Work has been hellishly busy so I haven't been able to update or respond to comments as often as I'd like. Worse yet, I haven't kept up with everyone else's blog. And for that, please accept my heartfelt apologies.
And I figure I might as well 'fess up early - I totally failed with respect to my veggie/exercise swear jar experiment. Although I did well on eating more fruits and vegetables, I got ZERO, zippo, nada exercise this past month. (Another confession: I've been eating broccoli almost every night sauteed with 1/4 strip of bacon. That still counts, right?)
Anyhow, as they say, "On with the show!"
|Starting Debt (6/31/08)||Last Month||This Month||Difference|
The one bright spot of the February 2009 catastrophe was that I paid off my car (yee-hawwww), which has freed up $788/month from my monthly obligations.
Before I go on, an anon commenter suggested that I should be owning a $50,000 car if I was paying $788/month. Actually, if I took out a $50,000 loan with 4.75% APR for a 38 month term, my monthly payment would've been $1,418/month (!!!). (The only way a $50k loan would have had a $788/month payment is if the term was for 72 months. And that would just be insane.) Secondly, I've only recently (i.e., within the past 7-8 months) started paying $788/month. Prior to that, I'd been paying $570/month. So, that's how I ended up with a $788/month payment on a $25,000 car that I paid off in 38 months.
Anyhoo, I digress.
I previously whined about how I wanted to spend some of the $788/month payment for fun, but I've since controlled my tantrum, and am committed to using the car payment to pay down my credit card. Since my credit card interest is currently at 0%, my tentative plan is to reverse arbitrage the additional $788/month payment into my "high-yield" (*snort*) savings account.
I may change my mind about arbitraging though, since my debt-to-limit ratio has gone up (and probably reducing my FICO score) as a result of closing my Chase credit card. I figure that the earlier I pay down my debt, the faster I can repair any damage that I've done by closing my $18,500 limit credit card. (Curse you Chase!)
Additionally, the "high-yield" interest rates on my online saving accounts are dropping like flies. By my calculations, the reverse arbitrage would net me around $43 (pre-tax). Is $43 worth sacrificing the immediate gratification of seeing my credit card balance go down? Hmmmm... not sure. I'll play this one by ear.
OY GEVALT!! I'm hemmorhaging! Just joking.
The reason why my savings went down $2k+ is because I used $2,219 of my savings and $1,908 of my earmarks (which don't count towards my savings) to speed up my car pay off date. So, if you disregard the money I took out to pay off my car, I actually saved an additional $153.80 this month.
But yuck. The above chart looks pretty ugly, doesn't it?
MY NET WORTH
|LAST MONTH||THIS MONTH||DIFFERENCE|
Wow. The graph and the chart get uglier and uglier. Ha ha.
The swan dive looks worse than it actually is because I took an immediate write down of $12,600 in my assets with respect to the value of my car. The only reason why I previously included the value of my car in my asset calculation was because I wanted to reassure myself that my loan amount didn't exceed the value of my car. Now that I own the car outright, I don't have to worry about that. And as Frugal CPA commented, putting the value of my car in my net worth is misleading since I'm never going to see the value it supposedly represents while I keep the car.
But... this doesn't fully explain the carnage. I'm sure you've all suffered from the market breaking the November 08 lows so I'm not going to bother discussing it here.
The breakdown of my net worth can be seen here.