Recap: 2016

This year marks the beginning of my personal finance journey, which began one month after completing my PhD.  Thanks to a financially savvy friend, who was well on their way to financial independence, I quickly became motivated to do better. I also realized it would be a good idea to prepare for the unfortunate but likely scenario of disability retirement.

Liquid Assets Jan-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $3,946 $2,357  ($1,589)
FSA $1,625 $0  ($1,625)
Other $0 $290 +$290
Retirement Jan-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Roth IRA $3,620 $11,749  +$8,129
401K $4,069 $11,339  +$7,270
Liabilities Oct-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $773 $0 +$773
Medical $0 $175 ($175)
Piano $2,893 $0 +$2,893
Net Worth $9,594 $25,749 +$16,165
% Change +286.5%

In the aspect of personal finances, 2016 went by smoothly.  My net worth almost tripled, and I surpassed  a $25,000 net worth!

Typically a bad health year is seen as a catastrophic event, but for me every year tends to not be so hot for my health. While I didn’t mention or record all of my medical expenses, they were high.  I ended up reaching my out of pocket maximum. This happened last year as well. Thankfully, my FSA cushioned a lot of the blow and I am do well at cost minimization when shopping for a health insurance plan.

Overall  I’m pleased with where I ended up.  The only thing that disappoints me is the lack of liquid assets. When I skim through my entries I can see that $2,000 in catch up IRA contributions and a $2,900 loan repayment were big contributing factors to this. With that in mind, my Cash & Savings did increase otherwise. Still this is one thing I really need to work on.

Half way through 2016 I changed the software I use to track my spending. I started off using both mint and personal capital, but after further consideration, I no longer feel comfortable having a third-party know my login/banking information. I now manually enter my transactions into Quicken, That being said,  below is my spending for the year.

spending-2017

According to Quicken, I spent $35,233.48 in 2016. There is a “Bill & Utility” payment for $2,375 to my company for over-reimbursment for my relocation. Therefore, I really only spent $32.858.48.  For reference, in 2015 I spent $37,389. A lot of this had to do with a $4,000 piano purchase, moving expenses (such as paying double rent) etc. When I lived exclusively in the midwest, I spent $22,569 in 2014, $19,409 in 2013, and $22,623 in 2012.

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