I have to say that this is one of my favorite posts for the year! It’s really motivating to take a look back and see how far you’ve come in a year since it’s a long enough period of time that you can accomplish a ton!
- My gross W-2 income was just under $200,000 for the year. (Just four years ago, it was just under $100,000, so this is an amazing improvement!)
- I have some cashback credit cards with useable limits (i.e. > $1,000). I earned over $200 in cashback, which is more than double last year’s $105 number.
- I paid the mortgage down from $259,600 to $187,552.40, a difference of just over $72,000. That is about 25% of the original mortgage balance, giving me about 48% in equity, assuming the purchase price.
- Increased my net worth by almost $30,000 in one month.
- Increased my net worth by $134,400 over the course of the year to $345,070.
- Decreased my expenses by almost $6,000 from 2012.
- My net income exceeded my expenses by over $100,000 this year. Now that is financial freedom!
- I saved about $113,000 this year, for an overall savings rate of about 75% and about 60% of my regular income.
- I now have over $100,000 in my retirement accounts (401(k) and Roth IRA), with that split to about $75,000 in the 401(k) and $25,000 in the Roth IRA.
- My investments were up about $17,000 for the year, which is a pretty sizeable increase considering that you can only put $17,500 into a 401(k) in a year.
About 65% of my savings in 2013 went to paying down the mortgage. In 2014, I’m expecting that number to be closer to 80%.
My net worth took off by leaps and bounds again!
I made some really awesome progress with the mortgage. I’ve now paid down about 1/3 of the original balance. The balance is most definitely under $200,000 and I don’t feel nearly as worried about it as I did last year. That could also be because my total monetary assets is now just over $12,000 from the mortgage balance.
I also contributed a fair amount to my investments in 2013. You can see the compounding growth starting to take off with the slowly increasing separation between the “Contributions” and “Total Value” lines. My investments returned approximately 15% this year, in addition to me and my employer contributing just over $43,000.
Last, but not least, I reduced my expenses by almost $6,000 from 2012. That’s a pretty good chunk! I spent $44,807.75 when all was said and done. That number still seems high to me, but I don’t see nearly as much room for improvement with it as I did with last year’s number. I do think that I would feel better about my spending if I got it under $40,000 for the year, including the mortgage or about $28,000 excluding the mortgage, which would require a reduction of about $5-6,000 in spending next year.
Some of the primary differences from last year:
- I spent $5,555.23 less on housing.
- I spent $1,369.02 less on clothing.
- I spent $649.45 more on entertainment.
- I did my own income tax return, for a savings of $435.85.
- I spent $302.85 less on eating out by myself and $1,109.15 less on work lunches. (Under $1,000 for the year on work lunches!)
- I spent $700 more on health.
- I spent $1,578.33 less on recreation. This is mostly because I paid for an annual gym membership in October 2012 after I’d already paid for monthly memberships throughout most of the year and in 2013, I didn’t pay for sport #1 because of my injury.
- I spent $2,737.64 more on shopping.
- I spent $630.35 less on transportation.
What do I expect to change in 2014?
- My boyfriend and I are working on a system to split some expenses more so than randomly because we’re working on incurring more shared expenses than we had this year. For now, the plan is to make it easy to transfer money between each other’s accounts since we use the same credit union for our primary checking accounts.
- I plan to contribute more to charity in 2014 than I did in 2013. The plan involves getting my donations up to 1% of my gross income, including my bonuses. I have a few annual contributions set up and will continue to donate to the random causes that my friends participate in. When my bonuses post, I will transfer 1% of the gross amount to my checking account, add that amount to the donations budget and then figure out where to go from there.
- Overall insurance costs should be about $1,000 cheaper in 2014 because I had been paying monthly through July 2013 and then paid for a full year in August.
- I think that I will spend less on electricity. I spent about $700 in 2013. I’m hopeful that I can get that figure down to around $440 for the year, but we will see how things play out!
- HOA dues went up a small amount for 2014. I have been budgeting for property taxes to go up about 3% per year, but it looks like my property value went up by much more than that for 2014 and so I’m guessing that they will go up by closer to 20%, putting those two items at about an increase of $800 in 2014. I don’t have much control over those items without moving though.
- I think that I will spend less on my household goods and toiletries items because there were a lot of cleaning products and different items that I stocked up on that should last for a long time – I shouldn’t have to re-buy very many of those items.
- I will spend around $400 more on recreation in 2014.
- I will probably spend around $1,500 less on shopping in 2014- fewer condo projects.
- I will spend a lot less on taxis and nothing on tolls.
- I will increase my overall savings rate to 85%.
My current forecast is about $38,500 in spending in 2014, which would be about a $7,000 reduction from 2013.
Readers, how was your 2013? What are you looking to change in 2014?