Monday, February 2, 2009

January Progress Report and Net Worth Report

Hmmm... 2009 hasn't been off to an auspicious start so far. First off, the market's down 8.57% (surprise!) and the Cardinals lost. :-(

Secondly, I'm hung over from wine, beer, cheddar-wurst, chicken wings, garlic fries and cheddar pierogies. (In hindsight, it was totally bad karma to eat chicken wings while rooting for a team named after a bird.)

Thirdly, my net worth, debt reduction and savings are all less than I'd like to see.

But... The good news, though, is that my debt's still down, I'm still saving and my net worth is slightly up. (Which means that my net worth is back to where it was on Halloween 2008. Spooky!)

And considering the carnage of 2008, I'll take any good news, no matter how small.

Starting Debt (6/31/08)Last MonthThis MonthDifference
Private SL$49,528.99$47,616.51$47,268.94$(347.57)
Fed'l SL$55,852.68$55,110.34$54,982.25$(128.09)
Car Loan$9,779.33$5,464.33$4,696.24$(768.09)

Not to beat a dead horse here, but my credit card balance did not go down as much as it normally does due to the fact that I incurred a credit card balance transfer fee of $358.17 when I gave Chase the boot.

Up until now, I've been stubbornly sticking to my debt reduction plan which contemplated paying off my car in July 2009 and my credit card in May/June 2010.

But now that my credit card balance is subject to a 0% promotional rate that will expire in October, I've got to tweak my debt snowball to pay it off sooner than I'd originally planned.

Every time I think I've settled on a new plan, I immediately change my mind. My deadline to create a new plan is 2/13/09 (aka Friday the 13th). Wish me luck that I'll come up with a plan -- any plan!

Gotta slash that credit card balance!





My goal is to increase my savings by $200 every month and I fell short this month again. Worse yet, I went over my food/incidental/misc. budget by about $26.22.

The causes of my overspending were many: I paid for lunch with a friend ($28.39), I paid for breakfast with a friend who was visiting ($34.02), I bought a birthday gift for a friend ($26.94), I bought jewelry at a "party" hosted by a friend ($82.50), I bought opera tickets ($72.50) and I ended up spending $40 at a birthday luncheon to cover other people's shortfall. (Don't ask about the birthday luncheon. I keep forgetting why I hate organizing birthday lunches since some people seem to always pay less than their fair share of their meal and leave early. C'est la vie.)

The only reason why I've been able to afford this without going further into debt is because I still budget as though gas prices are $4.50/gallon and I also have a slush fund set aside.

But I REALLY need to tighten my belt in light of the fact that I have to speed up my cc pay off date. Additionally, starting February, my rent will increase by $20/month. And call me a pessimist, but I truly don't believe gas prices will remain low.

I'll need to try my best not to let this increased cost of living affect my savings rate.



I sold 4 shares of my company stock this month for a gain of 46.28%. After taking out trading fees and setting aside capital gains tax, I've put $1,079.07 into my high-yield (3.5%) savings account at DollarSavingsDirect.

As Miss M wrote (and also suggested by ParanoidAsteroid), I'll be reverse arbitraging my money for the purposes of paying off my credit card. After all, I need to recoup some of the balance transfer fee I incurred, right?

Anyhow, money that I'll "reverse arbitrage" will be added to a new category in my net worth spreadsheet. It'll be listed as an "other" asset. Since it's going to be used to pay down my debt (as opposed to a purchase), I'm okay with including this into my net worth calculation. It will all balance out in the end.

The breakdown of my net worth can be seen here.

Oh.... and the veggie/exercise swear jar update: Heh heh. $11.00 out of $22.00 (50%). Ummm.... no comment other than I'll try harder in February!


Miss M said...

Yeah this month was feeling a little too much like 2008. It was going OK but then the last few days the market crashed. Hey you still came out ahead! How is the job situation, still uncertain? Yawn, I hate mondays.

RTC said...

You are still going in the right direction. Good luck tweaking your plan!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-well you've ultimately had a good month as savings are up and debt is down! For a January, thats a big woo-hoo, well done my dear!!

Jennifer said...

I don't believe the gas prices are going to stay low either. I increased my gas budget when they were above $4, and I've left it there even though they're under $2 now. Whatever I don't use can be "extra" money to throw at something else at the end of the pay period, but I don't want to have to rework the budget to get that money back in there later if I change it now!

jpkittie said...

that is good that you are still in a positive direction! I seem to always be changing my mind about how I want to do things! I guess you just have to keep changing things untilthey feel comfortable & you are seeing the progress that you need to keep on keepin on ;)