In April, I:
- contributed ~15% of the amount I can contribute to my 401(k) after-tax, for a total year-to-date contribution of ~40% of the maximum.
- sold the Q1 ESPP shares and transferred their value to my general savings account.
- paid half of my annual property taxes. They’re up about $1,000 for the year from what I paid four years ago.
- made my 2016 Backdoor Roth IRA contribution of $5,500.
- saw my tuition reimbursement for the academic period that started in January and some other work reimbursements.
- saved 79% of my net income for a total savings rate overall so far of 76%. Looking at my income spreadsheet, I saw about 40% of my expected gross income for the 2016 calendar year in the first four months of the year (first 33% of the year). I expect my savings rate to be about 60% per month going forward until I hit the Social Security maximum and that my overall savings rate for the year will be about 70% before grad school withdrawals.
- saw my net worth go up by $12,000 to $703,000, which if you’re following along closely is up $102,300 from my December 2015 reported net worth or about 17%. Four months is definitely the fastest I’ve seen a $100,000 increase in net worth yet!!! (note that I rounded this number differently than the ones in the table below) About half of that increase was updating the book value of my condo and the other half was savings / employer 401(k) matching / stock markets.
Since I have another $100,000 in the books, let’s take a look at the table I used in previous years:
|taxable assets – debts||$41,600||$30,300||+$11,300
|$ until FI*||$783,300||$642,600||-$140,700
*$ to FI=(average monthly spending over the last 12 months – mortgage payment)*12*25 + condo value – net worth
Cash is probably up because I’ve been underspending my budget so far this year. Savings is only up a small bit because I have been spending more from my HSA than I put into it so far this year, I spent from my savings account while frontloading my retirement accounts, and I used some money from my general savings account to fund my Roth IRA for 2016. Investments are the real story here since that was what I was concentrating on in the first third of 2016.
I am still investigating it, but if I plan to retire in my thirties or early forties, I’m not sure the Mega Backdoor Roth IRA is that useful considering that assuming 8% returns and a rate of inflation of 3.22%, I already have enough in my Roth IRA and 401(k) to support me at my current lifestyle after age 60. Not all employers offer it, so I’ve also debated using it while I can. I still have some time to decide as it would take me 3-4ish paychecks (about 2 months) to finish it. I’ll make the decision by October.
My savings goal for the remainder of the year is to build up my liquid funds (general savings account, ESPP funds, Series I Savings Bonds, NetSpend accounts, and taxable index funds) to two years of expenses which with the amount the mortgage would be reamortized to in early 2018 equates to about $90,000. As of April, those accounts add up to $65,400, which is a $3,900 improvement over December 2015. I estimate that it will take me most of this year to save up that amount, at which point my current plan is to go back to pre-paying the mortgage.
Expenses: I spent $6,149 in April including the mortgage or $5,122 without it, with no charitable donations this month. That breaks down to:
- $3,609 in fixed/unavoidable expenses: HOA dues, mortgage payment, property taxes, medical bills, and transportation
- $2,778 in discretionary expenses: clothing, entertainment, food, eyebrows, toiletries, vision, fitness, shopping, and travel
Some of my controllable expenses broke down as follows:
- $1,310 Clothing [$1,875 total so far this year; $1,760 at this point last year] – cute belt ($31), hiking pants ($93), one summer dress ($50), spring jacket ($201), wind breaker ($109 – I’m kind of torn on this one, so if I don’t wear it at all in May, I’ll return it), sandals ($88), sleep top ($49), one t-shirt ($16), two long-sleeved tops ($129), and clothes mailed for return ($545)
- $31 Entertainment/Social [average so far this year: $48, average last year: $116] – LastPass, using some cash from last month for something else, and a little bit of eating out with friends
- $105 Food [average so far this year: $87, average last year: $51] – this covers all discretionary food. I have still been lazy with taking my lunch to work.
- $0 Cell phone – got a rebate that should cover my Cricket cell phone bill for March and April and all but $5 in May
- Half of my annual property taxes
- $239 Health – yay for high-deductible plans…
- $360 Vision – a second pair of glasses feels like such a luxury!
- $20 Eyebrows
- $112 Make-up – time to stock up
- $8 Toiletries [average so far this year: $39, average last year: $48] – allergy medicine
- $338 Recreation: my running shoes that I love were discontinued in favor of a new version that doesn’t fit me, so I bought three pairs discounted on Amazon. I also bought a running armband, a few barre classes, and sticky socks.
- $24 Shopping: bought a sun hat and used a $25 gift card
- $169 Transportation: tolls replenishment (x4) and two tanks of gas
- $471 Travel: booked a long weekend trip!
In total, I’ve spent $14,219 after education and charitable expenses and my budget was for $48,000, so I’m on track to underspend my budget by about $5,000 at this point. We haven’t booked our fall trip yet but since I hit the deductible on my health insurance plan this month, that spending will reduce significantly. April is always one of my more expensive months because of the property tax payment.
Readers, how was your money in April?