In December 2013, I posted about celebrating the small financial victories for those of us still in the accumulation stage. As I said back then, it can sometimes be discouraging to some to see all the posts at the new year about people's larger financial victories (house paid off, millionaire club, early retirement, etc.) and it's good to remember most Bogleheads started with small portfolios and small financial victories. It's the accumulation of those small financial victories that lead to the larger portfolios and larger financial victories over time.
At the time, my small victory was:
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My personal financial victory for 2013 is finally going from being in the red (when considering house value and mortgage in net worth calculations) to joining the one-comma club. I am still underwater in the mortgage (LTV ratio is currently 140%), but my other assets have accumulated enough to counteract that.
My current small financial victory is my house is approximately at 100% loan-to-value ratio, using my current house value estimate and current loan balance, so I am no longer underwater in the mortgage. I estimate the current house value by putting in all sales in the neighborhood into a spreadsheet. I then use a formula to determine which sales "best match" my house (regular sale, same bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage +/- 15% of mine). I calculate the average for the neighborhood as a whole (all regular sales) and the average for the "best matches" over the last 12 months. I average those two values together to get the estimated value, so I'm not overly optimistic by just focusing on the "best matches" (which consistently have been higher than the neighborhood average since I started this spreadsheet 6 years ago).
In those three short years, I've also more than doubled my annual retirement savings by redirecting promotions and raises into retirement savings, tripled my retirement account balances, and healthily increased my net worth into the one-comma club territory. The snowball is picking up momentum as it rolls down-hill. Here's to celebrating the small financial victories of the new year in your lives as well.