January 2013 net worth update (+9.0%)

31-Dec-2012 31-Jan-2013 MoM
cash $12,100 $11,700 -$400
savings $26,800 $36,300 +$9,500
investments $74,000 $77,600 +$3,600
mortgage $259,600 $253,200 +$6,400
net worth $211,300 $230,400 +$19,100
assets – debts
$146,700 $127,600 +$19,100

Wow. I knew that this being a bonus month would mean that it was a good net worth, but the stock price was higher than in my calculations (I always estimate “low” to keep my expectations lower), resulting in the RSU vest being much larger than I had expected and thus a larger net worth increase than expected. Plus, of course, there was my normal paycheck and no large expenses. This is now the largest net worth increase that I have ever seen, dollar-wise. The second highest was July 2012 at an increase of $18,400. Maybe one of the other bonus months this year will see a +$20,000 net worth change!

Expenses: Going forward, I’m going to track non-mortgage expenses in these updates. I spent just under $2,300 in January ignoring work reimbursable expenses, which is about in line with my spending goal for the year (under $30,000 in non-mortgage expenses). Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $136 Entertainment/Social [average last year: $216]
  • $68 Eating out by myself or with my boyfriend (my cost) [average last year: $51]
  • $246 Groceries [average last year: $126]
  • $49 Work lunches (!!!) [average last year: $171]
  • $83 Cell phone
  • $50 Internet [average last year: $58]
  • $152 Household goods (sharpie, hangers, 2013 wall calendar, fire extinguisher, light bulbs, kitchen garbage bags, cleaning products) [new line item]
  • $50 Bathroom stuff (menstrual cup! I’m going to give this a try.) [average last year: $20, about $5/month on menstrual products]
  • $80 Facial (I budget for this about once a year)
  • $104 Furnishings (a bunch of picture frames on sale from Target, lamp for the den, card organizer, and a wireless USB adapter for my desktop computer)

I thought that I did pretty well with getting the work lunches down to $49! The groceries are a little high, but work lunches + groceries this month is still less (well, by $2) than last year’s combined average. I think that groceries should be less than that going forward as I stocked up on a ton of stuff when I noticed some sales. Having a large kitchen makes it easier to stock up on stuff when I notice sales than before when I had very little storage space in my kitchens. One of the cool side effects of eating out less is that there are fewer receipts to enter since I manually enter mine into my spreadsheet and that now takes way less time :)

I have a plan in place to cut my cell phone bill down to ~$35/month without buying a new phone! It looks like February will be on the expensive side for cell phone because of this plan, but the following several months should be $0 and then ~$35/month. I’ll talk about that in another post once it’s been fully enacted.

One of the most important things about having a high income (to me) is keeping my expenses in check (since that allows me to save more!). I don’t plan on having this high of an income forever, so it’s best to bank as much of it as possible while still enjoying some of it. I shouldn’t look at my income when I’m evaluating whether or not I can afford something, I should look at my savings goals or how much my budget already is. For example, I’ve been trying to cut out some of the little expenses that I can control and don’t care about so much (conscious spending FTW!), but at the same time, if a high electricity bill comes, I have no choice but to pay it and I can really only try to reduce my future electricity usage. So cutting down expenses gives me more of a cash flow buffer to help with occurrences like that. There are a lot of things in my budget that I save up for (e.g. renewing my passport and driver’s license), but the actual spending is what I’m tracking here. $2,300 would work out to $27,600 annually, which is on the high side for a single person with no mortgage, but still not that bad of lifestyle inflation.

Savings: $36,300 (up $9,500)

Huge changes here this month:

  • I’ve moved the health insurance deductible to my regular cash flow account.
  • I set aside some money for my 2012 Roth IRA contribution. That is staying in a targeted savings account until I make the contribution. It looks like I didn’t set aside quite enough, so I’ll pull that from my general savings account when I go to make the contribution shortly.
  • Condo insurance ($500) and auto insurance ($1,000) deductibles are still set aside.
  • I set aside enough to cover replacing all of my appliances ($9,500) from my January bonus.
  • I still have enough in savings to cover about 6 months’ expenses.

Investments: $77,600 (up $3,600 or +4.9%)

This includes my Roth and Traditional 401(k), my 401(k) employer matching (fully vested!), my Roth IRA, and my taxable investments.

This increase comes from my December 401(k) contribution and matching and the rest was the stock market.

Mortgage: $253,200 (down $6,400 or -2.5%)

My mortgage is a 5/1 ARM at 2.5%. Before the refinance, it would have been paid off November 1, 2038.

After increasing my cash savings and setting aside the money for my 2012 Roth IRA, I threw the rest of my bonus at the mortgage. The extra mortgage principal payment from my January paycheck will go with the February 1st payment, so you’ll see that with the February net worth update.

I estimate with the extra principal payments in January that the payoff date is down to December 1, 2041, shaving 13 months off of the amortization. I need to send an additional ~$34,200 in extra principal payments this year to stay on track with the five year payoff plan.

TOTAL: $230,400 (up $19,100 or +9.0%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $19,100 or +9.0% so far this year. I’ve set the y-axis on this graph to $315,000 so we can see how my net worth grows towards that throughout the year.

January 2013 Net Worth Graph


23 thoughts on “January 2013 net worth update (+9.0%)

  1. Amazing month. Nothing like a great bonus and a good month in the stock market to get the year off to a good start.

    I like the addition of the monthly non-mortgage expenses. It seems like bringing your lunch is really working well for you!

    • I definitely love the January RSU vest schedule! I’m sad it’s not going to be around anymore since it’s such a great kickstart to the year! I’m definitely enjoying bringing my lunch. It’s way less stressful since I already have my food instead of needing to figure out what I want to eat and where to go and then going there and then eating. So much better!

  2. Wow, 9% is a kick ass increase! I wouldn’t worry too much about a slight increase in spending since you’re saving, what, 60% of your income?

    • Thanks! Well this month was pretty abnormal in terms of income since I received a bonus. I’m saving around 50% of my regular net income and that’s the metric I track, not how much I save on bonus months or overall.

  3. Congrats on a great month! A 9% increase is pretty incredible. I had my highest month ever as well thanks to a market that was on fire, higher than normal income and the latest round of my ESPP shares hitting my account. I’m about like you where I don’t know if I’ll be paid this much so might as well bank as much as I can.

  4. Congrats on 9%, very successful career you are having!

    Is the renter’s insurance something you are still paying? I was curious about that expenditure since now that you are a home owner.

    I see just one correction, last paragraph I think you meant to say ended 2012 with $211k. When do you project to reach 300k?

    • Thanks!

      Sorry, that’s actually condo insurance now, but I just haven’t renamed it since the deductible is still the same at $500 and it’s honestly not that much more expensive so I’ve forgotten about it. I’ve updated it so that it will copy forward to next month’s update.

      Updated the last paragraph as well. I’m forecasting about $5k increases each month with no bonus. I don’t think I’ll hit $300k until November, assuming no changes in the stock market and that the stock price I use for my bonus calculations isn’t low. If the stock market goes up and my bonuses are higher than I calculated, it could happen as early as September or October.

  5. Please explain your statement that you don’t plan on making this high of income forever.
    Are you contemplating working less when your mortgage is gone or when you have a certain level of savings?

    • My base pay is somewhat normal and would probably stay consistent even if I changed companies, but a good portion of my income this year is RSUs and I really have no guarantee how much those will be for years that I don’t have grants yet. That’s what I mean by that I don’t plan on making this high of income forever. I may also take a lower paying job in 5ish years, we’ll see.

  6. First of all, great job gaining 9%; given your starting point it’s an even more unbelievable achievement. Second of all, you spend so damn little per month, even if you weren’t making nearly as much money you’d be considered reasonably frugal in my books.

    • Thanks Joe! I’m starting to prefer looking at the dollar amounts to the percentages since the percentages just keep getting smaller, lol. Also the key is really just to bank the entire bonus every time. Keep in mind as well that the $2,500/month average goal doesn’t include my mortgage payment (principal & interest), which is another $10k-ish/year.

  7. Leigh,

    Congrats on another great month. That’s awesome that your RSU’s keep increasing in value. I guess I haven’t been so lucky, as my stock options, RSU’s and ESPP never tend to appreciate much in value.. I tend to work for companies that have flat growth… ;(

    Thanks for the continued inspiration!

    • Thanks FI! Yeah my RSUs have been a huge value add. Every single unvested share I have in a grant is worth more than it was at grant time. It’s a huge boost to savings! Maybe you need to stop working for flat growth companies ;)

      I’m glad to be an inspiration!

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