Today is one of my favorite holidays: April Fool’s Day. I love this day. In the past, I have gone as far as completely wrapping a coworkers desk, filling a cubicle to the top with ballons, replacing every single pen in the office with crayons, and numerous others. But these days, the pranks are not to be for me. I’m a boss now and have to do something called “setting an example.” We’ll see how this goes in the long run but I think that it’s just a bunch of rubbish!
As is custom on the first of every month, it’s time to review my finances and see how I’m doing. Since we’re also through a quarter of the year, I’ll also look back at some of the goals for the year and see how we are progressing there. Anyway, to the chart! Template courtesy of J Money at Budgets Are Sexy.
This was a pretty decent month for me. Overall, I’d say that a $1,400 to $1,500 gain in Net Worth is what I truly expect each month. February was brutal in the spending category and I’m glad to be out of that hellish place. With March on a good track, I’m hoping to make April and May strong enough to get me within $1,000 of a positive Net Worth. Let’s take a look at each category:
Checking Account: This was the one major blemish in all of my accounts. This account dropped nearly $500 this month, which really does not work for me at all. My budget is extremely strict and while I stuck to it well, this still happened. There is at least one good thing to take out of this though: Every month I’m putting $400 combined into my savings and Vanguard, so I didn’t REALLY spend $483 too much. This just means I’m going to have to be more conscious of my spending and will probably have to shift some money around at some point in the future. Hopefully though, I can get this into a positive gain each month.
Savings Accounts: Solid growth from my contribution, not the interest. I’m sure this will grow throughout the year as I search for better ways to use my capital.
401k: I know it’s Tax deferred and I can’t touch it for another few decades but this account makes me happy. Each month, it goes up between $600 and $1,000. This really is the biggest difference between nearly having a positive Net Worth and being stuck with something in the negative teens. I’m pretty happy with how my company contributes to this and the service we use is extremely easy. For the record, I’m balanced in this with 30% in bonds and 70% in the S&P 500 Indexed Mutual Fund.
Vanguard: March was a busy month in the market. We hit new highs right at the end of the month in the S&P 500, so I’m not complaining. I’ve mentioned before that a pullback in the market will happen eventually but hey, I’m not worried. I don’t need this money now and won’t need it for many years from now. I’ll just keep contributing, no matter what!
The Acura: More and more reasons to not drive: the value of the car really holds up! If the current rate of depreciate holds and I continue making the slightly extra payments, I should no longer be underwater on the car in February of 2014. Hopefully, with some extra payments here and there plus maybe a bonus or two, I can have that take care of by the end of the year.
Liabilities: Another drop with no increase in Credit Card debt. It’s important to me to keep this up. I’m hopeful that I might have some free cash soon to throw at this. If I do, I think things will really start looking up here.
Just another few months like March and I’ll be in positive territory. That was goal number one at the beginning of the year and I’m nearly there. In fact, let’s take a look at how far along I’ve come since January of 2012, when I really started tracking my numbers.
Just a little over a year ago, my net worth was almost at negative $22K. I’ve come a long way since then, paying off my debts, my credit cards, and growing my investment accounts like crazy. I’ve also got significantly more cash in reserves, making me feel a lot more secure in life.
If things can keep going in the right trends (that is, up), then this chart will start to look very good very soon. Hopefully I can pay off a huge portion of my car loan by year end, if not all of it. Once I do that, many things will change.
Happy April Fool’s Day everyone! Watch out for any pranks or tricks. Especially if you’re in my office!