt principle by $2.2k in January, market gains and contributions to both our investment accounts and savings resulted in the rest of the gains throughout the month.
Part of the reason for the large gains in our investment accounts is that in spite of being in debt, my wife and I prioritize fully funding our tax deferred retirement accounts above debt reduction. We discuss the reasons for that here, but one of them is that it our primary goal is to become financially independent. And while this site is called Debt Ascent, our focus will be on taking the steps we think are best to improve our net worth, even if that means prioritizing things above debt reduction.
For the next few months, we plan to continue funding our pre-tax retirement accounts in addition to building up our savings accounts. At about the midpoint of the year we expect to get back to focusing on debt reduction using the strategy we previously discussed.
As we talked about in our December update, our goal for 2017 is to end the year with a positive net worth. To achieve this, we needed to make improvements by approximately $12.3k each month. This is going to be a tall order, but we’re off to as good of a start to the year as we could have hoped for.