Wednesday, December 3, 2008

November '08 Progress Report and Net Worth

I can't believe it's already December. And that means it's time for another Progress Report!


Starting DebtLast MonthThis MonthDifference
PRIVATE SL$49,528.99$48,270.11$47,955.77$(314.34)
Fed'l SL$55,852.68$55,349.50$55,230.18$(119.32)
Car Loan$9,779.33$6,988.13$6,225.59$(762.54)

Couple of my posts were highlighted on MSN recently and some readers left pretty harsh comments re: my debt and spending. Unfortunately, many people seem to have the mistaken impression that I'm continuing to dig myself deeper into debt without a plan, and I'm not.

Ever since I started blogging, I've been paying down a little over 1% every month. So far, I've paid down 5.46% of my debt without incurring new debt. (And for me, THAT's progress.)

According to my snowball debt reduction plan, I've estimated that my debt should be $121,789.00 by 11/31/08. I'm happy to report that I'm actually $53.71 ahead. :-D

But, this doesn't change the fact that I have too much debt. :-(

I can't wait to pay off my car loan and hit the 10% payoff mark!



My goal is generally to save about $200/month and I've accomplished that and more. Part of the reason why I did so well this month is because I got a temporary "raise" that I banked. But, I'm not patting myself on the back since I could've done much better.

As you recall, November started off on the wrong foot with my financial misadventure at the sushi bar and my disastrously expensive trip to Vegas (the subject of the MSN post referenced above).

I'm afraid with the recent increase in discretionary spending, I won't be able to save as much in December. :-( C'est la vie!



* Note: These are based on figures as of 12/2/08, not 11/30/08. This is a bummer since the market was up as of 11/30/08 and proceeded to tank 12/1/08.

Sheez-Louise. I'm thinking to myself, "Why even bother commenting on my free-falling net worth?" But I've found some encouraging news: if you look at the chart, the decline is a bit more shallow than between September and October.

Additionally, my debt has been steadily declining and my savings have been steadily increasing. I've started purchasing savings bonds (which probably isn't the smartest thing to do in a deflationary economy right now) but it's a long-term investment that won't lose its value.

My retirement accounts are continuing to take a beating but it's not because of anything that I've done. The market is panicked and there's nothing I can do about that. I'm still contributing to it regularly and I haven't done anything emotional or rash like moving all of my retirement assets into Treasuries. All I can do is to wait for the market to calm down and function again.

The other dark spot on my asset is the car. A review of my net worth history charts hits home the fact that cars are depreciating assets. This is why it was so silly of me to buy a brand, spankin' new car with a loan. Hopefully I won't make this mistake again in the future.

Anyhow, the breakdown of my net worth can be seen here.


Miss M said...

I always try to grab my investment balances on the last day of the month. It made this month less painful since I only captured late November's rally, not the fall on the 1st. I lost money this month too, don't feel bad. As for the car, how long do you keep new cars? I keep cars for at least 10 years, in which case buying new isn't a mistake. My mistake was putting 0 down.

Sallie's Niece said...

I think you're doing pretty good, don't worry about the critics who don't stick around to learn all the facts.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-really fantastic job done!! You've reduced your debt, increased your savings, despite the Vegas trip!! I think you are doing brilliantly and the most important thing is you are not accruing debt-a major acheivement!! All in all, great job-keep up the good work! Like you, I learnt the hard way about a new car and a loan for it-i won't do that again!

Anonymous said...

Good job! Lots of debt paid off. I wish I made good money so I could pay mine off earlier. Haha! $400 is all I can afford to go toward debt each month.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work!

Shtinkykat said...

Miss M: I normally capture my investment balances on the last day of the month too. Unfortunately, I couldn't do it with my sister visiting. I put 0 down too. And, oh trust me: I will drive this current car of mine to the ground before I replace it!

Sallie: Yeah, I was a bit frustrated that some people didn't bother to even read the posts before commenting. But some actually did and came to my defense. :-D

Sharon Rose: I will soon join you in the No More Auto Loan club!

MOU: God knows how long my good paying job will last me since the company is probably going to roll out another round of lay offs soon. But don't be discouraged. $400 to pay off debt is nothing to sneeze at. Thanks!

Miss M said...

Hey I saw these and thought of you. It was posted on my dog forum, even dog lovers like LOLCats.

jpkittie said...

good for you - what a great month (just don't look at investments, they are long term... so just report but not pay attention... that is what Igo by these days.)

good luck in the next month!!!

Shtinkykat said...

Miss M: I love Think Geek!

Jpkittie: Thanks! It's depressing looking at the investments but I need to at least pay attention what's going on.