September 2013 net worth update (+3.6%)

31-Dec-2012 31-Aug-2013 30-Sep-2013 MoM YTD
cash $12,100 $10,800 $11,400 +$600 -$700
savings $26,800 $23,900 $23,900 (same) -$2,900
investments $74,000 $109,800 $116,000 +$6,200
mortgage $259,600 $208,700 $204,900 +$3,800
net worth $211,300 $293,800 $304,400 +$10,600
assets – debts
$146,700 $64,200 $53,600 +$10,600

I don’t know why, but I’m far more excited about surpassing $300,000 (!!!) in net worth than I was about surpassing $200,000 in net worth. It finally feels like my net worth is more my doing and less thanks to my parents paying for my college education and providing other such generous gifts. Hip hip hooray for surpassing $300,000! I still can’t believe that I am 25 years old and my net worth is over $300,000.

I should note that there was no bonus this month – the higher increase than normal is all due to the growth of my investments, which I’ll talk a bit more about below.

September turned into quite the busy month. Things are going great with my boyfriend and we’re spending a good amount of time together and with our friends. Unfortunately, I also managed to injure myself in such a way that I can’t play sports for a while, which is my primary way of socializing. On the plus side, that’s meant I can spend more time with my boyfriend, but on the downside, it means I can’t run or play any of my sports:

  1. I ended up having to give up the entire season for sport #1 due to timing. I had already paid my fees for the year, but it looks like I should be able to get that back. I’d rather not have the ~$500 and be playing though…
  2. I pay for sport #2 annually in the fall. Paying annually was more than worth it by mid-summer, so it’s not the end of the world, but I didn’t manage to make as good use of it and basically lost the last 6 weeks of my prepaid annual membership. I won’t renew until the next time I go there, so that will postpone paying for it for the next year. I’d been debating that anyway, so we’ll see what ends up happening.
  3. I’d already paid in full for sport #3, which is wrapping up this month, but I missed the last few weeks of it… Super frustrating!

So far, of the bills I’ve seen for the injury, it has cost me about $250 including over the counter stuff from the drugstore. I’m anticipating seeing at least another $400 in bills, but I’m really not sure what that last one will be. The high-deductible health plan is still the cheapest one overall, but it still hurts to pay these amounts, even though my intention is to withdraw them from my health savings account and I do currently have enough money to cover it in there, almost enough to cover the remainder of my deductible.

There were also a lot of small things that went wrong in September: 1) my purse strap broke, 2) my commuting backpack wore out, 3) I wore down my running shoes to the point that they were giving me blisters, and 4) my modem was working less frequently than it wasn’t working. I ran out of stamps, kitchen sponges, toilet paper. Since I took a carry-on bag on my overseas trip, I needed to buy sunscreen in a smaller container. I stepped on my toothbrush holder while I was traveling, but it doesn’t seem to be broken enough to replace. My sealing bag for travel toiletries to satisfy airline requirements stopped sealing. Oh yeah and I needed to replace some bras. So it was almost death by all the little pieces.

And to top it all off, work has turned into an incredible ball of stress. I am so, so thankful for the following:

  1. I have $20,000 in a savings account that should cover about 6 months of expenses at my current spending level, so I could take a bit of unpaid time off if I wanted to, without worrying about money.
  2. My 401(k) is close enough to maxed out that I can max it out with my October paycheck and then be done with it for the year, so that even if I quit my job or take some unpaid time, it is still maxed out at $17,500 of my contributions. I may lose some match money, but the tax-deferred room is worth more than that.
  3. If I did have to take disability (injury isn’t bad enough for that, but if I needed to), my disability policy would pay me more than I spend in a month, so I could still save a bit of money, i.e. stay cash flow positive.
  4. The incredible support network that I do have. My boyfriend has been incredibly supportive over the last few weeks.
  5. My finances are really going to be fine pretty much no matter what happens. It is so reassuring to know that as life throws curveballs at you.

Expenses: I spent $2,430 in September, which is sort of in line with my spending goal for the year (under $30,000 $24,000 in non-mortgage expenses). That puts 2013 so far at $23,570 or an average of $2,619/month. This would project forward to $31,426. It looks like I’m definitely not going to meet my stretch goal ($24,000), but I may be able to meet my target goal and I should almost definitely beat last year’s spending of just over $50,000.

Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $310 Clothing (needed to replace some bras, buy new running shoes, and also bought some leg warmers)
  • $297 Entertainment/Social ($174 average this year) – mostly eating out, but also some e-books to read while traveling, a movie, some MP3s to stock up my iPod for the long plane rides, and some TV shows
  • $2 Eating out by myself ($32 average this year)
  • $82 Groceries ($153 average this year)
  • $63 Work lunches ($75 average this year, $171 average last year)
  • $0 Cell phone (yay referral credits – I don’t have to pay a bill until January!)
  • $9 Book of stamps (this will probably last for a while…)
  • $31 Internet
  • $35 Household goods (stocking up on dish sponges and toilet paper)
  • $208 Medical
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $18 Toiletries
  • $500 Fitness
  • $50 New purse
  • $88 New commuting backpack (women’s fit!)
  • $69 New modem
  • $0 Fuel ($36 average this year so far, $38 average last year)
  • $431 Travel (remaining expenses for September overseas trip)

I’ve increased my Entertainment budget from $150 to $250. We’ll see how that helps next month.

Savings: $23,900 (same)

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 the same because of withdrawals from the health savings account.

Investments: $116,000 (up $6,200 or +5.6%)

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.

The change here comes from:

  1. 401(k) contribution from my August paycheck, including employer matching
  2. About $4,600 in market gains and dividends

I have to say that it’s been both cool and scary to watch my investments go up and down by larger and larger sums each time. $4,600 is now the most they has gone up or down in a single month.

Mortgage: $204,900 (down $3,800 or -1.8%)

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

The August paycheck savings went to principal with the September 1st payment.

I estimate with the extra principal payments in August that the payoff date is now at April 1, 2035. I shaved 5 months of payments off with this month’s pre-payments! And I’ll save about $7 in interest on the October 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 $11,600 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 28% of the original mortgage balance.

TOTAL: $304,400 (up $10,600 or +3.6%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $93,100 or +44.1% 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 hit $300,000 in September and am currently projecting to hit $340,000 by the end of the year, for a total yearly increase of almost $130,000.

September 2013 Net Worth Graph

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

  1. Bring my lunch 7 out of the 9 work days. HAH! I don’t think I brought my lunch any days. Okay, maybe one day.
  2. Eat out by myself no more than 2 times. SUCCESS! I got this one!
  3. Enjoy my overseas trip!! PASS! I’m going to give this a pass. I needed the vacation and I did mostly have a good trip.
  4. Don’t fill up the gas tank. SUCCESS! I may also avoid filling up the gas tank in October…
  5. Run 3 times. HAH! I didn’t make it out for any runs before I got injured. I won’t be running again for a while.
  6. Read 4 books. (Long flights will help with this.) SUCCESS! Looking at my records, I think I read 5.5 books. Not bad!

Now for some goals for October:

  1. Figure out something fun to do since I can’t play sports.
  2. Follow the doctor’s orders to help my injury heal faster.
  3. Do some more introspection about work.
  4. Finish contributing to my 401(k) for the year (about $4,200 left to go).
  5. Don’t worry about money so much so long as I’m happy.

Here’s to October turning out better than it’s started off (life-wise)!


12 thoughts on “September 2013 net worth update (+3.6%)

  1. Ah, so you are one of those rare women who plays sports socially. I play quite a bit of Ultimate [frisbee] (pickup games) and for every group of 10 guys who shows up there is usually only one girl. However those ladies always play just as fearlessly as the men. Some of us (guys) have tried to figure out what it is about the personality of some women that makes them enjoy playing sports in mixed gender settings. Most women seem to avoid this. Is it a self-confidence thing? Is it simply the love of the game? Regardless, we surmise that women who play sports socially will never have any trouble finding dates (sort of like the way drummers never seem to have trouble finding bands to play with). This is possibly an over-generalization but bravo to you for getting out there and playing.

    Meanwhile, during your downtime, perhaps you could start organizing some board game nights. Settlers of Catan is a lot of fun.

    • I play a few sports, some single gender, some mixed, some more individual. I’m not really sure why more women don’t play sports as I find them quite fun. Then again, I also don’t understand why more women don’t like writing software ;)

      Hmmm I’m not a huge fan of board games and neither are my friends. I’m still trying to figure out what to do in my downtime.

  2. Congratulations on the net worth increase (and I didn’t realize you were only 25). Those are crazy impressive numbers at that age.

    I hope the injury improves so you can get back out there. I am just getting over some knee injuries and I know it’s not fun to be out of commission.

    • Thanks! I’m going to be out of commission for a while… I’m sure I’ll find something to keep myself occupied eventually, but it’s still in the incredibly annoying and frustrating stage.

    • That’s my plan! I think I’m going to take a course for that Master’s degree I’ve been eyeing in January since I already gave up the whole season! And work on reading through some of the textbooks for a prerequisite in the meantime. Studying won’t re-injure :) Yay for cash flow!

  3. I’m dying to see a picture of your leg warmers!

    Congrats on a great month. So sorry to hear about your injury and it sounds like a less than ideal over seas trip.
    I’ve always known you were athletic but I’m impressed with all the sports you play. Get well soon!

    • Thanks!! You probably had a higher starting net worth though, so a lower % increase YTD makes sense! The same $ increase would only be about 30% if I was starting from where I am now.

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