January 2014 net worth update (-1.5%)

31-Dec-2013 31-Jan-2014 MoM
cash $13,500 $9,000 -$4,500
savings $27,400 $21,500 -$5,900
investments $134,600 $136,100 +$1,500
+1.1%
mortgage $187,600 $184,000 +$3,600
+1.9%
net worth $345,900 $340,600 -$5,300
-1.5%
assets – debts
(gap)
$12,100 $17,400 -$5,300
-43.8%

This month is basically the exact opposite of last January: no bonus, high spending, stock market losses. It was a bit of a doozy, financially. This is the biggest net worth loss I’ve had other than the month I bought my car since I started working full-time post-college.

January went by pretty quickly overall, but was also a pretty tiring month with starting the new job. So far, my new job is pretty cool and I’m glad I picked it! Of course, we will see how it unfolds, but enjoying it at the beginning is always a good start.

Expenses: I spent $5,980 in January after the mortgage. When you add in the mortgage, this was pretty close to my net income for the month (only +$400). Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $512 Dresses (3) – I last bought two in June 2012 and the previous one in July 2011. Needless to say, many of my dresses don’t fit very well.
  • ($480) Shoes – online shopping return, plus another couple pairs that I returned and the credit will come in February.
  • $367 Swimwear – online shopping, should see a credit of ~$250 in February.
  • $134 Entertainment/Social [average last year: $224]
  • $12 Eating out by myself [average last year: $25]
  • $284 Groceries [average last year: $152]
  • $186 Work lunches [average last year: $77] – I decided to eat lunch out my first month in the new job and then re-evaluate. The extra $100/month might be worth not stressing about packing enough food, we’ll see.
  • ~8 paychecks worth of charitable donations (this will take a while to not be a negative line item in my budget spreadsheet…)
  • $31 Internet
  • $53 Household goods (kleenex, toilet paper, light bulbs) [average last year: $29]
  • $369 Medical bills
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $50 Make-up
  • $25 Toiletries [average last year: $31]
  • $267 Laptop repair and shipping
  • ~$1,700 Furnishings (several small paint jobs combined and second half of closet system install)
  • $4 Tolls
  • ~$1,200 Travel: booked a trip with my boyfriend :)

My boyfriend and I are trying something new for groceries, which involves meal planning and splitting the cost. So Groceries this month was only half of the cost for two…which was pretty expensive. I’m pretty confident that we’ll spend less in February. Otherwise though, the experiment went pretty well!

This month, my priority was definitely in adjusting to the new job. You can see that in my work lunches spending. I also didn’t really work out that much other than walking to/from work.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I expect my non-mortgage spending to be around $1,200 in February.

And here’s a pie chart view of my spending for the month (click on it to view better descriptions). Basically, the big ones were: the trip with my boyfriend, my mortgage payment, the closets, painting, and charitable donations.

January 2014 Spending Pie Chart

Savings: $21,500 (down $5,900)

These funds are spread across a Chase savings account (opening bonus!), a general online savings account, a checking account that gets free ATM fees anywhere in the world, and my health savings account.

The change here comes from:

  1. Paycheck contributions to my health savings account (November and December) and spending down some of it to pay the medical bills
  2. Making my full 2014 Roth IRA contribution

Investments: $136,100 (up $1,500 or +1.1%)

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.

The change here comes from:

  1. Making my full 2014 Roth IRA contribution
  2. ~$4,000 in stock market losses

Mortgage: $184,000 (down $3,600 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.

January’s pre-payments eliminated somewhere around 3 months of payments.

TOTAL: $340,600 (down $5,300 or -1.5%)

I ended 2013 with a net worth of $345,900, so I’ve seen a change of -$5,300 or 1.5% so far this year. I’ve set the y-axis on this graph to $465,000 so we can see how my net worth grows towards that throughout the year.

January 2014 Net Worth Graph

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11 thoughts on “January 2014 net worth update (-1.5%)

  1. This year is setting out to be a rough year for the markets already! This is why it’s good to keep the big picture in mind- you’re still doing great!

    I hope the new job is going well.

    • It is! This is definitely the biggest investment loss ($4,000) that I’ve seen so far. Most of my other months with decent stock market losses had lower spending. Yep, you have to just keep investing according to plan and not sell and everything should work out okay! Stick to the plan.

      I am really liking the new job so far – it’s pretty fun.

  2. Planning your meals and cooking at home can provide a nice savings in your overall food expenses. When I was cooking every meal at the house we spent so much less on food but now I’m out of town for work too much and we can’t enjoy the economies of scale. I’m curious to see how January ended up for myself but I’m not expecting an awesome month the way the markets behaved. But only a $5k loss isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things, especially since you’re doing your part by continuing to save and invest.

    • Yep cooking for two people versus one makes a huge difference. I think we should be able to spend closer to $300 in February combined on groceries, which would be nice. I’m not too worried about the $5k loss, but it’s definitely a bit of a sad way to start the year compared to my $19k increase last January! It’s also good to see how I react to “losing” that much on paper. The fact that I’m not worried about it, but more worried about how much I spent is good! Ah well, February’s spending should even out January’s to $4,500 average per month and it should overall smooth out for the year to not be too bad.

  3. Leigh, you are doing great. These type of months happen from time to time, and may actually be good for the long run. Life should be about balance, and you obviously have that part figured out. I splurged quite a bit on Hawaii (from ERE point of view, anyway), but don’t regret it for a second. Too much restraint and too much emphasis on purely savings does get tiring after awhile.

    I’m excited that you planned a trip! I just finished ticketing my round the world expedition in August. Can’t wait!

    • Yep they do happen from time to time! And most of it was budgeted for, so it was just a net worth hit.

      Trip should be good! I can’t wait :) I’m not sure what other trips I will take this year. Enjoy your expedition in August – that looks fun!

  4. Since your mortgage is a 5/1 Arm at 2.5% do you plan on having it paid off before the rate goes up. It seems like you’ve been plugging away at that mortgage and will probably have it paid off sooner than 5 years.

  5. Interesting spreadsheet! I couldn’t figure out the gap thing — I was thinking there’s just no way you have negative NW!

    • Thanks! The gap is (liquid assets) – (mortgage). One of my markers on the plan to pay off the mortgage is when my liquid assets are worth more than the mortgage and that’s what that gap line is for! I don’t list my condo value online in my net worth, but you could still calculate it if you did the math.

  6. Well my net worth went down by about the same amount as my direct deposit for the month! I think that’s pretty crazy. My travels aren’t as exciting as your EUROPE TRIP! And please do email me about your trip :)

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