Man 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!
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.
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.