August 2015 net worth update (-1.2%)

31-Dec-2014 31-Jul-2015 31-Aug-2015 MoM YTD
cash $12,300 $7,800 $9,000 +$1,200 -$3,300
savings $47,800 $55,600 $48,700 -$6,900 +$900
investments $164,500 $206,500 $204,400 -$2,100
mortgage $143,000 $137,900 $137,100 +$800
net worth $531,600 $582,000 $575,000 -$7,000
taxable assets – debts $70,600 $56,200 $61,600 -$5,400
$ until FI $811,300 $806,500 $805,100 -$1,400

This month, I continued to work on maxing out my after-tax 401(k). I have 1 more paycheck of that left, which means that starting in September, I will no longer be withdrawing from my savings account to cover living expenses! I paid my fall tuition and took that out of my grad school savings account, which was part of the drop in savings, the other part being covering living expenses. My savings rate this month was abysmally low at 18% due to withdrawing money to pay for my fall tuition, 58% if you ignore the grad school tuition cost.

That’s now two months this calendar year with a net worth drop: January and August!

Expenses: I spent $3,230 in August including the mortgage or $2,203 without it. Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:

  • $309 clothing: bought a pair of shorts, a bra, and several tops via online shopping. I’ll do a report on the clothing spending later this month probably.
  • $60 Entertainment/Social [average so far this year: $124, average last year: $211] – this was all eating out with friends.
  • $3 Eating out by myself [average so far this year: $6, average last year: $18]
  • $8 Work lunches [average so far this year: $50, average last year: $147] – This was one day of buying my lunch ($5) and then some miscellaneous snacks.
  • $150 A birthday present
  • $648 Housing: a small refund from my previous condo insurance policy, faucet for the guest bathroom ($290), cabinet knobs for the new vanity ($18), installing the new bathroom sink and vanity ($360), and a 3-year Angie’s List membership.
  • $ a small refund from my previous umbrella insurance policy
  • $170 Medical: new lenses in my glasses (after insurance cost)
  • $20 Eyebrows
  • $100 Toiletries [average so far this year: $47, average last year: $33] – Annual stock up on lip balm ($39) and a refresh of some hair products ($61)
  • $415 Shopping – Refund of the cost of my last phone from the credit card extended warranty feature because the phone no longer works within two years of purchase and buying a new phone
  • ($3) Transportation: a small refund from my previous car insurance policy and one tank of fuel

*Note that I’m not counting my grad school costs in this spending report because the point of this is to track my general living expenses. I am still tracking the grad school costs myself, but won’t include them in all of my reports.

Savings: $48,800 (down $6,800)

These funds are spread across a checking account that gets free ATM fees anywhere in the world, my current employer’s health savings account, a health savings account at my credit union, a bit of a buffer in my credit union checking account, and general and grad school savings accounts at Ally.

Investments: $204,400 (down $2,100 or -1.0%)

This includes my pre-tax 401(k), employer 401(k) matching, my after-tax 401(k), my Roth IRA, and my taxable investments including stock index funds, Series I Savings Bonds, and ESPP cash/shares.

The change here comes from:

  1. Large contributions to the after-tax 401(k)
  2. Employer matching contributions (almost double what I got at my last job!)
  3. A month’s ESPP deposits
  4. Some crazy investment losses (at one point, I was down $15,000 for the month and I ended down $10,000!)

So how about that stock market?! My largest investment drop in a month, percentage-wise, was September 2011 at 6.2%. I had a lot less invested back then (“only” $35,000), so it wasn’t as noticeable dollar-wise. This month’s drop was around 4.9% of my July balance, a pretty noticeable drop dollar-wise.

Mortgage: $137,100 (down $800 or -0.6%)

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%
  • 28.0%: portion of my regular payment went to interest (originally was 59%; down 0.1 percentage points)
  • 61.6%: amount of equity in my condo, assuming purchase price (up 0.1 percentage points)
  • 52.1%: amount of the mortgage I’ve paid down (up 0.3 percentage points)

I’m just letting the regular, automatic payment go for now, until my cash savings is at the level I want and my 401(k) is fully maxed out for the year. It’s looking like I’ll make my next extra mortgage payment next spring.

TOTAL: $575,000 (down $7,000 or -1.2%)

I ended 2014 with a net worth of $531,600, so I’ve seen a change of +$43,400 or +8.2% so far this year. I’m going to set the y-axis on this graph to $650,000 so we can see how my net worth grows towards that throughout the year.

August 2015 Net Worth Update


9 thoughts on “August 2015 net worth update (-1.2%)

  1. Yes, the stock market gave most of us a beating in August. I’m hoping we will see some recovery in September, but who knows, maybe we won’t. Like me, you’re also not retiring in the next year or so, so we should perhaps be happy: this month, we are investing at discount prices! Keep going and enjoy your life/studies/bras etc…

    • Yeah, I was surprised at how much of a beating it gave me! I’m not really worried at all though. And it was fun seeing how much lower of a buy-in price my end of month purchase was than my mid-month one :)

  2. I don’t even want to look at our net worth, though I hope the market is still down when my paycheck contributions start up again.

    It’s crazy that you have so much saved now that the market wipes out your massive monthly savings (and more!). Of course, that means the other direction will be pretty amazing when the market goes up again.

    • Yup. I put $7,800 into investments this month between me and my employer. And they still went down $2,100. Pretty crazy! In February, my investment gain was $6,900.

    • We used it to find a contractor to install the bathroom vanity and to re-seal some of our granite. I also used it to try to investigate a few other things that we ended up DIY’ing.

  3. We saw the net worth dip in August, too, and we’ll likely have another on the books when this month wraps. Blech. It all makes sense why, and we know losses aren’t real unless we sell shares, but I want to see progress move upward, not down! :-) (Especially given the dollars we’re socking away each month at this point — to still see a big dip in a month, or to see that we’re currently back to where we were in early April — it’s a bummer.) But, silver lining: cheaper shares. We’ll keep making our twice monthly purchases!

    Fingers crossed we all have a better September! :-)

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