Your net worth over time, ideally

A funny thing happened while I was updating our net worth for the month. I realized that it’s been ten years since the first entry on the spreadsheet!

I don’t know what prompted me to start tracking my net worth in 2007. I did start tracking my expenses in college in 2003, and it might’ve been that I just wasn’t satisfied with the way that Quicken displayed things like Assets and Liabilities. The capability was there, so I figured those must be important things to track, but I didn’t like the interface, so I started my own simple spreadsheet.

A lot of things have changed over the last ten years. But more importantly for the accumulation of our financial assets, a lot of things haven’t changed. It doesn’t seem like we’ve upgraded our standard of living all that much. We still have a lot of the same furniture. We still shop at the same grocery stores. We drive one of the two original cars. If we wanted to spend all the money we made, we could be driving new cars every three years, live in a much more expensive neighborhood, and eat out at fancy restaurants. Instead, we prefer to keep that money for ourselves, keep our savings rate above 50%, and inch up that retirement date sooner and sooner.

Is there lifestyle inflation I’m overlooking?  Today I’ll be comparing our financial life ten years ago to what it looks like today. Continue reading