Net Worth Update – May 2017

I started out the month of May thinking I’d run into cash flow problems because I’m still waiting on reimbursements. My checking account balance got uncomfortably low. Admittedly, the problem could be solved by moving money across accounts, but the point of being budget savvy is to avoid these types of situations. I’d also hate to lose progress  towards some of my goals.

Fortunately I had some surprise earnings this month. This made for, yet another, boringly smooth month despite going considerably over budget. I definitely was more laissez faire with my budget due to the unanticipated extra income. Don’t worry, I didn’t spend it all. My account holdings are below:

Liquid Assets Apr-17 May-17 $ Change
Cash & Checking $522 $528  +$6
Emergency Fund  $3,043  $3,065  +$22
Short Term Savings $605 $750  +$145
Vanguard Fund $165 $250 +$85
Illiquid Assets Apr-17 May-17 $ Change
Brokerage $287  $447 +$160
Savings Bonds $1,700 $1,800  +$100
Retirement Assets Apr-17 May-17 $ Change
Roth IRA $14,870 $15,754  +$884
Traditional 401K $19,163  $21,136 +$1,973
Net Worth $40,355 $43,730 +$3,375
% Change +8.4%

Everything increased! I don’t see that very often, if I’ve ever seen it at all. Yay for extra income! This means I was also able to stay on track with all my goals.
Goal Progress:

Fund/Goal Contrib. Total  Goal Progress
401K $1,476 $6,946 $18,000 38.6%
Roth IRA $542 $2,700 $5,500 49.0%
Emergency Fund $100 $4,842 $5,500 88.0%
$165 $250 $3,000 8.3%
Vacation* $200 $800 $1,000 80.0%

As I continue to make progress, the only notable thing here is that I decreased my vacation fund by $500 to $1,000. I do plan to slow down my Emergency Fund contributions to $25/month sometime in July or August.

I’ve already met my 2nd Quarter Goal of having $6,750 in assets outside of my retirement accounts. I have $6,840. Hopefully this accomplishment remains the case at the end of the actual quarter, which I think it should.

Monthly Income & Spending:

Category Budgeted Actual Remaining
Income $750 more
Rent $1,650 $1,650 $0 left
Fixed Expenses $100 $101 $1 over
Medical $- $140
Food $200 $337 $137 over
Everything Else $350 $598 $248 over
Total  $2,300  $2,686 $364 left

Income: While I’m still not ready to disclose exactly how much I earn, I can say I earned $750 more than usual. I really should start keeping track of what I earn over and above my base salary.

Rent: I paid the usual: a lot. I choose to live close to work.

Food: I went way over budget for food this month. I ate out a bit more than usual, which tends to happen in warmer months. I also bought more meat this month due to experimenting with various recipes (thanks pinterest). I’m not a big meat eater by nature, so buying several pounds of meat really shows in the number above.

Fixed Expenses: I went over by $1 which isn’t a huge deal but also rarely happens. This is due to some data overages from last month’s international trip.

Everything Else: I increased my Everything Else budget by $100 due to a birthday. Other than that, I expanded my jewelry collection, purchased some groupons, and added some decor to my apartment. I don’t regret it.

Medical Expenses: I don’t include medical expenses in my total monthly budget (I am reimbursed with my FSA). But similar to month’s prior I didn’t escape a month of medical expenses, which is fine. I never anticipate being in perfect health. I’d like to do a post soon on my health and where things stand, but everything is still up in the air. Things haven’t been great and I’m a getting worried about this.

Coming Soon…

I’m going on a short trip next weekend which will result in some extra expenses for the month of June. June is also the month I pay renter’s insurance whomp, whomp. I don’t think June will be particularly stellar.

In July I’ll be receiving 3 paychecks. I’m looking forward to this so I can add extra money to various accounts and reevaluate and readjust my savings strategy.


Net Worth Update – December 2016

There is no more spending to be had in December so it’s time for the update. December was difficult due to the holidays but my net worth still managed to increase by more than 7 percent. I’ve also officially separated out and started working on my emergency fund!

Liquid Assets Nov-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $2,102 $832  ($1,220)
Emergency Fund $1,500  +$1,500
Other $240 $290 +$50
Retirement Nov-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Roth IRA $11,309 $11,756  +$447
401K $10,657 $11,521  +$864
Liabilities Oct-16 Dec-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $228 $0 +$288
Medical $75 $175 ($100)
Net Worth $24,005 $25,749 +$1,719
% Change +7.2%

Liquid Assets: Obviously the decrease in Cash & Savings is due to its transfer into the Emergency Fund.  I have a solid $1,500 emergency fund which is almost one month’s worth of living expenses. The “Other” category shows that people still owe me money and I am owed $50 more than last month.

Retirement: My retirement accounts increased nicely. I continue to make regular contributions and it appears that the markets performed well. I have not been paying attention to the markets to be honest.

Liabilities: I decided not to carry over any credit card debt this month and I would like to get into that habit. I still have medical bills to pay though.


I was pretty certain I wouldn’t meet my budget in December. I was correct, however I actually didn’t do too bad. I ate out a lot more this month than I usually do but should be able to save quite a bit next month since I now have groceries stock piled.  I live in DC and I go to restaurants semi-freely but still manage to keep my food expenditures low. For reference my food spending includes eating out at restaurants three times ($82) and eating fast food two times ($14). The rest of the money includes grocery store purchases. The Quicken software I use to track my spending doesnt properly categorize some of my spending if I buy groceries on amazon, for instance, so that explains some of why my food expenditures are low. But mostly I don’t eat much meat or buy more than 2-3 days worth of food at a time because that’s all I can carry without a car. In other words, I don’t waste much. I’m not terribly pressed on categorization as long as I don’t go over the total budget for the month.

Category Budgeted Actual Remaining
Rent $1,650 $1,650 $0 left
Fixed Expenses $100 $93 $7 left
Food $200 $263 $63 over
Health $175
Gifts $250 $250 $0 left
Everything Else $300 $293 $7 left
Total  $2,549  $2,500  $49 over

Net Worth Update – November 2016

November was a another high spend month, making for two high-spend months in a row. I did anticipate November being this way due to a vacation. Thankfully, things still seem to be moving along. As you can see in my net worth outline below, the only category that decreased was the “Pending” category, meaning I received payments for money owed to me.

Assets Oct-16 Nov-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $1,901 $2,102 +$201
Roth IRA $10,372 $11,309 +$937
401K $9,799 $10,657 +$858
Pending $400 $240 -$160
Liabilities Oct-16 Nov-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $361 $228 +$133
Medical $75 -$75
Net Worth $22,111 $24,005 +$1,894
% Change +8.6%

Below was my budget for November vs my actual spending. I went $52 over my totaled budget, mostly because I bought a new tablet, sorry not sorry. I don’t budget for health expenses, but do like to keep them on record.

While the tablet wasn’t planned, I was so far under my vacation budget, that I purchased it anyways, plus I needed to. My current tablet is 4 years old and has been acting funny for the last few months, it should be arriving tomorrow!

Category Budgeted Actual Remaining
Rent $1,650 $1,650 $0 left
Fixed Expenses $100 $91 $9 left
Food $200 $208 $8 over
Health $190
Vacation $630 $470 $160 left
Everything Else $300 $513 $213 over
Total  $2,880  $2,932  $52 over

Net Worth Update – October 2016

Assets Sept-16 Oct-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $2,555 $1,901 ($654)
Roth IRA $10,090 $10,372 +$211
401K $9,467 $9,799 +$296
FSA $180 $0 ($180)
Pending $400 $400 +$0
Liabilities Sept-16 Oct-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $610 $361 +$249
Net Worth $22,082 $22,111 +$29
% Change +0.0%

I knew it was going to be a spendy month but October has been the worst month to date since I started the blog.  and I ended up having to spend even more than anticipated.

Notables for the month include:

  1. Draining my FSA
  2. Paying my Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee
  3. Too many Amazon purchases
  4. Birthday gifts
  5.  Reaching $20,000 in my retirement accounts
  6.  Getting promoted!

Goals for Nov 2016- Dec 2017:

  1. Max out my retirement accounts
    • $5,500 Roth IRA
    • $18,000 in 401K
  2. Save $5,000 in liquid qssets
  3. Eventually generate $200/month in extra income

This was the first month that I saw a near loss in net worth, and ouch. I will have to get back on track next month. I am trialing YNAB for the month of November so that should be interesting, especially since I will be going on vacation at the same time. I doubt I will be buying the program, but I most likely will be making some type of excel spreadsheet to better track my budget. I honestly blame amazon prime for the ridiculous amount I went overboard.  I no longer think I can purchase amazon prime.

Net Worth Update – September 2016

Assets Aug-16 Sept-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $2,378 $2,555 +$177
Roth IRA $9,465 $10,090 +$625
401K $8,917 $9,467 +$550
FSA $440 $180 ($260)
Pending $550 $400 ($150)
Liabilities June-16 July-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $863 $610 +$253
Net Worth $20,887 $22,082  +$1,195
% Change +5.7%

It’s a day early but I won’t be making any purchases tomorrow, so before I forget, here we go! My net worth increased by about 5.7% in September.  This month I went over budget by about $200. Exactly $140 of that can be explained by the renewal of my passport. Some months I am able to stay within the confines of my budget, others not quite. I guess it’s a good cut off point since it’s challenging yet obtainable. I’m living on a bare bones budget and even though I do go over from time to time, I’m quite pleased since I live in one of the most expensive cities in the nation.

I mentioned in my previous post there will be some changes to how I save. I will try diligently to start saving for a downpayment on a condo.  I really would like to move into a 1 bedroom place, at $2,500/month on average it makes more sense to go ahead and buy. I’ve crunched the numbers. I expect to be able to save $350 a month on my current income. After my pay raise, I expect my ability t save to be $1,000/month.

Net Worth Update – August 2016

Assets June-16 August-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $1,374 $2,378 +$1,004
Roth IRA $8,623 $9,465 +$842
401K $8,115 $8,917 +$802
FSA $440 $440 +$0
Pending $550 +$550
Liabilities June-16 July-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $295 $863 ($568)
Net Worth $18,257 $20,887  +$2,630
% Change +14.4%

Well the goal for August was to save my entire third paycheck but then I splurged early on and then purchased a $1,200 plane ticket that I had forgotten to budget. Thankfully as a graduation gift my mom is paying half of the ticket in $50 bi-weekly installments, which explains the $550 pending category.

I did receive  an extra $175 in income from my employer. Also, something I hadn’t mentioned before was a large debt that I had been trying to pay back to my employer for relocation. Now that the debt is paid I have $725 over that I had budgeted toward the debt, I now feel comfortable counting it towards my net worth. Both explain the jump in my cash and saving.

I have roughly $200 in FSA reimbursements I need to claim.  So it will be nice to have that extra cash on hand.

Even though I blew a bit more of the paycheck than I expected, if I take into consideration the pending payments from my mom, my net worth increased 14.4% or ($2,630). Without the pending payments my net worth increased 11.4% ($2,080).  I’m thankful that all these extra expenses fell on a month in which all the stars seemed to align.

Below is a summary of my spending for the month:

Category Budgeted Actual Remaining
Rent $1,650 $1,650 $0 left
Fixed Expenses $70 $93 $23 over
Food $200 $342 $142 over
Plane Ticket $1,216
Everything Else $780 $879 $99 over
Total  $2,700  $2,964  $264 over

I went out to eat more than usual this month and that explains the overspending in the food category. I didn’t stay on budget in the everything else category. The two primary purchases that put me over at the last minute included some groceries from amazon, and travel insurance for my trip.

I went over my fixed expenses because I prepaid my internet bill.

I didn’t renew my Amazon Prime subscription.  I am going to go ahead and switch over to the monthly subscription with the hopes of renewing only 9 times (or less) throughout the calendar year.

As a side note, I do not budget for my health care spending since it is reimbursed from my FSA. I’m also trying to get into the mentality of doing everything I can to better my health rather than save money on my health care.

Net Worth Update – July 2016

July went relatively smoothly. I didn’t overspend and I finally received a sizable and long awaited reimbursment. I also ended up receiving an additional $100 this month when my  lease ended on my old apartment and the subletter decided to finally return my security deposit, albeit 9 months late.

Assets June-16 July-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $778 $1,374 +$596
Roth IRA $7,922 $8,623 +$701
401K $7,282 $8,115 +$833
FSA $694 $440 ($254)
Liabilities June-16 July-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $1,167 $295 +$872
Net Worth $15,509 $18,258  +$2,749
% Change +17.7%

I had some complications with my health and ended up being out of the office for one full month. Thankfully I can do my job remotely, so loss of employment was not a concern, but this did result in a decline in my FSA.I started off the year with $1,625 in my FSA account. It was important for me to get below the $500 threshold because that is how much I can carry-over into the new year. I got there in July.

My unexpected health issues mean that I will be putting off some dental work until next year. All the medical bills have not come in, and I’m expecting more next month. My doctors and I will also need to decide the best course of action in regards to my health, some of which are quite expensive.

Next year I’m not sure how much I will elect to put in to my FSA. I know I need my wisdom teeth removed in a hospital setting ($700?). I have another crown due, but I can probably hold off. I should use and budget my next year’s FSA for over the counter medications, vitamins, and contact lens solution.  I currently take advantage of reimbursing my transportation expenses to and from doctor appointments.

Net Worth Update – June 2016

I’m STILL waiting for $1,000 worth of reimbursements that I haven’t included in my net worth, and now angrily so. I’ll be making some phone calls come tomorrow to correct this, definitely.  But in good news my net worth increased!

Assets May-16 June-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $1,070 $778 ($292)
Roth IRA $6,900 $7,922 +$1,022
401K $6,844 $7,282 +$438
FSA $694 $694 0
Liabilities May-16 June-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $746 $1,167 ($97)
Net Worth $14,762 $15,509 +$747
% Change +5.1%

The fact that me net worth increased is fairly surprising. The Brexit resulted in a sizable  but temporary loss in net worth part way through the month. I also went insanely over my spending budget. I’m not sure how my net worth increased by so much though, I am thinking there has to be an unsynchronized  account which tends to happen when I don’t post an update exactly at the end of the month. I’ll try to do better next month.

When the market went down following the announcement of the British exit from the European Union, I put some extra money into my Roth IRA, knowing I was planning to do so in August. If the markets had fallen for longer I probably would have put a little more in, but for now I’m strictly planning to put the extra August paycheck towards savings.

As previously mentioned, I went way over budget in spending in June. It was father’s day, my dad’s birthday, I bought renters insurance and then I just threw caution to the wind. I think I went over budget by $600-700. Maybe I’ll do a more detailed post on what happened, maybe not. I’m too bummed about it right now to actually want to. Hopefully next time I see myself going over budget I don’t totally go so off track. Since I did so poorly in June, I’ve cancelled my vacation plans for August.

Net Worth Update – May 2016

I’m still waiting for $1,100 worth of reimbursements that I haven’t included in my net worth.  I won’t have time to update on May 31, so this is technically coming a day early.

Assets Apr-16 May-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $834 $1,070 +$236
Roth IRA $6,273 $6,900 +$637
401K $6,213 $6,844 +$631
FSA $1,103 $694 ($409)
Liabilities Apr-16 May-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $1,070 $746 +$324
Net Worth $13,353 $14,762 +$1,409
% Change +10.6%

Below is an overview of my budgeted vs actual spending for the month of May. I went on vacation this month so I budgeted $500 more in the Everything Else category.

I only went over my budget in the Fixed Expense category because I used a bit more cellphone data than I would have liked, maybe next month?

I had some extra income and reimbursements which led to underspending in the Everything Else category.

I underspent on groceries due to the vacation. I stuck all my vacation expenses under Everything Else because it’s easier to keep track of the $500 usage that way.

Category Budgeted Actual Pending
Rent $1,650 $1,650
Fixed Expenses $70 $71
Food $125 $200
Everything Else $780 $488 -86

Right now I’m waiting for some additional reimbursements. When that comes, I’ll have enough cash in my accounts to where I’m feeling comfortable. I’m thinking about using my third pay check in August to build up my cash cushion and emergency fund.

The Month of June

June will be a normal month. I’m not going on vacation and I have no trips planned. I will rollover my unused vacation spending into June because my vacation isn’t over until June 4.

Net Worth Update – April 2016

I’ve decided to calculate my net worth as though I have not received a series of pending reimbursements.  Hopefully next month I’ll see a sizable increase in my net worth once everything falls into place.

Assets Mar-16 Apr-16 $ Change
Cash & Savings $491 $834 +$343
Roth IRA $5,245 $6,273 +$1,028
401K $5,645 $6,213 +$568
FSA $1,228 $1,103 ($125)
Liabilities Mar-16 Apr-16 $ Change
Credit Cards $42 $1,070 ($1,028)
Net Worth $12,567 $13,353 +$786
% Change +6.3%

Below is an overview of my budgeted vs actual spending for the month of April. I “earned” an extra $250 this month, $150 came from per diem and $100 from cashing out my Amazon gift card balance.  In the table below, I have added these reimbursements to the Everything Else category. Eventually, this will result in a $319 underspend for the Everything Else category. I plan to use the $319 for my vacation.

I also received $280 from my health insurance.  This will go into my emergency fund.

I only went over my budget in the Fixed Expense category. This is due to a slightly higher than usual cellphone bill. I’m hoping to shave off $3 on next month’s bill since I’m using Project Fi.  I technically went over budget for food, but when I am eating to socialize, I classify it as Entertainment.

Category Budgeted Actual Pending
Rent $1,650 $1,650
Fixed Expenses $70 $73
Food $200 $200
Everything Else $280 $847 -$886 ?

So it looks like I’ve comfortably met the spending goals for the month of April, conditional on $886 worth of pending reimbursements going through. These charges are what caused me to go over Everything Else

  • -$17 – Flexible Savings Account
  • -$659 – Reimbursment #1
  • -$35 –  Reimbursment #2
  • -$175 – Loan repayment

I am also expecting a $270 check.

The Month of May

May will be a different beast with me only being in the city half the month and taking vacation. But still I plan on changing the way I spend for May and June.  The next two months I’m going to try to limit my purchases to occur only once a week (the 7th, 14th, 21th, 28th of the month). Come July and August this will decrease to three times a month (10th, 20th, 30th). Maybe I will try twice a month at some point. I’ve already changed my due dates on my credit cards to correspond with the latter. I will also have $10/week in cash for discretionary spending. Usually this includes things like drinks and snacks when I’m out and about. Personal capital sent me a notice about my 9 transactions this week and that’s not okay.  Hopefully this has me spending a bit less.

Health Care Costs

I qualified for a program through my insurance to help manage my chronic illnesses. This program waives my copays and may help coordinate my care. The savings from this will be $1,000/year or more!