|assets – debts
February was so much better than January, financially! My investments recovered from the losses in January and spending was so much lower as well. Cash is mostly down because I closed out an old, unused account and transferred its balance to the mortgage.
AND WOO FOR BREAKING $350k!!!
Work-wise, however, it was a long month and I’m really looking forward to the trip that my boyfriend and I are taking next month! I’ve really, really been loving the new closet organizers in the master bedroom and I wish I’d done that project far sooner!
I saved 69% of my net income this month! That’s much better than last month’s 57% and much higher than my expected savings rate of 61%. About 2/3 of my savings this month went to the mortgage.
Expenses: I spent $2,490 in February after the mortgage or $1,460 without it. Once you take out the work spending, I only had about $700 in credit card spending this month! That’s a record. So far, my total spending for 2014 is $9,490. To hit my $38,500 spending goal for the year, I need to spend no more than an average of $2,901/month over the remaining 10 months this year.
I expect my March non-mortgage spending to be around $700 (that includes expected credits from some online shopping).
Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:
- ($195) Dresses (-1) – I bought the 3rd January dress in another size and ended up returning both because neither fit. Ah well, $195 back!
- $8 Outerwear – I lost my hat and randomly found a very similar one on sale for $8! I was quite excited about that :)
- $86 Shoes – Ugh this has been a mess with the online shopping. I’ve been trying to find a new pair of knee-high leather boots because the heel has worn through on mine and I apparently can’t get it fixed, but it’s been such a struggle. I’m also trying to replace my 3-year old grey PUMA flats because they’re getting a hole in the bottom of the shoe. At least that is only a $50 replacement :)
- ($251) Swimwear – shipping to return the ones that didn’t fit and their credit.
- $29 Other Clothing
- $73 Entertainment/Social – I still can’t believe how much this has dropped lately. My boyfriend and I have been cooking a lot more, rather than going out like we did at first, and I’ve also been a bit more of a hermit with the new job. [average this year: $103, last year: $224]
- $12 Eating out by myself [average this year: $12, last year: $25]
- $243 Groceries – I’ve been making pie charts to see where all of this is going. We’ve been lumping in toiletries, household goods, and some small appliances, which I didn’t do on my own. We’ve also been eating a LOT of meat and buying mostly organic/grass-fed, which I wasn’t doing much of before. [average this year: $263, last year: $152]
- $120 Work lunches [average this year: $153, last year: $77]
- $80 Internet. I had to raise my internet speed because it wasn’t sufficient for streaming anymore and I’ve also been working from home enough that I needed the faster internet. It should be closer to $54/month going forward and this increase was from reconciling the billing periods with the speed upgrade. [average this year: $55]
- $24 Presents. Bought my boyfriend something small for Valentine’s Day :)
- $0 Household goods [average this year: $27, last year: $29]
- $12 Medical bills
- $20 Eyebrows
- $0 Toiletries [average this year: $12, last year: $31]
- $20 Pretty case for my new phone :)
- $290 Travel: booked another trip with my boyfriend :)
Savings: $21,800 (up $300)
These funds are spread across a Chase savings account, 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:
- Paycheck contributions to my health savings account (January) and spending down some of it to pay the medical bills
- My medical bills being low enough now that the health savings account will just grow by $300/month for the next few months.
I’ve decided to keep the Chase savings account open even though I could now close it with no penalty as it has come in handy a few times, for example to get a deposit rather than a statement credit for credit card rewards and then immediately send them to the mortgage. Plus, it is only the opportunity cost on $300, which at the Ally online savings account rates loses me $2.55/year.
Investments: $142,600 (up $6,500 or +4.8%)
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:
- ~$5,000 in stock market gains
- January paycheck 401(k) contribution and employer matching
- November and December 401(k) employer matching
Mortgage: $179,600 (down $4,400 or -2.4%)
Some statistics here:
- 2.5%: the interest rate on my 5/1 ARM
- January 2018: when the interest rate on my mortgage is set to reset, possibly to 7.5%
- 6: months of payments eliminated with this month’s pre-payments
- $4,034.92: extra payments made on the mortgage this month
- $8.41: interest this month’s extra payments will save me on the next regular payment
- 37%: portion of my regular payment went to interest (originally was 59%)
- 49.8%: amount of equity in my condo, assuming purchase price
- 37.2%: amount of the mortgage I’ve paid down
TOTAL: $351,200 (up $10,600 or +3.1%)
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.
Oops, I forgot to set goals for February! And to review the goals I made for January!
Let’s check in on the goals I made for January:
- Make my 2014 Roth IRA contribution through the backdoor entirely on my smartphone. (This means a) transferring the money from savings to checking with Ally, b) making the $5,500 contribution to my Traditional IRA with Vanguard, and c) exchanging the $5,500 from the Traditional IRA to the Total Stock Market index fund in my Roth IRA.) – I’ve already done a) and b) – just need to wait for the transaction to post tomorrow or Friday so I can do c). SUCCESS! It’s so nice to have this out of the way first thing in the year.
- Plan some trips with my boyfriend. SUCCESS! We are going away for a week, just us, in March, to visit some friends from college in June, and to 1-2 weddings in September, during which I will get to meet his family and he’ll get to meet some more of mine :)
- Have fun with my new job! PASS! I definitely like my new job and am having fun, but I forgot how exhausting it is to work 40 hours a week, let alone 50-60.
- Return the shoes I don’t like from the online shopping. SUCCESS! That was easy.
Some things I did in February:
- I’m becoming an expert on some areas at work, which is nice!
- I filed my income tax return with TaxAct.com and got my small (< $300) refund deposited into my bank account, which I immediately sent to the mortgage.
- I did terribly at exercising (beyond walking to/from work). I didn’t go to the gym at all.
- I worked A LOT. My estimate would be 45-60 hours/week.
- I applied for and received the Chase Sapphire Preferred visa, which I intend on using until I hit the bonus ($3,000 in spending will get me 40,000 points) and then setting it aside except for Ultimate Rewards mall shopping. (That mall is seriously a magically benefit of the Chase Freedom/Sapphire Preferred credit cards that I had no idea existed!) I’m going to guess that it will take me all of March, April, and May to hit that $3,000 because my spending has been lower lately.
- I was a LOT more frugal than I was in January. Maybe how much time I spent working affected that…
Now for some new goals for March:
- Only use the Chase Sapphire Preferred visa for spending. This means no debit card.
- Go running on Sunday mornings (before reading the internet!) and one weekday morning (Tuesday or Wednesday) since it’s getting to be daylight later.
- Go back to sport #2 one evening a week with my friends.
- Try out an alternative gym near my place that’s about halfway between work and home, walking. They have a lot of classes and the timing is such that I could even go home, eat dinner, and then go to a class! And they even have a one month intro rate!
- Enjoy the trip with my boyfriend! Relax. It’ll be a welcome break.
- Send $2,500 to the mortgage on pay day.
- Leave the office before 6 pm at least 3 days a week.
- Buy a new pair of jeans because none of mine fit :(
By my 26th birthday this year, I would like to write a 30 by 30 list and a list of what I want my life to look like at 30. I’m really starting to feel like I can shape the next few years a bit better than I used to, which is a really awesome feeling.