Well, this month started off with a bang and ended up with a schlumpf. Towards the beginning of the month, I paid off the last of my debt (although it took me until the middle of the month to be able to announce it.) Then I got hit with a huge bill for new glasses and contact lenses, and had to pull some money out of my emergency fund along with cash-flowing part of it. So the end net worth results for this month are not too impressive, although I got a last-minute boost via a $200 Christmas gift directed to my travel fund.
To the numbers:
Notes: (1) the medical bills, obviously; (2) I was pleased with how well I did on gifts; (3) I need to plan for more December spending — beyond gifts, there’s also an endless series of brunches and coffee dates when I’m home for the holidays. I tried to keep these inexpensive but still ended up spending more than I’d hoped; (4) I thought I might be able to get some of my train tickets home reimbursed, but it turned out that wasn’t going to work out, hence the overage in travel. I redirected money from my initial slush allocation for it; (5) I accounted for the savings as being on target because I did in fact move that money into those categories…. Only to turn around and pull that $250 right back out of the EF to cover the glasses etc.
My favorite part there is obviously the “Liabilities” (let’s hope this is the last month for a long time that I have to list that category at all.) My cash on hand took a big hit thanks largely to my terrible eyes, but the travel fund got a nice increase courtesy of Christmas, the EF did increase thanks to January’s contribution. Note that the 403(b) is an estimate and I hope a low one; the reason is that my university is switching providers, and I haven’t been able to see my account online for a couple of weeks. In fact, the last day I could see it (the number I’m using) was the day the market bottomed out due to the ruble crisis. However, supposedly when it resurfaces it will be valued at the close of market on 12/19, by which time everything had recovered. So fingers crossed that this actually works out. I should be able to get a better idea sometime during the first week of January but I figured I couldn’t go wrong by giving it the lowest value here.
As predicted last month, I did not make my goal of increasing my net worth by $2000; without the *)^&%*($^(&*&T)^*(&( eye doctor, however, I totally would have! I did have an increase, from $12630.61 last month to $14019.83 this month, a difference of $1389.22.
2014 was a big year for me, financially speaking. I paid off my student loans, then paid off a credit card balance. I also opened a retirement account for the first time ever (starting 15 years or so too late, but oh well) and started a small emergency fund. Overall, I increased my net worth from approximately -$11000 to $14020, a net worth increase for the year of approximately $25000. Considering that my base salary was $55750 (I also earned about $2000 in side hustles) that is not that bad. I didn’t quite manage to live on 50% of my income, but I got fairly close — and I didn’t have a particularly frugal first half, either. Now that I’m more focused on my goals, I hope to do better in 2015. Thanks for coming along for the ride!