Tag Archives: credit card debt

October 2014 Net Worth Update

October 2014 Net Worth

Net Worth as of October 31, 2014: $214,380

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,729 this month 🙂

Cash: $1,519 [down $345]

Yuck. My cash accounts fluctuate every month, so I’m not too worried. But still – it just doesn’t look good!

Short Term Savings: $1,907 [up $301]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,003
Wedding fund – $902
Travel fund – $2

I withdrew some funds last month from my Wedding fund to help pay for the Engagement Party, but I made sure I replenished the fund and contributed some more to it this month. I haven’t contributed anything to travel yet, but I will soon once we start honeymoon planning!

Retirement Savings: $26,218 [up $1,350]

This consists of:

401k – $1,244
Traditional IRA – $8,744
Roth IRA – $16,230

Wonderful gains this month – considering I took a bit of a loss last month. I’ll take the win, but I won’t celebrate too much. I’m in this for the long haul!

 Est. Car Value: $16,242 [no change]

Next month will mark 2 years of owning my 2013 Honda Accord. Which also means I’ll probably be taking a hit in this value next month. *sigh*

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Credit Cards: $3,712 [up $503]

This number should actually decrease by a lot in the next few days. I actually used my credit cards for all the party decorations/food/supplies for the engagement party and I’m using all the cash and check gifts we received to pay this back down. We actually received a lot more money than we expected – we actually “broke even” if you consider all the cash gifts we received against the party expenses. Only The Fiance and I would think to “break even” on a party 😛

Student Loans: $15,291 [down $118]

Another solid month of progress for these bad boys. Maybe I can get it down to $15,000 flat by the end of the year!

Car Loan: $17,530 [down $327]

Also some solid, yet slow, progress with this loan. I’m still very underwater, but hey – I still have no regrets about buying brand new!

Mortgage: $273,974 [down $481]

Slow and steady progress as always. With an awesomely low interest rate, I don’t really mind paying this one slowly.

Overall – October was a great month net worth wise. My October 2014 Net Worth increased overall, but I do still need to work on my credit card debt.

How was your October?

AMDG,
Lisa

September 2014 Net Worth

Can you freaking believe that it’s already October???? I sure can’t.

I’ve got a lot to catch you all up on, including the proposal story, a quick FinCon recap, a new wedding series (mine, duh ;)), and the first official Lisa’s Book Club review! But of course, the second I get back from FinCon, I get struck with a damn cold and I’m still recovering! Not to mention I’m super swamped trying to catch up at work and with all the wedding planning. All I can do  right now is squeeze out this net worth update for y’all, and let me tell you right now, it isn’t pretty.

September 2014

Net Worth as of September 30, 2014: $212,651

Overall, my net worth decreased by $1,199 this month 🙁

Told ya it isn’t pretty.

Cash: $1,864 [down $711]

I feel redundant saying this, but this particular category fluctuates every single month. Not too worried about this, even though it doesn’t look too good. As long as I’m following my zero-sum budget, I know that I’m good on cash overall.

Short Term Savings: $1,605 [up $380]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,003
Wedding fund – $601
Travel fund – $2

My emergency fund is right where I want it – hovering around $1,000 and slowly gaining interest. The wedding fund is new and up $600, but will soon be depleted since this is mostly for reserving our dream church (more on that on another post). My travel fund is sad – down to $2. I pretty much withdrew all of it when I went to New Orleans this past month for FinCon.

Retirement Savings: $24,869 [down $384]

This consists of:

401k – $926
Traditional IRA – $8,541
Roth IRA – $15,401

Took a bit of a loss, mostly in my Traditional IRA this month. But I’m not stressin’ too much about that – I’m in this for the long haul! I am thinking of doing something with my Roth… but more on that later.

Est. Car Value: $16,242 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Credit Cards: $3,208 [up $1,395]

Yuck yuck yuck. I’m super sick of this credit card debt! I’ve stopped putting my gas on this card, so now I have no excuse but to leave it at home! I’m also thinking about doing something radical… using some of my Roth IRA to just pay this damn debt off and be done with it! What do y’all think? I can use the money I’m throwing at this debt towards saving for my wedding or travel.

Student Loans: $15,410 [down $118]

I think the next milestone I’m looking forward to for this is reaching $15,000. Hopefully I can reach this my the end of the year, if not by early next year!

Car Loan: $17,857 [down $314]

My car loan is slowly starting to catch up to it’s value. Can’t wait until I’m no longer underwater with this loan!

Mortgage: $274,455 [down $480]

Solid progress with the mortgage this month. Slow and steady as always 🙂

September was pretty yucky when it comes to my net worth. But I know that I’m more than my net worth. In fact, other than the ugly decrease in September 2014 Net Worth, September was a fabulous month for me! I got engaged, I traveled to New Orleans all by myself for FinCon14, and I spent a whole lot of time with family and friends.

I do wish I was around on the blog a lot more. That’s why for this month, I’m joining Brian from Luke1428 in Writing Oktoberfest! I will be committing to writing for 30 minutes every. single. day. No, that doesn’t mean I’m posting every day, it just means I’m working on posts on a daily basis. I’ve got a ton of ideas in my head and I really just need to commit to writing them all out for you guys!

How was your September?

AMDG,
Lisa

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

Tracking Expenses Isn’t Easy

On my last net worth update, I declared that I would be tracking all of my expenses for the month of August.

Let me tell you right now – this is not easy. I almost want to throw in the towel already.

You see, every pay check, I withdraw a set amount of cash for “whatever I want”. Lunches that I bring back to my desk to eat, dinners with the BF after work, and any other little purchases here and there. Whenever I run out of cash, the idea is to stop spending until the next pay period. Simple, right?

However, I find myself spending much more than my allotted cash for the month. Once I run out of cash, and I see my credit card sitting in my  wallet, I let myself swipe a few times until my next pay day.

No wonder the battle with my credit card debt just never seems to end.

Even as I started blogging, I’ve always avoided really tracking expenses because 1) it’s time-consuming, and 2) I was really scared of what I would find. In general, as long as I was saving and as long as I’m making progress on some of my debt, I felt like I was already ahead of the pack. But that simply isn’t true. I never really broke down all the numbers, never truly examined where each dollar is really going. Yes, I’m saving and yes, I’m getting rid of debt – but every month I still feel like I’m drowning.

Last month, J. Money over at Budgets Are Sexy asked a question I always avoided asking myself: Do You Have Money Left Over Each Month? I don’t really know the exact numbers yet, but I know that at the end of each month I’m holding my breath until my next paycheck. I know I have an emergency fund in place in case anything goes wrong, but if my spending habits don’t change, then how long will that emergency fund last me? Not too long, I’m afraid.

So, this is why I’m going to commit to tracking expenses for August – so I can see if I have any money left over to throw at my goals or even if I’m in the red for the month. I’m scared to see what I’ll find, but I know that I can only get better once I know the full picture.

You can’t get better unless you know all the problems, right?

Do you think tracking expenses every month is important? Has it helped you?

AMDG,
Lisa