Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May 2014 Update

Investment value not including contributions increased 12K this month!  Wow, while I realize this is a function of market fluctuations outside of my control, and subject to change, it still sounds and feels great.  I'm going to be 35 in a couple of months, and I'm projected to hit $960K by 40.  But if I keep saving, and returns are good, I wonder if I can hit a million before age 40!  On the spending side, we are still working at using YNAB properly.  I think it is starting to help more and more.  We are going on vacation in June, a cabin in the mountains, so relatively low key, but still an extra expense.

May Net Worth Update:Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $47,312 (+392)

Non-retirement investments: $123,968 (+2,584)

Retirement investments: $327,893 (+10,043)

Kids' 529s: $37,433 (+1,752)

Total Net Worth: $536,508 (+14,735)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

April 2014 Update

aaaand, we're back.  Cash is feeling tighter these days because I've gone from a 24 pay period year to a 26 pay period year.  Yes, I understand it's all the same at then end of the day. (Wait, except that it isn't, I actually do get paid less at this new job.  But I work less hours.  I have to remember that.  I make a little more per hour, I get a little more time.)  I also am taking advantage of the dependent care flex spending account, which we are eligible for now that DH works part-time.  I budget tuition amounts in YNAB, so when the reimbursement comes in, it goes straight into savings.  I also sat down with DH and talked about YNAB, and he installed the app on his phone.  Not so great at using it on his own yet, but he's on board with all of this, so it's just a matter of getting in the habit.  I've also started to use YNAB more "correctly" and currently have a 1/2 month buffer.  I used to use it mainly as a tracking tool, but now there is more forethought.  All good changes.

April Net Worth Update:

Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $46,822 (+2,479)

Non-retirement investments: $121,419 (+591)

Retirement investments: $317,851 (+3,793)

Kids' 529s: $35,681 (+195)

Total Net Worth: $521,773 (+7,058)

March 2014 Update

I didn't realize how behind I had gotten in my updates.  Started that new job; I love it.  It's been a total game changer in my overall work-life balance.  I definitely still want to get to FI and RE, but I'm not nearly as obsessed since I have a much happier job situation.  I hope it lasts until I am ready to retire!

March Net Worth Update:

Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $44,343 (-5,023)

Non-retirement investments: $120,828 (-267)

Retirement investments: $314,058 (+533)

Kids' 529s: $35,486 (+3,162)

Total Net Worth: $514,715 (-1,595)

Well, it's never fun to see NW go down, but the market does what it does.  I just keep doing what I'm doing and keep trying to do it better.  Next post, April Update.

Monday, March 3, 2014

February 2014 Update

I moved 80K into a few Vanguard funds in early February, and the market has come back nicely in the following weeks.  Hooray, the market has recovered from it's January dip.  And Hooray we are half-millionaires!  We are on track to exceed our goal of $570K.  

February Net Worth Update:

Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $49,366 (-79,234)
Non-retirement investments: $121,095 (+85,758)
Retirement investments: $313,525 (+18,632)
Kids' 529s: $32,324 (+1,154)
Total Net Worth: $516,310 (+26,310)

DH is working part time.  His wage is a pretty low (a shade above minimum wage) but it's a fun job and it should increase our savings rate.

Starting a new job next week!  Very excited about the new opportunity.  Surprised to feel so bittersweet about it.  I know that my current role has it's problems, but I will miss a lot of the people.  Salary is actually going down a bit... but so will hours worked.  I can live with that.

February spending per Yodlee?  $4,261 this month.  A vacation to Tahoe didn't help, but it was certainly fun.  Okay, well, spending is a bit out of control for the start of the year.  We have 10 more months to be really frugal.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January 2014 Update

We actually just reduced the cash balance a bit: $11K for 2014 Roth IRA contributions made, and $10K to kid's 529s.  Also, I didn't include the kids 529s in our net worth in November and December, and I think I will now.  I kind of don't want to, but it's just an ego buster to see the net worth go down.  We started it last year with some "found" money, and it was further bolstered a month later with a very generous $16K gift from my sister.  It felt fine to leave it out because our NW was maintaining it's organic growth through savings and investment returns.  Then when I dumped another 10K into it this month, along with some paper losses, I just couldn't stand the drop!  the So anyway, maybe this is cheating a little bit, but here it is:

January Net Worth Update:
Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $128,600 (-19,649)
Non-retirement investments: $35,337 (-948)
Retirement investments: $294,893 (+5,490)
Kids' 529s: $31,170 (+31,170)
Total Net Worth: $473,937 (+16,063)

So it really kind of sucks that we put over $12K into retirement funds this month and $7K just disappeared into a paper loss.  Oh well.  It will come back.  I think (or hope) as one's portfolio grows, you get used to this kind of thing.  NW goes up, sometimes it goes down.  It happens, it recovers.  Essentially, we would have been down slightly this month if we didn't decide to include the kids' 529s.

Goals for this year.  I would like to hit $570K in net worth by 12/31/14.

I may change jobs soon (I hope to next month).  It is possible that it won't help our financial situation greatly, but I'm hoping it all evens out.  My current job is very stressful and not the best working environment.  I will trade some of that stress for less money.  I'm hoping my salary will be about the same (which means it will be slightly less that what I would have earned at my current company, since raises are in effect next month).  The 401K match is better, so that's a pro.  But the commute is double the miles- 20 instead of 10, so that's a big con.  But a shorter working day, pro!  Anyway, I think it will be a good move overall for me, and hopefully I'll see some good increases in the coming years.

I'm planning on moving more cash out into some Vanguard funds.  It just seems like such a waste for so much to be sitting around earning 1%.  That's such a pittance.  I don't know when we will find the house we want.  And maybe then we shouldn't even put so much down.  It's a perennial argument, investing the cash or putting it towards the mortgage.  I guess it depends on how interest rates look when we finally find a place.

Oh, also wanted to add January spending.  Per Yodlee, $4,519 this month.  Had to replace the shocks/struts (front and rear) on our Matrix this month, which was $1,399.  Without that, spending would be $3,120, which is under our 2014 month average, so that is good.  Except it's not like we didn't really spend that $1,399, so that's not so good.

December 2013 Update

December Net Worth Update:
Category: Balance (Change)

Cash: $148,249 (+1,698)
Non-retirement investments: $36,285 (+1,009)
Retirement investments: $289,403 (+9,397)
Total Net Worth: $473,937 (+12,105)

Surpassed our goal of $450K Net Worth for the year, a total increase of $99K!  The amount we saved in 2013 was about $35K ($17.5K 401K, $11K Roths, $6.5K other).  There were also some increases from 401K match and profit sharing.  But that means that our investment income was around $60K, well over our annual expenses of around $42K!  It feels like such a great accomplishment!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Year End Review 2013

Okay, I'm starting a journal post over in the MMM forums, and I thought I'd keep details here, as well:

One-income family for 4.  We are 34 & 35, and our kids are 5 & 2.  I'm a CPA working as a corporate financial analyst, and my spouse is a stay at home parent.  I've always been pretty good at tracking things and doing the right thing financially, but I want to do better and keep things in check as my family's needs change.  Started YNAB after getting it through their black friday sale, so I hope it's a good tool and conducive to improvement.  I think it will be.

My 2013 Salary was $88,825 and I received a bonus in Feb of $6,565.  (Bonuses are paid in Feb for the prior year's performance.)  About 15K goes to taxes, and my after tax pay is about 80K at this point.  Current savings rate is about 47%, we max out my 401K and our Roths each year.  Starting to save for college, too.

Here is our 2013 spending.  Caveats- we have a week and a half left in the year, so there's a tiny bit of estimation here.  Plus this is pulled straight from yodlee, so I haven't checked all the categorization, but this should be pretty close:

 Annual Spending
 Monthly Average
 Child/Dependent Expenses
 Automotive Expenses
 ATM/Cash Withdrawals
 Home Maintenance
 Personal Care
 Charitable Giving
 Pets/Pet Care
 Office Supplies
 Home Improvement

Total are $41,200 annually, $3,433 per month.

As of November, our net worth is as follows:

Cash: $146,551
Non-retirement investments: $35,275
Retirement investments: $280,005
Total Net Worth: $461,831

(I don't include personal property.  We have 2 cars and less stuff than most people, but still more stuff than we need.  The cash is for a house.  One day soon, hopefully.  So we are renters for now.  No debt.)