Net Worth Update: April 2016

networthupdateWow. Does anyone else feel like April went by SUPER quickly? I spent the first part of it traveling and being sick, and the second part with my head buried in work (in a good way; the last two weeks have allowed me to dig deeply into a project I love) and I can hardly believe it’s May already.

Financially, it wasn’t the greatest month, courtesy of a $775 car repair (most of that was the cost of the part they needed) and a last-minute plane ticket when I got sick and had to come home early from a trip. However, since I’m waiting for a stipend check for a summer program I’m participating in, next month ought to show a significant improvement (I am going to use the check to fill my e-fund back up to where it should be.) Also, I had significant freelance income this month — $460.82, to be precise — so that was helpful in offsetting the damage. All the details are behind the jump: to the numbers!

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OK! Rent, insurance, cash, gas all normal.

Travel: that was the plane ticket/bus ticket to get home from California. I did get lucky and get a partial refund for a flight I canceled; this involved going and getting a doctor’s note saying I was too sick to fly, which was true, and also easy for me to do since my doctor is at the health center on campus, so I didn’t have to go out of my way to see her and it only cost me a $15 co-pay and about 30 minutes of my time in order to get a $185 refund. No brainer.

Slush: bought some “random groceries” (this is literally what I typed into YNAB) at the beginning of the month; bought a new and quite nice summer-weight cotton blanket for my bed; went out for lunch once; and bought some fair-trade sugar.

Personal/medical: co-pay and drugstore.com order.

Professional Expenses: bought a couple of books at the conference I went to.

Gifts: Most of this was my brother’s birthday present, but I also paid for some party supplies for someone else and I entered those here.

All in all, if you don’t count the car repair and plane ticket, that was a super boring spending month. I love the new blanket and the nice fair-trade sugar, so I guess it was a pretty good one overall.

Flashback

April 2015: I’d worked really hard following an extremely rough (financially and emotionally) March, and had a $2711 net worth increase, which is way more than I usually have. Woohoo!

April 2014: This was the first time I did an end of the month update on the blog! I had a net worth of -$3343 and was still in debt to the tune of $6834, but the good news was that I paid off the first of my student loans that month, which was obviously very exciting. What I didn’t say on the blog was that late March/April 2014 was one of the lowest, if not the lowest, points of my entire life. I was having a serious depressive episode (the reason my gas/tolls expenses were so high is that I drove out of town every weekend to see friends or family because I really needed to.) It took me over a year to fully work my way out of that, although the acute crisis passed after a month or so. It weirdly ended up having some very positive effects, because it was so bad that I got some much needed therapy and some much needed medication that I might otherwise have never gotten, and did a lot of thinking about my goals, values, needs in life, which has made a very positive difference in a number of ways. But it was really, incredibly awful and scary and I hope I never get that bad again. Anyway! It’s interesting to look back at that blog post and remember how utterly terrible I felt most of the time (and I am so grateful not to feel like that now.) There were only a few things that were making me feel any better then and one of them was taking control of my financial life.

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After climbing, the markets dipped at the end of the month, so the three investment accounts don’t look much different (except the 403(b) to which I contributed $300.) Obviously you can see the effect of the two emergencies on my travel and EF accounts; the latter should be back to normal next month after my stipend check comes in, so that’ll be nice. What I am really psyched about here is the down payment fund. $1699 contributed! $1025 of that was my “normal” budgeted contribution, and about $400 came from freelance work; the rest was ‘scraped’ from my paychecks. If I hadn’t had the stipend check on the horizon I would have used that for part of the car repair, but I decided to just go ahead and take that out of the EF and leave the down payment fund alone since I’d already moved the $$ over by the time the car repair hit. I will be so excited to see this fund hit $10K this coming month.

All in all, a net worth increase of $1303.05 is lower than I’d like to see, but given the car repair unavoidable. Next month should be stellar in the net worth department, barring stockpocalypse or a broken leg or something. So I’m pretty content with that increase, which leaves me at $41366.11. And by the way, even though I did not live on 50% of my income this month, I am at exactly 50% on the year to date — last month I was at 54% so I had some wiggle room even with this month’s large spending 🙂

20 thoughts on “Net Worth Update: April 2016

  1. Well, I think that a net worth increase of $1300 in a month when you had a car emergency is not too shabby! Especially in the context of that recent article that has been making the rounds, about how half of Americans don’t have the money to handle a $400 emergency.

    1. Mariana says:

      Yikes, I read that article too. It made me sad more than anything. With the monthly savings of $1500+ I should not feel anything short of blessed (which is not always the case)
      The car expenses are my least favorite as well. (They have a way to speak up on you!)

      1. thesingledollar says:

        Yeah, it was a really sad article. But I did feel like, at least I’m doing way better than that! Actually I can’t think of a time when I couldn’t have come up with $400 — although there have been times when it would have meant asking my parents, so maybe that doesn’t count. I think not having a mortgage or car payment ever has been a huge help in terms of dealing with cash flow.

        1. Cindy says:

          I felt the same way when I read the article. Although, for a good chunk of my adult life that would have meant putting it on a credit card. I am very thankful that at this point in my life, I could simply pull it out of my emergency fund, and move on.

    2. thesingledollar says:

      That article was pretty tragic! It made me glad to be single and childless since I’ve never, ever fallen into the trap of thinking that I needed to overspend to get my kids the life they needed.

  2. Mariana says:

    *spelling. Sneak NOT speak

  3. That’s a great increase in a major expense month! And being at 50% savings on the year is awesome. It would be super tough to hit that figure every single month, so it feels like you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do. We were in a similar boat in April — had a massive income tax bill to pay (normal stuff, not a penalty), but mostly thanks to the markets, we still came out a bit ahead on the month. Phew!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, as long as things even out to 50% or so on the year, I’ll be delighted! I just hate car repairs. I wouldn’t even mind if I’d spent the money on something else 🙂

  4. You’re saving sooo much money each month!

    That’s wonderful. I’m glad that you got the help you needed and are feeling better than you were last year. I never picked up on your having a difficult time emotionally. Whenever I’m having a rough patch, it comes out very clearly on my blog, which probably exasperates people who come to read it, but it’s real life. Being in as much debt as I am isn’t a life of sunshine and roses. A lot of days really suck. I say all that to say, you have supporters here. And if you ever want to share anything you’ll get positive words and encouragement.

    I must admit that I’m curious about how you are making money with freelance writing. If you’d care to share, do email me.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      My freelancing isn’t very exciting, unfortunately. I’ve been writing for youngadultmoney, which is a pretty minimal amount of money though every bit helps. Most of it this month came from the opportunity to do a few extra things related to my professional life. I’ll let you know if I hear of anything going though! Usually I think the way people start freelancing is by contacting other bloggers they know and getting the word out that they’re looking. // As far as my mental health crisis, it was actually a full two years ago — the time at which I started my blog. I was doing pretty well by a year ago. Blogging helped a lot, actually, along with the more heavy-duty therapy/medication.

  5. April was bumpy for you! Car repair and too sick you couldn’t fly? That’s no fun at all. I hope you are feeling better and that the car is all mended.

    Hooray for 50% savings on the year. Don’t break a leg!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Last year it was March that was a tire fire, this year it was April. I guess spring is unpredictable! But everything’s ok, especially now that I’m not coughing all over everything in sight.

  6. That’s great your net worth is growing overall and you saw an increase even with extra expenses.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m really happy with it, yes!

  7. Megan says:

    Boring is good! Doing these flashbacks has got to show you how far you’ve come, emotionally and financially. Also, I need to know more details about this summer-weight blanket.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yes, I am so happy to be in such a better place! This is the blanket, from LL Bean. I really like it.

  8. ARBM says:

    Well done on all fronts! I totally agree that April went by super fast. I am so impressed by your overall average of 50% even with all the unexpected expenses that have come up. We have recently been spending more than saving… Not good for the net worth calculations… Glad that you are feeling in a better place now. I want to re-iterate what another comment said… if you ever need support, you have a great community of supporters here that you can lean on if you ever need to.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      That’s very nice of you! I am just fine now — it took a year (and the therapy and medication) to be back to myself, but I’ve been “recovered” for a year now. Writing this blog was part of it!

  9. Cindy says:

    I love reading your updates. It’s nice to see someone at a similar age who is in a very similar financial position. I’m really hopeful that, now that my car payment is gone, I can join you in spending less than 50% of my income each month.

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