October 2013 net worth update (+2.0%)

31-Dec-2012 30-Sep-2013 31-Oct-2013 MoM YTD
cash $12,100 $11,400 $8,300 -$3,100 -$3,800
savings $26,800 $23,900 $23,900 (same) -$2,900
-10.8%
investments $74,000 $116,000 $121,300 +$5,300
+4.6%
+$47,300
+63.9%
mortgage $259,600 $204,900 $201,100 +$3,800
+1.9%
+$58,500
+22.5%
net worth $211,300 $304,400 $310,400 +$6,000
+2.0%
+$99,100
+46.9%
assets – debts
(gap)
$146,700 $53,600 $47,600 +$6,000
+11.2%
+$99,100
+67.6%

I thought this month was going to be net worth neutral because I finished maxing out my 401(k) with my October paycheck and the transaction hasn’t posted yet. The stock market increase made up for that though.

Expenses: I spent $3,060 in October. That puts 2013 so far at $26,630 or an average of $2,663/month. This would project forward to $31,956. I’m already past 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:

  • $433 Entertainment/Social ($200 average this year): 56% eating out, 9% cash withdrawals, 12% textbooks for leisure reading, 2% movie rentals/TV shows, 21% multi-day concert in the future
  • $1 Eating out by myself ($29 average this year)
  • $180 Groceries ($156 average this year)
  • $98 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
  • $32 Electricity
  • $17 Household goods (kleenex and a 2014 calendar was on sale)
  • Property taxes (not controllable, but a large expense)
  • $427 Medical
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $39 Toiletries (some over-the-counter injury related purchases + shampoo, toothpaste, and conditioner)
  • $45 Facial groupon
  • -$X Fitness (refund for prepaid costs)
  • $0 Fuel ($32 average this year so far, $38 average last year)
  • $70 Car maintenance (oil change and new windshield wipers)
  • $17 Out of pocket parking at work
  • $106 Taxis to/from work
  • $127 Vehicle tabs renewal (annual cost)
  • -$13 Travel (friend paid me back for something)

Last month, I said: I’ve increased my Entertainment budget from $150 to $250. Hah! That clearly did not help at all. Part of the problem is that I used to eat out by myself occasionally and had a budget of $35/month for that, but I pretty much no longer eat out by myself except for sometimes lunch at work – I’m either out with friends and/or my boyfriend. I’ve been categorizing meals with him in my social eating category. I’ll figure out a better system for that eventually.

My electricity bill for August/September was only $32!!! That is the lowest bill yet since moving to the condo.

I have not filled up the gas tank in over 2 months now! Not playing sports definitely helps with that, even though I have been driving to work a lot. I will probably go see my parents over Thanksgiving, so I will fill up once or twice around then. I’m estimating I will still probably end up spending less on fuel this year than in 2012. I expect the final monthly average to be about $34. Since I drive so infrequently, I only need to get the oil changed once a year!

About $700 of my extra expenses this month were related to my injury: increased social eating (not socializing by playing sports), leisure textbooks, medical bills (not done with these), over-the-counter related purchases, out of pocket parking at work, and taxis to/from work. I’m not really fully healed and I see more medical bills in next few months.

Savings: $23,900 (same)

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

This is the same because of withdrawals from the health savings account.

Investments: $121,300 (up $5,300 or +4.6%)

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 September paycheck, including employer matching
  2. The stock market increase

Mortgage: $201,100 (down $3,800 or -1.9%)

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

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

I estimate with the extra principal payments in October that the payoff date is now at April 1, 2034. I shaved 12 months of payments off with this month’s pre-payments! (Note: my spreadsheet math seems to have gotten a bit confused.) And I’ll save about $7 in interest on the November 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 $15,400 ahead. I’m currently planning on continuing to pay extra on the mortgage despite this though. I have now paid down over 30% of the original mortgage balance!

With my current income projections, I am becoming more and more confident that if I concentrated on the mortgage more than I am now, I could have it completely paid off in December 2015. I could also then save enough in January-August 2016 to go to grad school that fall. That might be a better plan. I also think that committing to paying off the mortgage in 2 years from now would help me concentrate on it more than I am right now since my commitment was to pay it off before the rate resets, which isn’t for another 4 years at this point. I think that the commenter was right that I need more aggressive goals. To pay off the mortgage by the end of 2015, the balances would need to look like this:

  • 12/1/2013: $180,317.05
  • 12/1/2014: $91,284.28
  • 12/1/2015: $0.00

TOTAL: $310,400 (up $6,000 or +2.0%)

I ended 2012 with a net worth of $211,300, so I’ve seen a change of $99,100 or +46.9% 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.

October 2013 Net Worth Graph

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

  1. Figure out something fun to do since I can’t play sports. SUCCESS! I spent a lot of time hanging out with my boyfriend, more time reading books, and some time figuring out what to do about work.
  2. Follow the doctor’s orders to help my injury heal faster. UGH! I did follow the doctor’s orders, but my injury is not really healing. I think I’ll end up going back to the doctor again.
  3. Do some more introspection about work. SUCCESS! I spent most of October having coffees and I think I have come to a good conclusion. I’ll talk about this more once things finalize.
  4. Finish contributing to my 401(k) for the year (about $4,200 left to go). SUCCESS! It hasn’t posted yet, but it was taken off my paycheck.
  5. Don’t worry about money so much so long as I’m happy. SUCCESS! As you can see with how high some of my spending was this month…

Now for some goals for November:

  1. Read books!
  2. Go back to the doctor again.
  3. Finalize the work thing I was introspecting about.
  4. Make my Roth IRA contribution for 2013 and re-balance accordingly.
  5. Set aside the rest of my bonus and paycheck for my tuition fund.
  6. Start Christmas shopping. (Ugh, I hate buying presents.)
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18 thoughts on “October 2013 net worth update (+2.0%)

  1. Great work Leigh! You’re holding a great pace. If you are able to keep your net worth increasing by over 50% / year for a few more years you’ll be financially independent in no time.

    • Thanks! I’m not sure that I can stick to > 50% net worth increases per year, but I do think I will be able to stick to > $100,000 increases. I am also starting to become more confident that I could be FI by the end of 2018.

  2. I’m impressed with what you’ve done so far. It’s too bad you don’t seem to have much job satisfaction anymore….

  3. $100k a year is fantastic progress and should push you to FI in a really short timeframe. I love seeing your results so thanks for posting them.

    • Thanks! It’s pretty crazy what a few years with a high income/savings rate can do! When I started writing this blog back in May 2011 (~2.5 years ago), my net worth was “only” in the low $70,000 range.

      One of my FI ideas for the longest time actually has been to go to grad school, so we’ll see if I do that before or after.

  4. Thanks for the post. One thing strikes me though. Maxing out your 401(k) early and missing out that that match? I’m still using a variant of your maximizing 401k match spreadsheets!

    • The match for two months is < $400, which I decided was worth risking* losing versus not contributing the full $17,500 for the year. In fact, if I missed out on November and December's contributions, I would have paid about an extra $800 in federal income tax, so risking losing $400 is still coming out ahead.

      *I say risking because my employer will "correct" the match early next year if I'm still at the company. So if I'm still employed with the company at that point, I will get the $400 then. It just won't have been exposed to the market ups and downs and if I'm not at the company, I don't get it.

      Glad those were of help to someone!

      • Does your employer really make up for lost match in future years? I hadn’t heard of that benefit! I mean if you lost $400 this year, the $400 you get next year is for next year’s income and 401k contribution, not additional $400 over next year’s match, isn’t it?

        Also I am not sure you are comparing apples to apples with 401k match and federal income tax. Even if you save income tax now, you pay it when you take it out of 401k. But a match you get is yours to keep. And any lost match is lost forever. At least, that’s the way I understand it. Let me know if I am missing something.

        • It’s called a “true up”: http://budgeting.thenest.com/definition-trueup-401k-26442.html
          Basically, at the end of the year, they calculate my income eligible for matching, compare that to the amount I contributed and the amount they matched, and then do a “true up” match contribution. Some plans have this feature, some don’t. Mine does. If mine doesn’t, I would probably be less likely to do this.

          You’re right – I’m not comparing apples to apples. I still feel like risking losing out on $400 is a good tradeoff for being confident I will max out the 401(k).

          Does that help?

        • Thanks for the link Leigh. I wasn’t aware of that 401k feature.

          Your strategy makes sense if you were planning to leave your employer before the end of the year and wanted to maximize 401k contributions before that.

  5. Congratulations on another great month! Sorry to hear you are still injured but everything else seems to be going wel!

    I agree that aggressive goals are sometimes ‘easier’, without them i get distracted or just lazy. I’ve been thinking about this for our own finances as well.

    • Thanks! Everything else is mostly going well!

      My problem with setting a goal to pay off the mortgage by 2015 is that that is highly dependent on my RSUs being worth as much as they are now, just like the original 2017 goal was. I think I should go for it though! Two more years is so much easier to picture than 4, you know?

    • Thanks! That was actually for two months – August and September! We have pretty cheap electricity rates in my area and I don’t use a ton of electricity either.

  6. Hope your injury gets better! Congrats on another great month. Can’t believe the 2.5% ARM… that’s sooo sweet!

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