Net Worth Updates

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December 2012 Net WorthIn these unstable times, I’m perfectly happy with modest $773 gain. Especially with all of the holiday spending, though, I suppose I shouldn’t make a final judgement until next month’s update.

Cash:
There’s no real strategy here at all. I get paid every two weeks and I’ve got automatic payments pulling from my checking account right down to the $2000 balance level (to avoid bank fees). It’s like auto-pilot.

Savings:
I withdrew $600 from here early in the month (to pay off a credit card balance) but managed to replenish it almost 100 percent. Unfortunately my property taxes are due this month so it’s going to drop off considerably but that’s what I set the savings account up for — property taxes.

Gov’t Bonds:
Month after month I question why I still have these. The return is just so much better than a savings account that, for some reason, I just can’t part with them completely…

401k:
It’s up. It’s down. It’s…whatever…

Home:
It’s worth far more to me but the mortgage payment says otherwise. It’s a total win-win.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Just this month I realized that we have four “older” cars (my wife owns one that isn’t reported here) that all have insanely low mileage. It doesn’t really mean anything, I suppose, but I’m starting to think that when you have a mini-fleet of cars to choose from, they all last longer.

Credit Cards:
I’m kinda shocked this went down, actually. That week after Thanksgiving turned out to be pretty expensive but I guess I didn’t charge quite as much as I thought I did. That’s a good thing — we’ve got to get this slate wiped clean by May 2011.

For the record, nearly the entire balance is on a Chase Slate card. See what I did there? Pretty cool, huh?

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report.

Mortgage:
Just another minimum payment.

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November 2011 Net WorthLoving these huge swings up and down.

I mean, just look at the last year’s worth of updates and all of the movement has been huge…

Here we go…

Cash:
Still tight. I think I even inadvertantly went under the “threshhold” this past month. Booo…

Savings:
Nothing new here — just where I’m tossing $135 in per week to cover my property tax bill (due in December) and anything else unexpected.

Gov’t Bonds:
Treasury Direct’s login process just switched again. They claim that it’s easier but I’m finding it even more annoying than ever. If I weren’t earning nearly 6% on what I have left in there, I’d sell out in a heartbeat.

401k:
Months like this are why I don’t support the whole Occupy Wall Street movement.

Home:
A big snowstorm and tons of tree damage apparently had an impact on the value of my home. Or maybe it was a coincidence.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Not much movement here.

Credit Cards:
Not as much progress here as I’d have hoped but still over $1000 wiped out. I was really hoping to have it under $10k at month’s end

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report.

Mortgage:
Just another minimum payment.

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Yes, I know I’m 3 weeks late with this…

What can I say? I’m in a funk. A $10k loss will do that to ya…

But really, things are going pretty well financially.

Sure, money’s tight, but this latest round of debt elimination is moving right along. I see the end of the tunnel already and I’ll be right back where I was the last time I was debt free.

Seven or eight more months is my guess…

Here’s the breakdown:

Cash:
It’s tight. I’ve been sending $300 per week (on an autopayment) towards debt and whatever’s left at the end of the month.

Savings:
This is essentially an account where I’m tossing $135 in per week to cover my property tax bill (due next in December) and anything else unexpected.

Gov’t Bonds:
This is my emergency back-up.

401k:
Ouch. Things are so volatile lately. One day I’m up $2k and the next I’m down $4k. This number totally depends on what the last day of the month looks like. I think the top and bottom value for this month were over $17k apart so, yeah, it’s all over the place…

Home:
Yep, I live here.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Evidently this wasn’t a good time to own a car in Connecticut.

Credit Cards:
Now we’re getting down to business. The HUGE drop last month probably won’t happen again anytime soon as I don’t really have anywhere else to pay it down in $10k chunks.

This pace is more like what I’d expect it to be from here on out and I’d expect that by the end of this month, the total balance will be under $10k.

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report.

Mortgage
Just another minimum payment.

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September 2011 Net WorthIn a complete reversal of last month (where I moaned about a $17k gain), I’m ecstatic about this month’s $2700 loss!

Yep — it’s not always about the bottom line but where the money actually falls.

Here we go:

Cash:
A nice cushion here. I’m going to do my best to keep it far away from the $1500 floor where Bank of America will start charging me fees.

Savings:
I tapped this in August, obviously. Partially to fund a vacation, partially to fund the car repairs, partially to purchase a new computer, but most importantly, to pay down credit card debt.

Gov’t Bonds:
I’m taking a new path now. Sold off most of these to, again, pay down credit card debt and cover some unplanned expenses last month.

401k:
Not as bad as I’d have expected based on the market volatility. In related news, I halted my contributions for the time being to focus more on, again, credit card debt.

Sense a theme?

Home:
My house was supposed to be destroyed by Hurricane Irene last week. Seriously, based on the forecasts, it was supposed to go right down my street.

My house survived but it’s value went down because I apparently live in the new hurricane alley.

(it just rained for a few hours. seriously…)

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Nothing terribly earth shattering here.

Credit Cards:
Hell, yeah! Now I know some out there doubted me here but look at that… I knocked $13k off. Hooray for me!

After farting around for an entire year essentially treading water, I think I’m back on board and on the same rails I was riding for most of 2007 and 2008.

This debt is going to disappear.

Quickly.

I’m definitely on the right track and off to an amazing start.

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report.

Mortgage
Just another minimum payment. Have I mentioned how great it is to have a sub-$500 mortgage bill?

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August 2011 Net WorthI know I sound like a broken record sometimes.

And I know it makes little sense to complain about the dismal status of my finances when posting about a $17k gain but… bear with me.

I beleive this is the highest that my net worth has ever been. I should be happy and, in a barely noticable sort of way, I guess I am.

But the credit card balance — and my total inability to pay it down as fast as I’d like (the way I have in the past) — is really wearing on me.

So here we go…

Cash:
July was a three paycheck month for me and this is where that shows.

Savings:
This looks too good to be true, right? Well, it sorta is. I took in a $5000 windfall.

That sounds awesome, right?

But then you notice that this balance increased less than half that amount.

See what I mean? I’m in a tailspin lately…

Gov’t Bonds:
Same old story here — except since the first of the month, I’ve been forced to sell off a pretty heft chunk. You’ll have to wait for the explanation on that…

Home:
Seriously? What’s up with this? I have no idea but it certainly makes the month look a lot better (on paper) than it actually was.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Nothing terribly earth shattering here.

Credit Cards:
I just can’t get this number to budge. Even worse, the biggest balance I have is no longer 0%. Ugh.

And to think, I thought I could be debt free again by the end of October

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report! Thank heavens!

Mortgage:
Oh how I miss the days when I was overpaying this to the tune of $1000 with ease…

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Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later — a negative month that is…

It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, though… I mean, I’ve been prediciting this “report” would come for months — just take a look at the last four or five net worth updates

Cash:
Yes, I know. I spend too much.

Savings:
I had to dip into this a bit this month to cover the repair costs for that little accident I was in. Thank god I had the money available!

Gov’t Bonds:
Still sticking with these. You know, some of them are earning over 6% right now? Wish I’d bought more back then…

401k:
Stange month on the markets. It was high at the start of the month, dipped around $6k in the middle, and almost recovered fully by month’s end.

Home:
Not sure what brought the Zillow number (part of my home value calculation) up so much this month but I’ll take it. Hey — I have the highest valued house on my street right now! How about that?

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Nothing terribly earth shattering here.

Credit Cards:
Sigh… Knocked another $500 off but I was hoping to knock at least $1k per month. The money just wasn’t there.

The good news is that most of it is still at 0% and the balance is falling. I’ve got to pick up the pace here, or formulate a span, or something, though…

Seriously, what happened to my financial goal for 2011?

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report! Woo-hoo!

Mortgage:
It’s now officially been a year since we refinanced the mortgage and since then, I haven’t sent the bank a single penny extra.

After 8 years of over-paying, sometimes even double the amount, it feels weird. Progress is definitely slow and I thought it’d have a larger effect on our overall finances than it has.

That said, it’s *very* comforting to have a sub-$500 mortgage payment for (insert tongue-in-cheek) the previously mentioned highest value home on the street…

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I’m starting to feel like a broken record with these net worth updates

I truly feel like I’m sinking but the bottom line just keeps increasing — this past month was no exception.

I mean, I realize it’s a pretty nice position to be in, you know, to feel like you’re bleeding money but somehow still finish with more than you started with.

Woe is me, right? I know, I know…

Boo-hoo, your net worth only went up 1800 bucks…

It’s an emotional thing rather than a math thing. I don’t feel like I’m making any progress — and that part sucks.

The math part is pretty cool. It doesn’t outweigh the emotional part though… For me, anyway…

So I’m back on the credit card roller coaster after nearly 3 years away from the peaks and valleys — and it’s killing my mood…

And, yet, I’m still making more than I’m spending.

It’s confusing.

Eitherway, I’m buckling down now and focusing on getting my debt level down. Savings will suffer a bit but it’s the credit card balance that’s making me feel like crap.

Here are the details on this month’s numbers:

Cash:
Just maintaining a constant balance here between $1500 and $2500. The $1500 mark to avoid a fee and the $2500 mark just cause if I go over that, I can safely afford an extra payment to the fine folks over at Visa and Mastercard.

Savings:
Already started cutting back on my contributions here. Basically, I’m only saving about $40 per week now plus $90 per week to cover my local property taxes which come due in July.

Gov’t Bonds:
I guess I could call this my “new” emergency fund. Should times get tough — like where I’m suddenly losing money each month — this is where I’ll need to draw from.

401k:
See, my mood is so low that I’ve even thought about stoping my contributions here. My employer no longer offers a match — and hasn’t for two years now — so it’s really tempting sometimes to shift my focus elsewhere. I’ve been contributing 15% of my paycheck for years now — maybe I should scale it back a bit to get out of this slump?

Home:
Whatever. Home values are pretty stable around here. Even if they weren’t, I’m not considering a move so it doesn’t really matter what the value is.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
As expected, the value of a two-seat convertable jumps just as the weather warms up.

Credit Cards:
Well, I made some progress here. Not nearly enough — and you’ll see why once I publish my spending report in the next day or so.

I swear, I’m paying my balance down at a rapid pace — I just keep buying more stuff and negating 75% of my progress. Stupid. That’s why it blows my mind that my net worth keepings increasing — apparently I *can* afford to spend like crazy…

In all honestly, I’m treading water and I hate it. Oh, how I long to financially be back in the same position I was exactly one year ago with nearly $20k in my pocket and zero credit card debt…

I’ll get there…

Mortgage:
Just another minimum payment. I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since the the re-fi and I haven’t made a single extra payment.

Sometimes it makes me mad, especially after all of the progress I made on the mortgage balance prior to refinancing, but it’s the right thing to do (not overpay) when your monthly payment is insanely low like mine is right now — and for the next 29 years. (Don’t worry — I’ll have wiped it out by then…)

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Ever get the feeling that numbers lie?

Sure, my net worth gained over $5k this past month but my debts seemed set in stone. No movement there and so the month felt like, well, like whatever 30 days of treading water must feel like.

I’m not happy with it but things should turn around soon…

Cash:
Just trying to keep a nice cushion here and, so far, it’s working.

Savings:
I should probaly redirect some of this towards debt but that 5-figure balance that I had in here a few months back made me really content. I want that feeling back — even with the debt.

Gov’t Bonds:
I’m pretty sure these will earn even more now that the inflation rates have been adjusted upward. Not yet time to start buying more but perhaps after November 1st.

401k:
Sometimes I wish I could tap this — if even for one month’s worth of gains.

Home:
Eh, whatever…

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Was adding a third (and technically fourth) vehicle to our fleet a good idea, financially-speaking? Probably not. But it sure makes family road trips a lot easier.

Credit Card:
Shoot me now. I haven’t posted a spending report lately but I should. It’d shame me into getting this under control. I had this moving in the right direction until the last day of the month — then I blew it.

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report! Woo-hoo!

Mortgage:
Same thing I’ve been saying for months… Just another minimum payment. Since the re-fi, I’ve totally flip-flopped and hopped on that bandwagon of folks that say that overpaying the mortgage is stupid. I totally agree with them — but only if your monthly payment is insanely low…

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