Tag Archives: retirement savings

Q1 2016 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post may contain referral links.

Q1 2016 Net Worth Update

I was dreading this post.

The last time I updated my net worth was back in June 2015 and everything was all fine and dandy.

My net worth went up a good $30k, my credit card debt was almost gone, and my retirement savings, though struggling, was at a nice balance for someone my age.

And then life happened.

*Gulp* Well, let’s just get into it then – here’s my Q1 2016 Net Worth Update

Q1 2016 Net Worth Update

Overall, my net worth decreased by $883 this month.

Note – just to clarify before we move on, this update is just looking at my own finances. My husband and I are slowly combining our finances, so we should see our combined net worth in the next update.


Cash – $6,207 – up $3,026

Despite the mostly terrible net worth update, this category has a nice increase this time around. This is largely due to the wedding we just had. Wedding gift money, heyyyy!

Short-Term Savings – $1,346 – down $905

My savings accounts are all with Capital One. I love how easy it is to look at all my savings goals in one place. Here’s what my goals are right now:

Emergency: $1,003 – up $2 (hey interest!)
Personal Escrow: $322 – up $162
Wedding: $0 – down $1,083

Of course, the wedding fund was depleted once we, you know, had the wedding. It sucks to see savings go down like this, but that’s exactly why we save for things like this – so we can spend it eventually!

Retirement Savings –  $14,915 – down $17,194

This consists of:

401k: $3,733 – down $22
Traditional IRA: $8,636 – down $445
Roth IRA:  $2,546 – down $16,727

*insert uncontrollable sobbing here*

You’re probably wondering what happened?

Well, the short story is that we were getting closer and closer to the wedding date and realized that we were in way over our heads in regards to payments. I mostly blame myself – I thought we were good financially until a few weeks before the wedding when we finally sat down and added everything up. My mom and my auntie had already helped us out, so we didn’t want to ask for any more money.

So, I double, triple, and quadruple checked that my Roth IRA contributions could be withdrawn without any tax penalty and that’s exactly what I did.

I am not proud of this. But, I can obsess over how terrible this is (and believe me, I have), or I can own up to it, take the L, and move forward knowing better.

Estimated Car Value: $13,815 – down $1,550

I always get my car value from Kelly Blue Book. We all know how badly a car depreciates, especially one that’s bought brand new. So this isn’t news to me, just another unfortunate thing that happens each month that I’ve learned to just accept.

Estimated Home Value: $514,992 – up $17,324

Right now, I use Zillow to determine this value. Since I’m not planning on selling my house anytime soon, I really don’t take this increase to heart – even though it’s a great one! It just doesn’t mean too much at this moment, even though it almost masks my huge decrease in my retirement accounts this quarter (almost).


Credit cards: $11,978 – up $10,424

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99%: $11,978 – up $11,958
Wells Fargo @ 22.15: $0 – down $1,534

Oh, hey credit card debt! There you are! Didn’t know you were sticking around this long…

Well, the good news is that I paid off my Wells Fargo credit card before the APR changed from 0.00% to 22.15%! The bad news… well, I think it’s a little obvious.

Again, I’ve obsessed over this and the retirement savings. But when I say I’m starting over, I really mean it this time around. In the meantime, I may have to add another chapter to the Credit Card Debt Saga.

Student Loans: $13,359 – down $905

This consists of:

Direct Subsidized @ 6.55%: $2,672 – down $158
Direct Subsidized @ 5.75%: $3,385 – down $212
Direct Subsidized @ 5.35%: $4,109 – down $265
Direct Subsidized @ 4.25%: $2,013 – down $140
Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.55%: $1,180 – down $131

I can always count on my student loan progress to cheer me up! While so many others my age love to complain about these bad boys, I can’t help but be thankful for their consistency amidst the chaos of everything else in my finance world.

Car Loan: $11,439 – down $3,426

Usually, this category is pretty boring since I plan on paying the minimum on this loan for a long time. At least until my credit card debt and student loans are gone.

But something of interest just happened – I’m no longer upside-down on this loan! What that means is that the value of my car is now greater than what I owe on it! Yay!

Mortgage: $265,558 – down $4,511

Slow and steady is my motto for my mortgage. I’ve got all these other loans to worry about, so I’ve decided that the mortgage is the last to go on the totem pole. Nothing new here, folks.

So, there you have it. My cringe-worthy, disappointing net worth update. It would be easy for me to blame the wedding, but ultimately – I blame myself.

But, like I said, I’m starting over. So, I’m done obsessing over the slip-ups and I’m ready to move forward towards financial independence – one step at a time!


I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

I’ve Decided to Stop Saving for Retirement

You can probably tell from the title what this post is going to be about.

Yes – last week, I made the decision to stop saving for retirement.

Stop Saving for Retirement

For me, this means I’ve stopped contributing 3% of my salary to my 401k, which in turn means I’m also forfeiting that free money that my company matches. On top of that, I’ve completely stopped my maximum contributions to my Roth IRA.

I didn’t just do this on a whim. I’ve been thinking about this decision to stop saving for retirement for a while. The main reason being that I have a wedding to save up for.

Now, I’ve mentioned before that I’ve also stopped saving for my wedding. (Am I just allergic to saving??? Maybe. But that’s a post for another day.) Instead, I’m attacking my credit card debt with full force because I do not want to bring my credit card debt into my marriage.

The Decision to Stop Saving for Retirement

Like I said, the decision to stop saving for retirement wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and actually only brought it up to The Fiance about two weeks ago.

He actually told me that he already made the decision to stop saving for retirement a few months ago for this wedding and our debt! Man, I wish I had told him sooner. Just another lesson on why we should always be honest and transparent with money.

Knowing that The Fiance has also made the decision to stop saving for retirement assured me that i wasn’t alone, but I still had a lot to think about.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Cliche – I know – but weighing the pros and cons of any financial decision is never a bad idea.

Cons – Why I Should Not Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I’m giving up free money. My employer matches 100% of my 401k contributions up to 3% of my salary. Who would say no to free money???

2) I’m missing out on the benefits of compound interest. Compound interest is something I haven’t really gone in depth on the blog, so I’ll save that for another day. But basically, by not contributing money now, I’m giving up the time factor, which is the most important factor, of compounding.

Pros – Why I Should Stop Saving for Retirement

1) I throw a lot of money into my retirement – 3% of my salary to my 401k plus about another 8% of my salary to my Roth IRA. This is no small chunk of change. With that being said, this amount of money can do a lot of damage to my credit card debt!

2) My wedding is coming up. The Fiance and I always get compliments, saying that we’re ahead of the wedding planning game. But my own personal goal before the wedding is to step into this marriage with no credit card debt. The money I would normally stash into my retirement accounts can really help me reach this goal a lot sooner, meaning I can start saving for my wedding sooner!

3) I’m currently satisfied with my retirement account balances. Right now, I have a little over $32,000 in retirement. I think that balance looks great for a 26 year old! Of course, there can be more (I don’t max my 401k), but I think I’m doing great for my age.

4) This is only temporary. I’m not done saving for retirement. I’m just pausing it for the next several months. Right after my credit card debt is gone, which hopefully will be in 3 months or so, I will probably start contributing to my 401k again.

The Game Plan

Stop Saving for Retirement

Obviously, this is step number 1. I’ve stopped my automatic withdrawals into my Roth IRA and I’ve inquired to my company’s HR department about pausing my 401k contributions, as well.

Throw Money at Credit Card Debt

Again, this is the goal as of right now. I refuse to bring my credit card debt to my marriage and the wedding date is only getting closer.

Restart 401k Contributions

After the credit card debt is gone, I’ll be starting up my 401k contributions again. The main reason being I already miss the free money from my employer!

Throw Money at Wedding Savings

Once my credit card debt is gone and my 401k contributions are back in place, my extra money will be thrown toward this wedding. Just as I personally refuse to bring my credit card debt into my marriage, The Fiance and I absolutely refuse to go into debt for our wedding. This is the Big Goal of the rest of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

Don’t worry y’all. I have a plan! It’s going to suck for now, but it’s temporary, I promise!

What do you think? Am I making a mistake? Did you stop saving for retirement so you can throw it at your debt or your wedding?


May 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post contains referral links.

May 2015 Net Worth Update

May 2015 Net Worth Update

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,860 this month 🙂


Cash: $2,694 [down $2,030]

A huge decrease in cash can look like a bad thing at first. But knowing that this had a lot to do with some debt pay down makes it much better.

Short Term Savings: $1,152 [up $22]

I have a ton of little savings buckets, but this amount mainly consists of:

Emergency fund: $1,002
Personal escrow: $140

Every month, I gain a tiny bit of interest in all of my Capital One 360 savings accounts. Also, I transfer $20 into my Personal Escrow account each month.

Retirement Savings: $32,867 [up $466]

This consists of:

401k: $3,816 [up $532]
Traditional IRA: $9,309 [down $18]
Roth IRA: $19,742 [down $48]

This month, I made the decision to temporarily pause my retirement savings. *gasp* I’ll explain more later, but despite stopping my contributions, I still gained a good amount in my 401k. Thanks, market 🙂

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [no change]

Self explanatory.


Credit Cards: $4,105 [down $2,452]

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99%: $1,343 [down $2,262]
Wells Fargo @ 0.00%: $2,762 [down $58]

Woohoo! I made a huge dent this month! All of a sudden, the $2k decrease in cash isn’t so depressing. I’ve really been making a conscious effort to stop swiping, and it shows! I do keep my Discover in my wallet “just in case”, but I’m hoping to tighten up my budget even more so I don’t have the need to do so.

Student Loans: $14,395 [down $126]

This consists of:

Direct Subsidized @ 6.8%: $2,845 [down $14]
Direct Subsidized @ 6.0%: $3,617 [down $19]
Direct Subsidized @ 5.6%: $4,399 [down $25]
Direct Subsidized @ 4.5%: $2,167 [down $14]
Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8%: $1,366 [down $55]

Again, solid progress on this front. I can’t complain! Right now, I’m targeting that Direct Unsubsidized – can’t wait until it’s finally gone!

Car Loan $15,201 [down $333]

The minimum payment will have to do for now, at least until my credit card debt and student loans are taken care of.

Mortgage: $270,562 [down $492]

Same as the car loan – the minimum payment will have to do for  now. This debt will be the last to go!

Overall, May was a wonderful month despite that cash decrease. But I’m not even worried about it since I know that that money went all to my debt pay down!

How was your May financials? Did you reach your budget goals?


April 2015 Net Worth Update

April 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post contains a referral link.

After last quarter’s disappointing update, I was hoping this month would be much better. Here are the numbers:

April 2015 Net Worth Update

Net Worth as of April 30, 2015: $216,395

Overall, my net worth increased by $3,381 this month 🙂


Cash: $4,724 [up $1,818]

I hate to say it but… working overtime, although taxing, has its benefits. Of course, there are tradeoffs – more stress, low energy, etc. But at this stage in my life, I don’t mind putting in the hours since I’ve got a wedding to pay for and credit card debt!

Short Term Savings: $1,130 [up $22]

This includes:

Emergency fund: $1,002 (up $1)
Personal Escrow: $120 (up $20)

Although I no longer actively contribute to my emergency fund, the dollar increase is due to the little bit of interest I gain in my Capital One 360 account. As for my Personal Escrow account, the $20 contribution is standard every month.

Retirement Savings: $32,401 [up $1,762]

This includes:

Roth IRA: $19,790 (up $939)
Traditional IRA: $9,327 (up $398)
401k: $3,284 (up $425)

When all else seems to disappoint me, my retirement savings usually holds it down for me. For example – my Roth IRA – I’m up about $939. My actual contribution to my Roth is half this amount! The rest – all gains, baby! My Traditional IRA got a nice increase this month as well, due to a rollover from my old 401k. My current 401k is increasing nicely as well, thanks to my company match.

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [no change]

Since I’m not planning on selling my car anytime soon, I’m thinking of only updating this value once per quarter. No change this time around.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [no change]

Same as above – I don’t plan on selling my house soon, so I don’t feel the need to update this value very often.


Credit Cards: $6,558 [up $1,175]

This includes:

Discover (15.99%): $3,605 (up $1,043)
Wells Fargo @ (0.00%): $2,820 (no change)
Target (22.99%): $132.12 (up $132.12)

These were the balances of my credit cards on 4/30. On 5/1, I paid off my Discover and Target cards completely, but I wanted to be truthful to what my actual net worth was for April.

A lot of deposits are coming up for the wedding and unfortunately, I can’t cash flow them right at this moment. Hopefully my raise will help, but right now the plan is to put most of it on these CCs and steadily pay them down in huge chunks each month.

Student Loans: $14,521 [down $130]

This includes:

A – Direct Subsidized (6.8%): $2,859 (down $14)
B – Direct Subsidized (6.0%): $3.636 (down $21)
C – Direct Subsidized (5.6%): $4,424 (down $25)
D – Direct Subsidized (4.5%): $2,181 (down $13)
E – Direct Unsubsidized (6.8%): $1,421 (down $53)

A solid decrease this month, pretty standard. Again, I’m paying the absolute minimum on these, rounded up to the nearest $100, for now. I am thinking about knocking out that Direct Unsubsidized loan right now, though.

Car Loan: $15,534 [down $335]

Just like all my other non-credit card debt, I’m putting the minimum on this loan until all the others (minus my mortgage) are clear.

Mortgage: $271,054 [down $490]

My mortgage is last on the list, so the minimum payment each month it is!

Overall, a great month except for the credit cards (what’s new…) With another wedding deposit coming up in May, I don’t see the credit cards getting any better, but I am trying my best to throw as much at it as I can.

How was your April?


Q1 2015 Net Worth Update

I’m baaaack! It’s been almost 3 months since my last post! I’m so late on my monthly net worth updates, so how about we just jump right into it with a Q1 update?

Q1 2015 net worth update

Net worth as of March 31, 2015: $213,014

Overall, my net worth decreased by $6,621 this quarter 🙁


Cash: $2,907 [down $395]

As always, this category fluctuates every single month. This time, it just happened to fluctuate in the wrong direction 🙁

Short Term Savings: $1,108 [down $942]

This consists of:

Emergency fund: $1,001
Personal Escrow: $100

The significant decrease in this category is mostly due to the fact that I cleaned out my wedding fund to go towards a down payment for our wedding reception venue.

Retirement Savings: $30,639 [up $2,982]

This consists of:

Roth IRA: $18,851 [up $1,767]
Traditional IRA: $8,929 [up $184]
401k: $2,859 [up $1,031]

Although the rest of this update is pretty ugly, my retirement savings definitely held it down with the nice gains.

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [down $255]

What’s there to say? I expected consistent decreases in this value since I bought brand new. I’d complain, but complaining doesn’t help.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [down $9,164]

This biggest decrease of the quarter! I pulled this number from Zillow. I could probably pull a more accurate value from my realtor, but since I don’t plan on selling soon, this value ultimately doesn’t matter to me at this point.


Credit Cards: $5,382 [up $1,688]

This consists of:

Wells Fargo @ 0% – $2,820 [down $180]
Discover @ 15.99% – $2,562 [up $1,868]

I vowed to stop my wedding savings until I paid off my credit card debt. But when I have no savings for my wedding, how do I pay for all these down payments? I pay for them with my credit card… smh.

I hate making excuses, but a lot has happened in my fiance’s life and mine these past few months in terms of family issues. Debt repayment and weddings savings have been on the back burner. Until then, my debt grows. Everything is mostly settled as of today, so we’re working on pulling ourselves out of this hole to reach our goal of getting married CC debt and wedding debt free.

Student Loans: $14,650 [down $383]

This consists of:

Group A – Direct Subsidized @ 6.8% – $2,873 [down $43]
Group B – Direct Subsidized @ 6.0% – $3,657 [down $60]
Group C – Direct Subsidized @ 5.6% – $4,449 [down $75]
Group D – Direct Subsidized @ 4.5% – $2,194 [down $41]
Group E – Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8% – $1,474 [down $163]

Slow and steady with these guys as usual. I’ve decided to no longer rush this payoff until my CC debt is gone first.

Car Loan: $15,868 [down $997]

I paid almost $1,000 toward my car loan this quarter. Great progress in my opinion!

Mortgage: $271,545 [down $1,461]

Same as above – great progress this quarter! As I mentioned above, I’m in no rush to sell my house, so the minimum payment will do just fine for now.

Yuck. Not exactly a great quarter in my opinion, but a lot of it had to do with decreases in asset values. Hopefully next update will be better.

How did the first quarter of the year go for you?

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