From $24,000 In Debt To Positive Net Worth In 1 Year

As a personal finance blogger, I definitely talk the talk. I write about saving up some emergency savings, spending wisely, and contributing to your retirement, even at a young age.

Well, this week marks my 1 year anniversary since I entered the real world and started working. I’ve tracked all my expenses with in my personal budget and I started off my career with $24,000 in student loans and only about $1,000 in savings.

Want to know how far I’ve come? I’m going to break down the past year in a few ways and let you decide if I can walk the walk, too.

Amount Saved in Emergency Savings: $5,000

Amount Paid to Student Loans: $4,900

Amount Invested in Retirement: $9,710

Net Income Last 12 Months (income-expenses): $23,000

% of Income Contributed Toward Net Worth (emergency, retirement, student loans, other savings): 47.5%

Pretty cool, right? I just wish I had been able to break that 50% mark!

The biggest news of all of this is that I officially have a positive net worth! I was pretty surprised to log into Mint recently and see that my cash and investments were greater than my debts. Pretty cool, right?

My take is that if I, a normal person who graduated from college and entered the working world, can get out of $24,000 in debt in just 12 months, anyone can. I didn’t live too much like a college student (it’s been a little cramped, but remember when I got an iPhone?), and setting goals and reaching them has actually been motivating and dare I say fun!

18 Responses to From $24,000 In Debt To Positive Net Worth In 1 Year

  1. ira says:

    Actually, of all the figures, we were most impressed with the $9710 invested for retirement. This is a great number for someone in his first year of employment. I assume this includes your contributions plus employer contribution right? Great job!

    Ira and Sharon

  2. Moneymonk says:

    Congrats, now build saving and revamp investing!!! Great accomplishment

  3. What’s the interest rate on your student loans, and what interest rate is your retirement savings earning?

    If a>b, you’ve got to vanquish that student debt before worrying about contingencies half a century down the road. If a

    • Daniel says:

      @Greg McFarlane, The retirement savings is tracking the S&P 500 and the student loans at 3.5% and a variable 2.24%. Does that make it easier? Or harder? Hard to predict, right?!

  4. Dear Daniel,

    Great job!!!

  5. Moneyedup says:

    Congratulations! It is great to read about your success story. Paying off student loans can be a long and hard process but you are well on your way. I hear so many stories about how life is really rough for newly graduated college students because of all the debt, but if you can make it through this, anyone can.

  6. Congratulations Daniel. I’m averaging 60% of net earnings saved and that really takes focus to maintain. Luckily I’ve already paid off my student loan so all savings go to retirement. Once you pay off your student loans are you intending to divert all funds to retirement?

    • Daniel says:

      @RetirementInvestingToday, I don’t know about all funds to retirement, I think that maxing out my Roth IRA is a good goal for now, as I have other medium-term savings goals that probably come first. But you can bet that any money after that is going toward my Roth 401(k)!

  7. Great stuff mate! That is fantastically quick to get up there so soon just one month out of school.

    Have you done a pro forma networth calculation in excel or something if you keep up the way you are going?

    • Daniel says:

      @Financial Samurai, I have thought about it, but I know that many things will change over the coming years, so I don’t want to project, get too excited, and then be disappointed when things change. For now, I can accept the path I’m on, and when things are steady, run some more calculations.

      You have no idea how much I like running numbers and projecting just how much I can save for retirement, but it’s a little soon, I think.

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next step is to get out of debt entirely?

    • Daniel says:

      @Benjamin Bankruptcy, Ah, that sounds so fantastic. That’s a little bit farther away, but sounds really exciting, I just got a boost of confidence and can’t wait to pay it all off!

  9. Doug Warshauer says:

    Congratulations! Your success is really inspiring.

    Are you saving money toward buying a car and a home, too? Sometimes I feel like those goals can get overlooked in the frenzy of saving for retirement, but most people buy multiple cars and homes long before they retire, so having the cash put away for them is important, too.

  10. CONGRATS! Mr. BFS and I had about $3000 between the two of us when we got out of college. 5 years later, our net worth is around $130,000. You have a bunch of great years to look forward to, especially since you are making such great progress on your own financially-speaking! That’s impressive!

  11. Nicole says:

    Go you! I LOVE these stories. How awesome.

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