March 2015 Net Worth Update & Q1 Update

networthupdateMan oh man, March came in like a lamb and roared out like a lion, financially speaking! My February update was, in retrospect, remarkably blasé about my prospects for March — I was confidently predicting I’d shoot past my $20K net worth goal. Uh, not so much.

Regular readers will recall, because, you know, I just talked about it last week, that I had a major setback in March, to the tune of [OH GOD HOW MUCH?!?!] for last-minute plane tickets. This included the original cost of tickets, plus a substantial stupidity tax related to having to make even more last-minute changes when I realized I’d book the wrong date [every time I mention this, a sad accordian goes “womp womp WOMPPPPPP” in my head, like I have a TV music soundtrack to my thought process.]

However, mama said there’d be months like this, and like I said last week, you know, things are actually OK. I kept up my e-fund and retirement contributions, so at least the basics got taken care of, you know?

To the numbers!

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Well, yeesh. Can’t win ’em all, I guess.

1) Phone — since I’ve been collecting money in this fund to pay my friends whose plan I’m on, and since those were the friends I was emergency-visiting, we agreed to zero this out (in effect, they contributed $100 to the cost of the trip.)

2) Gas — I included the cost of parking at the airport in this figure, plus I had to fill up one more time than usual because of the (long) drive to/from the airport, so this is higher than usual, but I still had extra $$ in there because prices have been so low the last few months.

3) Travel — uh, yeah, well. About $600 of this was the cost of my vacation at the beginning of the month (to recap, I did not pay for lodging, but did pay for meals, coconut-related drinks, and a share of a charter boat trip) and the rest was the unplanned trip to see my friends.

4) Slush — bought some CDs for charity, took a friend out to dinner to celebrate passing her exams, bought a small present for my friend who’s pregnant, and bought a ticket to a concert I’ll be going to in April.

5) Personal/medical — got a haircut.

6) Gremlins — hmm, this is kind of a weird collection of stuff. I’m not sure why I categorized these transactions this way and not under travel — they seem to be mostly meals I had in airports, along with one $50 check I wrote to an alumni organization I belong to.

7) Repairs and maintenance — I went through a car wash to get rid of winter grime and salt. Worth every penny 🙂

8) Savings — I’d already decided to use my usual $250 travel fund contribution to help pay for this month’s travel. The rest is on track.

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Again, wowwwwww. The markets didn’t help at all — my Roth fell $46 and the 403(b) fell $100 (I contributed $1000 and ended up with only a $900 increase) but still!

Overall, I had a net (post-tax) income of $3202.68 in March, including paychecks, side hustle income, and pre-tax 403(b) contributions. I lived on 92% of that income, which has to be my worst figure in a really long time, although I’ve only actually calculated that percentage in the last few months. This explains why my net worth only increased $206.98, for a total net worth of $18980.23; I suppose I ought to be grateful it increased at all!

Special Bonus Q1 Goals Update For Those Not Sick of Reading Yet!

Just before the new year, I made some 2015 goals and promised to check back in at the end of each quarter. How’s it going, then?

1) Emergency Fund: Contribute $500 every month until I reach $5000. On track!

2) Retirement Savings: Contribute $1000 to my 403(b) every month. Yup! Pretty easy since it’s automatically withdrawn 🙂

3) Contribute $500 a month to a combo of travel, down payment, and gremlins funds. Hmm. Well, I’ve been diverting that money, all right — it’s just that I spent through the travel money in March! I guess we can call this pass-ish. I am contributing $125 to down payments every month so that’s good.

4) Net Worth: growth of $1500 a month. Almost exactly on target (a couple hundred dollars ahead.)

Basically, I had a good enough February that it almost canceled out how awful March was, financially speaking; I’m not beating any of my goals, but at least I’m right at where the more conservative goals said I should be.

 

30 thoughts on “March 2015 Net Worth Update & Q1 Update

  1. I’m so glad you did a quarterly update in addition to the monthly update, because overall you are on track! It’s easy to beat yourself up about the stupid tax you paid on your flight or the expense of all your travel this month in general, but that’s what the money is for (except the stupid tax).

    Keep your chin up ma’lady. Onwards and upwards!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Onwards indeed! A few other people have confessed stupidity taxes so at least I’m not the only one 🙂

  2. March was crazy but you’re doing great on your financial goals! And whatever, months like that happen. But you put your priorities in order (especially in visiting your friend) and the money worked itself out so I consider that a big win.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I’m definitely letting it go and moving on 🙂

  3. Brooke says:

    Hey, not so bad for a bad month? You still are hitting your quarterly goals and doing the basics. I had my own stupid tax in February. A $900 car repair that could have been $360 if I had taken it in earlier instead of putting off the repair….

    1. thesingledollar says:

      “Not so bad for a bad month” — my new motto! 🙂 I’m sorry about your car. I’m going to take mine in for a checkup either this month or in May — trying to avoid the same thing.

  4. You are approaching your March mishaps (which, all said and done, weren’t that bad and weren’t without value) with humour, and that is definitely part of this this journey. Fearless honesty the whole way : ) All the best for April!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Gotta laugh or you end up crying 🙂 Thanks! My plan for April is to be incredibly cheap. Good luck to you too!

  5. Hannah says:

    If our plans always worked out, life would be pretty boring. Managing to keep your savings rate above zero in a bad month is still pretty awesome. Yesterday, I flubbed up something at work, and my manager said, “Well, you shot for the moon and you hit the side of the barn. Maybe tomorrow the rocket will actually launch.” Hoping that your net worth rocket launches again in April.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      What a good manager! I’ll take his/her words to heart (and probably borrow them sometime.)

  6. Not bad! As long as you keep hitting your emergency fund and retirement goals, life should be good!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Chonce says:

    We all have our months. But I’m happy to hear your great February helped balance things out a bit. Congrats on growing your net worth steadily, once I’m out of the negative I plan to do the same.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! Despite it being less steady lately 🙂 You’re going great, you’ll be out of the red soon.

  8. I think the important news here is that you’re up overall, despite having a rough March. It helps to focus on the big picture, even if there are bumps along the road. Wishing you a warm and prosperous April! 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! I am going to be SO CHEAP this month.

  9. Oh March. We all have months like that. Glad to hear you’re staying positive and focused on the bigger picture. I always think it’s more about my overarching approach and less about the exact numbers of a given month. And, like you said, other months will make up for it.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yup! It was like the least frugal month ever, but you gotta roll with it, right?

  10. Maria says:

    Fan from Norway here. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, first time commenter. Hello! 🙂 I love reading your blog, it’s just so exciting to me to learn about how different people are facing up to the not-always-so-pretty realities of their lives (whatever that may be and however it might have materialized) and trying to do something about it. Yey! Not that our various societies are whithout blame (if I may use that word) and everything, but still, very exciting! Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Maria

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hi! I actually saw some hits from Norway recently when I was looking at my stats and wondered who that was! So nice to meet you! I agree, I love reading blogs for that reason — it’s really fun to follow individual people’s stories. Glad you’ve been reading here.

  11. I really like the quarterly approach. Like others said above, it really clearly shows how despite one bad month, you´re still on the right path. It´s one thing to not beat yourself up over it, it´s another thing to have hard numbers telling you not to beat yourself up over it 🙂 Plus, you got to spend quality time with your friend, and how can you put a pricetag on that? 🙂

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I’ve seen others do the monthly/quarterly thing and it seemed like a good idea so I stole it 🙂 It’s nice that it shows that even despite the bad month I’m still approximately where I said I wanted to be.

  12. Onward and upward, right? Yeah, I’m pretty glad to be putting March to bed as well.

    Still, as you said above, it looks like you’re still relatively on track for the year. Here’s to a shiny April?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      My big goal for April is to be insanely cheap. I gotta fill up the coffers again.

      1. So…no Ferrari this month?

        1. thesingledollar says:

          nah, sticking with the ’98 Honda 🙂

  13. Your bad month doesn’t seem so “bad.” You still kept up with your savings goals…which is more than I can say! 😉

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hee. I guess so! 🙂

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