August 2013 net worth update (+0.6%)

31-Dec-2012 31-Jul-2013 31-Aug-2013 MoM YTD
cash $12,100 $12,400 $10,800 -$1,600 -$1,300
savings $26,800 $23,300 $23,900 +$600
investments $74,000 $110,100 $109,800 -$300
mortgage $259,600 $211,700 $208,700 +$3,000
net worth $211,300 $292,100 $293,800 +$1,700
assets – debts
$146,700 $65,900 $64,200 +$1,700

I wasn’t really sure what to expect this month. I expected spending to be up a bit, so I was unsure of how my net worth was going to end up. Turns out my investments went down and spending was high, but my paycheck and savings were enough to pull out with a positive net worth increase, but basically flat compared to last month. I had a bunch of high $ amount expenses this month that didn’t take American Express, which got me thinking on the viability of that card long-term, but otherwise, I’m loving pretty much entirely using the one card.

In a way, I’m a bit sad about August ending and September starting. This is the beginning of fall with the sun setting earlier, cooler evenings and mornings, which leads into winter, my least favorite season. I’m in a really good place with my life and my finances and have spent very little time worrying about my money. I know this sounds crazy, but I don’t really think about whether I can afford something and just buy it if I want/need it. This summer has also been amazing life-wise – I started dating one of my really good guy friends and that has definitely been a huge factor in my awesome summer :) We’ve had a fun first few months and I can’t wait to see how our relationship continues to unfold!

Expenses: I spent $4,270 in August, which is way above my spending goal for the year (under $30,000 $24,000 in non-mortgage expenses). That puts 2013 so far at $21,140 or an average of $2,642.50/month. This would project forward to $31,710.

Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $0 Clothing (go me!)
  • $217 Entertainment/Social ($159 average this year) – most of this was cash withdrawals that are still sitting in my wallet…
  • $17 Eating out by myself ($36 average this year)
  • $142 Groceries ($162 average this year)
  • $59 Work lunches ($77 average this year, $171 average last year)
  • $0 Cell phone (yay referral credits – I don’t have to pay a bill until January!)
  • $31 Internet
  • Insurance (annual cost)
  • $51 Electricity (lowest bill yet!)
  • $5 Household goods (toilet cleaner)
  • $4 Medical
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $64 Toiletries
  • $103 Fitness
  • $29 Fuel ($40 average this year so far, $38 average last year)
  • $1,500 Travel (remaining expenses from May long weekend trip and expenses for September trip – trip is almost fully paid for!)

I decided to shop around for insurance last month and it turned out that I could save over $500 by switching insurance companies, but that meant paying up front for the full year of the policy whereas my previous company let me do monthly billing at no extra charge. So that was a bit of a hit on the expenses side, but I won’t be paying out the $170/month I was paying combined for my insurance policies each month going forward – I won’t pay anything more for insurance until next July/August. My car insurance is now down to the equivalent of $100/month, which I’m pretty excited for!!

I was also super excited about this electricity bill. I managed to get almost all of my usage in the lowest price tier, which made a huge difference on the bill! Hopefully next winter’s bills won’t be as bad as this past winter’s bills.

My credit card spending came in at the lowest ever last month at around $900. And this month? It was close to $4,000. What a huge difference! I think that September should be lower though.

Savings: $23,600 (up $600)

These funds are spread across Chase checking and savings accounts (opening bonuses!), an online savings account, a checking account that gets free ATM fees anywhere in the world, a condo furnishing sinking fund, and my health savings account.

This is up because of the regular HSA contribution and the bonuses for opening the new savings account.

Investments: $109,800 (down $300 or -0.3%)

This includes my Roth and Traditional 401(k), my 401(k) employer matching (fully vested!), my Roth IRA, my taxable investments including stock index funds and Series I Savings Bonds.

You might question my counting my Series I Savings Bonds under Investments vs Savings. I’m counting them here mostly because of their tax-deferred until maturity nature. I also consider them part of my emergency fund, but in reality my entire monetary (i.e. non-property) net worth is my emergency fund, so that doesn’t necessitate it being part of savings.

I forgot to mention this last month, but my 401(k) alone is now worth over $60,000! That’s a pretty cool number. And it should be worth over $70,000 before the year is out.

The change here comes from:

  1. 401(k) contribution from my July paycheck, including employer matching
  2. Market losses

Mortgage: $208,700 (down $3,000 or -1.4%)

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

The balance rolled under $210,000 :) I can’t wait for when it rolls under $200,000 in another couple months.

This was what a ‘normal’ month will look like for the mortgage for the rest of the year! The July paycheck savings went to principal with the August 1st payment.

I estimate with the extra principal payments in August that the payoff date is now at September 1, 2035. I shaved 4 months of payments off with this month’s pre-payments! And I’ll save about $5 in interest on the September 1st payment based on these pre-payments.

The mortgage balance is already ahead of where it needs to be by the end of 2013 to stay on track with the five year pay-off plan. In fact, I’m currently about $8,500 ahead. I’m currently planning on continuing to pay extra on the mortgage despite this though. I now have over 40% in equity and have paid down about 27% of the original mortgage balance.

TOTAL: $293,800 (up $1,700 or +0.6%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $82,500 or +39.0% so far this year. (For reference: my net worth increased by $78,800 in all of 2012.) 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. I’m currently projecting hitting $300,000 around September to October and $335,000 by the end of the year, for a total yearly increase of almost $125,000.

August’s increase sure looks flat compared to July’s increase!

August 2013 Net Worth Graph

Lastly, to check in on the goals I made at the end of July:

  1. Bring my lunch 18 out of the 22 work days this month. (I’ve already done this twice!) PASS! I went out for lunch 8 times. I know I haven’t gotten this to zero, but I’ve shaved over $100/month off this expense from last month and eating out definitely feels like more of a treat now.
  2. Eat out by myself no more than 4 times. DONE! I only ate out by myself 3 times! :D
  3. Finish all the planning for my overseas trip in September. DONE! I can’t wait for this!
  4. Don’t fill up the gas tank. PASS! I filled up about 2/3 of the tank on the 30th. Since I’ll be gone for half of September and have no planned road trips, so I should be good to not fill up in September. And at the very least, it was only one tank and only 2/3 of one at that.
  5. Run 5 times. Break 9 minutes/mile. FAIL! I ran 3 times. It’s starting to get dark earlier too…
  6. Read 2 books (other than my Lonely Planet book and the one I started in early July doesn’t count…). FAIL! I don’t think I finished any books this month.
  7. Make it into work by 8 am 11 out of the 22 work days this month. PASS! I forget how many I made it in to work by 8 am by, but I think I was over 11 by a bit, so I’m calling this a pass.

Now for some goals for September:

  1. Bring my lunch 7 out of the 9 work days.
  2. Eat out by myself no more than 2 times.
  3. Enjoy my overseas trip!!
  4. Don’t fill up the gas tank.
  5. Run 3 times.
  6. Read 4 books. (Long flights will help with this.)

18 thoughts on “August 2013 net worth update (+0.6%)

  1. Congrats on keeping your net worth growing even though the markets were a little disagreeable. And of course, nice job keeping the electric bill low. Sounds like life is going according to plan.

    • Thanks! It’s always nice to see the months where the market is down where I still manage to pull in a net worth increase thanks to savings and lower spending than income.

    • I haven’t run the numbers yet… Possibly this weekend. Been busy. Traveling, boyfriend, injury, work. Sigh on the last two. I have a feeling I will be quite excited about the numbers – I ran some preliminary ones last weekend :)

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