How I Doubled My Net Worth In Five Years On A Crappy Salary

With all of the things that I share on this site my net worth has never been one of them. It’s not like I’m an incredibly private person, but I always felt as if I should hold at least ONE thing close to the chest. That’s about to go right out the window.

Blogging buddy J. Money asked bloggers if we were willing to share our net worth and I guess I felt challenged enough to (1) calculate that number and then (2) share that with the world (okay, the three of you who read this site).

You already know about my debt. This blog was established with the sole purpose of documenting my way out and upward and it’s been some ride.

When I started this blog way back my very first post detailed my debt of $105,665.31 and optimism. I started owing less money than I do now but the circumstances are so much more different (grammatically incorrect, but it stays) than they were then. Back in 2009 the only thing that I owned was my debt and two degrees…and a lemon of a newish car that I had to have constantly repaired at the dealer.

What I didn’t know was that the number quoted wasn’t correct. I owed a friend another $5,000 that wasn’t listed in that number, and a few months later I would learn that I actually owed state taxes that were a bit over $10,000.  I can’t remember how much my car was worth, but let’s conservatively say that I began 2009 with a net worth of -$120,665.31.


What a perfectly unsexy number, especially when you consider that I owned absolutely nothing outright. Well, I owned the lint in my pockets and the dust in my purse, but that was it.

Let’s fast forward five years later and work with the numbers as of February 1. Even though I now owe $123,333.89 my net worth is actually $122,084.12.


Yeah, baby. I did a complete 180 degree turn in five years all while owing just as much money as I did back then. You’re wondering what I did in that time. Nothing special really, and nothing that you can’t do either.

First, I have switched jobs two times since then. Each time I changed jobs I tried to increase my salary. So, five years ago I brought home $1,100 every two weeks after taxes. Nothing splendid there. Now, I bring home a little more than that. Okay, a decent bit more than that. Fine, much more than that. I realized that I was worth a lot more than I had been taking home. While I felt loyal to my employer, I decided to be loyal to myself and left a job that I actually liked quite a lot.

Second, I contributed to my company’s 401(k) even while I was paying down my debt. I believe in putting in at least enough to get the company’s matching funds. It’s free money as far as I’m concerned. I was also smart enough to continue contributing in the down market thereby positioning myself to take advantage of the market’s spectacular rebound.

Third, I purchased two investment properties when property values were absolutely crappy. This is one of the smartest things that I could have done for myself. I like the prospect of being able to collect rental income for years to come.

Fourth, I am the queen of the side hustle. Side jobs have allowed me to push money to debt. Honestly, had I not purchased the rental homes I would likely be left with just the student loans and maybe one credit card bill by now.  It’s all good though because I’m working this debt down like a mad woman.

Fifth, I’m more open to possibilities. This one was the hardest one to accomplish but the one that has had the most impact on my life. I’m not the fluff and roses kind of girl, but I promise you that when you change the way that you view the world, you are open to the possibilities of accomplishing so much more. When you think positively and view the world from a place of “yes, I can do this” you attract more positive energy and you’re better able to handle and/or deflect the negative.

I was horrible at dealing with negative things, but now I face them head on. Am I now the guru of all things positive? No, not at all. But my outlook on life and my space on this planet, my purpose, my goals and ambitions have shifted dramatically since then.

The great part about my net worth is that every month I see it slipping more and more into positive territory as my debt falls. Had we spoken five years ago about being where I am now, I probably would have laughed a little at you because I didn’t have that vision. Now, I’ve set my sights so much higher that I’m shooting for the millionaire club.  Check in with me five years from now. We’ll see how far I get.

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