Friday, January 2, 2009

My Final 2008 Net Worth and Progress Report

2008 was a horrendous year for the world economy and for many people, but knock on wood, it hasn't been all bad news for me. My most notable good news from 2008 include:

  • I didn't get laid off (yet);

  • I started my PF blog with the goal to keep myself financially accountable;

  • I haven't incurred any new debt in 2008 (ahem, hopefully);

  • I eliminated $8,447.24 (or, 6.56%) of my total debt since June 31, 2008 (Woo hoo!);

  • I finally owe less in my student loans now than when I graduated in 1998;

  • I started making small monthly charitable donations, which makes me feel a bit like Santa throughout the year; and

  • If you disregard my 401k and IRA investments, my net worth increased by $1,968.16 since July 31, 2008.

I couldn't have done this without the support and encouragement of my PF blogging friends. Thank you all!

Starting Debt (6/31/08)Last MonthThis MonthDifference
PRIVATE SL$49,528.99$47,955.77$47,616.51$(339.26)
Fed'l SL$55,852.68$55,230.18$55,110.34$(119.84)
Car Loan$9,779.33$6,225.59$5,464.33$(761.26)

I may not be paying off my debt as quickly as I possibly could. For example, I could save less in my 401k, get a roommate and eliminate extras like cable service.

But I know myself - that kind of austere lifestyle will only drive me batty. I'm a stubborn tortoise in my debt elimination race. I have a debt reduction plan and I'm sticking by it, dammit.

I haven't yet developed the self-discipline to apply extra money left over in my monthly budget towards my debts (as advocated by fellow blogger MoneyBeagle). This is definitely something I can must work on in 2009. :-D



My monthly goal is to save $200/month in my EF. I fell short of this goal in December due to "unexpected" expenses and holiday spending. But atleast it didn't go down, right? Positive is still good, in my book.

Fellow PF Blogger MoneyBeagle is continuously encouraging me to use "found" money to pay down my debt. (For example, he advocates paying down debt with whatever savings I realize from decreasing gas prices. Click on the link above for his awesome article.)

Since my EF is still a bit underfunded, I think I'll split the difference of what I'll do with my "found" or "underbudget" money in 2009: 1/2 will go to my EF and 1/2 will go towards my debt.



He-e-e-ey, looky here - it went up. (Finally!) What a great way to end 2008. (For the purpose of this comment, let's just disregard the carnage from the preceding months, shall we?)

I don't know what 2009 will hold, but I'm gonna keep doing what I've been doing and keep my fingers crossed. I will:

  1. Continue to contribute to my 401k

  2. Continue to pay down my debt

  3. Not incur additional debt

  4. Continue to add to my EF and Savings Bonds

  5. Contribute to my Roth IRA (only if I can).

The breakdown of my net worth can be seen here.


jpkittie said...

wow! that is really amazing --- you have done fantastic in 2008! Lets hope that 2009 is even better!!!

Keep up the great work!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-oh yay, I can relate to your goals and you've made excellent progress my dear, so pleased the net worth is looking healthy! Well done you!

Miss M said...

I think you've done well for the year, it was a tough one for investors. December was certainly better than the preceding months, hopefully it's a turning point. Good luck with next years goals.

PS - I'm putting up an I-Bond and Deflation post in answer to your question. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I probably could have paid off debt faster too, but I didn't want to go crazy.

MoneyMateKate said...

Um...I think you need to redo your math in your savings, this month v. last month. You improved that by a lot more than $143!

One of the most important points in your post is that you value your privacy (no roommate) and your cable. To me, that shows you're very much in touch with your priorities, knowing what's worth the $ and what isn't. Smart Kat!

Shtinkykat said...

jpkittie: Thanks for the compliment! Keeping my fingers crossed for a decent, if not spectacular 2009. :-D

$haron Rose: Thank you!

Miss M: I suspect that the market in 2009 is going to be a rollercoaster ride. Good thing I have an iron stomach. P.S. Thanks for the response!

MOU: What you cut out of your lifestyle and what you keep is all about balance and perspective. :-D

MMK: No one can pull one over your head can they? Thanks for the eagle eye. The increased amount is correct. I just put in the wrong amount for last month's savings. :-P Don't know whether I'm a smart kat but it's something I'm striving for!

Anonymous said...

You are doing great! $8K wow! we will be debt free girl sooner or later we will be :)

Money Beagle said...

Thanks for the great remarks! You're doing great, keep up the good work!

Finally Frugal said...

Just found your blog, and I'll be back. I'm also in debt to the evil Sallie Mae, and often go back and forth about the same questions (invest in 403b, or not? send money to EF, or to Sallie Mae?). I won't be able to start working on the $56K that I owe in student loans for another year or so, but knowing that there's someone out there also battling it out with debt is reassuring.