Tag Archives: car loan

August 2014 – Expense Tracking Results

Last month, I vowed to start tracking my expenses after seeing my credit card debt yet again grow more than I was throwing at it.

Midway through my own personal challenge, I shared with y’all just how hard it was to track expenses at all.

To top it all off, I recently just got engaged, which means I need to be that much more mindful of my spending! Not only do I need to save up for a wedding, but most importantly, I need to save up for our future life together!

After weeks of keeping literally all of my receipts and diligently keeping record of every time I swiped, the results are in.

Let me tell you right now – the results ain’t pretty, y’all.

All in all – I spent about $4,613.84 last month. Here’s the breakdown of my August 2014 expense tracking:

August 2014 spendingSome observations

The majority of my expenses, $1,576.41 to be exact, is being thrown at my credit card debt. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I want that debt gone ASAP! However, since I’m still spending money on my credit cards, paying this much toward the balances feels like trying to fill up a pool that has several leaks/holes in it – it’s counter productive!

So how do I make paying off my debt more productive? I need to fill in these leaks/holes. I need to stop using my credit cards! 

Commuting costs are the next highest expense at $564.19. This amount includes gas, tolls, parking, and BART fare. Not only does my commute take up a huge chunk of my day, it takes up a huge part of my budget. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do about this expense. For now…

I pay about $500 per month towards the house – this includes mortgage, HOA, electricity, cable, etc. Not bad considering I’m splitting all these costs with my brother, mom, and auntie. Don’t think I’m changing anything in this category quite yet.

Retirement savings sits at $463.64 per month. This is the amount I need to max out my Roth IRA for the year.

My monthly car loan payment is $372.81 and my monthly car insurance payment is $154.67Yikes. This is what happens when you finance a brand new car, folks. As far as the car loan payment, there’s not much I can do. But I do plan on re-evaluating my car insurance – whether it means paying for the year in advance to save some money, or even jumping to a new provider, I plan on lowering this monthly amount by the end of the year!

I spent $203.23 on Merchandise and $162.95 on Restaurants in August. This is above the regular $120 in cash I withdraw each month for my regular “play” money. I definitely plan on cutting back on these categories. These were all unplanned and unnecessary purchases. If I can keep these kinds of purchases down to the planned cash of $120/month, I can really save some serious money this way.

Currently, I’m throwing $200 at my student loans and I plan on keeping it that way for a while. I’ve rounded my minimum payment to the next $100 increment, so I’m overpaying right now, but it’s still a manageable level for me. No change needed.

In August, I put $100 toward my travel savings, mainly toward my “fun money” for #FinCon14! This category will definitely increase and shift in the next few weeks, especially because I have a wedding to plan and pay for!

Seeing the naked truth behind my spending was incredibly eye-opening. Personally, I don’t think I can keep tracking expenses in this way in the long run, but I know I’m going to be a lot more aware of where I spend my money.

Action items:

-Stop using credit cards!!!

-Look into lowering car insurance payments

-Keep Merchandise and Restaurant spending limited to allotted “Play Money” of $120 per month.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be updating y’all on how I plan to change my budget/expenses to accommodate for The H2B (new nickname, thanks Daniel!) and my engagement/wedding festivities.

August 2014 Net Worth Update

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Let’s jump right into the net worth update…

August 2014 Net Worth Update

August 2014 Net Worth Update

Net Worth as of August 31, 2014: $213,850

Overall, my net worth increased by $2,175 this month!

Cash: $2,575 [MTM $1,201]

An absolutely beautiful increase for my cash accounts this month! Thank you, over-time!

Savings: $1,225 [MTM $102]

My emergency fund is sitting pretty at about $1,000, earning less than 1% in interest. But hey – that’s okay, the purpose of an emergency fund isn’t to grow rapidly, it’s to simply be there in case something goes wrong. The rest of my savings right now is in my travel fund, ready to be used as play money at FinCon14 this month!

401k: $686 [MTM $273]

Again, great increase in the ol’ 401k this month. This not only includes my contributions, but also my employers and those amazing market gains!

Traditional IRA: $8,946 [MTM $160]

All market gains for the Traditional IRA this month!

Roth IRA: $15,621 [MTM $731]

I hate to sound repetitive, but not really because I can say thank you market gains all day! Yes, I max this out every month, but this increase was more than my contributions, which is always great!

Est. Car Value: $16,242 [MTM ($1,579)]

Ew. It’s no secret that I bought my car brand new almost two years ago. And there’s a reason why this is a big no-no in the pf community. Huge decreases in value like my car had this month is definitely #1 on the list of why buying brand new just isn’t a good idea. With that being said, I still don’t regret buying new, especially because I plan on running my car to the ground. Usually, I don’t really care too much about owning a brand new car. But it’s decreases like this that make me think twice.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [MTM $0]

Last month’s increase for my home value was a huge help to my net worth! I wish I could have $88k increases every month 😉 But alas, home values don’t usually work like that. Also, I’ve decided to only update this value once year, just to be conservative.

Credit Cards: $1,813 [MTM ($352)]

I am so sick of this credit card debt! But thankfully this month went my way – a decrease in my balances by $352 is awesome! It doesn’t look like this debt will disappear as fast as I’d like (which was practically yesterday) but as long as this balance slowly and consistently decreases, I know that eventually, I’ll get there.

Student Loans: $15,527 [MTM ($127)]

Same with my credit card debt, these student loans are slowly and steadily disappearing. Like, so slow a turtle is dragging it along to keep up. My mini goal for the moment is to get these down to $15k flat.

Car Loan: $18,171 [MTM $330)]

A solid decrease on my car loan this month. Nothing new, but progress is progress 🙂

Mortgage: $274,935 [MTM ($478)]

Again, slow and steady progress is just the theme for me and my debt right now. I pay the minimum payment on my mortgage and will be paying the minimum for a long time simply because it is the last on the priority list.

This past weekend was crazy and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Also, look out for my August 2013 expense tracking results! In the meantime, let me know…

How was your August?

AMDG,
Lisa

July 2014 Net Worth Update

July had its fair share of ups and downs. Let’s get right to it…

July 2014

Net Worth as of July 31, 2014: $211,675

Overall, my net worth increased by $88,538 this month!

A terrific increase in net worth this past month, the largest increase by far, but I’m still disappointed with myself. Let’s head into the breakdown to see why.

Cash: $1,374 [MTM ($1,151)]

Every month, I say this category always fluctuates. This month is no exception. Unfortunately, it didn’t fluctuate in my favor this time around. A huge chunk of this decrease was due to the travelling I did as well as some travelling I booked for September.

Savings: $1,123 [MTM ($99)]

My emergency fund is still in tact at $1,000. My travel fund decreased by $99, which was completely expected since I just got back from San Diego and used that money as play money. That’s the whole point of having a travel fund in the first place, right? So I wasn’t too sad about this decrease.

401k: $413 [MTM $271]

Slow and steady is the motto for this account. I love that my employer immediately matches my contributions every pay period. My previous employer only matched my contributions once a year.

Traditional IRA: $8,785 [MTM ($113)]

A small loss this month for the Tradish. The markets aren’t performing too well, plus the fact that I am not contributing one penny to this account is the reason for this drop.

Roth IRA: $14,890 [MTM $283]

Yes, this account increased by $283. But considering I contribute about $460 to this account every month, I actually lost money this time around. Darn it, markets! When the market performs well, it’s amazing! When it doesn’t do so hot, it’s not fun at all 🙁

Est. Car Value: $17,821 [MTM $0]

No change this month. I’ve decided to update this quarterly. Next update to this value will be next month in August.

Est. Home Value: [MTM $89,000]

I’ve been looking forward to updating this amount for a few months now! This increase in value almost feels as if I’m cheating, though. In fact, if my home didn’t increase in value, I would be looking at a decrease for the month. It’s not like I did anything to cause this bump in value. I guess this is the good part about being a home owner!

Credit Cards: $2,165 [MTM $586]

After last month’s amazing progress in the category, it hurts to see this balance back up over the $2,000 mark. I paid about $1,500 towards my credit card debt this month, but I still ended up with an increase in balance.

Part of it is due to the fact that I put our Air Bnb on my card for our latest trip to SD. But most of my friends paid me back (except for one – if you’re reading this, I’ll be bugging you soon enough)! I guess another reason is due to the fact that I finally booked my flight to New Orleans in September for FinCon. Even though I got a pretty good deal, it is not cheap to fly to NOLA from SFO.

Still, these travel expenses may be hefty, but it simply doesn’t add up. I’m so frustrated at my backwards progress this month that I’m vowing to track all of my expenses for the month of August. As a pf blogger, I know this seems odd that I’m just now going to start tracking my expenses. I’ve been avoiding doing so simply because I’m scared of the findings.

But now – this credit card debt war that is currently underway depends on me being meticulous about what I’m doing with my money. So for August, I’ll be tracking my expenses so that in September I can review, adjust, and hopefully get back on the right track.

Student Loans: $15,654 [MTM ($125)]

I was tired of seeing little $50 decreases each month, so I finally decided to throw just a little more at these loans. A three-digit difference really makes me feel better than a two-digit decrease ever did!

Car Loan: $18,500 [MTM ($331)]

Nothing new here. Slow and steady progress for now until my credit card debt is gone for good!

Mortgage: $275,413 [MTM ($477)]

Same as my car loan – nothing new! I’ll be paying the absolute minimum each month until my situation changes.

This month was my greatest net worth increase yet! But my progress (or lack there of) with my credit card debt is completely overshadowing this feat. I’m trying to focus on the positive, and hopefully my credit card debt progress will be much better this month!

How did your July go? Did your credit card debt yo-yo like mine does?

AMDG,
Lisa

June 2014 Net Worth Update

June was a fabulous month for me and my net worth! Without further ado, here is my June 2014 Net Worth Update!

June 2014 revised

Net Worth as of June 30, 2014: $123,137

Overall, my net worth increased by $3,591 this month!!!

Let’s head straight to the break down:

Cash: $2,525 [MTM $132]

As I’ve said before, this category fluctuates every single month. I love it when it fluctuates in my favor! 😉

Savings: $1,222 [MTM $201]

Now that my emergency fund is at $1,000.00, I’m shifting my savings goal for the moment to my travel goals for the year! I’m going to San Diego at the end of this month, FinCon in September, and hopefully SoCal in December! I’ve got a lot to save for!

401k: $142 [MTM $142]

This is a new line item this month! I’ve been at my current job for almost 5 months now. Up until now, I couldn’t sign up for a 401k because of the initial probationary period at the start of my employment. Now that that’s over with, I’m now contributing to a 401k! My match is the same as my match at my old employer – my company will match 100% of my contributions up to 3% of my salary. Free money, baby! Another great thing is that the match is put in every single paycheck instead of once a year, which was how my last job did it.

Traditional IRA: $8,898 [MTM $156]

Not bad for an account that I’m not actively contributing to! These are all market gainz, baby 🙂

Roth IRA: $14,608 [MTM $693]

Every month, I contribute about $460 to my Roth IRA. Which means that the rest of this month’s increase, which is $233, is all from market gainz! My favorite kind of gains 🙂

Est. Car Value $17,821 [MTM $0]

I just updated the value last month, so no change this month. Next time I’ll record an update will be for August.

Est. Home Value $390,000 [MTM $0]

Zero change this month for the house value. Since I bought my house in July 2012, I’ll be updating this value next month!

Credit Cards: $1,579 [MTM ($1,407)]

I’ve chronicled my terrible relationship with credit cards in my three part series: Tired of Credit Card Debt – A Bad Love Story (here are parts one, two, and three). In the final part of the series, I declared war with my credit card debt for the millionth time, and I meant it! I paid off a huge chunk of my CC debt this past month. I’ve been working a ton of overtime lately, and all of it has been going straight to my cc debt payoff! I absolutely can’t wait until this debt is gone for good!

Student Loans: $15,780 [MTM ($59)]

Very, very, very slow progress with my student loans. But as I’ve said before – progress is progress. I’m currently paying a little over the minimum, but once my credit card debt is gone, I can focus more on these bad boys.

Car Loan: $18,831 [MTM ($326)]

I hate my car payments, but I do love my car. This debt isn’t a priority for me since, luckily, I got a great rate on the loan! This will be the next to go after the student loans.

Mortgage: $275,890 [MTM ($475)]

Again, slow and steady progress with this loan. And again, this is not a priority for me. With that being said, I love seeing the balance decrease on this loan. Who doesn’t?

An amazing June with greens across the board – love it!

How was your June?

AMDG,
Lisa

April 2014 Net Worth

A little late, but here it is! I’m a little sad my birthday month is over. Time is just flying by much faster these days.

April 2014

Net Worth as of April 30, 2014: $119,569

Overall, my net worth increased by $2,644 this month! 🙂

Who doesn’t love seeing all greens across the board? I am absolutely loving these increases! Let’s get into the breakdown.

Cash: $2,405 [MTM $297]

As always, this category is always fluctuating. I will say though, the increase in my salary as well as overtime hours have a lot to do with this particular bump. Oh, and my tax refunds!

Savings: $1,020 [MTM $472]

Yes, yes y’all! The emergency fund is back up to the $1k mark! I have my federal tax refund to thank for this one.

Traditional IRA: $8,601 [MTM $118]

Last month, these funds were in my 401k at my old job. I decided to roll these funds over into a Traditional IRA over at Betterment, where my Roth funds are as well. That way I can keep an eye on both of these accounts at one place. I have yet to decide whether or not I’ll be contributing to this account.

Roth IRA: $13,227 [MTM $654]

Holy macaroni. This gain is ridiculous… Ridiculously awesome!

Each month, I contribute enough to max out for the year. For 2014, the maximum you can contribute to any IRA account for a single person is $5,500. Currently, my monthly contributions of about $460 have all been going to my Roth. Moving forward, I’m thinking of:

  1. Keeping things the same and only contributing to my Roth IRA, or
  2. Mixing it up and contributing half to my Traditional and half to my Roth, or
  3. Completely move all my contributions to my Traditional.

 

There’s a lot to think about here, and I might post a more in-depth analysis about this later.

Est. Car Value: $18,802 [MTM $0]

No change in this category. It is an estimate after all. I decided to update this amount only twice a year. This means that next month, I’ll probably take a dip in this category. Hopefully it won’t be too big of a drop!

Est. Home Value: $390,000 [MTM $0]

Originally, I hadn’t planned on updating this number until July, which would be two years since I bought it. But I had an informal conversation with my realtor a few weeks ago (she’s also a very close family friend, so I do see her pretty often) and she gave me an update on this. I was hesitant to change anything because it is such a huge jump! I think I’m still going to wait until July to update it though, just to stay consistent.

Credit Cards: $2,259 [MTM ($243)]

Now that my emergency fund is back up to the $1,000 balance that it was originally at, it is time to get rid of this bad boy. Again. I swear, I feel like this credit card debt just keeps coming back to life!  Honestly, this time around, I don’t feel as bad about having this debt since I know that I lot of it was due to a lot of changes – small delays in income, changes in expenses, etc. But still – it’s annoying to look at! Right now, the goal is to eliminate my credit card debt before doing anything else.

Student Loans: $15,902 [MTM ($61)]

*sigh* A $61 decrease looks so small! But I’ll take it – a decrease is a decrease, right? The credit card debt is a little annoying, but these student loans are on a much different level of annoyance. I will be absolutely relieved once these are down to $0!

Car Loan: $19,486 [MTM ($326)]

If I had to pick one expense to get rid of each month, it would be this car loan. It is absolutely killing me! Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like my car. But man, buying brand new is definitely up there on the regrets list. Every time I pay this loan, I look at the high amount leaving my bank account and think of all the things I could have done with that money. But alas, this isn’t the focus for now. So I’m just going to have to live with it for a few more years… 🙁

Mortgage: $276,839 [MTM ($472)]

Great progress on this! This debt is by far at the bottom of the totem pole. I have a great interest rate and an affordable monthly payment, so nothing really to complain about (for now). I did change things up a little this month – I now have half the payment automatically drawn out my account twice a month. I also round each payment up to the nearest $5 increment just to make even the slightest difference in interest paid down the road.

April was such a great month for me, both on the net worth front as well as on the personal/career growth side. It’s always a good month when each and every aspect of your finances is going in the right direction – even if it’s a small change!

How was your April? Do you max out your IRA contributions? Roth or Traditional?

AMDG,
Lisa