January 2015 Net Worth Update

First month of 2015! I’m really pleased with myself; aside from the major planned purchase from my travel savings, I stayed right on track with the tight, savings-focused budget I set up. I feel like a lot has happened since I set my goals up last month, so just as a reminder, my plan is to try this tight budget out through March and see how I feel about it; I may ease up a little at that point if this is leaving me feeling deprived.

Anyway, I kicked the budget’s butt this month, even though I was starting slightly behind because of borrowing ahead to help pay my eye doctor bill in December. Low gas costs helped, and so did being pretty ruthless about sticking to my cash draw for food and incidentals.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 9.56.19 AM Notes:

1) Slush purchases were: postage, fancy coffee for me and a friend one day (I was feeling flush and generous so you can tell it was early in the month), the yearly subscription to my flickr pro account (completely forgot this even existed; boy was I surprised when it was withdrawn from my paypal/bank account), a fabulous leakproof soup container for my lunch, and a pizza I bought for the guys at the shelter where I volunteer. Gifts: a book for my mom’s birthday. Professional expenses: a conference registration fee and a book. Medical: a couple of co-pays and some drugstore stuff.

2) My biggest purchase this month: over $600 for plane fare for a spring break-slash-conference trip.

3) Repairs and maintenance: I spent $24.70 on dry cleaning!!!!!!! This is the charge that inspired me to dig out the supplies for my dress shield project.

4) Those of you who follow me on twitter might note the absence of a “godawful amount of money on boots.” I did in fact buy boots! But thereby hangs a tale, which I will tell next month. Don’t worry, every penny’s accounted for 🙂

Now the more exciting part:

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 9.56.37 AMNotes:

1) Still debt-free!

2) Bought $250 in Roth IRA shares with side hustling money. I’d been letting this accumulate but when the markets dropped substantially earlier in the month I figured I’d go ahead and buy. In that figure, I also counted the amount in my Roth savings account (from which I make contributions) mostly because I couldn’t figure out where else to count that cash and didn’t want to add another line to the budget 🙂

3) The travel fund got pretty anemic after I bought that plane ticket but since I’m now putting $250 into it every month it’s already looking better with this month’s infusion.

Overall, I had a net income of $3302 in January, including paychecks, side hustle income, and pre-tax 403(b) contributions. If you don’t count the plane ticket paid for out of a savings account, which for these purposes I’m not, I managed to live on 33% of my net income! And 26% of my gross income, if you’re into that kind of thing. In conclusion, I feel like a rock star. An especially frugal, low-income rock star who didn’t have anything major go wrong with the car this month, but STILL. Heck yeah!

The markets were soft and the plane ticket took a bite out of my savings, but regardless, I still had a net worth increase of $1530, for a total of $15550.80. I am enjoying being over $15,000; there’s something satisfying about hitting those 5K milestones.

27 thoughts on “January 2015 Net Worth Update

  1. I know exactly how you feel about those surprise charges! We got slammed with one (it turned out to be for a magazine) – but I did cancel it and got reimbursed. Whew. It certainly helps that we PF folks check our transactions regularly – in the past I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it!

    Awesome January net income!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Right? I check *every day* to make sure it’s all on the up and up. When I saw this I was like “what?!?!” I’m still relatively new at keeping a budget, so I guess what I really need is a list of recurring charges so I don’t forget they’re coming up. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  2. Congrats on breaking into 15k! Woot Woot! You started your down payment fund! You could but a down payment on a $650 house! 😉 Just think! Every $125 you put into that account gets you $650 closer to a home! I actually find that quite motivating!

    Did you cancel the Flickr pro account?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Huh, I never thought of it that way! A $650 house would be… Hmm, I like this one pretty well! 🙂

      I thought about it, but decided that I don’t want to cancel it this year, anyway. I made a note to think about it again next December. It’s not hideously expensive and it’s convenient to have, and if I’m not going to have it I need to think about how to replace it.

  3. That’s like a 10% increase in net worth in one month! Way to stay debt free and not spend anything on “gremlins” (that’s an awesome budget line!)

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Well, the nice thing about a low net worth is it doesn’t take much to increase it by 10% 🙂 Last summer I probably had close to a 40% increase when I went from $2000 or so to $4000 or so 🙂 But yes, it’s fun to see, and I’m pleased that even with the big expense of the ticket I could still have a nice increase. I wish I could take credit for the gremlins but I have to attribute that to Cat from Budget Blonde — I loved the idea so much that I flat-out stole it!

  4. The Stoic says:

    Not bad, not bad at all. Question. Are you feeling deprived at all with this budget? Is it something you feel is sustainable? You mentioned adjusting the budget if you began to feel deprived and I was just curious if you had any of those feeling throughout the month.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      You know, I’m really not sure yet. I had moments this month when I felt grumpy, but I managed. I want to give it the full three months to get a better sense, because I’m still getting used to this level of not-spending and I don’t think I can necessarily trust every feeling I have. Thanks for the compliment, too 🙂

  5. DebtFreeJD says:

    Hey, great job! We had an unexpected car expense this month – our alternator blew (either taking the battery with it, or the bad battery caused it to go). Ugh. There went almost a thousand bucks.

    One question: gremlins?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh hey! It’s so nice to see you back! I was really missing your blog and hoping you hadn’t just shut down forever. Awesome. Sorry about the car, though 🙁 –Gremlins are what Cat from Budget Blonde calls the unexpected expenses that pop up in your budget. I thought it was an awesome term so I stole it. In my head it’s different from “slush” (which is my fun money, basically) so I gave them their own line, which fortunately I didn’t have to dip into this month.

  6. MJ says:

    I love this method – tracking the budgeted, actual and difference. This is going to change my February tracking, for sure. I also had to purchase a plane ticket for a spring conference, and as much as I’m looking forward to the trip (to New Orleans) I can’t help but think about the dent that would have made in the debt.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I had a lot of angst about that plane ticket! I’m mostly over it now but yeah, now that I’m all obsessed with my net worth it was hard to spend that much $$ at one go. It took me awhile to arrive at a tracking method that worked for me, but I like this one so I’m going to stick with it for the forseeable future. Hope it helps you too!

  7. Alicia says:

    Well done! Living on 33% is awesome, but I imagine I’d feel pretty restricted on that budget 🙂 also great to get over that $15k threshold.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It kind of helps that there’s not much to spend on here 🙂 When the weather warms up and travel into Chicago becomes an option again, I’m sure I’ll spend more.

  8. Chonce says:

    Wow you’re killing it! Congrats on an awesome month and keep it up. I’m loving these gas prices as well since I commute and I’ve definitely seen a positive difference in my fuel budget.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, the gas prices really help! I obviously don’t have much of a commute (just a couple of miles each way) but even so, I spent half as much this month as I did over the summer. Thanks — it was a good month for me. Helps that January is so quiet around here.

  9. Nice! Even with the plane ticket, you still had a 10% bump in total net worth in one month.

    Obviously, your next step is a Ferrari.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I shudder to think what would happen to a Ferrari in the 15 inch snowdrifts that currently constitute my street!

  10. That’s great! I love that you plunked money into your IRA while the markets were (are) down — very smart!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Except then they went even lower, so I should’ve waited 🙂 But it’s all just tinkering at this point — I expect that money to hang out in there for thirty years or so, so I’m not too worried about timing things. Just figure why not buy at a slight discount if possible 🙂

  11. Felix Money says:

    Congrats on a great January! Unlike you, I don’t contribute at all to IRAs or 401(k) or any other tax-advantaged funds. I think it’s great you’re doing it, and I should look into it soon. I’ve just posted our January statement, which is the very first financial statement I’ve done, and plan to do that every month. Noticed our expenses were higher than I thought before actually crunching the numbers. Well, good luck!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! I just started the funds last year, as you can probably tell by how little is in them 🙂 I like knowing that the money is locked off and I can’t use it. Good luck to you too as you start with financial statements!

  12. ARBM says:

    Well done on a successful January and on the +15k net worth!
    I’m still working out the final numbers for our January results, but I know we are well over budget in a lot of places… lots of angry red numbers staring at me. LOL.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hee, I’vee had some seriously red months so I know what you mean 🙂 Hope it doesn’t come out too bad!

  13. Great job, it is incredible to see how far you have come so quickly. It is amazing how sticking to a strict budget can make such a difference. Keep up the good work, Ill be following for sure!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog — I’ll definitely check yours out too. I’ve been working hard at it and blogging definitely helps me — I stay so much more on budget because I know I’m going to report everything here 🙂

Comments are closed.